London Mayor Boris Johnson commissioned the World Cities Culture Report 2012, a report which compares the cultural stats of 12 major cities around the world. So… how do we compare? Is New York’s culture still bursting with activity, or have our brethren across the seas surpassed us?

The Contenders

Berlin, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Mumbai, Paris, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo

The Arts


  • Paris takes the gold in four categories: Art Galleries, Movie Theaters, Film Festivals, and Musical Performances
  • New York places 1st in Number of Theatres, Total Performances, and Dance Performances
New York
First Place
Number of National Museums
8th Place- 5 museums
Shanghai- 27 museums
Number of Art Galleries
3rd Place- 721 galleries
Paris- 1,046 galleries
Number of Movie Theaters
4th Place- 117 theaters
Paris- 302 theaters
Number of Film Festivals
3rd Place- 57 festivals
Paris- 190
    Attendance at most popular
    film festival:
2nd Place- 410,000 attendees
Berlin- 484,860 attendees
Number of Theatres
1st Place- 420 theatres
Total Performances
1st Place- 43,004 performances
2nd Place- 22,204 performances
Paris- 33,020 performances
2nd Place- 11,076 performances
London- 11,388 performances
1st Place- 6,292 performances

Paris, the City of Love, is now the City of Art too. With over 1,000 art galleries, 300 movie theaters and almost 200 film festivals, Paris is the place to indulge in one’s artistic senses. However, New York dominates the performance scene! With 420 theatres and over 43,000 total performances, there is no better place to catch a show than right here in the Big Apple. After all, if you can make it here… you might as well stay to enjoy it.

Wining, Dining, and Celebrations


  • Tokyo undoubtedly takes the gold, placing first in Number of Bars, Restaurants, and Celebrations
  • New York lands 2nd in Number of Bars and Largest Festival Attendance


New York
First Place
Number of Nightclubs, Discos, and Dance Halls
3rd Place- 584 dance clubs
Sao Paulo- 2,000 dance clubs
Number of Bars
2nd Place- 7,224 bars
Tokyo- 14,184 bars
    Per 100,000 people
2nd Place- 88 bars
Tokyo- 108 bars
Number of Restaurants
4th Place- 22,327 restaurants
Tokyo- 150,510 restaurants
    Per 100,000 people
3rd Place- 295 restaurants
Tokyo- 1,144 restaurants
Number of Festivals and Celebrations
4th Place- 309 celebrations
Tokyo- 485 celebrations
    Attendance at most popular
2nd Place- 2,500,000 attendees
Sao Paulo- 4,000,000 attendees

Tokyo is the wining and dining heavyweight champ, taking three categories by a landslide each. Tokyo has 14,184 bars, and New York graciously accepts 2nd place with half that, 7,224. Tokyo has almost 151,000 restaurants, while Shanghai trails at a measly 55,614. Finally, Tokyo is all the rage with 485 annual celebrations; Paris picks up 2nd with only 360.

Where We Stand

We might not have the most of much, but we certainly don’t have the worst! With world renowned museums, virtually unlimited theatrical entertainment, and a dining scene that never sleeps, New York’s culture is still at the top of its game. Besides, if we’re talking about cultural diversity, we take first: 36.8% of our population is foreign-born, while Sydney comes in a close second with 34.4%. Well, we still hold our title as the World’s Largest Melting Pot!

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