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This is apparently the best-smelling city in the world

When it comes to sweet-smelling streets, the Greek capital leads the way

Aarna Raj
Written by
Aarna Raj

There’s a misconception that cities stink. All those people, all that rubbish, all that underground sewage. But it turns out some metropolises smell pretty good. A recent study by HAYPP has shed light on this overlooked aspect of urban life, analysing 30 major cities in Europe and beyond to figure out which one is the sweetest-smelling of them all.

Researchers looked into factors including cleanliness and proportion of flower shops, bakeries and perfume shops to give each city a ‘smell score’. And the city that sniffed its way to the top of the charts was Athens, Greece. Yep, you heard that right: the Greek capital is the world’s best-smelling city!

Picture this: bustling street markets, the aroma of fresh produce, herbs, and sizzling Greek delicacies wafting through the air. Athens is a feast for the senses, scoring 8.3 out of 10 on the smell-o-meter. From cheesy Tiropita to sticky-sweet Baklava, the city's bakeries are serving up some serious scent satisfaction.

Athens is also a floral paradise, boasting 31 flower shops and 22 perfumeries per 10 square kilometers, which means delicate fragrance lingers around every corner of the city. The city's commitment to cleanliness is also reflected in its Environmental Performance Index (EPI), receiving a score of 56.2. So next time you're planning a trip, don’t follow your heart – follow your nose.

While Athens may have claimed the top spot, it's worth mentioning the other cities that have made it to the list of the world's nicest smelling cities. Paris, with its romantic ambiance and elegant boulevards, secures the second position, followed closely by Zurich, renowned for its cleanliness and picturesque surroundings round up the top three.

These are the top 10 best-smelling cities in the world

  1. Athens, Greece
  2. Paris, France
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Dublin, Ireland
  5. Luxembourg
  6. Nicosia, Cyprus
  7. Copenhagen, Denmark
  8. Bucharest, Romania
  9. Valletta, Malta
  10. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Did you see that Greece is offering 25,000 free trips to those affected by wildfires?

Plus: These are the most sustainable cities in Europe

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