Where are the most cosmopolitan cities in the UK?

Where are the most cosmopolitan cities in the UK?

This summer is looking bright for enjoying social events with friends, family, or loved ones. From enjoying a refreshing premixed Cosmopolitan in the warmest spot of your garden together, to indulging in a 5 star UK city retreat, more people are looking towards UK cities for luxury ways to spend their time this summer.

While each city in the UK offers a range of cosmopolitan experiences, is there one place that can be definitively labelled as the most cosmopolitan city in the UK?

How have we defined cosmopolitan cities in the UK?

Our definition of cosmopolitan in this context is to be culturally rich with a diverse range of high quality establishments that borrow cultural cues from across the world that support their luxury appeal and recognition. The 5 specific areas are:

  • Number of 5-star hotels
  • Number of spas
  • Number of Michelin star restaurants 
  • Number of designer shops
  • Number of cocktail bars

After establishing the number of such establishments within a city, we then divided this figure in relation to the city’s population size and subsequently normalised the score to provide a ranking out of 100 to help us determine where the most cosmopolitan cities in the UK are! 

NIO Cocktails most cosmopolitan cities in the UK

Where are the most Cosmopolitan cities in the UK?

Cosmopolitan cities in the uk by NIO Cocktails

Based on our research we discovered that the number one cosmopolitan city in the UK is Chester! With a relatively small population of 87,593, Chester came first on our leaderboard with its abundance of 5-star hotels, cocktail bars and luxury shops. Coming in second was the scenic city of Canterbury while the historic capital of the South-West, Bath came in third on our list. Filling out the rest of the top 10 cosmopolitan cities were places including Cambridge, York, and Edinburgh. 

Which city has the highest density of 5-star hotels?

Most 5 star hotel cities in the UK

If you’re wanting to stay in a cosmopolitan city with an abundance of 5-star hotels to choose from, then Bath is the place to go. With the highest density of 5-star hotels (35 to be exact!) when looked at alongside its total population of just over 100,000, Bath is the highest scorer on our system! Lisburn in Northern Ireland followed closely in second with 12 hotels for its relatively small population of just over 45,000. The quaint city of York comes in third boasting 39 fabulous 5-star hotels. Chester, the most cosmopolitan city in the UK, comes in fourth with 17 5-star hotels and Chichester next with 6.

Which city has the higher number of spas per person?

Cities with the most spas in the UK

What better way to relax after a stressful year than with a luxurious spa getaway? If you’re looking to get pampered then you’ll want to visit the city of Stirling in Scotland which came top of our leaderboard with 5 wonderful spas for their small population of just over 37,000. Chichester came in second with 4 spas in their city of 31,831 people. It should come as no surprise that Bath made the top 5 as home of the roman baths and a big total of 11 spas within the city. In fourth is Canterbury which currently has 6 spas amongst a population of 62,767, while Chester in fifth has 8 spas to choose from.

Where's the best place to live for Michelin Star restaurants?

Cities with the most Michelin restaurants UK

For the best dining experience, Michelin star restaurants are what you want to look out for! Although London has more than half of the UK’s Michelin star restaurants, when you take into consideration the population density, we worked out that Canterbury has the highest density of Michelin star restaurants per person. Chester comes in second, followed by Bath then Belfast and finally Edinburgh.

Most cocktail bars per person

Cities with the most cocktail bars per person in the UK

Catching up with friends in a glamorous bar drinking delicious cocktails is one of life’s greatest pleasures. With 168 bars in a population of 554,400, Manchester offers a vibrant and lively night scene with plenty of choice in bars! Canterbury is also a fantastic city for bars, along with Brighton which comes in third on our list with 43 unique bars within a population of 241,999. Oxford came in fourth with a total of 24 cocktail bars within a population of 163,967 and Chester finishes off our list for the most cocktail bars per person. London has a huge total of 446 cocktail bars, the most in the country! However, due its massive population, it only squeezes into the top 20.

Which cities are the best for designer shopping?

Cities with the most designer shops UK

If you’re looking to update your wardrobe with exquisite designer clothes as the lockdown restrictions lift, look outside the capital for the most cosmopolitan shopping city in the UK. Specifically, Stirling comes out on top with an abundance of cosmopolitan shops that are likely to be quiet with it’s small population. Canterbury, and Chichester have the next highest density of designer shops. Elsewhere, North-West powerhouses Chester and Manchester, also boast a wide variety of luxury stores. If you’re looking at the total number of designer shops London has the most in the UK, but because of its large population it once again, doesn’t make the top 10.


Of course, it could be argued that many of the cities that rank highly do so as they are tourist destinations...but that’s a little like asking which came first, the cocktail or the occasion? What we do know is that with staycations the focus of this summer as lockdown lifts, NIO cocktails are the perfect choice for any UK city or countryside break.

Curate your own bar of 3, 6 or 9 premixed cocktails from our extensive menu, or choose one of our unique cocktail gift sets for a new cocktail experience.