Author: Roger Wade

12 places to see really good-looking locals

If you’ve traveled around much you’ve certainly noticed that unusually attractive people are spread pretty well around the planet. Go to small towns or big cities in any country and you’ll see at least a few head-turners, but there are also certain cities where many newcomers march around with their mouths agape because it suddenly feels like they are strolling through the lobby of a modeling agency.

Some have a theory that all the best looking people result from a combination of varied cultures mashing together to create exotic new mixes, but that theory totally falls apart when you visit places like Scandinavia or Japan, whose homogenous gene pools somehow crank out crazy quantities of near-perfect physical specimens anyway.

This list isn’t meant to be complete, and in fact, your city almost made it too but there just wasn’t enough room. Sorry.


Copenhagen, Denmark

We could have instead chosen Stockholm for this slot because they both have similar reputations among first-time visitors who nearly all notice the abundance of stunning people of both sexes. But Copenhagen has a more concentrated city center and walking through the Strøget pedestrian district can be a shocking delight for those who like tall, blond model-types coming from every direction at once. Famed travel author Bill Bryson wrote “You could cast a Pepsi commercial in Copenhagen in 15 seconds. And they all look so happy,” which sums it up pretty well.



Being by far the largest city in a huge country, it might be that all the prettiest people in Japan move to Tokyo to reproduce.

The country’s notorious obsession with trendy clothes from the West produces some bizarre results with the younger groups, but there is no denying that being slaves to fashion combined with a notoriously healthy diet helps churn out an abundance of jaw-droppingly good-looking people concentrated in Japan’s outsized and crowded capital.

Miami Beach,

Miami Beach

Combine offices of some of the world’s top modeling agencies with the party hangout for most of Latin America’s richest and most fabulous people, and you’re off to a pretty good start.

Now add in hopeless gym rats and some of the finest specimens of the world’s best plastic surgeons all vying for attention as they stroll up and down Ocean Drive and you’ve got a spectacle on your hands.

They may not be the best conversationalists, but there is always plenty to look at in Miami’s South Beach.

Tel Aviv,

Tel Aviv

A large and prosperous coastal city with 8 months of beach weather per year, Tel Aviv is another place newcomers are often shocked by how many lovely people they see all over town.

This is a place where people from all over the world have mixed in one small area and the results are often stunning. Old-world European blood has mixed with Mediterranean locals, Africans, and other Asians to produce some attention-getting exotic locals.

Czech Republic

Who could have imagined that the capital city of the most beer-guzzling country in the world would also have a reputation for churning out a crazy-high proportion of the world’s top fashion models?


As long as you can look past the tens of thousands of tourists crowding the city center on any given day you’ll definitely notice that something has gone strangely right in this Central European gene pool.

Whether the delicious and cheap brew has had any influence on this phenomenon is something scholars and bar patrons are sure to debate for generations to come.



What would you get if you put together the style, sophistication, and excellent fashion sense of Paris with a group of people who looked like they could run a mile without stopping twice to complain and have a cigarette break?

Canada’s largest cities all rate pretty high, but parts of Montreal really stand out for having that Continental charm and style mixed with a reasonably healthy and upbeat populace.



The financial and fashion capital of Italy combines the country’s famous ethic of always dressing to impress with an urban-European sophistication that isn’t present once you get south of the shin in the boot.

Sprinkle in a healthy dose of some of the highest paid models from around the world and a well-bred upper class who spend obscene amounts on clothes each year and you’ve got a show-stopping group of people at which to ogle as you wander from a pizza place to a gelato shop wondering how the Milanese pull it off while the rest of us can’t.

Rio de Janeiro,

Rio de Janeiro

The guys and girls from Ipanema and Copacabana have a well-earned reputation as being some of the finest looking people on the planet. The city is lined with world-class beaches and its just-tropical climate keeps those beaches pretty busy all year round.

Cariocas, as the citizens of Rio call themselves, are a mix of European and African immigrants, but it’s the cinnamon-skinned hybrids that get most of the attention. They are almost as famous for their extreme vanity as they are for their national football squad, but if that helps the locals become a tourist attraction unto themselves, who are we to complain?

Los Angeles

Los Angeles,

One of the aspiring-actor characters in the movie Swingers noted that “The hottest 1% from around the world migrate to this gene pool.” Spend some time in and around Hollywood and you’ll quickly see what he was talking about.

This rule certainly doesn’t cover the entire metro area, but the actors/waiters and actresses/waitresses who move to Los Angeles each year with stars in their eyes are generally an outstanding looking bunch. The year-round great weather and health-obsessed beach communities add nicely to the mix.



The capital of Morocco is far more cosmopolitan and liberal than most people expect, and it’s right on the coast. The Olive-skinned Mediterraneans here are a mix of Arab, Berber, and European blood, and the results are often breathtaking.

A city center filled with fashion boutiques as well as all the foreign embassies helps to give a big part of the town an upscale and widely-varied look, much more so than the larger and more famous cities in this North African country.

Buenos Aires,

In a country where large portions of beef are consumed almost every day – often with a side of fried cheese and followed up by the ultra-rich dulce de leche dessert –

Buenos Aires

you wouldn’t expect to find a super-healthy populace who remain impossibly thin in spite of this taboo diet. But go to Buenos Aires and that’s exactly what you get.

The Porteños, as they are called, are an almost exclusive mix of Italian and Spanish genes, with some German thrown in for good measure and a bit of natural blond hair. Somehow the Buenos Aires combination manages to outdo each of the parts alone. The city is another that is obsessed with looking good even if that means surgery, but at least they seem to be accomplishing their goal.


If the British Isles had a much better climate and easier access to modern dentistry, its citizens would probably look quite a bit more like the stunners in Sydney, but even that probably wouldn’t be enough.


Most Sydneysiders have their roots in England, Scotland, and Ireland, but somehow the former prison colony has made them taller, blonder, happier, and better looking than most of their European cousins. The excellent beaches and emphasis on fitness combine to produce a huge group of people who’d stand out in almost any other crowd.