Internationally, I have a fondness for London. I've made at least 150 trips there. While I am only there occasionally now, there was an eight year stretch I was going every three weeks. Sydney is awesome. Great people, great scenery, great fun. Getting there… not so much. I like Amsterdam quite a bit, and Paris as well. Paris is fine as long as you realize that most French people will really look down on you. What the line.... "How do you think a cliché becomes a cliché"? And I could not leave out my current "home away from home" Toronto. I think Toronto is awesome Perhaps because in some ways it's like Chicago. The people are really nice, and tend to be a bit more worldly and enlightened than what you find in the US. I think that is a function of media exposure. Seriously, it has great food, night life (so I'm told), fun sports, a good shoreline, and it's clean.
Honorable mentions go to Seattle, Washington, D.C, and Denver. Internationally, they go to Brussels, Stockholm, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
My Top Five Business Travel Cities Overall
These are based on a combination of the business climate (productive, unproductive), travel accommodations, airports, transportation systems, restaurants, things to do, culture, climate, and the people.
5. New York. So much going on. Fairly easy to get around on public transportation if you know your way. Cabs are like an amusement park ride. People can be nice, but often aren't. So much to do. Business is vibrant. People seldom waste time. Fantastic restaurants. Multiple decent airports. Lots of hotels. Overall - great buzz, good place to do business, good place to travel.
4. Toronto. Much of what I said about New York, with nicer people. Great business climate. Good, but not fantastic transportation system. The main airport (Pearson) is pretty far out, but good. Island (Billy Bishop) Airport sits in the bay right next to the city and is awesome. Most people are informed, which is always a plus. Good food. Good lifestyle. Overall - a vibrant, international city with much to offer and a great business climate.
3. Sydney. Probably shouldn't be on the list, but I could not resist. It's an awesome city. The people are just fun. The sights are incredible. The business climate is very vibrant, and yet everyone plays hard too. By "plays", I really mean "drinks". And more. It's very much an outdoor culture. The accommodations are generally nice. I wouldn't want to be there every three weeks, as getting there feels like a shuttle mission, but it definitely is a cool place. Overall - a good business location on occasion.
2. London. Where to start? So much going on. So much business. So much culture. Fantastic transportation system, although I would stay out of the tube late afternoons in the summer, as hygiene has not necessarily caught up with the construction worker wearing the beater, so it gets a bit ripe. Best taxi drivers in the world. Vast range of hotels. Several airports to choose from, including Heathrow which can be awesome once acclimated to it, especially if you are traveling British Airways to/from Terminal 5. People in the US complain about the food, but there are many really good restaurants, and for a quick bite, I find places like Pret-A-Manger and E.A.T quite good. The business done there is vibrant to say the least. While they don't tend to start nearly as early as you see in Chicago, the days run late. And the night life is huge, especially in the West End. All in all, it is a great place to do business.
1. Chicago. I cannot claim objectivity here. I have gone native. While not originally form Chicago, and I have travelled many times to Chicago before actually moving there. I think it has everything. Great transportation, two excellent airports with accessibility both within North America and elsewhere as good or better as you will find anywhere in the US. The people are great. Down to earth. More interested in your family than the car you drive or where you went to school. The business climate is extremely vibrant. The night life is great. The food is exceptional. It is clean and accommodating. And while the winter's can be a bit much for someone from, say, Atlanta, we have discovered these awesome things called "coats" that seem to do the trick. Overall, a fantastic place to visit (or live) and do business.