Top 10 Cities with the Best Music Scenes

These cities are not just geographical locations on a map, but living, breathing symphonies of sound. Each city has its own distinct melody, a unique rhythm that beats in sync with the heart of its inhabitants, reverberating through the streets, the clubs, the concert halls, and the coffee shops, pulsating in the very air that surrounds you.

You know those moments when you're strolling through the streets of a city, and you suddenly hear the distant strumming of a guitar, the soulful notes of a saxophone, or the powerful beats of drums? These are the cities that offer those moments. They're the places where music is not just an industry, but a way of life, deeply ingrained into the culture and the spirit of the city.

Is it the soulful blues echoing through the streets of Chicago, the vibrant salsa rhythms that fill the air in Havana, or the cutting-edge electro beats pulsing through the clubs in Berlin that speak to your soul? Or maybe you're drawn to the lively country twang of Nashville, the jazzy tunes floating through New Orleans, or the grunge-infused rock history of Seattle?

The question we're posing to you is: what are the cities with the best music scenes? And remember, 'best' is subjective here. Maybe for you, it's about the variety of music available, or the quality of the local artists. Perhaps it's the music history of the city, the iconic venues, or the music festivals that draw your attention.
The Top Ten
1 London London is a musical metropolis where the old and new harmoniously coexist. From the time-tested grandeur of its classical music institutions to the infectious grime beats reverberating through its streets, it's a city that's always at the cutting edge of sound.

An obvious choice for being #1 on this list. The Rolling Stones, Queen, Coldplay, The Police, Fleetwood Mac, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, and Blur all formed in London, influencing many people who aspire to be musicians when they get older. Such a phenomenal city London is.

Queen, The Rolling Stones, The Police, Led Zeppelin, Placebo, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Radiohead, Elton John, Muse, etc. Ninety percent of the greatest names in modern music hail from the UK. Any more evidence?

2 Los Angeles Los Angeles, the city of angels and the epicenter of the music industry. From iconic rock venues to vibrant pop and hip-hop scenes, LA's music scene is as glitzy and expansive as the city itself, infused with star quality at every turn.
3 Seattle In Seattle, the rain-soaked streets echo with the sounds of grunge and indie rock, a testament to its rich musical history. It's a city where coffeehouse folk blends seamlessly with innovative electronica, offering a soundscape as diverse and vibrant as its people.

Some of the best music we have today originated out of Seattle. Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Heart, Hendrix, Mother Love Bone. All really talented artists.

Whilst I agree with London, Seattle must surely be an extremely close second. Nirvana and Pearl Jam, amongst others. Need I say more?

4 New York New York City, a glittering hub of diverse cultures, boasts an equally diverse music scene. From the hallowed jazz clubs of Harlem to the pulsating hip-hop beats of Brooklyn, the city that never sleeps is also the city that never stops playing music.
5 Chicago Chicago is the home of the blues, its gritty and heartfelt music scene shaped by its vibrant history. Yet, it also pulses with house music and boasts a thriving indie rock scene, making it a city where different genres blend to create something uniquely Chicagoan.
6 Nashville Nashville, Tennessee, also known as "Music City," is the undisputed home of country music. With live music pouring from every honky-tonk and the soulful twang of guitars filling the air, it's a city that lives and breathes its musical roots.

I am voting for Nashville also because I lived there, and it is just spilling over with music. Sadly, many people think it is all country, but they have plenty of clubs, bands, and infrastructure that cater to rock, alternative, metal, indie, acoustic, electronic, rap, etc. It has as much or more music industry infrastructure as New York or Los Angeles, but it is only a fraction of the size, which makes the concentration of music-related things much higher.

Nashville also has some of the nicest people I have ever met. Total strangers are often very friendly, but they also have their jerks like any other place. It is just friendlier overall than most places. Unlike NY or LA, the people and musicians are much more likely to help you out despite the competitive nature of the business.

7 Austin Austin, Texas, proudly proclaims itself as the "Live Music Capital of the World." A city where country meets rock, blues, and a vibrant indie scene, you can almost feel the rhythm and the passion for music in its warm, Texan air.

I am thinking of moving there because Austin has one of the top yet most underrated music scenes in the country! I have lived in Nashville and LA, and obviously, they are both amazing places to be a musician.

You simply cannot beat the mix of genres and the quantity of talent in one single location. Amazing!

All you have to do is visit, and you'll know why. Texas does it right!

8 Berlin Berlin is a city that thrums with the pulse of techno music, its famed nightclubs synonymous with innovation in electronica. Yet, it's also steeped in a rich classical music tradition, resulting in a captivating blend of old and new sounds.
9 Tokyo Tokyo's music scene is as electrifying as the city itself. From the high-energy J-pop that fills its karaoke rooms to the underground punk and rockabilly scenes, it's a city that offers a dizzying array of sonic experiences, all against the backdrop of its neon-lit skyline.
10 Jacksonville Jacksonville, Florida, is a city with a strong musical tradition, particularly in Southern rock and jazz. Its bustling live music venues and annual music festivals offer a rich tapestry of sounds that reflect the city's vibrant spirit.

Well, Southern Rock is my favorite genre.

The Contenders
11 Oslo Oslo, Norway, might be known for its breathtaking fjords, but it also offers a thriving music scene. With a deep love for black metal, a burgeoning indie scene, and a rich tradition in folk music, Oslo's musical soundscape is as intriguing as its northern lights.

Oslo is a beautiful and clean city. It is a perfect place to film any music videos.

12 Boston Boston, steeped in history and academic culture, offers a diverse music scene that covers everything from hardcore punk to classical and indie rock. It's a city where street musicians add charm to its historic districts, creating a unique musical tapestry.
13 Santiago Santiago, Chile, a city framed by the Andes, has a music scene that's as vibrant and diverse as its landscape. From traditional Chilean folk to contemporary pop, rock, and hip-hop, its music reflects the city's dynamic spirit.
14 San Francisco San Francisco, with its bohemian spirit, is a city of psychedelic rock legacy and cutting-edge electronica. From the Summer of Love to the rise of the Bay Area hip-hop scene, it's a city that's as eclectic and free-spirited as its music.
15 Melbourne Melbourne, Australia, is known for its bustling live music scene that covers a broad spectrum, from rock and indie to electronic and jazz. It's a city that embraces its music with a passionate enthusiasm that's palpable in its many venues.

Get out of your North American headspace, see the world, and then visit Melbourne. Nothing more to say.

16 Memphis Memphis, Tennessee, is a city that beats to the rhythm of the blues, its soulful sounds permeating every corner, from Beale Street to its renowned studios. Yet, it's also the birthplace of rock 'n' roll, giving it a vibrant musical duality.
17 Manchester Manchester, England, is a city renowned for its influential contributions to rock and indie music. It's a place where the echoes of Britpop still blend seamlessly with the modern beats of its thriving EDM scene, resulting in a continually evolving musical landscape.

This city should definitely be in the top 10. It's one of the most amazing and influential music cities on the planet. New Order, The Smiths, Joy Division, and Happy Mondays influenced alternative music as we know it today. One of these bands is still going strong after 30 years in the business.

No other city in the world has hosted a scene as brilliant and talented as Manchester. Where would music be today without Joy Division, The Smiths, New Order, Buzzcocks, The Stone Roses, The Chemical Brothers, etc.?

18 Minneapolis Minneapolis, despite its cold winters, boasts a hot music scene that gave birth to the Minneapolis Sound - a blend of funk, rock, pop, and new wave that put the city on the musical map. It's a city of surprising musical depth, with strong indie and hip-hop scenes to boot.

Home of Prince, Bob Dylan, Morris Day and The Time, The Jets, Flyte Tyme Recording Studios (now Minneapolis Media Institute), The Peterson Family (First Family of Jazz), Flim and the BB's, Bunkers Music Bar and Grill, The Dakota Restaurant and Jazz Club, and lots more great music has come out of Minneapolis!

19 Toronto Toronto, a multicultural powerhouse, mirrors its diversity in its music scene. With thriving indie rock, hip-hop, and electronic scenes, this Canadian city serves up a delectable musical buffet that resonates with its cosmopolitan vibe.

Rush, Neil Young, Anvil, The Band, Klaatu, Toronto, Alias, Death From Above 1979, Eidolon, I Mother Earth. Need I say more? Toronto is one of the most talented cities for music. The same goes for many other parts of Canada!

Sum 41 is from the Toronto Metropolitan Area, but that would count.

20 Montréal Montréal, with its unique blend of North American and European influences, is a city that pulses with creativity. Its music scene is a mix of Francophone pop, indie rock, and electronic music, making it a unique cultural and musical destination.
21 Detroit Detroit, the Motor City, is synonymous with Motown soul and techno music. Its streets pulse with an energetic beat that reflects its storied history and its relentless drive, making it a compelling city for music lovers.
22 Liverpool Liverpool, home of The Beatles, is a city steeped in rock 'n' roll history. Its music scene continues to thrive, with a bustling indie scene and a vibrant nightlife that keeps the city's musical legacy alive and well.

Does not matter what any other city does, EVER. Liverpool's impact will always be remembered. Imagine checking out the club scene there in 1962!

How is Liverpool so low?! I mean, there's The Beatles, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Cilla Black, Atomic Kitten, and the Sugababes, just to name a few.

23 New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana, is the birthplace of jazz, and it shows. Its music scene is a vibrant mix of jazz, blues, and zydeco, creating a unique musical gumbo that resonates with the city's celebratory spirit and rich cultural heritage.

I believe the people out here in New Orleans support music to the fullest. We took a loss with Katrina, but the city is full of life and is a beautiful place to be and live.

24 Omaha Omaha, Nebraska, might seem unassuming, but it's been a significant hub for indie rock, thanks to the renowned Saddle Creek Records. Its music scene, much like the city itself, is a heartland gem waiting to be discovered.
25 Atlanta Atlanta, Georgia, is a hotbed of hip-hop and R&B, its music scene as rich and soulful as its Southern roots. With a history steeped in gospel and blues, and a present rocking to trap beats, Atlanta offers a musical experience like no other.
8Load More
PSearch List