Important Update: Check out our new leveling guide written specifically for the era of Stormblood. Also, note that there is now a level boost item available in the Mog Station that will boost you to 60 instantly.
So you just got Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, and you're wondering what the fastest way to level up is. Since most players will be going from 30 to 60 as one of the new jobs (Astrologian, Dark Knight, or Machinist) or 50 to 60 as one of the existing jobs, this guide will focus on those levels.
Level 30 to 35
In this level range you want to make Costa del Sol (Eastern La Noscea) your home. The FATEs in this area pop frequently, and "It's Not Lupus" in particular offers an immense amount of experience. When waiting for FATEs to pop you will want to run Levequests, which can be picked up on the west side of Costa del Sol. Be sure to check your map often to see if a FATE has popped, and prioritize these.
You will always want to weave in around two dungeons in this level range, Haukke Manor and Brayflox's Longstop. Both will offer you a chance to acquire gear upgrades, in addition to great experience and time spent becoming familiar with playing your job in a group. In addition, make sure that you run your Duty Roulette: Low Level once per day for its significant experience bonus.
Level 35 to 45
Now it's time to move to Coerthas Central Highlights. Do the same as you did from level 30 to 35, attacking FATEs. However, you will want to skip Levequests in this region due to their poor positioning. Ensure that you join a group of people running FATEs so that you can grab as much experience as possible from monster kills. Checking the Party Finder and shouting in the region for a group will help you get into one.
Continue to run dungeons to break the tedium, this time running The Sunken Temple of Qarn and Cutter's Cry. Neither are that great for experience, so keep your runs to a minimum. However, Duty Roulette: Low Level once per day is still a must.
Level 45 to 50
From 45 forward you will want to prioritize dungeons. The Stone Vigil is good, but Dzemael Darkhold is absolutely fantastic for acquiring experience. Skip The Aurum Vale since it's too much work for too little reward. Once again, be sure to run the Duty Roulette: Low Level once per day.
When you aren't running dungeons, run FATEs in Northern Thanalan. While several of them aren't particularly efficient, Dark Devices is the most experience dense FATE chain in the game. As with Coerthas you will want to join a group to gain as much experience from monster kills as possible. You can also knock out Levequests in Bluefog if you feel burned out.
Level 50 to 60
First off, it's important to understand that you can choose to begin your leveling experience in one of two areas at 50: Coerthas Western Highlands or The Sea of Clouds. It's up to you where you begin, and you will eventually need to visit both for the main story.
The new FATEs aren't rewarding at all during your first run through since they are so spread out and low in experience reward. Your main acquisition of experience will be from the main story missions, Duty Roulette, as well as quests scattered throughout the zones. That said, when you're looking for a more casual leveling experience you may consider leveling off Northern Thanalan FATEs until level 52, or 54 if you have the armory bonus from having a higher level character.
At level 53 you will unlock the ability to run Hunts. This feature has been reworked in Heavensward to grant around 115,000+ experience per day. Be sure to do these daily by visiting The Forgotten Knight in Foundation, Ishgard. In a way, they serve as the new Hunting Log, but you can do them once per day.
As usual, dungeons are a good way to level up and gain powerful gear. Duty Roulettes are still preferred for their massive experience bonus, but you can grind the highest available dungeon for moderate experience gains. You may want to skip Duty Roulette: Guildhests, but the other four are worth it for the massive bonus experience and Challenge Log bonuses.
At present there aren't very many ways to level from 50 to 60 for a second job. I would suggest being very careful about which job you choose to take to 60 first, and then wait to see if Heavensward FATEs are given improved rewards. If you're struggling to find things to do, you may want to consider completing Levequests acquired from Foundation, Ishgard. You'll want to do single Levequests instead of the new Temple Leves as they are much more efficient.