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London is on Top of the World

According to the annual GfK public survey, London is the best city in the world.

London and Sydney each moved up 1 place from last year, to 1st and 2nd respectively, while Paris fell to 3rd.

The survey aims to look at all aspects of a city; physical beauty and safety records are covered, but so are less tangible things such as friendliness of the people and a ready cultural mix.

Sydney came top in the safety stakes, whilst, probably not surprisingly, Rio de Janeiro came 47th.  Sydney also came top in the friendliness category, with Moscow coming 50th.  If you are surprised at that, you should read my Melancholy Moscow post.

However, it’s the London versus Paris element of these survey results that will likely generate the most conversation and debate.   These two neighbour cities are less than three hours apart by Eurostar, but are separated by water, language, history, food, ….

If the debate needed any further fuel, then the infographic below, from Time Out, may be just the thing.


London vs Paris infographic: the urban head-to-head, by Time Out


Anna at Home & Away has pointed out that despite this accolade, London has just been voted the worst place to live, so I thought I had better to do an update to this post.

Crap Towns Returns‘ public survey has found London to be the crappiest city in the UK, the league table being:

  1. London
  2. Bradford
  3. Chipping Norton
  4. Southampton
  5. York
  6. Gibraltar
  7. Coventry
  8. Nuneaton
  9. High Wycombe
  10. Stoke-on-Trent

They have also found Hatfield to be the dullest and Hemel Hempstead to be the ugliest.



17 replies »

  1. I have studied and lived in Paris, and have only visited London briefly (for about a week, though bc it was with Londoners I got to see the touristy and the ‘real’ city), so it wouldnt be a fair comparison. I will say this: while Paris is more on my wavelength ‘high-culturally’ and aesthetically, I found London and Londoners to be warmer and more welcoming.

    A bit of irony: apparently London had just been voted the worst city in the UK by the Brits!


  2. Excellent, I really enjoyed that comparison 🙂 I may have missed it, but it didn’t make a point of London’s Museums being free, unlike those in Paris.

    Another thing that’s missing is Anna’s comment re. Moscow. Won’t be long, though…. she must be out riding 😉


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