Revealed: The most popular cities in the world — where does yours rank?

Jan 22, 2022

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London would like to thank “Shoreditch’s swaggering style, Camden’s punky vibe and chic Portobello Road” for their continued support throughout these difficult times…

Without them, winning the gong for Europe’s Best City at TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards might never have been possible.

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The capital beat off stiff competition from the likes of Rome, Paris and Barcelona to scoop the travel review site’s coveted top prize for its standout performance in European Cities in the Age of COVID-19.

London couldn’t quite clinch the world category, however, as it narrowly lost out to Dubai who took the top award for 2022’s Best City in the World.

Related: The best rooftop bars in London for cocktails and good times

“From Shoreditch’s swaggering style to Camden’s punky vibe and chic Portobello Road, London is many worlds in one,” says Tripadvisor. “The city’s energy means that no two days are the same. Explore royal or historic sites, tick off landmarks from your bucket list, eat and drink in exclusive Michelin-starred restaurants, enjoy a pint in a traditional pub, or get lost down winding cobbled streets and see what you stumble across – when it comes to London, the possibilities are endless.”

It was a happy night for Liverpool, too, which was voted 20th most popular city in Europe, just two spots behind Venice, Italy.

And, in what turned out to be a night of surprises and upsets, London was beaten only by Rome in the Best Food category, leaving the likes of Paris and Madrid in its wake.

The awards are dished out based on the best user reviews over the 12-month period between 1 November 2020 and 31 October 2021.

Other categories include Trending Destinations, Destinations for Sun Seekers, Destinations for Skiers, Destinations for Outdoor Enthusiasts and Destinations for City Lovers.

Britain didn’t just do well on its capital and gastronomic offerings either. Hampshire’s New Forest National Park and Snowdonia National Park in Wales came first and second in the European category for national parks, and 10th and 11th in the world respectively.

“As the world returns to travel, priorities are changing, and people want more memorable experiences on their trips,” said Steven Paganelli, director of destinations, hotels and OTAs, Americas at Tripadvisor. “Almost three-quarters (70 per cent) of Brits say that it’s important they ‘see new places’ when thinking about their future travel plans.”

Related: How Emirates filmed their incredible Burj Khalifa flypast stunt in Dubai

As for Dubai, TripAdvisor told CNN: “Dubai is an ultramodern city that has it all: golden beaches, world-class dining, and gorgeous hotels. Since the Travelers’ Choice Awards are based on reviews of places to go, stay and things to do in destinations, to rank as the world’s best means a destination has obtained stellar traveller reviews across all of its tourism sectors.

“Despite the effects of the pandemic, Dubai still attracted visitors from near and far over the past year, and has stood out as their favourite place to go in a year when they really needed some excitement.”

The most popular destinations in the world:

  1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  2. London, U.K.
  3. Cancún, Mexico
  4. Bali, Indonesia
  5. Crete, Greece
  6. Rome, Italy
  7. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  8. Istanbul, Turkey
  9. Paris, France
  10. Hurghada, Egypt

Most popular European destinations

  1. London, U.K.
  2. Crete, Greece
  3. Rome, Italy
  4. Istanbul, Turkey
  5. Paris, France
  6. Barcelona, Spain
  7. Tenerife, Spain
  8. Corsica, France
  9. Edinburgh, U.K.
  10. Florence, Italy

Featured image by Getty

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