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11 2012

London fails to wow despite triumph of ‘Jubilympics’ year

We at TripAdvisor can today reveal how London compares to some of the key tourist cities around the world when it comes to traveller experiences. The TripAdvisor Cities Survey is an in-depth look into how travellers and locals view 40 cities around the world – and it doesn’t look good for the Captial.


Despite the triumphant ‘Jubliympics’ celebrations in London this year, London fails to shine in most of the 10 categories included in the study. These include: friendliness of locals, cleanliness of streets, public transport, value for money, friendliness of taxi drivers and shopping. The results were compiled based on more than 75,000 responses to a survey sent to those who have recently written TripAdvisor reviews on the featured cities.


London’s friendliness and cleanliness leave a lot to be desired

Despite the big clean-up in the lead up to this year’s Diamond Jubilee and Olympics, London is ranked 26th in the cleanliness of streets category. Tokyo comes top. And whilst London was praised during the Olympics for the friendliness and enthusiasm of the Games Makers, the city has ranked second to last in the friendliest locals category, with only Moscow worse. Mexico’s Cancun was voted the city with the friendliest locals.


“While London hasn’t ranked particularly highly by those that have reviewed the city this year, it’s important to remember that many of the respondents may have experienced London before major changes were made or post the events of the summer,” commented TripAdvisor spokesperson, Emma Shaw.


London middle of the road for ease of getting around

When it comes to ease of getting around, London is ranked as decidedly average by those that have experienced the city – coming in 17th place. Closely following is Dublin in 21st place. Other European destinations, however, were voted far easier to navigate with Zurich and Vienna taking first and second places respectively.


Taxis and Transport

Many of London’s commuters may not be surprised to hear that the city has not ranked well for its public transport, coming in 15th. According to respondents, it seems that taking a taxi might be the best bet when visiting Dublin and London – the cities rank fourth and fifth places respectively for best taxi services. And Dublin comes in fifth place globally for the city with the friendliest taxi drivers, ahead of London cabbies in 12th place.


Lisbon number one city for value, while London in bottom five

Of the 40 cities included in the study, Portugal’s Lisbon has been awarded top spot in the value for money category, followed by Budapest in Hungary. Despite London’s plethora of free museums, parks and attractions, London only ranked 35th in the best value city category.


London still shines for shopping

New York is crowned the best city for shopping of the featured cities, with Bangkok runner-up and Dubai taking third place. London ranks an impressive fourth, beating off stiff competition from the likes of Tokyo (5th), Hong Kong (6th) and Paris (11th).


“The popularity of London as one of the most visited cities in the world remains and travellers will continue to rave about it as a loved destination. Indeed this year London was voted the best city in the world in the 2012 TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards.  Even so, this study perhaps proves that even a great city isn’t going to be perfect in every way,” continued TripAdvisor spokesperson, Emma Shaw.


TripAdvisor 2012 Cities Survey results overview:


London specific:


Category London ranking (out of 40)
Friendliest   locals

39th   place

Friendliest   taxi drivers

12th   place

Best taxi   services

5th   place

Cleanest   streets

26th   place

Ease of getting   around

17th   place

Best public   transport

15th   place

Best value for   money

35th   place

Best for   shopping

4th   place

Most underrated

23rd   place

Safest city

28th   place


Overall Top Performers:


Category First place Second place Third place
Friendliest   locals Cancun Tokyo Lisbon
Friendliest   taxi drivers Tokyo Cancun Singapore
Best taxi   services Tokyo Singapore Dubai
Cleanest   streets Tokyo Singapore Zurich
Ease of getting   around Zurich Vienna Singapore
Best public   transport Tokyo Zurich Munich
Best value for   money Lisbon Budapest Bangkok
Best for   shopping New   York City Bangkok Dubai
Most underrated   city Budapest Lisbon Cape   Town
Safest city Tokyo Singapore Dubrovnik


Overall Low Rankers:


Category Last place Second last Third last
Friendliest   locals Moscow London Hong   Kong
Friendliest   taxi drivers Moscow Beijing Brussels
Best taxi   services Moscow Beijing Kuala   Lumpur
Cleanest   streets Mumbai Marrakech Punta   Cana
Ease of getting   around  to get around Mumbai Punta   Cana Moscow
Best public   transport Hanoi Sharm   el Sheikh Marrakech
Best value for   money Oslo Moscow Zurich
Best for   shopping Moscow Oslo Punta   Cana
Most underrated   city Punta   Cana Dubai Sharm   el Sheikh
Safest city Punta   Cana Rio   de Janeiro Sharm   el Sheikh



The survey was sent to travellers that have written a review on either a hotel, restaurant or attraction in the featured cities during 2012, with the majority of surveys sent to travellers and the remainder to locals. Survey was carried out on 75,000 travellers from 12th November to 26th November 2012.


To be included in the results, a city had a minimum of 300 completed responses, with the ranking based on average scores for each question.  All analysis was conducted by Brainbox Research.  The selection of featured cities is based on the key cities from countries which receive the largest number of international visitor arrivals (data compiled by the UNWTO 2010).


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