• France edition
 
London dethrones Paris as 'world’s best city'
Paris and the Eiffel Tower have been toppled by London and The Shard in the "World's Best City" index. Photos: Awsheffield/Flickr and Tom Godber

London dethrones Paris as 'world’s best city'

Published: 07 Oct 2013 12:19 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Oct 2013 12:19 GMT+02:00

Paris has lost its crown as the "best city in the world", a new global survey revealed this week. What will rub salt into the wounds of Parisians is that their city was knocked off its perch by London. Authorities in Paris should take heed, say those behind the index.

Is it the pickpockets, the long queues for attractions, the moody waiters or perhaps just the increasing cost of a cold beer?

While the reasons may not exactly be clear, the result is pretty conclusive - Paris is no longer the “best city in the world”.

Or at least that’s according to the latest edition of a biennial survey by Anholt-GFK City Brands Index.

The ranking, released this week, showed that while Paris may still be the most visited city in the world, it is no longer the "best" after the French capital was knocked off the top spot.

Its crown was taken by none other than its cross-Channel rival London. Australia’s Sydney came in second place, pushing Paris down to bronze position.

The City of Light did, however, end up ahead of North American cities such as New York, L.A. and Toronto.

However some people were aghast atthe result of the survey, including our readers, who have helped us put together a list of reasons why Paris beats London hands down. See below.

Ten reasons why Paris is better than London

The poll, which measures a city’s brand image, power and appeal, is based on the opinions of visitors to the city.

The City Brand’s Index measures the importance of a city’s reputation in six dimensions: international status and standing; esthetic; pre-requisites (affordable accommodation and standard of public amenities); people; pulse (interesting things to do) and its economic and educational potential.

For his part, François Navarro from the regional tourism committee CRT was defiant in response to the survey. 

"One of the main advantages Paris has over London is the food. That's not to say London doesn't also have some good restaurants, but that's because there are French chefs working in them," said Navarro.

"Another major advantage is the shopping. London might have Harrod's, but it doesn't compare with the Galeries Lafayette [department store]. London is for sales, Paris is for shopping. There's a big difference between the two," he added.

'This should be a warning sign to all stakeholders of the city'

Given its array of tourist attractions, Paris - perhaps unsurprisingly - took top spot in the “Pulse” category, but fared poorly in the categories of Friendly People and Safety, also perhaps unsurprisingly, given its reputation as a hub for pickpockets.

Those behind the poll were not surprised by the result and say it should send a warning to Paris city chiefs.

“While Paris still takes top place for the individual Pulse measure, its overall Index ranking has been dragged down by its 13th and 14th places for the People and Pre-requisites measures,” said Simon Anholt, independent policy advisor on national identity and reputation at Anholt.

“Even more worrying for Paris, its Potential Index score has experienced a large decline between 2011 and 2013, which should be a warning sign to all stakeholders of the city.”

Xiaoyan Zhao Senior Vice President and Director at GfK, suggests the fall in Paris’s status could be down to the harsh economic climate.

“Looking further into the momentum of the 50 cities, Paris has shown one of the three largest declines on the Potential Index, together with two other capital cities mired in economic crisis – Madrid and Tokyo.”

Speculation as to why London has jumped ahead of Paris is obviously rife, but most suggest the British capital is still riding on the wave of the 2012 Olympic Games and recent celebrations such as the birth of the new royal baby.

The fact the Olympics helped London hit top spot will be an added source of frustration in Paris as the French capital had been favourite to host the Games before being pipped to the post by London.

And there could be more reason to be bitter on Monday when the hosts for the 2018 Gay Games will be announced in Cleveland USA. Paris once again is the stand-out favourite, but London is also in the running.

Tourist handbook

The results of this week's "World's Best City" poll may disappoint authorities in Paris, but perhaps they will not be surprised. Earlier this year they produced a training manual aimed at teaching those who work in the tourist industry how to better welcome visitors.

The aim of the campaign is to focus on the quality of welcome that visitors receive in Paris, and to train professionals here to understand the differences between them,” tourist chief François Navarro told The Local at the time.

Navarro claimed that despite the high volume of visitors to Paris, and despite their satisfaction, "our goal is to improve their experience even more.”

Part of that, he says, is teaching restaurant-owners, museum staff, and shopkeepers to understand the important cultural differences between various nationalities.

The Anholt-GFK City Brands Index was the result of more than 5,140 interviews conducted in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Russia, South Korea, the US and the UK.

The full list of the world’s Top Ten World’s Best Cities reads as follows:

1. London
2. Sydney
3. Paris
4. New York
5. Rome
6. Washington D.C.
7. Los Angeles
8. Toronto
9. Vienna
10. Melbourne

Do you agree with the poll? Paris or London? Let us know your views in the comments section below or email us at news@thelocal.fr and we will publish a selection of the best responses.

Don't miss a story about France - Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
PSG on course for double after cup triumph
PSG's galaxy of stars celebrate their French League Cup win over Lyon. AFP Photo/Franck Fife

PSG on course for double after cup triumph

Paris Saint-Germain won France's League Cup on Saturday, beating Lyon 2-1 in the final at the Stade de France to secure the first leg of a likely domestic double. READ () »

Freed journalists back on French soil
Francois Hollande welcomes French journalists Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres at the Villacoublay air base southwest of Paris. AFP Photo/Thomas Samson

Freed journalists back on French soil

Four French journalists taken hostage in Syria arrived home on Sunday to an emotional reunion with family and colleagues after spending 10 months in captivity in the world's most dangerous country for the media. READ () »

French reporters held captive in Syria set free
Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Pierre Torres and Nicolas Henin. AFP Photo / Chris Huby/ Haytham Pictures/ Torres Family / Benoit Schaeffer

French reporters held captive in Syria set free

Four French journalists held captive in Syria for almost a year were free and "in good health" on Saturday, President Francois Hollande told AFP, saying they would be back in France within hours. READ () »

Euro hunt for French girl ends in her hometown
Europe-wide search for missing French girl ends in her hometown. Photo: AFP

Euro hunt for French girl ends in her hometown

A Europe-wide hunt for a missing 15-year-old French girl ended in her hometown on Friday where she was located with a 48-year-old family friend who was suspected of abducting her. Police believed the friend was suicidal. READ () »

French MP proposes puppy custody law
A French lawmaker wants puppies looked after in case of a divorce. Photo: Robbee/Flickr

French MP proposes puppy custody law

Who gets custody of a dog after a divorce? A French lawmaker has proposed a bill to create a legal framework to answer precisely that and other tricky questions surrounding pets. READ () »

Threat letter to French mosque praises far right
A mosque in the Paris suburbs has gotten a threat tied to the recent election of far-right National Front mayor. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Threat letter to French mosque praises far right

After pork products turned up in the mailbox of a suburban Paris mosque along with a threatening letter praising the town's recently elected far-right National Front mayor, muslims are concerned about a "worrying" local shift. READ () »

'Slavery' protesters slash hundreds of Velib' tires
Hundreds of Velib' bike tires slashed in 'slavery' protest. Photo: Cyril Folliot/AFP

'Slavery' protesters slash hundreds of Velib' tires

Far-left activists slashed the tires on over 360 Velib’ bikes in Paris this week in protest of the ‘slave’ labour the programme’s operator uses to repair vandalized bikes. The vandals could themselves end up 'slave' labour. READ () »

New scandal means more bad news for president
France's president was smacked with his administration's latest embarrassing scandal. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP

New scandal means more bad news for president

The latest blow to struggling President François Hollande came on Friday when a close aide quit over allegations he'd used taxpayer money to support a posh lifestyle and appeared to have breached conflict of interest barriers. READ () »

French bank bosses to explain 'indecent' pay
France's economy minister wants bank bosses to explain their "indecent" pay. Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP

French bank bosses to explain 'indecent' pay

France’s economy minister, outraged by huge pay hikes the bosses of the country’s biggest banks have awarded themselves in the past year, called the chiefs to a meeting to “explain” their “indecent” pay. READ () »

Eurostar: Major train delays after two incidents
Multiple incident snarl Eurostar traffic during Easter rush. Photo: Denis Charlet/AFP

Eurostar: Major train delays after two incidents

Hundreds of travelers on Eurostar trains between Paris and London saw hours of delays and cancellations on Thursday night due to back-to-back technical and fatal incidents. Service was supposed to be back to normal on Friday. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
VIDEO: Take a look inside Paris’s first luxury hotel for cats
Education
French parents are the most laidback about their kids' education. True?
Tech
What do French TV viewers complain about the most? Yes it's English
Business & Money
French tax declarations: The key points to remember
Gallery
French slang: Everyday words you need to know (but use cautiously)
National
Paris cops told to ‘purge’ Roma from posh neighbourhood
International
VIDEO: ‘Anti-French’ Cadillac ad sparks anger in France. See why.
Features
Buying property in France? Here's 10 things you need to think about
National
What will the future map of France look like? The answer lies within.
Politics
'The 27 French regions aren't the problem, it's the 36,000 towns'
Culture
Ex underage call girl Zahia picked to embody Marie Antoinette
Gallery
Buying a house in France? Ten things you need to think about
Advertisement:
National
France bans work emails after 6pm! Sadly it's not quite true.
Opinion
Reader Rants: Why don't the French do charity? Is it down to taxes?
Society
VIDEO: The Paris zoo is back but this time the animals are in charge
National
This will be the most expensive road in France - Only €1.66bn for 12km!
Society
Only in France? Gourmet pensioners party lands village in hot water
National
What's the worst thing to do when you realise you're on the wrong train?
From showers to kissing: Anglos tell Twitter what's weird about France
National
'A big quake will hit France and there will be casualties' - Scientist warns
Culture
After all the dozens of books is France still worth writing about?
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Opinion
Paris or the suburbs - where would you live?
National
VIDEO: Walk the line - crossing the Seine on a tightrope
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se