London is beaten only by New York as the world's favourite city, according to a worldwide survey.
The capital was also voted the top European city in a poll of people from 24 countries by Ipsos Mori.
Of the 48 cities which people were asked to judge, London and New York were the only two to make the top five in each of the categories in the survey.
London was second to New York in the favourite city category, while the UK was third in the best-place-to-live category,
Ipsos Mori chief executive Pen Page said: "The citizens of the world have spoken and given a massive vote of confidence in London and the UK.
"Together with positive signs for the UK economy and London generally, and after a brilliant Olympics in 2012, this survey reaffirms London as not only the most important city in Europe, but also affirms Britain continuing to punch above its weight globally."
London accounted for more than half the visits overseas tourists made to the UK last year, according to latest figures.
15 and a half million visitors ventured to the capital in 2012, statistics from VisitBritain showed.
Visitors to London could soon get a birdseye view of the capital.
The London Helicopter service is to begin regular sightseeing flights along the Thames from the heliport in Battersea
The viewing platforms on the Shard will be open to the public from the 1st of February 2013.
Although visitors can't go right to the top of the 310m building, they can reach the 72nd floor, which stands at 244m.
The first details about a new tourist attraction at the top of The Shard - the tallest skyscraper in Western Europe - have been unveiled.
The View from The Shard takes people on a journey to 244m (800ft) above London, almost twice as high as any other viewing point in the city, and will offer a 64km (40 mile), 360-degree panoramic view over the capital.
Watch the promotional video from The View From The Shard below.
The Olympic summer has been the "worst year ever" for some of London's biggest tourist attractions, according to new figures.Read the full story ›
London's tourism industry is struggling to compete with the impact of the Olympic Games, which has left the host city a "ghost town", businesses said.
Many traditional tourist hotspots have reported a fall in ticket sales as visitors flock to Olympic venues across the capital.
Theatre companies said they were seeing a "mixed picture" with many companies struggling due to the lack of footfall in the West End.
Mark Rubinstein, president of the Society of London Theatre, said: "Normally tourists will visit central London but they are mostly here to see the Games.
The message about travel problems also seems to have kept people away.
"My experience is things are running smoothly and people should not be put off.
"There is a great opportunity to get out there to see some fantastic shows."
Tourists from across the globe have named London the world's best travel destination.
The capital beat cities like New York, Rome and Paris in a survey by travel company TripAdvisor.
Gordon Innes, chief executive of tourism organisation London & Partners, said: "This accolade couldn't be better timed for the capital in this momentous year and we are delighted.
"It is a testament to the wonderful array of attractions, dining and accommodation that set London apart from all of these other destinations."
VisitBritain has brought in some of Russia's most famous sport stars, including tennis player Dinara Safina and Olympic gymnast Alexei Nemov, to promote London. It believes encouraging Russian tourists is a lucrative market - they spend £1,454 on average each time they come to Britain.
HMS Belfast will welcome back visitors to her historic decks next month.
The ship, docked on the Thames, has been closed to the public for six months after the gangway collapsed. It'll be open from May 18th.