London has been named the best city in the world to visit next year by influential travel guide publisher Lonely Planet.
The city, which will host the London 2012 Olympic Games and celebrations marking the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, topped Lonely Planet's 'Best in Travel 2012' list, a compilation of the year ahead by the brand's authors.
Muscat, Oman came in second place and Bengalaru (Bengalore) in India was voted third in the list, which was released to mark the October 28 release of Best in Travel, priced at €9.99.
"London will have the spotlight firmly on it next year when it plays host to the Olympics but there are lots of other reasons why it is our number one city for 2012," said Lonely Planet's Tom Hall.
"Although traditionally an expensive destination for international tourists, it is now something of a bargain for many visitors including those from the Middle East, Australia and parts of Europe. Added to that London’s wealth of world-class free attractions and it’s easy to see why people continue to flock here."
The Spanish city of Cadiz and Swedish capital Stockholm rounded off the top five list.
This week has been a good one for London -- US guidebook brand Frommer's also named the borough of Greenwich on its 2012 list of top destinations, along with more exotic spots such as Beirut, Lebanon and the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.
Top 10 cities
2. Muscat, Oman
3. Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
4. Cadiz, Spain
6. Guimaraes, Portugal
7. Santiago, Chile
8. Hong Kong
9. Orlando, Florida, USA
10. Darwin, Australia