Today, we saw the results of a poll by the website TripAdvisor representing the sentiments of their members on travel in Europe. (We have attached links to each city mentioned here in case you want to take a look at our recommendations on these destinations.)
According to the 2,376 people surveyed, London is the most expensive, has the worst-dressed citizens and is the dirtiest city in Europe. The headline of the article claimed that London had the worst cuisine in Europe, but in the poll it was voted second behind Paris (by one percentage point), and ahead of Rome (by four percentage points). How London could be the worst, when it was not voted the worst seems like editorial malpractice. Somewhat curiously, in a poll by TripAdvisor held on March 13, 2008, London was voted as the best European city to visit, although it was cited as being the most expensive and the dirtiestParis was evaluated as overrated and expensive.
Apparently there is a silver lining to every dark cloud as the voters loved London for its numerous free attractions (most of its major museums for instance), while Paris was cited for having the best food and best-dressed people. Dublin fared well as a friendly place, as did Amsterdam and Prague (the best bargain). Copenhagen was voted as Europe’s cleanest city. Barcelona was rated as having the best architecture, while Warsaw was rated as having the ugliest.
We don’t know about you, but if we had the chance to hop on a flight today for any of these cities, we would happily do so. In large part, the quality of your travel experience depends on your doing the research to find the place that is right for you. If you do not like art, fashion, history and great food, or the French, you will hate Paris. Most of us find it a joy to visit the City of Light and would recommend it to others. London, too, is a fantastic place to visit and we have never had a bad time while exploring the complex entity that is London. We have found that street food in London is greasy and poorly prepared. However, if you are willing to pay the price, London has some of the best restaurants in Europe.
One final observation – we tend to fill out review forms when we have had a bad experience. If the restuarant’s service was poor, we let them know. If the flight was delayed and the service was cruddy, we let them know. Conversely, when things go well we also let them know, but would likely not fill out a form to tell that that our experience was just as it should have been. In other words, we take polls for what they are worth – very little. But, they do make life interesting. As does travel.
Pasted below is the data from the TripAdvisor Poll, in case you do not want to read the release.
Attractions: 1. London (35%) 2. Rome (9%) 3. Barcelona (9%)
Most Over-Rated: 1. Paris (25%) 2. London (12%) 3. Dublin (6%)
Most Under-Rated: 1. Krakow (7%) 2. Bruges (6%) 3. Edinburgh (5%)
Locals: 1. Dublin (15%) 2. Amsterdam (14%) 3. Edinburgh (8%)
Least Friendly: 1. Paris (36%) 2. London (17%) 3. Moscow (6%)
Most Boring: 1. Brussels (14%) 2. Zurich (9%) 3. Dublin (6%)
Traps: 1. London (30%) 2. Paris (15%) 3. Rome (10%)
Most Romantic: 1. Venice (29%) 2. Paris (21%) 3. Rome (11%)
Most Expensive: 1. London (23%) 2. Paris (19%) 3. Venice (8%)
Best Bargain: 1. Prague (16%) 2. Amsterdam (9%) 3. Istanbul (8%)
Best Nightlife: 1. London (27%) 2. Amsterdam (17%) 3. Barcelona(11%)
Cleanest: 1. Copenhagen (9%) 2. Zurich (8%) 3. Stockholm (7%)
Dirtiest: 1. London (36%) 2. Paris (9%) 3. Athens (7%)
Best cuisine: 1. Paris (18%) 2. London (17%) 3. Rome (13%)
Worst cuisine: 1. London (10%) 2. Moscow (7%) 3. Warsaw (6%)
Architecture: 1. Barcelona (15%) 2. Rome (14%) 3. London (12%)
Architecture: 1. Warsaw (8%) 2. Berlin (7%) 3. Brussels (6%)
Parks: 1. London (50%) 2. Paris (7%) 3. Barcelona (6%)
Best Dressed: 1. Paris (26%) 2. Rome (23%) 3. Madrid (8%)
Worst Dressed: 1. London (20%) 2. Dublin (6%) 3. Moscow (6%)
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