LONDON has been named the best city in the world to visit, by the influential Lonely Planet guide book, which released its annual assessments today.

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Buying into the image of London as a brash but loveable city, Lonely Planet said the capital was “a pugnacious so-and-so”.

London was one of only ten world cities picked by Lonely Planet for its Best in Travel 2012 guide.

“These are some of Lonely Planet’s must-see spots for 2012,” said Tom Hall of Lonely Planet.

“[They’re on the list] either because they have something special going on next year; there’s a lot of buzz about the place; or because we are tipping it as an up-and-coming spot that you should visit, before the crowds get there.”

London qualifies under the first two of those criteria.

First, there’s the Olympics coming to town next year and second, no visitor fails to notice the “buzz”, though not so many would take such a positive view of Tube over-crowding as Lonely Planet, which rates travellers “shoving their noses into each other’s armpits” as a “life-changing experience”.

Lonely Planet’s accolade was the third this week for London, with Frommer’s guide books also including London, or its Greenwich component to be specific, as one of its top ten for 2012 and Telegraph readers voting the capital the country’s greatest city.

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