According to Nations Online, London has a population of over 8.5 million people, which makes it the second largest city in Europe, and the fifth most populous non Asian city in the world. Among the multitude of famous historical places in the world, there are few cities that have contributed as much to modern culture and civilization than London.
As a means of documenting as much of that history as possible, London is home to several large museums, including the Natural History Museum and the British Museum. Given its rich history, Global Destinations City Index rates London as the second most visited city in the world. Despite its reputation as overcast and rainy, London is intriguing enough to lure 14 million international tourists each year; and more than 27 million visitors per year reserve, or seek out, London hotel rooms.
When it comes to London hotel bookings, the most popular London hotels are not necessarily the cheapest, because tourists tend to prefer the London accommodations located within closest proximity to the top 10 attractions in the city. In addition to the aforementioned British and Natural History Museums, other top ten London attractions include the Tate Modern, National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, National Maritime Museum, and Madame Tussauds wax museum. Two of the most popular non museum attractions are the London Eye and Tower of London.
Given the status of London as the second most popular international city for tourists, its tourist industry plays a crucial role in its economics. For example, the London tourist industry generated over nine billion pounds in tourist expenditures during 2011. That converts to over 14 billion U.S. dollars, and accounted for more than half of all tourist spending in the United Kingdom that same year.
Although London has a reputation of being damp and gloomy, other cities such as Rome, Naples, and Bordeaux, receive considerably more annual precipitation than does London. In fact, Bordeaux and Naples receive over a foot more precipitation per year than London. Regardless, international travelers clearly value the history, culture, and ambiance of London over such mythic trifles.