London provides tourists with the best welcome among major European capitals, a survey showed today.

Of the six capitals surveyed in a "mystery shopper" poll, London scored particularly well for airport signage, taxis, bus tours and city centre tourist offices.

And, possibly to the surprise of those frequently held up by Tube delays, London got top marks for its city centre public transport.

London, Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome and Berlin were subject to a 24-hour visit from mystery shoppers who rated the cities on the basis of the welcome given to visitors in 11 categories.

London was top, with Paris and Amsterdam joint second, Madrid fourth, Rome fifth and Berlin sixth.

The only area where London fared badly in the reception given to tourists was in museums (where London was last out of the six cities), in airport tourist information and at restaurants in the evening.

The survey, released at World Travel Market in London today, was commissioned by the Paris and Ile de France regional tourist board. Paris scored highly for airport signage, public transport to and from the airport, food and museums.