Blimey, it's bargain: London becomes best-value destination

London has shed its reputation as a prohibitively expensive holiday destination, thanks to the global economic crisis and travel guide Lonely Planet's latest list of best-value trips.

London is third behind Iceland and Thailand on the best-value list in the British-based company's Best in Travel 2010 guide.

"Long ludicrously expensive, London has become much more affordable for visitors from abroad, if not for its residents," the guide said.

"The favourable exchange rate means that travellers will often find hotels and meals up to half the price they were a few years ago."

South Africa, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Bulgaria, Kenya and Las Vegas rounded out the top 10 in Lonely Planet's annual snapshot.

The economic collapse in Iceland meant the country was no longer out of reach for budget-conscious travellers.

"Have you always wanted to discover this magical, mysterious country? To explore ice caps and volcanoes, and wallow in hot springs? Been put off because of the prohibitive prices? Well, 2010 is your year," said the guide.

Thailand remained "perennially good value".