Sydney voted the world's number one city

Sydney has beaten Paris and New York to be voted the world's number one city by readers of a luxury travel magazine.

The Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards, held in New York, voted the harbour city their favourite spot.

More than eight million votes were cast in the awards with readers rating cities according to ambience, friendliness, lodging, restaurants, culture, sight-seeing and shopping.

NSW tourism minister George Souris said it was the second major international award for Sydney, which was named the world's best festival and major events city by the International Festival and Events Association last week.

"Winning this latest award demonstrates Sydney's position as a world leading destination and the gateway to Australia," Mr Souris said in a statement.

"It's a vote of confidence not by travel writers or agents, but by ordinary travellers.

"By definition, this makes us Australia's leading tourism and events city and will help the government in its quest to restore NSW to its position as the nations premiere state."

The readers of Conde Nast Traveler gave Sydney a score of 85.1, ahead of the next highest scoring city, Florence at 85.

Conde Nast Traveler readers are mostly based in North America.