10. Buenos Aires Argentina
Argentinas largest city makes the cut in part for its relative proximity to the first city on this list. "Its a slightly diluted version of Rio" says Anholt. "I suspect people know far less about Buenos Aires than Rio. They may not know its in Argentina but they know its in Latin America."
9. Paris France
Paris je taime! Most people agree. "Paris is the most adored city on the planet" says Anholt. "People think its so beautiful so lovely it must be happy."
8. Rome Italy
Ancient history meets modern sophistication in Rome and the rest of the world loves it. "Generally speaking people associate Italy with being laid-back and stylish" says Anholt. "People think the Italians are always happy always in a party mood."
7. San Francisco U.S.
The lone American metropolis San Francisco makes the list because its perceived by foreigners as the "most fun" of Americas major cities. "Its associated with gay pride" says Anholt. "Thats a happy image unless youre a raging homophobe."
6. Madrid Spain
Spains capital and largest city makes the list due to its vibrant culture and high standard of living. That comes as something of a surprise to Anholt considering the absence of Italian cities like Milan. "Its interesting that the Spanish are perceived as being happier than the Italians" he says. "I find the Spanish rather gloomy."
5. Melbourne Australia
Australias second city is a major center for arts and education but it makes the list because its part of a well-liked nation. "People know its in Australia and that its full of Australians" says Anholt. "Therefore it must be fun."
4. Amsterdam Netherlands
This historical trading hub is now a chic metropolis--one where perceived happiness is abundant if herbally induced. "A lot of our respondents are young people" says Anholt. "Amsterdam fared well I presume because they think everybody is stoned all the time. Its sex drugs and rock and roll."
3. Barcelona Spain
Lively culture warm weather and one of the best soccer teams in the world are big draws for Barcelona. Anholt calls it "the classic Mediterranean city."
2. Sydney Australia
Famous for friendly locals and its iconic opera house Sydney fared well in Anholts survey because of its association with a popular brand-Australia. "Its where everybody would like to go" says Anholt. "Theres this image of this nation of people who basically sit around having barbecues."
1. Rio de Janeiro Brazil
Popular perception of the city is infused with images of starry-eyed youngsters dancing into the dusk backed by mountains and dark sea. Not far from the truth for a city thats home to the annual Carnaval festival.