Best in Travel 2013: Top 10 Cities

Lonely Planet, the #1 travel guidebook publisher in the world, announced the must-visit destinations and activities to participate in next year with the release of Best In Travel 2013, the newest edition of its highly-anticipated annual series which highlights the world’s best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the upcoming year.If you’re trying to get a jumpstart on planning your vacations for 2013, or are curious about what the hottest destinations, trends or activities, will be next year, this is a great resource for you. To view the full list of Lonely Planet’s picks, visit: and get up-to-date on why you need to visit Sri Lanka or Corsica, France ASAP before all your friends start planning trips.


1. San Francisco

Darling of America’s west coast

Best for: Culture, events, food

Famous for hills, earthquakes and a penchant for liberal politics, San Francisco continues to attract kindred spirits, eagerly embracing all newcomers to the bosom of its cultural mélange. If you need an extra incentive to get yourself to San Francisco, the city has an ace up its sleeve – the 34th America’s Cup is coming to fog city in 2013, and big changes and upgrades are afoot all along San Francisco’s heaving waterfront.

2. Amsterdam

Golden Age charmer prepares to party

Best for: Culture, events, food

Amsterdam always cast a spell on travelers, but the party ramps up big-time in 2013, when more anniversaries than you can shake a herring at coincide. The famed canal ring turns 400 years old. It’s Vincent van Gogh’s 160th birthday and the 40th for his colour-swirled museum. The Rijksmuseum re-opens after a 10-year renovation. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – often considered the world’s best – blows out 125 candles. Plus the Artis Royal Zoo and Felix Meritis cultural centre mark 175 years and 225 years, respectively. It all adds up to a slew of celebratory concerts, exhibits and street fests grooving throughout 2013.

3. Hyderabad

Old City recapturing past glories

Best for: Culture, food, value for money

Hyderabad was once the capital of a filthy-rich princely state. After India’s independence, the palaces and pleasure gardens were sold off, built over and looted, and you had to be really sharp to see the city’s beauty. But several palaces in Hyderabad’s Old City have recently been refurbished, including Falaknuma Palace, a seven-star hotel that was skilfully restored by the Taj Group and is now an exceedingly plush time capsule. Other monuments and buildings are being fixed up, but the city, and many of its architectural gems, are still off the radar – which keeps the masses at bay. Elegant and blossoming, but also weathered and undiscovered, Hyderabad’s Old City is ripe for exploration.

4. Londonderry/Derry

Packed calendar for UK City of Culture

Best for: Culture, events, family

Londonderry/Derry is the UK City of Culture 2013, which means this vibrant, historic walled city is undergoing a renaissance. The year will see a wealth of cultural events, including the 10-day All Ireland Fleadh, the world’s biggest Irish festival and it also plays host to the always-controversial Turner Prize. The city will buzz throughout the year with hundreds of other events, from pageants to music to contemporary dance. Derry also hosts lots of regular festivals, such as the Jazz Festival and Earhart Festival (in 2013 celebrating 80 years since American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart landed here), celebrations for which will all be cranked up a notch.

5. Beijing

Capital on cusp of greatness

Best for: Culture, value for money, food

Beijing remains as the cultural and artistic centre of China. While the 2008 Olympics may now seem like a distant memory, their effect is enduring – there are English street signs and a multitude of architectural gems such as the Bird’s Nest studded across the sprawling city. More recently, the Beijing–Shanghai high-speed rail now connects the two cities in under five hours. Today, Beijing tentatively balances a multitude of (growing) populations and subcultures. There’s a palpable sense of change in the air, though no-one quite knows what to expect. China is on the cusp of true greatness and one day, people will look back and say it all started here.

6. Christchurch

Rising from the rubble with flair

Best for: Culture, events, family

New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’ is rising from the rubble created by devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 with a breathtaking mix of spirit, determination and flair. With a unique opportunity to rethink urban form, Christchurch is bouncing back with a new energy and inventiveness. Foodies will be surprised by the variety of what is on offer, from Burmese to Turkish to local specialities, live-music venues have popped up all over the place, and innovative artworks fill empty demolition sites. 2013 will be an intriguing year to join the rebirth.

7. Hobart

Harbour town becomes hip

Best for: Events, culture, food

The sleepy harbour town reputation attracts a solid ‘outdoorsy’ set, but the recent arrival of the world-class MONA museum has the waters rippling, hip tourists flocking and Hobart rousing from its slumber. 2013 will see the new kid on the block team up with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) for the Theatre of the World exhibition curated by Jean-Hubert Martin, former director of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. This year will also prove exciting for Hobart’s already burgeoning gastronomic scene as the city’s culinary credentials continue to rise.

8. Montréal

Mélange of cultures marries brains and beauty

Best for: Culture, events, value for money

Having recently gained a high rank on city lists including the world’s happiest (Lonely Planet, 2010) and hippest (New York Times, 2011), this year Montréal’s angling for a top spot, showing off in Stephen Spielberg’s summer release Robopocalypse, and inviting everyone for drinks at the new urban beach. But Montréal’s got brains as well as beauty. Spring 2013 marks the launch of the new Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, rounding out the ambitious ‘Space for Life’ project. And Montréal’s social calendar is also bubbling over with the unveiling of the Grévin wax museum at the Eaton Centre, the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the Place des Arts, and the new Point Zero hotel, owned by the eponymous fashion label.

9. Addis Ababa

Ethiopian metropolis evolving at pace

Best for: Culture, food, value for money

Like the Ethiopian marathon runners, Addis Ababa (often shortened to plain ‘Addis’) is evolving at a fast pace. The fact that the country’s economic growth should reach almost 5% in 2013 helps create a feeling of confidence and stamina. Founded little more than a century ago, Addis Ababa, which in Amharic means ‘New Flower’, is not only the diplomatic capital of Africa and a thriving metropolis, but also a groovy city that takes pride in its multifaceted assets.


10. Puerto Iguazú

Much more than just a waterfall

Best for: Family, activities, adventure

It’s official: votes are in, and the Foz de Iguazú has won its place among the prestigious new seven wonders of nature, following a worldwide 2011 poll. That this phenomenal waterfall, spread-eagled along the Argentine–Brazil border, should make the final reckoning is no great shock. So tourism to these falls is set to morph: good news for Puerto Iguazú, the main tourist base hereabouts. ‘Iguazú’ – as locals call it – doesn’t just want to be the fall guy, though. After all, it offers some of the best hostels, top-end hotels and spas in the country, not to mention some stunning side trips.

(Disclaimer- We were provided with a copy of the book mentioned above. We always provide our honest opinions when writing reviews.)

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