Are you busy compiling your travel bucket list for this year? If you’re having trouble deciding exactly where to go, Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2018” recommends what it considers to be the 10 best cities to visit:
1. Seville, Spain
Seville is an artistic and historic haven where you can watch Flamenco and take in Andalusia at its finest. Seville will host the 31st European Film Awards in November as well as celebrate the 400th anniversary of Seville-born Baroque painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo with a series of interesting one-off exhibitions.
2. Canberra, Australia
Canberra’s cultural treasures are everywhere, interspersed with boutique shopping centres and fine restaurants. This year will see Canberra hosting Test cricket and later on in the year, the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice. Reconciliation Day will be added to the holiday calendar from 2018, symbolising the state’s inclusion of all Australians, indigenous or non-indigenous.
3. Matera, Italy
For something quite different, book a trip to this gorgeous honey-coloured city, perched above a ravine. Here you’ll find a labyrinth of caves hosting houses, restaurants, hotels, bars and churches, some dating back 9,000 years. Exciting events are planned ahead of Matera’s stint as a 2019 European Capital of Culture so visit now before everyone finds out.
4. Hamburg, Germany
Walkers and cyclists love Germany’s second largest city: two thirds of it is made up of lakes and parkland. Greenery aside, Hamburg’s Reeperbahn is where The Beatles played and the live music scene is still renowned today. Don’t miss the UNESCO-listed Speicherstadt and nearby 18th-century Kontorhaus district, built upon a group of islands on the Elbe River.
5. Detroit, USA
Detroit’s recent re-invention has seen formerly abandoned buildings transformed into art galleries, bike shops, distilleries and smart hotels. New sports arenas provide state-of-the-art facilities and the new QLine streetcar makes navigating the city easy. And there’s more: three new public parks will border the river, complete with bicycle trails and a downtown bike-share scheme.
6. Oslo, Norway
You couldn’t pick a better year to visit Oslo. Join in the city’s celebrations as Norway’s much-loved king and queen celebrate 50 years of marriage with a fanfare of events. What’s more, Oslo’s Opera House will mark its 10th anniversary this year with a season of celebratory performances – a real treat for classical music lovers.
7. Antwerp, Belgium
Packed with historic sites, world-class art and design, Antwerp is wonderfully cultural. Antwerp Baroque 2018 will celebrate its famous artist, Rubens with a celebration of Flemish Masters and modern talent. Expect plenty of concerts, street art, parades, multimedia shows and workshops. For even more, Antwerp’s former harbour is crammed with pop-up bars, restaurants and architectural interest.
8. Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Kaohsiung is famed for its exciting modern architecture. For artistic pleasures, head for the huge arts and culture complex emerging in the city’s harbour, complete with its walkways and a vibrant night market. A sleek light-railway system conveniently links this area to the rest of the city.
9. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Despite 2017’s Hurricane Maria San Juan is on the re-build and fast returning to its former glory as an enchanting city where colonial meets modern and dynamic. Innovative restaurants have opened up and farm-to-table eateries are tempting for all types of tastes. The city’s exuberant nightlife will have you enchanted as will its stunning beaches.
10. Guanajuato, Mexico
The small, silver mining city of Guanajuato in the central highlands of Mexico is a stunning sight. The wealth attracted from local silver mining has enabled the construction of the ornate churches, squares and colourful houses dotting the tropical valley where Guanajuato sits. Bring your camera for natural and man-made Mexican beauty at its best.