It’s that wonderful time of year when you start planning where to go for your summer holidays. With so many stunning cities to choose from these days, we all need a bit of help choosing the best place to go. If there’s one travel guide we always check out for advice it’s Lonely Planet and guess what! They’ve just revealed their 2017 best cities guide.
Whether you’re culture vulture or a thrill seeker there’s somewhere on this list for every Jane!
10. PORTLAND, US
When people head to the US on holiday, they’re never heading to Portland, it’s always LA or New York. But this may soon change as Lonely Planet names Portland America’s city of the future. Not only is it friendly, sustainable and ethical, it’s also extremely beautiful. If you find yourself there in August this year, don’t miss viewing one of nature’s great spectacles: the solar eclipse of 21 August 2017.
9. MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Even though I personally have never felt obliged to go to Moscow, I have many friends that have said it’s worth seeing. The city will be thrust into the spotlight this year and next, as it is set to host football matches in the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. With the brand spanking new Ramenskoye Airport and a new metro line, now is the best time to see Moscow before the football fans descend.
8. LISBON, PORTUGAL
Portugal’s capital city ticks all the boxes, it’s got sights, culture and cuisine. Oddly though, it rarely features in guides to Europe’s best cities. But we aren’t saying that’s a bad thing, because its lack of popularity makes it an absolute bargain; you’re bound to get an unbeatable deal- whether that’s for an Airbnb or meal for two.
7. SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
We were just as surprised as you are right now that Seoul managed to find a way into Lonely Planet’s top 10. But for over a decade the city has been striving to become a tourist hotspot, making itself greener, more attractive and user-friendly. For those of you thinking of holidaying there this year, the city will unveil in the latter part of 2017 the Seoul Skygarden.
6. PISTOIA, ITALY
There are so many reasons why you need to experience a holiday in Tuscany, and one of those, is to see the beautiful city of Pistoia. Also referred to as ‘little Florence,’ the city is known for its concentration of art and architecture, but with half of Florence’s crowds. Although, this may change in 2017, when the city will take its turn as Italy’s Capital of Culture. So it might be best to see it out of season.
5. OHRID, MACEDONIA
Overlooking the idyllic waters of its eponymous lake, Ohrid is arguably Macedonia’s most stunning city. From the water, you’ll look up at a maze of terracotta roofs broken up by centuries-old church spires (the city claims once to have had 365) and the turreted walls of Car Samoil’s Castle.
4. MERIDA, MEXICO
If it’s a cultural experience you’re after, Mérida is your answer. On any given day you’ll find a huge array of live music, art shows and dance performances, and the booming culinary scene is a must-try. This year Mérida has been designated the American Capital of Culture, meaning visitors can expect a ginormous cultural extravaganza as organisers stage a series of large-scale events throughout 2017. Oh and the city ranks among the safest places in Mexico nowadays.
3. LOS ANGELES, US
As someone who has been to LA, I can safely say it’s not what you’d expect. For one, it’s not all celebrities, health fanatics and all-around superficiality. Although avoid Hollywood at all costs. LA has actually been gaining steam as a cultural destination while becoming more accessible than ever thanks to the 2016 Metro expansion which has made getting from Downtown to Santa Monica and everywhere in between much easier.
If it’s a laid-back holiday with laid-back locals you’re after, Cape Town is the ideal spot. It’s an African city with a global outlook, boasting both cultural and culinary delights. Table Mountain has a lot to offer too, with historic wine estates in every direction, hip markets selling the fruits of the Cape’s fertile terrain, and inventive restaurants winning global plaudits.
1. BORDEAUX, FRANCE
In at Lonely Planet’s top spot is the beautiful French city of Bordeaux. The only downside is that it takes a while to get there, well at least, it used to. Now thanks to the new LGV Sud-Ouest line, due for completion in mid- 2017, you’ll be able to get from Paris to Bordeaux in just two hours. Unbeatable! If you need one more reason to go, Bordeaux is a state-of-the-art wine-lovers’ experience.
Where are you heading on holiday this year? Let us know! @tweetjanes