Every year Lonely Planet puts out their new book Best In Travel, offering a list of the top ten countries, cities and regions to visit in the upcoming year, as well as the best value destinations, best family adventure destinations, best new openings, best places to stay and the top 5 travel trends. It’s an exciting mixture of unmissable experiences, itinerary ideas and everything you need to know to get the most out of each region. With the release of the 2017 book this week, Canada took out the competition for the top country with it’s epic landscapes and wildlife, with Colombia and Finland following close behind. For a sneak peak check out the Top 5 Cities that made the list for 2017!
1. Bordeaux, France
They used to call her the “Sleeping Beauty” but though she’s hit the snooze buttons a few times, Bordeaux is now wide awake and ready for action. The new LGV Sud-Ouest line, due for completion in mid-2017, connects the city with Europe’s high-speed train network and cuts travel time from Paris to just two hours. Its timing is perfect. The recently opened Cité du Vin continues the impressive redevelopment of the Garonne riverfront with a state-of-the-art wine-lovers’ experience, and the city’s gastronomic revolution keeps building on its own success. She’s going to skip breakfast: all aboard for Bordeaux’s grande bouffe!
2. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town’s deceptively laid-back folk have been working hard to add cultural and culinary cred to the Mother City’s famous natural charms, cementing its reputation as an African city with a global outlook. Local gastronomy is as impressive as Table Mountain’s flat-topped mass, with historic wine estates in every direction, hip markets selling the fruits of the Cape’s fertile terrain, and inventive restaurants winning global plaudits. The art and design scene will be given a boost in September by the opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), the world’s largest museum of contemporary African art and a post-industrial architectural marvel occupying a century-old grain silo.
3. Los Angeles, USA
Despite its reputation as a land of celebrities, health fanatics and all-around superficiality, LA has been gaining steam as a cultural destination while becoming more accessible than ever. The 2016 Metro expansion has made getting from Downtown to Santa Monica and everywhere in between much easier; city initiative Car Free LA helps tourists navigate without wheels; and almost 50 new hotels are in the works. This isn’t just a beach town, either; it’s a commerce capital, where movie producers and finance types mingle over sashimi and kale salads. East Coasters are moving here in droves for the sunshine and a more sustainable lifestyle.
4. Mérida, Mexico
Mérida’s cultural offering is like no other on the Yucatán Peninsula (sorry, Cancún, you’ve got pretty beaches, but party culture doesn’t count). On any given day you’ll find a dizzying array of live music, art shows and dance performances, and the booming culinary scene is hotter than a Habanero pepper. This year Mérida has been designated the American Capital of Culture, meaning visitors can expect a ginormous cultural extravaganza as organizers stage a series of large-scale events throughout 2017. And here’s the kicker: the so-called White City ranks among the safest places in Mexico nowadays.
5. Ohrid, Macedonia
Overlooking the extraordinarily blue waters of its eponymous lake, Ohrid enjoys a stunning position that is best viewed from a boat. From the water you’ll see the town’s terracotta roofs broken up by centuries-old church spires (the city claims once to have had 365) and overlooked by the turreted walls of Car Samoil’s Castle. Ohrid has transformed itself from Macedonia’s religious centre to its busiest holiday resort, and its beaches are the best by far in this otherwise landlocked nation. However, a planned new lake-shore development will likely change this sleepy town forever, making now a great time to go.
Make sure you grab the book to find out everything you need to know about the top 10 countries, cities and regions you need to visit in 2017. For a limited time you also get the Best in Travel 2016 for free when you order the 2017 book on the Lonely Planet website.
For more travel tips and to keep up to date with our adventures make sure you subscribe to our newsletter today!