Now that we have a fresh year ahead of us, we bet all you travel junkies are already busy planning your trips for 2014. To our rescue are some of the world's popular travel magazines and websites which were quick to whip up their recommendations on where to fly, ride, and sail off to this year. First up is the Wanderlust Wonderlist from Lonely Planet!
As early as the last quarter of 2013, the travel experts of Lonely Planet have spoken and agreed on the top 10 cities that travelers should not miss visiting this year. See if the first five cities below should make it to your list, so you can get started with the planning!
1. Paris, France
Ah, Paris — dubbed “The City of Love” and one of the most sought-after destinations by travelers around the world. Aside from the French capital’s famous spots, Lonely Planet also mentions that efforts to decongest the city and transform it into a more tourist-friendly destination make every visit worth it.
2. Trinidad, Cuba
A tiny town in the province of Sancti Spiritus in central Cuba, Trinidad was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It boasts of architectural and decorative treasures brought about by a sugar boom in the 19th century. Lonely Planet also gives us a heads up — 2014 marks the 500th founding anniversary of the town, so we can expect some picture-worthy fiestas and cultural events this year.
3. Cape Town, South Africa
Lonely Planet says there’s never a bad time to visit the seaside South African city of Cape Town, and especially this year, when the city is slated to get prettier. Cape Town has taken on the title of World Design Capital, which it will hold for 12 months. What can visitors expect from this? According to Lonely planet, sustainable projects, sculpture-lined green spaces, and improvements in former industrial districts will make it a destination for foodies and hip shoppers.
4. Riga, Latvia
A small country nestled in the Baltic Region, Latvia was described by Lonely Planet as a “strategic linchpin” in the previous centuries that paved the annexation of important lands, until the Iron Curtain pushed it to obscurity. Today, its capital city Riga has been reestablishing itself as a major cosmopolitan center of the Baltic. Lonely Planet says the past few years saw the sprouting of “hipster-chic cafes,” “savvy new-Nordic-inspired dishes,” and restorations of “crumbling facades” into their former art nouveau glory, so this year would be a great time to see Riga flourish into one of Europe’s culture capitals!
5. Zürich, Switzerland
Another heads up from Lonely Planet: Zürich, Switzerland’s largest city will be hosting this year’s European Athletics Championships in August. While many are probably not sure about having a “thrilling city break” in a town said to be “best known for men in suits and cheques with improbable numbers of zeros,” Lonely Planet says it’s still possible. Night life, boutiques, fashion houses, and fine dining make it an interesting destination — maybe, at least for those who have a some cash to spare.
We’ll continue with five more recommended destinations from Lonely Planet in the next installment, so stay tuned! Meanwhile, if you’ve been to any of these hot spots, why don’t you share your stories and photos with us? We’d love to hear how your trip went!