Lonely Planet has a lot of power when it comes to choosing hot destinations, their list for 2011 is no exception. Not a whole lot of surprises though since the Big Apple known as New York tops their list. The rest of their choices are commendably original so if you have any doubts as to where to travel next year, here are the top of the top.
New York City, USA
2011 is a really special year for New York, the city will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11th, 2001. A memorial will be inaugurated at Ground Zero where many of those who died remain buried (a museum is to follow by 2012). The memorial features two of the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. Join New Yorkers on this special remembrance day and say “never again” to terrorism.
When to go? September 2011 for the memorial inauguration
Flights to New York from London, starting at £396 with KLM and British Airways
Apart from being off the usual beaten tourist path in Morocco, Tangier won the second place spot in Lonely Planet’s list of cities to visit this coming year. There is one reason why… it’s authentic! The city also comes highly recommended for its cultural diversity, new developments (including shopping avenues and modern hotels) and its artistic community.
When to go? Spring or autumn, for a milder climate.
Flights to Tangier from London, starting at £189 with Iberia
Tel Aviv, Israel
Lonely Planet dubs this Israeli city at the “centre of Mediterranean culture in the 21st Century” and the “hedonistic city”, two titles that will certainly draw crowds to Tel Aviv. Being the economic centre of Israel, in a great location geographically and having a most-pleasing climate, Tel Aviv also has a lively night-life motivated mostly by its strong gay community.
When to go? During a weekend, to get the most out of this exciting fast-paced party town
Flights to Tel Aviv, starting £188 with EasyJet
Wellington, New Zealand
The coolest of the world’s small capitals, according to Lonely Planet. The city has more coffee shops, bars and restaurants per capita than even New York, a good antidote to the city’s windy climate. The winning card though for this city is the wilderness that surrounds it. Wellington will host the rugby world cup in 2011, making it a must-visit city for sports fans.
When to go? Avoid September-October 2011, unless you can score a ticket to the world cup. European winter is a perfect time though, since it’s summer in New Zealand
Flights to Wellington from London, starting at £875 with Qantas
Valencia definitely has something to offer travellers in 2011 on top of its usual festival for Las Fallas. Valencia’s UNESCO World Heritage Site La Lonja is like a city of its own, known in Europe for its cutting-edge arts and sciences including some of the geekiest and most futuristic architecture. The Mediterranean climate makes this city a mild destination to visit any time of the year.
When to go? Winter, the perfect break to get a little rose on your cheeks
Flights to Valencia from London, starting at £43 with Ryanair and EasyJet
Other cities at the top of Lonely Planet’s list includ: Iquitos (Peru), Ghent (Belgium), New Delhi (India), Newcastle (Australia) and Chiang Mai (Thailand).
Img: Flickr cc