2017 is slowly coming to a close, which means it’s time to start brainstorming your travel plans for next year.
If you’ve been considering a trip for next year but can’t decide where to go next, then you’re in luck as the team at Lonely Planet has just offered up some serious travel inspiration.
“From Alaska to South Africa, our community of travel experts have named the top places travelers should experience,” said Lonely Planet’s U.S. magazine managing editor Alex Howard in a statement.
“Whether they’re coming into their own, celebrating an anniversary or have seen a resurgence in recent years, all these destinations are worth a visit in 2018. Popular travel hot spots like Portugal made the list, alongside up-and-coming places like Guanajuato, Mexico.”
From the Italian cave city of Matera to the colorful Mexican town of Guanajuato, here are the destinations that should make it onto your travel bucket list next year.
#1. Seville, Spain
Known for its celebratory street life, excellent tapas scene and the near constant performances of flamenco, there’s even more to celebrate in Seville next year.
Featured in the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones,” the Spanish city where medieval architecture competes with modernists will host the 31st annual European Film Awards and continue the celebrations of Baroque Painter Barolomé Esteban Murrillo.
#2. Detroit, USA
In recent years, Detroit has transformed from a heap of abandoned sites to a hip city that boasts trendy galleries, hotels, distilleries, and bike shops. There’s a hockey and basketball arena downtown and three new parks that will help extend the riverfront trail.
#3. Canberra, Australia
There’s a lot happening in Canberra this year. For the first time ever, the capital city will host a Test cricket match between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Manuka Oval. Canberra’s Australian War Memorial will also host the 100-year anniversary of the World War I armistice.
Outside of those events, the city is full of national landmarks, as well as plenty of memorable cultural and gastronomic experiences.
#4. Hamburg, Germany
Most tourists flock to Berlin for a cultural city break in Germany, but Hamburg gives the capital a run for its money.
Music fans can watch dazzling performances at the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, while foodies can check out the local markets and brewhouses where you’ll find everything from craft beers to German delicacies such as Bratwurst.
#5. Kaohsiung, Taiwan
A massive arts centre and 100,000 sq m cultural and music complex, complete with wave-lapped walkways and and a night market, is emerging on Kaohsiung’s balmy harbourfront – Taiwan’s showcase for experimental architecture from around the world. Adding to this will be a spectacular cruise terminal, for those favouring an Odyssean approach to the port city.
As for temples, top of the list should be the stunning Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, and if you want to learn more about the Buddhist influence then head to the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum.
#6. Antwerp, Belgium
Culture vultures may want to add Antwerp to the top of their bucket lists as the Belgian city is jam-packed with museums and galleries whether you’re into architecture, fashion or art. Art lovers will no doubt want to head to the 17th century Rubens House, a stylish exhibition of painter Peter Paul Rubens’ iconic works.
#7. Matera, Italy
Extensive renovations have led to a renaissance for this 9,000-year-old cave city in Southern Italy. Perched on a rocky outcrop, Matera is made up of stone dwellings and a maze of monasteries, churches, and caves.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is still somewhat of a hidden gem, but that won’t be the case for long. Hotels, restaurants, and bars are popping up in anticipation of Matera’s designation as the European Capital of Culture for 2019; all the more reason to plan your trip for 2018.
#8. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s capital sits right on the Atlantic coast, so it’s the perfect mixture of city and beach break.
The exuberant nightlife – dance clubs, lounges, bars, casinos – has long been a highlight, as have San Juan’s dazzling beaches.
#9. Guanajuato, Mexico
This picturesque city in central Mexico is renowned for its mining history and the eye-catching colonial architecture that leaves you feeling like you’ve truly stepped back in time.
There’s so much to explore amidst the alleyways and tunnels – one highlight is the Callejon del Beso which is so narrow it’s been nicknamed the Alley of the Kiss, because the balconies are close enough for a couple to reach across for a peck.
#10. Oslo, Norway
Not only is Oslo celebrating 50 years of marriage between their king and queen, the city’s opera house is also turning 10 years old. That means there will be plenty of cultural events, as well as performances and concerts.
Architecture buffs will love this city; Oslo has seen numerous contemporary buildings spring up in recent years.