Lonely Planet Revealed The Best Travel Destinations For 2019
It's time to shred those bucket lists because the adventure experts at Lonely Planet have revealed the best travel destinations for 2019 - and it's Sri Lanka that takes the coveted crown for top country.
Lonely Planet's just-out Bible for where's hot next year – Best In Travel 2019 – names the top 10 countries, top 10 regions, top 10 cities and the best-value destinations.
The best city has been named as Copenhagen and the top region is Italy's Piedmont, followed by The Catskills in the U.S, northern Peru, Australia's The Red Centre and Scotland's Highlands and islands.
In the No2 spot on the countries ranking is Germany, which Lonely Planet says 'will plunge you into a stirring alchemy of tradition and vision'. It says that 'scaling a mountain, holing up in a medieval castle, cycling through wine country or knocking back beers in a cosy pub are all equally worthy pursuits'.
Zimbabwe has been named as the third-best country for 2019, with Lonely Planet lauding it as 'one of Africa's safest destinations… blessed with ultra-friendly locals, Big Five-filled national parks, World Heritage-listed archaeological ruins, forested mountains and the mighty Victoria Falls'.
The rest of the top 10 comprises, in order, Panama, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Indonesia, Belarus, Sao Tome and Principe, and Belize.
In the regions ranking, Lonely Planet justifies Piedmont's crown by pointing out that it's home to Turin, which has flourishing contemporary arts and electronic music scenes, 'sublimely remote Alpine walking trails' and 'a clutch of exquisitely bucolic villages and valleys offering up arguably Italy's best red wine'.
Second-best Catskills, says the travel guide, is blessed with 'creative farm-to-table restaurants, bespoke breweries and a growing array of arts collectives and concert venues'.
Third-place Northern Peru is home to 'some of the wildest landscapes in the world', while fourth-place The Red Centre in Australia offers one of the world's greatest travel experiences, the guide says – watching the sun rise over the sandstone monolith of Uluru.
Then there's 2019's fifth-best region - Scotland's Highlands and islands, heralded as 'one of the wildest, least inhabited and most scenic parts of Europe'.
The rest of the regions ranking is made up of the Russian Far East (No6), Gujurat in India (No7), Manitoba in Canada (No8), Normandy in France (No9) and Elqui Valley in Chile (No10).
Copenhagen is named the number one city, says Lonely Planet, because it boasts a world-renowned food scene and credentials as a design powerhouse.
Shenzhen, China, is in the No2 spot thanks to its 'slew of new design openings and tech innovation'.
In bronze position on the cities list is Novi Sad in Serbia, which Lonely Planet describes as 'elegant yet easygoing' with great festivals and a Chinatown that's 'blossomed into an alternative-culture district'.
In fourth place is Miami.
Lonely Planet says that this 'slice of tropical paradise' in the past few years has 'transformed into a burgeoning centre for the arts, a foodie destination and an innovator in urban design'.
The rest of the top 10 cities list is made up of Kathmandu (5th), Mexico City (6th), Dakar in Senegal (7th), Seattle (8th), Zadar (9th) and Meknes in Morocco (10th).
Each year, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel lists start with nominations from the guide's vast community of editors, researchers, locals and influencers, and these are then decided upon and ranked by a panel of judges.
Lonely Planet says: 'The outcome is an eclectic list of destinations with unique, compelling and topical reasons to visit in the year ahead – as well as underlying travel trends to look for. Lonely Planet's experts also select the best New Openings, Places to Stay, Food Experiences and Attractions for Kids.'
'These are the places to experience in 2019,' said Tom Hall, Lonely Planet's Editorial Director. 'They might be coming into their own, celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime event or simply have been overlooked for too long – whatever the reason, now is the time to plan a trip.'