Looking for some holiday inspiration? Aren’t we all. Sure, you’ve probably used up all your leave owed to you for 2017 but it’s never too early to start planning next year’s trip. As if on cue, Lonely Planet revealed their top 10 cities to travel to in 2018 and the list may surprise you!
10. Oslo, Norway
Though Oslo has spent the last couple of years in the shadows of it’s Scandi cousins Stockholm and Copenhagen, the Norwegian capital seems to be reclaiming its cool. With unbridled access to some impressive green spaces, as well as the fjords themselves, Oslo also offers that understated cool vibe associated with the rest of Scandinavia, without the harassment of tourists. If you’re looking for an event to go to, the King and Queen of Norway are celebrating their 50th anniversary and the whole city is set to turn into a street party.
9. Guanajuato, Mexico
Mexico’s star status as a whole is certainly on the rise and it’s for good reason. Their bustling local food scene, rich history, architecture and favourable exchange rate means that you can bank on a holiday hitting all the spots. Of all the cities to see, Guanajuato in central Mexico, has quietly become of the coolest cities to see. It’s silver-steeped history means that it’s been protected as a UNESCO world heritage site, so you can expect a rather authentic, untouched Mexican experience.
8. San Juan, Puerto Rico
You would think that being devastated by one of the year’s worst hurricanes would break a city’s spirit, but that is not the case with San Juan. Hurricane Maria certainly didn’t leave San Juan unscathed but that hasn’t stopped the city from embracing it’s old-world-meets-new identity. Expect a dynamic art and food scene, coupled with that glorious Latin way of life.
7. Matera, Italy
Yes, there is life in Southern Italy beyond Naples and Matera is proof of it. If you’re the traveller who flourishes on the road less travelled, this city is for you. Essentially an excavated rocky outcrop, Matera is tricky to get to but once you’re there you can expect a step back in time. This is not a city for a party, but for exploration and peace and quiet, as well as truly authentic Italian food. Go now before the hordes get hold of it.
6. Antwerp, Belgium
Belgium has always been cool, but Brussels seemed to take most of the credit for that. Not anymore, with Antwerp finally taking some of the spotlight. The city in Northern Belgium is the perfect mix of modern European life, which stems from a rich history. You’ll find an exciting food and wine scene, with lots of young chefs exploring foraged local ingredients.
5. Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Taiwan as a whole has been simmering as one of the world’s coolest countries, so it seems only right that Kaohsiung is getting some love. Formally only recognised as being one of the largest port cities in Taiwan, Kaohsiung is now becoming known for their exciting street food scene and experimental architecture.
4. Hamburg, Germany
This quietly cool city may have Berlin and Munich to compete with, but this doesn’t seem to be an issue. Hamburg exudes that old-world charm coupled with a modern air. A living example of this is the newly finished Elbphilharmonie concert hall, where you can watch all of the Wagner classics surrounded by this glass monument. You can expect all the perks of a European capital, without any of the tiresome tourists.
3. Canberra, Australia
The ongoing battle between Sydney and Melbourne seems to have been settled by none other than Canberra. Australia has been the place to visit this year, but Canberra has always been skipped over. It seems now with the addition of a cricket test match at the Manuka oval, tourists are starting to see Canberra for the superstar it is. If you’re looking for an efficient, friendly and proudly-Aussie city to visit, then Canberra needs to be on your list.
2. Detroit, USA
Never rule out the underdog should be Detroit’s unofficial motto, as the life emerging from the former ruins is more exciting than ever before. Young creatives who saw affordable opportunity in the abandoned spaces have kickstarted a cultural rebirth, so a walk down the main city’s drag will take you past independent distilleries, galleries, niche coffee shops and exciting restaurants.
1. Seville, Spain
If you’re looking for somewhere warm and festive, Spain is always a good idea, snd Seville ticks all the boxes in terms of culture, food, wine and lifestyle, while still being relatively untouched by tourists. This is the city to immerse yourself into the local every day life, eat tapas, takes siestas and enjoy long, late, lazy dinners in the warm Spanish air.