Lonely Planet’s 2018 Best in Travel: Top 10 Lists Best Country, City, Region & Value Destination

Lonely Planet’s 2018 Best in Travel Top 10


Lonely Planet has long been known for picking some rather unusual and eclectic destinations for its annual Best in Travel hot list. For 2018, the travel guide company has not swayed from its propensity to select off-the-beaten track cities, regions and destinations overall.

Some, of course, are more mainstream. For example, the United Kingdom has been named one of the best value destinations for 2018 in the world. And in a further boost for British tourism, Belfast & the Causeway Coast has been named the number one region to visit in 2018, ahead of destinations like Alaska, Slovenia’s Julian Alps and the Kii Peninsula in Japan. In the other categories, Chile was named best country in the world to visit, and Seville in Spain the number one city.

Belfast and the Causeway Coast

Lonely Planet praised the Northern Irish region for its remarkable transformation, with the Causeway Coast was described as a destination “whose timeless beauty and high-grade distractions—golf, whiskey and some of the world’s most famous rocks— are now more popular than ever.” Lonely Planet also noted that Belfast in particular has put its troubled past behind it to become a thriving and welcoming city, and is now “full of hip neighborhoods that burst with bars, restaurants and venues to suit all tastes.”

Value of the Pound

The appeal of this spectacular region is further heightened by the current value of the pound, with the impact of 2016’s referendum on EU membership helping to make the country a more affordable place to visit, and a key reason for the United Kingdom being named one of the Best Value Destinations for travelers in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018. Lonely Planet note that the weakening of the pound against other currencies is ‘good news’ for travelers planning a trip to London, and suggest international visitors can “make the exchange rate work even harder by aiming for Devon, Cornwall, and big-ticket cities such as Bath, York and Edinburgh.”

“While the value of the pound hasn’t been great news for British travelers, it has been a great boost for people looking to visit the U.K., and we expect this to continue next year,” said James Smart, Lonely Planet’s destination editor for Britain and Ireland. “New galleries and theatres, rehoused historic attractions and thoroughly modern opportunities for adventure combine with classic sights to make the U.K. a brilliant destination for both staycationers and foreign visitors in 2018.”

“Belfast & the Causeway Coast topped Lonely Planet’s list of the top 10 regions because it is now recognized as a must-visit destination by travelers from across the globe,” added Smart. “Meanwhile, Belfast has put its troubled past behind it and is a city transformed, its streets packed with buzzing bars and great stories, while the coastline beyond boasts spectacular scenery and plenty of great diversions. The region may be famous for Game of Thrones but its many scenic filming locations are just the start.”

How the Best in Travel is Decided

Deciding the destinations in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel annual selection is a considered process, with Lonely Planet’s writers and travelers providing hundreds of suggestions of places not to be missed from the countries and regions they have visited over the past year. These places are then shortlisted by a panel of in-house travel experts who consider criteria such as topicality, excitement and wow-factor to decide what to include in the best-selling, inspirational travel yearbook.

Travel Trends

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 also features five travel trends that consumers should look out for next year, with destination races, vegetarian & vegan travel and private islands among those selected as ones to watch, while Lonely Planet experts also rank the top 10 best culture trips for families, new openings and best places to stay.


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Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Lists

Here’s the complete listing of top countries, cities, regions and vest value destinations.

Top 10 Countries

  1. Chile
  2. South Korea
  3. Portugal
  4. Djibouti
  5. New Zealand
  6. Malta
  7. Georgia
  8. Mauritius
  9. China
  10. South Africa

 

 Top 10 Cities

  1. Seville (Spain)
  2. Detroit (U.S.)
  3. Canberra (Australia)
  4. Hamburg (Germany)
  5. Kaohsiung (Taiwan)
  6. Antwerp (Belgium)
  7. Matera (Italy)
  8. San Juan (Puerto Rico)
  9. Guanajuato (Mexico)
  10. Oslo (Norway)

 

Top 10 Regions

  1. Belfast & the Causeway Coast (Northern Ireland)
  2. Alaska (U.S.)
  3. Julian Alps (Slovenia)
  4. Languedoc-Roussillon (France)
  5. Kii Peninsula (Japan)
  6. Aeolian Islands (Italy)
  7. Southern U.S.
  8. Lahaul & Spiti (India)
  9. Bahia (Brazil)
  10. Los Hiatuses National Park (Dominican Republic)

 

Top 10 Best Value Destinations

  1. Tallinn (Estonia)
  2. Lanzarote (Canary Islands)
  3. Arizona (U.S.)
  4. La Paz (Bolivia)
  5. Poland
  6. Essaouria (Morocco)
  7. United Kingdom
  8. Baja California (Mexico)
  9. Jacksonville (U.S.-Florida)
  10. Hunan (China)


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