San Francisco is best city to visit
San Francisco is the best city to visit next year, according to guidebook company Lonely Planet, which placed the Californian city first in a top 10 list in its Best in Travel 2013 publication.
It was followed by Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and the Indian city of Hyderabad.
Londonderry in Northern Ireland was named a surprising fourth.
The guide says: “Londonderry (also known as Derry) is the UK City of Culture 2013, which means this vibrant historic walled city is undergoing a renaissance.”
Lonely Planet’s Tom Hall added: “Best in Travel is all about identifying destinations which offer the traveller something special.
“Derry is a brilliant example of a city that has bounced back from difficult times.
“This is a city with heart, which shines through in its exciting arts and music scene.”
Beijing was in fifth place, followed by Christchurch in New Zealand, Hobart in Australia, Montreal in Canada, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, and Puerto Iguazu, near the famous waterfalls in Argentina.
One of the best back-in-time destinations in the guide was London’s Royal Opera House Tea Dance when visitors will be “transported to a seemingly gentler time”.
Also featured in this category was Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. The Tower of London made it into the unluckiest places in the world category, due to its many executions and ghost stories, while London’s ‘Boris Bike’ scheme featured in the category dealing with cities where cycle projects operate.
One of the best places to get a tattoo was at the London Tattoo Convention.
Under the Snakes Alive category, wildlife reserves in Dorset were itemised for their adder-viewing opportunities.
Hadrian’s Wall in northeast England made it into the Great Wall Walks category. The latter also featured the eighth-century Offa’s Dyke on the England-Wales border.
Under the Legendary Last Stands section appeared the Battle in East Sussex, better known as the site of the 1066 Battle of Hastings.
Among best places to hunt for buried treasure was the English countryside where many Roman coins are hidden.
Other European destinations featured in the book included the Swedish city of Gothenburg as one of the best value destinations, and Montenegro as one of the top countries for 2013.
Mr Hall said: “Despite the economic crisis, European destinations still pack a real punch on the global tourist scale and our selections in Best in Travel 2013 reflect this.”
Sri Lanka was tipped as the hottest country to visit in 2013 for both its good value and gourmet cuisine, while “epic beauty” island of Corsica was the top region to visit.
Top 10 cities
1) San Francisco
9) Addis Ababa
10) Puerto Iguazu