Lonely Planet has revealed its list for the top 10 cities to visit in 2019, but its picks may surprise even the most well-travelled.
These are the travel publisher’s top picks for 2019. Feel free to vote for your favourite cities in the comments section below.
Top of the list is Copenhagen, deemed “mega cool” by the travel guide, ranked number one for its “indie spaces … striking spires, cutting-edge design and cycle-friendly streets”, and even public-access trampolines alongside its famous canals.
Considered one of the most sustainable cities in the world with solar-powered boats, snaking bike lanes and a ski slope on top of a recycling centre, Denmark’s capital city also entices foodies with shipping-container street markets and ‘New Nordic cuisine’.
Lonely Planet acknowledges Shenzhen as one of the world’s “most mega megacities”. It seems they like the world “mega”, but the travel guide points out the bustling economic hub was built in less time than London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, with the metropolis attracting high-flying tech graduates and global corporations. While LP promises the city offers a vibrant arts scene and “oodles” of shopping haunts, we’re a little surprised by this one as a lesser-known tourist destination.
Novi Sad, Serbia
Novi Sad has been recognised for its cultural prowess and creative energy, given the title of both 2019 European Youth Capital and 2021 European Capital of Culture. Lonely Planet says despite its “second-city status”, it shouldn’t be overlooked, offering an “elegant, yet easy-going” experience to its visitors. The travel guide recognises the city’s merits due to the success of the EXIT festival, a summer music festival at the Petrovaradin Fortress, and the transformation of its dilapidated Chinatown into an alternative-culture district.
Known for its beaches, soaring high-rises and trendy night life, Miami’s recent cultural and foodie revolution has earned a spot on the Lonely Planet’s “must” list. While the downtown continues to be rejuvenated, the city’s Design District, including its 800-car garage-turned-seven- storey museum, has become a hive of artistic activity.
The ancient city of Kathmandu has long been a popular destination among hikers and the spiritually curious, but Lonely Planet has recommended the city in the wake of the 2015 earthquake that brought many of the Nepal’s most treasured monuments close to ruin.
The travel guide says sites are being returned to their former glory, while creature comforts, including WiFi and more reliable electricity, will broaden the city’s appeal to more tourists in 2019.
Mexico City, Mexico
Americans commonly make their getaway to Mexico’s beaches in Cancun, Acapulco, Playa Del Carmen or Cabo San Lucas, but this year Lonely Planet has put the spotlight on Mexico City. The travel guide says Mexico’s capital is experiencing a growing “creative class”, flourishing amid colonial cathedrals and modern wonders such as the private Museo Soumaya.
The “long overlooked” city of Dakar, sprawling across the Cap-Vert peninsula with a medley of villages and French colonial, towns offers a buzz of activity in its dusty streets brimming with markets. Lonely Planet says the “dynamic” seaside city’s mbalax dance–fuelled nightclubs will also carry revellers into the early-morning light as the first prayers drift over the landscape. The travel guide predicts the city to be the new travel hub in West Africa with the recent opening of a brand-new $US600 million ($840 million) international airport.
The Pacific Northwest city of Seattle is a visitors’ playground surrounded by water, mountains, evergreen forests and thousands of hectares of parkland. The largest city in Washington state is punctuated with the futuristic and iconic Space Needle and is home to industry giants, Microsoft and Amazon. Lonely Planet recommends visiting the Amazon offices – a trio of glass ‘spheres’ where workers share office space with 40,000 plants.
Lonely Planet has likened Zadar to the myth of the “phoenix”, reborn as the “spirited cosmopolitan city” from the ashes of its war-ridden past. The travel guide promises the Old Town’s marble streets will offer visitors cool bars, laid-back cafes, ancient Roman ruins, innovative museums and rustic trattoria-style restaurants.
More tourists frequent Morocco’s Marrakesh and Fez, but Lonely Planet says Meknès is the under-appreciated imperial city. The travel guide says the thick-set marble fortifications that still encase the city, its giant subterranean food stores and the magnificent bab (gate) outshine the Blue Gate in Fez.