World’s Top Urban Destination 2017 is…


Lonely Planet has selected the French city of Bordeaux as the hottest urban destination for 2017 but it has long been on our list of excellent places to visit. The city has the largest number of preserved historical buildings in France, outside of Paris, and it plays host to that Dionysian spectacle called Vinexpo. Bordeaux is also home to some of the biggest names in French wine such as Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour and Château Mouton-Rothschild.

Anyway, the famous travel guide has dubbed Bordeaux as “A sleeping beauty [that] has awoken,” clearly a reference to the city’s nickname, La Belle Endormie. A high-speed rail line is currently being built to link the aforementioned city to Paris, which will definitely boost tourism appeal of Bordeaux. The city also houses the Cité du Vin wine museum, where visitors can savor the culinary specialties of the region. Tourists will be able to enjoy the urban, cultural space that overlooks the Garonne river.

Cape Town of South Africa ranks second in the best cities category, followed by Los Angeles at number three. The list also features lesser-known travel gems of Ohrid in Macedonia (fifth) and Pistoia in Italy (sixth), which we honestly know nothing about!

Ohrid in Macedonia is one of Lonely Planet’s top destinations for 2017.
© Lonely Planet

On to the less city-specific lists, it seems like the 2017 trend will be Pacific destinations. Who hasn’t dreamed of dipping into the turquoise waters of the world’s largest ocean, anyway? Seriously, there’s enough room in the Pacific to fit all the landmasses of the world… Taranaki, New Zealand leads the pack as the first runner-up of the 2017 best regions to visit list. South Australia ranks fifth, and the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia ranks seventh. As for countires, Lonely Planet named Canada in the top spot for 2017, followed by Colombia and Finland for second and third place, respectively.

A roundup of all Lonely Planet’s hottest destinations for the coming year will be compiled in its “Best Of 2017” guidebook, due out October 27.

Lonely Planet’s full list of best destinations for 2017

By country

  • 1. Canada
  • 2. Colombia
  • 3. Finland
  • 4. Dominica
  • 5. Nepal
  • 6. Bermuda
  • 7. Mongolia
  • 8. Oman
  • 9. Myanmar (Burma)
  • 10. Ethiopia

By region

  • 1. Choquequirao, Peru
  • 2. Taranaki, New Zealand
  • 3. Açores, Portugal
  • 4. North Wales, UK
  • 5. South Australia
  • 6. Aysén, Chile
  • 7. Tuamotu Islands, French Polynesia
  • 8. The Georgia coast, USA
  • 9. Perak, Malaysia
  • 10. Skellig Ring, Iceland

By city

  • 1. Bordeaux, France
  • 2. Cape Town, South Africa
  • 3. Los Angeles, USA
  • 4. Mérida, Mexico
  • 5. Ohrid, Macedonia
  • 6. Pistoia, Italy 
  • 7. Seoul, South Korea
  • 8. Lisbon, Portugal
  • 9. Moscow, Russia
  • 10. Portland, USA
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