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Lonely Planet picks the top destinations


lonely planet best in travel 2019 - Where to travel in 2019Looking for some inspiration for your next trip? Lonely Planet has revealed its annual list of the best countries, cities and regions to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2019.

Sri Lanka – the island opening up to new travellers like never before – claims the coveted spot as the number one country to visit in 2019, while Germany places second and Zimbabwe takes third. Denmark’s “capital of cool”, Copenhagen, is named the number one city as it boasts a world-renowned food scene and credentials as a design powerhouse, followed by the “Silicon Valley” of China, Shēnzhèn, and Serbia’s up-and-coming youth and culture capital, Novi Sad.

The number one region is the Piedmont area of Italy, home to Leonardo Da Vinci and new UNESCO heritage sites. Celebrating 50 years since Woodstock, the USA’s Catskills in New York came in second, followed by Northern Peru. Egypt’s Southern Nile Valley, Łódź, Poland and the USA’s Great Smoky Mountains are named the top three best value destinations for 2019.

Each year, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel lists start with nominations from Lonely Planet’s vast community of editors, researchers, locals and influencers, and ultimately are decided and ranked by a panel of judges. The outcome is an eclectic list of destinations with unique, compelling and topical reasons to visit in the year ahead – as well as underlying travel trends to look for. Lonely Planet’s experts also select the best New Openings, Places to Stay, Food Experiences and Attractions for Kids.

“These are the places to experience in 2019”, said Lonely Planet Destination Editor Trisha Ping. “They might be coming into their own, celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime event or simply have been overlooked for too long – whatever the reason, now is the time to plan a trip.”

Top 10 Countries

  1. Sri Lanka
  2. Germany
  3. Zimbabwe
  4. Panama
  5. Kyrgyzstan
  6. Jordan
  7. Indonesia
  8. Belarus
  9. São Tomé and Príncipe
  10. Belize


Top 10 Regions

  1. Piedmont, Italy
  2. The Catskills, USA
  3. Northern Peru
  4. The Red Centre, Australia
  5. Scottish Highlands
  6. Russian Far East, Russia
  7. Gujarat, India
  8. Manitoba, Canada
  9. Normandy, France
  10. Elqui Valley, Chile


Top 10 Cities

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. Shēnzhèn, China
  3. Novi Sad, Serbia
  4. Miami, Florida, USA
  5. Kathmandu, Nepal
  6. Mexico City, Mexico
  7. Dakar, Senegal
  8. Seattle, USA
  9. Zadar, Croatia
  10. Meknès, Morocco


Click here for more on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2019

Main image: Mirissa Beach, Mirissa, Sri Lanka (Daniel Klien, Unsplash)