Lonely Planet just released its Best in Travel for 2018, a comprehensive guide that includes the top 10 cities, countries, and regions to visit in the new year, as well as best value destinations.
From the Italian cave city of Matera to the colorful Mexican town of Guanajuato, here are the destinations that should make it onto your travel bucket list next year.
10. Oslo, Norway
2018 is a great year to visit Norway’s capital. Not only is Oslo celebrating 50 years of marriage between their king and queen, the city’s opera house is also turning 10 years old. That means there will be plenty of cultural events, as well as performances and concerts.
Architecture buffs will love this city; Oslo has seen numerous contemporary buildings spring up in recent years.
9. Guanajuato, Mexico
Guanajuato is both stunning and culturally relevant. The former silver-mining town served as inspiration for the fictional Land of the Dead, a city in the upcoming Pixar movie “Coco.”
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is made up of peaceful squares, narrow alleyways, and brightly-colored buildings and churches that sit in a valley surrounded by mountains.
8. San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan has it all: pristine beaches, farm-to-table dining, vibrant nightlife, and a buzzing art scene made up of galleries, museums, and murals that cover the city’s walls.
Visitors can spend hours wandering through cobblestone alleyways framed by pastel-painted buildings and luscious greenery. The island was hit hard by hurricane Maria, but rebuilding efforts are underway.
7. Matera, Italy
Extensive renovations have led to a renaissance for this 9,000-year-old cave city in Southern Italy. Perched on a rocky outcrop, Matera is made up of stone dwellings and a maze of monasteries, churches, and caves.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is still somewhat of a hidden gem, but that won’t be the case for long. Hotels, restaurants, and bars are popping up in anticipation of Matera’s designation as the European Capital of Culture for 2019; all the more reason to plan your trip for 2018.
6. Antwerp, Belgium
Antwerp is highlighting its roots and its copious examples of Baroque style with Antwerp Baroque 2018, a celebration of architecture, art, and the city’s most famous artist, Peter Paul Rubens.
The celebration will bring together some of the most prominent Flemish masters of today. The program includes everything from parades to exhibitions to streets art and concerts.
5. Kaohsiung, Taiwan
You might not have heard of Kaohsiung, but this port city is teeming with activities. For a true Taiwan experience, explore the Liuhe Night Market or take a ride on the modern light-rail system.
The walkways and cafes dotting the banks of the Love River are perfect for strolls and afternoon coffee. Outdoorsy types can head to Xiaogang Shan Recreation Area for hiking and unparalleled views of the Taiwan Strait from the new Eye of the Mountain Skywalk.
4. Hamburg, Germany
Hamburg’s new 790 million euro Elbphilharmonie concert hall is reason enough to visit this northern Germany city in 2018. The hall took years to complete, but its striking glass walls and contrasting brick bottom are a sight to behold.
The hall is conveniently located the in HafenCity port area, which stretches along the Elbe River and is home to riverfront bars, bustling nightlife, and much more.
3. Canberra, Australia
There’s a lot happening in Canberra this year. For the first time ever, the capital city will host a Test cricket match between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Manuka Oval. Canberra’s Australian War Memorial will also host the 100-year anniversary of the World War I armistice.
Outside of those events, the city is full of national landmarks, as well as plenty of memorable cultural and gastronomic experiences.
2. Detroit, Michigan
In recent years, Detroit has transformed from a heap of abandoned sites to a hip city that boasts trendy galleries, hotels, distilleries, and bike shops. There’s a hockey and basketball arena downtown and three new parks that will help extend the riverfront trail.
Plus, getting to all of Detroit’s hotspots is easy thanks to the QLine streetcar.
1. Seville, Spain
Seville — the capital of Spain’s southern Andalucía region — has traded heavy traffic for bicycles and trams in recent years, making it an enjoyable city to visit and get around.
The city is known for its beautiful Moorish architecture, and this year it’s celebrating the 400th anniversary of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, a baroque painter and Seville native. Seville is also hosting the 31st European Film Awards and will appear in the upcoming season of “Game of Thrones.”