TOP 10: Best cities to travel to in 2014
Where are you heading to in 2014? Is it Paris, New York or London?
Lonely Planet, the definitive travel guide and magazine, has released its annual list of 2014's list of Best Cities to Travel.
If you haven't as yet made up your mind, keep clicking to explore!
Lonely Planet's list of cities to travel to in the coming year is out. The travel guide and magazine drew upon its experts to put together a list of cities that will inspire your travel in 2014. We start with:
10. Auckland, New Zealand
There is a reason why Auckland is home to one third of New Zealand's population. Besides being the largest city in the country, it is also one of the most cosmopolitan in nature and hosts several cultural events all year round.
Situated on two harbours -- Manukau and Waitemata -- Auckland is also known as the City of Sails thanks to the prominent sailing culture.
Auckland is built on a series of dormant volcanoes with one of them being just a few miles away from the city's centre.
Lonely Planet lists Auckland at number 10 at the Best in Travel list of 2014.
Image: Auckland, New Zealand
Photographs: Ingolfson/Creative Commons
9. Adelaide, Australia
The fifth largest city in Australia after Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, Adelaide holds the distinction of never being a convict settlement unlike Australia's other state capitals.
Located among the wine regions of Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale, Adelaide also boasts of a fabulous nightlife, fine dining options and several art events besides swimmer-friendly beaches and great architecture.
Lonely Planet calls Adelaide the 'perfect host city' having 'accumulated some of Australia's most popular sporting and arts events, including the cultural tour de force of the Adelaide Festival, the Adelaide Fringe Festival and WOMADelaide'.
Adelaide is number nine on Lonely Planet's Best in Travel list.
Image: Adelaide, Australia
Photographs: Adam JWC/Creative Commons
8. Chicago, USA
The third largest city in the USA, Chicago has a thriving jazz and blues culture as well as an improv comedy scene that launched the careers of greats such as Bill Murray and Tina Fey among others.
With amazing beaches and several world-class museums as well as large parks and public art spaces, not to mention its world-class architecture, Chicago has enough to keep you occupied for weeks if not months.
Image: The Chicago Harbor Lighthouse, Chicago, USA
Photographs: Rickdrew/Creative Commons
7. Vancouver, Canada
One of the most ethnically diverse cities in Canada, Vancouver is nestled between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
Surrounded by natural beauty, Vancouver is also home to several film production studios earning it the nickname of Hollywood North.
Besides being consistently ranked as one of the top ten most liveable cities in the world, Vancouver has, what Lonely Planet describes as the big-city-look with a small-town-vibe.
"People live here because they love to run, bike, swim, ski and play. Boredom is not permitted here," Lonely Planet's website notes while ranking the city at number seven in its 2014 Best in Travel list.
Image: View of downtown Vancouver from the Lookout Tower at Harbour Centre
Photographs: MagnusL3D/Creative Commons
6. Shanghai, China
For citizens of 45 countries, Shanghai recently expanded its visa-free transit quota to 72 hours. (Sadly India isn't on the list) Which means you can take a tour of the wonderful city even if you don't have a Chinese visa.
Home to one of the largest collections of Art Deco buildings in the world, Shanghai architecture boasts of an eclectic meeting of the West and the East.
While property prices in Shanghai have gone through the roof, Shanghai has steadily made itself a global city.
Its metro system has expanded from three lines to high-speed 16 lines and is the third-longest network in the world and it will soon be home to the tallest building in China when the 121-story Shanghai Tower will be complete.
Shanghai is number six on Lonely Planet's Best in Travel list.
Image: A view of the Shanghai Museum at night in Shanghai, China
Photographs: David Wilmot/Creative Commons
5. Zurich, Switzerland
Rounding of the top five is Zurich.
The Swiss city may be best known for its banks and men in suits but the city is slowly earning reputation for its nightlife as the local government relaxes its rules about opening hours.
Zurich is also equally known for its efficient and safe public transport system and its envious location against a mountainous backdrop as it is for its exclusive fashion houses and fine dining restaurants.
Image: A view of the serene Limmat river of Zurich, Switzerland
Photographs: MadGeographer/Creative Commons
4. Riga, Latvia
The capital city of Latvia, Riga is home to an extensive collection of German Art Nouveau architecture as well as about half of the country's population.
It also boasts of a lively nightlife and draws visitors to its old town once known as 'Paris of the East'.
Cosmopolitan, hip and happening, Riga is also seeing a mass restoration of many of its crumbling buildings and is the city to visit in 2014 according to the folks at Lonely Planet.
Image: Riga, Latvia
Photographs: Wilson44691/Creative Commons
3. Cape Town, South Africa
Home to the world-famous table top mountain and the southern-most city of Africa, Cape Town is the second largest city of South Africa and has something to offer for everyone.
Take a cable car to the tabletop mountain or dive into shark-infested waters, sink your teeth into the continent's varied flavours or simply unwind along the beach.
Lonely Planet describes Cape Town, also known as The Mother City, as 'an old pro at capturing people's hearts'. We couldn't agree more.
Image: Cape Town, South Africa
Photographs: Tim Rogers/Creative Commons
2. Trinidad, Cuba
The Spanish colonial settlement of Cuba is often seen as an 'outdoor museum' that can keep history buffs occupied for hours on end.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad has managed to retain its old-world charm even though being a tourist hub has meant there are several hustlers who can be tad annoying.
Take a steam train ride to the sugarcane fields and visit the 19th century manor houses built during the sugar boom and their slave quarters or go picnicking to Ancon beach; hike up the Escambray mountains or learn to dance the salsa. Trinidad needn't just be a nerdy historical trip.
Image: View of a street in Trinidad, Cuba
Photographs: Elemaki/Creative Commons
1. Paris, France
Often called the City of Love and the City of Light, Paris is more than just a collections of its famous monuments.
It's a city where art, culture, romance, history, fashion, literature and entertainment all come together to create a heady mix that's hard to ignore.
Whether you're strolling down the Champs-Elysees, taking in the colourful shops, or down a small boulevard admiring beautiful latticework balconies, you won't be spoilt for choice.
While most ensure they climb atop the Eiffel Tower for that much talked about view, we suggest you also climb the Arc De Triomphe in the evening for a panoramic view of the city you won't forget any time soon.
With all major roads leading here, soak up the feeling of being at the centre of it all. And even if you're not a foodie, try out some of the local fare -- Paris has 85 Michelin-starred restaurants vying for your attention.
If that's too much pressure, stop by a roadside stall selling crepes stuffed with Nutella and bananas, lip-smacking good.
No matter how cliched it sounds, you will fall in love with Paris and that's exactly why it is on every traveller's must-visit list.
Image: The Eiffel Tower is illuminated during the traditional Bastille Day fireworks display in Paris, France
Photographs: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters