Lonely Planet has unveiled its list of the must see destinations for 2024. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the renowned travel publisher’s “Best in Travel” list covers a diverse array of locations across five categories: countries, regions, cities, sustainable travel and best value locations.
“Best in Travel is Lonely Planet’s heart and soul of travel inspiration, responding to the enthusiasm of travellers who want to explore the world in a way that is authentic, led by local guidance and has sustainable values at its core”, said executive editor Nitya Chambers. “With new takes on iconic destinations and 50 fresh ideas across five categories, we’re confident Best in Travel opens up a year of incredible adventure.”
For the category of top countries, Mongolia is listed first, with its picturesque landscapes and rich nomadic culture. Mongolia is known for its vast and diverse landscapes, including the Gobi Desert, the Altai Mountains and the Khuvsgul Lake. These natural wonders offer opportunities for adventure and exploration, such as hiking, horseback riding and wildlife spotting. The country’s rich cultural heritage, which includes nomadic traditions, throat singing and traditional sports like wrestling and archery, is a major draw for travelers. The government of Mongolia has declared 2023 through 2025 the “Years to Visit Mongolia”, with a recent tourism initiative facilitating eased visa regulations.
Ranked second on the list is India, benefitting from new flights to hubs like Delhi, Goa and Kerala from Europe and the US and its gloriously varied destinations, where visitors can explore the Himalayas, tour the temples and sample some of the world’s most flavorsome cuisine.
Landing as the third pick on Lonely Planet’s 2024 travel recommendations is St Lucia. The small island in the eastern Caribbean offers a captivating blend of stunning mountains and beautiful beaches, making it a world-renowned holiday spot. Moreover, St. Lucia’s tourism officials have been increasingly highlighting the island’s dazzling cultural heritage, offering visitors a chance to explore the local traditions, music and cuisine
When it comes to top cities, Nairobi in Kenya has secured the prime position, alluring travelers with its vibrant blend of culture, wildlife and urban development. A thriving assortment of art and cultural spaces further contributes to Nairobi’s unique allure, fostering a one-of-a-kind cosmopolitan vibe.
Paris followed on the list. Gearing up for the 2024 Olympics, the French capital is set to be a bustling hub of excitement and activity. Montréal, in Canada, came in third. With a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere, rich cultural heritage and unique blend of old European and modern city architecture, the city offers numerous festivals and museums to visit year round, as well as thousands of restaurants and cafes, with an exciting and continuously evolving culinary scene.
In the category of top regions, attention is drawn to Montana, in the United States. The state hosts breathtaking natural landscapes, including Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and the Rocky Mountains, outdoor recreational opportunities, such as skiing and fishing, and unique cultural experiences, with its rich cowboy heritage.
Donegal, in Ireland, was the second selected top region on the list. With its stunning natural beauty, including mountains, bog land, lakes and green valleys, as well as its dramatic coastline with over 100 picturesque beaches. Visitors can explore the region’s charming towns and villages, enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking and surfing, and experience the warmth and hospitality of the local people.
In the category of sustainable travel destinations, Ecuador came on top. It is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, thus, responsible tourism is at the center of the country’s agenda. Ecuador offers a unique opportunity to experience its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage through sustainable activities such as exploring the Amazon Rainforest, visiting eco-friendly lodgings and wildlife watching.
Spain has been recognized for its commendable efforts in renewable energy, making it an ideal choice for eco-conscious travelers and getting the country a second position on the 2024 top sustainable travel destinations.
For those looking for the best value, Poland, celebrated for its rich history and affordable prices, is a top choice for budget-conscious explorers. The Midwest, in the United States, stood out on the list, with its fusion of urban attractions and natural landscapes, providing an affordable option for travelers.