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Lonely Planet's top cities to visit in 2019

Pack your bags because Lonely Planet has released its Best in Travel series, featuring the top cities to visit in 2019.

Whether you plan to take a road trip to a U.S. destination or you’re looking to fly abroad to discover a new city, Lonely Plant recommends these spots for your next adventure.

10. Meknès, Morocco

Moulay Idriss' tomb in Meknes, Morocco.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Anton_Ivanov

Ruins weave through the landscape of this often overlooked city, making it an enchanting place to see. The heart of the once imperial city hosts King Ismail’s tomb, where remnants of original buildings can be found. Just outside of the city lays Heri Es Souani, the king’s impressive and large granaries and stables. Lonely Planet recommends a visit Palais Al Mansour, the king’s summer residence.

9. Zadar, Croatia

A sail boat in the waters of Zadar
Photo Credit: ©xbrchx/Shutterstock/xbrchx

Zadar is a lively city with captivating sights and culture. Wander through Old Town to find ancient Roman ruins, inventive museums and trattoria-style restaurants. Stroll the waterfront promenade to listen to the magical sounds of the Sea Organ and view the solar-powered light show of Sun Salutation. St. Anastasia’s Cathedral and St. Simeon’s Church are also remarkable to see.

8. Seattle, USA

Seattle downtown skyline and Mt. Rainier, Washington. The
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/emperorcosar

Seattle is home to much more than its symbolic Space Needle. Lonely Planet suggests that first timers head straight to the Pike Place Market to find fresh produce and then check out the many local businesses to support the grassroots mindset of the unique city.  If you’re up for it afterward, check out some of Seattle’s noteworthy museums such as the Olympic Sculpture Park, Museum of Pop Culture and Museum of Flight.

7. Dakar, Senegal

Street on Ile de Goree in Dakar.
Photo Credit: 500px/Alex ADS

Lonely Planet says Dakar has been long overlooked, despite its inviting beaches, vibrant markets and energetic nightlife. The West African city recently opened a new $600 million airport, which should help put it on the map. Must-see beaches include Plage de Virage and Plage de Yoff. A tiny island off Dakar’s coast, named Île de N'Gor, is a peaceful escape with a mix of calm beaches and a charming village.

6. Mexico City, Mexico

Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts)
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Maria Swärd

The history of Mexico City is showcased by its architecture, from indigenous relics to colonial cathedrals and the modern Museo Soumaya. In fact, its architecture is so impressive that Mexico City became the first North or South American city to be named World Design Capital in 2018. Lonely Planet suggests visiting Templo Mayor, Monumento a la Revolución and the 20th century music and arts center Palacio de Bellas Artes. Also, noteworthy in the Mexican capital is Arena Mexico, a 17,000-seat arena that is filled with wrestlers and fans each week.

5. Kathmandu, Nepal

View of Swayambhunath, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/toiletroom

Since the destructive earthquake in 2015, Kathmandu has gotten a new wave of optimism. Lonely Planet recommends exploring the back streets to experience the deep culture that perseveres throughout, visiting Durbar Square to see where kings were once crowned and relaxing in the courtyard of Itum Bathal, a Buddhist monastery. Indra Chowk is also worthwhile bustling street where you can buy newspapers, blankets, cloth and more, and is conveniently located right next to the Shiva and Mahadev temples. Despite the sometimes-frustrating traffic, Lonely Planet says this city is the most livable it has been in decades.

4. Miami, USA

Lifeguard Tower in South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Alexander Demyanenko

While Miami is known as an escape to beautiful beaches and never-ending nightlife, it has recently converted into a flourishing arts center, leader in urban design and foodie hotspot. The Design District’s vividly painted Wynwood Walls offers a look at Miami’s urban design. For the foodie, Miami has a large variety of top-notch cuisines, including Cuban, Spanish, Modern American, Vietnamese and Mediterranean dishes. To enjoy the outdoors, Lonely Planet suggests heading to downtown Miami to Bayfront Park, on Biscayne Bay.

3. Novi Sad, Serbia

Looking towards the Name of Mary church in
Photo Credit: Getty Images /vestica

Novi Sad is a vibrant, creative city with pristine parks and cafes for daytime enjoyment, and an energetic nightlife scene for the night owls. The pedestrian passageway Zmaj Jovina lets you get to all the city’s main attractions, such as the Museum of Vojvodina, by foot. The Serbian city hosts the country’s largest music festival, EXIT, every July. Novi Sad currently holds the title of European Youth Capital for 2019, and is scheduled to reign as the 2021 European Capital of Culture, which will be the first non-EU city to do so.

2. Shēnzhèn, China

Exterior of MOCAPE in Shenzen.
Photo Credit: Lonely Planet/Cathy Adams

Known as the “Silicon Valley” of China, Shēnzhèn has transformed from a nightlife hotspot to a calmer area of hip cafes, indie-music and a new art district. For a taste of the booming art scene, the Dàfēn village is rolling out hand-painted reproduction oil paintings and is getting a new art museum. For some history, head to the Dàpéng Fortress, which is a 600-year-old walled town. Or, for some thrills, visit the Window of the World amusement park.

1. Copenhagan, Denmark

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - JULY 3, 2016: Nyhavn a
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/gmlykin

Copenhagen is a green city, where cycling is the transportation of choice and farm-to-table restaurants are the new popular. Lonely Planet recommends a visit to the Tivoli Gardens amusement park, the Dutch Rosenburg Slot palace, or Amager Bakke, the waste management facility with a rooftop ski slope and hiking trails. Lonely Planet also suggests a stroll along the picturesque Nyhavn canal, a top tourist spot of colorful townhouses, bars and restaurants.

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