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Derry makes the Lonely Planet's Top 10 best cities for 2013

The Northern Ireland city has been chosen as the UK’s City of Culture next year. Find out where else made the cut…

Image: mkairishstudies' via Flickr/Creative Commons

THE TRAVEL EXPERTS at Lonely Planet have pushed Northern Ireland’s Derry into fourth place in its Best in Travel city list for 2013.

The accolade comes as Derry is designated the UK’s City of Culture for the year. Citing a “packed calendar”, the travel guide says the “vibrant, historic walled city is undergoing a renaissance.”

“This year will see a wealth of cultural events, including the 10-day All-Ireland Fleadh, the world’s biggest Irish festival and it also plays host to the always-controversial Turner Prize,” it continues.

The city will buzz throughout the year with hundreds of other events, from pageants to music to contemporary dance. Derry also hosts lots of regular festivals, such as the Jazz Festival and Earhart Festival (in 2013 celebrating 80 years since American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart landed here), celebrations for which will all be cranked up a notch.

Tourism Ireland has welcomed Derry’s inclusion, adding that it could not have come at a better time. Chief executive Niall Gibbons said it offered “yet another opportunity to promote the city as a must see destination”.

The rest of the Top 10

1. Topping the list is San Francisco, “the darling of America’s west coast”.

Alamo Square at twilight. Image: Nithon via Shutterstock

2. Taking the silver medal is Amsterdam, “the Golden Age charmer that is preparing to party”.

Amsterdam always casts a spell on travellers, but the party ramps up big-time in 2013, when more anniversaries than you can shake a herring at coincide.

A coffee shop in Amsterdam. Image: lsantilli via Shutterstock

3. A recent refurbishment has seen India’s Hyderabad jump onto the rostrum for the bronze medal.

Artists making the Ganesha idol for the Hindu festival Ganesha Chathurthi on 9 September 2012 in Hyderabad. Image: reddees via Shutterstock

5. Calling it a capital on the “cusp of greatness”, Beijing has been named the fifth Best in Travel in the city category.

There’s a palpable sense of change in the air, though no-one quite knows what to expect. China is on the cusp of true greatness and one day, people will look back and say it all started here.

A huge ‘flower basket’ is seen at Tiananmen Square to mark National Day on 1 October. Image: ChinaFotoPress/Photocome/Press Association Images

6. Coming in at number six, Christchurch in New Zealand is praised for “rising from the rubble with flair”.

New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’ is rising from the rubble created by devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 with a breathtaking mix of spirit, determination and flair. With a unique opportunity to rethink urban form, Christchurch is bouncing back with a new energy and inventiveness…2013 will be an intriguing year to join the rebirth.

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7. Tasmania’s sleepy harbour town of Hobart is becoming “hip”.

Image: Albert Pego via Shutterstock

8. “Brains as well as beauty” – that’s Montréal, according to the Lonely Planet guide.

Marche Bonsecours, Montreal. Image: Vlad Ghiea via Shutterstock

9. Its fast-paced evolution makes Addis Ababa in Ethiopia a must-see as it grows in confidence and stamina.

Founded little more than a century ago, Addis Ababa, which in Amharic means ‘New Flower’, is not only the diplomatic capital of Africa and a thriving metropolis, but also a groovy city that takes pride in its multifaceted assets.

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Addis Ababa. Image: adavey via Flickr/Creative Commons

10. It’s in the new seven wonders of nature list, so it should be visited. Puerto Iguazú that is.

Image: Adam Reeder via Flickr/Creative Commons

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