Lonely Planet, the esteemed global travel authority, has proudly presented its annual compilation of the most trending destinations for the upcoming year.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Best in Travel 2024 list has undergone a significant expansion. Moving beyond the traditional top 10 best cities, countries, and regions, this year’s edition introduces two new categories: best value and best sustainable destinations. This enhancement brings the total to 50 exceptional locations worldwide, each offering unique and enriching experiences for travelers in 2024.
Now in its 19th year, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel hotlist is a product of extensive voting by their global network of staff, local writers, and publishing partners. The list serves as a treasure trove of expert insights, spotlighting lesser-known gems and providing fresh perspectives on popular destinations. This year’s selections have been influenced by a variety of factors including the introduction of new cycling trails, improved train and flight services, bids for UNESCO world heritage status, and a strong commitment to sustainability, community, and diversity.
Spain has emerged as a leader in sustainable travel, implementing significant measures to promote off-season travel, expand renewable energy initiatives, distribute tourist traffic throughout the year, and introduce travelers to previously overlooked destinations. Wales is also recognized for its sustainability efforts, particularly in the expansion of its railway network, which has opened up new opportunities to explore the country’s stunning western regions. Patagonia, Ecuador, and the Baltic Trails spanning Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania offer responsible and nature-centric travel options. Kangaroo Island in South Australia, resilient in the face of the 2020 bushfires, continues to stand out as a prime ecotourism destination.
The concept of Slow Travel, a favorite among Lonely Planet readers, is celebrated with features on the Portuguese Way hiking trail and the burgeoning popularity of night trains across Europe. Croatia, a perennial favorite among travelers, is now more accessible than ever with the inauguration of the Peljesac Bridge, bringing attention to the previously overlooked Peljesac Peninsula. Additionally, a new highway has made direct travel between Split and Dubrovnik a reality.
For the budget-conscious traveler, destinations such as Algeria, the USA’s Midwest, the Greek island of Ikaria, and Normandy offer great value without sacrificing the richness of the travel experience. Top cities for 2024 include the vibrant and culturally rich Nairobi in Kenya, the picturesque Mostar in Bosnia with its iconic bridge, and the rejuvenated Izmir in Turkey. Outdoor enthusiasts will be drawn to the new Western Balkans’ Trans Dinarica Cycle Route, set to open in 2024, and Far North Scotland, which is in the running for UNESCO status for its unspoiled interior and stunning coastline.
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024
- Patagonia, Argentina & Chile
- Wales Trails
- The Portuguese Way, Caminho Portgues de Santiago
- Hokkaido, Japan
- Baltic Trails of Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania
- South Africa’s Eco Lodges
- The Midwest, USA
- Danube Limes, Bulgaria & Romania
- Normandy, France
- Ikaria, Greece
- Southern lakes & Central Otago, New Zealand
- Night trains of Europe
- Nairobi, Kenya
- Paris, France
- Montreal, Canada
- Mostar, Bosnia
- Philadelphia, USA
- Manaus. Brazil
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Prague, The Czech Republic
- Izmir, Turkey
- Kansas City, Missouri
- St Lucia
- Western Balkans’ Trans Dinarica Cycling Route
- Kangaroo Island, South Australia
- Tuscany, Italy
- Donegal, Ireland
- Pais Vasco, Spain
- Southern Thailand
- Swahili Coast, Tanzania
- Montana, USA
- Saalfelden Leogang, Austria
- Far North Scotland
Nitya Chambers, SVP Content and Executive Editor at Lonely Planet, encapsulates the spirit of this year’s Best in Travel, stating, “Our picks for this year seek to both inspire and follow the instincts of 2024’s traveler. Best in Travel is Lonely Planet’s heart and soul of travel inspiration, responding to the enthusiasm of travelers who want to explore the world in a way that is authentic, led by local guidance and has sustainable values at its core. 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 adventures.”