Another year, another opportunity to travel and explore new cities. As is their wont every January, the country’s major travel publications have all narrowed down their lists for best places to visit for 2014. Sochi, Russia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the respective host cities of the 2014 Winter Olympics, and the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, are predictably trendy, but quite a few lesser known gems have been spotlighted as well.
To help make your travel planning a little easier, we’ve combed through the biggest lists and present the abridged version below:
Cape Town, South Africa tops the New York Times’ 52 Places to Go in 2014, thanks travelers’ interest in exploring the city where the late Nelson Mandela laid roots after being released from prison, as well as celebrating the city’s visual renaissance as the World Design Capital for the year. Christchurch, New Zealand, the North Coast of California, the Albanian Coast, and Downtown Los Angeles, Namibia, Ecuador, Quang Binh, Vietnam, Perth, Australia and Rotterdam, the Netherlands round out the top 10.
Cape Town is also Travel + Leisure’s top spot to go in 2014, for the above reason as well as “a proliferation of edgy boutiques, independent galleries, and forward-thinking restaurants like Test Kitchen by Neighbourgoods Market, where biltong (cured meat) is topped with plum-cured foie gras.” T+L is also hot for Uraguay, Warsaw, Iceland, and Pangulasian Island, Philippines.
Panama sits near the top of CNN’s list, largely because of the events and attractions being planned around the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal, as do Brazil, Myanmar, Lake Myvatn, Iceland, and Ecuador. Glasgow, Scotland, Matera, Italy, and Bordeaux, France top the Telegraph 20,