Tastemakers at Lonely Planet have released their picks for the best travel destinations of 2019, giving Sri Lanka and Copenhagen top billing.

When it comes to proclaiming the world’s best destinations, there is literally and truly a world of possibilities. But Lonely Planet‘s Best In Travel report is based on the nominations of editors, researchers, locals and influencers.

The pool of nominations is then whittled down into handy top 10 lists by a panel of judges.

The outcome is an eclectic list of destinations with unique, compelling and topical reasons to visit in the year ahead – as well as underlying travel trends to look for. Lonely Planet’s experts also select the best New Openings, Places to Stay, Food Experiences and Attractions for Kids.

“These are the places to experience in 2019,” said Tom Hall, Lonely Planet‘s editorial director in a press release.

“They might be coming into their own, celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime event or simply have been overlooked for too long – whatever the reason, now is the time to plan a trip.”

Planning a holiday? Lonely Planet wants travellers to consider visiting Belarus. — Reuters

In the category of top 10 countries, editors shine the spotlight on Sri Lanka, an island country that is “opening up to new travellers like never before”.

Over the last few years, the country has awakened curiosity among the most intrepid of globetrotters for its 1,330km of coastline, beaches, wildlife, tea estates, and waterfalls.

Taking the top spot in the best cities list is Copenhagen, Denmark which editors call the “capital of cool” for being notably a design and gastronomic powerhouse.

The best-selling book is now in its 14th edition and the website (lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel), features tips and videos on visiting each destination as well as a chance to win a trip for two to Copenhagen. Most of the top 10 cities can also be explored with Lonely Planet’s Guides app. – AFP Relaxnews

Lonely Planet‘s best cities 2019:

1. Copenhagen, Denmark
2. Shenzhen, China
3. Novi Sad, Serbia
4. Miami, Florida, United States
5. Kathmandu, Nepal
6. Mexico City, Mexico
7. Dakar, Senegal
8. Seattle, Washington, US
9. Zadar, Croatia
10. Meknes, Morocco

Best countries 2019:

1. Sri Lanka
2. Germany
3. Zimbabwe
4. Panama
5. Kyrgyzstan
6. Jordan
7. Indonesia
8. Belarus
9. Sao Tome and Principe
10. Belize

Best regions 2019:

1. Piedmont, Italy
2. The Catskills, US
3. Northern Peru
4. The Red Centre, Australia
5. Scotland’s Highlands and islands
6. Russian Far East
7. Gujarat, India
8. Manitoba, Canada
9. Normandy, France
10. Elqui Valley, Chile

Best value destinations 2019:

1. Southern Nile Valley, Egypt
2. Lod, Poland
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, US
4. Maldives
5. Houston, US
6. Argentina
7. Bangladesh
8. Albania
9. Ecuador
10. Slovenia


Malaysian delights

Part of the Taman Tugu Forest Park in Kuala Lumpur is now open to the public.

Among those listed in Lonely Planet’s smaller lists include Malaysia’s Taman Tugu Park in Kuala Lumpur (under Best New Openings) and the upcoming Monopoly Mansion in KL (Best New Attraction for Kids).

Part of Taman Tugu Park was recently opened to the public is set to launch in phases throughout 2019. There will be plenty of walking/running trails, a campsite, an education centre and wetland areas.

Also on the list of Best New Openings include Museum of the Future in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Bangkok Obser-vation Tower in Thailand.

The Monopoly Mansion, meanwhile, is the world’s first Monopoly hotel. The theme hotel is set to open before the second quarter of 2019.

Other properties listed as a Best New Attraction for Kids include Kidzania in Doha, Qatar and Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in California’s Disneyland Resort (and then later in Walt Disney World, Florida).

As for the Best New Places to Stay, consider the Thurgau Bubble Hotel in Switzerland, the Gorilla’s Nest in Rwanda and Eki Chat Yurt Camp in Kyrgyzstan.

Bangkok’s Mihara Tofuten by multiple award-winning chef Gaggan Anand is on the list of Best New Food Experiences, as well as Dine in the Dome at The Summerhouse in Singapore and The Fishmarket of Edinburgh, Scotland.