Lonely Planet, the renowned travel experts, have revealed their highly anticipated annual list of the best places to visit in 2024. Topping the list of countries is Mongolia, followed closely by India. The rankings took into account factors such as unique attractions, cultural experiences, and adventure opportunities.
Described as a haven for seekers of wide-open spaces, adventures, and culture, Mongolia clinched the gold medal due to its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant capital city, Ulaanbaatar. Despite recent geopolitical events, the country's tourism campaign has facilitated easier access for travelers with the easing of visa restrictions.
India, known as the world's most colorful country, claimed the second spot. With a revamp of its railways and the introduction of stylish new trains, India offers an unforgettable journey for visitors. The MV Ganges Vilas, the world's longest river cruise, promises a 2,000-mile boat trip that allows travelers to immerse themselves in the country's rich heritage.
On the regions front, the Trans Dinarica Cycling Route in the Western Balkans secured the first place. This 2,090-mile trail encompasses several countries and showcases stunning natural beauty, including mountain ranges, lakes, and rivers. Australia's Kangaroo Island earned the second spot with its mesmerizing coastline, unique local produce, and abundant wildlife.
Among the cities, Nairobi in Kenya took the number one spot, presenting itself as a global center of culture with a multitude of travel experiences. Paris claimed second place, combining innovation and tradition as it prepares to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. North American destinations such as Montreal, Philadelphia, and Kansas City also made it into the top 10.
Lonely Planet introduced two new categories this year - value and sustainable destinations. Midwest USA was recognized as the best destination offering value for money. With its vibrant cities, creativity, and diverse cuisine, the region has attracted chefs, artists, and designers over the past decade.
In terms of sustainability, Spain topped the list with its commitment to sustainability through initiatives such as new cycle paths and electric transportation. Wales secured the fourth position, emphasizing its revamped railway trails and plans for increased services, making it more accessible for travelers interested in exploring the country's wild landscapes.
This year's list from Lonely Planet reflects the desire for authentic travel experiences that are led by local guidance and prioritize sustainability. With Mongolia and India named as the top countries to visit in 2024, travelers can look forward to remarkable adventures in unique locales.