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At the start of 2017, every travel publication worth its salt released a list of must-see places for the year ahead. The experts chose these destinations using travel journalist insider info, travel agent trends, editor picks and a region’s growing popularity.
We combined all of the experts’ lists and cross-referenced them to see which places are set to be the most popular. Here is the ultimate list of the 10 places to visit in 2017, according to all of the experts.
We used the following expert sources: Lonely Planet’s Best of Travel 2017, National Geographic’s Best Trips 2017, Travel + Leisure’s Top 50 Places to visit 2017 and Aussie-favourite Traveller’s hottest destinations of 2017.
Image: Banff National Park
Topping Lonely Planet’s list and mentioned a total of four times across the publications, Canada is the place to visit in 2017. It’s the country’s sesquicentennial (150 year) birthday, so there will be celebrations throughout the year.
A major draw is that Canada will be offering free entry to all of its 47 national parks throughout 2017. This includes popular spots like Banff National Park, Fundy National Park and Thousand Islands in Ontario.
Image: Bo Kaap, Cape Town
With two mentions specifically for Cape Town and another for South Africa in general, this vibrant and delightfully diverse country should be high on your agenda for 2017.
Top experiences include wine touring in the tablelands; wandering the streets of pop-colour, insta-perfect Bo Kaap; partying on Long Street and penguin-spotting on Boulders Beach.
Touted by both Travel + Leisure and Lonely Planet as a hot place to visit in 2017, tiny Bermuda (the island is only 32km long by 3km wide) is having somewhat of a tourism revival of late.
Known for its pink-sand beaches and turquoise waters, Bermuda is a Pinterest-perfect beach destination and a top diving spot. In 2017, the country will host the 35th America’s Cup, America’s oldest yacht sailing race.
Image: Aurora Borealis
Making headlines in late 2016 for this welcome sign with a sense of humour, Finland seems like an exceptionally cool (in more ways than one) place to visit.
From its summer’s midnight sunshine and music festivals to chasing the Aurora Borealis or staying in a hotel made of ice in the colder months, you will have a hard time being bored in Finland. Visit Helsinki for stately Baltic architecture and a burgeoning foodie scene. Salmon soup, anyone?
Image: St Basil's Cathedral
Picked by Lonely Planet and National Geographic as a top destination for 2017, Moscow is high up on many seasoned travellers’ lists for the coming year.
Striking Red Square and the Kremlin remain must-sees as is experiencing a culture-crammed and opulent Moscow evening. Think classic ballets and operas like Swan Lake or La Traviata at the Bolshoi theatre followed by tasting expensive vodkas at a bar nearby.
Image: Naksan Park, Seoul
South Korea gets two expert recommendations for travel in 2017, so perhaps this is the year to uncover the country’s hidden gems and discover the appeal of K-pop.
Opening in Seoul this year is the Skygarden, an urban landscaped walkway garden, similar to New York’s Highline, revived from an abandoned highway. And if urban trekking is your thing, you’re in luck; another Seoul must-do is wandering the city’s 600-year-old walls.
The experts pinpointed three different areas of Mexico as hotspots, including two prime destinations for foodie travellers: coveted wine region Valle de Guadalupe, known for its impressive red blends, and Veracruz, where quiet beaches and top-notch seafood are the draws.
Lonely Planet has heralded Merida on the Yucatán Peninsula as a must-visit since it’s this year’s American Capital of Culture. You can expect a host of festivals and events throughout the year.
Image: Savannah, Georgia
Two lists mentioned this sunny state with oodles of southern charm, but for very different reasons.
Lonely Planet recommended the Georgian coast line for unspoilt beauty and offbeat seaside towns plus historic Savannah and its antebellum appeal. National Geographic praised Georgia’s inspirational music scene, which includes 75 music festivals in 2017.
Sometimes ignored by visitors in favour of Berlin and Munich, Hamburg is a city that nails it for city break cool. The city’s maritime heritage is a big draw along with the rowdy nightlife of Reeperbahn.
Wander the banks of the Elbe River to study the city’s striking architecture. If you’ve had a late night, make like a local and head straight to St Pauli’s Fischmarket in the very early hours of Sunday morning. You’re in for a treat.
Image: Sunset at Jebel Akhdar
With high-end hotels popping up across the country and an increasing amount of flights, Oman is set to be a top destination for travellers in 2017.
Lonely Planet rate the scheduled 2017 opening of futuristic theme park Majarat Oman for family-friendly getaways, while Travel + Leisure recommend the mountains and terraces of Jebel Akhdar for rugged and romantic landscapes.
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