SEVILLA in Andalucia, southern Spain, has taken a top honour for the best city to visit in travel guide Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel roundup for 2018.
The eagerly-awaited announcement of the world’s best destinations to visit also includes Lanzarote in the Canary Islands that was placed second in the top value category.
Lonely Planet say, “Some cities blast you away, others slowly win you over. Sevilla disarms and seduces you. Its historic centre, lorded over by a colossal Gothic cathedral, is an intoxicating mix of resplendent Mudéjar palaces, baroque churches and winding medieval lanes.”
Sevilla ranked first in the cities category partly due to its relatively new network of biking paths and a lots of special local activities related to the anniversary of painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
The city will also host the European Film Awards in 2018.
It has also featured recently on the small screen with the Alcázar’s palace and gardens regularly being used for scenes in TV hit Game of Thrones.
Other must sees include Sevilla’s central cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site, and the Plaza de España is a wide-open square perfect for mingling with locals.
Off the tourist beaten trail, you’ll find charming neighbourhoods, tapas and flamenco bars, markets and churches waiting to be explored.
To catch Sevilla at its most exuberant, March and April are the months to visit when the city is celebrating its two headline festivals – Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the Feria de Abril., while September and October are perfect for sightseeing as the baking summer heat recedes. Or experience Seville without the crowds, consider visiting in winter. You might catch some rain and cool temperatures but the hotel rates are at their cheapest.
2. South Korea
5. New Zealand
10. South Africa
1. Sevilla, Spain
2. Detroit, USA
3. Canberra, Australia
4. Hamburg, Germany
5. Kaohsiung, Taiwan
6. Antwerp, Belgium
7. Matera, Italy
8. San Juan, Puerto Rico
9. Guanajuato, Mexico
10. Oslo, Norway
1. Belfast and the Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland
2. Alaska, USA
3. Julian Alps, Slovenia
4. Languedoc-Roussillon, France
5. Kii Peninsula, Japan
Top value destinations
1. Tallinn, Estonia
2. Lanzarote, Canary Islands
3. Arizona, USA
4. La Paz, Bolivia