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Top ten cities to visit in 2011, according to Lonely Planet
Once derided as dirty and dangerous, this port city at the crossroads of Europe and Africa has undergone a major renovation and clean-up. A thriving arts, food, and shopping scene are drawing visitors.
A major Amazonian trading port formerly known for its raucous nightlife, general mayhem, riverside shanties, and rubber-boom barons, Iquitos has gotten a major upgrade. Accessible only by air or boat, the city still has a rocking after-hours scene, but it's also a "cultural hub" providing a "sultry slice of Amazon life."
The 2010 Commonwealth Games got the city into shape, there's a "futuristic" Metro (who knew?) and 2011 marks the city's 100th anniversary. Be prepared for lots of celebrations.
Not as wallet-friendly, but absolutely stunning:
Wellington, New Zealand
Nicknamed the "coolest little capital in the world," this laidback, far southern North Island city has it all: a hopping food and wine scene, boutiques and galleries featuring NZ's hottest designers and artists, a serious arts and culture scene that includes the world-famous Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and accommodations ranging from high-end hotel and styley boutique sleeps, to funky hostels and guesthouses. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy miles of hiking trails, city parks, hilly streets, and golden beaches.
What cities are on your personal 2011 must-visit list?
[Photo credits:Tangier, Flickr user Lumumo; Wellington, Flickr user 111 Emergency]