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Lonely Planet Reveals Top Ten Cities for 2012

London tops the list of the ten most exciting urban locations for cheap holidays next year.

Highly-respected travel guide publisher Lonely Planet recommended some of its most recommended best destinations and holiday experiences available throughout the world next year in its new Best in Travel 2012 collection, which was published on Monday.

The comprehensive guide lists what it considers to be the best value destinations to be found in next year’s holiday market, plus dozens of special events, such as local festivals and gatherings that are taking place worldwide in 2012.

Here’s Lonely Planet‘s list of the Top Ten Cities to visit in 2012:

  1. London: Great news for the more patriotic UK traveller – Britain’s capital has been given the coveted number one slot, and why not? With an endless variety of neighbourhoods, cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars, plus limitless cultural events and over a thousand years of history, London is never going to be out of demand among holidaymakers.
  2. Muscat: In the Gulf state of Oman, Muscat is an ancient Middle Eastern city, with a walled old town, royal palaces and the labyrinthine Matrah Souq.
  3. Bangalore: Dubbed “the Garden City” because of its beautiful parks and ornamental gardens, Bangalore is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka, in the south west of the country and a great springboard to the wider region.
  4. Cádiz: Steeped in maritime and flamenco history, this Andalucian port city is full of beautiful architecture and a laid-back vibe. As well as its popular sandy beach, Cádiz also boasts its own carnival in February, where hordes of people roam the streets in fancy dress and listen to roving bands of humorous singers.
  5. Stockholm: The Swedish capital has a reputation for partying hard – and not surprising when for half the year the sun shines all night!
  6. Guimarães: You may not have heard of this place, and the city of Guimarães in the north of Portugal is certainly off most people’s radar. Nevertheless, its historic town centre is a UNESCO Heritage Site and a beautifully preserved mediaeval settlement.
  7. Santiago: The Chilean city is an increasingly popular destination, thanks to its fast-growing reputation for arts, culture and cuisine.
  8. Hong Kong: The bustling trade city is as popular as ever, with its bright lights and skyscrapers alongside traditional Chinese streetlife.
  9. Orlando: What more is there to say about Florida’s theme park capital? Home to Walt Disney World, the Universal Studios Resort (incorporating the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) and SeaWorld, among others, Orlando is the perfect place for a family holiday.
  10. Darwin: Lonely Planet describes Australia’s Northern Territories capital thus: “With a pumping nocturnal scene, magical markets and restaurants, and world-class wilderness areas just down the road, today Darwin is the triumph of Australia’s Top End.”