San Francisco Alamo Square

The Loney Planet’s Top 10 Cities for 2013, plucked from its Best in Travel 2013 guide, elects San Francisco to top spot, with Amsterdam, Hyderabad, Derry and Beijing close behind.

San Fran came top as a result of its cultural mix, Amsterdam is to celebrate anniversaries for its canal, for Van Gogh, and for the Van Gogh museum, while a renewed Hyderabad represents both value for money and novelty for travelers.

Already named the UK’s City of Culture for 2013, Derry (aka Londonderry) is placed fourth, while Chinese capital Beijing is recognized for its increasing cultural and artistic importance.

Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities 2013
1. San Francisco, USA
2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3. Hyderabad, India
4. Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland
5. Beijing, China
6. Christchurch, New Zealand
7. Hobart, Australia
8. Montreal, Canada
9. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
10. Puerto Iguazú, Argentina

Christchurch in New Zealand was praised for its impressive and inspirational reconstruction effort after the December 2011 quake, and Tasmanian city Hobart made the pick thanks to its world class Museum of Old and New Art.

Montreal offers much by way of art, luxury hotel accomodation, new openings for a planetarium and wax museum, and the backdrop for Spielberg film Robopocalypse, while Addis is tipped to spearhead Ethiopian growth, and Puerto Iguazu’s proximity to the breathtaking Foz de Iguazu waterfall wins it tenth.

The guide also picks out Gothenberg in Sweden as among the best value destinations, Montenegro as a top European country, Sri Lanka as hottest country due to its combination of value and cuisine, and Corsica as top region.

Top city for 2012 was London, home of Lonely Planet owner the BBC and host to the Summer Olympics, while New York was in pole for 2011.