Each year Lonely Planet releases its top 10 cities for 2012, a list of the places it thinks will rise to international greatness during the coming year. Some are classic choices like London and Stockholm, while others are new to the limelight like Muscat or Guimarães.
There was no bombshell with Lonely Planet's obvious number one choice: London. The city is now gearing up for the 2012 summer Olympics.
One surprise this year was Orlando, a city that earlier this fall IBTimes put on a list of most overrated destinations in the U.S.
Robert Reid, Lonely Planet's U.S. travel editor, lobbied personally for the city to be included on the list. Apparently there is more to Orlando than theme parks. Reid cited great Vietnamese food, a lake-side downtown, and mid-century homes as reasons Orlando should be included.
The top cities list is part of Lonely Planet's newest publication Best in Travel 2012. The book gives top lists for low-budget destinations, events, and more.
Lonely Planet doesn't have any scientific formula for coming up with the top cities; it instead relies on debates and research from the editorial team and reader feedback. Each city picked must have a particular reason it will be great in 2012, whether a sporting event is bringing new international life or a city is recovering for tragedy.
Click Start to find out the top 10 cities for 2012 and why Lonely Planet chose them.