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Sat Dec 03 17:37:32 SAST 2016

Joburg named Rough Guides' top city of 2015

AFP Relaxnews | 2014-12-16 13:04:07.0
Johannesburg, South Africa. File photo.
Image by: AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

After Lonely Planet and Afar magazine made their prognostications for 2015, it’s Rough Guides’ turn to weigh in on the top travel destinations that will be making waves next year. And when it comes to top cities, their verdict is Johannesburg, South Africa.

Though Joburg suffers a reputation problem, editors at Rough Guides express optimism at the potential that South Africa’s biggest city holds for the country.

New clusters of forward-thinking museums, galleries and shops are set to open in 2015, editors say, while bustling neighborhoods are emerging as “exciting cultural hubs.”

The top country to visit in 2015, meanwhile, is Iran, which reported a 200 percent increase in visitors from Europe, editors point out.

In addition to mountain scenery, the country offers a fascinating lesson in ancient Persian history, bazaars, and towering minarets, they say.

Every year, travel diviners come up with lists that aim to identify the hotspots of the next year, with interesting and varying results.

Of all the cities in all the world, Lonely Planet predicts that Washington DC will be the top city in 2015, mostly because the US capital will mark the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

And editors at Afar magazine named the Douro Valley in Portugal, Chicago and Stockholm among some of the most interesting travel destinations for 2015.

Here are the top 10 cities according to Rough Guides:

1. Johannesburg, South Africa
2. Malaga, Spain
3. New Orleans, USA
4. Hamburg, Germany
5. Nizwa, Oman
6. Wellington, New Zealand
7. Belgrade, Serbia
8. Salta, Argentina
9. Birmingham, England
10. Yangon, Myanmar

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