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Best cities to travel to in 2012 [Copy link] 中文

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Forget what you know about these unusual choices for best city. Their standings on this Lonely Planet list don't go without merit. (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/engl ... -and-articles/76861)

New stadiums, global events, pop culture, festivals, and a little bit of fresh paint have all made these cities the next stand out stars of 2012.

1. London, England

The Olympics are riding into town and a whole swath of the capital is being transformed in the process.” - Lonely Planet

This culturally saturated, yet sometimes dreary city revives itself with Olympic hype. The Games will give tourists more to look forward to than the standard tourist routine of Big Ben, Tate Modern and the London Eye.

The Royal Wedding in 2011 may have also given a little nudge to tourism in this England capital. Tour companies have been doing Will and Kate tours to add to the existing iconic Beatles, Harry Potter, and Jack the Ripper tours.
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2. Muscat, Oman

Oman is firing on all fronts to attract international visitors, expanding everything from its museums to its resorts. Muscat is the focus for the revamp, with cultural events, luxury accommodation and aquatic activities taking center stage." - Lonely Planet.

This city historically hasn’t garnered much traveler attention but it has everything an active vacation calls for: markets, beaches, diving, turtle/dolphin watching, caving, kite surfing, trekking, desert safaris, rock climbing, all in one place.

It’s the perfect destination for families, couples, and thrill-seeking men facing a mid-life crisis.
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3. Bengaluru, India

“Perpetually drunk on the good life, this South Indian metropolis packs in the best brews, the scrummiest cuisines, and the liveliest arts and music scene, not to mention the hippest population you could hang out with.

This year, evenings in the ‘capital of cool’ are poised to get even more intoxicating.” - Lonely Planet.

Not your standard tourist destiination. This is for those who want to endure an entirely different culture. Despite its beautiful gardens, Bangalore's charms lay in the culture and people that emerge from the polluted chaos.

This modern city is a magnet for young urbanites who flock to the metropolis for work and play. Only downside? The bars and clubs close at 11:30 p.m.
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4. Cádiz, Spain

Cádiz has found itself named Ibero-American Capital of Culture for 2012 – the first time a European city has held the honor.” - Lonely Planet

The annual Carnival of Cádiz shakes up this historic city's sleepy routine. People in Cádiz put on fancy dress and go wild for two weeks. It's a great opporitunity to interact with the locals -- who are known for their sarcastic wit.

Even if you don’t know Spanish, tourists are welcome to join the fun especially if they dress up and participate in all the activities. There are theater groups, choirs, poets and dancers.
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5. Stockholm, Sweden

“The film release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo might have prompted a new wave of Stieg Larsson fans to look for the grimy side of Stockholm.

Unfortunately they’ll have to look quite hard, because Stockholm looks as perfect as it’s ever been." - Lonely Planet

If you fell in love with the romance of Venice, you'll love Stockholm. This metropolis is made up of 14 islands and over 50 bridges.

Highlights include the canals, medieval towns, cozy coffee shops, art galleries, and an insane amount of museums -- about a hundred to choose from.
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6. Guimaraes, Portugal

“This northern Portugal city is breathtakingly beautiful, as recognized by its place on the Unesco World Heritage List, yet mysteriously it doesn’t figure on the radars of many foreign visitors ... Now is the moment to visit, as the city has been anointed the European Capital of Culture in 2012.” - Lonely Planet

So what does being anointed the European Capital of culture mean? It’s kind of like holding the mini burden of Olympics.

Over the course of next year, the historic city will be the official promoter of Europe’s cultural diversity, displaying all sorts of creations like music, cinema, photography, fine arts, architecture, literature, thought, theater, dance and street art.
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7. Santiago, Chile

“Culture and sports have come to the fore and new museums have opened to acclaim. Dining is now top-notch, nightlife exhilarating and this year also marks the inauguration of the tallest building on the continent, the 70-storey Torre Gran Costanera." - Lonely Planet

If you want the South American adventure without the tourist crowds of Buenos Aires, pay a visit to Santiago.

The first thing you should do in Santiago? Experience the very unique coffee culture.  

Find a Cafe con piernas (coffee with legs) -- cafés where women dressed as strippers serve morning coffee (they’re only open in the morning and serve no alcohol).
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