Editors, wide-roaming authors and local experts have all pitched in and crafted the list: Lonely Planet’s Top 10 European Destinations for 2013, the ten places they think travellers should be heading in Europe right now.
Calling Croatia a hotspot is somewhat old news in travel circles – its popularity is firmly established among European travellers and steeply on the rise among Americans as well. But many travellers are only seeing one sunny slice of the country, lured to the nearly 2000km-long coastline meanwhile missing the diverse charms of the inland cities, national parks and countryside. Zagreb, soon to be the EU’s newest capital city, is a hip city with walkable streets and a café scene so ingrained that some refer to the city as one large outdoor café. Surpassing even the notable beauty of the coast, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a nature-lover’s paradise with ribbons of bright turquoise lakes and waterfalls set against a backdrop of karst cliffs and mossy travertine. Back on the coast, historic Dubrovnik will delight visitors even if they don’t know that they’re standing in King’s Landing from the popular Game of Thrones television show. To experience Zagreb like a local, don’t miss Saturday morning špica, the coffee-drinking and people watching ritual that is the peak of the weekly social calendar. – wrote the Lonely Planet, who also included Budapest, Northern Iceland, Porto, Cinque Terre, Marseille, Northern Ireland, Bern and Copenhagen in its top 10.