311_Tel Aviv beach shot, nice.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
After scouring the globe for next year’s hottest cities, the editors at travel guide company Lonely Planet released their Top 10 Cities for 2011 on Sunday, listing what it called a “modern Sin City” – Tel Aviv – at No. 3.
Coming in behind New York City and Tangier, Tel Aviv is described as being unified by the religion of hedonism, yet tolerant, cultured and a truly diverse 21st-century hub.
The Travel Adviser: Time waits for no traveler
Meseznikov: Steps must be taken to cope with tourism spike
Beirut, Tel Aviv battle it out for 'pink dollars'
Touching on the city’s wellknown night life, Lonely Planet observes, “There are more bars than synagogues, God is a DJ and everyone’s body is a temple.”
Calling Tel Aviv the most international city in Israel, Lonely Planet points out that the city is home to a large gay community, calling it “a kind of San Francisco in the Middle East.”
On a cultural note, they credit the city’s university and museums with making it “the greenhouse for Israel’s growing art, film and music scenes.”
Lonely Planet recommends strolling down the pleasant tree-lined streets that reach to the Mediterranean Sea, and finding out why Tel Aviv’s residents call it the greatest city on earth.
Other cities that made the list were Valencia, the Peruvian Amazon city of Iquitos, Delhi, Newcastle, and the city the company describes as the spiritual heir to Bob Dylan, Chiang Mai.
Lonely Planet on Sunday also listed its Top 10 Countries for 2011. While Israel did not make the 2011 list, Syria did.
Coming in at No. 9, the guide lauds Syria’s slowly liberalizing economy and the newfound freedom of no longer having the “noose of the ‘Axis of Evil’ tag hanging around its neck” as some of the reasons for Syria making this year’s list.
The writers recommend the old cities of Aleppo and Damascus, exploring the open countryside “strewn with the abandoned playgrounds of fallen empires.”
Albania topped the list, with Brazil coming in second.