Dublin has been named one of the top cities in the world to visit in 2016 by travel bible, Lonely Planet.
The accolade comes in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016, an annual collection of the hottest trends, destinations and experiences for the year ahead.
The bestselling yearbook, which last year named Ireland as a Top 10 country to visit in 2015, highlights the top countries, cities and regions to visit next year.
“The diaspora has turned inside out and Dublin is now a truly cosmopolitan capital, with an influx of people, energy and ideas infusing the ever-beguiling, multi-layered city with fresh flavours and kaleidoscopic colours,” Lonely Planet says.
Dublin has a huge amount to offer any traveller, it adds.
“Meet the perfect stranger through the Little Museum’s brilliant City of a Thousand Welcome’s initiative, where an ordinary Dubliner will tell you about their home town over a free drink in a local pub.
“Follow the Independence Trail around key sites where nation-forming events took place… Plunge into the Irish Sea at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, or nurse a deep dark pint fireside in Mulligan’s on Poolbeg St., where the atmosphere is as potent as the stout.”
The news comes just over a week after Dublin was rebranded as more than just a “party town” in an effort to secure its long-term future as a tourism destination.
A new brand and logo – ‘Dublin: A Breath of Fresh Air’ – were unveiled as key elements in a €1 million reboot of the capital’s “dusty” image this month.
Lonely planet also mentions the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising as a particularly good reason to visit Dublin in 2016.
“Dublin should be on every traveller’s must-see list,” said Lonely Planet spokesperson, Noirín Hegarty. “It’s pulsing with vibrancy, optimism and creativity.”
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe said the accolade would “propel Dublin even further”, while Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said it would “surely help to inspire travellers everywhere to put Dublin and the island of Ireland on their holiday wish-list for 2016.”
Earlie this year, Dublin was voted the world’s second-friendliest city by readers of Conde Nast Travel magazine, another hugely influential travel publication.
The city is the “new Barcelona, without the sunstroke”, one reader said.
See more on lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel.