Canberra makes surprise entry into Lonely Planet top cities for 2018

View from Australian War Memorial, looking toward the Australian Parliament Building in Canberra, Australia. Source: Shutterstock

AUSTRALIA’s capital city Canberra has raised eyebrows by being named as one of the best cities in the world to travel.

This week, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 Top Cities ranked Canberra number 3 on its list after Seville in Spain and Detroit, United States. According to the respected travel guide, Australia’s capital  is “criminally overlooked” as tourists prefer Sydney or Melbourne.

Lonely Planet says that Canberra “packs a big punch for such a small city”, gushing that “national treasures” can be found everywhere along with “gastronomic delights”, boutique shopping and “cultural must-dos”.

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The city of 400,000 is home to the Australian parliament, national institutions like libraries and museums, as well as the bulk of its federal public service.

Along with cricket and the Australian War Memorial, “Canberra is establishing a permanent Reconciliation Day into the state’s holiday calendar from 2018 onwards, to symbolise commitment to tolerance between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” reads the Lonely Planet listing.

Other cities named in the list were Hamburg, German; Taiwan’s Kaohsiung; Antwerp, Belgium and Guanajuato, Mexico.

Known among many Australians as notoriously boring, many non-Canberrans mocked the inclusion of the nation’s capital in Lonely Planet’s list.

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Some Canberra locals got defensive of their hometown, however.

Lonely Planet recently surprised many by including Kuala Lumpur’s Damansara Heights neighbourhood among its ten “coolest” neighbourhoods in the world alongside areas of London and New York.