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Canberra named Lonely Planet's third best city in the world to visit in 2018

Canberra has beaten Sydney and Melbourne to be named one of the world's top 10 cities to visit in 2018.

The capital features in Lonely Planet's "Best in Travel 2018" list, ranking third in the Top 10 cities section - the highest ever listing of an Australian city in the publication, to be released on Wednesday. 

Lonely Planet spokesperson Chris Zeiher, in Canberra this week, said the city has been hiding in plain sight.

"Rich with history, culture and entertainment, it offers something for every kind of traveller," Mr Zeiher said.

"Recent revitalisation efforts has given Canberra a new lease of life, establishing a truly contemporary and unique sense of style, with boutique precincts emerging throughout the city, bursting with cool bars, cafes and restaurants."

Seville in Spain tops the list of cities to visit, followed by Detroit, Canberra and Hamburg.

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He said the panel of travel experts had to vote on a series of strict criteria and part of that was down to unique experiences for 2018.

"There's a lot of events that are actually going to be staged in 2018 which makes it a perfect excuse for us to be able to highlight Canberra as a destination for people to come to."

Events include the first cricket Test match in Canberra at Manuka Oval and the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice at the Australian War Memorial.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said it was a significant acknowledgement of the evolution of the city in the past few years. He said the focus was on connecting Canberra internationally and putting us on the map.

"Our goal is for overnight visits to the ACT to be worth $2.5 billion by 2020, this global recognition will help us get there," he said.

"To get yet another accolade for our city is great for our reputation. Lonely Planet's international reach and our international flights will bring thousands of people to Canberra."

National Museum of Australia director Mathew Trinca said it was no surprise to see Canberra on the list.

"This is a great small city - one of the great small cities of the world," Dr Trinca said. "It's fantastic that people are turning on to that and realising how good it is.

"Canberra packs a massive punch for the size of the city that it is. There is such a vitality to the local culture here that I think it's been a hit."

Amanda Whitley, who has lived in Canberra for 18 years said she had seen Canberra change from a big country town to a place where people embraced creativity. 

"Canberra's one of those places that has something for everyone," Ms Whitley said. "You've got something if you're a family, you've got something for the food and wine people, something for people who love the arts."

The guide suggests visiting Cupping Room for breakfast, the Canberra Glassworks, Lerida Estate winery, the Australian War Memorial, Hotel Hotel in New Acton and Braddon.

Popular attractions include Parliament House, Questacon, Canberra Glassworks and Floriade. 

Chile leads the list for top 10 countries to visit, followed by South Korea, Portugal, Djibouti and New Zealand. 

In terms of regions, Belfast and the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland leads the list followed by Alaska and Julian Alps in Slovenia. 

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