Galway has been named one of the world’s top cities to visit next year by popular travel guides Lonely Planet.
The city was included in the website’s Best in Travel 2020 – which features the best travel destinations, trends, journeys and experiences to have in the year ahead.
Lonely Planet describes Galway as ‘arguably Ireland’s most engaging city’ where ‘brightly painted pubs heave with live music’ and ‘cafes offer front row seats to watch buskers perform’.
And with the city being European Capital of Culture next year, visitors can expect live and digital art as well as world-class music, theatre and dance.
Lonely Planet’s experts recommended experiencing the live trad music at Tig Cóilí, the atmosphere at Tigh Neachtain, and enjoying the groundbreaking flavour combos at Loam.
Tom Hall, Lonely Planet’s VP of Experience, said: “Exuberant, vibrant and full of imagination, Galway in 2020 will be home to a year-long celebration and amplification of culture and creativity which travellers will love.”
CEO of Galway 2020 Patricia Philbin said: “It’s official – Galway is the place to be in 2020! Right across the city and county momentum is building and preparations are well underway.
“The Lonely Planet Best in Travel accolade is a fantastic endorsement of this incredible place on the western edge of Ireland and at the heart of Europe.
“As 2020 approaches we are inviting people from right around the world to come and experience Galway in this special year.”
Galway features fourth in the list of top cities for 2020.
Salzburg, Austria is named the number-one city and will be pulling out all the stops for the centenary of its world-famous festival of music and drama next year, while Washington, DC, USA is second-ranked, with Cairo, Egypt in third place.
Bhutan — the kingdom set to become the first fully organic nation by 2020 — claims the coveted spot as the number-one country to visit in 2020.
The Central Asian Silk Road, which is now more accessible than ever before, thanks to visa improvements for the majority of the world’s citizens, along with massive transportation and infrastructure investment is named top region while Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara is named Lonely Planet’s best-value destination.