Leeds & West Yorkshire

Lonely Planet picks Leeds for 'top European destinations' in 2017

Leeds Headrow and Town Hall Image copyright Leeds city council
Image caption Leeds was the only UK location on the Lonely Planet's list of Europe's most exciting destinations for 2017

Leeds has been named one of this year's top European destinations by a leading travel guide.

Lonely Planet put the West Yorkshire city fifth on its list of best places to visit in Europe - saying it had shrugged off its "industrial past".

Zagreb in Croatia is named in first place, followed by Gotland in Sweden.

Leeds was praised for its "urban regeneration", "flourishing cultural scene", "thriving nightlife and "reputation for food and craft beer".

Image copyright Niar/Shutterstock
Image caption Zagreb in Croatia was picked as number one for its coffee, craft beer and culture

Lonely Planet's Best in Europe list is published each year, highlighting the most exciting destinations.

James Smart, Lonely Planet UK destination editor, said: "Once defined by its industrial past, Leeds is now a confident, cultural hub in the north of England.

Image copyright Leeds City council
Image caption 2017 marks 50 years of Leeds Carnival

"With major events this year, including the reopening of Leeds Art Gallery and the 50th anniversary of Leeds Carnival, there's never been a better time to head to Yorkshire and join the party."

Mr Smart said all the destinations offer "something new, exciting or undiscovered that make them worth exploring right now."

Lonely Planet's top 10 European destinations

1. Zagreb, Croatia :: 2. Gotland, Sweden :: 3. Galicia, Spain :: 4. Northern Montenegro :: 5. Leeds, UK :: 6. Alentejo, Portugal :: 7. Northern Germany :: 8. Moldova :: 9. Paphos, Cyprus :: 10. Le Havre, France

Image copyright leeds city council
Image caption The Henry Moore Institute near Leeds art gallery was set up by the sculptor in 1977 to "encourage appreciation of the visual arts"
Image copyright Sergey Bogomyako/Shutterstock
Image caption Lonely Planet said "post makeover Leeds is 21st Century chic with a quirky edge"

Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said it was a "fabulous endorsement" for the city.

"To be recognised as one of the top places in Europe, we can all be incredibly proud of," she said.

"It's particularly encouraging to see the quality of our city's impressive cultural, leisure and nightlife scenes acknowledged and I hope this recognition means we will soon be welcoming even more visitors from across Europe and beyond."

Image copyright Migel/Shutterstock
Image caption Cathedral Beach in the Galicia region of north-western Spain - Galicia is 3rd on the list

At number one, Lonely Planet said Zagreb was "often overlooked" in favour of Croatia's extensive Adriatic coastline.

"This booming inland capital is both cosmopolitan and edgy, combining sun-splashed Austro-Hungarian squares brimming with coffee drinkers with a heady mix of Brutalist architecture, thriving street art and urban regeneration."

Image copyright Niar/Shutterstock
Image caption Gotland in Sweden - 2nd on the list - is a Baltic island "with breathtaking scenery, tranquil sandy beaches and an array of historic sites" - including the medieval city of Visby
Image copyright dellaliner/Getty
Image caption The rugged landscape of northern Montenegro puts it 4th on the list
Image copyright Jenny Sturm/Shutterstock
Image caption Lonely Planet picked northern Germany for 7th on the list for its "stunning coastline and seemingly endless skies"
Image copyright ARoxoPT/Shutterstock
Image caption The sun sets over Marvao's cliff-top castle in Portugal's Alentejo region , which comes 6th
Image copyright leeds city council
Image caption The 1904 roof at Leeds Kirkgate Market hall
Image copyright Sergey Bogomyako/Shutterstock
Image caption In at 9th, Paphos in Cyprus was chosen for its "cultural gems and archaeological wonders"
Image copyright Hannah Webster/visit leeds
Image caption Victoria Quarter, Leeds

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