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Leeds Named Fifth Best Destination to Visit in Europe by Lonely Planet

· Joseph Sheerin · Opinion

Fifth best destination in Europe? You’re damn right we are.

Leeds Town Hall

The accolades just keep coming for this city – Lonely Planet has recognised Leeds’ brilliance by ranking it as the fifth Best in Europe in 2017.

We all know how great Leeds is, but it never hurts to get a bit of recognition – and that’s exactly what Lonely Planet have given us. They’ve just released their list of the 10 best places to visit in Europe in 2017 and Leeds has taken the fifth spot, hot on the heels of Northern Montenegro, Galicia, Gotland and Zagreb.

John Lewis Leeds

Credit: Andrew McCaren

Lonely Planet is the largest publisher of travel guidebooks in the world, and they’re widely considered the go-to company for tourist information, so their recommendation isn’t to be sniffed at – especially when you consider who we were up against. We beat Le Havre, Pafos, Moldova, Northern Germany and The Alentejo to take the fifth spot on the list.

This is a welcome accolade for Leeds – we’ve seen a slew of big changes in the past decade that really have helped push the city forward. From big projects like First Direct Arena, Trinity Leeds and Victoria Gate to the constantly changing independent food and drink scene, Leeds is now being recognised as one of best cities to visit, not just here in the UK, but in the whole of Europe.

Trinity Leeds

In their run down, Lonely Planet explained why they chose Leeds, “Recent developments have propelled its Victorian city centre and atmospheric mill district into the 21st century, luring stylish boutiques, innovative coffee houses and restaurants, and people seeking an alternative to London. Time your visit with the stellar two-week-long indie food festival in May – testament to Leeds’ growing reputation as the food and drink capital of the north.”

Leeds is now competing on a global scale and it has so much to offer modern travellers. It’s not all about shopping or food and drink either, as the strong combination of culture, architecture and outdoor spaces helps make Leeds a multi-faceted place to visit. As the preparations for the city’s bid for 2023 European Capital of Culture keep moving forward, there’s a sense that the rest of the world is sitting up and taking note of what we have to offer – this achievement can only improve our chances of success.