UK & World News
Londonderry In Top 10 Best City List
For decades, Londonderry has borne witness to some of the worst atrocities in the history of Northern Ireland.
But as it prepares for its role as European City of Culture in 2013, Derry has been named one of the world's best cities to visit by a leading travel guide.
Pipped only by San Francisco, Amsterdam and the Indian city of Hyderabad, Derry comes in fourth in a Top 10 list of the Lonely Planet's Best In Travel 2013 publication.
"Londonderry is the UK City of Culture 2013, which means this vibrant historic walled city is undergoing a renaissance," concludes the guide book.
Lonely Planet's Tom Hall added: "Best In Travel is all about identifying destinations which offer the traveller something special.
"Derry is a brilliant example of a city that has bounced back from difficult times. This is a city with heart, which shines through in its exciting arts and music scene."
Shona McCarthy, chief executive of City of Culture, told Sky News: "This is one special city. We have really risen to the challenge of the whole City of Culture opportunity 2013.
"And I think the Lonely Planet guide must have come here and recognised that this is a really exciting time for this city and there is a great energy here."
Beijing comes in fifth in the elite list of must-see cities, followed by Christchurch in New Zealand, which was struck by a series of devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.
Described as "rising from the rubble" with a "new energy and inventiveness", it is hoped the nod from the travel guide will boost the city's tourism industry.
In seventh place is Hobart, the capital of the Australian island state of Tasmania, followed by Montreal in Canada, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and Puerto Iguazu near the Iguacu waterfalls in Argentina.
London attractions also feature in the guide.
Among the best back-in-time destinations is the Royal Opera House Tea Dance when visitors will be "transported to a seemingly gentler time", and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
The Tower of London makes it into the unluckiest places in the world category because of its many executions.
Other European destinations featured in the book include Gothenburg in Sweden as one of the best value destinations and Montenegro as one of the top countries for 2013.
Mr Hall said: "Despite the economic crisis, European destinations still pack a real punch on the global tourist scale and our selections in Best In Travel 2013 reflect this."
Sri Lanka is tipped as the hottest country to visit in 2013 for both its good value and gourmet cuisine, while "epic beauty" Corsica is named the top region to visit.