London - Glasgow and Liverpool were named among the 10 most exciting cities to visit this year, making Britain the only country to be represented twice on the list.
Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian carnival capital that will host the World Cup this summer, came out on top.
Rough Guides named Glasgow an up-and-coming destination thanks to its role in hosting the Commonwealth Games this year, as well as for its transformation to rid itself of its “post-industrial malaise”.
Liverpool also made it into the top 10 for the “cultural renaissance” the city has undergone ever since the famous Albert Dock area was revamped.
The travel guide credited Glasgow for its popular, interactive museums and the maintenance of its elegant architecture, stating: “The city has some of the best-financed and most imaginative museums and galleries in Britain – among them the showcase Burrell Collection and the palatial Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – nearly all of which are free.
“Glasgow’s architecture is some of the most striking in the UK, from the restored 18th-century warehouses of the Merchant City to the hulking Victorian prosperity of George Square.”
Scotland’s second city will take centre stage for a host of other events this year, including the Ryder Cup golf tournament in September, and the MTV Europe music awards.
Sporting prowess at the Commonwealth Games will be complemented by a nine-month programme of cultural events around the country.
Liverpool, named European Capital of Culture in 2008, has continued to build on the investments made when it won the title. Rough Guides explains: “Liverpool, once named the world’s pop music capital, has rediscovered its mojo. And guess what? It’s setting trends again.”
It recommends a visit to experience the Liverpool Biennial, a 10-week contemporary arts festival mid year.
“Also keep an eye out for new creative quarters like the Baltic Triangle, where bars and fashion studios are springing up in old, brick-built warehouses near the Mersey.”
Other cities in the top 10 include Portland, the American city famous for its hipster scene and craft beers, and Marseille, France, which benefited from its stint as European Capital of Culture last year and continues to impress visitors with its Roman ruins and perfumed lavender gardens.
Rotterdam is also given the nod by Rough Guides for the Netherlands’ biggest building, De Rotterdam, which is to come to life this year with cafe and restaurant openings in what locals have dubbed “Manhattan on the Maas”.
A more unusual destination in the top 10 is Bosnian capital Sarajevo, which has recovered from the brutal war years to be likened to a mini-Istanbul, packed with theatres and coffee houses, bakeries and independent book shops.
The Swedish city of Umea, named this year’s Capital of Culture alongside the Latvian city Riga, Lviv, in the far west of the Ukraine, and Almaty, in Kazakhstan, also made it into the top 10. - Daily Mail
The Rough Guides’ top 10 cities for 2014
1 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
3 Liverpool, Britain
4 Umea, Sweden
5 Lviv, Ukraine
6 Marseille, France
7 Almaty, Kazakhstan
8 Rotterdam, Netherlands
9 Glasgow, Britain
10 Portland, USA