Philly is the best US city to visit in 2024, according to this travel guide

Lonely Planet’s list features must-visit places based on relevancy, uniqueness and ‘wow’ factor.

PHILADELPHIA, PA — For better or worse, the City of Brotherly Love was recently named one of the top ten must-see cities in the world.

Lonely Planet, a leading travel guidebook publisher, ranked Philadelphia fifth among the best global cities to visit next year, making it the top-ranked U.S. city on the list. According to Lonely Planet’s executive editor, Nitya Chambers, the Best in Travel guide is an annual look at countries, regions, and cities around the world that are must-visit places based on relevancy, uniqueness, and the “wow” factor that makes them unmissable.

“Philadelphia is the perfect blend of old school and modern metropolis, a city marked by rich history but with an ever-evolving cultural core,” Chambers said in a statement. “We were excited by the balance of old and new — museums, history, food, and iconic cultural references — that make it the kind of place that feels instantly familiar but embedded with unique and personal moments of discovery.”

The travel guide is based on the expertise of on-the-ground local contributors who discover, evaluate, and craft recommendations for Lonely Planet, who then nominate must-see cities for review by a panel of travel experts. Philly ranked high on the list of hundreds of nominations.

Classics like Reading Terminal Market and the Philadelphia Museum of Art contribute to the city’s international appeal, but mainstays like FDR Park’s Southeast Asian Market demonstrate how local communities can bring exciting new experiences to the city.

Philly’s tourism industry is also not insignificant. According to Alethia Calbeck, chief communications officer at Visit Philadelphia, it’s a multibillion-dollar endeavor with more than 40 million visitors walking through the city’s streets each year. “Those visitors spent over $7 billion in our region in 2022,” she went on to say. According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, the tourism and hospitality industry in the five-county Philadelphia region employs nearly 200,000 people.

“We’re overjoyed, and we believe it’s well-deserved.” Philadelphia is a fantastic city. “It’s an East Coast gateway into the United States for international travelers,” said Robin Bloom, director of content at the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Philadelphia. “We have a thriving arts and culture scene, as well as the largest outdoor art gallery in the world.” Not to mention the East Coast’s walkability and accessibility. In addition, the city’s inclusivity and diversity are strong selling points on a global scale. It’s also one of the country’s most affordable top-tier cities.”

Aside from the city’s ever-expanding culinary scene, which has received recognition from the New York Times, James Beard awards, and the Michelin Guide (which named Philadelphia the “Frenchest American city”), Philadelphia will soon host a slew of events with broad appeal, including the FIFA World Cup and MLB All-Star Game, both of which will take place in 2026.

“It’s a really big deal because (Lonely Planet) recognizes 10 cities every year, and this year there were only two U.S. cities,” he said. “We stand on a list with incredible international cities like Paris, Nairobi, and Prague — it’s a big feather in our cap because it just helps people understand the quality and the cachet of our destination.”

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