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Tel Aviv Ranked World's Third Hottest City for 2011

By Staff



Lonely Planet's Top Cities list describes Israel's most international city as hedonistic, tolerant, cultured, and a truly diverse 21st-century hub.

  Tel Aviv ranked world's 3rd hottest city for 2011Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem

Travel guide company Lonely Planet released their Top 10 Cities for 2011 on Sunday. After "scouring the globe for next year's hottest cities," the editors at Lonely Planet decided to place what it called a "modern Sin City" - Tel Aviv - at number three.

Coming in behind New York City and Tangier, Tel Aviv is described as being unified by the religion of hedonism, yet tolerant, cultured and a truly diverse 21st-century hub. Touching on the city's well known night life, it observes that: "There are more bars than synagogues, God is a DJ and everyone's body is a temple."

However, the guide also notes some of the lesser known characteristics that attracted them to the Mediterranean metropolis. Calling Tel Aviv the most international city in Israel, Lonely Planet points out that the city is home to a large gay community, calling it "a kind of San Francisco in the Middle East." On a cultural note, they credit the city's university and museums with making it "the greenhouse for Israel's growing art, film and music scenes."

Lonely Planet recommends strolling down the pleasant tree-lined streets that spill into the Mediterranean Sea, and finding out why Tel Aviv's residents call it the greatest city on earth.

Other cities that made the list were: Valencia, the Peruvian Amazon city of Iquitos, Delhi, Newcastle, and the city it describes as the spiritual heir to Bob Dylan, Chiang Mai.

The other list put out by Lonely Planet on Sunday, was their Top 10 Countries for 2011. While Israel did not make the 2011 list, one of its neighbors did - Syria. Coming in at number nine, the guide lauds Syria's slowly-liberalizing economy and the new-found freedom of no longer having the "noose of the 'Axis of Evil' tag hanging around its neck" as some of the reasons for Syria making this year's list. They recommend the old cities of Aleppo and Damascus, exploring the open countryside, "strewn with the abandoned playgrounds of fallen empires. Albania and Brazil topped the list at numbers one and two, respectively.