The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) has helped Hobart becoming one of the hottest destinations in the world, according to Lonely Planet. Photo: Peter Mathew
Lonely Planet's annual list of the hottest destinations to visit next year has named Hobart as one of the top 10 best cities in the world.
The Tasmanian capital has reinvented itself, says Lonely Planet, thanks to the addition of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) created by eccentric gaming mogul David Walsh.
Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2013 book also cites the Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery and the city's dining and microbrewery scenes as key attractions.
Hottest country for 2013... a tourist walks along the beach in Sri Lanka's southern coastal town of Unawatuna. Photo: AFP
"Now is the time to discover what's going on down there before the rest of the world catches on," it said.
The most recent figures from Tourism Tasmania show the popularity of MONA, with 25 per cent of all visitors to the state, more than 200,000 people, heading to the museum in the year ending June 2012. It ranked as the second most-visited attraction in the state, behind the Salamanca Markets.
Hobart came in at number seven on the cities list, with San Francisco taking the top spot thanks to its hosting of the America's Cup next year. Amsterdam, which celebrates the 400th birthday of its canal ring next year, came in at number two, with Hyderabad, Derry/Londonderry and Beijing rounding out the top five.
Bouncing back ... Christchurch was praised for its inventiveness in rebuilding after last year's earthquakes, as seen in its new Cashel Mall, which is made from shipping containers. Photo: Martin Hunter
With tourism still suffering in the wake of last year's earthquakes, Christchurch received a welcome boost by being named at number six. Lonely Planet praised the city's new energy and inventiveness, with the destruction of the city centre being used as an opportunity to rethink urban form.
Sri Lanka was named as the number one country in the world to visit next year. With the long-running civil war now over and visitor numbers increasing, Sri Lanka is emerging as one of the world's best-value destinations, Lonely Planet said. The country is becoming easier to reach due to cheap fares from regional hub Bangkok.