In photos: These are Lonely Planet’s picks for the best cities to visit in 2018, #4. Hamburg, Germany

Lonely Planet has released their picks for the best cities to visit in 2018, in a list that features a few surprises and interesting choices. To make the cut on one of the most influential travel lists of the year, destinations must offer outstanding experiences in 2018, be it for a special event, milestone, or new openings and attractions, editors say. They can likewise be overlooked and underrated destinations that are worth the visit. For travel ideas in the year ahead, click through to see Lonely Planet’s selection of best cities 2018.

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4. Hamburg, Germany

Riverfront beach bars, a pulsing nightlife and the Elbphilharmonie concert hall are turning Hamburg into a competitive destination in Germany.

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Its completion seemed to take longer than sitting through the entire cycle of Wagner’s Ring operas, but the stunning new €790 million Elbphilharmonie concert hall was worth every extra year of delay. The glass top shimmers like crystalline sails while the base reflects the brick aesthetic of the surrounding historic and oh-so-walkable HafenCity port area. From here, alluringly accessible Hamburg radiates out along its vast harbour and the Elbe River. Surprises abound: three-season riverfront beach bars, nightlife that’s among Europe’s best, and low-rise charms that reward wanderers who use the city’s dozens of old steeples as compass points.

The Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg’s chic HafenCity area © carol.anne / Shutterstock

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