Adelaide listed as one of the 'top places to go in 2015' by The New York Times

Mock Adelaide all you like, but the much-maligned capital of South Australia has just been named one of the "top places to go in 2015" by The New York Times.

This follows hot on the heels of its top-10 rating on the list of cities to visit in 2014 by travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet.

The New York Times has Adelaide at number 24 out of 52 worldwide destinations, nominated for its vibrant arts scene, robust dining and its cultured atmosphere, attributed to events attracting international acclaim such as the WOMAD festival.

Adelaide is the only Australian city to have featured in the list, which includes "once-avoided destinations and familiar cities offering new reasons to visit".

The South Australian city loves to embrace the arts; year-round you can expect live music and party in a revitalised West End. Annually it holds the Adelaide Arts Festival, Fringe and Film Festival, and every month the Art Gallery of South Australia hosts First Fridays. The New York Times also acknowledged its great beaches and wineries, all within easy reach of the city.

"Adelaide being recognised by The New York Times is a huge win for South Australia and we are very excited to be the only Australian state to have made the list, " Rodney Harrex, chief executive of the South Australian Tourism Commission, said.

"Adelaide has certainly transformed itself into an energetic and vibrant hub of new and exciting experiences, including our premium food, wine and world-class events, and it is great to see it acknowledged and endorsed internationally.

"This win comes off the back of our listing as a top-10 city to visit in 2014 by Lonely Planet and is a great platform to showcase our state on a global stage."  

It was Milan, however, that topped the new year list, with the US news organisation recognising the Italian capital of fashion's sprucing-up to accommodate 2015's World Expo. Twenty million people are expected to flood the city for the event, which has the Italian-appropriate theme of food, nutrition and sustainability.

Unsurprisingly, warming relations between America and their Caribbean neighbours saw "forbidden island" Cuba named as the second top place to visit for 2015.

Singapore also featured in the top 10, also voted by Lonely Planet as the top place to visit for this year. The city-state celebrates its Golden Jubilee in 2015, or 50 years of independence, and there are plenty of events planned, such as the huge fireworks display that lit up Marina Bay on New Year's Eve, the Chingay Parade in February, and the opening of the National Gallery Singapore.

A smattering of destinations made the list for those planning trips to the US; New Orleans, sitting just prior to Adelaide on the list at number 23, has special events in store to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina. The focus will be on the city's "rebirth", with its burgeoning arts scene and the transformation of the city's historic downtown area, the South Market District.

Outdoors enthusiasts should head to Bend, in Oregon, which has an "embarrassment of riches" for the sports-minded and craft brewery enthusiasts. Competition for rooms in the US national parks is always stiff, and Yellowstone National Park is set to open a refurbished accommodation complex that may help alleviate some of this pain. Florida's Orlando is giving Disney visitors more reasons to go with its burgeoning food scene; and new developments involving Baz Luhrmann and Tommy Hilfiger are expected to give Miami Beach a new injection of glamour.

The NYT list has plenty more unusual suggestions for travel. The bizarre Azerbaijan capital of Baku made the list after Eurovision and an oil boom secured the eastern European city's place on the tourist map. Here it sneaks into the list at number 51, as the government builds "eye catching" additions to its unusual cityscape while UNESCO protects its walled historical centre. The Faroe Islands, another left-field inclusion, was rated highly in the ninth spot for its avant garde food.

The list also offered alternative suggestions for already popular countries, such as "the next Balkan destination" Macedonia (number 10); Campeche in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico (think Chichen Itza without the crowds), or Alentejo in Portugal as an alternative to the wine regions of Tuscany and Bordeaux.

The complete list of 52 destinations can be viewed here.

Read Traveller's own list of the top cities to visit in 2015 here and our list of the top countries here.