Best cities to visit in 2017: Rome beats Sydney in world's best destination rankings

Sydney has been named the second-best holiday spot in the world in new rankings.

The consumer advice and analysis publisher the US News & World Report put Sydney at No.2 in its annual rankings. Rome took out the top spot with Portugal's second-largest city Porto third.

Sydney scored high for its laid-back beachside lifestyle as well as being a "thriving metropolis" that "boasts some of the best surf, landmarks and activities", as well as possessing a relaxed attitude, with top-notch restaurants and bars.

"Magical"' Rome was the outright winner for its combination of history, mystery and cuisine.

While everybody seems to be heading to Portugal for their holidays this year, it should surprise no-one that the coastal city of Porto earned third position for its "rich history, charming architecture, abundant beaches and its claim to fame: port wine". The report also noted that its price was right; being much cheaper than some of the more obvious destinations on the continent.

Several US natural attractions rated highly, such as the Grand Canyon (14) and Yosemite (22). But our own Great Barrier Reef was named as the 26th best place to visit, for its incredible scenery, diving and snorkelling.

They also named "lush paradise" Bali 15th for its serene temples and beaches (maybe they discounted Kuta). Thailand's popular southern island Phuket also ranked highly, at number 19, offering "something for everyone" with its stunning scenery and beaches.

The US News & World Report base their findings on analysis of 300 destinations using a methodology that combined expert and user opinion.

Each destination was given a score over 10 categories, which included sights, culture and food.

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Not only have they ranked the world's best places to visit, but they've also ranked the top destinations in specific regions such as Australia and the Pacific, Mexico and Europe.

The world's 10 best places to visit in 2017

1. Rome

2. Sydney

3. Porto

4. London

5. Paris

6. New York

7. Florence

8. Prague

9. Barcelona

10. Dubai

See more: travel.usnews.com

See also: Not Thailand or Bali - the world's cheapest beach named

See also: Suburb with Australia's best travelled residents revealed

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