I bought the first Lonely Planet Ultimate Travelist book in 2017. As I looked through it, I noticed that some of my personal ultimate choices were missing - Las Vegas, New Orleans, Central Park to name a few - but ultimate travelist in my mind means definitive-and-won't-be-changed travelist. So I set up this blog and started making plans of all the places I wanted to go.
It didn't occur to me that the Lonely Planet would issue a second edition. It makes sense when you think about it though:
- They definitely missed a few things first time around (see above)
- Some of the sights listed in 2015 may have been damaged or closed either permanently or temporarily (Notre Dame in Paris for example)
- Some sights needed to be grouped or badged differently (the Greek island of Santorini has gone, for example, but the Cyclades, of which Santorini is part, has been added)
- Tastes change
- A multitude of other reasons
But when I bought the book to see what had changed, I was quite shocked: 205 of the original 500 destinations had been dropped. Or replaced. Or however you want to put it.
So which of the 2015 ultimate Lonely Planet sights didn't make the cut in 2020?*
- At number 12 on the 2015 list, the Twelve Apostles, some rocky stacks jutting out of the Southern Ocean near Melbourne in Australia, seem to be the highest ranked destination to disappear completely from the 2020 list
- In total, my calculations show that 17 of the top 100 from 2015 had disappeared completely: Cradle Mountain (32), Old Town Square Prague (44), Nizwa Fort (45), Hiroshima Memorial Park (50), Notre Dame (55), Kakadu National Park (56), Edinburgh Castle (58), Anne Frank House (59), Berlin Wall (63), Isle of Skye (64), Ko Tao (68), Mt Sinai (71), Fox Glacier (81), The Pyramids of Teotihuacán (92), Blue Lagoon (93), Père-Lachaise Cemetery (96), Big Sur (97).
Did the 205 deserve to be removed? I've been to 19 of them and would group them as follow:
- Absolutely should not have been removed: Anne Frank House, Berlin Wall, Lincoln Memorial, Alcatraz. The Anne Frank House especially - I presume there's a reason why it wasn't included in the new edition but it would be in my top 100 any day.
- I loved them but there may admittedly be other sights that deserve to go on the list ahead of them: Sea of Galilee, Camp Nou, Times Square, Rhodes Old Town, Beit She'an, Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Edinburgh Castle, Notre Dame, Canterbury Cathedral, Milan's Duomo, Prinsengracht Canal
- I would probably agree that they don't make the world's top 500: Avebury Stone Circle, Museo Guggenheim, Old Town Square in Prague
By the way, Central Park still didn't make the cut. I'm a bit baffled by that.
This is all completely subjective of course - let me know your thoughts!
*I don't claim to have got this exactly right - I did my best to be accurate but be aware that I may have missed a few, failed to spot that some were renamed, got some of the numbers wrong, or made various other errors. Let me know if you see anything!