The south of Scotland has been named one of the best places in the world to visit by a renowned travel guide.

Lonely Planet publishes its 'Best in Travel' list every year, recommending places around the world in various categories.

For 2023 it has named the south as one of the best educational places to visit, alongside Manchester, New Mexico, Dresden, El Salvador and Marseille.

Organisers say the region's history and culture make it the ideal place for delving into the past to learn more about iconic figures such as Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott.  

HeraldScotland: Robert Burns.

Responding to the South of Scotland’s inclusion Tourism Minister Ivan McKee said: “Scotland is one of the world’s most iconic destinations with diverse and varied regions to be explored.

"The inclusion of the South of Scotland in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023, only highlights this rich diversity.

“This recognition will put the South of Scotland on the map for more foreign and domestic visitors and encourage them to stay longer and spend more as they sustainably explore and discover the region’s historical, cultural and natural attractions.

"This will contribute to supporting the recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector.”

Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said: “There are a wealth of fantastic experiences, stunning scenery and natural assets to discover in the South of Scotland, from its dark skies that make it the ideal location for star gazing to its breath-taking coastline and world-renowned walking and cycling routes.   

“Scotland’s history, heritage and culture is what defines the country for many people, and one of the top reasons for visiting. The South of Scotland has close ties to some of our country’s most iconic literary figures and is home to many historical assets and attractions that offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about our fascinating country by delving into the past.  

“To be included in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023 guide is a fantastic accolade for the South of Scotland and will help provide a welcome boost to the recovery of our valuable tourism industry by connecting with visitors from across the world and encourage them to explore the region more widely.  

“Tourism is a force for good. It creates jobs, sustains communities and contributes significantly to the economy.”  

Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2023” list: 


Umbria, Italy 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

Fukuoka, Japan 

Lima, Peru 

South Africa 

Montevideo, Uruguay 


Istanbul to Sofia 

Nova Scotia, Canada 



Western Australia 

Parque National Naturales, Columbia 


Halkidiki, Greece 



Raja Ampat, Indonesia 






Accra, Ghana 

Sydney, Australia 


Boise, USA 


Manchester, UK 

New Mexico, USA 

Dresden, Germany 

El Salvador 

Southern Scotland 

Marseille, France