VANCOUVER - An annual ranking of best cities to visit puts Vancouver in the top 10 worldwide.

Described as a ranking of best destinations, journeys and sustainable travel experiences, Lonely Planet's list ranks Vancouver eighth place, describing the city as a "natural playground." 

It appears Vancouver made the list due to sustainability initiatives and opportunities to get outside.

The travel guide site praises Vancouver's landscape, cycling and walking trails, beaches and transit in its listing.

The city was "the birthplace of Greenpeace, so it seems fitting that Vancouver has been trying to lead the world in urban sustainability," Lonely Planet wrote.

"And for you, the environmental benefits of its longstanding Greenest City 2020 Action Plan will only enrich your stay."

Top experiences in the only Canadian city to make the list include Gastown and Chinatown, the Stanley Park Seawall, Granville Island and Grouse Mountain.

Its profile describes VanCity as Canada's dine-out capital ("Don't tell the rest of the country."), a title owed to Asian dining hot spots, local seafood and the farm-to-table movement.

Lonely Planet also highlights Vancouver's diverse culture and varied landscape.

"Vancouverites really can ski in the morning and hit the beach in the afternoon – although it's far more relaxing to chill out and take your time," the site says.

Elsewhere in North America, Washington, D.C., and Denver, Colo. made the list of places to travel next year. Claiming the top spot is Austrian city of Salzburg, which is "pulling out all the stops in 2020" as it celebrates 100 years of the Salzburg Festival.

Here's the full list:

  1. Salzburg, Austria
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Cairo, Egypt
  4. Galway, Ireland
  5. Bonn, Germany
  6. La Paz, Bolivia
  7. Kochi, India
  8. Vancouver
  9. Dubai, U.A.E.
  10. Denver, Colo.