Lonely Planet Writer

The top 10 most read Travel News stories of 2016

It’s been a huge year for Travel News, with amazing stories from every part of the world cropping up to entice us to book new trips away (in case anybody needed a bit of encouragement!) From Wi-Fi passwords to the coldest city on earth, our most read Travel News stories of 2016 reveal two things about our readers; they have a huge curiosity about the world…and they really, really like reading rooms.

Crowds gather for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Rose Reading Room.
Crowds gather for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Rose Reading Room. Image by Max Touhey Photography

1. In pictures: the historic Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library has reopened
The stunning Rose Reading Room reopened after a two year restoration in October, reclaiming its spot as a top attraction for bibliophiles everywhere. It’s open to members of the general public to read and study in a historic and picturesque setting.

2. This incredible reading room has just opened inside a floating wooden zeppelin in Prague

Another reading room was a big hit in 2016, but this time with a more modern twist. Part literature space, part airship, it lives within a wooden zeppelin in the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague.

The reading room will house a series of discussions centred around literature.
The reading room will house a series of discussions centred around literature. Image by Matej Divizna/Getty Images

3. New app maps Wi-Fi passwords from airports and lounges around the world
Is there anything sweeter than finding an open Wi-Fi hotspot when you’re stuck on an airport layover? This fantastic app makes it even easier to entertain yourself as it maps Wi-Fi passwords from airport lounges all over the world, with more being added all the time.

4. Lost in Central Park? Look for the lampposts that hold a valuable secret

The codes that form a navigational tool are found on every lamppost in New York City’s Central Park but only became general public knowledge after a Discovery Channel documentary aired about America’s Secret Places.

5. It’s official! Study says regular holidays make you live longer

Now whenever your friends or family question you about your travel habits, you can point to science for evidence that you really do need to book that flight and maybe even persuade them that they should come with you.

Many millennials are choosing to travel with friends instead of partners.
These travellers could be extending their life as well as having fun. Image by Westend61/Getty Images

6. Daring photographer captures haunting pictures from inside Fukushima Exclusion Zone

It’s been five years since the earthquake that triggered the meltdown at Fukushima power plant but the town still lies in a startling state as the inhabitants were forced to leave suddenly. These haunting images capture the inside of a ghost town few of us have seen before.

An abandoned shop inside the Fukushima Exclusion Zone.
An abandoned shop inside the Fukushima Exclusion Zone. Image by Keow Wee Loong

7. Around the US in 8 ½ days? Researcher uses algorithm to plan a very efficient road trip

If you simply need to cross every US state off your bucket list but have limited vacation time, this mathematically engineered route will bring through the United States in just 8.5 days.

8. New Zealand town with ‘too many jobs’ – 1000 to be exact – seeks workers ASAP

A chance to live and work in Middle Earth itself? Yes please! An attractive relocation package interested lots of our Lonely Planet readers this year.

9. Incredible photographs show daily life in the coldest city on earth

It’s life, but not as we know it, in the coldest inhabited city on the planet. It’s remained largely isolated until now but with more and more travellers taking an interest in adventure tourism, it might not be long before Yakutsk becomes a popular spot with people wanting to test their limits.

A local girl returning home from university.
A local girl returning home from university. Image by Amos Chapple

10. See incredible drone footage of the Philippines as it’s never been seen before

If this spectacular video doesn’t want to make you book flights to the Philippines immediately, nothing will. From picture-perfect sandy beaches, secluded lagoons and some adrenaline-pumping cliff jumping, these islands have something for everyone.

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