TRAVEL PICTURES: Best & Worst Destinations Rated, 2009

Best and Worst of the 2009 Traveler Places Rated Scorecard
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Fifth Place (Tie): Slovenia

Living evidence of this former Yugoslavian republic's still-strong national culture, boys join a traditional march in Slovenia.

Though one independent panelist lauded the country as "one of the best destinations in the 'old style' of European travel," Slovenia, since its independence in 1991, has "been on an almost incredible upward climb," in the words of another panelist.

Among the evidence of that ascension: joining the EU in 2004, adopting the euro in 2008, and investing heavily in "world class" museums. Panelists also praised Slovenia's architectural preservation and called its wine regions and Alpine landscapes "among the most sustainable and authentic places to visit in Europe."
—Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic Stock
 
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