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Belfast... yet another Paris of the North

Frommer's has revealed its 'must-visit' destinations of 2009, and nestled next to Cape Town and Cambodia on the list is somewhere rather closer to home: Belfast. The Northern Irish capital has, Frommer's tells us, transformed itself into "a hot city-break destination ... moving fast towards its 19th-century accolade of the Paris of the north".

Why, why, oh why, when any city is deemed even slightly attractive, do we have to compare it to Paris? Because it's not just Belfast - it's also Tromso in Norway, Riga in Latvia, Copenhagen and also Aalborg in Denmark, Montreal and Dawson City in Canada, Stockholm, St Petersburg - even Manchester and Southport. And that's just the north.

I've never been in Belfast, but judging from the city's ad (see below), it's not much like Paris. And why should it be? Paris is a lovely city, but we don't need more than one of it. Why can't Belfast just be ... Belfast?

Ps: Frommer's other top destinations: Istanbul, Berlin, Cape Town, Saqqara (Egypt), Washington DC, Cambodia, Waiheke Island (New Zealand), Cartagena (Colombia), Waterton Lakes National Park (Alberta, Canada), Civil Rights Trail from Selma to Montgomery (Alabama, USA), Lassen Volcano National Park (California).

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