A “jam-packed schedule of world class events” was highlighted in the guide with reference to the Commonwealth Games, the Year of Homecoming, and the Ryder Cup.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, described the Lonely Planet listing as “a fantastic seal of approval” for Scotland, and claimed 2014 “could be the greatest ever chance for our country to be seen as a globally recognised, must-visit destination for many years to come”.
Scotland was beaten only by Antarctica and Brazil.
The Lonely Planet listing comes as Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeenshire narrowly missed out on being named a new ‘wonder of the world’.
The castle was ranked in seventh place in a global poll conducted by review site TripAdvisor.