Rough Guides has named Hull one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2016 - along with Nashville, Mexico City and Vancouver.
The respected travel guide said “things were looking up” for the city, named last year as the least romantic in the UK.
It said: “It’s the UK City of Culture in 2017, so this is Hull’s practice run.
“It’ll be brimming with new hotels and restaurants, and even more of that distinctive home-grown creativity the city has always had.”
It also highlighted its “atmospheric” pubs, eight “excellent” museums and “picturesque” Old Town.
Top of the list was Reykjavik for its arts scene, “cool” nightlife and “slew of natural wonders that lie right on its doorstep”, followed by “gritty” Mexico City, and vibrant Seoul.
Council leader Steve Brady said it was great to be on the list, but warned that Hull - the city centre is currently being dug up as part of a £19m upgrade ahead of City of Culture - “would have to do a lot more to earn the top accolade”.
He suggested visitors should come later in the summer when some of the transformation work will be complete.
He said: “It does show they have come and had a good look at what’s happening and presumably they have looked at the plans for the city centre and obviously they have been impressed by it.
“After all that ‘crap town’ and the rest of it does show progress.
“Hull is low cost and all the museums are free - unlike York where you have to pay an arm and leg.
“We have a lot more to do to earn the accolade - it would be dangerous to believe the hype.
“I will really believe it when the vast majority in the city do - we are our own biggest critics. We are down to earth people and the biggest thing we need to do is convince our own population.”