We have seen a lot of amazing places so far, but we also have a long list of places we still want to see. Since we’re planning our 2020 travels, we’ve asked other experienced travelers to help us put together a list of the best places to travel to in 2020. We’ve included plenty of destinations all over the world. Our list is now even longer, thanks to the addition of all of these gorgeous destinations. Now’s the time to start planning your 2020 travels and hopefully you can add some of these places to visit in 2020.
What You'll Find in This Post
- 1 Best Places to Travel in 2020
- 1.1 EUROPE
- 1.2 OCEANIA
- 1.3 NORTH AMERICA
- 1.4 SOUTH AMERICA
- 1.5 AFRICA
- 1.6 ASIA
Best Places to Travel in 2020
Hluboká nad Vltavou, Czech Republic
By Martha at Quirky Globetrotter
If you are a fan of fairy tales and getting lost in the immense grounds of a castle, then Hluboká nad Vltavou, Czech Republic, should be on your bucket list. Hluboká nad Vltavou is home to the Státní zámek Hluboká castle, which is rumored to be the castle where the fairy tale, Rapunzel takes place. The castle is massive and boasts large, luxurious gardens for visitors to roam on beautiful sunny days. The interior is also immaculate and portrays beautiful architecture from the romantic period.
After touring the castle walk down to the quaint downtown and get lost. The beautiful shops and drool-worthy restaurants can preoccupy the rest of your day. Don’t forget to sample some award-winning Czech beer, some of the best in the world, as you roam the cobblestone streets.
The best time to visit Hluboká nad Vltavou is during the summer or fall months. The summer months will be toasty and hardly any attractions have air conditioning, so traveler beware, but the endless sunshine is beautiful and the grounds are lush this time of year. If you’d like a cooler vacation, visit during the early fall months where you can experience the autumn foliage.
By Anita at Anita Hendrieka
Nestled in the south of Albania is the city of Saranda, also known as the gem of the Albanian Riviera. Saranda is a seaside city which has some of the most beautiful beaches in Albania. It’s the perfect start to a holiday in Albania as there are many great things to do in Saranda. The city has a relaxed atmosphere in a beautiful setting. Many come here as there is a great selection of seafood restaurants (a must-try if you’re coming to Albania), beautiful Mediterranean beaches and the UNESCO site of Butrint is only a 20-minute drive away.
The best things to do in the city, in my opinion, is not to follow the tourist trail up to Lëkurësi Castle, but to walk or drive up to the Monastery of the 40 Saints on the opposite hill. The monastery is practically empty at all times (not many people know about this spot) and you get the most amazing view of Saranda and the surroundings. I would also recommend trying the unknown beaches to the north of the city which can be found past the mosque. Here you will find empty beaches in their original form with no people around!
The best month to visit Saranda is spring (March-June). The tourist season peaks at July and August and it’s also the hottest, reaching up to 40 degrees usually. My recommendation is to come in April or May when the temperatures are still amazing (between 20 – 25ish degrees), the flowers are blossoming and there are little to no tourists!
By Varsha at Varsha’s Travel 360
Rome is an eternal historic city with numerous UNESCO heritage monuments scattered around. To visit all of the sites thoroughly, one should stay for at least 1 week but if you don’t have that much time, you can visit the important places in about 3 days.
The Colosseum, Roma Forum, Pantheon, Vatican city, St. Peter’s Basilica are some of the major sites in Rome. Trevi fountain, various piazzas like Piazza Navona, Spanish steps etc are also worth the visit. Rome is one of the most popular tourist places and therefore all these sites remain crowded all year round. To minimize waiting time, purchase the combination tickets which will grant the entry to various places.
Rome experiences mild winters and hot summers. This means, you can visit anytime of the year. But try to avoid hot summer days like in August when the city is also most crowded. Spring or fall season will be the best time to explore the city. Rome is such a beautiful city that its never late or wrong time to visit. Rome is not only a historic city but also quite trendy. Get some time to hunt around the shops for some latest fashions.
Related: Amalfi Coast Hotel
Isle of the Skye, Scotland
By Helena at Through an Aussies Eyes
The Isle of Skye is one of the most magical places that Scotland has to offer. Skye is a part of the Inner Hebrides and is linked to the mainland by the Skye Bridge. Skye is known for its natural beauty and is an ideal destination for anyone who likes to hike. Some of the tops things you need to do are to hike the Old Man of Storr on the edge of the Trotternish Ridge. It can be quite steep at points but the views are definitely worth it. Another hike that is worth it is the Quiraing. It is just rolling hills for as far as the eye can see. Other places that need to be on your must see list are the Fairy Pools, Dunvegan Castle, Neist Point (has a cool abandoned lighthouse), the Fairy Glen and the Cuillins (a mountain range).
The best time to visit Skye is between April and June as the weather is warm (well, for Scotland anyway) and you have plenty of daylight still. Just remember that Skye is prone to mist, fog and rain but it is such a beautiful place that it can be appreciated at any time of the year.
By Amber at With Husband in Tow
Bologna, Italy, is known as the fat city, a reference to how much good food there is in the city and the surrounding region of Emilia Romagna. There’s a reason why Lonely Planet placed Emilia Romagna on their list of top destinations in Europe for 2018. It’s the heart of Italy when it comes to food. And, nothing has changed for 2019. A visit to Bologna includes the perfect mix of food, culture, history, and art. For food, Bologna is the home to tagliatelle al ragu and lasagne bolognese, as well as mortadella, one of the most famous meats to come out of Italy. Just outside of the city is the recently opened Eataly World, a self-proclaimed Italian food amusement park, where you can learn about food and wine from all over Italy. The city is also perfect for just wandering around. The Piazza Maggiore, or main square, is the heart of the city and includes one of the most unique churches, the Basilica di San Petronio. You can also follow one of the many portico covered walkways out from the Piazza Maggiore in search of good eats, cafes, or museums. There are over 40 kilometers of porticoes and corridors in the city to explore. Or, try finding the hidden canals in the back streets of Bologna. There are so many great things to do in Bologna to keep any traveler busy, making it a must-visit destination for 2019.
Tatra Mountains, Poland
By Joanna & Bartosz at Overhere
Tatra mountains are the highest mountain range in Poland. Located in the south of the country, they attract outdoor lovers all year long. Because of Tatra mountains popularity, the best time to visit them is Autumn, when the high season comes to an end. You may want to go there in the second part of September or first part of October as there will be fewer people on the trails and the weather may still be favorable.
The spectacular Tatra mountains are protected as Tatra National Park. Camping there is not allowed, but hiking and climbing is perfectly fine. The highest mount is Rysy, reaching 2499 metres. Tatras are not only the highest – they are also the most beautiful mountains in this part of Europe. The landscape in Tatras is very diversified. In the lower parts we get to admire long, scenic valleys with caves and many other peculiar rock formations. The most popular valleys are Koscieliska and Chocholowska Valleys.
You can also hike in Western Tatra mountains. Western peaks are about 2000 metres high and trails there are nice and safe. Hikers especially like the path leading along Czerwone Wierchy massif – many consider it one of the most beautiful trails in Tatra mountains. More advanced hikers and climbers can explore High Tatra range where soaring granite peaks create truly dramatic landscape. The most famous place in High Tatras is Five Lakes Valley. This picturesque place is a must-see for all nature enthusiasts. There is also a mountain hut located on 1670 metres, just right next to beautiful post-glacial lakes. Nothing tastes as good as an apple pie eaten in Five Lakes Valley!
By Miguel at Travelsauro
Mestia is the perfect destination for the most adventurous travelers. Located in the mountainous region of Svaneti, the city is the starting point for many trips and activities around the region: hiking up to spectacular glaciers, going horseback riding, taking multi-day hikes, learning about the Svan culture, tasting the delicious local food, and skiing if you visit it during the winter months.
The most popular activity is the hike from Mestia to Ushguli, which can be completed in 4 days. This is a top-class trail that will take you along Svaneti’s most beautiful valleys, glaciers and villages. If you don’t want to take the regular path (which can get pretty crowded in high season), I recommend that you take the alternative path going through Tvirmi in which you will encounter far fewer people. This alternative trail merges with the original route at the end of the second day, then continues all the way to Ushguli.
The best months to hike in Svaneti are June to October. Keep in mind that most people travel to Svaneti in July and August, and it might be difficult to find a bed at some guest houses. If you are planning to ski in Mestia, then you should travel in winter when the whole region is covered in snow.
By Violeta at Offbeat Greece
Located in Central Greece, Meteora is the second largest orthodox settlement in Greece after Mount Athos and one of the UNESCO Heritage Sites in Europe. This fact alone should be enough for you to add Meteora to your bucket list destinations to visit in 2019. However, the real reason is the impressive scenery that awaits for you there. Meteora is a complex of monasteries erected on top of huge cliffs. These rock formations are tall and thin, and they are scattered across the entire mountain, with or without monasteries on top. Apparently, only birds can reach these dwellings. In fact, there are stairs carved in the rock, so you’ll be able to climb rather than fly up there. The landscape doesn’t look like anything from this world, so be prepared to take some stunning photos.
Getting to Meteora is easy, as there’s a highway coming directly from Athens. You have 4-5 hours of driving ahead of you, so you may want to sleep for one night in Kalambaka, the nearest town to Meteora. If you are keen to do it as a one-day trip from Athens you should take the train or book an organized bus tour. The best time to visit is probably early June or October. The high season starts by mid-June and it lasts until early October. As the Meteora monasteries are extremely popular with tourists from all over the world, going there during the peak season may not be such a good idea. If you don’t mind lower temperatures, you can schedule a visit for November or even December. The sunset makes the whole scenery even more impressive, thus being the best time of the day to take a tour of the monasteries.
By Manon at Visiting the Dutch Countryside
Nijmegen is a city in The Netherlands that is not often visited by foreigners. This city is located in the middle of the country and is the oldest city in The Netherlands. It dates back to the Roman Empire. This makes Nijmegen a great city for anyone who is interested in history and in visiting beautiful, old cities. All without the touristic crowds.
One of my favourite things to do in Nijmegen is visiting museums and you can find plenty of them here. One of them is the Afrika Museum, where you will find objects that each tell a story about the continent. Another museum is the National Liberation Museum. Here you will learn everything about the international and national events that were critical for the liberation of The Netherlands during the Second World War.
But what makes Nijmegen a city you have to visit is the atmosphere together with the beauty and history of the city. You will find old and beautiful streets, monuments, cosy cafés and even beaches on the edge of the Waal river. Nijmegen is a city that you can visit no matter what month of the year. But if you want to experience one of the best events of The Netherlands, then you have to visit in July during the Vierdaagse.
During this walking event, the whole city is celebrating for four days straight. It’s the biggest walking event in The Netherlands and while it sounds boring, I can assure you it’s anything but. There are events all throughout the city. And while some enjoy them all day, others prefer to relax at the beaches of Nijmegen. As I said, Nijmegen has it all, but without the touristic crowds. If you want to explore The Netherlands beyond the crowds, visiting Nijmegen is the way to do it.
By Stephanie at History Fan Girl
Malta is one of my absolute favorite European destinations. I’ve already been twice, and I’ve got it circled on my calendar to return in 2019. The country is comprised of three islands: Matla, Gozo, and Comino. Each island offers its own culture and experiences. The island of Malta is vibrant and has some of the best nightlife in Europe. Gozo is sleepy and rural, with beautiful coastal towns that allow for true relaxation. Finally, little Comino is a popular day trip destination. The island only has one hotel, but it features the most famous beach in the country, Malta’s Blue Lagoon.
By Paige at For the Love of Wanderlust
The Faroe Islands would make a great addition to anyone’s bucket list. It’s remote, it’s stunning and the people are very friendly. The Faroe Islands are located in the middle of the North Atlantic. If you draw a line from Norway, Scotland and Iceland, they would intersect at the Faroe Islands. The Faroe Islands has a beauty unlike anything else I’ve ever seen in the world. There are so many natural wonders compiled in one place. We spent most of our time in the Faroe Islands hiking and exploring some of the most stunning sites on earth. From Mulafossar spilling into the ocean over a cliffside, to the mesmerizing optical illusion that is the lake over the ocean you’ll find no shortage of beauty. In addition to the nature and hikes on the island, you’ll find cozy seaside towns surrounded by mountains and filled with colorful buildings. You can actually still find multiple houses and even churches with sod roofs. Plus, this archipelago is full of rich folklore that’s tied to many of the natural sites. Since it’s so far from other land it’s harder to get to and therefore much more remote. Like the other Scandinavian countries, I think that the best time to visit depends on what exactly you want to do! We went in June and that’s when I would go back again. There was some rain, but the weather was moderate and we loved all the daylight that allowed us to explore anytime we wanted!
By Vasundhara at Not About the Miles
Stavanger is a pretty port town in southwestern Norway. It is a wonderful place to visit no matter what type of traveler you are, because there are so many varied and fun things to do in Stavanger. Stavanger has a lively waterfront, a beautiful Old Town, and a bustling city center. It is home to one of northern Europe’s oldest cathedrals, and has a plethora of museums to explore. And you will love all the colorful street art and sculptures all around town!
Visit Gamle Stavanger, the old town, to admire Europe’s largest collection of old wooden houses. All painted white, the cute houses line both sides of pretty cobblestone streets. You will want to take lots of photos of the pretty streets and gardens here. Do the 3-hour Lysefjord cruise from Stavanger to the iconic Pulpit Rock. Or, if you want a more active visit, combine the cruise of the dramatic fjord with a hike to the top of the 2,000-foot Pulpit Rock for one of the most breathtaking views on the planet.
If you love hiking, you can attempt two other great Norway hikes in the vicinity: the Florli Steps, which consist of 4,444 wooden steps up a mountain face, or Kjeragbolten, a challenging hike uphillo to a famous boulder wedged between two mountain faces. And if you love museums, there are a number of unique museums to visit in Stavanger, including the sardine canning museum, where you can try your hand at packing sardines into a can! The best time to visit Stavanger is in the summer, when the days are long and it is hiking season in Norway.
The Whitsundays Islands, Australia
By Raksha at Solo Passport
The Whitsundays Islands are made up of 74 islands and are in between the coast of Queensland (mainland of Australia) and the Great Barrier Reef. The islands have dense forests and abundant wildlife. It’s definitely one of the most spectacular places I have ever visited. The weather in the northern part of Australia is tropical and is humid and warm all year around. But the best time to visit Whitsundays is during Spring (September).
Imagine clear blue waters with mountains in the backdrop, white sand to walk on, and the cool fresh breeze from the ocean! That is what Whiteheaven beach offers you. The Whiteheaven beach is one of the top five beautiful and photographed beaches in the World, and the beach is part of the Whitsundays. It is a short boat ride from the mainland. The beach stretches to about 7 kilometres and a swim in the ocean or a walk along the beach are totally worth it!
Another amazing thing to do when in Whitsundays is to go see the Heart Reef. Yes, the Great Barrier Reef has a natural reef in the shape of a heart. It was discovered in the year 1975. Since Heart Reef is protected, the only way to go view that spectacle is either by a sea plane or by a helicopter. I cannot describe enough as to how beautiful this reef is.
By Thais at World Trip Diaries
Western Samoa should be on everyone’s bucket lists! A small country in the Pacific Ocean, it’s a tropical paradise! Imagine beaches with crystal clear waters, almost no waves, so many colorful corals and fishes, sea turtles, whales, wildlife, blowholes, lava-covered villages, waterfalls, rivers, and lush green forests. That’s Samoa.
But it’s not all. With a vibrant culture and history, there’s a lot to see and do. At the top of the must do’s, there’s To Sua Trench, the most popular attraction and it’s the perfect place for a dip in nature’s best saltwater pool. Another incredible thing to do is visit the lava-covered village of Sale’aula. The lava fields are a result of a volcano that erupted for 6 years non-stop. And the best part is that there was no fatality. Other attractions you can’t miss are Alofaaga blow holes, Palolo Deep Marine Reserve, Papase’ea Sliding Rocks, and Togitogiga Waterfalls!
Being a tropical island, there are 2 seasons: wet (November-April) and dry (May-October). During the wet season, the waterfalls are more beautiful and the green is greener. If you wish to slide on a natural rock waterfall, its best done during this season. BUT the islands get a lot of thunderstorms during those months and there aren’t many indoor entertainment options. Think carefully which would be best and go for it!
By Emma and Anthony at Small Footprints, Big Adventures
Visiting Australia’s most iconic place is an excellent trip to take at any time, but 2019 will be a historic year for Uluru (formerly known as Ayer’s Rock). The climb to the top of Uluru will be officially closed on the 26th of October, and special celebrations will be held to mark the occasion. It is a win for the traditional owners who already request that people do not climb Uluru. The rock is sacred to their culture, plus all of the hiking along the track is causing pollution and irreversible damage. Also it’s quite dangerous: over 35 people have died attempting the climb, and the Anangu people feel a responsibility to keep visitors safe.
You don’t need to climb Uluru to have an amazing experience there: you can walk around the entire base, or hire bicycles like we did which was really fun! There is also an excellent free guided tour plus many paid tours you can also take to get even more in-depth information. Other ways to experience Uluru include by camel, hot-air balloon, helicopter, skydive, motorcycle or segway, so you’re sure to find an option to suit your taste and budget.
The best time to visit Uluru is between May and September, but October is usually not too scorching hot yet. What will be included in the celebrations for October 2019 have not been announced yet but we have the inside word that they’re going to be big. So, if you’re thinking of a trip to Uluru, start planning to be a part of its history next October.
Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Aitutaki has the clearest and bluest water you’ll ever see. Aitutaki is an island, with a turquoise lagoon, and a a surrounding barrier reef. The reef makes Aitutaki a popular water sport destination, including snorkeling, lagoon cruises, stand-up paddleboarding, whale watching, kayaking and bone fishing. Aitutaki is the perfect honeymoon location, nice and quiet, and you’ll instantly feel relaxed. Aitutaki is accessible from Cook Islands main island, Rarotonga. The Cook Islands are only 4 hours from New Zealand and 8 hours from Los Angeles.
There really is no bad time to visit Aitutaki, although the summer months (November-March) tend to be rainier and more humid, with a chance of cyclones. We have found the best time to visit Aitutaki is between April and October, when its a little cooler, but still warm and sunny. Aitutaki is a must visit destination for 2019.
Related: Flying Air Rarotonga
By Halef at The Round The World Guys
Easter Island is truly a place you should put on your bucket list. It is one of the most remote islands on Earth. You can only reach this spot in the middle of South Pacific from either the Chilean capital of Santiago or the nearby islands of French Polynesia. Exotic and very remote!
The most popular things to see here are the iconic stone heads of Easter Island that are scattered over the landscape. Starting from the Rano Raraku quarry where these Moai were originally carved to the ones that remain standing on various ahu – or altars. As if exploring 400+ Moai statues was not enough, some of my favorite Easter Island highlights include visiting the ancient volcano of Rano Kau and seeing the famous underwater Moai as you scuba dive on Easter Island.
Easter Island has a few annual festivals and events you should also consider. The annual Easter Island Marathon is considered to be one of the exotic sporting events, and many international visitors compete for a spot in June, when the temperature there is moderately cool. The big “can’t miss” event is the birdman competition. Each year in the Spring, Rapanui tribes compete to retrieve a native egg from a nearby inlet. The tribe whose competitor retrieves the egg wins a leadership spot on the island. You will have to check the official website for the exact date.
New York City, USA
By James at Travel Collecting
New York City should be on every one’s bucket list because there is truly something for everyone. If you’re a foodie, there are the originals of many food crazes that started in NYC to try. Think crack pie at Milk Bar, cookie dough at DO, cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery, and cronuts at Dominique Ansel. If you like museums, some of the best in the world are in NYC, including the Met (don’t miss having a cocktail at the rooftop bar in summer) and the Museum of Natural History (the T-Rex skeleton and the blue whale are classic highlights). Step into your favorite TV show or movie when you visit the Empire State Building (go late afternoon to get daytime and night lights views in the same admission), the Statue of Liberty (go first thing to beat the worst of the crowds and give yourself time to visit the immigration museum at Ellis Island), and Times Square (crazy crowded, but you can sit on the red steps and people watch for hours; do NOT have your photo taken with the ‘characters’ wandering around unless you are OK paying them) .
If you prefer nature, spend hours or days in Central Park (row a boat on the lake in spring and summer and have a picnic by a lake next to a castle). If you enjoy theatre, a Broadway show is a must (buy half price tickets at the TKTS ticket booths, or book far in advance from home for popular shows), or enjoy the opera at the Met, world class ballet at Lincoln Center, jazz in a Village basement, or an avant garde Off Off Broadway show in the East Village. Any time of the year is great to visit New York, except January and February, when the holidays are over and the cold weather remains (though if you find yourself there then, you will still have plenty to do). You can easily spend a month in NYC and still have barely scratched the surface of all it has to offer.
By Claudia at My Adventures Across the World
Without the shadow of a doubt, Antigua is one of the most interesting destinations to visit in the Caribbean. This small island is packed with interesting things to see and do, not to mention it is the perfect holiday destination for anyone who wants to relax and soak in the sun.
Among the top things to do in Antigua there is an easy yet sweet hike that goes all the way to Shirley Heights, a viewpoint from where to enjoy the most beautiful view of the island. Gorgeous during the day, this is a perfect spot for sundowners too and at least once a week, right at sunset time, there is a local band playing some Caribbean tunes for extra fun.
A road trip around the island is a fun way to discover some of its history and best sights. Make sure to stop at Devil’s Bridge and to visit at least one of the sugar mills. The capital, St. John’s, is an interesting little city where to get a feel for the local vibe.
Watersports are a must when in Antigua. Snorkeling is the first that comes to mind, but there is also diving, kayaking along the coral reef, and kite surfing. The most popular place to do so is Driftwood Beach. Antigua is a fantastic sailing destination and the best time of year to visit is between the end of April and the beginning of May, when sailing week takes place and visitors can go on a “chase the race” day trip to follow the regatta.
If you’re looking for a great resort in the Caribbean, here are the best Sandals resorts
By Soumya at Stories by Soumya
Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is one of the most attractive holiday destinations in the world today. It houses some of the best white sand beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, colorful colonial towns, and pretty turquoise cenotes. Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are located right here in Yucatan. In the vicinity are smaller, more intriguing ruins of Ek Balam, Coba, and Uxmal. You can choose to stay in a pastel-colored, colonial town such as Valladolid and then take day trips to various Mayan ruins nearby. They are literally everywhere! Another interesting thing that you can do in Yucatan is swim in one of the cenotes. Cenotes are underground pools and exclusive to this part of the world. Some of them are breathtakingly beautiful such as the Ik Kil. And last but not the least are the food and the beaches of Yucatan. The peninsula is home to some of the best dishes in the Mexican cuisine such as Sopa de Lima – a delicious chicken soup believed to have been created by the Mayans. It is also blessed with stunning white beaches such as those of Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Put all this together and Yucatan turns out to be the perfect destination for all – a mix of culture, history, food, and nature. The best time to visit Yucatan is between March and November with the shoulder seasons being the most affordable and the least crowded.
By Pari at Traveling Pari
I have decided 2019 is the year of sun destinations. I live in Toronto, Canada and the winter weather can a bit tough to get through. However, luckily for me, there’s plenty of cheap tickets available to some warm Caribbean destinations like Cuba. Winter time (December-February) is the perfect time to visit Cuba, since the hurricane season is over by then.
I have been to Cuba before but I stuck to mainly the beaches in Varadero. I regret not taking a longer trip to Havana. If you want to get a taste of the local life and culture, then you have to visit Havana. True, it’s a city marred by poverty but there’s also a lot of beauty in there.
When you go to Havana, the best place to visit is Old Havana. Walk on the cobbled streets to see the four plazas – San Francisco de Asis Square, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de la Catedral and Plaza de Armas. Along the way, you can visit a chocolate shop, have some delicious local street food and enjoy the music of Buskers and take pictures with flower girls.
The Galapagos Islands
By Lora at Explore with Lora
The Galápagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, about 600 miles off the coast of mainland Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands are among the most interesting places I’ve ever visited because of the unique natural landscape and wildlife. Due to the lack of human presence on the islands until recent years the wildlife does not have any fear, so you can get up close and personal with the local residents.
There are a number of outdoor activities and wildlife tours to do in the Galapagos. Home to some of the best dive sites on the planet, try diving Gordon Reefs off the coast of Santa Cruz, where you can swim with hundreds of hammerhead sharks. If you prefer a wildlife encounter on land, go and find the famous giant tortoises, some as old as 200 years. Unlike some destinations, wildlife in the Galapagos can be found year-round. The seasons of the Galapagos are split into cool and dry (June – November) and warm and wet (December – June), with the warmer season being the best time to visit Galápagos as the seas are warmer, calmer, and have good underwater visibility.
By Mitch at Traveling Mitch
I’ve wanted to visit Buenos Aires for as long as I can remember. As of late my passion to visit has only increased, which is why it’s at the top of my bucketlist for 2019. There are a number of things that I’d love to do in Buenos Aires, starting with just sitting on a street corner and feeling the energy. I’ve always loved the game of soccer (or football, as it were), and I’ve made a habit of attending matches all over the world. With that in mind, I’d love to spend some time in the La Boca neighbourhood, then go and see Boca Juniors play. After that, I imagine I’d be fired up and ready to try my hand at tango, something else Buenos Aires is famous for.
Personally, I’ve always been interested in cemeteries, so I’d also love to visit La Recoleta Cemetery, which apparently has some of the most intriguing mausoleums on the planet. If I was given the choice, I’d head there sometime in the fall, between March and May, just before it’s too hot. That being said, I hear good things about September to November as well. Honestly, I’ll go anytime!
Often overlooked for more popular destinations in South America, Guyana is quickly becoming one of the premium adventure travel locations for 2019. With vast open savannah, pristine rainforest and lush jungle to explore, it’s no surprise people are flocking there to experience rugged adventures, wildlife watching and authentic Guyanese life. Traveling to Guyana means getting off the beaten track, or ‘Gringo Trail’, of South America, and into a more authentic travel experience. While you’re there, take advantage of the terrain with a kayak through the jungle, looking for giant anacondas or jaguars on the prowl. Or ride across the savannah on an ATV or 4×4, each night hanging a hammock and camping underneath the stars.
If you want to get involved in authentic Guyana cowboy life, visit a working ranch and see how the locals live. Along with riding horses you can also participate in the daily work duties of ranchers maintaining their cattle and livelihood. After a big day in the sun, cool down with a refreshing swim in the local creek and a delicious home cooked, hearty meal with the family. Not only is it an incredibly fun experience, it’s also a great opportunity to learn about local life and immerse yourself in a new culture.
The best time to visit Guyana is in October / November, when the rainy season has started to slow down and the heat isn’t overbearing. But regardless of the weather, an adventure in Guyana can be experienced at any time of the year, if you’re up for it!
By Dan at The Layer Culture
There’s so many amazing travel routes in South America you can take. But, if you’re thinking of heading to Lima, Peru you can’t miss out on a couple of nights in the neighbourhood of Barranco. Originally constructed as a seaside resort for the rich and famous. Barranco today is known by tourists as the bohemian neighbourhood where your wishes come true. Not only will you find a selection of boutique cafes and restaurants hidden away from the crowds, you’ll encounter some of the best Ceviche you’ve ever tried.
As a Street Art lover, I was in heaven in Barranco. Not only will you find art, though, Barranco has a love story waiting to be unravelled by every visitor that encounters the Bridge of Sighs. Young brides are said to have crossed the bridge holding their breath in order find true love. Now, it is said, that if you can make a wish as you cross the bridge whilst holding your breath, your wish will come true. While crossing, make sure you look over to the view of the street below, it’s spectacular. The Barranco neighbourhood lies on the Lima’s coastline, so a stroll along the beachfront to the nearby Miraflores, is a must for any visitor. I hope you add Barranco to your South America itinerary in 2019 and all your wishes come true.
By Alan at More Passport Stamps
Bolivia is the cheapest country in South America, and one of the most interesting. Not only home to the world’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca, and Salar de Uyuni, the biggest salt flats in the world, Bolivia has many lesser known gems to visit along with an amazing culture that has to be experienced first-hand.
Firstly, it has two capital cities. The judicial capital of Bolivia, Sucre is named after Antonio José de Sucre, a former president who had also been president of Peru. The administrative capital, La Paz, is in a canyon, and yet it is the highest capital city in the world. The local market here is famous for selling llama foetuses for traditional offerings to Pachamama, or Mother Earth. La Paz is connected to neighbouring El Alto by the highest cable car system in the world, at 4,000 metres above sea level. It doesn’t end there, El Alto is also home to Cholitas Wrestling, an infamous weekly show where local men and women wrestle in front of huge cheering crowds.
There is so much more to Bolivia than meets the eye, including a fantastically rich cultural history and cowboy like landscapes throughout the country. All of this, plus the warmth and friendliness of the local people means Bolivia should be top of any 2019 bucket list.
Cairo and the Pyramids of Giza
By Carlos at A Brother Abroad
Home to culture and ruins millennia old and lively locals, Egypt seamlessly combines the styles of North Africa and the Middle East while adding centuries of history.
While visiting Cairo, check a site off of your bucket list by visiting the pyramids of Giza via rideshare app and wandering the complex in awe. The massive tombs for the original Pharaohs date back over 4,000 and are more impressive in real life than any picture can capture. After taking in the sandy sights, visit the Museum Egyptian Antiquities to see even more Egyptian relics and read about their stories. Continue on to the Khan al-Khalili market toward Tahrir square trying Egypt’s national dish “Kushari” and sweets along the way.
Keep in mind that getting across Cairo by car literally takes hours, but that will be plenty of time to chat with your driver about the changing culture of Egypt, the success of the 2011 revolution, and the changing face of North Africa and the Middle East. Make your trip a little easier by downloading the rideshare apps Uber or Careem in advance for cheap convenient transportation.
By Jackie and Justin at Life of Doing
Located in eastern Africa, Tanzania is one of the best places to visit in 2019 to embrace nature and the outdoors. From incredible wildlife, thrill-seeking adventures, to picturesque beaches, you’ll have plenty of incredible activities to keep you occupied.
Tanzania is famous for the safari at the National Parks. It’s a must-do activity to observe wildlife at its finest. Witnessing the beautiful animals (lions, hippos, elephants, giraffes, and more) and birds in their natural habitats is an awestruck experience. There are three safari areas – Northern Circuit, Southern Circuit, and Western Circuit. We recommend visiting the Northern Circuit for a few days due to the easier accessibility and numerous animal sightings. Plus, you get to see the impressive Great Migration of wildebeests and zebras at Serengeti National Park.
If you want more adventure, hike Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. It’s challenging yet rewarding to reach the snow-capped peak at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet). Your hiking team will encourage you and help you achieve your way up to the top of the mountain. Expect to spend at least 5+ days to complete the hike.
Other fun activities in Tanzania include learning about the Maasai’s culture, visiting an organic coffee plantation (it’s a top export item), or relaxing at Zanzibar’s beaches. For planning purposes, visit Tanzania at any time as each season offers various experiences. June to October is the dry season where you’ll see more crowds. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Tanzania!
By Campbell and Alya at Stingy Nomads
Cape Town, or Mother City, like it’s called in South Africa, is an incredible place to come for holiday; beautiful beaches, Table Mountain, Cape Point, scenic drives, water activities, wine tasting and much more. Traditional sightseeing includes going up Table Mountain by cable car or walking, visiting colorful Bo Kaap neighbourhood, strolling along VA Waterfront, walking around Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, spotting cute African penguins at Boulders Beach, watching sunrise from the top of Lions Head mountain and doing some wine tasting. Besides all these there are many outdoor activities in Cape Town that you can practice or learn how to do including kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing, supping and diving. For kitesurfing the best and the windiest time is summer, from November to March the wind blows almost every day, there are many surf schools in the city where you can take lessons and rent equipment. For surfing best time is winter when it’s less windy and the swell is bigger though even in summer months to be in the water around Cape Town you’ll need a wetsuit.
For nature and animal lovers there are several game lodges around the city where you can do game drives and see African animals in their natural habitat. The best time to visit Cape Town is in the summer months: November-March. December is a very busy holiday time, and also summer school holiday so it can be a bit overcrowded (especially beaches) and fully booked.
By Verislav at Global Castaway
If you want to spice your travel in 2019 with an authentic Arabic experience, Morocco is the best place in the world to do so. And while Marrakech – the most famous city in the country, had become way too touristy, there is one underrated city that should be in your 2019 bucket list for sure! Fez (also known as Fes) is the second biggest city in Morocco and one of the most colorful places on earth.
Step through the famous Blue Gate and be absorbed by the authentic medina (old part of town) – this huge human labyrinth of winding alleys, little shops, and sandstone buildings impossible not to get lost into. But getting lost in Fez is not really a bad thing. Every step unfolds another magical little stand selling everything you can imagine – from handmade leather goods to carpets and multicolored spices.
Make sure to check out the most significant landmark of the city – the Chouara leather tannery. By using the same dying technique for centuries, Fez has become famous with its leather industry. The tanneries are now UNESCO World Heritage Site and truly a must-have experience. Another must-see place in Fez is the King’s Palace. While forbidden for entry, the palace still have a flock of tourist every day. Why is that? It has the most beautiful doors in Morocco thus providing the perfect photo opportunity.
Fez is okay to travel all year round but the best times to visit are spring (March to May) and fall (September to October). If you want to avoid the crowds and you’re not scared of temperatures between 15 and 20, go in the winter (December – February).
The Angkor Temples in Cambodia
By Nicky at Go Live Young
The Temples of Angkor, in Cambodia are world famous and on many travellers bucket list. Built between the 9th and 14th Centuries by the Khmer civilisation, Angkor rates among the foremost architectural wonders in the world. Unparalleled in South-east Asia, the kings of Angkor ruled over a huge area of Asia from here. Angkor Wat, is the most well known and largest temple, but is in-fact just one of the many temples that make up the ancient city of Angkor. These ancient stone temple buildings are all that remain today of an otherwise large city.
There is so much to explore at the Angkor Historical Park. The most famous temples are Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, the Bayon and Angkor Thom. These four temples can all be explored in one long day, but we would recommend spending three days exploring all that the park has to offer. Some of the smaller, lesser well known temples usually have fewer people and the opportunity to really explore. We loved the Bayon, with its many carved stone heads, and Ta Prohm which has been swallowed by the jungle with crumbling walls, moss covered stones and even trees growing out of the temple walls!
Angkor is a year round destination due to high temperatures throughout the year. Peak travel time is during the months of November to March, when the weather is dry and not too hot. It is easy to explore the temples by hiring a tuk tuk and driver. Your driver will drive you around from temple to temple and wait for you while you explore.
By Talek at Travels with Talek
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is one of the great underrated cities of the world. I can attest to that after spending three days wandering this city. It’s hard to choose just one special thing to do in Amman and it depends on what your interests are. If you love history and archeology, Amman is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on Earth and has the chops to prove it. Artifacts dating from 7250 BCE have been discovered in the city. Ruins from the city’s Roman and Greek periods, when Amman was known as Philadelphia, abound throughout the city. Two major archeological sites that are must-see for any history buff are The Citadel and the Roman Theater. These are both close to each other and make for a great morning or afternoon of sightseeing.
If museums are more your thing, The Museum of Jordan and the Archeological Museum in The Citadel are both worth your time. Foodies rave about Amman’s culinary scene. Middle Eastern food is one of the world’s great cuisines. Lamb, chicken and fish are main stables. Seasonings include coriander, cumin and garlic. The stars of Amman cuisine are the deserts; flaky pastries with nuts, honey and sometimes cheeses. Habibe pastry shop is practically an institution in downtown Amman and is mentioned in all the travel guides. Grab a pastry, sit outside by a thousand year-old mosque and watch the people pass.
One of the best things to do in Amman is watch the sunset from one of the many rooftop bars around the city. Since Amman is built on several hills. it is very easy to find a rooftop location with fantastic views of the city. If you are lucky, you can catch the sunset just as the call to prayer drifts from the minarets of the mosques. It is a timeless, surreal and beautiful moment. I found Amman to be one of the friendliest, most interesting cities I’ve ever visited. I predict it will be on many travelers’ bucketlists in 2019.
By Patti and Matilda at The Travel Sisters
Tokyo, Japan should definitely be high on any bucket list for 2019. Tokyo is an incredible city for many reasons – including the culture (a fascinating mix of both modern and traditional), the people, the food, the fashion and it’s unique and interesting attractions. Make sure to walk across Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest and most famous intersection. If the timing works out, I also recommend watching a professional sumo wrestling tournament or visiting a sumo stable (house where the wrestlers train and live together) to watch a morning practice session. Tokyo is a great destination most of the year, but I think that March is one of the best months to visit due to the pleasant temperature and the celebrated pink cherry blossoms being in full bloom. Two of the best parks in Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing (hanami) are Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and Ueno Park where you will see locals and visitors enjoying the beautiful flowers. The dates of the peak cherry blossoms are not exact and vary each year depending on the weather but there are forecasts to help you plan your trip. I would definitely avoid visiting Tokyo in the summer as it is very hot and humid.
Related: How much does a trip to Japan cost?
By Shivani at The Wandering Core
Knuckled in the eastern hemisphere Odisha is a state unexplored by anyone beyond the neighbouring states. Famed for the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri, the state has a lot to offer apart from the temple. The state was historically named as ‘Kalinga’ with a deep history dating back to 260 BCE with beliefs around the Mahabharata period. That said this coastal state has a lot to offer. The beaches facing the Bay of Bengal, the remarkable sun temple of Konark, and the Ashokan edicts. Odisha is a warm state, and thus November to February are the best months to visit here.
There are some stunning places to visit in Odisha, starting from the capital, Bhubaneswar. The city is otherwise known as the City of temples with over 600 temples. Out of these, the Lingraj temple is a historic temple with marvellous architecture. Jagannath Temple is another renowned temple in Puri, highly valued in Hinduism. Apart from the temple, the city has a beautiful Golden sea beach. Watching the sunrise on the eastern coast should be on your 2019 bucket list. Puri district has Asia’s largest brackish water lake – Chilika Lake – merging with the Bay of Bengal and home to Irrawaddy dolphins. The Sun Temple ofKonark is a marvel bearing the brunt of time and still going strong. A temple dedicated to the Sun God is now a UNESCO heritage site and an architecture lover’s fantasy.
All India is known for its Taj Mahal, Himalayas and Kerala, but places like Odisha make it diverse. When thinking about India, I say visit some offbeat places to immerse yourself in the country’s beauty and history.
Hoi An, Vietnam
By Cat and Joe at Walk My World
In a world where almost everywhere is rushing towards modernisation, it is refreshing to come across places like Hoi An that prioritise retaining their history above all else. All the buildings are kept as they were 100 years ago, with terracotta roofs, bright yellow walls, wooden furnishings and streets that are lined with traditional lanterns that look particularly atmospheric at night. It is also the one place in Vietnam where you can happily stroll through the town without worrying about the buzz of a motorbike or car whizzing past as the old town is open only to pedestrians and bicycles. Sheer bliss in a country renowned for having more motorbikes than people. It’s the kind of place you can do as much or as little as you want. Many people are happy to spend days hopping in and out of the many cafes, which are open to the street and make for great people watching. If you’re looking for something a little more active you can pedal out of the old town and within just a few minutes you can be cycling along the rice paddies watching out for the water buffalo. In the evening, you can take a boat on the river surrounded by hundreds of floating lanterns in what is a truly magical experience. Hoi An is also known for being one of the best places in the world to buy tailor made clothes. You can have anything from a suit or cocktail dress to a bikini measured and made up in just 24 hours, and for an incredibly low price. It’s the kind of place you might plan to spend a few days and end up staying for weeks. Hoi An is on the coast of Central Vietnam, near Da Nang – Vietnam’s third biggest city. The best time to visit is between February and July which is classified as the dry season and is when the humidity isn’t quite as oppressive.
By Rahma at The Sane Adventurer
Muscat the capital city of Oman is one of the most naturally and culturally diverse capitals in the Middle East. The city has a long stretch of golden sand beaches best for many water sports activities like snorkeling and jet skiing. Also, the city has some of the most spectacular arabesque architecture monuments such as the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and The Royal Opera House of Muscat. Though there is a lot to see and do in Muscat, the highly recommended activities to do in Muscat include a visit to the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and to snorkel in the Arabian Ocean. The Grand Mosque welcomes people from all religious beliefs and background. Located in the heart of Muscat, it is the largest mosque in Oman with five tall minarets guarding the golden dome in the center. For anyone interested in getting up and close with the Arabian architecture, the SQGM is the ideal place to visit. For the adventure seeker, it is recommended to have a look at the rich marine life of the Omani waters.
The Daymaniyat Island and Bandar Al Khairan Island are the nearest to Muscat, just a twenty minutes speedboat ride away. The marine diversity of these islands is second to none in the entire Middle East region. Unique species of turtles and sharks can be easily spotted at these spots. As the weather of Muscat is mostly hot and humid for the most part of the year, the best time to visit the city is during winter from November to March. During these months the weather remains pleasant enough to do all the outdoor activities.
By Kami at My Wanderlust
Uzbekistan is the place to visit in 2019. For years this country located in the heart of Central Asia was rather difficult to get to due to the complicated and expensive visa but fortunately things have change recently and now trip to Uzbekistan is easier than ever. There are so many reasons to visit the country: hospitable people, delicious cuisine, affordable prices but most of all stunning architecture like nowhere else. Grand historic cities like Samarkand or Bukhara used to be important stops on the Silk Route and Khiva looks like a living museum with mosques, madrasahs and palaces. Don’t forget to include Tashkent, the capital city, in your Uzbekistan itinerary! The city is surprisingly pleasant and worth a day or two. When there spend some time underground as Tashkent metro is just magnificent, almost as amazing as famous Moscow metro and, since recently, it’s possible to take pictures there. The best way to travel around is by train – not only you will have a comfortable journey but it will be also a great opportunity to get to know local people who will surely ask you lots of questions. It’s better to avoid Uzbekistan in the summer time – since it’s mostly a desert country you can expect insanely hot and dry weather then. Better plan your trip to Uzbekistan for spring or autumn time.
By Lexi at A Scenic Find
Bohol is one of the many islands that make up the Philippines. This tiny island is located near Cebu Island and is easily reached by flight from either Cebu city or Manila. It’s also reachable by ferry from Cebu. Bohol has a few popular spots to visit such as Panglao (which is the main tourist destination), Anda, and Loboc.
Panglao is a popular spot for backpackers and is a great place to go snorkeling. This is where most tourists go, with the majority of hotels being here and a great spot to meet other travelers. Anda on the other hand, is a much quieter spot which offers cave pools, quiet beaches and nearby waterfalls to explore. It’s on the far side of the island so it’s a little more expensive to get here, but if you’re after peace and quiet this is the best spot to visit. The waterfalls and rice terraces of Candajay are best visited from Anda by motorbike or taxi.
Finally Loboc is where you can visit tarsiers, one of the tiniest marsupials in the world, characterized by their bulging eyes. Loboc is also the best place to access the star attraction of Bohol, the chocolate hills. Just be aware that there isn’t a lot of accommodation in Loboc, as a lot of travelers will just book a day trip from Tagbilaran city or Panglao to see the main sites here. It’s easy enough to get around the island by either taxi, bus or hiring a motorbike. April would be one of the best months to visit as the weather starts to cool down and there are less tourists. However avoid the Easter holiday period.
So there you have all of the best places to travel in 2020 from experienced travelers. Where are you dying to visit in 2020? What did we miss? What destination would you recommend for people to visit in 2020?