With the entire world to choose from, where should you go? We help you out.
There are better ways to pick a holiday destination than blindly sticking a pin in a map. Like taking a look at the top 10 cities the Lonely Planet team suggests you visit in 2020.
Egypt has fascinated people for centuries and that isn’t going to end anytime soon. Cairo especially is packed with breath-taking architectural designs and hundreds of historical monuments that make it easy to believe you’re in another time when pharaohs walked the earth. It’s also the only place on earth where you will still get to see a wonder of the ancient world—the Great Pyramid of Giza. 2020 will also see the launch of a state-of-the-art museum called Grand Egyptian Museum, so that you can gawk up close at some of Egypt’s greatest treasures.
Photograph: Filip Maljković / Flickr
A multi-cultural canvas, Vancouver has the best of both worlds—sparkling beaches and majestic mountains. Giant snow-capped peaks are just 30 minutes away and are very popular with skiers and snowboarders. And then there are the popular beaches overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With year-round water and land sports, Vancouver is packed with activities you’ll enjoy. It’s also a food lovers haven, serving everything from fresh-caught seafood to Vietnamese sandwiches, and Indian curries. Did we mention the city booming craft-beer scene?
Photograph: JamesZ_Flickr / Flickr
Also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi’s culture is steeped in its cultural heritage, which is influenced by the Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese, and Arabs. So you’re as likely to see an ancient mosque as a 450-year-old synagogue, and Chinese fishing nets. This ancient port city is a key centre for the arts and hosts the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, to be held next in 2020.
Photograph: Girish Gopi / Flickr
With 2020 being the year of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, this metropolis on the Rhine is once again in the spotlight. Explore fairy-tale castles, a university set in a former palace, and numerous museums that highlight the culture and history of this city that was once the German capital. And thanks to Beethoven’s anniversary, expect almost a 1,000 opera performances, concerts, festivals, competitions, and exhibitions all through 2020.
Photograph: dr. avishai teacher / Wikimedia Commons
La Paz, Bolivia
Located 3,640 meters above sea level, La Paz is Bolivia’s cultural, historical, and political centre. Attractions include elegant cathedrals, colourful street markets, especially Witches Market, and vibrant nightlife. The city also has the largest urban cable car network in the world, which is a fantastic public transport system. Cable car routes weave between the various teeming city centres and provide quick travel options from one of the end of the city to another. The cable cars offer stunning views of the city and surrounding valley.
Photograph: Inhabitat / Flickr
Washington DC, USA
This American city offers an interesting mix of history, politics, and culture, along with a bustling food scene. Go on a tour of the White House, visit the Library of Congress (the world’s largest library), admire the Lincoln Memorial up close or take a stroll through some of the most notable museums in the world, including the Smithsonian Museums and National Gallery of Art. Plus, there’s the excitement of the 2020 presidential election that’s sure to seep through every part of the city.
Photograph: David Mark / Pixabay
The Salzburg Festival, one of the largest annual events in classical music, celebrates 100 years in 2020. Some of the world’s best performers will gather in Salzburg to put on a host of theatrical events, ranging from opera to plays, readings, concerts, and exhibitions—there’s something for everyone. Spread across July and August, events are planned all over the city that is the birthplace of Mozart and home to some of the finest Baroque architecture.
Photograph: Hans Braxmeier / Pixabay
Galway is considered one of Ireland’s most picturesque cities, with its wind-battered beaches, views of the frosty Atlantic, and roads that lead to the wild countryside. It’s also a treasure house of Irish heritage and culture, and will be supercharged thanks to it being the 2020 European Capital of Culture. Expect tons of buskers, street performers, and world-class dance, music, and theatre. Also enticing are are the motley pubs offering hearty beers and lip-smacking food. Want something a little more refined? Galway is also home to two Michelin-star restaurants.
Photograph: Irish Jaunt / Flickr
Once a small fishing village, Dubai has transformed itself into a land of the future. Here you will find palm-shaped islands and a remarkable number of skyscrapers vying for space with even more ambitious projects. Now a global real estate hub, Dubai is hosting the six-month long World Expo in 2020, which is expected to showcase the latest and grandest designs in mobility and sustainability. While there, visitors can check out the ambitious The World resort, a man-made archipelago meant to resemble a world map, slated to be fully completed by 2020.
Photograph: Sam valadi / Flickr
Resting at the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, the Mile High City offers a stunning panorama, over 200 parks, bike paths, and 300 days of sunny blue skies, making it popular as a walkable city. Also making an impact is its eclectic fare from around the world and thriving and creative craft beer culture.
Photograph: dconvertini / Flickr