New year, new travels! Given that we’re on the brink of not only a new year but an entirely new decade, there’s no better time to travel far and wide than in 2020 — after all, it’s never too early to get started on your New Year’s resolution of traveling more this year. We’ve rounded up some of the best places to visit in 2020 — and the list includes cities that range from top foodie destinations to places that are making their marks as up-and-coming cultural hubs. With the new year seeing major events like the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo and the World Expo in Dubai, too, you can definitely expect 2020’s top destinations to focus on key cultural events and world trends that will be occurring in the new year — but if you’re looking for more of a family-friendly beach resort or a relaxing weekend getaway, we’ve got you covered for that, too.
Whichever kind of vacation you desire for yourself in the new year, pick one (or more) of these top destinations of 2020, pack all your best travel gadgets, and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime. Whether you’re partial to a charming northern town in France or a vibrant, bustling city in Thailand, there’s truly a destination for everyone. Check out our list of the 10 best places to travel in 2020 below — and be sure to book your flights and get packing ASAP, as the new year (and new decade) will wait for no one! Where will 2020 take you first?
Just named the European Capital of Culture for 2020 (along with Rijeka, Croatia), this charming and vibrant city on Ireland’s west coast will be a lively site for many cultural events in music, theatre, literature, and art this year — plus, you can enjoy a buzzing food hub as well as stunning scenery full of cobblestone streets and rocky landscapes.
If there ever was a metropolis of the future, it’s Dubai — this sprawling desert city boasts luxury hotels, sprawling malls, and even the tallest building in the world. Plus, 2020 will see Dubai host the first World Expoto be held in the Middle East, where over 190 countries will take part in showcasing their latest developments in sustainability and transportation. Hello, future!
After a devastating hurricane struck the islands in 2017, the British Virgin Islands are making a full rebound in 2020 with the reopening of many major resorts. Whether you take in the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean or traverse through the picturesque green mountains across the islands (or both!), it’s the perfect sun-soaked beach getaway you’ll need in 2020.
Japan will be a popular destination this coming year as the 2020 Summer Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo — but if you’re looking for an easy escape from the crowds while still being in close proximity to the Games, the small, peaceful town of Nikko is your best bet: It’s full of rich cultural history as well as beautiful mountains, national forests, and hot springs (and all of it only two hours from the bustle of Tokyo!).
Ranked the world’s most visited city in 2019 for the fourth year in a row, Thailand’s vibrant, booming capital city is full of both ancient and modern culture as well as an incredible street food scene. Be sure to check out the city’s historic temples and take in the splendor of the Grand Palace — and don’t forget to stop by the famous floating markets for the city’s most delectable eats.
This charming northern city in France is quickly on the rise as a cultural metropolis, thanks to its renowned arts scene and impressive advances in urban development that helped it earn its recent crown as the World Design Capital of 2020. Enjoy art-forward museums like the curious La Piscine Museum while in Lille, as well as many superb restaurants and boutiques.
There’s more to Maine’s largest city and buzzing cultural hub than its famous lighthouse-strewn coastline — Portland also boasts an incredible culinary scene full of great seafood and craft beer, as well as an excellent array of museums and galleries to visit. For a taste of New England charm, stroll down Portland’s cobblestone streets and explore craft shops, bookstores, and breweries.
Known as the “pink city” because of the beautiful salmon-tinted stones of its buildings, Armenia’s capital is deeply historic (the city dates back to 8th century B.C.!) yet still modern and vibrant. Explore ancient buildings, cathedrals, and monasteries in one day, then walk the picturesque boulevards lined with cafes, fountains, and wine bars the next — it’s a perfect blend of historic and modern in a dynamic city.
The summer of 2020 will see the centennial of the Salzburg Festival, which means plenty of classical music, opera, and drama from world-renowed acts in the city known as Mozart’s birthplace. With hundreds of special events and exhibitions taking place in Salzburg this year, there will be much to explore, see, and attend in this Austrian city full of tradition and culture.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to visit this national wonder, consider finally checking it off your bucket list in 2020. With its astonishing peaks, plateaus, and rivers, the Grand Canyon is a must-see for anyone with wanderlust. Whether you hike along the trails or take a scenic drive, you’ll be awe-inspired by the park’s breathtaking views and incredible natural splendor.