Whether you’re looking to book a multi-stop, around the world trip or just getting away to one special spot, this list of 20 places to travel in 2020 is designed to get you inspired and onto exploring! Last year we hit you with our top 19 suggested places to travel in 2019. This year we’re back with a 2020 list for you with some fresh destination inspiration.
We pinged our travel planning experts to find out which destinations should be on your 2020 travel list. We pulled together a compilation of our favorite places in the world. Enjoy and let our dreams be inspiration for a 2020 filled with transformative experiences!
Mexico City, Mexico
With a diverse culinary scene, a proliferation of new public spaces, and a booming arts movement, Mexico City is experiencing a bit of a renaissance right now. With a contemporary and cultured edge, the city still retains much of its storied history and colonial architecture. Explore one of the many murals, or drop by an old-school cantina.
Valle de Cocora, Colombia
In a country with one of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world, Cocora is possibly the most unique and striking. Stretching east of Salento into the lower reaches of PNN Los Nevados, there’s a broad range of green valleys framed with terraces. As if Bali and Machu Picchu had a baby, you’re in for a breath taking adventure. Ride horses through the trails and along the terraces and enjoy views that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Known locally as Floripa, Florianopolis is a juxtaposition of beautiful beaches, lush forests, and the bustling industrial city across the bay. A favorite spot of surfers world wide, the area offers plenty of activities for those less athletically inclined as well as waterfalls, snorkeling, and laying out with a caipirinha to name a few. Floripa is rated as one of the highest qualities of life among Brazilian cities; the local government successfully balancing a booming economy with the need to preserve natural flora and fauna.
Shrouded by mist and surrounded by lush vegetation and steep escarpments, the sprawling Inca citadel of Machu Picchu lives up to every expectation. In a spectacular location, it’s the most famous archaeological site on the continent, a must for all visitors to Peru. Like the Mona Lisa or the pyramids, it has been seared into our collective consciousness, though nothing can diminish the thrill of being here. This awe-inspiring ancient city was never revealed to the conquering Spaniards and was virtually forgotten until the early part of the 20th century.
The northern most city in the world is a playground for creative people with its combination of colorful buildings and fresh new designs. The capital of Iceland serves as a gateway to rugged adventures. Recharge post outdoor pursuits in one of the many geothermal springs or luxurious indoor spas.
Once a well known pirate haven, Rabat is now the charming capital city of Morocco. Visit the UNESCO heritage listed medinas or if you’re not feeling up to sightseeing, simply sit and drink the famous mint tea Moroccans use as an excuse to relax and socialize. Herbs and spices are used abundantly and subtly in the local cuisine, so be sure to sample liberally. Although Rabat is the administrative center of the country, the city also has a strong economic presence in the services sectors; primarily telecom and finance.
With cobblestone walkways and ancient ruins covering Lisbon’s trademark seven hills, your camera arm will be busy while here. A foodie’s paradise, Lisbon is also famous for its rowdy and vivacious nightlife scene – check out Bairro Alto of an evening. Snap some photos from the famous miradouros (terrace viewpoints) and enjoy wandering the alleys and walk-able streets. A historic port and trading center, Lisbon is still one of Europe’s wealthiest and most impactful economic influences. Still the country’s chief seaport, the city has grown rapidly recently and is a hub for the media, technology, finance, and manufacturing industries.
You’re in for a real treat when you visit the beautiful, quaint seaside village Cadaqués. If you’re looking for culture, fresh cuisine, and to kick back and enjoy a relaxing holiday, this destination is the one for you. The surrealist artist, Dalí spent family holidays here during his youth and was inspired by the beautiful whitewashed homes lining the pebbled beaches. Driving in you’ll enjoy beautiful mountain views and sprawling crystal clear coves. Hikers and runners will love traversing the trails that lead into the village.
This seaside village in the south of France is like a painting come to life. Enjoy a glass of local rosé as you sit by the beach. Get inspired by the beautiful pastel colored buildings sprinkled across the hillside village. Once Perpignan’s port, Collioure found fame in the early 20th century when it inspired the Fauvist artists Henri Matisse and André Derain and, later, Picasso and Braque.
Take a stopover in Muscat or drive across the border from Dubai into the Sultanate of Oman. Retrace the 1001 Arabian Nights as you travel through a network of ancient forts, sparkling beaches and lush oases scattered amongst the backdrop of barren sun scorched mountains. In Oman you will find genuine, friendly locals who can show you the true meaning of Arab hospitality.
A mixture of eastern and western influences, Belgrade is one of the most up and coming cities in all of Europe. Hapsburg and Ottoman architecture sit alongside each other with the storied Danube flowing in between. A nightlife scene to rival any of Western Europe’s, Belgrade can also provide a quiet afternoon in one of the elaborate coffeehouses along Knez Mihailova. Enjoy some of the best food of your life in this city!
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv means ‘Hill of Spring’ in Hebrew. With flowers constantly in bloom and new restaurants and businesses cropping up ;the meaning of the name is really quite fitting. When it comes to the best beaches in the world, some are surprised to know that Tel Aviv is one of the top rated destinations. Stretching along the Mediterranean coast this city is a rare gem to be explored.
Is 2019 the year Pakistan reemerges as a viable tourist destination? Long considered a “no go” country, Pakistan’s security situation has improved dramatically in recent years. News from the recently elected government gives promise of a new visa on arrival option for visitors from most Western countries. Fantasy itinerary: Start in the ancient bustling city of Lahore, make your way up to the modern capital of Islamabad-Rawalpindi then ascend through mountain valleys to Gilgit, Swat, Hunza or Chitral. Take the Karakoram Highway all the way past the Khunjerab pass and into Western China. Continue to Kashgar after!
St. Petersburg, Russia
Don’t miss an opportunity to visit Russia’s capital of culture. Venture down canals and amaze at the grand scale of this imperial city. Get lost exploring the endless salons of the Hermitage, the second largest art museum in the world. St Petersburg is all polished up after hosting the World Cup. Now it’s all yours to explore without the crowds. You can even visit for 3 days without a visa by taking an affordable round trip cruise from Helsinki.
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is both the capital and largest city of the Republic of Korea, also known as South Korea. A truly international city, Seoul has the best of both worlds in not only combining ancient history with modernity, but also life in a big city with nature. From navigating the exceptional public transport system to exploring the local start-up scene to learning the true meaning of Gangnam style and seeing if sheep cafes really do exist, Seoul will both surprise and charm you.
There is a common assumption that long-term travel is quite expensive, and it can be, but travel to a place like Sumatra, and you can live lavishly inexpensively. Rolf Potts, one of our AirTreks Travel Ambassadors, spent his time in a beautiful room with a view not he shore of Lake Toba. A calm and peaceful place to gather thoughts, dream of possibilities, and savor moments. This beautiful dot on the map of the world will ease your soul, clear your mind, and introduce you to some of the kindest humans on earth.
An interesting blend of east and west, enjoy the Chinese and French influences while you explore the capital city of Vietnam. Relatively unscarred despite decades of war and seclusion, Hanoi is currently enjoying a booming economy and robust development surge. Find your way past the honking scooters and trinket vendors to the old city where you can enjoy a noodle snack and bargain with some vendor on local handmade wares. One of the fastest-growing cities in the world, Hanoi’s main industries include real estate, manufacturing, and banking.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Situated where the Tonle Sap, Bassac, and Mekong rivers collide, Phnom Penh is the vibrant, bustling city of Cambodia. Many consider it to be one of the friendliest capitals in Asia. The Khmer temples and monuments found here are some of the most stunning examples of Buddhist architecture and art in the world. Once known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, Phnom Penh’s light was dimmed by the war and revolution. But the city has since risen to take its place among the hip capitals of the region and offers a world-class café, bar, and foodie scene.
Alvord Desert, Oregon
Once a large, 200ft-deep lake, the stunning Alvord Basin is now a series of beige-white alkali beds that have come to be over centuries of evaporation. They alternate startlingly with sagebrush prairies and old ranches. The landscape is epic, and the hot springs are an even bigger draw. The Alvord Hot Springs are a mini Yellowstone, with bubbling mud pots and steam vents. These beautiful little wonders are stunning to see, but warning they are too hot to bath in!
Havasupai Falls, Arizona
Havasupai (pronounced Have-uh-sue-pie) is one of the most beautiful hiking destinations in the Southwest. The green-blue water and grand waterfalls draw travelers from all over the world. If you’re already planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, this destination is a must. This hike in destination is a place you will never forget about.