Planning your next big adventure and need some inspiration? Please read on!
Why not check out the top travel destinations for 2020. This sounds easy enough, however every travel related website has their own top destination list for 2020. Reading them all is quite a task and is likely to leave you more indecisive than before!
To make it easier for you, we have done the hard work! We reviewed 11 different websites and their top 2020 travel destinations, and put them all together and here are the 11 most popular travel destinations for 2020.
Japan was clearly the number one destination for 2020, appearing in 9 of the 11 lists. No doubt that has something to do with Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympic games. It is predicted that as many as 600,000 tourists will arrive in Japan for the Olympics, so book now if you are wanting to go.
If you want to avoid the crowds at this tourist hotspot, visit Tokyo in winter when the crowds are smaller, or visit some of the cities around Tokyo. Nikko is a small and peaceful town only 2 hours from Tokyo, full of rich cultural history, beautiful mountains, national forests and hot springs. Less than 4 hours from Tokyo, you can watch the snow monkeys, splash about in hot springs and have snowball fights in the forests of Yudanaka.
Still wanting a big city experience in Japan with late night karaoke, shopping and great food? – then visit Osaka. Nearby Kyoto and Nara are also well worth the visit. Kyoto, once the capital of Japan has many Buddhist temples, palaces, gardens and shrines. Nara is full of historic treasures including some of Japans oldest and largest temples, and be sure to visit Nara Park and see the wild deer.
New Zealand has history, culture and beautiful scenery. With stunning mountain ranges, 144 islands in the Bay of Islands and a 27m waterfall at Rainbow Falls, you won’t be short of outdoor activities and beauty here.
There’s so much to do in Auckland, like visiting the southern hemispheres tallest building – Sky Tower or go to one of the three international motor sport events being hosted there in 2020. A short ferry ride from Auckland is Waiheke Island – a must see, a beautiful island where Byron Bay meets the Hamptons. Hire a car and drive around the island to visit and enjoy the boutique wineries, rolling hills and beautiful beaches.
Wellington is also a must see, known as ‘the Windy City’, it is the capital of cool, framed by hills and a harbour, and surrounded by reserves and park lands.
Queenstown is known for its adrenaline fueled activities, like bungee jumping, jet boating and white water rafting.
Visit Rotorua to experience Maori culture and the local thermal wonderland with geysers, bubbling mud pools and hot springs.
Tongariro Crossing, south of Rotorua, was voted one of the world’s best day hikes. Used as a filming location in Lord of the Rings, it’s surprisingly accessible and feels miles away from civilisation.
Sri Lanka will excite your senses, from fiery curries, fluorescent green tea plantations, kind people, a rich culture and a stunning shoreline.
Tourism has been heavily impacted by Sri Lanka’s Easter attacks in April 2019, but this is bouncing back and with so much to see and do, it’s no wonder. Visit temples, centuries old ruins, national parks, a stunning southern coastline, rainforests and tea plantations.
The tear drop shaped country is also one of the best places in the world to see elephants, leopards, turtles and blue whales. A must do is a safari in one of the 26 wildlife-rich national parks. The scenic train journey through the hills and tea plantations between Colombo, Kandy and Ella is stunning and worth booking a window seat for.
If you don’t have a lot of time, Sri Lanka is small enough with a reliable bus network that means you can do it all in just a few weeks.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The United Arab Emirates is a destination where luxury meets the future. This year they are hosting the first World Expo in the Middle East. Expo 2020 is being held between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and will have over 130 countries participating, with up to 100 million travellers visiting.
Dubai, is a sprawling desert city that boasts luxury hotels and large malls. It features the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and even the largest artificial islands in the world, the Palm Islands. With many sights to see in Dubai including the Dubai Fountain, Dubai Marina, Ski Dubai – indoor snow mountain themed attraction, several outdoor waterparks and gold and textile focussed Souk’s, you will have plenty to do.
The nearby city of Abu Dhabi, where they are avoiding over-development, still has many highlights. These sights include the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, considered to be one of the most beautiful mosques ever created, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s first Ferrari based theme park, Yas Island and Waterworld, an expansive, futuristic water park and the Lourve Abu Dhabi, a museum for international artwork.
While the pyramids are on most people’s bucket list, many people have been hesitant to travel there for safety reasons. Now Egypt has been named the world’s fastest-growing travel destination by the World Tourism Organization. So it’s a great time to visit there, before the crowds get even bigger.
Egypt is a treasure trove of monuments and antiquities, with a well-preserved history and a unique culture. Visit the Giza’s pyramids and the Great Sphinx, take a multi-night Nile River cruise, snorkel the Red Sea in beautiful Taba, visit Luxor’s Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings and many more temples, tombs, and churches that are unlike anywhere else.
2020 will see the opening of the new Grand Egyptian Museum on the Giza Plateau, set to be the world’s biggest archaeological museum, with a huge number of ancient Egyptian artefacts and the full Tutankhamen collection.
You can now get a glimpse inside the Bent pyramid, 40km south of Cairo, which reopened in 2019 after more than 50 years.
South Africa screams adventure, you can go surfing on the Eastern Cape Coast, bungee jump off the Garden Route’s Bloukrans Bridge, swim with gentle whale sharks in Sodwana Bay and visit Kruger National Park, which is one of the best places in Africa to see the big five in their natural habitat. South Africa is also home to some of the world’s most pristine beaches.
Cape Town, South Africa’s capital, is a vibrant and progressive city with a colourful mix of culture, music, and history. It lies between mountains and the ocean with a great nightlife, wild African Penguins on boulders beach, hiking spots at Table Mountain, Lions Head Mountain and Signal Hill. A holiday here isn’t complete without a visit to Robben Island, where former president Nelson Mandela was held prisoner for 27 years. You can stroll along Long street, browsing the cafes, bars, boutiques and vintage shops in a row of pretty Victorian buildings, a visit to the colourful streets of Bo Kaap and marvel at the tip of Africa at Cap Point, Cape Point Peninsula.
Brazil is South America’s largest country and the world’s most biologically diverse, boasting over 2,000 beaches, the Amazon Rainforest, the Dunes of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Iguazu Falls in Iguazu National Park, stunning beaches along the Pernambuco coast – and so much more.
Rio de Janeiro is the most visited city in South America due to its many famous landmarks. These include Sugar Loaf Mountain, Cristo Redentor statue of Christ, Rio’s famous Carnival, Copacabana Beach and district, just to name a few. The city of Rio de Janeiro has been selected by UNESCO as the first World Capital of Architecture for 2020. Rio is expected to be celebrating with special events all year. 2020 will also see Rio hosting the world’s largest party, Carnival and the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Being so diverse allows visitors to create a holiday to include tropical paradises, exciting cultural destinations, idyllic beaches, jungle explorations, world-class art museums and the pulsing rhythms of Rio’s Carnival.
British Virgin Islands
After a devastating hurricane hitting the islands in 2017, the British Virgin Islands (BIV) are making a full rebound in 2020 with the reopening of many existing and new resorts. 2020 will also bring the opening of some new attractions and dive sites. The island has worked hard to recover and rebuild while promoting sustainability and recycling.
The annual Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, in late March, is the best time of the year for underwater visibility, with dive sites for scuba enthusiasts and beautiful clear seas for snorkelling and beach dwellers.
Whether you take in the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean or travel through the picturesque green mountains across the islands, it’s the perfect sun-soaked beach getaway you’ll need this year.
Costa Rica is one of the most popular year-round destinations in the Western Hemisphere. Appealing to many visitors including those looking for adventure, relaxation, romance and exploration.
Animal lovers seek to spot sleepy sloths, red-eyed frogs, leaf cutter ants, jaguars, whales in the Pacific Ocean and more. Adventure lovers can hike volcanoes, do jungle treks, visit waterfalls, ride a zip line or visit a surf camp. Those wanting ‘me time’ can enjoy yoga retreats and spa experiences.
The countries mantra ‘Pura Vida’, meaning ‘pure life’ is the way of life in Costa Rica. It is a call to wellness and being good to yourself and the environment around you.
Known for sustainable tourism, Costa Ricans understand the importance of preserving their slice of tropical paradise. Their towns and cities are more upmarket than the countries Central American neighbours, however they do not compromise the biodiversity of the nearby jungles and coastlines. 90% of the country’s energy is created by renewable sources, and by the end of 2021, it aims to be the first plastic-free and carbon-neutral country.
With an increase in international travellers in recent years, Israel is now updating their airport and opening many new hotel resorts, including the very first luxurious resort in the deeply isolated Negev Desert.
Israel is full of varied landscapes, bustling cities and religious and historical sites. These include Jerusalem’s Old City, (including the Western Wall and the golden Dome of the Rock), as well as Bethlehem, Nazareth, Tel Aviv’s bustling beaches and nightlife, Masada, the Dead Sea (earth’s lowest point), the Jordan River, stunning Eilat, the welcoming kibbutzim, and dozens of important archaeology sites, including Jericho’s ancient ruins.
All this is amid a warm, social culture that appreciates lots of good food and a vibrant cultural and social scene with the Israeli ‘enjoyment of life’ attitude.
Slovenia is a country made up of sea and mountains and a medley of arts and culture (especially music). It is also an affordable travel option for 2020.
Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, will be hosting the 2020 World Championship ice hockey tournament in April. With half the country covered in trees, this is also a good time to visit and see the butterflies and wildflowers throughout the countryside, where old world towns, farmhouses, vineyards, meadows, and forests create the landscape.
Ljubljana, a typical stunning European city with a castle proudly looking over it, is well worth the visit. Predjama Castle, is more rural and built into the side of a cliff face and includes dungeons and secret tunnels.
Other Slovenian must-sees include Lake Bled and its castle, seaside Portoroz on the Adriatic coast, glacial Lake Bohinj, the Julian Alps and their Pericnik Waterfall and the Italian-influenced town of Piran.
Slovenia is also home to the Planica Nordic Center, which boasts the biggest ski jumping hill in the world, a wind tunnel, cycling paths and a zip line.