Musement takes a look at 20 places around the globe to visit in 2020.
As much of a cliche as it is, we’re going to say it anyway: the New Year brings many new beginnings — one of which is re-evaluating the good ole bucket list. As you start replacing where you’ve been with places that you haven’t (or perhaps you’re just looking to grow it?), here are 20 places you should travel in 2020.
Between its juxtaposition of modernity with tradition, Japan is one of the world’s most mesmerizing countries. If you’re looking for a reason to get there (besides the food), 2020 offers a few. Tokyo, which happens to hold more Michelin stars than Paris, will host the Summer Olympics from July 24 to August 9 while the Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art is slated to reopen on March 21 following extensive renovations that include a brand new contemporary art wing. Also, a hike along one of the country’s epic trails is a must.
Whether it’s a stop-over or part of a larger trip to the United Arab Emirates, the ever-evolving Dubai is worth a visit in 2020, the latter part of the year in particular as Expo 2020 kicks off October 20 and will conclude on April 20, 2021. From the Burj Khalifa (now open 24 hours) to larger-than-life theme parks to turquoise beaches to the artsy Al Quoz quarter and more, there’s plenty to keep your dance card full when you’re in town.
2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and Poland, as well as other European countries profoundly impacted by the war, will hold commemoration events. With Polish Airlines launching non-stop flights between JFK and Krakow and American Airlines flights departing from O’Hare, making the charming Polish city a starting point for exploring the rest of the country has never been easier. When in town, a visit to Oskar Schindler’s Factory Museum is a must. And don’t forget to dine at a milk bar.
Petra is certainly a draw to this magnificent Middle Eastern country, but it’s not all that Jordan has to offer. From the unforgettable Wadi Rum desert to the Roman ruins of Jerash to Aqaba’s seaside to Madaba’s mosaics to the epic Dead Sea to enriching historic sites like Bethany, Jordan is just waiting for you to explore it. Vibrant Amman, the capital, is the perfect jumping point.
We love London and could sing its praises until the cows come home, but there’s so much to see beyond the confines of the English capital. Manchester is home to a new Cultureplex, a gathering place for food, drink, culture and more while the England Coast Path, a 2,795-mile National Trail along the entire coastline, is slated for a 2020 opening.
Out of the world’s 103 existing ecosystems, 84 can be found in Peru as can 28 of the 32 existing climates. From the thriving capital of Lima to the magical Cusco, the former Inca capital, and its surrounding Sacred Valley among the Andes, there’s plenty to wow you—in addition to the iconic Incan ruins of Macchu Pichu—such as the natural pools of Ayacucho, Arequipa and its gorgeous architecture, the Nazca lines, spectacular national parks, and many more.
7. The Amazon, Brazil and Peru
With climate change, protecting this rainforest is more important now than ever as it’s home to rare animals and plants as well as indigenous communities. Experiencing this jungle and rainforest is an absolute must to not only understand how special it is but also to support preservation efforts for this exquisite wonder.
8. Nashville, Tennessee
It’s no secret that Nashville is one of America’s most boisterous towns. While a honky-tonk is in order when in town, “Music City” isn’t only a must for lovers of the genre as there’s plenty happening on the food front from distilleries to breweries to innovative eateries. Nature lovers will also enjoy 108 city parks where activities like cycling, kayaking, ziplining, and hiking await.
9. The Netherlands
Like Poland, the Netherlands will also be holding several events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The Liberation Day celebration will be an even grander affair in Amsterdam and beyond, and plenty of sites pay homage to the war such as the Liberation Route and a daily Sunset March in honor of the fallen in Nijmegen. In addition, music lovers might want to make a trip just for the Eurovision Song Contest in May, which is taking place in Rotterdam.
From the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean to the Sahara Desert to the Atlas Mountains, Morocco is a dream destination. Cities like Casablanca, Fez and Marrakech are home to old medinas and ancient traditions as well as contemporary gems. With two UNESCO sites—Djemaa El Fna Square and the medina—, Marrakech has been named the first African Capital of Culture for 2020.
From its coffee houses to sachertorte, we could wax poetic about Vienna all day. Yet while we’re all for visiting the Austrian capital any time of the year, we suggest Salzburg, the storybook Alpine town that happens to be Mozart’s birthplace. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the Salzburg Festival, a prominent celebration of music and drama. Taking place from January 18 to August 30, the festival will host 222 performances in at 15 different venues and is a must for anyone who appreciates the performing arts.
12. Washington D.C.
The American capital is well worth a visit for its historic sites and cultural institutions, but 2020 is an especially exciting time and not simply because it’s an election year: it’s the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. This milestone took 75 years to achieve and a visit to Washington D.C. is a nice way to pay homage to the fierce Suffragists who fought to make it happen.
Tourism is starting to pick up again following the turmoil of the political uprisings, and if you’ve been putting Egypt off due to safety concerns, 2020 is the year to consider a visit. The Grand Egyptian Museum, also known as the Giza Museum, is slated to open. The $1 billion project will house the 50,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts including, for the first time ever, a display of the entire collection found in King Tut’s entire tomb.
This wonderful country is teeming with magic, beauty and legends, and road trip on the Wales Way, three national routes, is the best way to explore. The Coastal Way is a 180-mile ride along the west coast and the mountains while the Cambrian Way is a 185-mile route between Llandudno and Cardiff. The North Wales Way is a 75-mile ride past magnificent castles that ends on the island of Anglesey—pick one, two or all of them.
15. St. Louis, Missouri
This midwestern metropolis on the Mississippi has grown quite popular over the last few years in part due to its charming architecture, a vibrant music scene and exciting gastronomy. A visit to the trippy, surreal City Museum set in a former shoe factory is a must as is dropping in on the new aquarium. And, of course, a snap of the arch, one of the world’s most distinct structures, is necessary for your Instagram feed.
A road trip around the Emerald Isle is always recommended, but what makes 2020 even more exciting is that Galway has been named a European Culture Capital. This seaside town on the West Coast has events planned year-round in honor of the distinction. When in town, we suggest eating lots of oysters as well as heading out of the city to explore Connemara and its ethereal landscapes. When you’re in this part of the world, head to the north to see some Game of Thrones locations and to visit the studios in Belfast.
Croatia, too, has plenty to offer on the Game of Thrones and European Culture Capital fronts. Dubrovnik served as the backdrop for King’s Landing for several seasons and Rijeka has also been named a 2020 European Culture Capital. Needless to say, this port city on the sparkling blue Adriatic has activities planned year-round in honor of the holiday. Also, Zagreb, its capital city, is quite a happening destination.
Doha, the capital of Qatar, has quickly risen to prominence as a must-see city and one of the most popular ways to explore the towering metropolis is via free stop-over on Qatar Airways. From staggering skyscrapers to traditional souks, the city undoubtedly wows Of particular note is the recently opened National Museum of Qatar, an architectural marvel by Jean Nouvel (designer of the Louvre Abu Dhabi) who sought inspiration from the sand grains that grow around desert roses.
Airports are incredibly intriguing and if you’re curious to pass through (what’s slated to be) the world’s largest, then book a trip to Istanbul. Currently in operation, though incomplete, the 15.5-million-square-foot Istanbul Airport is a spectacle that travelers might find as alluring as the city, a curious crossroads of the East and the West will undoubtedly steal your heart.
With Qantas airlines soon to launch non-stop flights from London and New York, a visit to the land Down Under never seemed more appealing. From Sydney to Melbourne to Perth to Great Ocean Road to everywhere in between, Australia is a spectacular treasure trove waiting to be discovered.