With 2020 heralding a new decade, there’s no better time to embrace your inner explorer and give a new destination a whirl.
No inspo? No problem. We’ve analysed the latest travel reports to find which destinations will be trending in the new year. From ABTA’s Travel Trends 2020 and Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020 to Condé Nast Traveler’s Destinations to Watch in 2020, we’ve combed through them all to create a list of the predicted top holiday destinations.
Here are six destinations to add to your wish list in 2020.
Teeming with history and alive with an electric atmosphere, Budapest is one of Europe’s best city break locations. It’s been bubbling (quite literally) under the surface for a while, but is now revelling in its new-found fame. Blanketed in snow or bathed in sunshine, Hungary’s capital is incredible all year round.
Let’s start with the architecture. Wander the city’s sweeping boulevards and you’ll spot nods to baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau design. The Great Synagogue, Royal Palace and Basilica of St. Stephen are all must-sees. Plus, there are hints to Budapest’s time behind the Iron Curtain too – just head to Memento Park.
Treat your tired body to a post-sightseeing soak at one of the city’s famed bath houses. Szechenyi Baths is a neoclassical beauty, with 15 indoor and three outdoor baths to sink into. Once you’ve warmed up, the city’s lively ruin bars are the next best place to head for. Szimpla Kert is an institution in its self, with graffitied walls and an eclectic collection of memorabilia on display.
Kvarner Gulf, Croatia
Croatia’s been a holiday honeypot for the last few years but its Kvarner Gulf still remains relatively unknown. Set your sights on this dramatic part of the Adriatic Coast for your summer holiday and you’ll get much more than a beach break.
That’s not to say its pebbly patches and azure waters aren’t one of its biggest draws. But there’s also charming seaside towns, wildlife-filled national parks and tropical gardens to discover.
Let’s start with the islands. Dense pine forest and Caribbean-style beaches blanket Rab, creating a magical paradise. You can also spot dolphins and turtles among the waters near Lošinj, an island fragranced by swathes of pine and rosemary. If you venture onto the mainland, natural wonders await at Velebit National Park.
Flat and flower-filled, the Netherlands is a prized gem of Europe. There’s no better place to take to two wheels, admire art and explore a maze of waterways.
Its capital, Amsterdam, is the perfect place to begin unpicking its charms. Gabled Golden Age houses line its canals, bicycles clatter over cobbled streets and waterside cafés bustle with coffee-sipping punters. You can simply potter around and absorb it all or head into its roll call of museums for a deeper dive into the country’s history.
Start with Rijksmuseum for a glimpse of Rembrandt's epic The Night Watch then head for the Van Gogh Museum. Beyond the capital, Rotterdam and Utrecht await. Or get a taste of the Dutch Wadden Islands, just a few hours north of Amsterdam.
Oh Paris, let us count the ways we adore thee…There’s a reason why the French capital is the third most visited city in the world. Wander its swoon-worthy streets while iconic attractions spring into view – the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées and Notre Dame to name but four.
Powerhouse sights aren’t its only draw. Paris is a foodie haven, ready to dazzle you with French classics, local delights and globetrotting gastronomies. Dinky bistros are perfect for trying steak frites, while the scent of freshly-baked baguettes wafts out from boulangeries. And just try to resist the rainbow-hued macarons stacked up in the windows of pâtisseries.
World-class museums impress with masterpieces from the likes of Da Vinci, Rodin and Michelangelo. And if you’re big on shopping, Galeries Lafayette should be at the top of your list. Don’t miss open-air Marché Bastille either, where you can peruse stalls piled high with local goodies, clothing and the odd antique.
Live the dream in the whimsical city of Salzburg. This Austrian gem defines fairytale, with an old town that looks like its straight out of a picture book. Baroque architecture lines the streets and domes and spires filled the skyline.
Feel like royalty as you explore Festung Hohensalzburg, the 900-year-old fortress perched above the city. Butter-yellow Schloss Hellbrunn and opulent Residenz will give you a similar regal experience.
Mozart and The Sound of Music are Salzburg’s two greatest exports so take the time to experience both. For a glimpse into the composer’s life, head to Mozart’s Residence. To feel like you’re in a musical, wander the pretty grounds of Schloss Mirabell Gardens.
Austria’s capital is one of Europe’s grand dames. Around every corner, you’ll find magnificent architecture that paints a picture of Vienna’s rich lineage.
Schloss Schönbrunn is one such example, an Imperialist masterpiece and legacy of the Habsburg dynasty. Tour around this UNESCO-listed royal abode to experience its opulence before seeking out more of Vienna’s treasures.
Pop into the Spanish Riding School for total pomp and pageantry, tick off oh-so-gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral and bob into the lavish Hofburg.
All that exploring left you hungry? Vienna’s famed for its café scene. A slab of apricot-filled sachertorte is essential while in the city and Café Sacher is the best place to try it! Apple strudel, bowls of goulash and schnitzel are more classics to taste as you venture around.
Posted: 31st Oct 2019.