New destinations seem to appear every year, and places we had never heard about suddenly become popular. It’s difficult to decide whether to discover an entirely new location or to revisit one. In 2020, why not choose from one or more from the following? Although some are “classics,” others more unusual. No matter where you go, choose something off this list and you’ll visit one of the best places to travel in 2020!
Costa Rica is the perfect country to visit for a family and for solo female travelers. Furthermore, it is clean and safe enough for tourists to discover on their own. These are just a few reasons it tops our best places to travel to in 2020.
Costa Rica is a leader in green tourism and is one of the best places in the world to explore nature. Sea turtles lay their eggs on the white sand beaches of both the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts. Howler monkeys and colorful frogs hide and play among the palm trees, the red ginger plants and the delicate orchids of the tropical forest. One of the most distinct national parks is Corcovado, which hosts 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity. Costa Rica is truly a marvel for the eyes!
Tip: Stay in ecolodges. Many of them try to minimize their impact on their natural surroundings and support local educational and environmental programs.
Best time to visit: December to April.
Estonia is still relatively untouched by mass tourism. Tallinn, the capital city, has been able to preserve a village atmosphere. The old center is enclosed in its medieval city walls. The towers of baroque churches and the countless gorgeous contemporary buildings, such as the Tondiraba Ice Hall Arena, provide historical and architectural diversity. Tallinn’s many museums open a window into Estonia’s complicated past, from the Hansa League to the Soviet Union and to independence. Russia and Finland have occupied and influenced Estonia over the centuries. Nevertheless, this small European country has been able to preserve its own culture and its particularities and it has a lot to offer to its visitors.
Undoubtedly, Estonia also pleases nature lovers: there are five national parks, beautiful lakes and beaches and countless islands to discover.
Tip: The Tallinn Architecture Biennale usually takes place in September and is one of the major architectural festivals of Europe.
Best time to visit: June to September.
Halfway between Berlin and Warsaw, Poznan is indeed one of Poland’s hipster cities. In particular, the ruin bars in the Srodka neighborhood are amongst the liveliest in the country. Poznan isn’t only a party town. It has a very rich cultural background and Catholic heritage: the first kings of Poland lived in the castle, and many were buried in the cathedral. Along with traditional historical stories, there are also several gruesome legends surrounding the royal castle of Poznan: dark evil powers, assassinations and ghosts.
Best time to visit: May, September, October
Sevastopol is the perfect place for a discovery of Crimea: beaches of sand or pebbles, sea glistening in the sunshine and majestic cliffs falling into the Black Sea. The Crimean peninsula is full of natural and cultural marvels. Tourists especially enjoy diverse locations such as the archeological remains from the Greek and Byzantine times and the Belle-Epoque hotels where one can still dream of Imperial Russia.
Tip: Since 2014 Crimea has been a Republic of the Russia Federation. It is quite safe for tourists to visit. Nonetheless, most Western governments do not recognize the annexation and recommend against travel in this beautiful peninsula.
Best time to visit: May to October
Portugal is a small country, with very diverse landscapes. It has a lot to offer its visitors: beautiful beaches, medieval towns, colorful fishing villages, azulejos, fabrics and magnificent architecture. The inhabitants are welcoming, the food is excellent and there are many cafés and restaurants where one can listen to fado music. And enjoy a glass of port, of course!
Tip: Portugal is safe for solo female travelers.
Best time to visit: May, June, September, October
Petra is one of the archeological wonders of the world. The antique city is the most important touristic site of Southern Jordan. Access is easy from Amman and even from neighboring Israel. The site opens at 6 am. Plan for at least a day to discover this Nabatean city and try to stay as long as possible. Petra is in fact at its most magical during night tours, in the light of candles and lanterns. A bewitching experience.
Tip: There is almost no shade: wear a hat and sunscreen. Vendors sell snacks and water at the entrance of the site. And of course, wear comfortable shoes.
Best time to visit: March-May and September-November
Georgians are friendly and hospitable. However, Georgia is still only slowly opening to tourism and prices are still relatively low. Because of this, now is the perfect time to discover this small country, and why it is one of the best places to travel in 2020. European and Asian cultures meet and blend here. It is, in effect, a country of contrasts and offers a bit of everything to active visitors: beaches on the Black Sea and hikes in the Caucasus Mountains to enjoy wild landscapes. In addition to natural beauties, there are also countless cultural marvels to discover. After a day of looking at buildings from the medieval, neoclassical, Soviet and contemporary times, spend a quiet evening enjoying a bottle of local wine.
Best time to visit: May, June, September
Madhya Pradesh is a large state in Central India, rich in diverse cultural sites and wildlife sanctuaries. Khajuraho, Orchha, Gwalior and many other cities contain historical temples and monuments, decorated with delicate sculptures and paintings. For nature lovers, visiting Indian national parks can be full of incredible surprises. One of the most spectacular is, of course, watching tigers in their natural habitat in Bandhavgarh National Park. An unforgettable sight!
Best time to visit: October to February
Lombok and Sumbawa are the two largest islands in the Nusa Tenggara archipelago. One of the main reasons to go there is the Komodo National Park. It is a unique place to observe Komodo dragons’ behavior in their natural habitat. These giant lizards are both mysterious and threatening. Unfortunately, they are also endangered, mostly because of deforestation.
Besides the jungle, tourists come to enjoy magnificent diving and surfing, white sand beaches and spectacular waterfalls. Additionally, in the interior of the islands, traditional villages are well worth visiting to learn about local traditions and ways of life. Bali and its resorts are very close, yet the atmosphere is completely different. These islands truly have an authentic feel.
Best time to visit: April, May, June, September
Many tourists spend only a few days in Zanzibar after a safari in Tanzania. But the island is really a destination in itself. Stone Town, the only real city, is a charming mix of Arabic and African influences. It is the best place to spend an evening listening to Taraab, Zanzibar’s traditional music.
However, away from the busy streets of the capital, one can enjoy a more traditional way of life. Small fishing villages dot the coasts. Boats land on the beaches to unload the catch of the day. Some buyers purchase fresh fish directly from the boats, while children play on the beach and in the waves. Some fishermen clean their fish on the sand and let it dry in the sun. Spending a few days in the coastal villages of Zanzibar is a marvelous way to enjoy the simple pleasures of life!
Best time to visit: June-October and December-February
While several of these locations are still off the beaten path, they welcome more and more tourists each year. The tourist industry is growing all over the world. Indeed, many countries have been improving accommodations and infrastructure to attract travelers. “New” destinations often offer discounts, especially during the off-season. Let’s take advantage of that and discover some of the new and the best places to travel in 2020!