If you’re anything like me, you’ve already been dreaming about the places you’re going to visit in 2020 for months now. Or maybe more you’re more of the last minute planner. I’m personally a bit of a mix of both. I’ve got my “big trips” planned (Vietnam, Italy, and Russia/The Baltics), but I like to be a bit more spontaneous with weekend getaways. Even still, everything always seems tentative until the flight is booked. And I’m constantly turning to other bloggers and travel writers for inspiration.
The world is a BIG place. And our modern travel culture is making it bigger and more accessible than ever before. If your bucket list if forever growing like mine, I’m hoping this list can help you narrow it down or inspire you to visit somewhere you hadn’t considered before.
With that being said, I can’t stress enough that this 10 places to visit in 2020 list is not designed to be a literal checklist, and likewise, travel should not be about simply just crossing off locations. I’m personally not a fan of the concept of country-counting. This list is designed to inspire you to think long and hard about which destinations resonate with you. Which fill your travel aspirations. Or inspire you. And choose to really VISIT them. To immerse yourself in the culture. And travel as slowly as your schedule allows. Because this… this is when you’ll experience the magic of these spots.
10 places To Visit in 2020
I know what you’re thinking… Really, Detroit? You choose ONE American city to add to this list and it’s DETROIT?!
Yes, Detroit. If it isn’t on your radar, it should be. The city has been reborn and in the coolest way possible. It’s a city fill of innovators, thinkers, and doers. Of people who are obsessed with their home and are eager to welcome travellers. The city has endless things to do – sports, music, cultural events, and a killer, world-class restaurant and bar scene. And a unique vibe that pulsates through the city that you can only truly understand by visiting. If you are adding one new American city to your travel list 2020, Detroit should be it.
Portugal has become a hot travel destination in recent years… and I’m not just talking about temperatures. While I see others more commonly flocking to the south – to Lisbon and the Algarve – northern Portugal seems to be missing from many agendas.
Well, in my opinion, this is a mistake. Sure, Porto is a bit more “rustic” than its bigger sister Lisbon. But it is full of beautiful views, culture, and things to do. Here, you’ll spend your days sipping port wine along the waterfront, searching for tile-clad facades around the city, and eating LOTS of good food. To me, Porto seems more local. And in ways, more authentic, then Lisbon (although I realize this is a potentially controversial statement). Plus, it is the gateway to the Douro Valley – Portugal’s wine country.
What do you think of when you think of quintessential Germany? For me, it’s dirndls, lederhosen, and drinking the biggest steins of beer in massive beer halls. Sure, Berlin is super cool and trendy. But have you spent time in Munich and southern Germany? This is where German culture comes alive (and you don’t have to visit during Oktoberfest to experience it).
Roaming around southern Germany in 2015 still remains one of my favourite trips ever. From the small towns of Bamberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, to the busy streets of Munich, the history of Nuremberg, and the beautiful landscapes of the Bavarian alps – southern Germany has it all and I frequently talk about returning there one day.
What’s your favourite Greek island? When you ask this question to most people, you’re bound to hear Santorini or Mykonos. For me, the answer is easy: Milos.
Milos was one of the best kept secrets of the Cyclades until Vogue named it one of the top five destinations to visit in 2017. Since then, I’ve seen it pop up everywhere. I even recently read a Travel & Leisure article that suggested it was the best island in all of Europe. So, I guess the secrets out?
Even still, you MUST go. Because I too think this has to be the best island in Europe (or at least in the top three). It has diverse landscapes, beautiful beaches, and some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. You’ll truly think you were transported to paradise.
What do you picture when you think of Canada? Mountains? Lakes? Nature?
Well, Toronto doesn’t have much of that… but it still has SO much to offer. A booming culinary scene. Museums. Art. Culture. Sports. If you’re looking for a city escape in 2020, Toronto is a great choice. From the hip Queen Street West neighbourhood, to the bustling Entertainment District, Toronto is almost like a mini-NYC (although not that mini… it is home to almost 3 million people and rapidly growing).
And, bonus! The Canadian dollar is weak right now, which means it’s a fairly cheap getaway for all my American and EU readers.
The Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Looking for the perfect summer getaway? A spot that looks just like Croatia but without the crowds? Well, Montenegro is your spot.
Easily one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro has all the ingredients for a perfect summer getaway. Turquoise waters, mountains, historic cities – and very few crowds, even in the summer months. Montenegro is pretty new to the tourism game, but I can’t imagine it will stay this way for long. Which is why 2020 is the perfect time to pay a visit to this stunning coastal country.
I love Copenhagen. But, if you’ve been following me for awhile, that shouldn’t be a secret. To me, Copenhagen isn’t like most other European cities. It emulates this special coziness that is so classicly Danish. The city makes you feel at ease, and at home within seconds. It’s not too big, yet big enough to offer lots of things to do. And let’s not forget the food scene. If you’re looking for a capital city that is unique to many others in Europe, Copenhagen is your perfect match.
Just a word of caution: You might leave wishing you were Danish (because I know I do every single time).
Kraków is a city that truly surprised me in 2019. I knew the city had a lot of history, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. With endless WWII history tours and exhibits, an innovative culinary scene (I’m a huge advocate of the pierogi-only diet while visiting Poland), and beautiful sights, you could spend several days in Kraków and have endless things to do.
As a bonus, it is by far the cheapest destination I went to this year. So if you’re looking for a money-saving destination, this is your spot.
Talk to most travellers and Belgium isn’t typically on their list. Or, if it is, there’s a good chance they are headed to the fairytale town of Bruges. And while Bruges is truly beautiful (and I loved it there) – Ghent is also beautiful. And cool. And wildly underrated.
A largely university town, Ghent is as quaint as they come. With historic buildings lining the old town, dozens of shops to pop in-and-out of, and a fun nightlife, Ghent embodies Belgian charm. If you’re looking for a smaller town to explore in 2020, this is the perfect destination to add to your list.
Skåne County, Sweden
You didn’t think you’d get through this list without listing my new hometown in southern Sweden, did you? While some may say I am a bit biased, I have truly been blown away by southern Sweden. While most people flock up to Stockholm, I am making it my personal mission to encourage people to visit Skåne (the county that Malmö resides in).
It is full of small historic towns (read about those here), the beautiful university town of Lund, Malmö (Sweden’s third-largest harbor city), and the most beautiful beaches. If you’re looking to do something a little bit different in 2020, you should absolutely visit southern Sweden.