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The Top 10 Travel Destinations On Our Radar For 2020

Yes, its almost 2020. Yes, the year went by in a minute. And yes, there’s so much we have to do before 2020 hits. Once you let this initial shock sink, you can acknowledge the new adventures the year will bring with it, including exciting travel plans. We are already pinning places we want to travel to in 2020 on the map, researching and saving up for them.

Want to get a headstart on your planning your travels for the coming year? We scoured all the trusty travel websites and their predictions of top travel destinations made for 2020 to round up our top 10 must-visit places. For now, happy virtual travel.

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech conjures an image of distinctive tilework and beautiful architecture, a captivating blend of culture, art and history. From opulent museums such as Musée de Marrakech and Musée de Mouassine that offer a peek into Marrakshi life in the Saadian era, to winding Souqs with cobbled alleyways and stuccoed archways, be prepared for a sensory overload.
Soak in the culture with traditional Marrakashi food at restaurants and in alleyway stalls, or indulge in Hammam for a quintessential Moroccan experience after an exhausting day of sightseeing.
A must-experience when here is a private visit to designer Yves Saint Laurent’s home and the picturesque Majorelle Gardens, a garden gifted by the designer to the city. 

Image Courtesy: Unsplash
Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Guadalajara, Mexico

Give the bustling and fast-paced Mexico City a skip for Mexico’s second-largest city Guadalajara. This is the source of mariachi music, charreadas or rodeos as well as the widely recognised sombrero hats. While deeply rooted in tradition, the city is also keeping pace with the changing times and has trendy restaurants, nightclubs and coffee shops. Head to the hipster neighbourhood of Chapultepec to experience this or simply enjoy a mouth-watering taco off the street. If you are here for the architecture, the city won’t disappoint. Visit the historic Instituto Cultural de Cabañas and Catedral de Guadalajara for a side of history with architecture, or Zapopan for colonial architecture. Want to take back artefacts? Head to the upscale Tlaquepaque and Tonalá for local art and pottery.

Image Courtesy: Unsplash
Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Tokyo, Japan

So much has been said and written about Tokyo, but a visit to this hard-to-keep-up-with city will still result in a culture shock. The welcome kind. Oscillating between the past and the future, the city offers rich tradition while embracing the new with vigour. Here you can experience zen temples such as the Senso ji and the Meiji Jingu to a raging nightlife from the ramshackle bars at Golden Gai to Michelin-star restaurants and bars at Roppongi. With a booming coffee culture, a hipster neighbourhood with vintage stores and all-day karaoke bars nestled in neon-lit scrapers, there exists a different version of Tokyo for every traveller based on their interests. Enjoy some downtime at the parks that offer stunning views of cherry blossom, or go on an IRL Mario Kart ride in the city, your options here are endless. 

Image Courtesy: Unsplash
Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Kerala, India

Termed as God’s Own Country, Kerala is a tropical paradise defined by its gorgeous landscape. It offers coconut-tree dotted beaches overlooking the Arabian Sea and glistening backwaters alternated with charming hill stations and tea estates covered hills. A world apart, it is an oasis of calm, making it the perfect getaway in India. Head to the historic city of Kochi where cosy homestays and artsy cafes await you or if pristine beaches is what you are on the lookout for, head to the relatively unchartered Bekal and Kannur for its secluded golden beaches. Munnar gives you a taste of living in emerald tea plantations or laze languidly in a houseboat with calming views of the backwaters from  Alappuzha (Alleppey), Kollam (Quilon), Kumarakom or Valiyaparamba.

Image Courtesy: Unsplash
Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Bilbao, Spain

Spain is revered for its architectural marvels, but give the La Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló in Barcelona a miss for the staggering architecture of Bilbao. Situated in Northern Spain, it is the largest city and one of the greatest gems of the Basque Country. Home to architect Frank Gehry’s futuristic Guggenheim museum, it has gone on to become the most emblematic building in the city. Walk in the neighbourhood to see the spectacular Zubizuri bridge, a modern arch-tied bridge and the grand cathedrals such as the Bilbao Catherdral that flaunt gothic architecture.
Along with man-made wonders, Bilbao also boasts of lush hills and a breathtaking coastline. Take a funicular to the height of Mount Artxanda to get a sweeping view of the city beneath or head to Getxo’s beaches for a little sun.
For foodies that want to bite into Basque cuisine, choose from Michelin-starred eateries to small family-run joints that give you an authentic taste and a great meal.

Image Courtesy: Unsplash
Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Cali, Colombia

The salsa capital of the world, Cali just like salsa is energising and electrifying. Made infamous by drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, Cali has gone on to become popular with the tourists, along with other cities such as Cartagena in Colombia. The gritty city is not so much for ones that want to strike off churches and museums off their to-do list, but for those that want to experience the zest, the vibe and distinctive culture of the city. The city flaunts a tropical party vibe with great nightlight and authentic restaurants to keep you entertained owing to local music and dance. Located 1000 metres above sea level, the hot city is enveloped in a cool mountain breeze come evening: the perfect place for a laidback vacay with plenty of siestas and tequila-soaked margaritas. 

Image Courtesy: Unsplash
Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Vancouver, Canada

A gorgeous city with friendly neighbourhoods and natural vistas with blue waters of the Pacific one side and the forest-clad mountaintops of the North Shore on the other, Vancouver truly has it all. The diverse landscape offers the perfect backdrop for adventure and sporting activities such as biking and hiking as well as kayaking at the sandy shorefront. The city is also dotted with parks and green gardens for those who want a relaxing holiday: the mammoth Stanley Park is a unanimous choice, bordering downtown Vancouver.
An untapped jewel when it comes to food, you can get savour some of the best Asian cuisines here from Chinese to authentic Vietnamese food. Bordered with a shoreline, you can also indulge in some freshly-caught seafood. What you can expect here, in a nutshell, is a relaxed and laidback holiday with clean air and lush greens. 

Image Courtesy: Unsplash
Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Salzburg, Austria

Perched on the border of Germany, Salzburg is an Alpine city in Austria that offers remarkable views of the Eastern Alps. Famed for being the birthplace of composer Mozart, the musically-inclined city is known for Salzburg Festival: a classical music festival, and one of the most revered ones in the world. 2020 marks 100 years of the festival, with the city leaving no stone unturned to mark the centenary. When there, enjoy the breathtaking views of the snow-clad Alps and the azure lakes that flank the city. Head to Fortress Hohensalzburg, an 11th-century fortress on a city hilltop for unparalleled views and to Mirabell Palace for sightings of an opulent palace and sweeping gardens. Renowned for its Baroque architecture, you can stroll the historic centre in the pedestrian Altstadt (Old City) in the left bank of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Image Courtesy: Unsplash
Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Malindi, Kenya

Also known as Hell’s Kitchen, Malindi is a pristine beach town in Kenya. Nestled amid a string of tropical beaches that are dotted with resorts, this historical Kenyan port town is a tropical getaway for travellers that introduces them to the country’s marine life of turtles and colourful fish in Malindi Marine National Park. Perfect for divers and for adventurous travellers that want to indulge in water sports and activities such as snorkelling, you can soak in the Swahili architecture while here, and savour fresh seafood, straight from the ocean to your plates. Be sure to check out Malindi Marine National Park, the nearby Watamu Marine National Park and Arabuko-Soboke Forest Reserve that harbours elephants and over 200 varied species of birds. Don’t miss the breathtaking Marafa Depression. 

Image Courtesy: Unsplash
Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Galway, Ireland

With close proximity to Great Britain, the island of Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth. The harbour city of Galway is one of Ireland’s most lively cities with its traditional pubs, live Irish folk music, dance and theatre. One can sit in the brightly-coloured cafes with a beer in hand and watch buskers perform. Walk by Eyre Square where you can enjoy the music or stroll down the winding lanes of the Latin Quarter that is lined with stone-clad cafes, galleries and boutiques.

Image Courtesy: Unsplash
Image Courtesy: Unsplash

Featured Image: Unsplash

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