The New Year is fast approaching, and as we look ahead to new challenges and goals, we must also start planning the trips and adventures to come. Nothing like starting the New Year spoiled for choice! The question is, where to go? Perhaps you’re planning your first trip ever. Or maybe you’ve traveled so extensively that you’re actually running out of places to go.

If you’re looking for ideas of where to visit in 2020, look no further! It’s a big world out there, so we’ve narrowed it down for you. Whether they’re up-and-coming underdogs not yet discovered by the masses, or established travel hotspots with something new to offer, each place deserves your consideration.

Here are our top 26 picks for the best holiday destinations of 2020.

1. London, United Kingdom

buckingham palace london
Buckingham Palace London

London is one of the world’s most famous capital cities and England’s largest city, offering an endless number of attractions, museums, historical buildings, and entertainment options. Along with its iconic past, London boasts some of the most iconic and popular monuments in the world, such as Buckingham Palace, London Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, Big Ben, London Eye and Westminster Abbey! This big city is full of wonder and adventure making it a destination to come back to time and time again and with city breaks and short break deals to London you can do just that!

2. Machu Picchu, Peru

 Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

Awe-inspiring, beautiful and shrouded in mystery and history, Machu Picchu is a must do for every adventurous spirit! The name itself is enough to evoke excitement in the minds of travelers around the world, but you really need to see it in person to fully understand why it will be the highlight of your trip to Peru. Machu Picchu, voted one of the new seven wonders of the world, is the most famous archaeological site in Peru and all of South America. It is a 15th-century Inca site located on a ridge between the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains in Peru and sits 7,970 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level on the eastern slope of the Andes overlooking the Urubamba River hundreds of feet below. The site’s excellent preservation, the quality of its architecture, and the breathtaking mountain vista it occupies has made Machu Picchu one of the most famous bucket list sites in the world today.

3. Great Barrier Reef, Australia   

Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most spectacular natural wonders on Planet Earth. It stretches for over 2,600 kilometres and more than 1,500 fish species inhabit this incredible ecosystem. It’s the world’s largest reef system and is located in Australia’s beautiful Queensland. The GBR comprises of more than 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands that stretch over a very impressive area of 1,600 miles. Indeed this phenomenon is bigger than the UK, Holland and Switzerland combined. Saying there’s plenty to discover is definitely an understatement! Whether you’re skimming the ocean floor, sailing atop the surface, or soaring through the air in a helicopter, your tour of the reef is sure to leave a lasting impression. Have you been to the Great Barrier Reef?

4. Paris, France

Eiffel Tower , Paris
Eiffel Tower, Paris

Paris is not only the largest city of France, it is the City of Lights, the City of Lovers, a spiritual, poetic and bohemian town. Many fall in love with the city because of its culture, beautiful scenery, architecture, delicious meals and timeless history. Home of the most Iconic Landmarks, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Sacre Coeur are always on top of every traveler’s attraction to see. Paris never ceases to impress every visitors with its architecture, museums, castles, gardens, shopping centers, old and new sidewalk cafes that is made for sitting, chatting, reading and absolutely just enjoy people-watching. Its historical monuments and rich history give it a unique charm that attracts both seasoned and first-time travelers from the world over. This is one city that should be on everyone’s bucket list, if you want to feel the love in the air at the magnificent Eiffel Tower, introduce your kids to history through the relics of the past or learn to make chocolates, Paris as its own distinct charisma.

5. Costa Rica, Central America

Rio Celeste waterfall in Tenorio Volcano national park, Costa Rica.
Rio Celeste waterfall in Tenorio Volcano national park, Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a wonderland of natural attractions, with volcanoes, beaches, cloud forests, and unique wildlife. This is a country that appeals as much to birdwatchers and luxury focused travelers as it does to surfers and backpackers. It comes as no surprise why Costa Rica has become one of Central America’s most famous surf destinations. Beaches such as Santa Teresa, Playa Hermosa, and Tamarindo along with Witches Rock grab the attention of surfers from around the world. If you love surfing, then this might be the best thing you can do. The country is arguably the world’s number one ecotourism destination, with over 6% of the world’s animal species and plants. An estimated 27% of the country’s land is devoted to national parks, making it an ideal place for environment-friendly tours and schemes that will take you to a whole new world of nature and freshness. Looking for a personal paradise where adventure meets tranquility. Think no further than a Costa Rica trip!

6. Yosemite National Park, USA

Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is the must-visit destination for everybody with adventure in their heart. The iconic National Park, located in California USA, is home to some of the most stunning landscapes you’ll see anywhere on the planet. Sitting between San Francisco and Las Vegas, Yosemite is the perfect place for climbing, whether you’re just learning the ropes, or already world class. Yosemite National Park is a World Heritage Site known for its giant granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear rivers and streams, ancient Giant Sequoia tree groves, large meadows, and a wilderness that supports a variety of wildlife. It is truly one of the many gems of the American National Park System and a must visit.

7. Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti, French Polynesia
Tahiti, French Polynesia

Paradise on Earth just about sums it. The largest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti is home to world-class resorts, turquoise water color, striking wooden bungalows, secluded romantic lagoons, waterfalls, volcanoes, dreamlike sunsets, all surrounded by mountain tops, practically everything that makes those unreal photos you saw online or in the movies, only without effects or Photoshop corrections and live in front of you. It is in fact is one of the most-visited islands out of the 118 islands in French Polynesia. From canoeing and paddle-boarding, to hiking, cycling and soaring over the sea on a paraglider, you’ll never find a shortage of things to do. You can golf, run a marathon, cycle a road race, or take part in a triathlon in paradise. If you are looking for peace and quiet, complete relaxation and rest, again, this is one of those places where you will easily find them all. Tahiti is a holiday you will surely remember and a place you will return from filled with positive energy and lasting memories.

8. Rome, Italy

The Colosseum, Rome
The Colosseum, Rome

Rome, the capital of Italy, is the fourth most populous city in Europe. Because of its history, art, architecture, and beauty – and perhaps its gelato and pasta! – Rome is one of our most popular cities. Rome is famous for many different things. To name a few: Colosseum, Forum Roman, Pantheon, Vatican state, the Pope, gladiators, Michelangelo, and on it goes. It’s also known as the Eternal City – maybe because it’d take an eternity to see all the art, masterpieces and architecture that overflows within it. Visit Rome for an unforgettable adventure.

9. Bali, Indonesia

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, Bali
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, Bali

Located in Indonesia, Bali the tropical paradise is blessed with rich and diverse culture, nice tropical climate, amazing natural sights, beautiful mountains, volcanoes and hilltops, sparkling waterfalls, delicious cuisine, well-crafted rice paddies, picturesque bodies of water, glorious sunrise and sunset and so much more. Bali has famously been described as the “morning of the world” and it’s a place that certainly lives up to that accolade. It has everything you can expect form the perfect holiday destination. It can be for honeymooners, couples looking for a romantic getaway, a family travelling with kids, friends celebrating an event together, nature lovers, art lovers, spiritual travellers, party animals, foodies… and the list could go on and on. Thus, this island is hitting the top of every globetrotter’s travel list. What about you?

10. Kathmandu, Nepal

Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu
Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu

Kathmandu is the biggest city and capital of Nepal. Once thought to be the legendary and distant Shangri-La, Kathmandu is now a growing vacation spot and top holiday destination catering to all budgets. It is home to some amazing temples, stupas and gateway to Nepal’s premier attraction, the Himalaya. Far more than just a landing places before setting out on a Himalayan Trek, there are plenty of things to see and do in Kathmandu, Nepal. In fact, you could easily dedicate a week to exploring the Nepal capital, its personable neighborhoods and its winding passageways. Some of the major sights are Swayambhunath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Thamel, Durbar Square, Langtang National Park and so on. Prepare yourself for a sensory overload, because Kathmandu is the very definition

11. Andaman Islands, India

Ross Island, Andaman
Ross Island, Andaman

Andaman and Nicobar Islands are popularly known for their scenic beauty and exotic beaches. A cluster of about 600 islands in the Bay of Bengal (out of which only 36 islands are inhabited), Andaman and Nicobar Islands are blessed with picturesque beaches, thick forests and thrilling adventure water sports. An interesting fact about Andaman and Nicobar Islands is that though they territorially come under Indian governance but they are closer to Myanmar and Thailand. Travellers flock here to enjoy a perfect beach holiday amidst its flamboyant cultural extravaganza and exotic flora and fauna.

12. Yangon, Myanmar

Karaweik Palace, Yangon
Karaweik Palace, Yangon

With its 5 million inhabitants, Yangon – also known by its colonial name Rangoon – is also the largest city in the country Myanmar, its economic and cultural capital and one of the best places to visit in Asia. It is famous for its British colonial architecture, golden Buddhist pagodas and sparkling lakes. Whether you are a nature lover, a religious person, a history enthusiast, architecture fanatic or simply a sole travelers looking for some self-time, Yangon has something for everyone! The city perfectly balances tradition with modernity, portraying a different side of Asia that is worth exploring. Moreover Indians are eligible to get a Myanmar Visa on arrival. Isn’t that cool?

13. Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech Medina, Morocco
Marrakech Medina, Morocco

Known as The Red City thanks to the hue of the thick walls surrounding the old city, Marrakech has been a popular tourist destination in Morocco since the 1960s, attracting everyone. Located in the northwest of Morocco, Marrakesh truly epitomizes the exotic and is world-famous for its souks, which are large markets. A place where the ancient city meets the modern world and where French and Arabic are spoken evenly. With its bustling souks, flavorful food, and famously welcoming hospitality, it’s no wonder that tourists are starting to take note of Marrakech. From the Jardin Majorelle to Koutoubia Mosque and the historic Medina, there’s plenty to see and do in Marrakech.

14. Sydney, Australia

Opera House, Sydney
Opera House, Sydney

Exploring Australia’s biggest city is easy with options for visitors of all abilities. Sydney is a spectacular and must visit city located on the east coast of Australia. The botanic gardens, the Opera House, the Blue Mountains, the stunning natural harbour and the iconic bridge that spans it: there are plenty of things that set Sydney apart as one of the world’s most famous cities for tourist. Whether you visit the beaches and bustle of the city, the foodie haven of Hunter Valley or the epic heights of the Blue Mountains, there’s something for every kind of traveller in and around Sydney.

15. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand
Phuket, Thailand

Phuket: a paradise made out of Sun, Sand, and Sea. It is the largest island in Southern Thailand and is one of Asia’s most popular beach destinations. The province covers an area of 576 square kilometers, approximately the same size as Singapore. Widely known to be the Pearl of Andaman filled with fascinating beaches and clear sea, Phuket is extremely popular among both domestic and foreign tourists. From picture postcard beaches, magnificent coves, lush mountains to vibrant nightlife, exciting adventure activities, friendly locals and everything in between, Phuket has something special to offer to every traveller. Whether you’re coming for the sun, sand and sea or to experience the lively side of Thailand, Phuket will not disappoint. You truly are spoilt for choice when you travel to this eclectic island paradise.

16. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul City, Turkey
Istanbul City, Turkey

Turkey’s Istanbul has a timeless charm that owes much to its rich history. This fabulous city that straddles two continents (Europe and Asia) is the largest city of Turkey with over 14 million residents and one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. It is home to various historical and amazing architecture, and equally breathtaking outdoors. The coast and the amazing natural backdrop of the various attractions is a reason enough for you to travel to Turkey on your next international trip. For shopping, Istanbul has endless options. You can wander the famous covered streets of the Grand Bazaar, or visit the Mall of Istanbul for a modern shopping experience. From its amazing views, beautiful sights, incredible cuisine to its thriving cuisine, distinct neighborhoods and a tie of history, Istanbul is completely addictive–and there is definitely no shortage of fun things to do in Istanbul.

17. Dubai, UAE

Dubai
Dubai

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is divided into seven emirates with Dubai being the most famous and populated Emirate. From noteworthy sights, palm-shaped beaches, inspiring architecture, exquisite mosques and ancient markets to thriving nightlife, adventure sports, high-end shopping and record-breaking attractions, this international hub is a must-visit destination in the Middle East. The city is home to many natural and man-made attractions, like the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, Burj Al Arab and the Arabian Desert among others. For those with an untreatable instance of hunger for something new, for them, trip to Dubai is a voyager’s fantasy.

18. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic

When it comes to travel destinations, it doesn’t get better than Prague. Prague is one of the continent’s top tourist destinations and beautiful European cities where the building still look fresh out of the Renaissance. It is a charming, romantic, European city featuring many quirky museums, baroque buildings, stunning churches, cathedrals and castles. Prague feels like a living and breathing entity all of the time and even more so at night. It is an amazing combination of places aimed for all ages and groups to have the perfect vacation that adds a final touch to an already unforgettable city.

19. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Combodia
Angkor Wat, Combodia

Located in northwestern Cambodia, Siem Reap, a culturally rich and stunning destination best known to be the home of Angkor Wat is fast gaining popularity among the solo travelers. While the Angkor park is surely one of the globe’s most amazing historical sites, Siem Reap province is also home to an array of other ruins, such as Beng Mealea, Bantaey Srei, and the holy mountain Phnom Kulen. With a rich history, magnificent temples, friendly locals and reasonable prices, undoubtedly, it is high on most people’s travel destination list. Discover its interesting blend of colonial and Chinese architecture, various pop-up galleries or just relax in the tranquil surrounds of your luxury hotel.

20. New York City, USA

The Statue of Liberty, New York
The Statue of Liberty, New York

New York City, The Big Apple, The Concrete Jungle, The City That Never Sleeps; the nicknames are endless. New York City is one of the most beautiful and greatest cities on earth. The epitome of the American Dream, combined with the hustle and bustle of a true world city; it’s not hard to see why New York is so often the backdrop of movies, music and book. The city is full of shopping, restaurants, entertainment and nightlife that keep the city loud through the night, and an elaborate subway station making every corner accessible. Visit New York City to tick Lady Liberty off your bucket list. Enjoy strolling through the famous Central Park, catch the sunset from the top of the Empire State Building, and feel the pulse of the city at Time Square.

21. Hanoi, Vietnam

Yen Stream, Hanoi, Vietnam
Yen Stream, Hanoi, Vietnam

It can take month to sink in the entire wonders of Hanoi where traditions and globalization meet harmony. The 1000-year-old capital of Vietnam is blessed with rich culture, historical sights and, fabulous local foods and an authentic sense of lifestyle. Hanoi should be put on the top first destination to visit when you travel to Vietnam. The city is famous for ancient temples, citadels, authentic museums, French’s architectural buildings, colorful markets as well as many spectacular landscapes. Some of its famous attractions include Temple of Literature, St.Joseph’s Cathedral and Hoan Kiem Lake. Visiting Hanoi’s Old Quarter or taking a stroll to one of the many cafes and restaurants is definitely a must for anyone that wants to take a trip to Vietnam.

22. Tokyo, Japan

Cherry Blossom, Mt Fuji, Japan
Cherry Blossom, Mt Fuji, Japan

Tokyo is the most populated city on the planet, a mega-city with more than 38 million people living in the Tokyo metropolitan area. It is a lively city with many things to see and it is almost impossible to keep up with Tokyo’s progress: a city that is ever building, updating and innovating. From the lively city with modern skyscrapers to the cartoon culture of Harajuku with hip teenagers and fashion trends, Tokyo offers plenty of tourist attractions to see and experience. Some very interesting venues are open to the public for free, such as the park at The Imperial Palace East Gardens in central Tokyo, Sumida Park in Asakusa, Meiji Shrine in Shibuya, Sumo Wrestling Museum in Ryogoku, and the Yebisu Beer Museum in Shibuya. Experience traditional hospitality, shop for luxury goods, gaze across an endless sea of skyscrapers, and get a great bowl of noodles at midnight.

23. Hong Kong

VIctoria Peak, Hong Kong
Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Hong Kong, known to many as the “City of Life”, is one of the most sophisticated metropolitan centers in the world, where fine dining, exclusive shopping, and dazzling festivals are complimented by a sunning array of one-of-a-kind landscapes. No matter what you want to experience on your visit, Hong Kong has something for you! The City of Life is the world’s most vertical city, with two hundred and ninety-three buildings higher than five hundred feet — sixty more than second-place New York City. Shopping in Hong Kong is a rich, varied, seven-days-a-week pursuit. Along with shopping, eating is one of Hong Kong’s great pastimes. Cantonese food is by far the most popular cuisine in Hong Kong.

24. Grand Canyon, Arizona

Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona

The world famous landscape that is the Grand Canyon has long attracted visitors to this awe-inspiring, one-mile deep chasm sliced into the rocky landscape. The unique geology, the vast expanse and the unusual surroundings create a place unlike anywhere else on Earth. Located in northern Arizona, northwest of the city of Flagstaff, the canyon measures over 270 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep, making it one of the biggest canyons in the world. There are three different rims you can visit, West, South, and North, each with their own unique sights, activities and experiences. Whether you’re just soaking up the sweeping views from the top, or hiking or riding a mule into its depths, it’s one of America’s most iconic parks for a reason.

25. Barcelona, Spain

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Since the past 20 years the number of tourists visiting Barcelona, Spain has tripled, placing it amongst the top ten cities visited in Europe. With amazing architecture, museums, culture, food, art, hiking, and beaches, there are countless reasons why you’ll love visiting Barcelona. Some of its popular attractions include the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, the Barcelona Cathedral, Gothic Quarter, Parc de la Ciutadella, Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, Santa Maria del Mar and even its own Arc de Triomf and Statue of Liberty. While Madrid is Spain’s capital (and has its own charm), and London, Paris, Rome, and Venice all have a wealth of attractions to draw you in, Barcelona is totally unique and that in itself makes it well worth a visit.

26. Santorini, Greece

Santorini Island, Greece
Santorini Island, Greece

A glamorous star, Santorini is a wonderful Greek island full of thrilling spots to be explored throughout your holidays there. Undoubtedly a visit to Santorini is always a magical experience. It’s iconic, gorgeous and one of the most popular destinations in Europe. The changing beauty of the island attracts admirers all year round. The island is absolutely breathtaking and is famous for good reasons: sensational blazing sunsets, the archeological ruins known as the “Greek Pompeii,” beautiful whitewashed villages and uniquely colored volcanic beaches. The blue painted domes of the local churches are distributed throughout the towns and have become the symbol of Santorini.

So there you have it: your 2020 to-travel list. If you’re already planning your big trip, consider a soft landing in one of these top destinations for first-time travelers.

Now you may wonder, there are so many exciting top holiday destinations in the world, deciding where to go can be difficult; but that’s a good problem to have. Don’t despair! With cheap budget flights between major hubs, you could easily catch a couple or more of these tempting top-spots on a single trip.

Akbar Travels all-inclusive holiday packages ensure that, regardless of where you begin, you’ll have access to culture, UNESCO sites, nature, and exciting culinary treats. We’re always looking for new ways to inspire your next holiday – fascinating destinations, unique hotels, hassle-free visas and all the little things that come together to create unforgettable moments for you and your family.

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