The new year is almost here. Like most, we have been dreaming of the new places we will visit in 2020! We may or may not have already looked up some deals and/or created future itineraries (of course we have! lol). While you may be wondering where to visit but not in the mood to do the research just yet, we have done some of the legwork for you!
Let’s dive right in to our picks of 7 destinations for 2020!
Having just spent a week in this Moroccan city, it was only natural that our first recommendation would be Marrakech. The city has so much to offer; from the vibrantly chaotic Medina, to the beautiful, peaceful Jardin Majorelle. One can easily get lost in the many alleyways filled with riads and locals. You can even take a quick day tour to the Agafay desert where you can hike the Atlas Mountains or interact with the Berber community. No visit to Marrakech would be complete without trying one of their local dishes; a tagine – which can come in a variety of meats or veggies. This budget-friendly city will have you feeling like a baller thanks to how inexpensive everything is!
Another city we recently visited was Dubrovnik, which sits on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. Besides the most popular reason to visit, Game of Thrones having filmed a large portion of their series there, Dubrovnik has so much more to offer. The Walls of the city are a must; walking atop the walls gives you a wonderful view of the Old Town and also great views of the city. Speaking of Old Town, make sure to enter through the Pile Gate entrance to get started on the right foot. The beautiful historic streets take you back to another time in history. With plenty of shops, restaurants and museums within, you can easily visit for hours on end.
The capital of Bulgaria is not usually on your typical lists of places to visit in the New Year. However, this only makes the city even more appealing to us. Sofia is one of the few European cities left where your money can go a long way! If you love visiting churches, then head to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral; one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in Europe. If shopping is more up your alley, then head to Vitosha Boulevard where you can shop and eat at the many stores and restaurants lining the street. Make sure to try their local cuisine which is a cross between European and Asian flavors, thanks to the country being at the crossroads of both continents.
Sitting on the Persian Gulf in the eastern coast of the state of Qatar, Doha is a mixture of sand and water. There’s even an area where the sand and water meet; Khawr al Udayd and the Qatari desert. This is one of the few places where you can bear witness to such an amazing phenomenon! Continuing with phenoms; visiting Jean Nouvel’s National Museum of Qatar is sure to take your breath away. This waterfront architectural marvel can keep you outside the museum, wandering around watching the multitude of disks that make up almost the entire building. Do make sure to actually enter the building and continue the amazement with plenty of pieces of art that define Qatar. (Side note: visit before the large crowds descend upon Doha – they’re the 2022 FIFA World Cup host!)
One of our oldest cities, Philly is filled with history. While it may be easy to associate the city primarily with America’s beginnings, the city has reinvented itself and caught up with the times. With plenty of modern restaurants, a booming art and fashion scene, Philly cannot be missed. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with immersing yourself with the history of this country – hello Liberty Bell! You can tour “the birthplace” of the United States at Independence Hall, visit City Hall – once the tallest building in the U.S. or climb the “Rocky Steps” – ok, that’s more a part of our fictional past, but seriously, who wouldn’t want a photo with the bronze statue of an American hero like Rocky?!
This city in Oregon, known as the “outdoor playground of the west,” is a new find for us. While doing the research for this list, we came across Bend and it’s beautiful, sunny vibes. If you’re into hiking, rock climbing or stand-up paddle boarding, then this is the city for you. According to our research, the city is sunny practically all year-round. The alpine lakes are inviting and the views are stunning. West of the city you can find ski-resorts, trails and Pilot Butte – an extinct volcano. The population of Bend is growing and it is not hard to see why.
Let’s get this out of the way, yes Machu Picchu is epic and you must visit the famous Incan ruins! Now, there is so much more to do in Cuzco than just trekking to see one of the 7 world wonders. This city is vibrant and rich in culture. The locals are friendly. The food is exquisite – give me a plate of Lomo Saltado any day! Beware of the high altitude though, we learned this the hard way! Sitting at just over 11,000 feet above sea level, acclimating to such a high elevation is necessary. Once that’s out of the way, take a stroll through the Plaza de Armas, the city’s main square. The beautiful architecture, the churches and colorful gardens are all easy to enjoy. You can visit the salt flats, hike the infamous Rainbow Mountain – during a day tour, and of course, take photos with friendly llamas!