12 Destinations to Watch in 2020

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12 Destinations to Watch in 2020

ABTA have recently released their 12 best destinations to watch throughout 2020. The list has been compiled by ABTA experts which feature a range of different landscapes, cultures and attractions. We have put together some of the top things to do in each location, so if you’re unsure about where to travel to, this list could be the inspiration you need.

 

1. Madrid 

The Spanish capital always has and always will be one of the world’s great city break destinations. From it’s elegant boulevards to its rich history of European art, there is never a dull moment when visiting Madrid. With an estimated population of 6.5 million, Madrid became a European Capital of Culture in 1992, which is no surprise with its stunning array of cultural venues and activities.

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THINGS TO DO IN MADRID:

El Retiro Park:

El Retiro Park is one of the largest public parks in the city of Madrid and is home to a range of sights and activities for when you visit. You can go boating on the great lake, admire the French gardens or visit the glistening Palacio de Cristal.

El Retiro Park

Plaza Mayor:

Madrid’s central square is an expansive opening in the tightly packed streets of central Madrid. It is host to the city’s main tourist office, a Christmas market in December and a range of traditional shops and cafes.

Plaza Mayor

Madrid All Day Bike Tour:

This bike tour allows you to enjoy the amazing sights Madrid has to offer as you cycle through the city. The excursion takes in many of the city’s major landmarks, colourful back streets where you’ll grasp the lovely atmosphere of the Spanish capital.

Cycle

Traditional Flamenco Madrid:

Viewing this mesmerising traditional Spanish dance should certainly be on your list if you are visiting Madrid. Spain’s most famous style of dance and music, Flamenco is known around the world for its energy, colour and beauty.

Flamenco

2. Netherlands

The Netherlands is a stunning country home to years of wonderfully rich history. During your time you can visit the enchanting tulip fields, canals and some of the most striking coastlines in Northern Europe. With 17.6 million visitors a year, the Netherlands is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations and it’s no surprise as to why.

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THINGS TO DO IN THE NETHERLANDS:

Van Gogh Museum:

One of the most popular museums in the world, the Van Gogh Museum attracts visitors from all over the globe. Opened in 1973, the museum is dedicated to the famous Vincent Van Gogh located in the south of Amsterdam.

Van Gogh

Keukenhof Gardens:

Known as the garden of Europe, Keukenhof is one of the worlds largest flower gardens. It covers an area of 32 hectares and approximately 7 million flower bulbs.

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Zaanse Schans:

Zaanse Schans is a neighbourhood in the town of Zaandam and is famous for its historic windmills and distinctive green wooden houses. It is also home to the Zaans museum which has regional costumes, model windmills and interactive exhibits on chocolate making.

Zaanse

Amsterdam Canal Cruise:

Canal cruises are a great way to relax and experience the landscape, history and culture of Amsterdam. You can also cruise at night and see thousands of lights illuminating bridges and buildings throughout the city.

Canal

3. Namibia

Travel in Namibia is truly unlike travel anywhere else. Located in southwest Africa, Namibia is home to diverse wildlife, dramatic coastlines and spectacular landscapes. The English native country currently has a population of just over 2.5 million and is mostly known for its sand dunes and beautiful national parks.

Windhoek

THINGS TO DO IN NAMIBIA:

Etosha National Park

A salt pan so large it can be seen from space; an abundance of wildlife and luxurious camps are just some of the mesmerising characteristics of Etosha National Park. The area covers 22,000km2 with wildlife viewings at every turn.

Etosha

Sossusvlei Sand Dunes:

There are several attractions around Sossusvlei for visitors to explore, with a highly interesting landscape that makes this location one of the most photographed in the world. There’s accommodation located around Sossusvlei that ranges from camping, mid-range lodges and ultimate luxury lodges.

Sand Dunes

Windhoek:

Windhoek is the capital of Namibia, located in the central highlands and is home to many historical exhibits. There are many fascinating sights to see in Windhoek including Zoo Park, Christ Church and Daan Vilijoen, a fantastic location for tourism.

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4. South Korea

South Korea offers the traveller a dazzling range of experiences, including stunning landscapes and years of fascinating culture and history. The capital Seoul is a vibrant, modern and bustling city, driven by driven by world-class films, food and the blockbuster phenomenon of K-pop. Korean food is delicious, spicy and very good for you, particularly the ubiquitous Kimchi.

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THINGS TO DO IN SOUTH KOREA:

Jeju-do

Known for its beach resorts and volcanic landscape Jeju Island is a fantastic place to explore. Its most beautiful period is between March to May, where the landscape fully blossoms. If you enjoy hiking, you need to visit Jeju Island.

Jeju

Myeong-dong

Myeong-dong is a bustling shopping area packed with luxury department stores and international fashion shops. The popular district also features street food carts, major shopping malls and entertainment.

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Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village is a Korean traditional village in Seoul, rich in history and culture. Its composed of lots of alleys and is preserved to show a 600-year-old urban environment. A quaint tourist destination and a great place to tell your friends and family about.

Bukchon

5. Grenada

A lovely environment filled with mountainous and volcanic landscapes, few come more beautiful than Grenada. This Caribbean island is lined with several immaculate and well-preserved beaches, with many isolated coves to discover along the coastline. It is also known as the Spice Island due to nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla all being found here. The capital, St George’s, is a wonderful city, boasting one of the finest beaches in the Caribbean, Grand Anse.

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THINGS TO DO IN GRENADA:

Grand Anse Beach:

This 2-mile-long beach is one of the finest in Grenada, overlooking a sheltered bay where colourful fishing boats sit near the shore. There are numerous hotels, restaurants and shops which act as a convenient backdrop to this picture-perfect scene.

Grand Anse

St George’s:

The vivid and bright capital of St George’s is located on Grenada Island’s southwestern shore. Many travellers wander the narrow streets of the city, full of fascinating history of a hardworking harbour. Learn about the history of Grenada at the Grenada National Museum or, take in the scenic, panoramic views of Fort Fredrick.

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Underwater Sculpture Park:

This landmark is a cluster of submerged sculptures just north of St George’s and is both an eerie yet artistic place. Many of the underwater garden’s iconic works are now covered in coral, anemones and other marine wildlife. Local outfitters offer snorkel trips to the garden, with the clear Caribbean water allowing for excellent viewing, even from the surface.

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Sunnyside Garden:

Sitting on a hill just east of St George’s, Sunnyside Gardens is a complete labour of love. The garden is ideally placed in order to get some stunning views of Grenada. With an array of plant and wildlife this beautiful garden must be experienced.

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6. Georgia

One of Europe’s ultimate travel destinations, Georgia is home to a stunning landscape composed of striking mountains, massive glaciers and 5,000-meter snow-capped peaks. The capital, Tbilisi, is a stunning, vibrant city full of unimaginable chaos and strong national character.

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THINGS TO DO IN GEORGIA:

Bridge of Peace

A mesmerising bow- shaped pedestrian bridge, the Bridge of Peace illuminates the Georgian capital with its numerous LEDs, hovering over the Kura River. Spanning over 150m long, the bridge lights up daily for 90 minutes before sunset and features 4 different lighting programs that run on the canopy every hour.

Bridge of Peace

Georgian Wine Tasting:

Georgian wine is quickly becoming renowned as some of the highest quality wine in all of Europe. The warm climate, combined with centuries of experience from local wine makers, makes for some fantastic tasting regional wine.

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Gergeti Trinity Church:

Resting on one of the highest peaks in the Caucuses, the 14th century Gergeti Trinity Church is a great location to visit when hiking in Georgia. One of Georgia’s most iconic sights, the 3.5 km hike is one to behold.

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7. Chicago and Lake Michigan

Known as the “Windy City”, Chicago is home to one of the liveliest music scenes in the USA. There are Jazz and Blues clubs everywhere and the city hosts hundreds of concerts throughout the year. Lake Michigan is an extremely beautiful location with dramatic cliffs and tranquil sand dunes and beaches.

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THINGS TO DO IN CHICAGO:

Navy Pier:

Completed in 1916, the Navy Pier is undoubtably one of Chicago’s top attractions. Stretching to Lake Michigan, the pier truly comes to life in the summer, with firework displays, live music, theatre and cruises setting sail daily.

Navy Pier

Willis Tower

The tallest building in the Western Hemisphere standing at £1,353 feet in the air, the Willis Tower offers spectacular views spanning up to four states. Completed in 1973, the tower offers a glass box where you can see the city beneath your feet, a must do if you’re brave enough!

Willis Tower

Thalia Hall

The historic landmark venue Thalia Hall was originally designed as an opera house but now is host to many concerts and well-known musical acts. Built in 1892, Thalia Hall can hold 800 people and is a prime location if you want to travel enjoy some live entertainment when you’re visiting.

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Lake Michigan Cruise:

Cruise down the Chicago River to see the city’s famous architecture at the best vantage point. Admire the distinct city skyline and see more then 40 buildings including the John Hancock Center and Willis Tower.

Lake Michigan

8. Morocco 

Morocco is home to a wonderfully vast amount of landscapes, offering windswept beaches, the sand dunes of the Sahara and the rugged High Atlas Mountains. From hiking up North Africa’s highest peak, learning to roll couscous or camel trekking, Morocco contains a dazzling diversity of attractions as well as a warm, inviting atmosphere.

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THINGS TO DO IN MOROCCO:

Caves of Hercules

Located at the most north-western point of mainland Africa, the Caves of Hercules are a popular attraction for tourists and is highly associated with Greek mythology. The cave complex is in Cape Spartel and was opened to tourists in 1920.

Caves of Hercules

Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains in Marrakech are a truly stunning sight. Capped with snow throughout the winter months and blanketed by wildflowers in the summer, the mountains provide a striking backdrop for hiking and mountain biking treks.

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Chefchaouen

Winding alleyways, cute doorways and fascinating plazas, all plastered in gorgeous blue. Millions come to visit this tiny village in the Rif Mountains, all because of its wonderful aesthetics.

Chefchaouen

Bahia Palace

‘Palace of the Beautiful’ is a nineteenth century palace spanning 8 hectares located in Marrakech. Built in the 19th century, it also hosts a set of gardens both rich in history and beauty.

Bahia Palace

9. Singapore

At first glance, Singapore seems like just a shiny collection of high-rise buildings and apartments. However, once you look past that, Singapore is a truly awe-inspiring country and one that should be visited. Fast becoming one of Asia’s hit destinations, Singapore has an array of spectacular sights and locations.

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THINGS TO DO IN SINGAPORE

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is a nature park that spans 101 hectares, that has attracted over 50 million visitors. Located in the heart of Singapore, the nature park is a wonderland for nature lovers.

GBTB

Marina Bay

Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade is a 3.5km long walkway that brings people across many attractions at Marina Centre. It’s illuminating backdrop of the city makes for astounding views.

Marina Bay

Singapore Flyer

Likened to England’s London Eye, the Singapore Flyer is a giant observation wheel that opened in 2008. It gives a wonderful panoramic view of Singapore that is also a masterpiece of architecture.

Flyer

10. Basilicata 

A rich cuisine, stunning national parks and ancient towns, Basilicata showcases a different side to Italy, with plenty of true hidden gems that must be discovered. The southern Italian landscape is almost otherworldly, with it’s stunning mountain ranges and trackless forests.

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Things to do in Basilicata

Little Pompeii

Little Pompeii, also known as the Park of Grumentum, is an otherworldly place, with its amphitheatre, Roman baths, temples and villas, there is no doubt why it is considered one of the most fascinating places in southern Italy.  

Little Pompeii

Sassi di Matera

Sassi di Matera is a unique and ancient cave city with the cave dwellings being carved from limestone. Shops and restaurants are all available near by if you want to relax when admiring this unique and amazing city.

Matera

Matera Cathedral

Completed in 1270, Matera cathedral is set high up on a spur in the city. The cathedral is a magnificent sight with a unique and graceful exterior.

Matera Cathedral

11. Uruguay

Although Uruguay is one of the smallest countries in South America, it certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t much going on. Packed into its landmass are stunning places such as the capital, Montevideo, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Colonia and the chic beach resort of Punta del Este.

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THINGS TO DO IN URUGUAY:

Palacio Salvo

Constructed in 1928, Salvo Palace is one of the most iconic landmarks of Montevideo. It’s unfortunately closed to the public, but you can still admire its unique design from the plaza.

Palacio Salva

Borravino Wine Tour

Uruguay offers many boutique wine experiences, where you can find out about the fascinating culture, character and history as you tour through the vineyards of Borravino

Wine

12. Vienna

Austria’s capital is full of surprises at every turn. Voted the worlds most liveable city for 8 years in a row, Vienna is particularly lovely in the winter, where a blanket of snow covers the city, illuminated by numerous Christmas markets and decorations. The coffee houses and rich cakes are world renowned, all at good value restaurants.

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Naschmarkt

This open-air market gives you the opportunity to taste your way around Vienna’s diverse culinary history as you enjoy local treats from barrels of sauerkraut to shawarma.

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Prater Amusement Park:

Enjoy the fun packed side of Vienna by visiting the Prater Amusement Park. Inside the park is a multitude of rides and stalls, including a huge ferris wheel, bumper cars, carousels and an adrenaline pumping rollercoasters.

Prater Amusement Park

 

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