Winter is fast approaching, which can only mean one thing: It’s time to start planning your adventures for next year. If you need some inspiration, look no further than our jam-packed guide that features classical favorites and up-and-coming destinations.
Likewise, don’t forget to check out one of the best tour operators to make your journey even more special. Ready to start dreaming? Let’s look at which countries you must visit in 2020.
The liberation day in the Netherlands takes place on the 5th of May every year and is celebrated with parties and festivities around the country. The year 2020 marks the 75th year of freedom. This day will be commemorated with special remembrance events, unique exhibitions, and extraordinary festivities throughout the year. In addition, the Netherlands has some of the most beautiful cultural worthy sites, some of them known as the Wadden Islands, The Green Heart, the Jordaan and Amsterdam’s canals.
The Wadden islands are so unique that they were elected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, they are known for the Oerol festival that takes place in the summer. The Groene Hart or the Green Heart is the ultimate spot for hikers, bikers, and boaters. It is the go-to place for adventure seekers, including the Cheese valley the area where the famous Gouda cheese is made.
Some of the most beautiful memories are made exploring Amsterdam’s wonderful waterways, many of the cities tourist attractions including museums and art galleries can be accessed by water taxi or a boat tour, specifically Jordaan, a neighborhood that was built in the 1600s with small canal-side houses and inner courtyards hidden behind buildings. If you are planning a visit to the Netherlands in 2020, learning Dutch will take you a long way.
Ah, Italy. Who doesn’t dream of visiting (or coming back) to the Bel Paese (the Beautiful Country)? Even if you’ve been there dozens of times, there’s always something new to see. Take, for example, the stunning Amalfi Coast, with its dramatic plunging cliffs, fabulous villas, and rustic lemon tree-filled streets.
Likewise, you can’t go wrong with the classics: Rome, Venice, and Milan are always a good idea. For hiking and off the beaten path experiences, visit Cinque Terre — the name, five towns, comes from the five small towns that are spread along the coast. Visit one or visit all, it’s your choice!
To seamlessly get around Italy, we recommend learning a few basic conversational phrases, using this helpful online Italian course. Once you’ve traveled to Italy, you’ll understand why the poet Anna Akhmatova said, “Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.”
Where else can you get stunning nature (archipelagos, Northern Lights, and so much more!), friendly people, delicious desserts, and all with a hint of Scandinavian charm? Only in Sweden!
Did you know that Sweden has the most islands in the world? No, it’s not the Philippines or the Bahamas as most people would think — Sweden has more than 200,000 islands! To get a taste of the real Sweden, hop aboard a ferry or boat and explore Stockholm’s archipelago. We recommend visiting Sandhamn, Fjäderholmarna, or Öja.
For the sweet-toothed travelers, don’t miss the Swedes’ favorite past time: the fikapaus. Translated as “coffee break,” a fikapaus is an essential part of everyday life. If you get tired of sightseeing, just walk into any cafe and order a coffee and a treat (we love the prinsesstårta, AKA princess cake). It’s that simple! You can throw in a few useful phrases in Swedish to complete the experience!
No trip to Sweden is complete without a visit to the country’s two most famous cities: Stockholm and Gothenburg. In Stockholm, wander through the charming old town (Gamla Stan) before heading through the city’s most gorgeous park, Kungsträdgården. From Stockholm, take the high-speed train to Gothenburg, where you can try some of the tastiest seafood at Feskekôrka fish market and take a stroll through the Haga district (full of cozy cafes and stores!). Finish off your adventure in the city by climbing up to Skansen Kronan and taking in the views of the city.
Sunny weather, colorful cities, and endless parties with fun locals: If you’re in search of excitement in the form of a tropical paradise, you can find it in Brazil. Brush up on Brazilian Portuguese and flock to Rio de Janeiro where most travelers go to, with its kilometers of pristine white beaches, delicious street food, and dozens of tourist attractions.
To get off the beaten path, be sure to add the stunning volcanic archipelago called Fernando de Noronha to your list, along with Iguaçu Falls, or the rolling white sand dunes of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park.
The best time to visit Brazil is during winter. That’s right! Unlike the northern hemisphere, Brazil gets a warm 20 to 30 C (68 to 86 F) during its winter months of May through September. For the best parties and atmosphere, don’t miss Brazil’s biggest party: Carnival. This festival is usually in February or March, as it starts on the Friday afternoon before Ash Wednesday.
Most people would think that Fiji is exclusively a destination for honeymooners, but it’s so much more than that. There are hundreds of options for both the budget traveler and luxury jet-setter, from hostels on the beach to 5-star private islands.
If you’re overwhelmed with Sweden’s 200,000-something islands, Fiji has a manageable 333 islands! Start your adventure in the capital, Suva, where you can learn about Fiji’s interesting history at the Fiji Museum, before heading to the Blue Lagoon or walking in the park.
From there, outdoor travelers should visit the Yasawa Islands, while those looking for peace and quiet should make their way to Kadavu island. Of course, there are hundreds of resort islands as well – if you need a little help, there are plenty of options to choose from and make sure to pick up a few words and phrases in Fijian.