Wondering where the best travel places are around the world? Travel trends are fascinating, aren’t they? It seems like travellers today are searching more than ever before to discover places that are not overrun by tourists. Even destinations themselves, are looking for ways to limit the number of tourists visiting their cities.

So, as we say goodbye to the 2010s and hello to the 2020s, travellers are in search of visiting places that are special and authentic, those hidden gems that are still full of character and charm.

I decided to reach out to my travel blogging community and ask “what is a special place that is worth visiting right now?” Here are the 20 Best Travel Places in 2020.

Best Travel Places Around the World

Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck leaves you awestruck. All around this alpine town are the towering mountains of the jagged rock spires of the Nordkette range. This pretty town is enjoyed in all seasons- from winter sports to summer sports this is a destination for adventuresome travellers.

Innsbruck Austria, a alpine town full of year-round activities.

Me, of Dream Plan Experience

Don’t write off travelling here if you are not a sports enthusiast, as it’s the old town charm straight out of a fairy tale book that is a real highlight. All of the colour buildings dating back to the 13th to 14th centuries of Baroque and Gothic architecture make this a delightful place to visit. Sit and admire the grandeur as you enjoy a strong coffee and sachertorte, a rich dark chocolate cake famous in Austria.

Read more: plan your visit to Innsbruck with this guide

Dinant, Belgium

If you are looking for a postcard-perfect European town that is steeped in old-world charm look no further than the hidden gem of Dinant. It simply has one of the most striking settings – as it sits on a narrow stretch of land between steep cliffs and the Meuse River.  

rock and church in dinant

Me of Dream Plan Experience

Dinant, a historic fortress town in Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia region, is just over an hour’s drive south of Brussels. Visit the impressive Citadel, built in 1051 and climb the 408 steps, or take the funicular to the top where you’ll be awarded lovely countryside views of the sweeping valley and river below.

Dinant is the birthplace of Leffe beer and the saxophone. Several saxophone sculptures are found all around the town’s center paying homage to this musical invention.

While most people who visit Belgium are likely to spend most of their time in Brussels, there are many more wonderful places to visit that are just as spectacular and a bit more authentic. 

Read more: Beyond Brussels: 5 Incredible Day Trips

Quebec City, Canada

Attache Ta Tuque! is a French Canadian expression, loosely translated as ‘hold onto your hats!’ (a tuque is a winter ski hat) you are going to learn to love the winter just as they do in Québec City. With average January temperatures of -13 degrees C and lots of snow, people in Québec City could choose to hide indoors for the winter. Instead, they embrace the cold and make cold weather cool.

fireworks in quebec city

Travel writer Jane Snyder

Québec City’s famous Carnaval (February 4-13, 2022) is the grand-daddy of winter festivals.  Carnaval has a multi-age appeal – think winter festival crossed with bar-hopping, dancing, skating and sledding.

Quebec is famous for its food – think French-rooted food with an aboriginal or locally-grown or foraged food twist. Sample la tire—fresh maple syrup that has been cooked to a gooey thickness, which is then poured onto fresh snow and hardened into taffy. Another Québeçois winter specialty is Caribou—a cold-weather drink (served hot!) that mixes brandy, vodka, sherry and port.

Try winter fun activities like dog-sledding, snowshoeing, tobogganing and the apres-snow winter spas or watch ice canoeing on the St. Lawrence River and the World Snowshoe Championships.

Hvar, Croatia

Adding Hvar, Croatia to your 2020 travel itinerary is an absolute must. Having been to many Croatian cities, Hvar is my favourite: full of natural beauty, friendly locals, and amazing nightlife.

boats in harbour in hvar croatia

Travel Blogger Kati of Stop, Drop, and Trek

Located on an island not far from Split, it’s easy to access by ferry. When you unload from the ferry you will be greeted by sunshine and if you look to your left, views of the fortress that sits atop a hill. If the shelly beaches aren’t for you, book a sailing tour that will take you out to sea and you can swim off the boat. Or, if you’d rather stick to land rather than swim, you can take a sail or ferry to the other surrounding islands which have stunning parks and atmospheres as well! After, a day in the sunshine and water make sure to make your way downtown to experience the lively nightlife.

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Prague might be first on your mind when you hear the Czech Republic, but Český Krumlov will capture your heart. Narrow cobblestone streets lined by picture-perfect period houses, a meandering S-shaped river, dimly lit taverns serving medieval feasts, bears playing in the castle moat and an imposing 13th century castle perched high up on the rock.

Cesky Krumlov castle and river

Travel Blogger Marcela’s My Red Sabbatical

With the first settlements dating back to the Stone Age, for centuries Český Krumlov managed to avoid all major natural and man-made disasters. The result is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe and UNESCO World Heritage status to boot. Just roaming around the fairy-tale old town, you will feel like you have stepped back to times when knights could be seen riding their horses through the very same streets you are walking on. Now add to it Europe’s best preserved baroque theatre, unique revolving theatre set in castle gardens, brewery, monastery, several museums and art galleries, period photo atelier and of course, the spectacular annual Five-Petaled Rose Festival, and you’ll never want to leave.  

Read more about this fairy tale town here

Faroe Islands, Denmark

You know how Iceland was pretty unknown a few years ago, and now everyone you know is raving about it and the country is overrun with tourists? That could be what happens with the Faroe Islands in a few years, so you should visit now! The Faroe Islands are part of Denmark, and they sit in the Atlantic Ocean about halfway between Iceland and Denmark. Right now, not many countries fly directly to the Faroes, so the country isn’t overwhelmed with tourists yet.

Faroe Islands Denmark river mountains and red buildings

Travel Blogger Julia of Through Julia’s Lens

So why visit the Faroes? The landscape is AMAZING! You can see waterfalls, black sand beaches, incredible cliffsides, and the famous Hanging Lake optical illusion. The Faroes even have the oldest wooden house in the world!

If you like to get off the beaten path and explore places without many people around, the Faroes are for you (and most of the hikes are pretty easy, so you don’t have to be an expert hiker). Many of the towns are small, and in most towns, I didn’t see a single person! But I did see a ton of sheep, which was a perk.

The people who live in the Faroes are proud of their country’s beauty and are putting a lot of effort into preserving it. They even shut down tourism for a few days each year to repair paths and fences (and they allow people from other countries to help if you want to volunteer).

Saint Malo, France

France has so many nice places to visit it can be hard to choose just one! If you like history, the seaside and good food, one destination you wouldn’t want to miss is Saint Malo, in Brittany. This is the perfect place to spend a romantic weekend, and it is an easy reach from Paris, with a 2h30 train ride.

Travel Blogger Solenne of French Touch Travel

The best part of Saint-Malo is that the city and its surroundings look so different depending on the hour of the day! This is due not only to the changing weather – causing fascinating variations of blue in the sea – but also to the tides. At low tide, you can walk to an island called le Grand-Bé, where the famous French writer Chateaubriand is buried. You have a great view of the old city skyline from there. But beware of the sea level, as you might spend a few hours stuck on this rock if the high tide catches you!

Don’t miss the local culinary specialties: start with French crepes and apple cider, and have a delicious kouign-amann for dessert!

Related reading: for lots of articles about Paris- the top things to do, the best streets to stroll, the neighbourhood guides and the hidden places, check out my Paris content

Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg is a hidden treasure in Germany, and a city that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. When you say “Germany” abroad, people think of Berlin or Frankfurt. The city is so alive. Whether it be special events, parties, festivals or fairs there is always something to do for everyone. 

Hamburg Germany red building with bridge over water

Travel Blogger July of The Urge to Discover

Wander around the St. Pauli neighbourhood, known as the heart of Hamburg, you will find a large variety of bars, cafes, restaurants and parks. Photographers love the Sternschanze and Rote Flora areas, as it’s full of amazing graffiti. The Port and the Portuguese quarter have plenty of small, local restaurants, cafés, bars and stores to enjoy.  For nightlife, choose between this Sternschanze area or Reeperbahn with its famous red-light and party districts of St Pauli.

The largest Japanese garden in Europe can be found in the Planten un Blomen park and be sure to check out the historic Town Hall and Concert Hall some of Hamburg’s most iconic architecture. 

Related reading: if you are curious to see what other UNESCO World Heritage sites are in Germany, check out this article

Nafplio, Greece

Nafplio is a beautiful town on the Peloponnese peninsula about 2 hours west of Athens. The town is located in a region called Argolis at the top of the Argolic Gulf on Nafplio Bay. It is nestled around the magnificent Palamidi Fort, a formidable Venetian fortress that is still in good repair in parts.

Nafplio Greece view of city and ocean

Travel Blogger Sandra of Greece Travel Secrets

The old town is made up of charming, bougainvillea-draped, cobblestone streets with many excellent shops and cafes as well as a number of upmarket boutique hotels and bars. Other points of interest are the War Museum, the Peloponnesian Folk Art Museum and the Town Hall in Trion Navarhon Square. There is a lovely pedestrian boulevard along the waterfront which is perfect for sunset drinks or a romantic stroll. The most photographed icon of the town is the small fort in the bay, the ‘Bourtzi’ which can also be visited by a small ferry.

One of the other wonderful things about Naflpio is its central proximity to many other amazing points of interest in the area. The ancient sites of Mycanae and Tiryns are a short drive away as is the famous sanctuary and amphitheatre of Epidavros. The Nemea wine region, nearby beaches and the resort town of Tolos on the island of Spetses all make for great day trips.

Trim, Ireland

Trim is a town in the historic county of Meath, in the Heart of “Ireland’s Ancient East” and where  you can  find Europe’s largest Norman Castle dating back to the 1170’s. Some of its notable former residents include the former British Prime Minister the Duke of Wellington, Sir Arthur Wellesley, and the author of the world-renowned Gulliver’s Travels Jonathon Swift. So steeped in history, this town was once considered by Queen Elizabeth I as the site for Trinity College.

Trim Ireland castle

Travel Bloggers Danielle & Pauric of Flight O’Fancée

The Jewel in its crown is King John’s Castle or Trim Castle, situated in the center of the town. Fans of the blockbuster film, Braveheart will be surprised to discover that the ‘City of York’ was indeed Trim Castle and ‘London Square’ was just on the other side of the castle. For the best view in Trim, walk up the hill behind the castle to its complimenting steeple, the abbey’s bell tower – known as the Yellow Steeple.

The beauty of Trim as a destination is the fact that you can see all of its attractions in one day but it is also a fantastic base to explore the Boyne valley as a whole with the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Newgrange and the ancient Hill of Tara also located in the county. Step back in time and experience one of Ireland’s best-kept secrets!

Alberobello, Italy

One of the gems of the Puglia region in Italy is the town of Alberobello. What makes Alberobello so special is the odd little homes you will find here. Trulli is a traditional Puglian stone hut with recognizable conical stone roofs. These homes are only found in the Itria Valley, known as the Murge Region of Puglia, and are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Alberobello Italy cone shaped houses

Travel Bloggers Ilene & Gary of Our Italian Journey

The conical roofs also tell a story about the inhabitants who lived there. Three or more roofs meant you were wealthy. They were also painted with a symbol. These symbols were either a sign of the zodiac, religious, or primitive symbols of the region. Each trulli has a spire which was also used as an identification of the people living there.

Related reading: if you are curious to see what other UNESCO World Heritage sites are in Italy, check out this article

Fukuoka, Japan

Kyoto is a town full of shrines and temples. The absolute must-sees include Tochoji with its pretty pagoda and a short train ride brings you to Nanzoin, home to the world’s largest reclining Buddha.

Fukoka Japan shrine in red

Travel Bloggers Helen of Differentville

Like Tokyo, Fukuoka has a great food culture. Don’t leave without trying its famous pork-broth-based tokotsu ramen or one of the unique small open-air restaurants called yatai which mix local food and great company in fun surroundings. Nagasaki is an easy day trip away as is Beppu with its multi-coloured volcanic pools.

Essaouira, Morocco

Essaouira, which lies on the Atlantic coast in the west of Morocco, offers chilled-out beach vibes and a laid-back atmosphere. It’s picturesque and filled with charm, the walls awash with blue and white and the traditional remnants adding a historical fairy-tale charm. The people of Essaouira were extremely warm and welcoming, the souks were tamer, and the fresh breeze from the sea air made the usual hot heat more bearable. 

fishing boats in habour

Travel Blogger Laura of Anywhere She Roams

Walk the streets of the medina, as you browse the art galleries and boutiques take in the spice-scented aroma that drifts through the air. Indulge in the local food or in a hammam treatment. Head to the fisherman’s market at the port in the morning to get the fresh catches of the day, and witness the collection of boats. Explore the ramparts or try windsurfing at the beach. In the evening, stroll along the romantic walkway of Skala de la Ville, or head to one of the many bars or cafes for entertainment.

Utrecht, Netherlands

Charming would be the one word I would use to describe this quintessential Dutch town just outside of Amsterdam. The town’s historic center is small and compact, making it very possible to experience all of its attractions easily within one day.  

canal and bridge in Utrecht

Me of Dream Plan Experience

The town’s (and the Netherlands) most notable landmark is the 14th century Dom Tower which sits in the middle of the historic town center. Climb the 465 steps to the top you’ll be awarded unbeatable views. Right next to the Dom square is the peaceful medieval monastery garden called Pandhof. But it’s the beautiful Oudegracht (or old canal) that flows right through the city’s center that is worth seeing in Utrecht. This historic canal dates back well before the 13th century when warehouses were built on either side of it. Today, it’s lined with shops, galleries, and cafes.

Read more about this lovely Dutch town here

Palawan, Philippines

Palawan is one of the Philippines’ largest islands. Turquoise waters, limestone rock cliffs, idyllic beaches, and amazing culture are just a few things that describe Palawan. The adventures on this providence are endless!

Palawan sea with mountains

Travel Bloggers Hannah & Adam of Getting Stamped

Two regions of Palawan worth seeking out are El Nido and Coron. El Nido is a cluster of islands located right on the tip of Palawan and is an enchanting place. The lagoons, beaches, and islands and that it’s known for diving, home to over 30 dive sites. 

Coron is also located in northern Palawan. Just like El Nido, Coron is a truly majestic destination, home to some of the most photographed spots in all of the Philippines like Kayangan Lake and Maquinit Springs. Diving is also popular on this cluster of islands, as you can see sunken Japanese warships at the bottom of the sea in Coron.  

Évora, Portugal

Évora is a beautifully preserved medieval town in the Alentejo region of Portugal that makes for an easy day trip from Lisbon.

Évora, castle view

Me of Dream Plan Experience

This UNESCO World Heritage site is steeped in history and well-preserved sites like the old town center, still partially enclosed by a medieval wall. A large number of monuments dating from various historical periods, including a Roman Temple and an impressive medieval cathedral and cloisters is also the reason why this town has been designed a UNESCO status. Best of all it’s the endless narrow winding alleyways to other architectural works that make this town fun to explore.

Read more: check out my guide to visiting Evora and all the top things to do

Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Lake Bohinj is just 1 hour by bus from Lake Bled but feels like a lifetime away. Forget about hordes of tourists and traffic, you’ll be able to enjoy this alpine lake almost to yourself. Situated just inside Triglav National Park, this is a great place to base yourself for hiking, climbing, cycling and watersports.

Slovenia mountains and river

Travel Blogger Erin of Curiously Erin

Ribčev Laz is the main town on the eastern end of the lake. This is where you will find the hotels and restaurants for your stay. What makes Lake Bohinj special is its natural beauty. The clear teal water is set against a 700m high mountain backdrop that climbs straight up behind the water’s edge. For the best lake views head to Vogel Mountain or go waterfall chasing to view Savica waterfall.

Seville, Spain

Seville is alive with history and culture and you can feel it as you wander through the cobbled streets. The home to tapas, flamenco and fiestas.

Seville Spain buildings in square

Travel Blogger Angela of Where Angie Wanders

Visit Seville’s medieval Alcazar, the oldest continually used palace in Europe of centuries-old Moorish architecture. Across from the Alcazar is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the final resting place of Christopher Columbus.

Evenings come alive with the sound of flamenco dancing and guitar playing. Watch a show at the Flamenco Museum to immerse yourself in the Sevillian culture.  Visit springtime when the 40,000 orange blossom trees around the city are in bloom. 

Related reading: if you’re headed to Spain and want to know more about it, check out my article Things you Need to Know Before you Go

Lucerne, Switzerland

Known for its snow-capped mountains and majestic views, Switzerland has many enchanting towns worth visiting. Lucerne is especially charming! Lucerne is just 40 minutes southwest of Zurich and easily reachable by train. Located along Lake Lucerne, everywhere you look is a picturesque view. One of the most iconic sights in Lucerne is the Chapel Bridge, or Kapellbrucke, which leads straight into Old Town. Be sure to look up when crossing the oldest covered wooden bridge in all of Europe to admire the historic artwork in the bridge’s rafters.

Lucerne Switzerland city view and river

Travel Blogger Tanya of Traveling Tanya

Lucerne’s Old Town will delight both shoppers and historians as modern-day stores and centuries old architecture fill the quaint streets. For spectacular views of Lucerne, put on your best walking shoes and climb the steep path up the Musegg Wall and the 9 towers that line the city. And don’t miss the Lion Monument carved into a wall of sandstone, which serves as a memorial to hundreds of Swiss soldiers who died at a massacre in Paris during the French Revolution.

When you are ready to ascend into the alps, Mt. Pilatus, Mr. Rigi and Mt. Titlis are all easy and enjoyable day trips from Lucerne.  

Brecon Beacon, Wales

The national park of Brecon Beacon is one of Wales’ three national parks. This is definitely the place to visit for travellers who seek a mixture of magical nature and charming towns. Brecon Beacon has numerous trails and paths to hike or bike. Explore its mountains, caves, lakes, and waterfalls. Pass through the Black Mountains and make sure to drive slowly enough to take in the unbelievable scenery.

Brecon Beacon Wales path and mountain

Travel Blogger Malin of Travels with MK

There are two must-visit towns for book and food lovers. First being Hay on Wye, the world’s first book town, with cute cafés and a delicious fudge shop. Second, the market town of Abergavenny and its food festival. Don’t forget about the 600 Welsh castles. About 100 of these are still standing, either as ruins or restored buildings. Castles located nearby the eastern part of the national park are White Castle and Raglan Castle. Carreg Cennen is another castle located in the western parts, with a moody and mysterious setting on a hilltop.

As a holidaymaker…

Travellers are searching more than ever before to discover epic places. Ones that are truly special and authentic. Those are still considered hidden gems that the rest of us daydream about. Hopefully, this inspired your travel bucket list.  

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47 Comments

  1. Oooh fab post Renee! I love learning about new places that are a little less obvious (I am never a fan of crowds so i prefer to seek out non-famous spots, even if they are not on normal bucket-lists…)

    I have never heard of the trulli in Alberobello, what cool little houses. And I’d loooove to visit Slovenia, so I should totally look into Lake Bohinj. I have a feeling I will like all of the places you picked. 🙂

    1. Aww, thanks so much Josy, I am so happy to hear we like the same places. I would love to see those Trulli houses in Italy and definitely want to visit Slovenia too! Happy travels in 2020 to you!

    1. Thanks Patrice for your comment. I do hope you get to those places too! It sounds like it will be exciting travel year for you.

  2. This is a wonderful collaboration of amazing places to see. I love how each writer shares their perspective and special place. Thanks for giving me some inspiration for great places to see.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. It was my first collaboration and would do it again! It was great to learn from other travel bloggers, and I too am inspired by their travels.

  3. Perfect timing that I stumbled upon this as I’ve just started mapping out my travels this year. Faroe Islands are definitely super high up on my list and I can totally see how it can be anyone’s favoirte destination. Quebec’s winter festival would be amazing to experience as well. La tire, Caribou… gosh I’m sold already! I’m actually from the west coast of Canada an I really need to explore the east sometime soon.

    1. Thank you Jas for your comment and so happy to hear this inspired future travel plans. And, yes west coaster come to the east – you will love Quebec City! The French Canadian food and vibe, its another province that is so unique and special. We do live in a pretty amazing country 😉.

  4. I loved seeing the places on your list and all the different voices you incorporate here. I’ll be spending most of 2020 in and around Latin America, but I really wish I could just drop everything and travel in Europe for months! The Faroe Islands do sound amazing, and Brecon Beacon also looks stunning. I, like many of the writers you feature, am constantly on the lookout for jaw-dropping landscapes, and this list has no shortage of them. Thanks for sharing and happy new year!

    1. Thank you Kevin, I appreciate your kind words about this collaboration post. I am inspired by all these locations and wish I could drop everything and travel for a few months too! A very happy new year to you and I hope you have wonderful travels in Latin America in 2020!

  5. The more we travel, the more we want to travel. Destination lists just keep expanding, don’t they? My current list includes many of the places in your blog, but most of all, I’m dying to get to Patagonia.

    1. Agree with you Punita! What does anyone do the first thing when they arrive home…plan their next trip! Thanks for your comment, and Patagonia would be on my list too! Hope we both get there one day!

  6. Croatia, and Essouaria are on our travel plans as well! We are into kiteboarding, and these destinations are pretty windy in season. We almost made it to the Faroe Islands when I was living in Scotland. Too bad we did not finalize that trip. Hamburg is such a cool place, as is Saint Malo, though for a different vibe! We spent more time in the last 3 years in Asia so we would probably add a few Asian destinations there as well 🙂

    1. Thank you for your comment Patricia, it sounds like you have visited many of these destinations. I hope you are able to visit the Croatian coast and Essouaria, and kiteboarding sounds like so much fun!

  7. I love this list of offbeat places to travel in 2020, as some of them are already on my list. And this is a good reminder because I’ve been to only 3 places listed here. Lovely compilation.

    1. Thank you very much Ketki for your comment. I am curious as to the three you have been to and whether you would recommend them to be on a list?

  8. Faroe islands top my list of places I am just dying to visit and photograph. Dinant sure sounds interesting if I find myself in Belgium. Lake Bohinj also sound downright magical! I had never heard of it before, so it now on my list of places I must see. Oh my but the list is getting very very long.

    1. Thank you Michael for your comment. I too now need to visit Faroe Islands and Lake Bohinj as a result of doing this blog collaboration. I had not heard too much about them and they are indeed begging to be photographed! I hope you get a chance to visit Dinant, I found it to be the perfect day trip.

  9. A lot of these places I have been to the areas of the countries but never actually stopped off in them. I have done Luzern and Hamburg but the two places I really want to hit up is the Faroe Islands (so close to my set of islands) and Dinnant in Belgium! I never even heard of this place despite my 40+ visits to the country and only came across it recently. After research, I am driving pass this area on the way to Germany on one of my next trips so hopefully I stop off there for a day or two. Great list of places here, hopefully will tick them all off, maybe not all in 2020, but at some point in my life 😀

    1. Thanks for your comment Danik! Dinant is the perfect destination to hit up for a good half a day. Stop in for a delicious lunch and Belgian beer and be sure to go up the 400+ steps to the top for wonderful valley and river views below. It is definitely picturesque and worth the little workout getting to the top!

    1. Thank you Shannon for stopping by and taking a read. I agree, it is hard to choose as they are all fantastic places to visit!

    1. Thank you Samantha! Yes, I am traveling to a couple as a result of me doing this collaboration too. Hvar is one of them.

  10. Initially, I thought Nafplio in Greece, then Puglia would be my favourites to visit, but there are so many others that I’d love to see, especially Portugal and The Philipines.

    1. Thank you Annette for your comment. Glad that this has inspired some future travel plans. You are right, there are so many wonderful places to see in the world.

    1. Amazing post to inspire my bucket list. I have been to Pondicherry and its lovely. Would love to tick off a few on the list this year.

  11. If I wake up on January 1st and find I suddenly have a small (nothing greedy) trust fund at my disposal, the first place I’d visit on this list would be the Faroe Islands. I’ve long dreamed of visiting there since my daughter did a project about them a few years ago in school. But since that’s likely NOT going to happen, a more realistic place for me to visit in 2020 would be Quebec City. It seems like visiting France without a transatlantic flight. Happy new year!

    1. I loved you comment Sage, it made me chuckle 🤭! Thank you.
      I am so pleased you would decide to visit Quebec City, it is definitely a place worth visiting, any time of year. It is just as enchanting as any European village, but with a unique French Canadian charm that you can’t help but fall in love with!

    1. Thank you Jan for stopping by and commenting. So happy to hear that both these places have inspired you to add them to your list!

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