The 12 best places to visit in 2020
Already thinking about your next travel destination, but can’t decide where to put the pin in the map?
To help inspire you, we’ve pulled together a list of essential places to visit in 2020 guaranteed to give you an amazing travel experience, from watching the Northern Lights do their magical dance in Finnish Lapland to exploring the colourful streets of Morocco’s ‘Red City’.
Reward tip: Fly to any of these fabulous destinations with Norwegian and earn CashPoints. Put them towards your next flight and make your 2020 travels even more affordable!
1. Krakow, Poland
The year 2020 marks a poignant anniversary for Krakow – it’s 75 years since the concentration camps of Auschwitz were liberated from Nazi control.
Thousands of Holocaust survivors and world leaders will arrive in the city and head to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial on 27 January to attend the anniversary ceremony.
If you’re planning to head to the city to pay your respects, take a look at our tips on what to see and do in Krakow, including Wawel Castle and Cathedral, and the Main Market Square, which is home to a bunch of iconic landmarks, such as St Mary’s Church, The Krakow Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) and the Podziemia Rynku – a subterranean museum charting the city’s history.
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2. Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Next on our list of places to travel in 2020 is Rotterdam – the home of Eurovision in 2020. If you’re a fan, book a ticket online and join 15,000 other flag-waving fans on 16 May at the Ahoy Arena for the most over-the-top show in the musical calendar.
When the party’s over, spare some time to wander round the fabulous Market Hall (Markthal), visit the quirky cube-houses, and take a stroll across the stunning Erasmus Bridge for impressive city views.
You could also go on this private grand Holland tour to see some of the provinces’ most historic cities, including Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague. You’ll also stop by the world’s largest flower auction in Aalsmeer.
3. Tel Aviv, Israel
Israel’s second largest city is increasing in popularity as a holiday destination, and thanks to a series of renovations, hotel openings, and cultural events, this Mediterranean metropolis is continuing to enchant visitors from far and wide.
One of the biggest and most renowned events of the year is Tel Aviv’s Pride Week, where the city plays host to one of the world’s biggest LGBTQ+ celebrations – and 2020 will be no exception.
Head to the city from 7 to 13 June 2020 and experience the colourful meetups, crazy parties and the extravagant parade in the ‘Gay Capital of the Middle East’.
If your schedule doesn’t allow for a summer stint in Tel Aviv, then there’s still plenty to see and do year-round, from visiting the White City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 4,000 Bauhaus-style buildings, to exploring the historic Jaffa neighbourhood, home to stunning seaside views, local flea markets and top dining hot spots.
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4. Lapland, Finland
Want to tick a once-in-a-lifetime experience off your bucket list in 2020? Book a winter holiday to Finnish Lapland. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, but it’s also one of the best places in Europe to catch the Northern Lights if you visit between September and March.
You can even see the Aurora in style on this Northern Lights sledge ride tour.
When the lights go out, there’re plenty of other things to enjoy, like the stunning volcanic landscapes, geothermal hot springs, and majestic waterfalls, to name a few. It’s also a magical place to visit at Christmastime, thanks to Rovaniemi’s spectacular Santa Claus Village.
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5. New York, USA
2020 is not only a new year, it’s a new decade. So, why not do something to kick it off in style, like taking part in the New York Marathon? Or at least watch and support the thousands of runners stream by in a bid to raise money for their charities of choice.
This year marks the 50th year of the race, and the city will be going all out to make it one to remember.
Whilst in the Big Apple, be sure to tick a few of the must-do list: catch a show on Broadway, admire the famous Manhattan skyline from the top of the Empire State Building, and take a brisk, NYC-paced walk over the Brooklyn Bridge.
6. Salzburg, Austria
Culture vultures, this one’s for you! 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the world-famous Salzburg Festival – an annual celebration of opera, music and theatre.
Taking the number one spot on Lonely Planet’s ‘best cities to travel to in 2020’ list, Salzburg will be pulling out all the stops for the event, with special exhibitions, concerts and plays taking place all over the city.
If you’re a classical music buff, you’ll know that Salzburg was Mozart’s home city. Check out his house on Getreidegasse Street. Or if the Sound of Music is more your thing, visit the UNESCO-listed Mirabell Palace. The Do-Re-Mi sequence was filmed in the gardens.
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7. London, England
The UEFA EURO 2020 final will take place at Wembley Stadium, London, on 12 July. One of the most prestigious tournaments in international football, it’s a must for die-hard footie fans.
While you’re in London, check out the crown jewels at the magnificent Tower of London, enjoy some quirky art by the likes of Andy Warhol and David Hockney at the fabulous Tate Modern, and take a spin on the London Eye.
Tip: Want a quintessentially British experience? Enjoy an extravagant lunch at one of these top 10 places for afternoon tea in London.
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8. Galway, Ireland
The Irish love an excuse to celebrate. And they’ve got a great one in 2020, as Galway becomes the European Capital of Culture.
With a year-long programme of events based around the four old Celtic seasons, there’s no better time to pay this spectacular Irish gem a visit.
Featuring on Condé Nast Traveller’s list of ‘best holiday destinations for 2020’, Galway will have plenty to sink your teeth into throughout the year, including artist Kari Kola turning the beautiful mountains of Connemara National Park green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, a visit by renowned author Margaret Atwood on International Women’s Day, and a Medieval Experience Day in May, packed full of demonstrations, re-enactments, music, art and guided tours.
Be sure to enjoy a pint of Guinness and some traditional Irish folk music in one of the bustling pubs in the 18th century Eyre Square. And stroll along the promenade to the seaside suburb of Salthill to try some of their famous oysters.
To get there, fly to Dublin, and rent a car. Or, get picked up from the city centre and go on a full-day tour of Connemara and Galway. Admire the views at Galway Bay and Lough Corrib and spend two hours exploring charismatic Galway City.
9. Rome, Italy
On 21 April, Rome will celebrate a birthday that the city has big plans to celebrate. The Italian capital will turn a whopping 2,773 years old, and to mark the occasion, there’ll be fireworks on the Tiber river, Gladiator shows, street parades and Roman feasts galore, making 2020 a great time to visit this ancient, UNESCO-listed city.
Whilst there, be sure to throw a coin in the beautiful Trevi Fountain, shop ’til you drop at Via del Corso, take in the awesome views from Janiculum Hill and enjoy a slice or two at one of these top pizza places in Rome. Oh, and don’t forget to visit the Colosseum to tick one of the New Seven Wonders of the World off your bucket list.
Tip: Planning to visit the Eternal City with the other half? Check out our top 10 ideas for a romantic weekend in Rome.
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10. Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakech is known for its souks, sprawling desert and sandy beaches. And, as of 1 January, it’ll also be known as Africa’s first Capital of Culture.
This intoxicating desert paradise has gained the nickname of ‘The Red City’, due to its colourful buildings which deepen in reddish hue in the evening as the sunset casts a warm light against them.
Marrakech is home to two UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites: Djemaa El-Fna, (the main square) and the Medina of Marrakech (the old city), which is home to the Koutoubia Mosque, the Ben Youssef Medersa Islamic college, and the stunning Bahia Palace.
Of course, you can’t go to the desert without riding a camel. Take this half-day desert quad & dromedary tour for an experience you’ll never forget!
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11. The Highlands, Scotland
Many people have fallen in love with Scotland’s dramatic landscapes over the past few years, thanks to the show Outlander and its wild countryside settings. But the new James Bond movie, No Time to Die, is set to put the country firmly in the spotlight when it’s released in April 2020.
In the film, 007 visits the gorgeous Scottish Highlands for scenes that take in the town of Aviemore and the surrounding Cairngorms National Park. Head there yourself, and you might even spot some of Britain’s only free-ranging herd of reindeer.
Follow in the footsteps of Bond and have your own Scottish Highlands adventure on this two-day Scottish Highlands and St Andrews tour. Starting from Edinburgh, you’ll visit the famous Loch Ness, the Glenfinnan Viaduct, Glencoe, and you’ll spend the night in the beautiful town of Inverness.
Fly to Edinburgh
12. Skadar Lake, Montengro
With its pretty medieval towns, rolling hills, and some of the best beaches in Europe, you’d be foolish not to visit Montenegro in 2020. It’s a slice of paradise in Europe, and perfect if you’re looking for a destination that’s a far cry from the bustling streets of the capital cities we know and love.
If you really want to get away from it all, head to Skadar Lake. A haven for nature-lovers, it’s the ideal place to hike, cycle and swim, and see nature at its finest.
Take a tour on a cun (a traditional fishing boat) and see some endangered Dalmatian pelicans while you still can.
The area is also known for its excellent wine and fresh fish. Try them both at the family-run Winery Masanovic. Your taste buds will thank you.
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