When it comes to the Roaring Twenties, we see it as the ideal opportunity to broaden your travel horizons and visit places you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you want to chill out on remote islands, discover disappearing rainforests or visit emerging cities (or, indeed, eternally exciting ones), our 2020’s travel bucket list has the best places to visit across the world.
Spanning six continents, consider this your essential travel inspiration for the next decade. From places that are at risk of becoming lost forever to those that are only just getting noticed, you’ll have the time of your life exploring these destinations.
Bucket List Places You Need To Visit This Decade
What’s not to love about stunning coral reefs, chilled vibes, and pink and white-sand beaches? Barbados is developing so rapidly that it’s set to become one of the hottest travel bucket list destinations of the decade.
From the Unesco World Heritage-listed capital to the thumping nightlife and energetic festivals, there’s not much that Barbados doesn’t have to offer travellers.
Serving up a delightful fusion of Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Soviet influences, Sofia is perhaps one of Eastern Europe’s best-kept secrets. It’s a peculiar mixture of Communist-style buildings and colourful modern design, but if you visit Sofia with an open mind you’ll absolutely fall in love with it.
Why? There’s a cool up-and-coming artsy scene, with stylish cocktail bars and events happening year-round.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Sofia.
Beijing is China’s political, economic, and cultural centre, with six Unesco World Heritage Sites in this city alone. Discover Forbidden City, street food dishes of Peking duck and of course, the Great Wall of China.
When it comes to the must-visit bucket list destinations in China, Beijing will come out on top time and time again.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in China
You can’t miss out on Marrakech when travelling around Morocco. This ancient walled city is home to mosques, palaces and lush gardens.
It’s known as The Red City thanks to the colour of the brick walls surrounding the city. Plus, the medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
Arguably the coolest city in Europe (where else would you find techno-playing spas and abandoned amusement parks?), Berlin is the rough diamond of the continent where people play hard and work hard. This edgy city has graffiti on every corner and has turned into one of Europe’s coolest bucket list destinations since the fall of the Berlin Wall in ’89.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Berlin
Not forgetting that famous Southern hospitality, Savannah also has amazing architecture, and rich history, along with global sophistication, funky nightlife and fabulous food.
There’s some beautiful old mansions that have been converted into boutique hotels and B&Bs. Plus, you can enjoy evening strolls along lush, ivy and moss streets. When it comes to a city break that oozes charm, Savannah is a real winner.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Savannah
Unfortunately ironic, the Dead Sea is, well, dying. The water levels of this famous sea where visitors can float freely thanks to the high salt levels are falling at a rate of about three foot a year, due to a mix of human and geological factors.
While there are plans for a restorative project between Israel and Jordan, the fate of Dead Sea seems uncertain. We suggest paying a visit to this natural bucket list wonder before it’s too late.
Norway’s famous, Instagrammable fjords are one of the most popular places that travellers to gawk over on Instagram. However, Fjord Norway meets many of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s criteria for destinations.
The Norwegian government ensures that fishing, hunting and drilling for oil are all well-regulated in Bergen and beyond, pushing the city to the top of our list for the hottest travel destinations for the next decade.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Norway
Koh Rong Samloem is a small tropical island in the Gulf of Siam, with picture perfect white sand beaches fringed by palm and casaurina trees. It’s still a peaceful destination that has a laidback vibe and is relatively untouched. The tourist masses have yet to descend, so visit before they do.
A highlight here is the amazing bio-luminescent plankton that makes the warm waters glow and sparkle at night.
Everglades National Park is only a one-hour drive from the hustle and bustle of Miami, but a world away. The mysterious 1.5 million acres of swamplands has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the USA and is home to rare and endangered species such as manatee, alligator and the elusive Florida panther.
Rising sea water levels are a concern for the park, with numerous restoration programmes underway to protect it before the marshland disappears…
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Florida
Mongolia is a landlocked nation bordered by China and Russia, known for vast, rugged expanses and nomadic culture. You can experience wide-open spaces, cobalt blue skies, forests, deserts, crystal clear rivers and lakes, while staying in traditional nomad camps.
Growing infrastructure across this once-unexplored country means an increasing number of tourists, so go now while this beautiful place is still unspoiled.
With its art scene, great nightlife and liberal feel, Brighton is a must-visit town which is only 30 minutes from London by train. It has a broad shingle beach which is backed by amusement arcades and which comes alive in the warmer months.
Explore its famous creative shopping area, The Lanes, which are narrow, twisting alleyways filled with independent shops and boutiques.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Brighton
Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam – is known for its rich history, busy street life and centuries of French, Asian and Chinese influences all blended into one bustling city.
You’ll soon see that this is a vibrant city with plenty of things to see and do. Plus, it’s a wonderful base from which to explore the North of Vietnam, including Halong Bay and Sapa, while also enjoying the comforts of a modern vibrant city.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Hanoi
Looking for paradise? You’ll find it in the Maldives. This tropical nation in the Indian Ocean is made up of more than 1,000 coral islands.
It’s home to some of the world’s most luxurious bucket list hotel resorts, with white sandy beaches, underwater villas and restaurants and bright blue waters. However, rapidly rising sea levels and the fact that 80% of the country’s land is just one metre above sea level, the Maldives could be disappearing before we know it…
Chicago is known for being one of America’s most tourist-friendly cities. Whether you’re a Chicago native or simply spending a few days in the Windy City, you sure as heck won’t be bored. From tropical cocktail bars and world-famed architecture to outdoor concerts and the Cubs, there’s plenty to do here.
2020 and beyond will see a plethora of even more exciting restaurants open in the city, as well as plans to spruce up The Pedway (an underground network of tunnels) make Chicago an essential place to visit this decade.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Chicago
Prince of Wales Island is a vast, rugged island and is the perfect destination for adventurous visitors wanting to get off the beaten path. On the island’s southern half, you can watch salmon attempt to negotiate ladders at Cable Creek Fish Pass and Dog Salmon Fish Pass while hungry black bears stand watch.
On the north end of the island are karst formations of more than 850 grottos and caves, with public-use cabins available in the Tongass National Forest for those who want to spend a night on their own in the wilderness.
Mirroring the underground club scene you might find in a city such as Berlin and mixing it with an undeniably rich cultural heritage, visitors are beginning to open their eyes to the wonderful travel opportunities in Lebanon. We’re pretty sure it’s also got something to do with the fantastic food, ancient treasures, and the fact that it was the destination of the first traveller recorded history, King Gilgamesh.
The wonderful country of Ecuador is famous for being home to the Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands. These biodiverse islands are home to unusual animal life – such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of finch – that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection following his visit in 1835.
It goes without saying that a trip to the Galapagos Islands will be the journey of your lifetime.
One of the most iconic cities in the world, Paris tops the bucket list for many people. You’ll see so many famous landmarks here: the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame cathedral… The list is never ending, so make the Roaring ’20s the decade you finally visit Paris.
The city is also home to glorious food, shopping and culture. An ideal city getaway.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Paris
The ‘Green Heart of Africa’, the Congo Basin is one of the most important wilderness areas left on Earth. It spans across six countries—Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, and is home to 150 distinct ethnic groups and a diverse wildlife: forest elephants, chimpanzees, bonobos, and lowland and mountain gorillas.
However, the Congo Basin loses close to 1.5 million hectares of forest cover every year, and is at serious risk of deforestation.
The magnificent Glacier Park is where you’ll find the beautiful Wild Goose island rising from the middle of the lake and surrounding mountains. Hike through the dramatic mountains and glacier-carved valleys and you’ll see why it’s one of the best places to visit this decade.
But – and it’s a big ‘but’ – the glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. In 1966, the park had 35 named glaciers large enough to be considered active. By 2015, only 26 named glaciers remained
Tourism in Cuba has surged ever since it re-established its relationship with the American government in 2015. Cuba is also one of the most affordable beach vacations for travellers from North and South America. From the historical streets of Havana and the country’s rich cultural heritage to some of the most remarkable beaches in the Caribbean, you have to head to Cuba to enjoy this bucket list paradise for yourself.
The Darvaza Crater, better known as the Door to Hell, is a natural gas crater that has been burning ever since Soviet geologists drilling for oil set it alight in 1971, in the hopes of burning off harmful methane gas. They certainly never expected it to still be a fiery pit some 50 years later, and the Door to Hell has now transformed Turkmenistan into a unique tourist destination.
Grab some marshmallows and take the trip to see this unusual sight before the flames eventually die out.
Last year, Bilbao won the title of the European City of the Year. And, it’s not hard to see why. From the iconic Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum to the numerous restaurants serving Basque-inspired cuisine, it’s recently evolved into one of the most culturally intriguing cities in Europe.
While other Spanish cities such as Madrid and Barcelona will always be popular, there’s something extra charming about Bilbao.
Machu Picchu is one of the most visited tourism destinations in the world, and is a must-visit for any traveller exploring South America. The best way to get here? Arrive to Machu Picchu in style on the 360° Train that will bring you through the Peruvian countryside to the ‘lost city’.
The wide, panoramic windows are perfect for soaking up the view, plus they serve Pisco Sours on board. When it comes to bucket list experiences, this is up there with the very best.
Check out our secret tips for Machu Picchu here
The environment, and protecting it, has moved from a fringe issue for many to become one of the most important factors in planning a trip. And, with the Arctic sea ice now declining at a rate of 12.8% per decade, it seems that travellers want to get a chance to visit before it’s gone.
Towering mountains and dramatic fjords make Greenland a great bucket list travel destination for any adventurous traveller.
Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kenya, and has a diverse population of resident game – including lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. Consider staying at Naibor, a luxury camp deep in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Canvas tents with en-suite bathrooms are all throughout the forest.
The Mess tent and sociable fireplace area overlook the Talek River with its resident pod of hippos, with comfortable floor-cushions, rugs and sofas to sink into after a day in the bush.
Just two hours away from Vancouver lies this famous mountain hotspot. This top ranked destination ski resort draws skiers from all over the world. It’s popular for downhill and heli-skiing, with cross-country trails located close by.
While Whistler has always been a top ski destination, it’s set to surge even further ahead in the new decade. Vail Resorts, Inc. recently invested $66 million in three new lifts for Whistler Blackcomb, giving the area the first three-gondola connection in the world.
Cape Town is a dream location to visit: endless natural beauty and clifftop views, pastel pink neighbourhoods and turquoise waters. What more could you ask for?
Hike Table Mountain National Park, learn about the country’s history and see penguins up-close. Cape Town is also home to amazing wine and food, and we predict that the next decade will see plenty of exciting new additions to the city’s hospitality scene.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Cape Town
Portland is a city that prides itself on being different as shown by the giant ‘Keep Portland Weird’ on the side of a building downtown. This is a city that sits between mountains and rivers and is known for its cycling and craft beer culture as well as its eco friendliness.
In short, it’s the sort of progressive American city that more places should try to emulate, and we predict that Portland is going to be one of the hottest destinations in the US in the next 10 years.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Portland
This route along Ireland’s western coast lets you visit the most spectacular places, from UNESCO World Heritage site Sceilg Mhicíl (Skellig Michael) and the largest karst landscape in the world, The Burren to the traditional Irish towns.
The scenic coastal route winds its way from the Inishowen Peninsula in the north down to the picturesque town of Kinsale, County Cork, in the south.
As George Bernard Shaw once said, “those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik.” With its winding streets, Game of Thrones filming locations, cliffside beach bars and UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town, it’s no wonder Dubrovnik is such a popular spot.
Head over to the nearby town of Cavtat for truly breathtaking scenery and to remove yourself even further from the tourist scene.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Dubrovnik
Make the ’20s the decade you (or your kids) finally meet Santa Claus. Rovaniemi is the Official Hometown of Santa Claus, and the city’s most famous resident can be visited every day of the year in Santa Claus Village right on the Arctic Circle, an attraction that draws more than 500 000 annual visitors from all around the world.
In Rovaniemi, you can enjoy reindeer and husky rides and of course, meet Santa Claus and his elves. Why don’t you pay him a return visit for all those times he came to your house?
New York is one of America’s most exciting cities. With modern architecture, world class cuisine and culture and more things to do than you could fit in one lifetime, it’s no wonder we’ve named it one of the essential bucket list places to visit this decade.
The city’s five boroughs all have special features; it’s almost impossible to narrow it down. From Chinatown in Queens to Brooklyn’s famed views of the NYC skyline, legendary museums and the most exciting food in the world, it’s easily one of the best cities in America.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in New York
The famous city built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea is a holiday hotspot for celebrities, local Italians and tourists alike. Venice has no roads, just canals, so exploring the city by watertaxi or gondola makes it extra special.
Devastating floods and mass tourism have both played a part in damaging the city in recent years, and with plans for floodgates to be built to hold back rising sea levels still not in action, there’s concerns that the ‘Floating City’ will lose its moniker.
Brazil’s famous rainforest produces 20% of the world’s oxygen, earning it the nickname the ‘lungs of the earth’, but mass deforestation and recent wildfires has seen the worst destruction of the forest in over a decade.
The vast forest is home to some of the rarest animals in the world, as well as the last uncontacted tribes on earth. Make time to explore this beautiful area before it’s lost forever.
Iceland is one of the most unique counties in the world, with a landscape that encompasses everything from volcanoes, geysers, hot springs to lava fields. We suggest renting a car to discover the island; Iceland has one main ring road, Route 1, that goes alongside some of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, such as the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, the Dyrhólaey cliffs and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Iceland
Visiting Tokyo is like visiting the future – flashing neon lights, incredible technology – yet there’s still a rich sense of culture and history. From modern art installations to ancient temples, Tokyo is a seriously amazing city.
It’s no secret as to what makes Tokyo one of the hottest tourist destinations for 2020. The 2020 Summer Olympics are expected to cause such a surge in visitors that the Narita airport is building a temporary terminal to help welcome them all.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Tokyo
Jordan is one of the most diverse and exciting tourist destinations in the world with a wealth of natural beauty, historic monuments and luxury resorts. Above all, the ancient city of Petra stands out as the country’s jewel. Petra is half-built, half-carved into the rock and is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world.
Although it has stood for centuries, the monuments at Petra are subject to ongoing erosion due to wind and rain. Visit the lost city while it still stands.
Palawan made our list of the world’s best bucket list islands for a reason. It feels untouched, with white sandy beaches and tropical jungle. El Nido is a cluster of 45 islands just off the tip of Palawan that you can explore, too. It’s famous for the Secret Lagoon.
Swim through a hole in the limestone rocks to enter a hidden bay with crystal clear water and soft sand.
Singapore is a small island city-state off southern Malaysia which punches way above its weight on a global level. It’s a modern city with colourful buildings, futuristic bridges and a ‘cloud forest’.
It’s also a centre of tourism and a serious hub for travel in Asia. What makes it one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia is the sheer range of things to do, see and eat. It’s an easy city to navigate with a cosmopolitan vibe and a thriving expat community.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Singapore
Only 160 people per day are allowed to visit Kapiti Island, one of New Zealand’s oldest and most important nature reserves. Get up close and personal with rare birds such as kākā, kōkako, takahē and hihi. You can also wander tracks fringed with dense forest or climb the 521m peak for panoramic views.
As well as incredible nature-watching opportunities, there’s also beautiful swimming spots in crystal clear waters.
The world’s largest salt flat, the white plains of Salar de Uyuni is top of many people’s bucket lists. The surreal, alien-like landscape will surely be one of the most memorable sights of your decade.
For a touch of luxury, spend the night in Kachi Lodge, which has six bedroom domes and an oversized lounge dome set up on a wooden deck above the surface of the Salar. Each dome has clear panels for the best nightsky views, with the bed perfectly positioned under the stars.
Historic sights, super-chatty locals, legendary pubs and a thriving restaurant scene ensure Belfast punches well above its weight on almost every count. The city might be small but it is fact emerging as one of the UK’s most exciting destinations. In fact, the next 10 years will see the city really come into its own.
Visit the Titanic Belfast museum with all manner fab interactive, experiential exhibits on hand to bring the doomed ocean liner’s tragic tale to life. We also love Belfast for its proximity to some of Ireland’s most stunning scenery, such as the Giant’s Causeway.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Belfast
You’ll often find Melbourne at the top of the most liveable cities in the world; as soon as you spend time in the place you’ll understand why.
Great cafe culture, close to water, lots of activities, great sports teams and friendly locals… Melbourne is the city that has everything. While Sydney will always shine on the global stage, the effortlessly diverse state capital of Victoria is an intoxicating place to explore.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Melbourne
The lively American city known for its street music, festive vibe and a melting pot of French, African and American cultures is well worth the trip. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to bucket list city breaks.
NOLA is a city packed with adventures at every turn and should be on everyone’s ‘must-visit’ list. There’s no other carnival like Mardi Gras. Party, eat, dress in costume and catch beads at parades as you soak up the incredible NOLA spirit.
Eco-tourism is going to be one of the biggest trends in travel in the coming decade. As Costa Rica is the country undoubtedly most associated with ecotourism, San Jose is a bucket list spot for eco-friendly travellers to enjoy the country’s well-protected natural beauty. Volunteer at a local charity or simply enjoy exploring local rainforests and jaw-dropping volcanoes.
Boston might not be among the biggest cities in America, but it’s certainly one of the buzziest, with world-class museums, fun bars and historic sights to see on every street.
The bustling city has endless opportunities for visitors. Think: historical cobblestone streets (including one of the most beautiful streets in the USA), exotic gardens and funky bars. The next decade will only see this iconic city become even more of a must-visit destination.
Check out our secret tips, hidden gems and foodie treats in Boston
This wonderfully diverse, culturally rich and exciting country is so much more than you would ever expect. Kyiv’s hip coffee and bar scene is only getting started, so expect a surge in the 2020’s. The city also has historical cathedrals and monuments that pay homage to the nation’s past.
Take a tour of the haunting Cherynoble disaster zone to learn about the nuclear incident, the devastating effects it still has on the community today and discover a snapshot of 1980s Communist life in Ukraine.
Check out the Most Instagrammable Spots in Kyiv here.
Guadeloupe is the new hot spot in the Caribbean that’s even more beautiful than many of the nearby islands. The island nation is made up of two large islands and three smaller ones, all absolutely beautiful.
It’s not as popular with tourists, so still has a rustic vibe and is less pricey than neighbouring St Barths – a win-win. When it comes to bucket list escapes for the new decade, this is top of our list.