A new year — a new decade! — and it’s time to start planning what you’d like to see and do. Here’s our guide to 20 places to consider in 2020
One of the two European Capitals of Culture for 2020 (we’ll see the other one later), Rijeka is Croatia’s third-largest city and its main seaport. It’s an interesting mixture of elements: less pretty-pretty than more celebrated Croatian cities such as Dubrovnik, but with an elegant, Austro-Hungarian air about it.
Being close to Italy means that, as well as the food and nightlife being very Italian (as well as a lot of the language spoken), Rijeka is a fascinating mixture of many European cultures, and 2020 could be the perfect time to visit.
Sa Pa, Vietnam
One of the most beautiful places in a country with more than its fair share, Sa Pa is located in the Hoàng Liên Son mountains in the north of the country. It’s an area famous for its terraced rice fields that stretch for miles in every direction and make for some breathtaking views.
If hiking is your thing — and if we’re honest, it’s not something most people would immediately associate with Vietnam — this is the place to come, with miles of trails winding their way through the mountains, passing Buddhist temples, crashing waterfalls, and emerging on rocky outlooks treating you to spectacular panoramas of the countryside beneath you. This is a different way of seeing a wonderful country.
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Rotterdam sometimes gets unfairly compared to Amsterdam, being painted as the unlovely industrial port compared to the cultured capital. But this is far from the case.
Every area of the city has its own character, meaning you’ll definitely find somewhere you love, and the overriding feeling is of a city that’s forward-thinking, innovative and, above all, exciting. It’s also the venue for 2020’s Eurovision, so from 12 May an already diverse city will be taken over by one of Europe’s biggest parties.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Kruger is one of the largest game reserves on the African continent, and was South Africa’s first national park. It’s one of the world’s greatest wildlife-watching destinations, and is one of the few places on the planet where you can see virtually all of the animals that people think of when they think of African safaris: elephants, lions, leopards, hippos, rhinos, zebras, buffalo — you name it, it’s here.
The park’s extensive road network means that it’s accessible, relatively cheap and varied in terms of accommodation, and the perfect place to see some of the most wonderful aspects of nature, in terms of animals and their wonderful environment.
Haida Gwaii, Canada
Off the west coast of British Columbia, the Haida Gwaii islands are the ancestral home of Canada’s First Nations people. The Haida have been working together with the Haida Gwaii institute to instigate a program of education, teaching visitors about the history, culture and spiritual connection of the people to the islands.
Visitors are encouraged to speak with Haida leaders to learn about how to maintain a sustainable economy and manage resources while remaining in tune with what communities like these need and value.
Guujaaw, the former President of the Haida Nation says that “the forests, land and waters of Haida Gwaii have much to teach us about a sustainable connection between human beings and the natural world”, a message that becomes more relevant with each passing year.