The best cities, countries and regions to visit in 2020, according to Lonely Planet

With the new year just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start planning your 2020 adventures. Wondering where to go? The best destinations around the world for next year have finally been revealed in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020

The best destinations to visit in 2020

The best countries to travel to in 2020 

With green travel and overtourism on the minds of many travellers, it may be no surprise that Bhutan tops the list of best countries to visit. With all visitors required to pay a daily fee to be in the incredible kingdom in the Himalayas, it delivers on exclusivity. The kingdom is already carbon neutral but also plans to be the first fully-organic nation by 2020, making it the perfect time to plan a visit. 

Why you should visit Bhutan in 2020

If you want to spend your days exploring a diverse coastline, then the second spot on Lonely Planet’s travel list should be added to yours. Next year, England launches the England Coast Past, which will be the longest continuous trail of its kind in the world, providing travellers with more access to the wonders of the English shore. 

North Macedonia is one of the top places to visit next year © Ayhan Süleyman / 500px

North Macedonia, formerly known as Macedonia, has undergone a rebrand after decades of debate with Greece over its region of the same name. While the new moniker brought some added attention, there are also other reasons for travellers to visit, like new flights to Lake Ohrid or visiting the High Scardus Trail. 

Top 10 cities to visit in 2020

The best cities to travel to in 2020 

If exploring the streets of a new city is your ideal vacation, then the best cities to visit in 2020 should be top of your travel list. Coming in first is Salzburg, Austria, which secured the top spot as the famous Salzburg Festival turns 100. It’s followed by Washington, DC. in the US, which will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and will be celebrated with plenty of special exhibitions. In the third spot is Cairo, Egypt, which is set to see the opening of its incredible Grand Egyptian Museum in 2020. 

Why you should visit the Central Asian Silk Road region in 2020

The best regions to travel to in 2020 

Get ready to go on a journey as the top region in the world to visit next year is something that begs to be explored. The Central Asian Silk Road will take travellers through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – and visiting all of those just got easier with the introduction of e-visas and visa-free access to residents of dozens of countries

It's time to plan a trip to Uzbekistan © Dinozzzaver / Shutterstock

Travellers who have already explored the powerhouse region of Tuscany in Italy can look towards the Le Marche region, which came in second on the list. It has all the same charms as its famous neighbour with lesser-known spots. 

As the world looks to Japan for the 2020 Summer Olympics, travellers who want to get away from the crowds can head to Tōhoku. The region was hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, but has been in recovery mode since, improving tourist facilities. 

Lonely Planet’s lists begin with nominations from Lonely Planet’s community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and more. The nominations are then whittled down by a panel of travel experts to the top 10 lists. Want a chance to win a trip to explore the Silk Road? Find out more on Lonely Planet's Best in Travel