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Best Travel Destinations for 2020 Revealed by Lonely Planet

Bhutan monastery

Global travel authority Lonely Planet has unveiled its top 10 countries, cities, regions and best-value destinations for next year with the release of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020.

Best in Travel 2020 is Lonely Planet’s 15th annual collection of the world’s hottest destinations and journeys for the year ahead. This edition places particular emphasis on the best sustainable travel experiences for 2020 — ensuring travelers will have a positive impact wherever they choose to go.

Bhutan — the kingdom set to become the first fully organic nation by 2020 — claims the coveted spot as the number-one country to visit in 2020, while England places second and North Macedonia takes third.

Lonely Planet’s number-one region for 2020 is the Central Asian Silk Road, which is now more accessible than ever before, thanks to visa improvements for the majority of the world’s citizens, along with massive transportation and infrastructure investment. Le Marche, Italy comes in second, followed by Tōhoku, Japan.

Number-one city Salzburg, Austria will be pulling out all the stops for the centenary of its world-famous festival of music and drama next year, while Washington, DC, USA is second-ranked, with Cairo, Egypt in third place.

Elsewhere, Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara, Hungary’s Budapest and India’s Madhya Pradesh are Lonely Planet’s top three best-value destinations for 2020.

Each year, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel lists start with nominations from Lonely Planet’s vast community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and more. The nominations are then whittled down by our panel of travel experts to just 10 countries, 10 regions, 10 cities and 10 best value destinations. Each is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences and ‘wow’ factor.

For Best in Travel 2020, Lonely Planet’s experts have also selected the best New Openings, New Places to Stay, New Food Experiences, and Sustainable Trips for Families, as well as devoting an entire chapter to the best ways to Travel Well.

www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel features tips and videos on visiting each destination, as well as a chance to win a Silk Road adventure for two. The top 10 cities can also be explored for free with Lonely Planet’s Guides app.

Top 10 Countries

  1. Bhutan
  2. England
  3. North Macedonia
  4. Aruba
  5. Eswatini (Swaziland)
  6. Costa Rica
  7. The Netherlands
  8. Liberia
  9. Morocco
  10. Uruguay

Top 10 Regions

  1. Central Asian Silk Road
  2. Le Marche, Italy
  3. Tōhoku, Japan
  4. Maine, USA
  5. Lord Howe Island, Australia
  6. Guizhou Province, China
  7. Cadiz Province, Spain
  8. Northeast Argentina
  9. Kvarner Gulf, Croatia
  10. Brazilian Amazon

Top 10 Cities

  1. Salzburg, Austria
  2. Washington, DC, USA
  3. Cairo, Egypt
  4. Galway, Ireland
  5. Bonn, Germany
  6. La Paz, Bolivia
  7. Kochi, India
  8. Vancouver, Canada
  9. Dubai, UAE
  10. Denver, USA

Top 10 Best Value

  1. East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
  2. Budapest, Hungary
  3. Madhya Pradesh, India
  4. Buffalo, USA
  5. Azerbaijan
  6. Serbia
  7. Tunisia
  8. Cape Winelands, South Africa
  9. Athens, Greece
  10. Zanzibar, Tanzania

The Travel Edit

  • Best New Openings
  • Best New Places to Stay
  • Best New Food Experiences
  • Best Sustainable Trips for Families

Travel Well

  • Should We All Be Flying Less?
  • Traveling on a Carbon Diet
  • Going Local, for the Locals
  • Taking Action on the Road
  • Lessons from Indigenous Cultures
  • Hiking for Meditation

Lonely Planet can be found at lonelyplanet.com

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