The list, which is compiled by Travel & Leisure editors as well as travel writers, advisors, and other experts, includes places that are “at the forefront of the global conversation” as well as “perennial favourites that are reinventing themselves in exciting ways,” according to a press release.
Here are the best places to travel in Europe in 2020, according to Travel & Leisure.
“Not long ago, Austria was viewed as the meringue of the Germanic world: beautiful to look at, yet somewhat dry when one actually bit in,” John Wray wrote for Travel & Leisure. “But the country has reinvented itself, pouring resources into cutting-edge arts institutions while lovingly elevating the cultural jewels that made it so beloved in days gone by.”
Vienna has poured $US240 million into a redevelopment project surrounding the central train station, which includes hip new hotels like Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere and Belvedere 21, Wray reported.
2020 is also a special year in Austria because it marks the 150th birthday of legendary concert hall Musikverein and the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, according to Wray.
The Douro River, Portugal
“Portugal remains a popular getaway – and in 2020, it’s all about experiencing it from the water,” Hannah Walhout wrote for Travel & Leisure.
Viking River Cruises launched a Douro River itinerary last year, followed by AmaWaterways debuting the AmaDouro cruise on the picturesque river, according to Walhout.
“On land, wineries like Quinta do Portal and Quinta do Seixo serve light reds, vinho verde, and the ubiquitous port,” Walhout wrote. “Stay in Porto at recent additions like the Art Deco stunner Le Monumental Palace or the art-filled Torel 1884, whose 12 rooms and 11 standalone apartments feature art inspired by fabrics, materials, and spices from faraway lands.”
“Surfing in Denmark? It’s legit! Consistent breaks and large swells – ideal conditions for both beginners and pro surfers – earned the town of Klitmøller, on the edge of the North Sea, the nickname ‘Cold Hawaii,’” Mary Holland wrote for Travel & Leisure.
The tiny Danish town is a short drive to Thy National Park, which spans almost 100 square miles of rugged coastlines, dunes, lakes, and pine forests.
“Crowned as the World Capital of Design 2020 for its advances in urban development, the once-struggling industrial city of Lille is on its way to enjoying optimised public spaces thanks to a slew of sustainable design initiatives,” Sarah Souli wrote for Travel & Leisure. “It’s also quickly becoming a cosmopolitan oasis with new galleries, museums, restaurants, and boutiques.”
Highlights of the northern French city include “La Piscine, an Art Deco indoor swimming pool turned art museum” and “jaw-dropping restaurants like Coke, a brasserie and hotel serving French classics beneath ornate moldings and crystal chandeliers,” according to Souli.
Manchester, United Kingdom
“Once famed for its towering industry and more recently, vibrant music scene, Manchester is now one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, buoyed by an influx of digital and media companies,” Jemima Sissons wrote for Travel & Leisure.
This includes a boom in upscale and design-oriented hotels, such as Hotel Brooklyn, which sits inside a Victorian brownstone, and Native Manchester, a 166-apartment hotel, according to Sissons.
“Refreshingly free of big-box chains and tourists (fewer than 1.5 million visitors were recorded in 2018), the Republic of North Macedonia won’t fly under the radar for much longer,” Courtney Lichterman wrote for Travel & Leisure. “The newly renamed country has a wealth of historic sights, like the Kale (or fortress) in the capital, Skopje; Kokino, a megalithic observatory; and the ancient city of Heraclea Lyncestis, on the outskirts of Bitola.”
In 2020, North Macedonia will host a food festival called Terra Madre Balkans, which will bring in chefs and experts from around the world to celebrate the “slow food” movement, according to Lichterman.
“Paros is a place overtourism forgot,” Stacey Leasca wrote for Travel & Leisiure. “The rugged Greek island, located smack in the middle of the Cyclades, can only be described as the cooler cousin of more populated islands like Mykonos and Santorini.”
Hip new hotels like Parilio are popping up on the island, but the crowds haven’t yet started to swarm, Leasca reports.
The Croatian porty city of Rijeka has managed to so far avoid the overcrowding plaguing the city of Dubrovnik after its role as a “Games of Thrones” filming location.
“With amazing views of the Adriatic coast, blockbuster beaches, and a colourful Baroque heart – not to mention one of the world’s biggest Carnival celebrations – it’s a wonder that Rijeka isn’t better known,” Jonathan Thompson wrote for Travel & Leisure. “But despite ticking pretty much every conceivable vacation box (toss in world-class museums, a bevy of top restaurants, and cinematic hikes in the surrounding mountains), it remains an under-the-radar Adriatic treasure.”
Rome’s EUR District
Rome’s business district, Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR), was built in the late 1930s by Mussolini for a World’s Fair that never took place, Hannah Walhout reported for Travel & Leisure.
Now, the neighbourhood’s “bizarre fascist-neoclassical buildings and monuments” make it “a must-visit for architecture buffs and those who want to see another side of the city,” Walhout wrote.
“This city’s creative groundswell has been building for a few years now, with young designers, chefs, architects, and artists – many of whom never knew life under the USSR – lending a palpable energy to the place,” Walhout wrote for Travel & Leisure.
The Georgian capital is seeing an influx of cool concept stores, and “‘new Georgian’ cuisine is finding its footing as young chefs bring traditional foods into the 21st century, with a glut of wine bars and standout restaurants,” Walhout writes.
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