Our Best Holiday Destinations 2019
Ten cities to discover this year
From sleepy carribean beaches to the world’s biggest megacities, our list of our top travel destinations for 2019 has something for everybody. We looked past the tourist traps in favour of places that aren’t necessarily on everyone’s radar – but should be on yours. Here’s where we’re going next year.
The megacity Lagos—the most populous city on the African continent—is Nigeria’s capital and financial centre. It’s happy, colourful and loud, boasting boutiques, beaches, cultural attractions and a thriving nightlife. Take a crash course in the nation’s history, its art and traditional crafts at the Nigerian National Museum, or make the most of the tropical climate with a stroll through Freedom Park, a colonial-era prison turned memorial park and public event space. No matter where you go in Lagos, you can’t help but succumb to the positive energy and happy vibes in the air — thanks, in no small part, to the 21 million-odd local Lagosians.
This small beachside town has transformed from a sleepy hideaway into one of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets for travellers in-the-know. Yet it’s still a very wild destination, with jungle-flanked sandy beaches, monkeys swinging from the trees and colourful birds flocking the skies. Several design-forward accommodations with backpacker-friendly pricing have opened in recent years, so we’re sure it won’t be long until Palomino catches the attention of more tourists in the coming years.
With a population of around 3,000, Ksamil is our pick if you want to escape the crowds next summer. This tiny beach town in Albania’s south charms with its soft sandy beaches, bays on the Adriatic Sea and its close proximity to amazing historical attractions such as the ruins at Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site that has been inhabited since 12th century BC. The Greek island Corfu is only 4km away, perfect for a day trip, or you could just rent a beach bed and enjoy cocktails in the sun at one of Ksamil’s beach bars.
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Surf is the name of the game at this coastal hideaway, and once you arrive, you’ll see why a growing number of travellers looking for a blissful escape from the world are making Santa Teresa their tropical destination of choice. With its epic surf, stunning sunsets and welcoming vibe, there’s a reason why the creative class is ditching overcrowded Tulum for this stunning getaway.
Though this urban hub has long been a capital of cool, it isn’t going anywhere just yet. 2019 marks two important anniversaries for Berlin: the centenary of Bauhaus and 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. To celebrate, the opening Bauhaus Festival will be held at the Akademie der Künste from 16–24 January.
Quieter and smaller than its grand neighbour Fez, Meknès feels rather overshadowed and receives fewer visitors than it should. It’s more laid-back with less hassle, yet still has all the winding, narrow Medina streets and grand buildings of an ancient imperial city and one-time home of the Moroccan sultanate.
São Paulo, Brazil
Though often overlooked for its coastal counterpart Rio de Janeiro, it should come as no surprise that South America’s largest city has no shortage of glitz and allure. São Paulo’s distinctly New World vibrancy brings together sleek design and world-class dining in its towering skyscrapers and lush neighbourhoods.
Wadi Rum, Jordan
Movie buffs might already feel they know Wadi Rum, as it has been used as a location for dozens of films, from the 1962 classic Lawrence of Arabia, to The Martian and even Star Wars. Wadi Rum is a valley between giant sandstone and granite rock formations in southern Jordan, making it perfect for an adventure holiday: rock climbing for the adrenaline junkies, or a camel ride followed by camping under the stars if you prefer a slower pace. Our tip: an early morning hot-air balloon ride to see the sun rise over the Jordanian desert.
Seto Inland Sea, Japan
For art lovers, 2019 will be the year to get off the beaten path. The Setouchi Triennial at Japan’s remote Seto Inland Sea runs from April to November, taking over the islands of Naoshima, Teshima and Megijima, which are home to the Chichu Art Museum and house permanent installations by the likes of Yayoi Kusama and James Turrell.
You could go for the beautiful architecture, the glorious art or the world-famous diamond district, but what we love most of all about Antwerp is the chips. Like the rest of Belgium, Antwerp has a strong chips culture (or French Fries, depending which side of the Atlantic you’re on), and you will find chip shops—or chippies—on just about every corner, with just about every topping you could want. Once you’ve loaded up on carbs, take a stroll around the Grote Markt in Antwerp’s old town, where you’ll find the Brado Fountain flanked by traditional Flemish architecture and the sixteenth-century Stadhuis (City Hall).
What to pack