When it comes to travel, everyone has their own bucket list. Active travelers tick off destinations known for stunning scenery, while art lovers swing by the world’s best museums. Some places are so special they’re just impossible to skip. Read on to discover where to travel in 2020. Hint: it’s these 12 extraordinary cities around the world.
Woman walking down the street
Head south to Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital for culture, dancing, and more.

1. Tango through Buenos Aires 

If you’re looking for a heady dose of history, culture, food, and dancing, head to Buenos Aires. The giant city is where the cars and buses whizzing by are as much a part of Porteno culture as tango, great museums, and the Boca Juniors. Jump in a boat to see the city from another angle and take a detour to Tigre while you’re at it.

View from the London Eye
See the city from above on a ride around the London Eye.

2. Experience life in London 

London: it’s not just for making silly poses next to stone-faced guards (although that could make for a great selfie). You can find plenty of British charm and humor that’s as sweet as their afternoon tea all over this diverse city, like while you’re touring the set of Harry Potter. For views that stretch as far as the eye can see, take a trip around the London Eye. If you can only swing by for two days, check out this 48-hour itinerary for our list of unmissable bucket-list activities.

Man standing by water in Chicago
Cruise along the Chicago River on a 75-minute tour and discover the city’s most famous buildings.

3. Swing by Chicago 

Pause in the midwest of the United States to feel the breeze in Chicago, the country’s Windy City. This city is home to deep-dish pizza, jazz, blues, and the Chicago Bulls: nothing could be more all-American. Sail under historic bridges and see the city’s unique architecture from the river.

Woman overlooking the River Seine
A trip to the City of Love is the perfect romantic getaway.

4. Say oh-la-la in Paris 

Audrey Hepburn was right, Paris is always a good idea. The city is perfect for lovers of old-fashioned romance (think: soft streetlights, Seine-side picnics, and strolls down cobbled alleys). The French city has inspired painters, novelists, and all kinds of creative types for years. It helps that Paris is home to impressive art collections, like the Louvre and Versailles. If you’re headed to the City of Lights over the weekend, check out this 48-hour itinerary for our list of très magnifique activities.

People at a digital art exhibition
Explore a dreamworld of digital arts like you’ve never seen before at the teamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum.

5. Journey to the future in Tokyo

Anime, manga, tech — geek out on all kinds of digital Japanese art and tech in Tokyo, the bustling capital of Japan. Like Germany, Japan’s got a collective consciousness around cleanliness (don’t expect to see anyone littering), but the neatly organized city is anything but boring: you’ll see creative cosplay fashions in Harajuku, eat traditional dishes for cheap (like udon noodles and sushi), and can escape to Mt Fuji for a day to see Japan’s tallest mountain. If you’re swinging by the nation’s capital for two days, read up on the things you can’t miss in our 48-hour itinerary.   

Couple walking in NYC
Tick NYC’s top sights off your bucket list.

6. Take a bite out of the Big Apple

There’s no place like New York City. Maybe that’s why it attracts so many millions of visitors each year. See why countless movies and songs feature the Big Apple, and why dreamers from around the world are drawn to the bustling city. Between seeing the city from above via these famous skyscrapers or touring Ellis Island, there’s no shortage of things to do. For help planning your trip, read about the top things to do in NYC in our 48-hour itinerary.

Woman crossing the street in Rome
From culture and history to food and art, Rome has it all.

7. Roam around Rome

Beautiful chaos — that’s how you might describe Rome to an outsider. The Eternal City is exciting for its sights, sounds, and delicious food (and that’s just a start). You don’t have to be among the faithful to appreciate the spiritual and historic importance of the Vatican City, the religious center of the Roman Catholic Church. There’s more history here than you can imagine: see the art that made Rome a world-renowned city since ancient times (like Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel or St Peter’s Basilica). If you only have 48 hours in the city, check out our 2-day itinerary to make the most of your trip (and see all the good stuff).

Woman at Park Guell

8. Do it all in Barcelona 

Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city you can’t miss. With an eclectic collection of things to see, do, and eat, a trip here is one well spent. Experience the city as you sample tapas, Segway past top sights, and tour Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. The mix of nature and nightlife, warm locals and the independent spirit of Spain’s Catalonia region makes for an interesting place, whether you’re into art, politics, or a little bit of everything. If you only have a few days in Barcelona, take a peek at our 48-hour itinerary for the inside scoop.

Woman posing in from of Montreal's skyline
Foodies will love all the tasty cuisine Montreal has to offer.

9. Take it easy in Montreal

Come to Canada for Niagara Falls and friendly people, stay for Montreal‘s chic cafes and easygoing lifestyle. Watch hip cyclists bike up hills on their fixies while you see the city’s top cultural landmarks. If you’re into traveling based on your tastebuds, join a food tour and sample the best the city has on offer

Woman hiking outside of Cape Town
Discover South Africa’s many wonderful sides on a trip to Cape Town.

10. Go wild in Cape Town

Rich history, great weather, vibrant nightlife, and an excellent cultural scene makes Cape Town a must-see stop on your world tour. Don’t forget to take in the beauty of nature in this part of South Africa: see forests, botanical gardens, or make a visit to the penguins at the Cape of Good Hope (if you’re lucky you might spot some whales, too). Or go even deeper and try shark cage diving — you only live once, right? 

People on quad bikes
Discover Marrakech’s stone desert and valley to the palm groves on a quad bike tour.

11. Turn up the heat in Marrakech

It might not be every day that you get to ride a quad bike around the largest desert in the world or escape to the Atlas Mountains. Marrakech’s stunning natural landscape mixed with traditional Moroccan life (like hammams, akaArabic steam baths) means you’re bound to have unforgettable experiences in this city.  

People on the beach in Rio de Janeiro
Take it easy in Brazil’s famous seaside city, Rio de Janeiro.

12. Hit the beach in Rio de Janeiro 

You just might find yourself clapping along with other beach-goers in appreciation of the stunning sunsets from Copacabana and Ipanema beaches in Rio de Janeiro. Even if you’re not a beach bum, it’s hard not to enjoy the straight-from-beach-to-bar scene, world-wonders, and easy-breezy vibe that inspired Brazilian bossa nova songs like “The Girl from Ipanema.”

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