Under-The-Radar City Swaps To Make For 2020 Holidays

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

It’s officially that time of the year when thoughts like, “Where should I travel to in 2020” gain momentum in your head. So to celebrate a new decade of holidays, bucket-list experiences and cashing in your annual leave, why not mix it up a bit?

That means looking beyond those destinations you’ve visited once, twice or however many times. Expand your travel remit to those destinations yet to explode on the popular tourist radar, and turn your attention to places that may offer a similar experience to your favourite hotspots – just with a side of the new and unexplored. But where to start? Think about heading off the beaten travel track in search of surprisingly delightful destinations like Goa, Penang or Hamburg. Some more ideas about city holiday swaps to make in 2020 are below. Happy travels!

Swap London for Edinburgh

Head to head, it’s hard to split London and Edinburgh; after all, both are beautiful cities rich in history and top dining options. But in this battle of the UK heavyweights, the edge arguably leans to Edinburgh. Slightly smaller than London, and much easier to get around, Edinburgh offers an incredibly diverse range of events, is much more affordable to visit and many a Scot would even argue that the weather is better. Add in an epic castle and more pubs than you’ll ever be able to drink at, and it’s impossible not to fall in love with the Scottish capital.

Edinburgh. Credit: barnyz | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Swap Denpasar for Goa

Stunning beaches, cheap eats, yoga retreats, cracking surf and a pumping nightlife. No, we’re not talking about Denpasar, but rather the golden shores of Goa. This little slice of paradise, located on India’s west coast, is a haven for those in search of sea, surf and sun, but who don’t want to fight for sand space with thousands of other tourists. With a blend of both Indian and Portuguese influences evident in the architecture, cuisine and art, it’s also an underrated cultural destination. Visit before the Bali regulars find out and follow suit.

Goa. Credit: Aleja Laiton | CC BY-NC 2.0

Swap Bangkok for Chiang Mai

Have you been to Bangkok a couple of times now and love the high-energy, humidity-fuelled action, but want to experience something new? Well, stop wondering, “Where should I go in Thailand” and just head straight for Chiang Mai, the largest city in the country’s north. It’s similar to Bangkok, just on a smaller scale, with an abundance of ancient temples and busy food markets. But best of all (and you can’t get this in Bangkok) is a trip to one of Chiang Mai’s well-respected elephant sanctuaries.

Chiang Mai. Credit: Mith Huang | CC BY 2.0

Swap Manila for Siargao

While Manila is a good introduction to the Philippines, to get a real taste of the country’s no-filter-necessary beauty and friendly locals, you need to head to Siargao. This tear-shaped island is a mecca for surfers (with some of the best waves in the country), but if you’re not one to hang ten there’s natural rock pools and caves to explore, fresh seafood to gorge on and flawless, Instagram-worthy beaches to enjoy. If you’re looking for heaven on earth, this is it.

Swap Los Angeles for Atlanta

Say goodbye to the bright lights, palm-lined streets and acai bars of LA and hello to Atlanta, or as the locals like to call it, the Hollywood of the South. Home to one of the largest purpose-built film studios in the country, Georgia’s capital city is fast gaining fame as the place to be for aspiring thespians. But it’s not just the lure of acting glory that’s drawing visitors to Atlanta; it also boasts a proud African American history, vibrant neighbourhoods and Southern food so good you’ll never want to leave.

Atlanta. Credit: Bob B. Brown | CC BY-ND 2.0

Swap Singapore for Penang

Imagine condensing everything you love about Singapore into a smaller, more chilled-out city. Ta-da! That’s exactly what Penang is. This colourful, cosmopolitan Malaysian metropolis mirrors both Singapore’s melting pot of cultures (Penang has long been an important meeting point for Asian and European trade) and mouth-watering street food vibes. The best time to visit is after the New Year celebrations, so if you’re looking for somewhere to travel in February to April 2020, Penang is perfect.

George Town, Penang. Credit: borisindublin | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Swap Manchester for Hamburg

If there was ever a mainland Europe version of Manchester, it would have to Hamburg. But where Manchester has struggled to shift its gritty reputation, Hamburg is proving itself to be quite the must-visit destination. Its dominant sporting teams and uber-cool, eclectic music scene have eclipsed Manchester’s once dominant status, while the crazy clubs are another big plus for night owls. Lovely weather in summer also helps (the same can’t be said about Manchester), so it’s definitely worth considering if you’re not sure where to go in Europe in June 2020.

Hamburg. Credit: Michaela Loheit | CC BY-ND 2.0

Swap Tokyo for Seoul

Wondering where to travel in 2020? It’s probably safe to say that Japan is on your list, but we reckon if there’s one country that’s going to be an attention-stealer in the new decade, it’s South Korea. And following in the trendy footsteps of Tokyo is Seoul. This hyper-modern, skyscraper-filled mega city has it all: unique museums and galleries, quirky restaurants, historic World Heritage Site-listed to-sees and karaoke bars aplenty – so you can practise your new favourite K-Pop songs, of course.

Seoul. Credit: yoohwa jeong | CC BY-ND 2.0

Swap Phuket for Raja Ampat

There’s always going to be things to love about Phuket as a holiday destination, but if you’re trying to think of where to go to avoid the crowds around Patong or Krabi, it’s time to find somewhere new. Let us introduce the Raja Ampat Islands. This Indonesian archipelago is about as raw and remote as you can get – think pristine, white-sand beaches, secluded lagoons, luxurious eco-lodges and the most insane coral reefs. Plus, you’ll have it all to yourself.

Raja Ampat. Credit: Adam Howarth | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Swap Kuala Lumpur for Chengdu

For a city that’s the home of the adorable giant panda, you’d think Chengdu would feature more on the travel wish list of holidaymakers. But this super-sized city, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, is flying under the radar. Much like Kuala Lumpur, the food is rich and diverse in flavours – in fact, Chengdu was named UNESCO’s first-ever City of Gastronomy. And also like Kuala Lumpur, it’s managed to balance its traditional heritage with the rise in modern technology – the preserved ancient tearoom culture is a must see.

Chengdu. Credit: Mondo79 | CC BY 2.0

Swap Dubrovnik for Valletta

After such a meteoric rise in popularity (call it the Game of Thrones effect), it’s slightly disheartening to think Dubrovnik is now listed as one of the main cities experiencing over-tourism in Europe. And with huge crowds, damage to historic sites and rising prices, it’s time to consider an alternative destination. Valletta in Malta is a top suggestion. This grand walled city is surrounded by turquoise blue waters, and with cathedrals, city gates and fortresses to explore, it’s like wandering through an open-air museum.

Valletta. Credit: Herbert Frank | CC BY-ND 2.0

Swap Rome for Pula

Dreaming of a Roman holiday but want to avoid the crowds in Italy in summer? Well, with the ever-growing stream of visitors to the Italian capital, your chances aren’t great. You can still get your fix of Roman ruins in Pula, on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula, though. Pula actually boasts the world’s most complete Roman amphitheatre, alongside other significant sites, plus the cuisine is heavily influenced by Italian flavours. No need to think of any more ideas for family holidays in 2020 now!

Pula Arena. Credit: Hotice Hsu | CC BY-SA 2.0

Ready to explore the world in 2020? Book cheap flights to these destinations and more with Webjet. You can also book hotels, or combine your airfare and accommodation into the one money-saving booking with a Webjet holiday package.

Write A Comment