As everyone else seems to be giving their two cents worth on where to travel to in 2019, we thought we’d join in and give you our opinion too. And since I help write these lists for many other publications, I thought it only right I have my own list too. Our list is a mixture of cities, regions and countries, many of which we’ve been to ourselves, and a few that we hope to this year too.
If you’re stuck with where to travel to in 2019, then Singapore should be high on your list. Singapore will be a great place to visit this year as the country is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its founding by Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles. There will be a whole host of special events, festivals and exhibitions to celebrate throughout the year, as well as new hotel openings, including the re-opening of the famous Raffles hotel after a major refurbishment. For more details on various events and dates they’ll be taking place, check out this article I wrote for ABTA Magazine on the Singapore Bicentennial.
Havana is another place which will be celebrating an anniversary in 2019. The city will actually be turning 500 years old this November
Dan and I have visited Havana on several occasions and also spent an extended amount of time there while I was researching for the Fodor’s Cuba guide. Check out our short video on Havana here.
There will be several reasons to visit the Spanish capital this year. The first is that the city’s famous Prado Museum will be celebrating its 200th anniversary with a big exhibition and a variety of small exhibits and events across the city. Secondly, the Madrid metro system will be turning 100 and there will be several exhibitions about the history of this iconic transport system. Luxury lovers will also have new reasons to visit Madrid with a variety of hotel openings, including Spain’s first Four Seasons Hotel, the Palladium 5* Bless Hotel and the relaunch of the grand Ritz Hotel, as well as five new Michelin-Starred restaurants.
Northern Peru was also on Lonely Planet’s list of where to visit this year, and that’s partly because I suggested it to them. Each year Lonely Planet writers from across the globe gather together to make their suggestions for where will be hot in the year to come. Dan and I spent three months living and volunteering in Northern Peru, so we know it well. One place that truly captured us was Kuelap – the ancient Chachapoya fortress of the Cloud Forest People and somewhere that truly rivals Machu Picchu – but without the crowds. Kuelap has become even easier to visit since 2017 because of a new cable car system, and is quickly gaining in popularity, so now is the time to head there quickly before everyone else does. Most visitors head to the temples around Cuzco, but there are many more ancient temples to visit away from the crowds close to places such as Trujillo.
Japan is somewhere that we’ve wanted to visit for a long time, and we hope to make it this year. The country will be gaining in popularity in the run up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, so if you want to get there before the crowds, then it’s definitely a place where to travel to in 2019. The country will also be introducing a tourist tax to prepare for the Games, so it will be slightly cheaper to visit this year too.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is somewhere that we’re looking forward to visiting in 2019 and it’s been on ‘our list’ for many years. We particularly want to visit in time for the Day of the Dead celebrations around the end of October. Although the Day of the Dead has been celebrated for many years, the very first Day of the Dead parade only started in 2016, after the parade seen in the James Bond film – Spectre. Since then, it has been gaining popularity with international travellers. Mexico City was also named World Design Capital in 2018 and has many new cultural openings to entice tourists.