Weekend break: Lonely Planet just voted these three cities as top places to visit in 2020
2019 is almost over and many of us have already started thinking about what 2020 will hold in store.
A new calendar year always feels like being given a set of blank pages, I think, ready to be filled with adventures and memories and fun things.
And if you are looking to do some travelling in 2020, you might be keen to learn that Lonely Planet has recently revealed the top 10 cities they reckon are absolutely worth a visit next year. And three of these are right here in Europe – in other words, on our very doorstep.
Ready to travel more these coming 12 months? Here are three cities to add to your bucket list now:
1. Salzburg, Austria
The Austrian city of Salzburg sits on the border of Germany, with a gorgeous view of the Alps. The city is divided by the Salzach River, with medieval and baroque buildings of the pedestrian Altstadt (Old City) on its left bank, facing the 19th-century Neustadt (New City) on its right. One of the largest UNESCO World Heritage sights by area, the Salzburg Old town is home to many of the City’s main sights and is full of historical buildings, beautifully designed squares and quaint little side-streets leading off to forgotten corners.
The Alpine city has a rich musical history, as composer Mozart was born here, and to this day, his home is preserved as a museum displaying his childhood instruments.
Salzburg is also home to the Salzburg Festival, which is turning 100 years old this year, and the event promises, according to Lonely Planet, to be a riotous feast of opera, classical music and drama. There will also be special exhibitions and events taking place all over the historic city, from concerts, plays, readings, and if this sounds like your cup of tea, then this city is a must-visit.
Don't miss Salzburg Fortress, also known as Hohensalzburg Castle, and the impressive view it will give you of the city from above.
2. Galway, Ireland
Our very own Galway comes in fourth place on the list of cities to visit in 2020, and is it any wonder?
Stone-clad cafes, boutiques and art galleries line the winding lanes of the Latin Quarter, which retains portions of the medieval city walls, the city just lends itself so perfectly to both a romantic weekend away with your other half, as well as a fun weekend on the tiles with your girls.
The brightly painted pubs, live music venues and cafes offer front-row seats to watch buskers perform and the atmosphere truly make for an amazing weekend away. This year, all that creative exuberance is being supercharged by several fun events marking the Galway region's role as a 2020 European Capital of Culture.
On a sunny day, make sure to take a stroll on the Salthill Promenade, stopping off at the Galway Atlantaquaria, or simply pausing to enjoy the magnificent view up and down the coast.
3. Bonn, Germany
In 2020, the city of Bonn in Germany is marking the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven in a big way. Think plenty of concerts drawing world-famous orchestras, soloists and conductor, as well as tons of other events any music lover is bound to appreciate.
Don't miss the house at Bonngasse 20, the house where Beethoven was born back in 1770. Today, the building where Beethoven was born and grew up is a museum, where you can view artefacts from the composer's time in Bonn up to 1792, such as greeting cards he received, original portraits of his family and an ear trumpet he used for his deafness.
One of Germany’s oldest churches, Bonn Minster, is also a must-see when visiting the city. The magnificent cathedral was built in the 11th century over ruins of churches and temples that date from Roman times, and two Holy Roman Emperors, Charles IV and Frederick the Fair were crowned at this spot in the 14th century.
There are also several great museums in Bonn, such as Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, Museum Koenig and Kunstmuseum Bonn.