Seven Cities to Visit in 2020

Seven Cities to Visit in 2020

a fairy-tale town of hilltop castles set against a backdrop
of snow-capped peaks to a city complete with an underground network
of tunnels covered in ancient charcoal murals, these are the
destinations to visit in 2020.

Plan your 2020 city break now



Inhabited since the eighth century BCE, Armenia’s capital is
brimming with rich history and vibrant culture. Stroll through the
city and you’ll encounter a mish-mash of architectural styles.
Enter traditional pandoks (taverns) where locals play backgammon or
pass through dalan archways that lead to courtyards lined by
whimsical wooden balconies and quaint churches – between these
historic relics lie Soviet-era buildings and modern structures.
Spend days learning about Yerevan’s history at the Armenian
Genocide Museum, where you can read about the massacre of Armenians
under Ottoman rule, or get a culture-fix at the Cafesjian Center
for the Arts. Later, saunter along tree-filled boulevards to find
local fruit and vegetable markets or sip soorch (Armenian-style
coffee) by the musical fountains in Republic Square.



Crowned as the European Capital of Culture for 2020, this quirky
city in the West of Ireland is having a moment. With artistic
traditions and a bohemian vibe, it has much more to offer than the
Galway girl crooned over by Ed Sheeran. Thanks to its student
population, the city comes alive in the evening as buzzy bars and
Irish pubs blare live music and the streets resound with excited
chatter. In the day, wander through the old town to see the
medieval city walls – the Spanish Arch on the banks of River Corrib
is a sight worth seeing – and stumble upon artisanal shops selling
antiques and handcrafted Claddagh rings. Worked up an appetite?
Stop by Galway Market for fresh produce from local farms.



Visitors to Salzburg would be forgiven for thinking that they’d
stumbled into a fairy tale. Snow-covered peaks backdrop ancient
castles; the babbling Salzach river streams past the Old Town in
which domes and spires top medieval and baroque buildings. Spend
days exploring the city that inspired the likes of Mozart, or make
like the Von Trapps and delve into the city’s hinterlands to yodel
to your heart’s content – Villa Trapp is now a hotel. Immerse
yourself in Salzburg’s cultural heritage in museums and galleries
(the Schloss Hellbrunn and Festung Hohensalzburg are must-sees)
before feasting on schnitzel, strudel and sachertorte.

Portland, Oregon

United States

With the intriguing adage “keep Portland weird” plastered across
the city, Portland’s unconventional approach has it marked as one
to watch. A progressive city with an eco-friendly outlook and
liberal views, the Oregon capital has come a long way from its
former reputation as the US city with the highest number of strip
clubs per capita. Come for local markets, some of the country’s
best cocktail bars and vegan restaurants galore, or venture outside
of the city to explore the surrounding nature – kayak through the
Columbia River Gorge or hike up hills for epic views of Mount Hood
(a potentially active volcano). Oenophiles should head to
Willamette Valley, where pinot vineyards make for a classy
excursion filled with wine tasting.



This charming city in the south of France is often overlooked in
favour of other Provençal cities – yet thanks to its colourful
houses, picturesque views and vibrant creative scene, Arles has
made its way onto our radar. Start your days with café au lait in
squares shaded by fruit-laden trees before immersing yourself in
Camargue culture. Explore the Théâtre Antique, built for Roman
emperor Augustus in the first century BCE – book yourself a seat
for a magical evening concert here. Art lovers should while away
the hours at the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles, a 15th-century
manor house housing Van Gogh masterpieces (the artist painted
around 200 works in the city) as well as themed exhibitions and an
exquisite bookshop.



Tangier’s location on the northwestern coast of Morocco has
earned it the moniker “The Gateway to Africa”. Combining European
culture with Moroccan tradition, the city exudes a vibe quite
unlike other African metropoles. Delve beyond the crumbling walls
of a 15th-century Portuguese fortress to find the labyrinthine
streets of the medina, where traditional markets will consume hours
of your day. Continue your cultural immersion in the Kasbah Museum
of Mediterranean Cultures or simply take a stroll through the
Mendoubia Gardens before lazing on one of the city’s beaches.




, The Hague… when you think of the Netherlands,
Maastricht isn’t the first city that springs to mind. With an
ancient Roman history, a strong culinary scene and diverse
architecture, the city’s place in this list is well deserved.
Descend into the network of centuries-old quarry tunnels lying
underneath the city – keep an eye out for charcoal murals
decorating the subterranean walls – or keep your head above the
ground to ogle at churches, basilicas and fortresses such as St
Servaasbasiliek or the early 18th-century Fort St Pieter.