(Photo: Fun, Fascinating Cities to Visit in 2020)
If you already feel like you need a vacation, even though 2020 has barely begun, it could help to start planning your next trip away. Half the fun of travel, after all, is the anticipation that comes from thinking about your time off.
Trying to decide where to stay during your break can be rather challenging, though, with so many amazing places to choose from. For inspiration, consider the following fun cities you could put on your list for the year.
It's well known for being the spot where J.K. Rowling wrote much of the Harry Potter series, but Edinburgh has plenty more to offer. This historic city provides tourists with a blend of wonderful sights and activities, including stunning natural scenery, centuries-old World Heritage sites, and top international cultural events.
Foodies are in heaven here, with must-visit options like Gardener's Cottage for meals made from local, seasonal produce, and Hoot the Redeemer bar for fun boozy ice-cream and tarot cocktails. If art and history are your thing, spend time at the National Museum of Scotland, which is bursting with over 20,000 artifacts.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is another popular attraction. Here you'll see depictions of all the notable figures from the nation's past, including Mary Queen of Scots. For modern art, don't miss The Fruitmarket Gallery, where you'll see work created by both Scottish artists and international ones.
Istanbul is the perfect destination for travelers who enjoy a melting pot of cultures. This Turkish city has witnessed more than 2,500 years of history and, as a result, boasts a wide variety of fascinating landmarks and traditions. Spend time enjoying the nightlife scene, or head to the waterfront district of Karakoy. It has been revitalized and has a plethora of hip galleries and restaurants.
Plus, take a look at the Maiden's Tower. Also known as Leander's Tower, it's a well-known part of the Istanbul silhouette and stands on a small islet at the southern entrance of the Bosporus straight. Over its lifetime, the tower has served many roles, including as a lighthouse, prison, and quarantine hospital. Now, though, it's a popular tourist attraction that houses a museum and restaurant and gives visitors 360-degree views.
If you're looking for a city to visit closer to home, consider Niagara Falls. Famous as the "honeymoon capital" of the world, it has been drawing crowds for decades with its natural phenomenon, the thundering waterfalls it's named after. Book a room in a resort that boasts breathtaking views of the waterfalls, such as the popular Fallsview hotel, and you'll see the natural wonder day and night. However, also venture out to explore more of the area.
Spend time in fun Clifton Hill, where you can go through a terrifying haunted house, ride the Niagara SkyWheel for magnificent views of the whole region, and feel like a kid again in the 17,000 square foot game center, Adventure City. Explore some of the wineries in nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake and try famous Ice Wine, and pack a picnic for a relaxing lunch in the city's expansive botanical gardens. You can also get your heart rate up by ziplining above the whirlpool and Niagara gorge and completing other suspended obstacles at WildPlay Niagara Falls.
For travelers who have had South Africa on their bucket list for a while, Cape Town could be the ultimate 2020 destination. The city has amazing walks you have to put on your itinerary, such as the trek to the top of Table Mountain, where you get rewarded with sweeping views over the city. Another must-do activity for those who like the great outdoors is a kayaking tour around Cape Town's surrounding waters, where you can spot penguins, dolphins, and whales.
Also check out markets, such as the quaint Old Biscuit Mill, and visit Robben Island, the notorious prison Nelson Mandela was jailed in for more than 25 years.
Are you fascinated and awed by palaces? If so, plan a trip to Jaipur in India where there are many ornate palaces to take in. For the ultimate stay, book a night at the Taj Rambagh Palace, a stately 1835 palace that has been a royal residence numerous times over the years but today is considered one of the best hotels in the world.
For an escape from the hustle and bustle of busy Jaipur, head to Jantar Mantar. It's one of five outdoor observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in the 1700s.
While you may like to unwind in quiet, out-of-the-way places for some of your vacation, it's worth spending time in cities, too. They're full of energy, excitement, and amazing attractions. Consider any of the above metropolises this year and you shouldn't be disappointed.
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