With 2018 firmly out of the picture, you should now be turning your attention to your next big adventure. But with so many destinations to choose from, selecting the right trip can feel a little overwhelming. From city adventures to quiet coastal breaks, we explore the top holiday destinations in 2019, as selected by some of the biggest names in travel. Pack your bag, ready your camera and Instagram account and prepare to grow your travel bucket list, because this is where to travel in 2019!
We might be biased, but we adore this country – and it seems we’re not alone! Promoted by Vogue and Harpers Bazaar and named the number one holiday destination in 2019 by Lonely Planet, Sri Lanka by far tops the list of where to travel in 2019!
The country hit the top spot thanks to its “mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome.” Perfect for families, adrenaline junkies, and wellness enthusiasts, Sri Lanka offers plenty for all budgets and needs. Explore the rich wildlife of Yala National Park, hit the beach at Unawatuna or take one of the world’s most scenic train journeys from Kandy to Ella.
Need more inspiration for your trip? Check out our guide to the top natural attractions that went viral in Sri Lanka!
Where to stay in Sri Lanka in 2019
Germany is a vibrant and eclectic country, from its rich cityscapes to its captivating rural landscapes. Second on the Lonely Planet list of best travel destinations in 2019, Germany has something to offer all types of traveler. Travel + Leisure named Berlin one of the ultimate cities to visit in 2019, with the capital celebrating 100 years of the Bauhaus movement with an array of exciting exhibitions and events. While National Geographic says you should hit the Bauhaus Trail for the birthday celebrations, venturing from Dessau to Berlin to witness the country’s most enduring buildings.
Listed as one of the top holiday destinations in 2019 by National Geographic, China is a must for culture vultures. Visit the country’s newest UNESCO World Heritage site, Fanjingshan, to witness the sacred mountaintop Buddhist site, or explore Shēnzhèn, China’s most innovative city, which was named one of the best travel destinations in 2019 by Lonely Planet! With a cool indie-music scene, artisan cafes and craft breweries, the sky-high metropolis is a spectacle of modernity. Beautiful and contemporary Chengdu is one of Condé Nast Traveler’s top places, thanks to its temples, trendy restaurants and rising skyline. China is also home to some truly unique landscapes. Check them out in our guide to the top 10 most surreal places in Asia!
If you’re wondering where to travel in 2019, look no further than Canada. The country has found its way onto the top travel lists of Harpers Bazaar, Rough Guides, Vogue and National Geographic, making it one of the ultimate destinations for the year ahead. From the contemporary heights of coastal Toronto to the beautiful wilderness of the Yukon Territory, Canada’s endless picturesque landscapes have something for all explorers. Try ice-fishing or summer hiking in Yukon or take in the captivating peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Whenever you decide to go, Canada is certainly one of the top holiday destinations in 2019!
According to National Geographic, Hoang Lien Son in Vietnam will be one of the top holiday destinations in 2019. This northwest mountain region offers idyllic beauty away from the hustle and bustle of the capital, Hanoi. Ride the cable car to the top of Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak, or hike around Hoang Lien Son National Park for spectacular scenery. While you’re in Vietnam, head to Hoi An, described by Travel+Leisure as one of the county’s “most historically significant (and beautiful) port cities”. In Hoi An you can indulge with luxury beach vibes and discover ancient history with its numerous UNESCO-listed landmarks.
Still unsure of where to travel in 2019? Discover more about Vietnam with our guide to the best travel destinations in 2019 for Southeast Asia.
Unsurprisingly, the crystalline turquoise shores of French Polynesia have been selected by both National Geographic and Conde Nast Traveller as one of the best travel destinations in 2019. Made up of 100 pristine islands, this French territory benefits from the suburb waters of the South Pacific, with untouched beaches, rich coral lagoons, and a rugged mountain backdrop. Can you think of anything better than taking a walk over the waters of this sublime coastal destination? No, neither can we – and that’s why it’s on our list of where to travel in 2019!
Backed by both Lonely Planet and Rough Guides, Panama is ultimately a unique choice for where to travel in 2019! Sitting in both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, this eclectic country offers a cosmopolitan capital, Panama City, as well as the vibrant wildlife and fauna of the Natural Metropolitan Park. Spend your time exploring the colonial buildings in the Casco Viejo district of Panama City, lounge on the beaches at Bocas Town or go snorkeling in the rich waters of the breath-taking San Blas Islands.
It may seem like an unusual choice for the best travel destinations in 2019, but Zimbabwe has been crowned the third most exciting country to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet. As one of Africa’s safest spots, the country benefits from endless wildlife opportunities, World Heritage-listed ruins and captivating spectacles of Mother Nature. Head to one of Zimbabwe’s national parks to spot the Big Five or take in the power of the colossal Victoria Falls. If you’re still unsure of where to travel in 2019, then select a country that is as exciting as it is beautiful.
On the other end of the spectrum sits the mesmerizing archipelago of Seychelles. Named in the Rough Guides to 2019 and listed as an important destination by Travel + Leisure, these 115 gorgeous islands sit in the Indian Ocean and boast truly unmatched waters. Known as a destination for the super-rich, this honeymoon hot spot now has plenty of options for affordable holidays. Thanks to numerous Instagram stars, Seychelles were one of the most visited places in 2018, along with Bali and Bora Bora. Hit the water for coral diving, visit an animal sanctuary to play with Aldabra giant tortoises or simply unwind on the tropical shores that lap against Mahé.
According to Condé Nast Traveler, Egypt is “back on the map”. Dating back to a time when pharaohs ruled, this eclectic country offers heaps of history thanks to its world-renowned ancient monuments. From the Pyramids of Giza to the Great Sphinx, there is something here to delight one and all. Take a scenic boat trip down the River Nile, or witness the country’s rich antiquities in the capital city of Cairo, because this diverse place will be one of the best travel destinations in 2019.
A country of spectacular historic cities and sweeping Alpine peaks, Switzerland came in at number five on the Rough Guides must-visit countries list for 2019. Describing it as the “land of lakes and mountains”, Rough Guides celebrated Switzerland for its beauty, its culture and its diversity. Head to the world famous wine event, the Fête des Vignerons, venture through the enduring landscape of the Eiger Trailor or visit the picturesque cities of Zurich, Basel or Bern. Whether you visit in winter and hit the ski slopes or explore during summer when its hiking trails and cities are in full bloom, Switzerland will be one of the top holiday destinations in 2019!