{{featured_button_text}}
Smithsonian African American Museum

In this photo taken July 18, 2016, an exhibit depicting the presidency and the life of President Barack Obama and his family is seen during a media preview tour at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. The museum's grand opening will be on Sept. 24. (AP Photo/Paul Holston)

It's the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the prewar home of the family that inspired "The Sound of Music."

And if that wasn't reason enough to visit, next year it's the centennial anniversary of the world-famous Salzburg Festival, an annual summer celebration with music, theater and cultural events taking place across the city.

Salzburg, Austria, has just been named Lonely Planet's top city to visit in 2020.

An example of an ecclesiastical city-state, the city's historic center was ideally located between Northern and Southern Europe. The result is an intact Baroque town where the mixing of Italian and German cultures is evident on a stroll through this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Why visit these cities?

This year's top 10 travel list, like its predecessors, is a happy mix of well-known spots and hidden gems: popular cities already getting attention for their attractions and events; lesser known towns worthy of your attention or a second look; and wonderful places to visit that need our help.

For the 15th annual list, Lonely Planet editors asked its staffers and hundreds of contributors from around the world for nominations. They picked 10 cities, regions, countries and value destinations to recommend for its Best in Travel 2020 lists.

"These are the places to experience in 2020," says Tom Hall, Lonely Planet's vice president of experience. "This year our Best in Travel list puts particular emphasis on the best sustainable experiences around the world, ensuring travelers will have a positive impact wherever they choose to go."

Those places include second place Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States; third place Cairo, Egypt; fourth place Galway, Ireland; and fifth place Bonn, Germany.

The spotlight will be on Washington, D.C., in a presidential election year and with the centennial anniversary of the US Constitution's 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. (Mostly white women benefited from the amendment until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.)

Washington could be on this list every year, says Hall, because of the sheer volume of free activities, including all Smithsonian museums in the city, and the constant trend of reinvention.

When the Grand Egyptian Museum opens next year at Giza, just outside Cairo, it will be the largest museum in the world -- at 5.2 million square feet -- devoted to a single civilization.

Register for more free articles
Stay logged in to skip the surveys

The $1 billion project will include treasures from the crowded Egyptian Museum in central Cairo's Tahrir Square, but with much more space and 17 labs devoted to rescuing and restoring centuries of Egypt's relics -- all with views of the Great Pyramids.

And Cairo, which is so enormous and chaotic and noisy, is worth exploring, says Hall. "It's so in your face that you can't miss the feeling of excitement of being there," he says.

Lonely Planet's top 10 cities

1. Salzburg, Austria

2. Washington, D.C., United States

3. Cairo, Egypt

4. Galway, Ireland

5. Bonn, Germany

6. La Paz, Bolivia

7. Kochi, India

8. Vancouver, Canada

9. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

10. Denver, United States

0
0
0
0
0