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Hands up who’s already in your head spent their Christmas money on next year’s activities? We know you’re all because totally travel obsessed even as we are, which is why we’ve combined this hand-picked list of the best backpacking destinations for 2020, based on the biggest growth in bookings in the last twelve months.

Not any travel clichés here friends – from paradise island destinations to underrated African towns, laid-back surfing towns to isolated mountain retreats, it is very time to start planning where in the world we’re heading next year. Spoiler alert: it’s not even close the beaten track.

Introducing you to the 20 best backpacking destinations for 2020!

20. Sendai – The japanese

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This lively festival is held for the days when the stars Altair and Vega cross paths, and features live music, traditional dance, street foodstuff, fireworks, and most famously, thousands of colourful streamers decorating metropolis.

If you can’t manage to time your visit to coincide with this kind of, Sendai is still well worth a visit. It’s got bustling markets, wonderfully random night life options and a long list of outstanding temples and shrines to see.

20. Portland (Maine) – USA Salem

Wondering where to stay? Choose the outrageously funky Black Elephant Hostel. Much like the city itself, it’s equal parts cosy and cool, which has a warm, family feel and colourfully mismatched interiors.

It’s right next to the Old Interface so exploring couldn’t come to be easier, and when you’re carried out you can snuggle up in front of the fireplace in the communal lounge.

18. Raglan – New Zealand

The North Island town of Raglan is surrounded by incredible natural beauty and epic surf breaks.

It’s best known for its unusual black sand coast, but venture a little outside town and discover peaceful walking trails through the Wainui mother nature reserve, cycling routes over an ancient volcano and the sparkling green waters of the Engagement Veil Falls. Most backpackers come here to surf nevertheless, as there’s a spot for each ability.

17. Pisac – Peru

best backpacking destinations — Pisac
📸: @willianjusten

To get a rural alternative to the local city of Cusco, many travellers to Peru are choosing to research the Sacred Valley of the Incas by basing themselves in Pisac, a small village using a strong sense of spirituality.

This is thanks to the unreal landscapes and mysterious history of the surrounding valley, the bohemian tone and slow pace of life in the Old Area, and the range of wellness actions practiced here.

16. Trapani – Italy

best backpacking spots – Trapani
📸: @racheleminunno

For your budget-friendly stay in the city centre, Hostelleria is the top choice.

It’s got a humble design but has every thing you’ll need, with dorms and private rooms, a shared kitchen and a dynamic bar next door.

15. Liège – Belgium

best camping out destinations – Liège
📸: @ahmedashoour

It may have shied away from the spotlight in the past, although Belgium’s fourth largest town is barging the likes of Bruges and Brussels out of the way to achieve the backpacker appreciation it warrants.

Despite being packed full of incredible architecture, cultural diamonds and amazing food, that manages to keep hold of a laid-back, small town vibe that makes you feel instantly in the home.

14. Buenaventura – Colombia

For the ultimate relaxing stay, choose Pacifico Hostel. It’s surrounded by virgin jungle and has its own private beach(!! ), overlooked by a funky open-air bar.

They choose sustainable options like growing their own veg and working their bathrooms with rainfall, and they’ll lend you a kayak to explore the close by mangroves. We’re starting to think city life is overrated…

13. Hà Giang – Vietnam

📸: @ourtasteforlife

NoMadders Hostel is a perfect base on the borders of the city to dip in that fresh, mountain surroundings.

Their gorgeous dorms price as little as £4 a night, and you may treat yourself to a private hut by £20.

There’s an outdoor pool area and patio surrounded by jungle, a bar and a hot tub for living your best backpacker life!

12. Maputo – Mozambique

best hiking destinations – Maputo
📸: @eligetumiaventura

For a local feast, head to the fish market, where one can pick your catch and have it cooked with chips or rice at one of the surrounding restaurants! And when town life all gets a tad too much, you can hop on a bus for 90 short minutes to reach the quiet pristine beaches of Ponto carry out Ouro.

Maputo is only merely emerging as a backpacker destination so there aren’t lots of hostels, which means you should take full advantage of The Base.

11. Nassau – Bahamas

best hiking destinations – Nassau
📸: @rosefernndez

You might not think of funds travellers when you picture the Bahamas, but then again you probably don’t think of cities either.

Very well that’s all about to change, for the reason that Bahamas’ capital (and only) city is one of the best camping out destinations for 2020 – especially if you’re the type of visitor who swerves the places and seeks out traditional experiences (i. e. most of us! ) The city oozes Carribbean culture, nowhere more so than in the vibrant ‘Fish Fry’ neighbourhood, where colourful chic joints, bars and street food vendors line the streets, the energy is electric and the soundtrack is provided by DJs and reggae bands.

10. Gijón – The country of spain

best backpacking destinations – Gijon
📸: @ellie_etlalune

It’s set in a tremendous house where you’ll encounter heaps of other backpackers above beers in the garden or maybe the free buffet breakfast.

There is even free yoga every evening, so you’re sure to end up being channelling the chilled soul of Gijón by the time you leave.

 

9. Siargao Tropical isle – The Philippines

ideal backpacking destinations – Siargao Island
📸: @marinechanal

As with any South East Asian kitchenware backpacker spot, you can expect great nightlife in the form of casual pubs and cocktail buckets — the Jungle Party on Friday nights isn’t for being missed! Our top insider tip is to head out for the pier on Cloud being unfaithful beach with a few beers one evening and watch the sun set over the ocean, as the last few surfers drift in. Entirely magical!

8. Nosara – Costa Rica

best backpacking destinations – Nosara
📸: @pepallama

This doesn’t get more chilled than Nosara, a gorgeous Costa Rican beach town with a free-loving hippy spirit. The adorable cafes, surfers and boutique shops give it a Washington dc feel, and when you bump into the graffiti-covered skate playground in the centre of town you could actually forget what region you’re in.

It’s a popular spot for yogis too, with plenty of studios all over town and pristine beaches to roll out a mat when you prefer to do your downward pet under the sun.

7. Isfahan — Iran

best backpacking places – Isfahan
📸: @travelestan

Iran needs to be on your backpacking itinerary for 2020 and the city of Isfahan is the top pick – there is a reason the old Persian saying calls it ‘half the world’! Pictures of unbelievable Iranian architecture have probably already sparked your wanderlust, and you’ll find Isfahan’s Naqsh-e Jahan Square to be a resource trove.

With the iconic blue-tiled Imam Mosque, the dazzling Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque and the royal Ali Qapu Structure all in one place, your readers (and camera lens) will be spoilt for choice.

6. Kodaikanal – India

best backpacking destinations – Kodaikanal
📸: @ma__yuri

The area is home to serene waterfalls and amazing valleys, so it’s an ideal place to escape the busyness for a few days (as probably you are aware, India can be intense! ) To really unplug, why not attempt the two-day trek to Munnar? You’ll be recognized with out-of-this-world views within the Western Ghats and you may spot some elephants along the way!

If you want to take your natural retreat to the next level, Zostel Kodaikanal will make you feel a million miles from it all.

5. Trondheim — Norway

best backpacking locations – Trondheim
📸: @simowilliams

Scandinavia is as cool mainly because it gets, but if you want to credit score serious hipster points after that don’t just visit the big hitters like Oslo and Copenhagen. Vibrant Trondheim is one of the best backpacking destinations meant for 2020.

A creative student town, it has a massive craft ale and local food scene, which you can sample at the many cafes and restaurants in the pedestrianised city centre. It’s full of prime Insta content, such as the classic Scandi-style colourful properties along the waterfront… just save some space in your camera throw for the towering gothic cathedral! As the primary capital of Norway, this city is packed packed with history for you to discover.

4. Hossegor – Portugal

best backpacking destinations — Hossegor
📸: @olaiazorrozua

It’s received its own sandy garden region for hanging out in the sun, large comfy beds and a partnership with legendary surfing brands Quiksilver and Roxy, which means discounted surfing lessons for guests!

3. Maribor – Slovenia

It’s between wine-growing hills and even contains a wine museum that offers tastings! For such a small city Maribor packs a impact, with a strong line-up of summer festivals, a exciting student vibe and a picturesque Old Town that rivals Europe’s biggest and best.

Stay right inside the heart of the city at colourful Uni Youth Hostel. This highly-rated hostel has common areas with pool area tables and cosy sofas, plus an on-site tavern for even more of that Slovenian wine – we’re sure it counts as a ethnic activity! Just make sure you’re up in time for the breakfast buffet full of local treats.

 

2 . Surat Thani – Asia

You might be surprised that Surat Thani is one of our top backpacking destinations, since in the past it’s been regarded mostly as a jumping-off level for the eastern Thai islands. Well, that’s about to change, as backpackers are wising up to the fact that Surat Thani offers an authentic Asian experience away from the tourists.

Start off your day exploring the crowd-free wats or temples in the city centre, like the majestic Surat Thani Entender Shrine, before hanging out with the locals with a few Chang colas on the laid-back Ban Do Pier.

1 . Nusa Penida – Philippines

best backpacking destinations – Nusa Penida
📸: @giuliciu

Move over Bali, the brand new kid on the block is our top backpacking destination for 2020! Nusa Penida is an Indonesian island southeast of the famous backpacker haven, virtually all known for the curved cliffs and unspoilt bay of gorgeous Kelingking Beach.

This awe-inspiring sight is Nusa Penida’s star attraction, nonetheless there’s no end of marvelous experiences to be had on this amazing island. From attending prayer service in a sacred cave halfway up a off-road, to hiking to an forgotten treehouse turned insane watch point and then swimming with playful giant manta sun rays, every moment is a great adventure on Nusa Penida.

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