Hands up who’s already mentally spent their Christmas cash on next year’s journeys? We know you’re all as totally travel obsessed as we are, which is why we’ve put together this hand-picked list of the best backpacking destinations for 2020, based on the biggest growth in bookings in the last twelve months.
No travel clichés here close friends – from paradise destinations to underrated African towns, laid-back surfing towns to isolated mountain retreats, it is time to start planning exactly where in the world we’re heading next year. Spoiler alert: it’s far from the beaten track.
Presenting you to the 20 best backpacking destinations for 2020!
20. Sendai – Asia
This exciting festival is held in the days when the stars Altair and Vega cross routes, and features live music, traditional dance, street foodstuff, fireworks, and most famously, a large number of colourful streamers decorating the city.
If you can’t manage to time travel to coincide with this, 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) – UNITED STATES Curtisville
Wondering where to stay? Seek out the outrageously funky Dark Elephant Hostel. Much like the metropolis itself, it’s equal parts cosy and cool, with a warm, family feel and colourfully mismatched interiors.
It’s right next to the Old Port so exploring couldn’t become easier, and when you’re carried out you can snuggle up in entrance of the fireplace in the public lounge.
18. Raglan – New Zealand
Ngarunui Beach certainly is the place for those who’ve hardly ever picked up a board, while the waves are peaceful and there are several surf universities to choose from. If this isn’t your first rodeo, Manu Clean and Whale Bay present some of the best waves in the world, placed against breathtaking scenery.
To best enjoy all that Nature has on offer in Manteau, base yourself at the earth-friendly Raglan Backpackers.
17. Pisac – Peru
best backpacking destinations – Pisac
This beautifully boho hostel has eco-friendly features, a bright communal space looking over the valley and outdoor hammocks with some of the best opinions in South America.
There’s an on-site café, outdoor yoga exercises space and even a sauna to relax in after a day’s trekking.
16. Trapani – Italy
best backpacking places – Trapani
Take a stroll through the narrow streets in the Old Town and check out it is churches and basilicas, ahead of feasting on hearty Sicilian classics like arancini and cannoli. For the best vistas around, visit the clifftop medieval community of Erice. At 750m above sea level, you’ll get unbeatable views of Trapani’s sand-hued architecture plus the surrounding Med.
Trapani is usually a perfect spot to base yourself for day trips about Sicily. The stunning Aegadian Islands are only 30 minutes apart by boat, so you can use a day of pure bliss exploring coves and snorkelling around white sand beaches.
15. Liège – Belgium
best camping out destinations – Liège
It may have shied away from the spotlight in the past, nevertheless Belgium’s fourth largest city is barging the likes of Bruges and Brussels out of the way to achieve the backpacker appreciation it warrants.
Despite being packed packed with incredible architecture, cultural gems and amazing food, that manages to keep hold of a laid-back, small town ambiance that makes you feel instantly at home.
14. Buenaventura – Colombia
For the ultimate relaxing stay, choose Pacifico Hostel. It’s surrounded by virgin new world and has its own private beach(!! ), overlooked by a way-out open-air bar.
They select sustainable options like growing their own veg and working their bathrooms with rain water, and they’ll lend you a kayak to explore the nearby mangroves. We’re starting to think city life is overrated…
13. Hà Giang – Vietnam
Start your adventure in the provincial capital of the same name, and make such as the other intrepid backpackers who rent a motorbike and journey through the region’s beautiful winding roads.
You’ll come across rural communities, small towns and ancient traditions, all set against the rolling green mountains that make Hà Giang consequently unforgettable.
12. Maputo – Mozambique
best backpacking destinations – Maputo
Mozambique’s charming capital city has seen a recent resurgence, with travellers experiencing the pastel-hued streets of Downtown and their cute eateries, colonial architecture and fascinating museums and galleries.
11. Nassau – Bahamas
best hiking destinations – Nassau
Other highlights include sipping rum at a local distillery, diving with sharks at Stuart’s Cove and shopping for special creations at the Straw Market. It is very better in the Bahamas!
Hostels in the Bahamas – state what?! BahaSea Backpackers will give you paradise on a budget, with two pools overlooking the gleaming turquoise ocean.
10. Gijón – Spain
best backpacking destinations — Gijon
Asturias is known for its cider, and there are lots of bars in the city where you can watch your order being poured from a great height – the traditional way to provide it! But before you have too much of that, you need to hit the soft golden sand of Playa de San Lorenzo for some beach yoga and surfing. Trust us, you won’t be able to resist the easy-going vibe!
If you want to help make the most of the waves, Gijón Surf Hostel will help you out with cheap board rental, lessons and a convenient location nearby the beach.
9. Siargao Island – The Philippines
very best backpacking destinations – Siargao Island
As with any South East Hard anodized cookware backpacker spot, you can expect wonderful nightlife in the form of casual pubs and cocktail buckets – the Jungle Party about Friday nights isn’t to become missed! Our top insider tip is to head out for the pier on Cloud hunting for beach with a few beers a person evening and watch the sun establish over the ocean, as the previous few surfers drift in. Totally magical!
8. Nosara – Panama and nicaragua ,
best backpacking destinations — Nosara
That doesn’t get more chilled than Nosara, a gorgeous Costa Rican beach town with a free-loving hippy spirit. The lovely cafes, surfers and specialist shops give it a Washington dc feel, and when you stumble upon the graffiti-covered skate area in the centre of town you could actually forget what country you’re in.
It’s a well-liked spot for yogis too, with plenty of studios all over area and pristine beaches to roll out a mat should you prefer to do your downward dog under the sun.
7. Isfahan — Iran
best backpacking spots – Isfahan
Iran needs to be on your backpacking itinerary for 2020 as well as the city of Isfahan is each of our top pick – there’s a reason the old Persian saying calls it ‘half the world’! Pictures of fantastic Iranian architecture have probably already sparked your wanderlust, and you’ll find Isfahan’s Naqsh-e Jahan Square to be a display trove.
With the iconic blue-tiled Imam Mosque, the spectacular Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque plus the royal Ali Qapu Building all in one place, your eyeballs (and camera lens) will probably be spoilt for choice.
6. Kodaikanal – India
best backpacking destinations – Kodaikanal
With traditional common spaces, outdoor terraces overlooking the hills and gorgeous dorms, it doesn’t acquire much cosier. You can go out with other travellers around the garden bonfire, or hike throughout the hostel grounds with the resident pups!
5. Trondheim — Norway
best backpacking areas – Trondheim
Scandinavia is as cool since it gets, but if you want to report serious hipster points after that don’t just visit the big hitters like Oslo and Copenhagen. Vibrant Trondheim is among the best backpacking destinations pertaining to 2020.
A creative student city, it has a massive craft ale and local food scene, that you can sample at the many bars and restaurants in the pedestrianised city centre. It’s filled with prime Insta content, like the classic Scandi-style colourful complexes along the waterfront… just save some space in your camera jiggle for the towering medieval cathedral! As the primary capital of Norway, this kind of city is packed full of history for you to discover.
4. Hossegor – France
best backpacking destinations – Hossegor
Hawaii islands meets Europe in the cute seaside town of Hossegor in south-western France.
It may be another spot on our list that’s famous for surfing (it sounds like you lot will probably be spending a lot of time in the drinking water in 2020! ), plus the atmosphere is insane during October when it hosts professional championships like the Quiksilver and Roxy Pros.
3. Maribor – Slovenia
It’s surrounded by wine-growing hills and even provides a wine museum that offers tastings! For such a small city Maribor packs a punch, with a strong line-up of summer festivals, a active student vibe and a picturesque Old Town that rivals Europe’s biggest and best.
Stay right inside the heart of the city by colourful Uni Youth Hostel. This highly-rated hostel possesses common areas with pool area tables and cosy couches, plus an on-site club for even more of that Slovenian wine – we’re sure it counts as a social activity! Just make sure you’re in time for the breakfast buffet full of local treats.
2 . Surat Thani – Thailand
You might be surprised that Surat Thani is one of our top backpacking destinations, mainly because in the past it’s been regarded mostly as a jumping-off point for the eastern Asian islands. Well, that’s information on to change, as backpackers happen to be wising up to the fact that Surat Thani offers an authentic Thai experience away from the tourists.
Start your day exploring the crowd-free temples or wats in the city centre, such as the majestic Surat Thani Encontrarse Shrine, before hanging out with the locals with a few Chang beers on the laid-back Ban Don Pier.
1 ) Nusa Penida – Dalam negri
best backpacking destinations — Nusa Penida
Move over Bali, this new kid on the block is the top backpacking destination for 2020! Nusa Penida is an Indonesian island southeast on the famous backpacker haven, most 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 wonderful experiences to be had on this extraordinary island. From attending plea service in a sacred give halfway up a mountain, to hiking to an deserted treehouse turned insane watch point and then swimming with playful giant manta radiation, every moment is a great adventure on Nusa Penida.