These Are 2019's Coolest City Break Destinations
Travel in 2019 will be about trying something – or perhaps more accurately, somewhere – new. We've already seen everywhere from an historic Dutch city to an unspoiled island bird sanctuary off the coast of Bali tipped as up-and-coming destinations. Now super-cool start-up Culture Trip has revealed its "wish list" of must-visit cultural destinations.
Photo: John Widmer
It's an eclectic list topped by Oaxaca City in Mexico – pictured above – a World Heritage site and the birthplace of the tequila-like drink, mescal.
Porto in Portugal, Austin in the USA, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Cape Town in South Africa make up the "wish list" top five. Culture Trip compiled the list by cross-referencing the cities which have enjoyed the biggest growth in interest among millennials on its website with recommendations from 300 local creators from around the world.
"With so many places to explore around the world – and the abundant, if unorganised, streams of inspiration on social media - it’s sometimes hard to decide where to go next. We wanted to see what we could do to help anyone looking for memorable cultural experiences or choosing a destination in 2019," said Culture Trip's Editorial Director, Owen Pritchard.
"Our own wish list feature allows visitors to Culture Trip to bookmark the stories and places that most excite them. We hope our list moves people to explore more of the world in 2019."
Check out the top ten on the wish list below, alongside Culture Trip's insight into what makes each destination such an exciting place to visit.
10. Marrakech, Morocco
"A melting pot for North African art and culture", according to Culture Trip, where visitors can enjoy "incredible food and impressive shopping" while exploring an historic city centre packed with markets and street life.
9. Budapest, Hungary
This European city boasts stunning architecture and a "burgeoning food scene", but Culture Trip's top tip is all about relaxation. "If you do one thing in Budapest," the start-up says, "make sure you spend some time luxuriating in a temperate outdoor pool enriched with minerals at one of the city’s many spas".
8. Istanbul, Turkey
Around four hours by plane from London, Istanbul has been a super-buzzy destination for a few years now. But 2019 is a prime time to visit, according to Culture Trip, because of the Istanbul Art Biennale curated by renowned French art critic Nicolas Bourriaud.
Photo: ShutterStock - Istabul, Turkey
Photo: Matteo Colombo / Getty Image - Tokyo, Japan
7. Tokyo, Japan (pictured above)
Perhaps surprisingly, the Japanese capital boasts more than 10 times as many Michelin-starred restaurants as Paris. It's also a city renowned for its fashion, super-fast pace of life and Instagram-friendly neon lights, says Culture Trip.
6. Lima, Peru
This city truly sounds like a destination with everything to offer. Says Culture Trip: "Surf the waves in the morning, view breathtaking pre-Columbian art at Museo Larco before lunch, luxuriate in an affordable afternoon Pisco tasting, and spend an unforgettable night out on the town deep into the early hours." Are you sold? We are.
5. Cape Town, South Africa
Already renowned for its wine-making, Culture Trip says Cape Town has "upped its cultural credentials with the recent opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art". Visitors can also ride the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway for a chance to glimpse one of the world's most stunning sunsets.
4. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (pictured above)
Culture Trip calls this Vietnamese metropolis "a truly affordable city with a buzzing cultural scene to match". There are plenty of hidden alleyways and public art displays to explore, the start-up says, so make sure you try cà phê đá, a traditional Vietnamese iced coffee drink that provides an energising caffeine and sugar hit.
3. Austin, USA
This Texan city is hailed as a "hotspot for music, food and tech" that's also "one of the top cities in the world for entrepreneurs". If you like to go out dancing, Culture Trips recommends heading to The White Horse for the area's best honky tonk and bluegrass bands.
2. Porto, Portugal (pictured above)
Portugal’s second-largest city is described as a "seaside paradise" that's "a must-visit for those obsessed with food and design". Culture Trip says visitors should definitely try a tasting tour dedicated to port wine, which is a local delicacy.
1. Oaxaca City, Mexico
"Unlike Spring Break favourites Acapulco and Cabo," Culture Trip says, "the capital of Mexico’s southwestern state of Oaxaca offers a truly authentic experience from the flavours to the festivals". It reckons the best time to visit is around 2nd November, when the world-renowned Day of the Dead festival takes place.