On the lookout for travel inspiration, or wondering which destinations are tipped to be the next must-visit place topping travel wish-lists?
TripAdvisor has announced the winners of its Travellers’ Choice Awards for 2020 – and its data-driven ’emerging destinations’ list is a who’s who of holidays for travellers and tourists hoping to be ahead of the curve.
The Egyptian city of Luxor, the Moroccan city of Tangier, and the English town of Ipswich all feature in the top 20, but none of these quite make it onto the podium.
Here are TripAdvisor’s three top-tipped travel hotspots…
Topping the list, a Russian exclave similar in size to Northern Ireland, slotted snugly between Lithuania and Poland, the Kaliningrad Oblast is a political, geographical, and cultural anomaly. Once a German city known as Königsberg, the region is closer to Berlin than Moscow, and many residents shop and holiday in the nearby Polish city of Gdansk.
For today’s visitors, Kaliningrad provides a unique blend of East and West, as leafy boulevards wend their way between Soviet statues and grand Prussian gates. Best in show are Kaliningrad Cathedral, one of only a handful of historic landmarks to survive the Second World War, and the unfinished House of Soviets, an awesomely hideous homage to the worst excesses of Brutalism.
Compared favourably with the French Riviera – at a fraction of the price – the Albanian resort town of Saranda is one of those rare places that genuinely has something for everyone.
Beach bums can enjoy acres of sun-soaked shoreline, party people will be very well-served after 9pm in its bars and clubs, and culture vultures should flock to the crumbling colonnades of Butrint – a ruined classical city with UNESCO World Heritage status, only a short distance along the coast.
In the height of summer there’s barely enough room to swing a sun hat, but Saranda’s popularity is entirely merited.
Once nicknamed the ‘Switzerland of the East’, Lebanon has withstood a fair amount of civil strife, but this hasn’t stopped tourists turning it into one of the Mediterranean’s hottest commodities.
Fast, furious and extremely cosmopolitan, capital Beirut is famous for its museums, and even more famous for its fabulous cuisine. Kofta kebabs, hummus and fattoush await you in the city’s many eateries, alongside any number of other dietary delights.
Lebanon is widely considered to contain some of the finest Roman ruins outside Italy, and given that it’s roughly half the size of Wales, a tourist based in Beirut can practically day trip the lot.