Planning where to travel in 2019? Hopefully, you’ll get inspired by my 2018 travels for your next trip. I travelled to 8 countries in 2018, where as 4 was new territory. So check out if any of these destinations should make it to your 2019 travel list!
I’ve ranked the countries from best to worst for a cultural traveller!
Hamburg is not a top travel destination. Although Germany is huge old cultural hotspot in Europe, besides Berlin and Neuwachenstein Castle not much is known or visited. But Lonely planet places Germany as the #2 on Best in Travel 2018, so that might change.
I’ve been to Berlin several times and for Copenhagen’ers it’s almost like home, but cooler. But I especially liked the island of Rügen an old summer resort nearby UNESCO town of Stralsund. Generally spekaing, the entire north German coastline is filled with old spa town and summer holiday resorts back from the heydays of Germany in 1800’s.
But his year, I went to Hamburg for the 2. time for Christmas markets and cheer. Hamburg is better than you think and they do have great Christmas markets, but I would like to go more south and up in the mountains of Bavaria. Find the top markets in Hamburg in Grog & nutcrackers! Top 3 Christmas markets.
So, it’s not because Norway is not interesting. It is! And it’s beautiful in wintertime. If you are not already convinced, this will: Is Norway really a Winter Wonderland? YES!
But besides Oslo, my whole life I’ve only been to 2 different small ski resorts and are going skiing again in February at the exact same place, since my son has autism and anxiety and is most comfortable with familiar surroundings. I want to go up to Geiranger and see the fjords! Damn it, I live only an hours flight away from Olso! Which is a nice city by the way…
So I’ve decided to do something about it, and if all goes well, I am travelling as north as possible in Norway to Svalbard in January hopefully to see the Aurora Borealis (hopefully).
(Updated October 2019: I did! Come with me on Dog Sledding in the Dark Arctic Landscape in Svalbard!)
Ireland was a new country for me. I went to Dublin for a weekend break with some friends. But I am even more convinced now then I was before that Ireland is not a city destination, but a country you visit for the landscape. Which I didn’t see. Sure there’s beer, one of the oldest books in the world and it’s home of world famous writers like Ulysses (and there’s beer). And all of this actually closer connected than you think as you can discover in Guiness & Joyce! Even the pubs in Dublin are linked to Ireland’s literary giants.
But I just didn’t fell in love. And it was even nice weather… But every place can’t be your favourite, and maybe you’ll feel differently… So next time in Ireland I will take the train to up to Inverness and indulge in some “Outlander” settings and history, or I will travel the Giant’ Causeway.
Paris is on almost anyone’s bucket list and with good reason. France is a country of wine, history, top museum, beautiful landscape and food. Paris is the city above all – the essence of France. And if you want to learn more about France (or any other country) head for the world famous museum of Louvre. Be inspired in More than Mona Lisa: 12 other highlights.
But this time I was actually nervous, if Paris could hold up for a revisit – for the 5th time. Last time was on my honeymoon 15 years ago, so maybe it just looked better in hindsight? No! Maybe it was because I was with my sister, maybe because the weather was extraordinary good or maybe because it was the 5th visit and by that time, you only do what you really want. So skip the Eiffel Tower and just bring a blanket and a bottle of wine to the Luxembourg Garden.
Few people I know have visited Poland. But the country have pristine forests and a beautiful countryside. But for the cultural traveller head for the cities!
I will recommend heading for Warsaw instead of Krakow, if you like museums like me. From neon signs to sewers: Top 6 museums in Warsaw, Poland!
Note that Poland has quite a few UNESCO sites. Next time I will probably got to Krakow, rent a car and drive to the Tatra Mountains on the border to Slovakia.
In the last couple of years, I’ve been visiting the Balkans, and it has something special about it. Good food, wine and interesting history, and Monetenegro is no different, even thought it’s the smallest country.
This was a new country for me, and the main things to do along from the town of Budva is to swim and tan and to visit the UNESCO Site of Kotor, which you can see here: Venetian fortresses & World Heritage in Kotor, Montenegro! And sail Lake Skadar and visit a winery.
But for a cultural traveller, Montenegro is not the new Croatia as many says, since there’s not as many cultural sights. Of course, the fact that it rained all week except for the day we came and the day we left (where most of the pictures are taken) don’t help, but the turquoise Adriatic Sea keeps Montenegro from falling further down the list.
2 BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
This was great! My second visit to BiH brought me to Sarajevo, which is much more interesting than its way more famous World Heritage- colleague Mostar (the one with the bridge). Turkish coffee, war museums, forest just beyond the hills, UNESCO sites and delicious grilled meat.
BiH is not a country filled with tourists, which is partly due to misinformation; I met a local who said tourists call and ask if they have water and electricity. It might have to do with this: WWI & Bosnian War! Trace the grim past in today’s Sarajevo.
I couldn’t get a direct flight, which is key factor in long weekend breaks. Okay, seriously, I might not hurry back to BiH, but it was this year’s most pleasently suprising city. Take that Paris! I predict that us travellers will have destroyed the charm of the city in a few years time…
There’s good reason why Lonely Planet named southern Egypt as good value for money. Since the terrorist attack not may tourists have returned. So you can have it almost all to yourself, and it’s cheap. But the tourist current is changing and travel agencies are telling of rising interest. Unfortunately, while I was writing this, a new attack hit a tourist bus near the Pyramids, so maybe this will set things back again.
I travelled to Luxor for a week to finally see the temples of the pharaohs. It had always been on my bucket list as well as on my mom’s, so finally seeing the elaborate temples and tombs from great ancient civilization was worth everything. The best Egyptian temples & tombs in ancient Thebes & Luxor! Even though Luxor is not a great place. I would like to take a round trip in Egypt seeing the pyramids, the desert and of course Alexandria (the one with the lost library and lighthouse)
In 2019, I will start the year with (hopefully) seeing some Aurora Borealis and hopefully NOT meet a polar bear in Svalbard, Norway.
What was your best travel in 2018?
Good mix there for 2018. We had a great time exploring Ireland beyond Dublin this time, Puerto Rico post hurricanes and had a cracker time in Cuba – well worth it if you get the chance. Happy New Year and we look forward to your posts and adventures in 2019.
Thanks. Will definitely go beyond Dublin next time. Puerto Rico sounds wonderful, but I’m concerned there might be not be enough monuments and stuff for someone like me… Went to Cuba in 2009, and it was beautiful, but not sure if I want to go back. Happy New Year and safe travels.