Budapest, Hungary – Central Europe might just be the place to travel to next year, at least according to National Geographic, who picked the 25 most exciting destinations in the world to visit in 2020.
Czech, Hungarian and Polish sites, suitable for both urban travelers and nature enthusiasts, have made it on this year’s list. What are you waiting for to pack your bags?
National Blue Trail, Hungary
“Meandering about 700 miles from Irottko Mountain, on the western border with Austria, to the northeastern village of Hollóháza near Slovakia, the Blue Trail is a wonderfully diverse web of paths labeled with white-and-blue-striped way-markers”. Known as Kéktúra to Hungarians, the Blue Trail is undoubtedly a must for all those of you who enjoy taking a hike off-the-beaten track amid awe-inspiring scenery.
For the really ambitious hikers, you can also make the Blue Trail part of an EU-wide trek, as it’s part of the notorious 6,500-mile European long-distance route E4, which starts from Spain and ends in Cyprus (yes, with a ferry connection).
Telč, Czech Republic
Are you looking for a small charming town with a fascinating historical background? Telč, located in the southern part of the Czech Republic, might just be the place for you. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992 renowned for its mix of Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture, it’s no surprise Telč has been nicknamed the Czech Florence, the perfect place to submerse yourself in a fairy-tale atmosphere, without being bothered by the huge crowds of tourists other Czech towns attract, like Cesky Krumlov.
“Positioned midway between Prague to the north and Vienna to the south, the storybook town got its official start in the 14th century as a crossroads on the well-trodden trading routes among Bohemia, Moravia and Austria”, writes National Geographic. From May to September is the best period of the year to discover this picturesque and well-kept little secret, according to them. The best way to get there is to hop on a train or bus departing from Jihlava, itself easily accessible from Prague or Brno.
Białowieża Forest, Poland/Belarus
An absolute gem of its own kind bordering Belarus, the Białowieża National Park has been one of Poland’s UNESCO protected sites since the late 1970’s and is the last temperate primeval forest in Europe. Białowieża, also recently picked by CNN as one of the most beautiful places to visit, is known for being home to the largest population of European bison in the world.
“Spanning nearly 550 square miles […] the vast forest creates an oasis of wilderness in the middle of a crowded continent”, write National Geographic writers. Their insiders’ tip? To take a guided hike through the national park’s strictly protected primeval forest area to enjoy the most of the breathtaking scenery and, maybe, spot a few of these famous bison.
To check National Geographic’s other selection of the best travel destinations in 2020, it’s right here!