For the first time, Urban Adventures is partnering with iconic publisher (and travel bible) Lonely Planet to launch a new range of exclusive Lonely Planet Experiences.
Combining the art of storytelling with local expertise, these experiences are designed from the ground up for independent travellers who want to explore with a small group of like-minded people, with the benefit of unrivalled insights from two of travel’s biggest innovators to get them to the heart of a destination like never before.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, we have asked our local guides all around the world to take a closer look at Lonely Planet’s latest iconic ‘Best in Travel 2020’ list, which showcases their top global travel destinations in 2020 and requested their top 3 things to do in the destinations LP has carefully chosen (out of their 40 recommendations, you’ll find an Urban Adventures office in almost half the destinations).
Costa Rica is due to be one of the world’s first carbon-neutral countries by 2020, an inspiring achievement. Our guide Eric says don’t miss:
Visit Escazu with us on our Lonely Planet Pura Vida Experience, powered by Urban Adventures. Visit La Tirimbina and the Association of Women Amazilia del Caribe on our Tropical Rainforest & Chocolate Adventure.
Lonely Planet is excited about new sections of the English Coast Path being opened up which will mean that, from 2020, you’ll be able to walk around the entire coast of the British Isles, something you can’t do in any other country on Earth. The Brits love the seaside and have built a unique and enduring culture around it. We asked London guide Glenn for his favourite places to experience the old fashioned British seaside that are under 2 hours from London:
With 35,000km of cycling paths, the Netherlands is one of the best places in the world to explore on two wheels. Our local guide Sean, who happens to be a keen amateur cyclist, recommends:
Get the lowdown on cycling in Amsterdam and learn how to bike like a local on Lonely Planet’s In the City of Bikes tour, powered by Urban Adventures. Join us for our Original Amsterdam Beer Tour, which covers all the best bars, breweries and beer halls in the city. Or let us introduce you to some of our favourite local designers and entrepreneurs on our Made in Amsterdam Shopping tour.
Lonely Planet love the recent infrastructure improvements in Morocco that are making the country more accessible to tourists, such as the new high speed train line between Casablanca and Tangier. We’re excited for our friends in Marrakech, which is set to be Africa’s first ever City of Culture in 2020. We asked our local guide Ayoub for the 3 things visitors shouldn’t miss in his city:
Make your own tajine in the kitchen of a beautiful, private Riad in Marrakech by joining Lonely Planet’s Tajine Cookery Class, powered by Urban Adventures. Learn to haggle in the souks and visit the Henna Café on our Made in Marrakech Shopping Tour: Secrets of the Medina.
Budapest has been highlighted in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list because it’s easy on the wallet as well as on the eye. Local guide Livia recommends that you:
Explore Buda Castle and its surroundings on our Lonely Planet Buda Castle Explorer tour, visit an iconic local pub known for its impressive beer selection on our Lonely Planet Best Beers of Budapest tour. To find out more about Budapest spa culture, read Livia’s Wellness Guide to Budapest, which includes her favourite, off the beaten-track places to spa.
Cape Town has always been a popular vacation destination for animal lovers, due to its proximity to Kruger National Park. But Lonely Planet wants visitors to get excited about the area’s first class food and drink scene. Local guide Sebastian top tips for getting the most out of the Cape Winelands are as follows:
Serbia is on Lonely Planet’s list because it’s one of the last unexplored European countries, with plenty of historic and foodie treasures to uncover. Being off the beaten path means it’s great value too! Our Belgrade guide Matija reckons you should add the following to your Serbian bucket list:
Explore Ljubica’s Palace and Skadarlija Street and enjoy a shot of rakia on our Belgrade Mash-Up tour.
Lonely Planet describes the capital of Greece as being like an open air museum. Plus cheap eats, pedestrianised streets and some incredible day trips (hello Temple of Poseidon) make Athens an ideal city break, any time of the year. Here are our local guide Stefanos top three things to do in Athens:
Taste one of the best meze’s in the city, alongside a glass of warming ouzo on Lonely Planet’s Taste of Athens tour powered by Urban Adventures. Explore Korai Street’s nearby stoas on Lonely Planet’s Athens Reloaded – The Hipsters’ Walk tour powered by Urban Adventures. Go shopping with a local guide on Lonely Planet’s Private Market, Ruins and Ancient Athens tour powered by Urban Adventures.
For low-cost luxury and adventure, Lonely Planet reckon Zanzibar is where it’s at, and we could not agree more! Our local guide Khamis loves the blend of cultures. In Stone Town you will get not only Africa, but Arabia, India and Europe in one colourful package! His top things to do in Zanzibar include:
The capital of the USA is celebrating a very special anniversary in 2020, the 100th anniversary of women being given the right to vote. Special events and exhibitions will be springing up throughout the year. Local guide Shawn doesn’t want you to miss:
Check out the Capitol Building and engage in some friendly politics chat on Lonely Planet’s American Politics & Debate on Capitol Hill tour. Check out Washington’s foodie credentials on Lonely Planet’s DC Food & History Tour on H St. Jump in one of our environmentally-friendly cruisers and see the National Mall from a different, night time perspective on Lonely Planet’s Private Monuments by Night all powered by Urban Adventures.
2020 will see the opening of Cairo’s Grand Egyptian Museum, the world’s largest museum that’s committed to one civilisation. This multi-million dollar project has been in the works for years, so to see it finally come to fruition will thrill history lovers all over the world. If you’re looking for tips on what else to do while you’re in town, our guide Hend recommends the following:
Explore the city’s dynamic street art scene and taste koshary, falafel and many other tasty Egyptian delicacies on our Downtown Cairo tour. Visit Alexandria with a local guide on our Alexandria City Discovery tour.
Lonely Planet loves Kochi in 2020 for her green credentials (Kochi is the first city in the world to open a solar-powered airport) and for the city’s ability to “keep a tight grip on its heritage while wholeheartedly embracing its newfound cool.” Travellers rave about it being green, clean, and rich in history and culture. Local guide Komal recommends that you:
Take a Cookery Class at Kaliveedu. Visit Gujarati street and later learn how to wear and maybe buy a saree from a very special NGO that’s been supporting local women for more than 30 years on our Aromas Of Kochi tour.
Dubai is home to the World Expo in 2020, a 6 month long spectacle that showcases the latest innovations from around the world, providing a fascinating glimpse into the future. Hoda, our local guide in Dubai suggests that the following activities be added to your Dubai to do list:
Visit the Alfahidi district and explore the souks with a local guide by your side on Lonely Planet’s Private Culture, Coffee & Colourful Souks tour. Find out where to find Dubai’s best street food, served up with love by a Syrian refugee and his family.
Denver’s star has been on the rise for a while; a slew of hip new hotels, restaurants and craft breweries have sprung up throughout the city. Here are our guide ? top tips on how to have an amazing time in the Mile High City.
Grab a drink with us on our Denver Liquid Tour. Visit Cherry Creak, the US Geological Survey and a plethora of must-see sights on our Highlights of Denver tour.
So those are our recommendations for things you shouldn’t miss when visiting any of Lonely Planet’s favourite places to travel to in 2020. The only question now is where are you going to go first?