Vancouver makes Lonely Planet's top cities to travel to in 2020
Vancouver's skyline at sunrise is shown in this undated handout photo. Vancouver has been placed on travel site Lonely Planet's top ten list of cities to visit in 2020. (Destination BC/Albert Normandin via The Canadian Press)
Published Monday, October 21, 2019 10:47PM EDT
Looking for next year’s vacation spot, but want to stay in Canada? Vancouver might be the place to hit up.
Travel site Lonely Planet listed the Canadian city as one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2020, stating that it’s Vancouver’s international reputation for urban sustainability, its lush spread of trees and its long cycling trails that makes it an unskippable destination.
The site put the “natural playground” on Canada’s west coast at number eight on their list, just ahead of Dubai, U.A.E, and Denver, U.S.
It’s the first time a Canadian city has made it onto the top 10 list since 2015, when Toronto came in tenth place.
Lonely Planet calls Vancouver’s Stanley Park a “visual spa treatment,” and advises all tourists to make a stop at the Museum of Anthropology. Also on its recommended top sights is the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, a spot only 15 minutes from downtown that contains one of the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridges, allowing visitors to sway gently over the Capilano River.
Number one on Lonely Planet’s list of top cities was Salzburg, Austria, snagging the top spot largely due to 2020 being the 100th anniversary of the city’s iconic Salzburg Festival -- an event that Lonely Planet predicts all the stops will be pulled out for.
In a time when travel is becoming more of a hot button issue due to questions of climate change -- the International Air Transport Association predicted this summer that airlines’ emissions of CO2 could reach 927 million tons this year -- Lonely Planet’s reasoning for choosing Vancouver for their list revolved heavily around the city’s green efforts.
The site highlighted the “environmental benefits of [Vancouver’s] longstanding Greenest City 2020 Action Plan” as something that would “enrich your stay,” touting the city’s 28 km stretch of path along the coast and its “upgraded public transport system” as huge draws for the city.
If biking doesn’t interest you, the site says, you could “simply catch some shade under one of the 102,000 new trees that have been planted since 2010.”
Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan was conceived in 2009 and approved in 2011. It outlined how the city hoped to reach their ambitious goal of becoming the world’s greenest city by 2020. Vancouver is also one of the cities around the country that has declared a climate emergency to scale up climate action.
Being green isn’t the only way to get the attention of Lonely Planet -- the 10 cities listed are all described as having their own distinct charms that will make them ideal for a 2020 visit.
Cairo, which placed third on the list, is set to be opening a state-of-the-art museum featuring their ancient history in 2020.
Second place winner Washington, D.C. is, like Salzburg, celebrating a big anniversary. They will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first group of women who gained the right to vote in the U.S.
The United States is the only country to get two cities on the list, with Denver coming in 10th.
The list of the top cities is just one part of the company’s “Best in Travel 2020” guide, which also lists the top 10 countries to visit, the top 10 regions in general and the top 10 areas if value for money is your main criteria.
Lonely Planet’s Top Ten Cities to Visit in 2020:
- Salzburg, Austria
- Washington DC, U.S.
- Cairo, Egypt
- Galway, Ireland
- Bonn, Germany
- La Paz, Bolivia
- Kochi, India
- Vancouver, Canada
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Denver, U.S.