Last Updated on
Here at AllTheRooms we’re obsessed with travel, and so using our unique data, we’ve taken a look at the hottest cities to visit in 2019. In past years, European cities have been some of the most popular destinations, but it seems that the world is opening up for 2019, with Europe barely making an appearance. From mystical bazaar markets in Istanbul, Turkey, through to futuristic architecture in Seoul, South Korea, here are the best cities to visit in 2019.
Straddling both Asia and Europe, Istanbul, Turkey, is one of the world’s most unique cities. It’s a cultural capital filled with a melting point of influences from the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. From strolling around it’s winding historical alleyways to exploring its domes, minarets, and Medieval towers, the city is bursting with history. Other great things to do include hopping on a ferry to explore the city’s ancient waterways, eating a delicious Turkish breakfast, visiting a Michelin starred restaurant, or exploring a bustling bazaar market, where you can buy handcrafted goods, textile, and delicious foods.
Houston, Texas, is one of the world’s top upcoming destinations thanks to its buzzing music and food scenes. It’s the US’ fourth largest city and is packed with food trucks, delicious restaurants, galleries, art museums, and history museums. Top things to do include visiting the incredible Space Center Houston, where you can find out more about U.S space travel, or explore Houston Zoo for a fun day with the kids.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
With more frequent direct flights from Europe and the US, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is becoming a more and more popular destination. Rio is home to one of the world’s most epic harbors, with dramatic mountains, tropical city beaches, and a 125-foot Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado — a sight you’ll never forget. While Rio’s world-renown carnival has been the city’s major draw in the past, it’s now a tourist hotspot year-round. Kick back on Ipanema or Copacabana Beach, drink a caipirinha cocktail, visit Sugarloaf Mountain on a cable car or explore one of the city’s pacified favelas. This is a city that should definitely be on your bucket list!
Galle, Sri Lanka
Galle, Sri Lanka, is another top city that’s seen a huge rise in bookings. The city lies on the southwest coast and is best known for its fortified old city, which was founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century. Galle is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an exotic former trading port. It’s a picture-perfect city and a great place to stroll around on foot. Along the way, you’ll see colonial architecture from Portuguese, Dutch, and British rule. Be sure to check out the 18th-century Dutch Reformed Church, which is one of the city’s top sights.
The fascinating Jaipur, India, is one of the best places to visit in 2019. The city is packed with Rajasthani architecture and history, and you can stroll around its crumbling buildings, magnificent forts, grand palaces, and religious places of worship. While it’s packed with opulent Rajasthani architecture, it’s a city of extremes and there’s desolate poverty at every corner — making it a highly thought-provoking destination. The city can be explored in two to three days and some of the top sights include the Hawa Mahal and the Galta Temple.
Marrakech, Morocco, has been a popular mini-break destination for quite some time, and it’s becoming more sought-after than ever as those in the northern hemisphere seek warmer climates for their city vacation. It’s an incredible city, filled with ancient Moorish alleyways, bustling souk markets, Medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, and the Medina — a densely packed, Medieval walled-city known for its maze-like narrow alleys. Spend the day getting lost in the alleys or stock up on textiles and handcrafted goods at one of the city’s souks.
Seoul, South Korea
Accommodation bookings are on the rise in South Korea’s huge capital city of Seoul, as many travelers want to see the incredible fusion of futuristic architecture, mixed with old traditions. From fanatic pop culture through to cutting edge fashion, elegant Buddhist temples, and bustling food markets, there’s so much to see and do here. Be sure to visit Dongdaemun Design Plaza, which feels like stepping into the future, or the N Seoul Tower for panoramic views of the city at night.
Guayaquil in Ecuador is known as the gateway to the Galapagos. The Galapagos Islands are now more accessible than ever, so naturally, bookings in Guayaquil are on the up. While it’s a gateway to the islands that inspired Charles Darwin, it’s also known as ‘the beating heart of Ecuador’ and is a vibrant city filled with high rise buildings and colorful favelas. It lies on the riverfront and the Río Guayas’ malecón — the town square that sits on the river — is a great place to stroll around and soak in the city’s atmosphere.
There are many reasons why Romania should be on your bucket list, and Constanța is one of them. The picturesque city is next to the Black Sea and has a long history, dating back over 2,000 years with strong Roman and Persian influences. Be sure to check out the stunning Roman mosaics, or the Great Mahmudiye Mosque, which features towering minarets. It’s a tourist destination that has been relatively off-the-radar in the past, and only now are travelers realizing its beauty.
Ostuni, Italy, is a stunning, white-washed city with an ancient old town. It’s known as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages and is an emerging destination thanks to its stunning Ostuni Cathedral which combines Gothic, Romanesque, and Byzantine architecture. It’s also home to Medieval architecture, and you can see original Medieval gates at the Porta San Demetrio. For history and archeology fans there are several museums here, as well as the skeleton of a woman from Paleolithic times.