Travel Blog

  1. Where's hot in 2013

    posted by Colm Hanratty | 12 Comments


    Every year I take a look at what cities are going to be the ones to watch for that year. This is based on different things – events taking place, personal experiences, where our customers are booking and more. Here’s where I think will be hot in 2013…

    1. Taipei, Taiwan

    Ask somebody to think of an Asian city popular with travellers and most will mention places like Bangkok, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. The Taiwanese capital isn’t one that would traditionally spring to too many people’s minds...but that’s changing. We saw a huge increase in the number of people deciding to go to Taipei in 2012 and this will continue in 2013. Those who make the trip will enjoy a view from one of the world’s tallest buildings, gloriously tasty and extremely affordable food and more.

    2. Porto, Portugal

    Anybody who follows @hostelworld on Twitter, likes us on Facebook or is a regular visitor to our blog will know one thing – many of the world’s top hostels are in Lisbon, and as a result more and more people are flocking to Portugal ever year. Thankfully, Porto is piggy-backing on all of this newfound popularity. I was lucky enough to have visited Porto last September and can clarify that it’s got a lot going for it. This city of bridges is visually stunning, it knows how to party, and it’s great value.

    3. Christchurch, New Zealand

    Earthquakes rocked the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island not only in 2010, but again in 2011. But Christchurch is a city rising heroically from these disasters. More and more of the city is being deemed safe for visitors again meaning you can sample more and more of its restaurants and bars – something this city has lots of. Plus, as anybody who’s visited Christchurch before knows, it is the gateway to some of the most beautiful parts of the world. Just go to the cinema to see a movie about hobbits and wizards for a sneak preview...

    4. Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Every year is a big year for Amsterdam for the simple fact that is just that – Amsterdam. This is easily one of my favourite cities in the world and I’ve been there around eight times. But 2013 is a particularly special year for the Dutch capital – the long-awaited re-opening of the Rijksmuseum is taking place, it’s the 400th Anniversary of the city’s celebrated canals and the Van Gogh Museum will celebrate being open 40 years also. I also recently learned from a post by Keith of travel blog Velvet Escape that the city’s Artis Zoo turns 175 this year while it’s the 125th anniversary of the city’s concert hall the Concertgebouw. 2013 is going to be a big and busy year for Amsterdam.

    5. San Diego, USA

    San Diego is a city that has a lot going for it. If you want to spend your time doing nothing else only take it easy by the sea, this is the city for you. If you like a city break to be full of exploration, you’ll enjoy strolling the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter, soaking up the atmosphere in the city’s Downtown or hopping between the boutiques, restaurants and cafés of Hillcrest. This year will be the year that visitors to the States will look past New York, San Francisco, Chicago and other parts of this vast country and explore cities like this one.

    6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Sure, the public eye will be on Brazil in 2014 due to the World Cup, and in particular on Rio in 2016 when the Olympics are held there, but Brazil’s best-known city doesn’t have to wait until then to bask in the limelight. Rejuvenation of some of the city’s areas that need it most has begun, making the city a far more accessible place than it was in the past. Of course it’s Rio’s beaches where most people spend their time – Ipanema and Copacabana are two parts of the world that unquestionably have the ‘wow’ factor. As does the Sugar Loaf, Christ the Redeemer and more.

    7. Budapest, Hungary

    While travellers go to Budapest in droves every year, last year we saw a huge increase in the number of people visiting the Hungarian capital. I can see why. For a start, it is stunning. Take a stoll down the Danube and you’ll soon realise this is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Secondly, it boasts something that no other European capital does…ruin bars. These are bars set up in, well, ruins. Thirdly, thermal baths – this is what I love Budapest for the most. The last time I was there I visited all five in the city centre. I advise you to visit all the above and more if you visit in 2013.

    8. Tokyo, Japan

    On March 11th, 2011 the world was in shock as we saw events unfold in Japan from the earthquake that took place. As a result, people stopped travelling to Japan. Thankfully in 2012 things began to pick up and this will continue over the next twelve months. It’s a bit of a cliché, but there really is nowhere else on earth like Tokyo. It’s one of those cities where you don’t know where to look, where you’re constantly in a haze from all that is going on around you. I love this city. If you haven’t visited yet, now is the time to plan your trip.

    9. Girona, Spain

    Barcelona; Madrid; Seville; Valencia – these are all cities that travellers going to Spain have read about in the past and, subsequently, have pencilled in to their itineraries. But this is all set to change thanks to an army of bloggers who are constantly visiting Girona and the Costa Brava region, sharing tips, posts, images and more on Twitter using the #incostabrava hashtag. What they are sharing is simply stunning, because that’s what Girona is. The architecture, the lifestyle, the river – this city has so much going for it. If you’re going to Barcelona this year, jump on a bus or train to Girona for a day or two. You won’t regret it.

    10. Cape Town, South Africa

    If you’re looking for a city to really blow you away in 2013 (and subsequently a country), start thinking of visiting Cape Town. Fewer cities have made me say ‘wow’ in all my years of travelling like Cape Town has. From Table Mountain, which was confirmed as one of the New Wonders of the World in March 2012, to Chapman’s Peak Drive, to the copious amounts of breathtaking beaches, Cape Town will knock your socks off.

    Where do you think will be a destination to watch out for in 2013?

    Photos courtesy of ryklin and rubyshoes. All images used under the Creative Commons license.

  2. 12 Comments so far.

    Colm Hanratty said on 24/01/2013 at 12:17pm

    @Frederico Hi Frederico, Colm from Hostelworld.com here. I have to say I would disagree with your comments. I spent a week in Rio de Janeiro for a week two years ago after spending five weeks in South America and I found it to be extremely safe in the areas I stayed. Every day I either walked around with a video camera, tripod and SLR digital camera filming videos and taking photos and didn't experience one bit of hassle. At night I walked around the Ipanema and Copacabana areas and felt safe, while I also enjoyed a great Friday in Lapa and again, had no hassle. I'm not saying crime doesn't take place, but I didn't experience any muggers or that many beggars either. I stand by my recommendation and would recommend anybody going to South America to visit it.

    Raquel said on 23/01/2013 at 11:28pm

    To Frederico Dalton: I totally disagree with you. I'm an American planning to stay in Rio de Janeiro for about three months, and I've already been here a month and I feel like the bad reputation that Rio has isn't entirely accurate. I love it here. I've definitely been to scarier, dirtier cities around the world. In fact, I feel a lot more at ease here than I did walking around San Francisco after dark. So everyone else, ignore his remark and go! I'm loving it here and have seen so many great things and have met awesome people. :)

    rick fehr said on 23/01/2013 at 9:54pm

    I would like to go to Rio, and avoid cities unfortunate to inhabit super duper critics who complain about destinations when they do decide to travel. Winnipeg can be undesirable in the middle of winter, but the city and grand beach, close by, can make your stay very pleasant in the spring and summer months.

    suppermanvn said on 23/01/2013 at 3:58am

    Great ! I definitely have to visit these places.

    brian said on 22/01/2013 at 3:18pm

    I think Cape Town will be the winner.

    Artur said on 18/01/2013 at 3:24pm

    Lisbon is missing!!

    Marija said on 18/01/2013 at 10:45am

    Forgot Croatia. In my opinion, definitely going to be hot on the coast of Croatia in July. The reason will be the Ultra Music Festival in Split. see more: http://www.croatian-beach.com/ultra-music-festival.html

    Francesca said on 16/01/2013 at 1:18pm

    I'll travel to Tokyo for sure,but i'm also planning to return to Seoul. You didn't mention this city but trust me...it's really wonderful. It has a lot of monuments and wonders,history but also technology! I simply LOVE it!

    Aleksandar said on 15/01/2013 at 8:41pm

    Belgrade, Serbia - its buzzy nightlife attracts more and more foreign tourists every year; this one won't be an exception, as well ;)

    Frederico Dalton said on 15/01/2013 at 5:37pm

    You shouldn't recommend Rio de Janeiro. It is one of the most dangerous cities in the world for tourists. Besides, the city doesn't provide the minimal conditions for visitors: no signposting in the streets, dirty sidewalks, beggars, muggers and street children everywhere. Rio is dirty, expensive, chaotic and disorganized. I really hope your readers don't follow your recommmendation in regard to Rio de Janeiro.

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