19 must-see destinations in 2019

Ever wondered what the next hot destinations are likely to be? British Airways has come up with its own predictions for the year ahead, choosing 19 must-see destinations for 2019, as determined by new routes and exciting events happening around the globe. Without further ado, here are the 19 they’re saying you should look out for next year.

19. Durban

Nicknamed “South Africa’s Playground”, Durban has risen from rather humble beginnings as a warehouse district but, since being put on the map as a host venue during the 2010 World Cup, it has emerged as a perfect Indian Ocean escape with stylish cafés, quality restaurants, excellent shopping and a lively nightlife. The city also holds an array of festivals throughout the year, in addition to being a fabulous surfing venue.

British Airways Holidays offers five nights at the 5* The Oyster Box £1269 per person, travelling on selected dates in March. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation with breakfast. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £461.

18. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has been dubbed ‘Robot City’ thanks to its numerous tech start-ups – and no doubt helped by the presence of Google and Uber campuses in the area – but there’s more to this city than its technological advances. It’s also home to a thriving arts, culture and food scene and offers a vast range of outdoor activities afforded by the region’s great rivers, green valleys and majestic mountains.

British Airways Holidays offers three nights at the 4.5* Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh, from £879 per person, travelling May 1 to May 30. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £814.

17. Osaka

It comes as no surprise to hear that Osaka is famous for its food scene when you hear that it’s unofficial slogan is ‘kuidaore’ which literally translates to mean ‘eat until you’re broke’. But there’s more to this city than its food culture – it’s also home to a wealth of luxury accommodation, a fascinating history and plenty of attractions, including Osaka Castle and Universal Studios. In fact, this Japanese metropolis even made it to third place in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2018 ranking of the world’s most liveable cities.

British Airways Holidays offers four nights at the 5* Hyatt Regency Osaka from £979 per person, travelling on selected dates in June. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £599.

16. Marrakech

Marrakech never fails to disappoint. This city is an assault on the senses, offering mystery and mystique around every corner. Lose yourself in the medina, barter in the souqs or head further afield to visit a Berber village or for adventures in the Atlas Mountains. The abundance of luxury hotels and high quality riads in Marrakech has risen sharply in recent years so you’ll never be short of somewhere luxurious to stay.

British Airways Holidays offers three nights at the 5* Palais Aziza & Spa from £299 per person, travelling January 7 to January 30. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Gatwick and accommodation with breakfast. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £100.

15. Seychelles

Whether you’re on honeymoon, travelling with family or just in search of some sun, the Seychelles offers a dream-like setting for a multitude of travellers. Whether you’re looking to unwind or be active, the Seychelles’ 115 diverse individual islands offer everything from the ultimate in relaxation to adventurous activities such as snorkelling and scuba diving. Whatever you choose, you’ll get to enjoy breathtaking views of tropical landscapes and sample some of the islands’ exceptional luxury accommodation.

British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 5* Constance Ephelia Hotel from £2069 per person, travelling on selected dates in May. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation with Half Board. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £458.

14. Barbados

Discover the best of Barbados with British Airways direct flights. Ringed by glittering azure waters, white-sand beaches fringed with palm trees and lush greenery, this genteel island makes for a truly special holiday. Those looking for action will find exhilarating watersports, whilst those looking for relaxation will love the sandy shores and gentle surf. Soak up the history in Bridgetown, enjoy a spot of afternoon tea at a 17th-century plantation before heading to the legendary Fish Fry for dinner. Wander the scene with a Barbadian rum whilst enjoying the energetic Calypso background music.

British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 4* Beach View from £979 per person, travelling on selected dates in June. Includes World Traveller return flights from Gatwick and accommodation. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £549.

13. Toronto

Canada’s biggest city is home to a fantastic art scene in a metropolis that thrives in culture, sightseeing, restaurants and nightlife. Time your visit to coincide with the 44th Toronto Film Festival, which attracts almost half a million people annually, and you’ll be treated one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world. Kayak named the city #1 in its list of the top 10 wallet-friendly destinations, allowing you to stay just that little bit longer.

British Airways Holidays offers four nights at the 3.5* Park Inn by Radisson Toronto-Markham from £599 per person, travelling May 1 to May 31. Includes World Traveller return flights from Gatwick and accommodation. Book by October 31.

Return flights in British Airways World Traveller start from £403.

12. Edinburgh

This hilly capital of Scotland boasts breathtaking sights, historical treasures and vibrant a nightlife. It’s a city that begs to be explored. From the vaults and wynds in the old town to the urban villages, Edinburgh is full of quirky nooks and cosy cafés. A history that dates back over a thousand years is reflected in the city’s stunning architecture, from the medieval castle on Castle Rock to the Georgian tenements in Stockbridge and beyond.

British Airways Holidays offers three nights at the 5* The Edinburgh Grand from £399 per person, travelling March 1 to March 31. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £96.

11. Sofia

Overlook Bulgaria’s laid-back capital at your peril since here lies something truly special, not to mention more than 2,000 years of history. Whether you are captivated by the soaring Mount Vitosha, the domed churches or the Ottoman mosques and monuments, Sofia is a cultured city that is packed with surprises and hidden delights. What’s more, it’s situated just an hour and 45 minutess’ drive from Plovdiv, a European Capital of Culture for 2019.

British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 4* MPM Sport from £499 per person, travelling January 4 to March 15. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Gatwick and accommodation with Half Board. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £74.

10. Salzburg

Being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart isn’t Salzburg’s only claim to fame. The city also a boasts a unique charm and appeal, and an annual summer music festival that has played a major part in shaping the city for almost 100 years. And, if those musical accolades were not enough, every year the city welcomes 300,000 Sound of Music fans who visit the movie locations and places where the von Trapp family lived. With such a strong cultural background, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Salzburg also enjoys UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

British Airways Holidays offers three nights at the 5* Sacher Salzburg from £499 per person, travelling January 5 to February 12. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation with breakfast. Book by October 31.

Return flights in British Airways World Traveller start from £61.

9. Malta

Discover remarkable history, glistening hidden coves and timeless villages by visiting Malta, one of the smallest countries in the world and a melting pot of Mediterranean culture. Made up of three tiny islands on the southern edge of Europe, Malta packs glorious variety into its small archipelago. You’ll find prehistoric temples, fossil-studded cliffs, hidden coves, thrilling scuba diving and a history of remarkable intensity. This remarkable city is small and easy to explore on foot, bursting with ancient palaces and baroque churches.

British Airways Holidays offers three nights at the 4* The Saint John from £399 per person, travelling January 3 to March 18. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Gatwick and accommodation with breakfast. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £91.

8. Cologne

Known for its art, history and architecture, visitors to Cologne can immerse themselves in the avant-garde before enjoying a dish of the local speciality Himmel un Ääd, mashed potato with apple sauce and sausage. For those with a sweeter tooth, a trip to the famous chocolate museum is a must before spending the evening at one of the many beer halls experiencing the liberal Rhinelander spirit, or soaking up the party atmosphere in one of the countless bars or restaurants. No other German city has as many pubs per capita.

British Airways Holidays offers three nights at the 5* Hyatt Regency Cologne from £299 per person, travelling January 3 to February 22. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £58.06.

7. Sydney

Spectacularly draped around a magnificent harbour and beaches, Sydney has a huge amount to offer with its unique character. As the capital of New South Wales, Sydney is the largest city in Australia and is famous for its superb beaches, its vibrant cultural scene and for its cosmopolitan, international population. Epitomised by the iconic Opera house and Harbour bridge, the city offers fantastic shopping, great nightlife and divine dining. Sydney is the proud host of the Invictus Games this October and has a number of fabulous festivals throughout the year. It may be most famous for its New Year’s Eve fireworks, but Vivid Sydney’s outdoor illuminations or the Biennale art show are equally inspiring.

British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 3.5* Arts Hotel from £939 per person, travelling on selected dates in May. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £711.

6. Croatia

Croatia’s rare blend of glamour and authenticity have made it one of Europe’s hottest holiday destinations. Customers can fly British Airways to the fashionable setting of Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik, to the coastal city of Pula and to the capital Zagreb. Festival fans will be delighted to know that Airways flies directly to Split, situated at the heart of the Dalmatian coast. This city is bursting with energy and a charming Mediterranean vibe set against a backdrop of pine-fringed coastline and mountainous landscape, and is a convenient driving distance to Hideout festival, a leading European music festival.

British Airways Holidays offers three nights at the 5* Hilton Imperial from £499 per person, travelling April 1 to April 30. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Gatwick and accommodation with breakfast. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller to Dubrovnik start from £106.

5. Kos

The Dodecanese island of Kos is surrounded by the crystalline blue waters of the Aegean Sea and enjoys a well-developed tourist industry. This birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is home to endless treasures – the ancient Agora ruins, the mighty Neratzia Castle and the third century Casa Romana villa with its lavish mosaics. The island also enjoys beautiful beaches, a mild climate and a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 5* Ikos Aria from £1249 per person, travelling June 15 to June 25. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Gatwick and accommodation with All Inclusive. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £143.

4. Cancun

A long-term favourite with the British, the coastal city of Cancun provides an endless adventure for the senses set in an area of rich cultural heritage. This Yucatan Peninsula hotspot isn’t just about high-rise hotels and world-renowned nightclubs – it also has its fair share of ancient ruins, fresh seafood and delicious cocktails, not to mention beautiful turquoise waters and powdery white beaches. Those who get don’t want to just laze on the 14 miles of pure white sand can explore the incredible Mayan monuments and temples, including Chichén Itzá, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 4* Allegro Playacar from £929 per person, travelling May 1 to May 31. Includes World Traveller return flights from Gatwick all-inclusive accommodation. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £606.

3. Las Vegas

Sin City is an oasis of indulgence in the Mojave Desert. Vegas truly has it all, from themed hotels with elaborate displays and flash casinos, to replicas of an Egyptian pyramid, the Venetian Grand Canal, and the Eiffel Tower. Head for The Strip for an evening of excitement, entertainment and potentially fortune. By day, be sure to venture out of the city at least once, if only to marvel at the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon.

British Airways Holidays offers three nights at the 4* Park MGM Las Vegas, from £599 per person, travelling March 1 to March 31. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £454.

2. Dubai

With the world’s biggest ferris wheel rising, huge islands shaped like palm trees or a map of the world, and ultra-luxury hotels that you can do little but gawp at, Dubai is the epitome of glitz and a city that has to be seen to be believed. With its space-age skyscrapers, a full-blown winter wonderland and indoor ski resort (in a desert of all places!), the world’s largest shopping mall and the world’s tallest building, Dubai has to be one of the world’s most decadent cities to visit.

British Airways Holidays offers three nights at the 5* Jumeriah Beach Hotel from £1289 per person, travelling March 1 to March 31. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow and half hoard accommodation. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £436.

1. Tokyo

All eyes will be on Tokyo in the coming years as it hosts a number of matches in the 2019 Rugby World Cup, not to mention the Olympics the following year. The Japanese capital is a bustling city that mixes the ultramodern with the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers and streets jam-packed with traffic and hordes of pedestrians, to historic temples, cherry blossoms and traditional culture. Tokyo also has more Michelin stars than any other city, making it one of the world’s top food destinations.

British Airways Holidays offers four nights at the 5* Hyatt Regency Tokyo from £999 per person, travelling on selected dates in June. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by October 31.

Return flights in BA World Traveller start from £820.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by British Airways.

Comments (10)

  1. Mary says:

    What a great selection BA have come up with here! And, although I’d consider myself reasonably well travelled, I have only actually been to 5 of the 19 in the list, so there’s plenty here to whet my appetite for further travel!

  2. Kim Turner says:

    Would like to explore more of Japan as I’ve only ever been to Tokyo. Osaka looks to be a good location as it’s handy for visiting Kyoto, as well as the ancient burial mounds at Sakei which I think they were trying to get UNESCO World Heritage recognition for. Kobe (where kobe beef comes from) is also nearby and meant to be quite pretty, I think. I don’t know if there are any places that you can visit that relate to the cattle industry there, but I would be interested to see them if there are. Food in Japan really interests me.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      I think to be recognised as Kobe beef it has to be reared in the Hyōgo prefecture which extends mostly to the north of Kobe (the prefecture’s capital) so, if it is possible to visit anywhere (and I don’t know if you can – maybe someone else here can enlighten us), then I guess it could lie anywhere within this area of more than 8,000 sq km. It’s possible that they don’t admit the public anywhere as they won’t want the cattle to be unduly stressed. If you believe the hype, we’re talking about livestock that never has to venture far for pasture, is reputedly fed on beer and listens to classical music, and in some cases gets regular massages. Whether any of that is true is up for debate, but it perhaps suggests they won’t just let any Tom, Dick or Harry show up, for fear of undue stress on the cattle.

  3. Nicoletta says:

    Totally agree for Malta, I haven’t visited the others yet

  4. Stephen says:

    Good to see Sofia in here amongst the perennial big-hitters of the travel industry. These lists are great at widening our horizons. Although Sofia has a rich mix of Roman and Ottoman architecture at its heart – and it’s own distinctive cuisine – it is a city badly in need of an influx of tourist bucks and some restoration. BA should follow-up with another list of “up and coming destinations”. There are many other cities, not just in Eastern Europe, that would benefit from some attention. It’s time to spread the load, get some footfall through some of the world’s quieter byways.

  5. Sacha says:

    Oh my, these are all excellent destinations! It’s so hard to choose. Though I’m finding Marrakech really exotic and interesting. I would also love to see Salzburg because I’m a major The Sound of Music fan. I can retrace Maria’s steps! It’s great that British Airways Holidays makes it easy for people to plan and book their trips.

  6. Kim Turner says:

    Barbados is my pick out of this lot. Such a relaxing place to be. I could easily pass on Vegas (although must admit, I would love to one day see the Grand Canyon).

  7. Tim says:

    I’m a big fan of Barbados, I’ve been lucky enough to manage a lot of cricket tours to this piece of Paradise. But it is a lot busier than it was, there are even traffic jams. A lot of travellers, me included, are beginning to explore the other islands looking for what Barbados was thirty years ago. Antigua with its 365 beaches gets a big shout and Tobago has a leisurely pace of life. Though once you are in the grounds of your all-inclusive Barbados Hotel the service is world-class.

  8. Brian says:

    I’m surprised Muscat hasn’t crept in to this list not even as number 20. Muscat airport’s expanded and much improved. It’s learnt about tourism from Dubai and Oman’s capital is low-rise and clean. Locals get fined if they don’t wash their car. It’s got miles of empty beaches, plenty of luxurious hotels and the Sultan subsidises tickets at the Opera House. Any other Muscat fans out there??

  9. Brian says:

    Last summer i visiеed Dubai and i still under impression. Very expensive city, but if u want to see really progress in city organization- u are welcome

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