A coastal town in southwestern India, a medieval city in Portugal and a region in northern Philippines, where the world’s most famous sunsets could be found, were the most talked about destinations on TripAdvisor in the past year.
The travel site on Tuesday announced the winners of its 2020 Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards, which recognize the places that have seen the largest increase in positive reviews and reviews.
Kochi, a port city in southwestern India, enjoyed the highest peak in five-star reviews, reviews and traveler interest on TripAdvisor in the past year.
It was closely followed by Luzon, a lush green area in the Philippines where the capital Manila is located, and Porto, a historic city in northern Portugal full of winding cobbled streets and some of the best wine cellars in the world.
Two little-known Brazilian cities, one coastal and one high inland, were also in the top 10, alongside popular Indonesian and Vietnamese resorts and a Greek island that has been a tourist favorite for decades.
Australia received a special mention in the ‘Emerging Destinations’ category, where the capital of Darwin’s Northern Territory was recognized for its historic sights, waterfront dining and exciting encounters that allow you to come up close and personal with a crocodile.
The coastal town of Kochi in southwest India and the medieval city of Porto in Portugal (photo) were the most discussed destinations on TripAdvisor in the past year.
1. KOCHI, INDIA
A fusion of small, ancient villages along the southwestern coast of India created modern Kochi, where sunset walks, dining on fresh fish from coastal vendors and boat trips through the offshore islands are all part of the charm.
While visitors to India traditionally gave priority to trips to more famous cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, experienced travelers now head to Kochi for its vibrant cafes, art galleries and historic colonial sights, including beautiful Portuguese churches and forts.
2. LUZON, PHILIPPINES
The northern Luzon region has a landscape and biodiversity like nowhere else on earth, which encourages travelers to travel to the largest island in the Philippines for a truly unique vacation experience.
Luzon is the home of Manila, the bustling capital of the country, but the landscape of vast mountains, rainforests, miles of beaches and coral reefs that draw the crowd.
Seasoned travelers now head to Kochi (photo) because of the lively cafes, art galleries and historic colonial sights, including beautiful Portuguese churches and forts
3. PORTO, PORTUGAL
Porto is located on the Douro River in northern Portugal and is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Many of its buildings were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Filled with winding streets, the 600-year-old Sao Francisco Church and some of the world’s best wine cellars, it is quickly becoming the number one city break for European travelers.
4. PORTO SEGURO, BRAZIL
With 55 miles of white sandy beaches, it is no wonder that hikers are increasingly attracted to Porto Seguro in the state of Bahia, in the northeast of Brazil.
Colorful architecture, affordable restaurants and accommodation and a picturesque city center are some of the draw cards, along with the pristine beach of Porto Seguro.
The beach is close to a port where you can take the ferry to Arraial d’Ajuda, an idyllic holiday resort just over 35 minutes away.
The top 10 ‘Popular destinations’
The ‘Trending’ category recognizes favorite passenger destinations that are on the rise, with the highest number of positive reviews and reviews on TripAdvisor in the past year.
1. Kochi (Cochin), India
2. Luzon, Philippines
3. Porto, Portugal
4. Porto Seguro, Brazil
5. Gramado, Brazil
6. Lombok, Indonesia
7. Da Nang, Vietnam
8. Zakynthos, Greece
9. Tel Aviv, Israel
10. Krakow, Poland
5. GRAMADO, BRAZIL
While Brazil continues to shed its reputation as ‘off the beaten track’ destination, more and more travelers are moving inland to explore the mountains instead of the vibrant coastline.
Gramado, a mountain resort in the southernmost state of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, looks like it can be picked from a Bavarian Alpine town after being settled by German settlers in the 19th century.
6. LOMBOK, INDONESIA
Bali will always be loved by world travelers, but Lombok is quickly attracting attention as the most popular destination in Indonesia.
It offers a more relaxed atmosphere with less crowds than nearby Bali, which is only a short boat ride away.
Home to impeccable beaches, hiking trails to waterfalls and volcanoes and world-class dive sites, Lombok has something for everyone.
Home to impeccable beaches, hiking trails to waterfalls and volcanoes and world-class dive sites, Lombok (photo) has something for everyone
7. DA NANG, VIETNAM
Halfway between the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is Da Nang, a coastal city in central Vietnam that has quickly become a favorite among both backpackers and luxury lovers.
Despite a sudden increase in direct international flights, Da Nang remains largely affordable for travelers of all budgets.
It is an easy place to get to the local groove with a cooking class, an off-road adventure or a relaxing massage in one of the city’s many spas.
Da Nang (photo) in central Vietnam is an easy place to get to the local groove with a cooking class, an off-road adventure or a relaxing massage in one of the city’s many spas
The top 10 ‘Emerging destinations’
The ‘Emerging’ category recognizes destinations that are still ahead of the curve that smart travelers are already investigating.
TripAdvisor describes the list as a ‘great indicator for emerging hotspots’.
1. Kaliningrad, Russia
2. Saranda, Albania
3. Beirut, Lebanon
4. Luxor, Egypt
5. Naoussa, Greece
6. Rugen Island, Germany
7. Phu Quoc island, Vietnam
8. Monopoli, Italy
9. La Paz, Mexico
10. Curacao, the Caribbean
8. ZAKYNTHOS, GREECE
The Greek island of Zakynthos has maintained its reputation as one of the world’s most idyllic holiday destinations for decades.
Sitting in the middle of the Ionian Sea, the island has a quieter and more romantic atmosphere than many of its Greek counterparts with crystal clear water and beautiful scenery.
It is an island ‘tailor-made for serious relaxation’, according to reviewers on TripAdvisor.
Zakynthos (in the middle of the Ionian Sea) has a quieter and more romantic atmosphere than many of its Greek counterparts with crystal clear water and beautiful scenery
9. TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
From nightlife and history to food and the best world class beaches, Tel Aviv is a city with many talents and hidden attractions.
Widely praised as the number one party destination in the Middle East, the city on the Mediterranean coast of Israel is filled with white stone buildings, lively bars and some of the most respected museums in the world.
10. KRAKOW, POLAND
The historic city of Krakow in southern Poland enjoys a moment as one of Europe’s most popular weekend trips.
Surrounded by ancient walls, the city center is home to a beautiful Jewish neighborhood and a vast market square lifted right out of a fairy tale.
Krakow offers gourmet dining and good wine for a fraction of the cost of other major European cities.
A short drive takes you to historic sites such as the Wieliczka Salt Mine and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum.