There are almost 200 countries in the world which makes choosing where to go an important decision. With that in mind, Sarah Marshall looks at the top travel trends for 2019


Warrington Guardian:

Ten years after a violent civil war was finally put to rest, this teardrop-shaped Indian Ocean island is now one of the most sought-after travel destinations.

Lonely Planet named Sri Lanka the number one destination to visit in 2019, largely on the basis of its ‘mix of religions and cultures, timeless temples, rich and accessible wildlife, growing surf scene and its people’.

Port city Trincomalee has some excellent opportunities for whale watching, and provides a quieter alternative to overloaded Mirissa in the south. Arugam Bay, meanwhile, has a laid-back surf scene and claims to receive some of Asia’s best waves.

Inland, tea tourism is gathering pace, while wildlife fans are heading to Yala for leopard sightings and Minneriya National Park for large elephant herds.


Boasting 54 Unesco World Heritage Sites, more than anywhere else in the world, Italy is a magnet for anyone keen on culture. A master of both the arts and science, Leonardo da Vinci was the archetypal Renaissance man, so the 500th anniversary of his death on May 2, 2019, has spawned a year’s worth of celebrations and exhibitions.

From April 19 to July 14, the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice will launch a new exhibition dedicated to the great polymath, displaying one of his most iconic drawings, the Vitruvian Man.

Meanwhile in Florence, the Museo Galileo’s exhibition Leonardo Da Vinci: Anatomies: Machines, Human Body, Nature (April 21 to October 7) looks at his studies of the human body, which he regarded as a sophisticated mechanical device. The master’s most famous work, The Last Supper, hangs in the refectory of Milan’s Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, although to see it you’ll need to buy tickets in advance.


Warrington Guardian:

A city of mountains rising from the Atlantic Ocean, Rio de Janeiro has an irresistibly romantic allure. The 2016 Olympics gave the destination plenty of worldwide airtime, and now a new budget flight route means the South American party-hub is within more peoples’ reach.

On March 31, Norwegian will begin a direct service to Rio, following the success of their Buenos Aires route, which launched last February.

Seeing the city from above is definitely a highlight – climb to the top of the Christ the Redeemer statue or take a cable car over to the tip of the Sugarloaf Mountain. Spending time on Rio’s sandy bays is the best way to integrate with local life. Copacabana is busy and boisterous, while Ipanema and Leblon are classier and quieter.

For a taste of Rio’s past, head to the gabled mansions climbing the hillside in Santa Teresa. A cherished part of the community since 1877, the canary-yellow Bondinho de Santa Teresa tram car operates journeys into downtown.


Warrington Guardian:

Japan is on its marks to get set for two major sporting events, with televised scenes of the country’s snow-crested mountains and neon-lit cities very likely to tempt visitors.

On September 20, the Rugby World Cup will kick off for the first time in Asia when over six weeks 48 matches will be played at 12 venues nationwide.

Whetting an appetite for competition, the tournaments will no doubt set a healthy precedent for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. In anticipation of growing demand for the destination, British Airways will launch a new direct flight from London to Osaka in April. Be sure to visit the 16th century Osaka Castle. It is a fairytale stack of sloped roofs surrounded by cherry trees.


A symbol of strength and authority in Europe, it’s easy to forget Germany was once divided – 2019 marks 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, a physical and metaphorical barrier between east and west, in place since 1961. Memories of the past are still preserved in Berlin: Former squats in Mitte and Friedrichshain are now bars and restaurants, the East Side Gallery is a section of the wall left standing and converted into an open-air art display.

But commemorations will also be taking place in eastern city, Leipzig. On October 9, 1989 – a month prior to the fall of the wall – more than 70,000 people joined a non-violent protest, which many believe had an impact on events in Berlin. The monumental march is now celebrated annually with a Festival of Lights.