Oaxaca Tops Cultural Destination Wishlist for 2019, As New Data Reveals the Trending Cities for Next Year

London (December 12, 2018) — As we start looking ahead to the New Year, new data has been released revealing where Brits will (and should) be jetting off to in 2019.

Culture Trip, a global start-up operating in travel, media and entertainment, has released its inaugural Culture Trip Wishlist – Destinations 2019 – a ranking of the 12 cities global travellers must visit next year. Culture Trip has pinpointed the hottest cultural destinations to visit in 2019 based on search data and global contributor expertise and provided tips for travellers while they’re there.

Topping the rankings in 2019 will be Oaxaca City, Mexico – with its sensational cuisine, amazing archaeological sites and a rich tradition of handwoven crafts. Culture Trip recommends Oaxaca City’s contemporary art museum, MACO, showcasing an intriguing curation of Mexican art housed in an impressive old colonial building.

Other cities which make the list include Porto, Portugal; Austin, USA; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Lima, Peru and Wellington, New Zealand.

Owen Pritchard, Editorial Director at Culture Trip, said: “With so many places to explore around the world – and the abundant, if unorganised, streams of inspiration on social media – it’s sometimes hard to decide where to go next. We wanted to see what we could do to help anyone looking for memorable cultural experiences or choosing a destination in 2019.

“Through examining our own data, we were able to identify the destinations that have seen the biggest growth in interest from our millennial audience. We then surveyed our community of 300 local creators, who are based in cities across the globe, and determined the 12 cities that make up the Culture Trip Wishlist – Destinations 2019.

“At Culture Trip, we inspire people to go beyond their cultural boundaries and connect with the world around them. Our own Wishlist feature allows visitors to Culture Trip to bookmark the stories and places that most excite them. We hope our list moves people to explore more of the world in 2019.”

Culture Trip Wishlist – Destinations 2019

12) Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington has become a travel buzzword this year. The start-up scene is thriving here thanks to the LookSee Wellington programme launched last year, which offers 100 tech workers a free week-long trip to the Kiwi capital as long as they agree to pre-arranged job interviews while there. Like many cities on the beach, the weather is mild throughout the year. Casual vibes and friendly people make this a great spot to relax and recharge. The hidden gem is the food scene, which comes to life every August during the annual Wellington On a Plate food fest.

If you do one thing in Wellington, make sure you hike or cycle the Wellington town belt up to the summit of Mount Victoria. You’ll get a great view and a great workout.

Culture Trip saw a 169% year on year increase in organic views* for Wellington.

11) Bogota, Colombia
With memories of a troubled past continuing to fade, 2019 is the ideal time to visit the Colombian capital. It’s one of South America’s most lively and vibrant cities – an exhilarating convergence of art, culture, fashion and food. from the Botero Museum, dedicated to Bogota-born sculptor and painter Fernando Botero, to the picturesque historic centre of La Candelaria. Fresh juices and world-renowned Colombian coffee are on offer across the city. And if you take to the streets on Sundays, when a major network of the city’s roads is closed to cars, you can walk, cycle or run in the utmost peace.

If you do one thing in Bogota, make sure you take the funicular up Cerro Monserrate for the best views of the city.

Culture Trip saw a 240% year on year increase in organic views for Bogota.

10) Marrakech, Morocco
A melting pot for North African art and culture, Marrakech is a rising star. The launch of Oasis music festival in 2014 – a showcase of local and international musicians – followed by and the opening of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum three years later added welcome variety to the city’s travel offering. Good weather is guaranteed in Autumn and Spring, incredible food and impressive shopping in both the local souk and sophisticated international retail. The city’s historic centre, the Medina, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but its colourful assortment of markets and street life means it is far from a museum.

If you do one thing in Marrakech, make sure you stroll through the picturesque Majorelle Gardens created by French Orientalist artist, Jacques Majorelle in 1923.

Culture Trip saw a 155% year on year increase in organic views for Marrakech.

9) Budapest, Hungary
Budapest’s layered history is revealed by its architecture with Art Nouveau, Gothic, Renaissance, Classicist and Baroque styles all jostling for your attention. Though well-known for its thermal baths, there is a burgeoning food scene covering everything from classic Hungarian comfort food to Michelin Star gastronomy. After dinner, head to one of the popular ‘ruin bars,’ where you can swig tempting cocktails surrounded by charmingly dilapidated buildings. And with the picturesque Buda hills just a quick journey on public transport away, you can take in nature almost as easily as the big city.

If you do one thing in Budapest, make sure you spend some time luxuriating in a temperate outdoor pool enriched with minerals at one of the city’s many spas.

Culture Trip saw a 143% year on year increase in organic views for Budapest.

8) Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul has seen a resurgence in tourism since 2016 means there is no time like the present to visit this 2,500 year old city. Istanbul has been the capital of four empires throughout its history – the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman – and the remnants of their unique impact on the city are visible to this day. The Grand Bazaar is an assault on the senses, but the cultural highlight this year is the Istanbul Art Biennale 2019, which takes place across the city from September to November. Curator Nicola Bourriaud promises to explore the city’s unique position as a bridge between the Eastern and Western worlds.  

If you do one thing in Istanbul, make sure you take a boat trip across the Bosphorus strait, which not only connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean, but also splits Istanbul between two continents, Europe and Asia.

Culture Trip saw a 272% year on year increase in organic views for Istanbul.

7) Tokyo, Japan
With this year’s Rugby World Cup kicking off from September plus the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics fast approaching, 2019 is the year to visit this incredible city. Over 200 Michelin starred restaurants grace the bustling Japanese metropolis – more than 10 times the number of Paris – and foodies will delight in culinary specialities from the more traditional sushi, ramen and tempura to Tokyo’s famed pizza. Experience the world’s most impressive public transportation thanks to the city’s 13 subway lines and more than 100 surface routes. Take in the fashion and feel the pulse of one of the world’s fastest-paced spots.

If you do one thing in Tokyo, make sure you check out the city’s neon lights in Shinjuku as dusk falls.

Culture Trip saw a 93% year on year increase in organic views for Tokyo.

6) Lima, Peru
Once a stopover on the trail to Machu Picchu, travellers would be remiss not to spend quality time in the Peruvian capital in 2019. As the unofficial gastronomic capital of South America, you’ll struggle to find better food than in Lima, from world class-ceviche to sweet and crispy street churros. This is a place where you can surf the waves in the morning, view breathtaking pre-Columbian art at Museo Larco before lunch, luxuriate in an affordable afternoon Pisco tasting and spend an unforgettable night out on the town deep into the early hours.  

If you do one thing in Lima, make sure you sample Javier Wong’s ceviche at his tiny restaurant Chez Wong, reservations required.

Culture Trip saw a 224% year on year increase in organic views for Lima.

5) Cape Town, South Africa
Laid back Cape Town has a well-deserved reputation as a producer of world class wine. However, the city has upped its cultural credentials with the recent opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA). Formerly a grain silo, Zeitz MOCAA houses the largest collection of African art in the world, plus there is a hotel on the upper floors overlooking the bay and beyond. As winter starts to wear on those in Europe and North America, Cape Town bathes in warm sunlight until late evening, which makes exploring the landscape or newly developed V&A Waterfront all the more appealing.

If you do one thing in Cape Town, make sure you head up the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway at sunset. Bring your own local wine and bask in one of the best sunsets in the world.

Culture Trip saw a 101% year on year increase in organic views for Cape Town.

4) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
A truly affordable city with a buzzing cultural scene to match, Ho Chi Minh City is the perfect place for millennial travel this coming year. A booming economy has brought a roaring energy to the city palpable as soon as you leave the airport. And that energy will increase as soon as you try the coffee. Order a cà phê đá, aka Vietnamese iced coffee, for a jolt of caffeine and sugar like no other. Then hit the pavement for incredible street food and impressive displays of public art as you meander the neighbourhoods and hidden alleyways this city is known for.

If you do one thing in Ho Chi Minh City, make sure you visit Lang Ong Ba Chieu. Dating back to the city’s early history, this little-known temple near Lang Ong market will take you back in time.

Culture Trip saw a 140% year on year increase in organic views for Ho Chi Minh City.

3) Austin, USA
There’s a reason the Texas city of Austin doubled its population between 2000 and 2010, and it’s not just the warm winters or brilliant barbecue. A hotspot for music, food and tech, this creative hub is growing by the minute and is one of the top cities in the world for entrepreneurs. Boasting the accolade of live music capital of the world, this sunny-all-year-round city hosts an endless stream of musicians across festivals – hello South by Southwest – and a plethora of live venues from dive bars to concert halls. When it comes to dining in Austin, barbecue and Tex Mex reign supreme. Austinites are serious about their grub, though, so if you’re hitting a hotspot like Franklin Barbecue expect to be waiting in line for a long while.

If you do one thing in Austin, make sure to head to Allens Boots for the ultimate selection in cowboy boots and then show off your purchase while dancing to honky tonk and bluegrass bands at The White Horse.

Culture Trip saw a 330% year on year increase in organic views for Austin.

2) Porto, Portugal
If 2018 was the year for Lisbon, this year it’s all about Porto. Portugal’s second largest city, this seaside paradise is a must-visit for those obsessed with food and design. Vineyards to the north mean splendid local wine flows like water. Sip a glass or two alongside a meal of locally caught seafood cooked in a cataplana, the traditional copper cookware, before heading out shopping. When it comes to art and design, Porto offers everything from traditional textiles to contemporary concepts so there’s no better place to find home decor inspiration. Walking around town is like visiting a free museum with stunning murals and street art around ever cobbled corner. This is reputed to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s children’s book Harry Potter so bear that in mind when you visit the Lello Bookstore or the Art Deco Cafe Majestic, where the author worked on the first book.

If you do one thing in Porto, make sure you try the local delicacy, port wine. Made exclusively in the nearby Douro Valley, try the sweet dessert wine at one of the many tasting tours held in the city’s wine cellars and bars.

Culture Trip saw a 150% year on year increase in organic views for Porto.

1) Oaxaca City, Mexico
Taking our cultural crown for 2019 is Oaxaca City, birthplace of Mezcal and capital of the diverse state in Mexico. Unlike Spring Break favourites Acapulco and Cabo, the capital of Mexico’s southwestern state of Oaxaca offers a truly authentic experience from the flavours to the festivals. 17 languages including Spanish are still spoken in the region.

Known as the ‘land of the seven moles’ due to the rich and complex sauces its cuisine is famous for, this city will fire up your taste buds as much as your other senses. Locally made ceramics, embroidery and hand-woven rugs are just a few of the handicrafts you can find here and it’s likely you will come upon indigenous people in colourful, local dress as you stroll the city’s picturesque plazas. Historical treasures abound as well – Pre-Columbian times saw Oaxaca ruled from atop Monte Albán and there are well-preserved archaeological, including pyramids and ball courts, that deserve a visit. With temperate weather all year round, there is no bad time in 2019 to visit this gem of a city. If you really want an experience you won’t forget, come for the Dia de Los Muertos festival on 2 November.

If you do one thing in Oaxaca City, make sure you visit MACO, the contemporary art museum. Showcasing an enchanting curation of contemporary Mexican art, the old colonial building its housed in is worth a visit in and of itself. There’s also a great outdoor market on the same street.

Culture Trip saw a 171% year on year increase in organic views for Oaxaca City.