It would be wise to make some space in your diary – because Time Out has revealed the 40 best things to do in the world in 2020.
The top spot goes to Nature Urbaine at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, the world’s biggest urban rooftop farm, opening this spring. It is followed by the long-awaited opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures coming to Los Angeles.
Here’s the ranking in full, from epic cities to visit to under-the-radar quirky gems.
1. Nature Urbaine at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles – Paris, France
A vast urban rooftop farm will open at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre, pictured
The biggest urban rooftop farm in the world will open this spring on the rooftop of Paris’s historic Porte de Versailles exhibition centre.
The social enterprise will host workshops and rent out land, as well as supply produce to a restaurant and bar run by the renowned Le Perchoir team, says Time Out.
2. Grand Egyptian Museum – Giza, Egypt
The Grand Egyptian Museum, pictured in May 2019, will be home to 100,000 artefacts, 50,000 of which will be on a rotating display
This colossal museum, says Time Out, is set to be the biggest museum in the world dedicated to a single civilisation.
Under construction since 2002, it will be home to 100,000 artefacts, 50,000 of which will be on a rotating display – including all 5,000 pieces of King Tutankhamun’s funerary treasure.
3. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures – Los Angeles, USA
The Academy – of Oscars fame – will finally open its museum dedicated to motion-picture history in 2020. Time Out says that guests will be able to see Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard Of Oz alongside Jack Nicholson’s corduroy jacket from The Shining, as well as a Hayao Miyazaki retrospective.
4. Edge – New York, USA
The high life: Visitors to Edge will be treated to panoramic views of New York City from a triangular platform at the top of the 20 Hudson Yards building
Edge, at 1,131ft in height, will be the tallest man-made viewing platform in the western hemisphere when it opens in March.
Visitors will be treated to panoramic views of New York City from a triangular platform at the top of the 20 Hudson Yards building.
5. Bassins de Lumières – Bordeaux, France
In April, Bassin de Lumières will turn an abandoned submarine base in Bordeaux into the largest digital art centre in the world, covering, says Time Out, a huge expanse of walls and water in immersive works from major artists.
6. Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition – Copenhagen, Denmark
From March 23 until October 3, says Time Out, Nick Cave fans – and those wanting to learn more about the rock star, writer and cultural icon – can explore 50 years’ worth of artwork, handwritten lyrics, literature, photos, videos and more at Copenhagen’s Royal Library.
7. Tacones Manoli – Madrid, Spain
This immersive theatre show, enthuses Time Out, takes place throughout 2020 in a three-storey palace in the city centre, where guests are given a white mask on arrival to become anonymous voyeurs of a mix of flamenco dance and guitars, extravagant costumes and imagery from the poetry of Federico García Lorca.
8. Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture – Galway, Ireland
Galway is this year hosting a year-long programme of music, workshops, exhibitions, theatre and much more
2020’s European Capital of Culture, Galway will embrace the theme of ‘Making Waves’ by hosting a year-long programme of music, workshops, exhibitions, theatre and much more, says Time Out, including a conversation with Margaret Atwood on International Women’s Day.
9. Arctic Bath Hotel – Lapland, Sweden
Arctic Bath will be a unique, luxury floating hotel and spa in the heart of Swedish Lapland on the Lule River, explains Time Out, with a focus on eco-conscious indulgence and bathing holes carved directly out of the frozen river in winter. Time Out adds: ‘Visitors can gaze at the Northern Lights, take a husky sledge tour, go ice fishing and much more when it opens later in January.’
10. Glastonbury Festival – Somerset, UK
Celebrating 50 years since the very first Glastonbury Festival, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Diana Ross are some of the headliners already announced, with a final release of returned tickets in April.
11. Torlonia Marbles exhibition – Rome, Italy
Dozens of statues and sarcophagi, hidden for decades, will go on display at the Capitoline Museum, pictured here in 2012
Nearly 100 marble statues, reliefs, and sarcophagi – dating from the fifth century BC to the fourth century AD – that have been hidden from public view for decades, says Time Out, will go on display at the Capitoline Museum from March 25 to January 2021.
12. Nyege Nyege Festival – Uganda
According to Time Out, this is ‘perhaps the best new festival of recent years’. Uganda’s Nyege Nyege – which translates as the uncontrollable urge to dance – takes over an abandoned hotel resort at the source of the River Nile in September, for ‘a truly progressive fusion of contemporary and traditional acts from across East Africa and beyond’.
13. Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser – London, UK
From June, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum will be home to a major immersive exhibition dedicated to Lewis Carroll’s Alice. Time Out says: ‘The most comprehensive Alice exhibition ever, this dive down the rabbit hole will uncover the books’ impact on film, theatre, ballet, fashion, art and beyond.’
14. Kanamara Matsuri – Kawasaki, Japan
At this year’s ‘Festival of the Steel Phallus’, Time Out promises there will be ‘plenty of Instagrammable moments’
Japan’s ‘Festival of the Steel Phallus’ takes place on April 5, and its origin is more serious than visitors might think, says Time Out, commemorating the sex workers who stopped through Kawasaki to ask for protection from STIs at the city’s main shrine. This year will see an extended English-language programme explaining the event, ‘with plenty of Instagrammable moments’.
15. National Museum of African American Music – Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Opening in summer 2020, Time Out says that this major new museum will explore the huge importance African American musicians have had on the sound of America.
16. Expo 2020 Dubai – Dubai, UAE
Kicking off on October 20, this huge, six-month event billed as the world’s greatest show is the modern-day equivalent of the World’s Fair, says Time Out, and the first time an Expo will be held in the Middle East, Africa or South Asia.
17. Glasgow International – Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Time Out says: ‘One of the fastest-rising and most respected young biennial visual art extravaganzas in the world, GI includes around 100 shows from April 24 until May 10.’
18. TeamLab SuperNature Macao – Macao
At The Venetian Macao from January 21 to the end of March, SuperNature is a typically immersive, ‘gram-worthy’ art experience from Japan’s teamLab collective.
19. Grace Jones’ Meltdown – London, UK
The annual Meltdown arts and culture festival at London’s Southbank Centre will this year, says Time Out, be curated by visionary singer-songwriter, actress and fashion icon Grace Jones. Taking place from June 12 to 21, the line-up is yet to be confirmed but will surely not disappoint with Jones at the helm, Time Out adds.
20. Rio: World Capital of Architecture 2020 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is the very first World Capital of Architecture in 2020
Rio de Janeiro has been chosen by Unesco to become the very first World Capital of Architecture in 2020, and will see architectural walking tours, the World Congress of Architects and more throughout the year, the guide explains.
21. Midnight Sun Film Festival – Sodankylä, Finland
This small town in the Arctic Circle celebrates cinema and 24-hour sunlight from June 10-14, with screenings throughout the day and night, the guide says.
22. MassArt Art Museum (MAAM) – Boston, USA
A new contemporary art destination opens on February 22 in Boston, the guide explains, offering free admission to make established and up-and-coming artists’ work accessible.
23. Lisbon: European Green Capital 2020 – Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is hosting a packed calendar of carbon-neutral celebrations during 2020
Lisbon’s commitment to eco-sustainability is being brought to life, Time Out says, with a packed calendar of events and carbon-neutral celebrations during 2020.
24. Ambiente Landscape Hotel, Sedona – Arizona, USA
North America’s first ‘landscape hotel’, a work of art and hospitality that virtually disappears into Sedona’s iconic red rocks, Time Out reveals.
25. The Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation Museum – Athens, Greece
This, Time Out says, is an 11-floor contemporary and classical art museum, recently opened in Athens to showcase the impressive collection of shipowner Basil Goulandris and his wife Elise.
26. James Turrell: Passages of Light at Museo Jumex – Mexico City
James Turrell’s career highlights are being showcased at Museo Jumex, pictured
Best known for his large-scale works filling whole rooms with colourful light, this exhibition showcases James Turrell’s career highlights and new projects, on display until March 29, reveals Time Out.
27. The Unconformity – Tasmania, Australia
A biennial celebration in October of contemporary arts where visitors are encouraged to look both backwards and forwards in time through music, visual arts and performance, according to Time Out.
28. The National Aquarium – Abu Dhabi, UAE
The largest aquarium in the Middle East will open by the end of 2020, with ethical conservation and education front-of-mind when sourcing the inhabitants, we’re told.
29. Reggae Sunsplash – Jamaica
The return of the ‘legendary’ 1970s Jamaica festival in November after a 14-year hiatus, celebrating today’s vibrant reggae scene and icons of the genre, Time Out says.
30. Master Musicians of Joujouka Festival – Joujouka, Morocco
A micro-festival from the Sufi trance musicians who pass their skills from generation to generation, and inspired Timothy Leary and Brian Jones in the ’60s, running from June 5-7, says Time Out.
31. ElBulli 1846 – Girona, Spain
Time Out says that following its 2011 closure, one of the most innovative restaurants in the world is back in February – this time as a centre of culinary research, rethinking gastronomy and exploring the future of food.
32. Area15 – Las Vegas, USA
An entertainment, retail, dining and art space anchored by interactive art collective Meow Wolf, featuring axe-throwing, a mixed-reality arcade, cocktails and more, says Time Out.
October in California sees the largest gathering of female motorcyclists in history, says Time Out, that’s ‘a celebration of friendship, discovery and adventure’.
33. NBA All-Star 2020 – Chicago, USA
In February, says Time Out, you can watch squads made up of the league’s superstars pitted against one another, either courtside or at one of many All-Star weekend parties around Chicago.
34. The Lume – Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne’s new digital art gallery is set to open in autumn 2020, reveals Time Out, with a local team bringing immersive art projections to a 2,000-square-metre space (21,527 square feet).
35. Babes Ride Out – California, USA
October sees the largest gathering of female motorcyclists in history, says Time Out, that’s ‘a celebration of friendship, discovery and adventure’.
36. Circle of Light – Moscow, Russia
The world’s greatest light designers and audiovisual art experts take over the city each September, says Time Out, covering the city’s biggest cultural landmarks, parks and rivers with projections and more.
37. La Paloma – Barcelona, Spain
The reopening of a century-old dancehall after 14 years, La Paloma is set to reclaim its place as ‘the quintessential Barcelona party hub’.
38. #futuretogether at Gardens By The Bay – Singapore
Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay nature park is hosting multi-sensory installations
Running from January 16 to March 31, the #futuretogether art exhibition will take over Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay nature park with multisensory installations and more, says Time Out.
39. Ultra Music Festival 2020 – Miami, Florida, USA
This three-day outdoor party (returning to its original home for 2020, March 20-22) blends live performances and DJ sets with eye-popping illuminated displays, enthuses Time Out.
40. Porthcawl Elvis Festival – Wales, UK
Porthcawl hosts a festival that celebrates all things Elvis
Attracting tens of thousands of revellers to the Welsh seaside town of Porthcawl in September, ‘this loveable eccentric festival celebrates all things Elvis with tribute acts galore’.
Read more about the 40 best things to do in the world in 2020 here: timeout.com/best-things-to-do-in-the-world and instagram.com/timeouteverywhere.