Travel insights from Jenna Buege, contributing editor of The Compass

3 Hot Cities to Watch in 2019

We know 2018 was all about U.S. travel with New Orleans and Chicago as two of the most popular stateside cities to visit. So, which destinations are ones to watch for 2019? Here are three of VAX’s top picks.

Berlin, Germany

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the city of Berlin is thriving. Bursting at the seams with rich history, iconic nightlife and amazing food, this German metropolis deserves to be near the top of every traveler’s bucket list. And 2019 is an especially epic year for the city’s art scene, as a handful of new exhibits and performances are to be released in celebration of the Bauhaus, an old school for applied arts, design, architecture and educational methods. The opening night of the celebration will be hosted by the Akademie der Kunste and will feature a pop-up nightclub, theatrical performances and lectures.

In addition to this exciting celebration, the Humboldt Forum, aka the Berlin Palace, is set to reopen in late 2019 after years of reconstruction. This historic building is located in the heart of Berlin and once acted as a royal and imperial palace that was home to the Electors of Brandenburg, the Kings of Prussia and the German Emperors. Demolished in the 1950s, the building is set to reopen as a museum for art and cultural treasures with the intention of “creating a venue for culture and dialogue that spans the globe.”

Panama City, Panama

Panama City’s Colonial quarter, Casco Viejo, has undergone some major renovations since being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Once a less-than-desirable travel destination, Casco Viejo is now home to charming Spanish-style homes, festive cobblestone streets and fabulous boutique bars and restaurants. Panama City has quickly become a foodie’s paradise with the opening of trendy cocktail bar, Strangers Club, offering local beverages such as the diablico sucio, a mint and mezcal cocktail with pureed mango, agave nectar and lime juice. Another culinary newbie on the scene is Laboratorio Madrigal, a restaurant owned by Michelin-starred chef Andres Madrigal, serving a decadent seven-course tasting menu.

Beyond food, travelers will love exploring Panama City’s vibrant plazas, weathered ruins and buzzing villas.

Winnipeg, Canada

One of the largest cities in Canada, Winnipeg is jam-packed with culture and fun. Travelers can explore the historic The Forks warehouses which have been altered to house some of the city’s best shops, restaurants and outdoor spaces for festivals and concerts. Those visiting The Forks during winter can participate in their famous snow sculpting sessions every Sunday or break it down at the Arctic Glacier Winter Park “Soul on Ice” where the skating rink is transformed into a dance floor as DJs spin everyone’s favorite tunes.

Winnipeg is also home to the ultra-popular Museum for Human Rights where visitors can learn about the evolution, celebration and future of human rights.

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