Let us first convince you why you should travel in your twenties:
- Because the urge to go on without a break diminishes when you’re older—you can stay awake for 38 hours at a stretch and still go back for more, hung over, to the new bar that was full the previous night.
- Because it doesn’t really matter what you’re wearing, you don’t feel awkward, or ‘too old for this’.
- You can admit to being broke or on a tight budget, and happily tag along with people who’ve punctured a year-old savings account for one trip.
This is the travel bucket list for the 20-something traveller:
In Portugal, you can have a bit of everything; history, mountains, beaches, nightlife, single men, single women, award-winning restaurants, lush vineyards—what have you. Let Lisbon acquaint you with the Fado bars in one of the oldest districts of the city-Alfama that spreads on a cobbled slope between the Tejo River and the Castle of Lisbon; the nightlife in Bairro Alto will keep you on its streets till early morning. Move to Algarve for a break; the gorgeous beaches with clear skies and crystal waters heal you from the hangover. And of course Porto, for the wine, is as famous. Visit the wine cellars on Ramos Pinto Avenue for wine tasting sessions—the most famous port wines are here and nowhere else.
From bachelor parties in Ibiza to sunbathing in Mallorca, football madness in Madrid to solo travellers in Barcelona, we have seen it all. The mecca of all things ‘party’, Spain’s social scene is synonymous with people-watching, and you must embark on it from the moment you arrive. The top five things to do are: a visit to the medieval architectural structures in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona; a visit to a bar or restaurant like the Corral de la Morería in Madrid where they have live flamenco shows, and shake a leg a la Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara; spend a few sleepless nights in Ibiza; a visit to one of the famous (and crazy) festivals in Spain: The Tomatina Festival is really a big deal, go to Bunol in Valencia on the last week of August and paint yourself red; and lastly, eat tapas, for free, and lots of it in Granada, served with your drink.
Any takers for the Mexican cuisine? For one thing, it’s received the UNESCO World Heritage Status some time back. For another, Mexico still is one of the most affordable destinations in the world. No burning holes in the 20-something pocket; justify the long travel time with a long holiday. Although it is known as one of the most dangerous cities in the world, if you’re careful, you’re fine, and the people are lovely. Mexico City is the most popular city, although the charm of the country lies in the archaeological sites of Merida, also known as the white city; pretty towns like San Miguel and the baroque architecture in Guanajuato; and the breathtaking resort town of Cabo San Lucas with heavenly beaches.
One word: Copenhagen. The crux of all young people, this city has an infectious vibe that sticks long after you’ve left. Liberal and friendly, it’s easy to walk into a bar late at night and see the music loud—the party has just begun. Visit around May, the summer has just set in, and the young lot in this Scandinavian country is dying to be outdoors. There are classy bars, casual restaurants, the beer is huge (a visit to the Carlsberg factory is in order), AND you will be applauded for hopping bars! You must also know; this city is the only one in the world with more than 100 years of bike culture—rent a bike and visit all the historical spots-the Old Stock Exchange (Borsen), Fredriksborg Slot, and the Christiansborg Palace. If you are a history enthusiast, visit Hamlet’s Castle or Kronborg Castle.
How magical is Turkey? Hammams, whirling dervishes, baklava, Turkish tea, spice bazaar, the prayer calls at mosques; are you there yet? The first thing you notice is the cultural mix of people in Istanbul, your first obvious choice. Hip and happening, this is a transcontinental city with a mix of Asian and European locals, and a visible mass of tourists, making it a global destination with lots of things to do. Explore the Jewish history of the city in the Galata and Balat quarters; the Jews have lived here for centuries, but the influx of Jews from Spain during the Ottoman Empire in the late 15th century gave way to a marvellous culture, buildings of historical importance.
You are in the land of the tango! Buenos Aires is the place to start testing your dancing skills. Discover the hidden tango milongas with Narrative Tango Tours, get tickets to exclusive shows, historic tango tours, and tango classes if you are willing to go that extra mile. Between September and November is the ideal time to visit because it’s spring, but if you want to catch one of the last advancing glaciers in the world, arrive earlier at Glacier Perito Moreno, for an amazing experience on ice. Trekkers will eventually find themselves sweating it out in the Andes, while adventurists (mountain biking, paragliding, hiking on pretty trails), history lovers (colonial buildings, museums, Trejo House, Cabildo), and night crawlers (theatre, nightclubs, cuarteto) will land up in Córdoba.