Galar region in Pokemon Sword and Shield
Photo: The Pokemon Company

The best places to visit in 2020

Pack your consoles – there are still places safe to 'travel' to, from the Galar region to Niwen and Hyrule

Kit Kriewaldt
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Kit Kriewaldt
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With so many flights cancelled and most of us doing our best to stay home during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, now might seem like the worst time to travel. On the other hand, being stuck inside gives you plenty of time to plan your next getaway. So we’ve rounded up a list of the places you can and should visit anytime – and they are 100 percent safe.

Recommended: the best things to do when you're stuck at home

You have to see these places

The Galar Region
Photo: The Pokémon Company

The Galar Region

Famous for its historic buildings and unique flora and fauna, the Galar region is a must-see destination. Take a short trip to the capital, Wyndon, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time – the big wheel and steam-based transportation are a treat for any fan of Victorian London. In fact, many visitors say they feel like Galar is a cultural cross between England and Japan – the architecture might be British, but the shops have a distinctly Japanese flair.

Don’t miss: Be sure to explore the Wild Area thoroughly, and don’t get distracted by the glowing mushrooms in Glimwood Tangle! Those who’ve visited Galar before can look forward to the upcoming transport connection to the nearby Isle of Armor.

Getting there: A copy of 'Pokémon Sword' or 'Shield' and a Nintendo Switch are all you need to visit Galar.

Yongen-jaya
Photo: VideoGamesSource/YouTube

Yongen-jaya

One of Tokyo’s most underrated neighbourhoods, Yongen-jaya is just a few stops west of Shibuya. Despite its prime location, the area has avoided gentrification, retaining a distinctly retro vibe reminiscent of 1970s Japan. This little slice of mid-century Tokyo in the modern day has old-school kissaten coffee shops, bars, second-hand stores and even an indoor batting cage tucked away in its twisting alleyways. Some say Yongen-jaya is a lot like Sangenjaya, but we know where we’d rather visit right now.

Don’t miss: Stop in for coffee and a plate of owner Sojiro Sakura’s famous curry at Café Leblanc – you never know who you might meet there.

Getting there: To see Yongen-jaya, just grab a copy of 'Persona 5' for PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4.

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Niwen
Photo: Moon Studios

Niwen

This heavily wooded region is dark but beautiful, with plenty of forests and valleys to explore. Ever since the large Spirit Willow in the forest died, locals say Niwen has started to decay. Don’t let that put you off, though – Niwen still has lots to see, whether you’re hiking through the dusky Inkwater Marsh or making new friends in the town of Wellspring Glades. Just don’t linger too long in the Silent Woods; not everyone who goes in manages to come out again.

Don’t miss: No visit to Niwen is complete until you’ve gone for a dip in the colourful and mysterious Luma Pools. 

Getting there: When you want to visit Niwen, all you need is a copy of 'Ori and the Will of the Wisps' for PC or Xbox One.

Hyrule
Photo: Nintendo

Hyrule

The kingdom of Hyrule is majestic and vast, but don’t let the distances get you down – just riding from one place to another is a feast for the senses. Whether you’re doing some shopping in Kakariko Village or getting lost amongst the misty trees in Great Hyrule Forest, there’s an atmosphere of magic and adventure everywhere. Keep an eye out for the famous Divine Beasts that serve as the traditional guardians of Hyrule – apparently they haven’t been seen in quite some time.

Don’t miss: The snowy peak of Mt Lanayru is a difficult but rewarding climb. Bring your paraglider and a shield for an unforgettable trip back down.

Getting there: 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild' for Nintendo Switch is your ticket to Hyrule.

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Lemoyne
Photo: VideoGamesSource/YouTube

Lemoyne

If you’ve ever longed to return to a simpler time when cities were dwarfed by the environment around them, then take a trip to the great state of Lemoyne. In this mostly untouched piece of the Old American West, you can spend days wandering through lush forests and muggy bayous, sometimes without seeing another soul. When you get the urge to rejoin civilisation, stop by the port city of Saint Denis and soak up some of the French-inflected local culture.

Don’t miss: Play a hand of poker or two at the Saint Denis saloon, but be sure you know how to handle a six-shooter – just in case. Rumour has it there’s a backroom poker game hosted somewhere else in town, too…

Getting there: To get to Lemoyne, you’ll need a copy of 'Red Dead Redemption 2' on PC, Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

More to explore while staying home

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