Known for its stunning year-round sunshine, Brisbane is nothing short of a paradise. It’s a great place to travel to for many of it’s own reasons, but also because it makes for a great base point if you wish to explore nearby attractions. The attractive beaches of Brisbane are a big enough draw if you’re a sand lover, with a selection of beautiful beaches to sink your toes into.
Can’t decide where to visit first? We’ve listed 10 of our top tourist attractions in and nearby Brisbane so you can start planning your travel itinerary, today. Getting in touch with us is easier than ever. Call at 0207 612 0500 and connect with our travel experts for a hassle-free booking.
If you’re an animal lover, take a trip to see the Koalas at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. You can have a cuddle with a friendly koala alongside taking pictures with (less cuddle-y) snakes and other animals that are well kept in the sanctuary. Other popular attractions include platypus feeding and admiring other local animals such as kangaroos, wallabies, dingoes and more.
Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha is considered as one of the most amazing places to visit in Brisbane due to the panoramic views you can get from here. It’s 7 kilometres away from the city and expands over 128 acres, where you can discover cactus and bamboo plants, plus the enchanting Japanese gardens. Walking tracks are available throughout the area with free guided walks and also a minibus tour to make exploration easy. There is also a restaurant on-site explorers can indulge in local and international cuisine.
Being modelled and reopened in 2013, this museum reveals the rich history of Brisbane and its people. The collection comprises of more than 5000 pieces of art from local and contemporary artists, displayed proudly for public viewing. It’s located on the top floor of the City Hall, which adds to the experience thanks to its brilliant views over the city.
South Bank is a lively area that’s loved by locals and tourists alike, peppered with atmospheric plazas, special hosted events and diverse restaurants to indulge in. Swimming in the man-made lagoon is one of the top things to do in Brisbane on a hot sunny day to cool off, but you can also go biking or for a leisurely stroll here. The Wheel of Brisbane is a popular landmark in South Bank, which opened in 2008.
There are three bridges in the world like the one in Brisbane, also known as Story Bridge, situated in Sydney and Auckland. If you like to explore on foot and soak up spectacular views, this is the experience for you – lasting approximately two hours you’ll be able to roam 80 meters above the level of Brisbane River. The climb is suitable for all fitness levels and ages 10 or above.
You can’t travel to Brisbane without visiting this vibrant neighbourhood and its Farmers Market. Quirkiness is in abundance in the West End, sprinkled with chic coffee houses and vintage shops, making it a great option for some budget-worthy browsing. Better still, its famous for its West End Fire Festival, where you can witness amazing night shows and circus acts for an evening of entertainment.
7. Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Walk to the left of the Brisbane River and you’ll discover Kangaroo Point, which consists of a set of cliffs. Live like the locals do, grab your walking boots and visit this landmark to climb the cliffs (with an instructor too, if you wish) – or if you prefer two feet on the ground, why not take a picnic to enjoy amid the beautiful surroundings?
8. River Cruise
Discover Brisbane in a whole new light when you go on a leisurely river cruise with City Cats or City Ferries. There are different hop-on and hop-off terminals, which can be used for visiting other areas at your own pace. Aside from the beautiful setting, you can also soak up sights of historical landmarks along the way.
9. Eat Street Market
If you can’t decide where to eat next, head to the world-famous Eat Street Market. Foodies will be in their element, as there are no less than 70 food stalls here, each serving up a variety of delicious international delicacies to sample. You can find every kind of food here, from vegan dishes to meat eateries, so the options are endless!
10. Byron Bay
There are many destinations not too far from Brisbane to visit on a day tour, however, Byron Bay is undoubtedly the most famous of all. Be ready for live music, an awesome atmosphere and some spectacular waves – making it nothing less than a paradise. Rent a car and enjoy the outskirts of the city while you’re en route, it’s a great way to discover the area’s natural beauty.
Soak up the fantastic year-round weather and take advantage of both the laid-back and lively vibes available in Brisbane. Crystal Travel provides cheap flights to Brisbane for your next sun-kissed escape, with flights to Brisbane available from all major airports. Call our travel experts today and don’t miss out on our latest deals.
The world might be going through a difficult time right now but it is important to hold on to hope in the face of chaos and uncertainty. We know all you want is to escape to some far off place. Life is too short to be living badly. Keep dreaming about that perfect beach holiday or jungle adventure you’ve always wanted to go. This too will pass and the world will be yours to explore. We hope that our blogs offer an escape from everything and keep you inspired. We’re here for you when you’re ready to travel the world again.
Fun & Adventure in New Zealand
From glaciers to beaches, world-class cities to calm landscape, whale-watching to wine-tasting, New Zealand has so much to keep you engaged. It proudly nurtures its native Māori culture and exhibits a rich history with the potential to outrun the world’s pace.
An entire continent in itself, Australia is unexpected with iconic cityscapes, marine wildlife and the world’s oldest cultures. The magical beauty of the country isn’t limited to natural paradises but also include manmade wonders like Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, St. Pauls Cathedral, Victoria Harbour and Story Bridge.
Sri Lanka: A Beach Lover’s Paradise with a Vibrant Culture
With endless beaches, magnificent temples and welcoming people, Sri Lanka is irresistible and waiting to be discovered. The religion has been a vital part of the culture and history of the island nation and that is why several Buddhist temples are found throughout the country. Read all about it here.
Dubai is set to be the first country in the Middle East to host a World Expo event. Starting in October 2020, this will be a celebration of human brilliance, innovation and achievement. A total of 192 countries will be participating and millions of visitors from across the globe are expected to descend on the UAE for this event. It will be your chance to experience the best of art, culture, technology and invention from different corners of the world and set in motion new thoughts and ideas that will impact our lives in the coming years. Every major city across the globe can be easily reached from Dubai, making it a major hub and the perfect hosting nation for the Expo 2020. Dubai will be putting on quite the show, come at the end of 2020. There are three main sub-themes to the event: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. Dubai expo 2020 will commence on 20th October 2020 and will end on 10th April 2021. Here is everything you need to know about the Dubai Expo 2020.
Expo 2020 Dubai is a world fair or mega international event to showcase and explore the ideas and achievements of nations all around the world. It is a platform where people from every corner of the world come together, connect and share ideas, learn and innovate. A festival is a mega event in terms of size, scale and visitors, promoting progress and innovation. It is also a place where you can come, learn and have fun. Dubai Expo 2020 is the first World Expo to be hosted by an Arab nation and first ever to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
The Expo 2020 site is located in Dubai South, close to Al Maktoum International Airport. It is spread over 4.38 square kilometres of area and has four main entrances. Dubai South holds numerous high-profile exhibitions and events, but Dubai Expo 2020, undoubtedly will be its crowning glory. The Dubai Metro route 2020 will be transferring 46,000 passengers per hour to and from the Expo site in under 16 minutes from Dubai Marina.
There will be a variety of things to dazzle you, from music, technology and architecture to gastronomy and entertainment. Get to know Rashid and Latifa, the Expo 2020 Dubai mascots as they embark on an exciting new journey led by Salama the Ghaf tree. A day is not enough to discover the magic of the largest event ever held in the Arab world. This will be a journey where you’ll get to visit 192 different countries and learn all about their history and culture.
Start your day at the Al Wasl Plaza and admire the artwork and interactive installations from local and international artists. You’ll find cutting-edge architecture at every turn including the world’s biggest 360-degree projection surface on the steel dome and the all-natural Opportunity Pavilion made from 2,500 tonnes of stone and 111 km of rope. Enjoy live shows, from operas to pop-up theatres, flash mobs to sports events and enough to make you keep coming back here. For tech enthusiasts, there is a whole new world waiting with autonomous vehicles, robotics, augmented reality and space explorations.
If you’ve seen enough of the Expo 2020 from the ground, get a bird’s eye view of the place from the top of the rotating observation tower. You’ll find Arab-style vistas throughout the site with desert scenes, palm groves, jasmine trees and wadi figs. When tired of all the explorations, sit under the shaded canopies of the Ghaf tree, which is also the national tree of the UAE.
There are over 200-plus ways to treat your taste buds at the Expo 2020 with food offerings from Dubai and the 190 participating nations, joining this global mega event. Taste dishes from every corner of the world with a variety of options – from street food, haute cuisine and family-friendly meals to sustainable dining and unique culinary dishes prepared from locally-sourced produce that promotes wellness.
You can expect to see the food of all shapes and sizes with cultural influences from around the planet, suiting different budgets. There will be over 200 different restaurants celebrating more than 50 different cuisines from every part of the world.
Yes, you can take children to the Expo site. There are two parks – Al Forsan and Jubilee – where children can play.
How to Buy Tickets for Expo 2020?
Tickets will go on sale in April 2020 and you can buy tickets through the Expo 2020 website and at the Expo 2020 gates during the event. However, monthly and season passes are available right now. So if you’re planning to visit Dubai during the Expo 2020, you can easily buy your passes from the website.
How Much are the Tickets?
To access this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you’ll have to shell out Dh120 (USD 33) for a single-day entry ticket, whereas a three-day pass is priced at Dh260 (USD 71) and can be used on any three days during the 173 days of the Expo.
Children under the age of five and seniors over 65 years have free access to the Expo. Youngsters from 6 to 17 years of age and students of any age will receive a 50 per cent discount on the ticket. People of determination or those with special needs will be granted complimentary access, with their carers entering for half price.
Where to Stay for the World Exhibition in Dubai?
It’s a good idea to stay in a hotel that is close to a metro station if you are visiting Dubai during Expo 2020 so that you can directly access the Expo 2020 Pavilion using the metro. This 6-month mega event will be from October 20, 2020, till 10 April 2021, and over 25 million visitors are expected to visit. There are more than 200 international participants, including 190 nations, businesses, non-government organisations and educational institutions. It is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity where you’ll get to witness the most exciting technology projects and innovations that are happening around the world. The theme of Expo 2020 is “connecting minds, creating the future” and it will attract some of the smartest minds in the world to Dubai. It would be a good idea to have long term accommodation and rent an apartment in Dubai during this period to take full advantage of the Expo 2020.
Is There Any Dress Code for Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai?
There is no dress code for visitors. Any light, casual and comfortable clothing keeping in mind the sunny weather of the UAE is good. However, you might need slightly warmer clothes such as a jumper during the winter in December and January, or in a place of powerful air conditioning (for example, a cinema or a hotel lobby). Avoid revealing clothes when out in public especially in family-friendly environments such as malls and restaurants and cover your head when you enter a place of worship. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
Buddhism is a major religion in Sri Lanka and approximately 70 per cent of its population practices Theravada Buddhism. The religion has been a vital part of the culture and history of the island nation and that is why several Buddhist temples are found throughout the country. Here, we focus on 10 must-see Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka that speaks about the country’s rich culture and heritage.
1. Dambulla Cave Temple, Dambulla
The Dambulla Cave Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring more than 80 caves in one location is a good preserve and the biggest temple complex in Sri Lanka. It is also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla. Numerous murals, carvings, statues and paintings depicting the life of Buddha are spread across the five caves. It is estimated that the entire temple complex contains 153 Buddha statues and murals.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this temple is fromJanuary to April.
How to Reach: Board a flight to Colombo and from there, take a train to Habarana and finally hop on a cab to Dambulla.
2. Pidurangala Royal Cave Temple, Pidurangala Village, Matale District
The Pidurangala Royal Cave Temple gets its name from the massive rock named Pidurangala, on which the temple is built. It is an ancient temple in Sri Lanka constructed by King Kashyapa for Buddhist Bhikkus for meditation purposes. Besides, the surrounding scenic views of this ancient Buddhist temple make for a great escape. Due to this, the region is also famous amongst hikers and nature enthusiasts.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this temple is from May to September.
How to Reach: Take a flight to Colombo and from there, board a train to Sigiriya. Stay in Sigiriya and from there you can hire a tuk-tuk to reach Pidurangala Vihara.
Mihintale Temple is said to be the place where a Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa met and announced the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The temple has now become a major Buddhist pilgrimage site featuring numerous religious monuments and abandoned structures. Buddhist devotees and tourists from across the world visit this ancient structure. Like most of the Buddhist temples across Sri Lanka, this temple is also a great amalgamation of history and beautiful nature. It is one of the most famous temples in Sri Lanka.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this temple is from April to September.
How to Reach: Take a flight to Colombo, then again a flight to Anuradhapura. The temple is easily accessed from Anuradhapura by hiring a tuk-tuk.
4. Sri Dalada Maligawa (The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relics), Kandy
Sri Dalada Maligawa temple also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is situated in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. The temple is said to contain a tooth of non-other than the Buddha himself. Kandy was also the last capital of the Sinhalese kingdom and is listed into the UNESCO world heritage site, partly because of the presence of the temple. It is one of the most ancient temples in Sri Lanka, attracting a large number of devotees. A visit to the temple is full of excitement as it is filled with numerous statues and relics. Besides the temple, the region is also hailed for its scenic beauty, which attracts nature enthusiasts.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this temple is from December to April.
How to Reach: Board a flight to Colombo to take a train to Kandy, where the temple is located.
5. The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara Temple, Peliyagoda
The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara Temple is situated 7 miles from Colombo in Viharaya. It is believed that Buddha visited this temple during his third and final visit to Sri Lanka. This is also considered to be the oldest temple in Sri Lanka dating back to 500 B.C. The 18-feet long statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is a major attraction. It is said that the original temple was destroyed by Indian invaders and it was later restored to again be destroyed by Portuguese in the 16th century. Later in the 18th century, it was the Dutch who restored the temple.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this temple is from January to March.
How to Reach: The temple is located in Colombo and is easily accessible by local means of transport.
Sri Lanka is full of ancient Buddhist rock cave temples and the Hendeniya Rajamaha Viharaya is no exception. This ancient rock temple situated in Udu Nuwara also known as ‘Galgane Vihara’ is 12 km away from Kandy. According to a local mythological story, the temple was constructed by the King Wickremabanhu III for his consort Henekanda Biso Bandara. Again, this temple offers a glimpse of the ancient Buddhist heritage and culture in Sri Lanka.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this temple is from December to April.
Lankatilaka Vihara located in Kandy is encircled by soul-stirring scenery. The temple showcases the brilliant architecture from the 14th century of the Gampola era. Constructed on a natural rock, the temple consists of three sections – the Temple building, the Stupa and the Bo tree. The Buddha Image part of the temple features a wall filled with paintings. The temple also houses a giant golden statue of a sitting Buddha located right at the centre. All the buildings are constructed on a giant rock called Panhalgala Rock.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this temple is from December to April.
How to Reach: Board a flight to Colombo, from where you can board a train to Kandy.
The Isipathanaramaya Temple is the most recent one, built-in 1916, spread over 4.9 acres of land. Located on the Isipathana Road, Colombo, the temple is famous for several Buddha statues and carvings on the walls. This modern-day temple also features a fresco, which distinguishes it from other Buddhist temples. It is the calmness and tranquillity which attracts devotees and tourists to this temple.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this temple is from January to March.
How to Reach: Take a flight to Colombo and the temple is located on Isipathana Road, Colombo.
Buduruwagala temple consists of seven Buddha statues carved on a giant rock wall. All these carved statues belong to the Mahayana school of thought and date back to the 10th century. These statues still carry the fine and intricate details offering a glimpse into the rich Buddhist culture and heritage. The largest Buddha statue measure from head to toe is 51 feet (16 m) and is one of the biggest standing Buddha on the island.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this temple is from June to September.
How to Reach: Board a flight to Colombo and the closest airport to Wellawaya is Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.
Embekka Devale temple is yet another magnificent built by the King Vikramabahu III. This shrine is segmented into three sections the “Sanctum of Garagha”, the Digge and the “Hevisi Mandapaya. Every section of this temple is filled with statues, paintings and magnificent wooden carvings. Apart from spirituality and reverence, the temple is also a treat for art enthusiasts.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this temple is from December to April.
How to Reach: Take a flight to Colombo and from there, you can board a taxi or a bus to reach Embekka.
This is an astonishing Buddhist monastery in Sri Lanka, situated in Hambantota district offers a glimpse of the ancient Anuradhapura-era architecture marvels. The temple derived its name from the word “Chiththala Pabbatha”, which translates into the hill of the quiet mind. It is said that King Kavantissa built this in the 2nd century B.C. WIth its history of over 2200 years, the temple was a vital place of worship amongst devotees and a centre of Buddhist education. Several paintings, images and carvings from the Anuradhapura era can be found in the monastery premises.
Best time – December to March is the ideal time to travel to the ancient Buddhist monastery.
How to reach: Board a flight to Colombo, from there travellers can hire a taxi, bus or car to reach the Buddhist temple. Train services are also available to reach the Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful melting pot of spectacular natural scenery and old cultural heritage. The best way to experience it is by visiting Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Sri Lanka, as these are wonderful amalgamations of old Buddhist heritage and natural splendour.
Think Australia and the images that come to our mind are of the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney and Melbourne, all of which are on the east coast. Most travellers tend to flock to the east coast but the west coast also has its charm. Perth, the largest city on the west coast is where nature and modern life coexist together. The fourth-most populous city in Australia has no shortage of tourist attractions and if you give it a chance, you’ll be surprised by the variety it offers. From gorgeous beaches to a lively nightlife, you’ll be amazed by the list of what to do in Perth. The city has restored over the years with a series of cafes, restaurants, a waterfront development that looks like the Darling Harbour in Sydney and a great bar scene. With an attractive setting by the Swan River, you’ll find several stunning beaches with tremendous appeal and a lot less crowd than its east coast counterparts. The best time to visit Perth is during the shoulder seasons, spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May).
Here are the top 10 things to do in Perth that should not be missed during your trip to this part of Australia.
1. Enjoy a Cruise on the Swan River
Often called the sunniest capital, Perth is situated along the Swan River linking the suburbs, hills and the ocean. With cultural and environmental significance, the city has been awarded Western Australia’s first heritage icon. On a sunny day, jump on a cruise down the Swan River to see a different side of Perth. You’ll be mesmerised by the magnificent views as you cruise between Perth and the Port of Freemantle. It is also a chance to see the significant attractions of the city such as the soaring glass spire of the Bell Tower, the restored Swan Brewery, Kings Park and many more. Most of the cruises include a wine tasting, a complimentary lunch and some even pay a visit to the winery. A river cruise definitely should be on your list of things to do in Perth when planning a visit.
Located right in the centre of the city in the middle of the Swan River, Heirisson Island is an unexpected treasure and offers a much-needed escape from city life. It is a spot filled with solitude, an array of birds and its population of kangaroos. You’ll have to go through a gate on the western side of the island to get to the roos where you’ll find a fence to stop them wandering to the nearby road. These kangaroos can be difficult to find during the day when they’re usually sleeping, especially when it’s hot outside. When the weather is cool, you can often find them grazing and hopping around. It strange that most people have never heard of this hidden treasure just minutes away from the city. Situated on the Swan River, between East Perth and Victoria Park, this is the place where you can witness kangaroos in their natural habitat. While at this tourist attraction in Perth, don’t forget to take lots of photographs!
Five minutes’ walk away from central Perth, Northbridge is a kaleidoscope of food, arts and vibrant nightlife. It has an eclectic mix of shops, cafes, restaurants and some of the best bars in Western Australia. Home to Perth’s Chinatown, it offers great coffee and brunch options, vintage stores, homewares and small bars, and is a great place to spend time out drinking, dining or simply wandering around. A popular tourist attraction in Perth, Northbridge is also home to Perth’s Cultural Centre which houses the new WA Museum, the State Theatre of Western Australia and the Art Gallery of Western Australia showcasing over 1,000 pieces of national and international art pieces. Spend your days exploring the museums and your evenings eating out and enjoying the lively nightlife.
When it comes to shopping, Perth has a lot of things to offer. It is home to numerous shopping outlets, from extensive markets to stylish malls. Murray and Hay Street malls are the two main shopping malls in the city which are pedestrian malls and closed to traffic, with a wide range of speciality stores. Myer and David Jones are two main department stores you’ll see in downtown and the suburbs. With several shopping avenues, the question of what to do in Perth does not even exist. Whether you are looking to buy something particular or just want to wander around the clean city, there are plenty of options for everyone and paths to walk along.
One of Perth’s most stunning tourist attractions, the Bell Tower overlooks the Swan River and is an important landmark in the city. This is a set of 18 bells hanging in a specially built 271 ft. high copper and glass campanile. It is the second-largest set of ringing bells in the world, the largest being Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, with 19 bells. Dating back to 14th century, it’s worth noting that the bells are not rung by machine but instead by the volunteer members of the St. Martin’s Society of Change Ringers Inc. The bell tower is located at Barrack Square, just a short five-minute walk from the city centre.
6. Explore Kings Park
Kings Park is another place to visit in Perth, where the city meets the nature, offering unique opportunities to its residents and tourists to connect with nature in the heart of Perth, overlooking the Swan River. It is also popular for being home to the Western Australian Botanic Garden. From lovely gardens and walking trails to kid’s playgrounds and picnic spots, you’ll find here something for everyone. Climb the 202 steps of the spiralling DNA Tower to enjoy the spectacular views from the top. You’ll be able to enjoy the views of Kings Park, Botanic Garden and the Swan River and over to Rottnest Island. DNA tower that resembles the DNA molecule was inspired by a staircase in a Chateau at Blois in France. To see the park in full bloom, plan your visit in spring or summer. Kings Park played a great role in preserving not only European but also Aboriginal heritage. It is extremely significant in the fields of horticulture and quite renowned for its conservation efforts.
7. Explore The Historic Fremantle
The historic seaside port of Fremantle is a suburb of Perth located just 30 minutes from downtown and dotted with numerous cool cafes, bars and seafood restaurants. Renowned for its street buzz and an eclectic mix of art and culture, it is one of the world’s best-preserved examples of a 19th-century port streetscape complete with its heritage buildings and fascinating maritime history. Experience the wonderful nightlife by visiting its clubs and bars that play live music until the early hours. If you still have energy left dancing through the night, drop at one of the cafés for morning coffee.
8. Caversham Wildlife Park
Situated just 25 minutes East of Perth, Caversham Wildlife Park is easily accessible by car and offers a chance to get up close to some of the extraordinary Aussie Wildlife. One of the top places to visit in Perth, this park is home to over 2,000 distinctive animals and over 200 species of fauna. Here, you can feed kangaroos, stroke a koala and click photos with a wombat. You get to see the animals that you probably haven’t even heard of such as flying foxes, kookaburras, cassowaries, quokkas, echidnas and more. A visit to Caversham is incomplete without a visit to Molly’s Farm, which is an interactive farmyard where one can feed the animals. Also watch the farm show where you get to witness sheep shearing, sheepdogs mustering the sheep and also get to meet a stockman on a horse.
9. Hit the Gorgeous Beaches
Beaches are one of the best perks of living in Perth. One not only gets to enjoy the crystal-clear blue waters and white sands but do it without the huge crowds that you see elsewhere. Perth is one of the world’s most isolated cities and a great place to enjoy the laidback lifestyle. Cottesloe Beach, Mullaloo Beach, Scarborough and City Beach are some of the popular beaches in the city.
Cottesloe Beach or as the locals refer to it ‘Cott’, is only 20 minutes away from the city and extremely popular because of its laid-back surf culture and crystal-clear waters. The beach is ideal for swimming, dolphin-spotting and snorkelling. Mullaloo Beach and Scarborough are favourites amongst families. With barbeques and sheltered benches for a picnic, it is ideal for families and kids. There is even a kid’s playground. City Beach is fantastic for surfers with constant strong waves. There are plenty of open-air cafes and seafood restaurants overlooking the ocean.
10. Day trip to Rottnest Island
Located 18 kilometres off the coast of Perth City, Rottnest Island is an incredible beach getaway with over 60 picturesque beaches and bays. Also called Root by the locals, it is best explored on a bicycle as there are no cars on the island. The island earned its name in 1696 from the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh, who visited the island and mistook its strange marsupial population for common rats and named it Rottnest meaning ‘rat’s nest’. Today, one of the main attractions for visitors to this island is having a photo taken alongside the ‘rats’, known as Quokkas. Other activities on the island include tennis and golf as well as fishing, snorkelling, kayaking and diving.
Celebrating its 42nd anniversary, the Vancouver International Wine Festival 2020 runs from February 22 to March 1. It features wine from 15 countries and over 160 different wineries. This year, the focus is on France and about 42 wineries from 10 different wine-growing regions are participating in the festival and the spotlight is on rose wine. The key attraction at the Vancouver International Wine Festival being held at Vancouver Convention Centre is the Tasting Room, which features over 750 wines and food.
About the Wine Festival
One of the oldest and largest wine events in the world, the VanWineFest is a coveted annual wine affair that brings together wine enthusiasts and experienced sommeliers from all over the world. Voted the ‘#1 Food, Wine & Hospitality Event in Canada’ since the last five years in a row by New York’s BizBash, it offers wine experiences, promote the wine industry and raise funds for Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Theatre.
From humble beginnings in 1979, the festival has grown to become Canada’s best and most prestigious wine show. The festival features some 50 events each year, of which about 40 are open to the public and another dozen or so for people in wine-related and hospitality industries. Around 150+ wineries serve over 1,500 types of wines throughout the festival. To give an idea about the scale of the festival, about 45,000 wine bottles are opened and/or purchased annually at the event.
With a striking slogan – ‘The Wine World is Here’, each year the festival focuses on various wine-growing regions in the world. In 2017, it was Canada, in 2018, the featured region was the Iberian Peninsula and in 2019, it was California. In 2020, the year is for France.
2020 Festival Wines & Wineries
Countries participating in this Wine Festival include:
France (43), Canada (33), Italy (24), USA (17), Spain (9), Australia (7), Portugal (6), New Zealand (5), Argentina (4), Croatia (4), Germany (4), Chile (3), Romania (2) and Uruguay (1).
Moreover, a few Sake (rice wine) makers from Japan are also participating this year.
Tickets to events are on sale and the Vancouver International Wine Festival ticket price ranges from about $40 to $450. Prices include wine and food during the event. Additionally, tips, taxes and service charges are also included in the price.
Other Events at the Festival
The 9-day wine festival features several events including the grand Bacchanalia Dinner, Trade Days Seminar, International Tastings, wine parties & dinners and much more.
Seven out of the nine days of the festival are open to the general public. All nine days, including the first two, are open to participants in the wine and hospitality industry.
Relish a fancy 5-course dinner with wine, live music and dancing.
Venue: Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, Canada
How to reach:
Board Skytrain Train – 980 – Canada Line Skytrain at the platform sign ‘Canada Line To Waterfront’. Deboard at Waterfront Station Northbound. Head northwest on W Cordova Station toward Howe Station. Turn right at Howe Station. The Vancouver Convention Centre is straight ahead at 1055 Canada Place.
The dates for the other events are:
Bacchanalia Dinner + Auction – February 22, 2020
Trade Days Seminar – February 26 to 28, 2020
The Tasting Room – February 27 to February 29, 2020
The average temperature you’ll face in February would be between -11.0°C and -2.2°C. So, make sure you’re warm enough to tackle the cold.
Presently, the Vancouver Wine Festival draws some of the iconic industries from all over the globe and is strongly distinguished as the continent’s primary wine event and among the oldest and best wine festivals in the world.
This is a wonderful prospect to meet and greet sommeliers, winemakers, owners and senior representatives from wineries around the globe. For either the proficient wine lover or the beginner, the grand festival has something to please every taste and wallet.
Southeast Asia has it all – be it the most gorgeous beaches, mountains or man-made marvels. They are fascinating, surreal & rich in satisfying your desire for an unforgettable holiday. And the best part is that most of these cities can easily be discovered in just a week. Here’s a list of 10 best places in Southeast Asia for your next trip. Take your pick, pack your bags and don’t forget to take your camera. You certainly wouldn’t want to miss taking amazing pictures.
A well developed, technically prosperous city, Singapore is ranked as #1 when it comes to best places to visit in Southeast Asia. Be it a family holiday or a romantic escape with your better half, the city is much more than the total number of its attractions. Exploring Singapore can be a matter of just a few hours. Thanks to its extensive network of transport. Whether you wish to eat in Little India and head towards the temples in Chinatown or shop at Orchard Road, you’ll be there in no time using the speedy MRT system. Adding to the city’s beauty, there are stylish art galleries, lively markets, plenty of restaurants & cafes, wildlife sanctuaries and world-class attractions.
Best time to visit: February to May is considered as the perfect time to tour the city and enjoy the climate.
Top things to do: Visit the Gardens by the Bay, take a tour of Bintan Island, explore Sentosa, shop at Bugis Street and explore the Casino in Marina Bay Sands.
2. Bali – Indonesia
Bali is one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia. Home to cities like Kuta and Ubud, Bali has always been an attractive destination to visit in Southeast Asia. Regardless of what time of the year it is, this place outshines most of the tropical destinations, offering the ultimate luxury and comfort to its visitors. Experience surfing, yoga, meditation, trekking, delicious food or the amazing nightlife. Certain spots in Bali have been influenced by scores of cafes, hip bars and restaurants. At the same time, there are also a few remote places that have maintained Balinese beauty and charm. So, if you ever plan on having a blissful beach holiday, Bali is on the list of must-visit places in Southeast Asia.
Best time to visit: From April to October, Bali is at its best. It’s less crowded and sightseeing can be done at one’s own pace.
Top things to do: Visit the famous Tanah Lot, surfing, diving & other water sports, explore Bali Safari and Marine Park and shop at Bali’s famous markets.
The capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi, is one of the beautiful places to visit in Southeast Asia. It offers a good feel and understanding of Vietnamese culture, people and food. With influences of the Southeast Asian, Chinese and French, you’ll experience mixed culture and attractions. The city is huge and most of the tourist activities and interesting places are located in the Old Quarter. The city has many cafes, restaurants, markets, beautiful temples and other attractions that make it one of the unique places to visit in Southeast Asia. Do not forget to relish the street food while on your trip here. To enjoy nature at its best, you can explore Halong Bay, which is roughly 99 miles from Hanoi. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for countless limestone islands. All you need is a seaplane to reach here and admire close-up views.
Best time to visit: September to November and March to April are considered as the best times to tour Hanoi. The atmosphere is clean and pure right after the rains and prices are quite cheap.
Top things to do: Visit the century-old temples, spend time at the Hoan Kiem Lake, head to the Temple of the Jade Mountain, explore Weekend Night Market, enjoy dining at Tay Ho, witness Water Puppet Show and see the Snake Village.
Amongst all the top tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, Manila is one of the most popular places in the Philippines. It’s called the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ for all the right reasons – huge malls, UNESCO Heritage Sites, scenic spots like Corregidor Island, Batangas and Laguna and trendy places such as Casa Manila and Fort Santiago. Wander around the Spanish ruins at Intramuros, dine on fresh seafood and visit one of the many markets. Wiley’s Rock is another amazing place that is set to give you a lifetime experience and a holiday you may not have imagined.
Best time to visit: From November to May, Manila experiences an enjoyable climate along with a scanty crowd and relaxed island tours.
Top things to do: Visit the Wiley’s Rock and Manila Zoo, explore Manila Ocean Park, walk into the Makati shopping district, witness the beautiful sunset at Yapak, collect white shells on Boracay beaches.
5. Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur is a multicultural mix of huge skyscrapers, the gleaming lights of the Petronas and streets dedicated to food and culture. The Malaysian capital city is one of the top tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Famed for incredible culinary scene and shopping, you could spend an entire day browsing malls such as KLCC, Pavilion KL and Mid Valley Megamall. Adventure lovers can trek to the famous Batu Caves or visit KL Bird Park. The city is best explored on foot. You’ll discover the laid-back ambience and pieces of Kampung Village that the city once was. There are sufficient day trips for couples in Kuala Lumpur for a peaceful retreat.
Best time to visit: You can either visit Kuala Lumpur between May to July or from December to February. The rains are finally over and the weather is crispy enough for sightseeing.
Top things to do: Visit Petronas Twin Towers, explore Batu Caves and shop at Bukit Bintang
6. Kota Kinabalu – Malaysia
Located near Borneo, Kota Kinabalu is a divine exotic spot that has the power to captivate anyone with its beauty and it’s easy to see why. Lively markets, modern boardwalks, music and art galleries and mosques are some of the top attractions that would make you fall in love with this Southeast Asian beauty. Most visitors from around the world use Kota Kinabalu, also known as KK, as the jump-off point for nearby attractions, islands and national parks. While the city centre offers a lot to its visitors, the city also boasts breathtaking sunsets, historical sights, the famous Mt. Kinabalu, beautiful beaches, rain forests and thriving markets and cafes.
Best time to visit: January to March is the ideal to time to visit Kota Kinabalu as the crowd is less and the climate is enjoyable in this period.
Top things to do: Conquer Mt. Kinabalu, explore the beaches, enjoy island hopping, stay in a luxury resort, visit the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park and indulge in fresh seafood.
7. Phuket – Thailand
Nicknamed as the ‘Pearl of the Andaman’, Phuket is Thailand’s largest and world’s finest destination. It has something for every taste and budget. It sits idyllically with a short distance from Ko Phi-Phi’s dive sites, popular national-parks and the beautiful Similan Islands. If you begin exploring from the Old Town, you’ll learn about the history of tin mining. Presently, blessed with white sands, lush palm trees, lively towns and plenty of beach activities, food and adventure, it reveals more than what the eye sees. It is so diverse that you might forget to leave. So, if you’re looking for a sultry place that tick all the boxes – family-friendly resorts, peaceful hideaways, cocktail clubs and food at its best, you couldn’t be at a better place than Phuket.
Best time to visit:Phuket is best explored from December to March. The beaches are calm and cool and island tours are quite affordable.
Top things to do: Beach hopping, indulge in diving, enjoy water sports and relish local food.
8. Phi Phi Islands – Thailand
Located in the Andaman Sea, Phi Phi Island is 30 miles southeast of Phuket in Krabi. This is one of the most beautiful Southeast Asian destinations that should be a must-visit be on your list. It rose to fame after the Leonardo Di Caprio starred The Beach was filmed here with the backdrop of limestone karsts. But there’s a lot to what you’ve seen in the pictures. Head here on your next holiday to spend time among lush green environs, explore scenic bays and be a part of the incredible parties held on the beaches. If serenity is all you’re looking for, relax at Ao Lo Moo Dee or Ao Toh Ko sandy beaches and soak up the sunrise and sunset. If you are an adventure seeker, you can also enjoy snorkelling and scuba diving here.
Best time to visit: November to April is the perfect time to enjoy the beaches and go on a city tour.
Top things to do: Snorkel in the warm waters, go beach hopping, relax at the beach and enjoy plenty of water activities.
9. Chiang Mai – Thailand
Situated at the base of the north Thailand mountainous range, Chiang Mai is notable as the best place to visit in Southeast Asia. It draws both adventure lovers and shopaholics. Right from a refreshing Thai massage to discovering its numerous attractions, there’s a lot to do at one of the top destinations in Southeast Asia. Drive down straight in any direction, you’ll soon pass the lush green countryside, villages and rainforests with peaceful waterfalls. Whether you’re planning a honeymoon or a family excursion, you’d surely have the time of your life. Considering the kind of visitors Thailand attracts, you’ll have a limitless nightlife, shopping and adventure options.
Best time to visit: December to May is when you can find less crowd on the beaches along with low flight and hotel prices.
Top things to do: Go snorkelling, scuba diving & kayaking, witness the Namuang Waterfall, enjoy Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan and cherish a spa treatment.
10. Siem Reap – Cambodia
Siem Reap – a jewel of Southeast Asia, a cheerful city and an entrance into the Angkor Wat region has been enticing travellers to explore its treasures for many years. It offers the best of both worlds – an interesting past and a bright present. Gradually, this place became a popular tourist spot due to its trendiest hotels, wining and dining, spas and more. But there’s more to this place when it comes to offering memorable experiences. You can explore temples from the time of the Khmer Empire, tiny monasteries in the Little Circuit area, ruins of Banteay Srei and the lively Pub Street. So, head out and uncover this unique Southeast Asian gem.
Best time to visit: Siem Reap can be best explored from November to February.
Top things to do: Temple hopping, visit Siem Reap’s floating villages and Tonle Sap freshwater lake, party on Pub Street, quad-biking, shop at Angkor Night Market and visit the Angkor Archaeological Park and the National Museum.
Southeast Asia has got it all – be it the most stunning beaches, gorgeous cities, the most mysterious hills or natural & man-made wonders. They are beautiful and mesmerising when it comes to satisfying your desire for a memorable holiday. The best part is, most of these places can be explored easily in just a week. So, if you’re craving for an adventurous 2020, take your pick and make sure you cover one or two destinations this year.
Sunshine, samba and sports – how better can you describe Rio de Janeiro, the carnival city of Brazil. Nicknamed ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’ or the ‘Marvellous City’, Brazil’s second-largest city is a world of wonders. From scenic mountain top vistas and endless beaches to carnival parties and sunsets, Rio de Janeiro’s splendour never fails to disappoint. A perfect getaway for those seeking tropical vibes, more than one million foreign tourists come every year to the city founded by Portuguese in 1565. Rio de Janeiro has a lot to offer travellers, ranging from natural parks, protected monuments, beaches, mountains, cultural centres and statues. While planning the holiday, also make sure that you are in Rio De Janeiro between December and March, when the average temperature ranges between 25- 27ºC. April and May are also good for visitors as days are little cooler at this time of the year. Here, we have picked up 13 most popular tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro that you need to visit while in the city.
1. Admire the Christ the Redeemer
Made by Polish-French stone carver Paul Landowski, the mammoth statue of Jesus Christ rising above the city was completed in 1931, financed mostly by Brazilian Catholics. Made of high-consecrated cement and soapstone at the peak of the 700-metre Corcovado Mountain, the figure itself is 30 meters tall with arms extending 28 meters; weighing 635 metric tons. The base is a house of prayer, where it’s normal to hold weddings and baptism services. You can see this landmark, one of the ‘new 7 Wonders of the World’, without a guided tour in the morning light while exploring Sugarloaf Mountain Tour. Your visit to the statue includes a cable car ride up Sugarloaf Mountain for more spectacular views.
How to Reach: Take a train, van or hike. However, the Cog Train is the best way to reach Christ the Redeemer. Travel through the Atlantic Forest atop Corcovado Mountain. The train leaves approximately every 30 minutes and the ride up takes 20 minutes.
Sugarloaf Mountain, one of the Rio de Janeiro’s famous milestones, is a 396-metre peak at the mouth of Guanabara Bay. It strategically projects out into the harbour and encircles the city. You can take a cable car from Praça General Tibúrcio to the highest point of the Morro da Urca, a lower peak from which a second cable car goes to the summit of the Sugarloaf. From here, you can admire a 360-degree view of the rugged coast that circles the shores and its islands. Below, the 100-meter Praia da Urca coastline can be seen sizzling with people and shops. At Cara de Cao, there are three 16th-century forts, out of which the star-shaped Fort Sao Joao is accessible to the public. The mountain is protected by the Sugarloaf Mountain and Urca Hill Natural Monument, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to Reach: From Central, take Train 107 that goes straight to the Sugarloaf. To take the subway, go to Metro Botafogo and take the connecting bus 583 that will take you straight to Sugarloaf.
Not many cities are honoured with a wonderful golden sand seashore at its heart, stretching four kilometres along the downtown. A couple of steps from the main city is Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, simply known as Copacabana Beach. One of the best places to visit in Rio De Janeiro, the beach’s surrounding is vibrant and the crowd is lively. To the left, you can view the lofty Sugar Loaf Mountain and the iconic Fort Duque Caxias. You’ll also spot old structures, dining establishments and well-known cafes. Not to forget the eminent Copacabana Palace, now preserved as a national landmark. Stroll along the beach to marvel at some of the most unbelievable sand sculptures and when you get thirsty, sip agua de coco or coconut water straight from the coconut. There are several sports facilities along the beach, such as volleyball and football.
How to Reach: Get on a La Paz-bound bus, minibus or micro. Tell the driver you need to go to Sorata and you will be dropped off at the small lakeside town of Huarina, which is 2 hours from La Paz. Cross the road and you’ll get a Copacabana bound bus or minibus.
Moving ahead from Copacabana’s four-kilometre strand, the seashores of Ipanema and Leblon are separated by the Jardim de Ala Canal. Along the seafront promenade are enormous inns, walkway bistros and eateries. Considered as ‘Little Paris of Rio’, this beach is considered as one of the main centres of activity for the city of Rio and one of the most expensive places to live. These two spots are best known for their shorelines and the famous song – The Girl from Ipanema and life here is extremely social, with exhibitions, film shows and street performance. Near to Ipanema Beach, the area thrives with a market place and the city fair. The beach is also the place to enjoy Brazilian feijoada and a lot of seafood.
How to Reach: Ipanema Beach can be reached easily. It is located just about 8 miles from the centre of Rio de Janeiro via Av. Infante Dom Henrique. To reach here, hire a cab or travel by local transportations such as the city buses, Frescao buses, the subway (metro) and mini-buses.
If you’re looking for a peaceful stretch of sand, look no further than the half-moon shaped Prainha Beach. Bordered by hills and forests, Prainha Beach is usually uncrowded with clean sand and amazing views. It is known to be the city’s most scenic and alluring beach. The waves here are quite popular with surfers and swimmers. A few restaurants are overlooking the beach as well. Do not forget to relish Brazilian snacks and drinks. Come evening, you can witness several events and entertainment options. Watch the witty jugglers and magicians performing or join a group of young girls dancing to Brazilian tunes. Capture the sunset while sipping your favourite cocktail and enjoy beach games with young people.
How to Reach: Prainha Beach is 15 miles from the main Rio de Janeiro city centre. There is a direct bus departing from Largo do Machado and arriving at Prainha. Services depart four times a day and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 1hour 30minutes.
One of the top things to do in Rio de Janeiro is to tour the Woodland City at Tijuca National Park, which covers Tijuca Forest, a tropical rain forest and a few important points overlooking the city. The park surrounds the enormous statue of Christ on Corcovado. To explore this huge recreation centre, take the train till Corcovado and follow the forest trail up to the park gate. The 3,300-hectare Tijuca Forest is one of the world’s biggest woodlands inside a city that was created to protect the springs that provided water to Rio de Janeiro. A vast majority of the trees are local species that are home to Capuchin monkeys, quatis (Brazilian raccoon), bright toucans, birds of prey, splendid blue butterflies and different types of natural life, which you may spot while investigating its trails and streets.
How to Reach: From the city centre, Tijuca National Park is a 20-minute drive. If you’re in a hotel near to the city centre, you can hire a cab or a taxi and easily reach the park.
7. Explore the Nature’s Best at Jardim Botanical Garden
Covering 350 acres of land at the foot of Corcovado, Rio’s Jardim Botanico creates an ecological paradise with gardens and a research centre, all in a gorgeous park-like setting. It features the Orchidarium, an iron-and-glass nursery loaded up with 2,000 kinds of orchids, cherry trees, wooden extensions, koi lakes and Bonsai. You can also admire a sensory garden of sweet-smelling plants and herbs from all over the globe. The nursery, which is a UNESCO biosphere save, contains 8,000 types of vegetation birds and rare animals in their natural surroundings and is one of the best places to visit in Rio de Janeiro. You can stroll through the nurseries, eat and sip under the palms and pau-brasil trees or ride through the garden on an electric car.
How to Reach: How to Reach: The best and fastest way to get to Jardim Botanical Garden is to take 409 bus from Christ the Redeemer, which takes 28 min or board Tram 18 from Botafogo.
Opened in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup, the Maraca is Brazil’s biggest arena that is located towards the east of Rio de Janeiro, about 3 miles from downtown Rio. Officially named the Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, it lies about 6 miles north of the Copacabana and Ipanema beach areas. At its first football game, the stadium witnessed 199,854 spectators on 16 July 1950. The stadium was remodelled for the FIFA World Cup 2014 with a capacity of 78,000 fans, making it one of the largest football stadiums in the world. The stadium is utilised for matches between Rio’s significant football clubs, the Flamengo, Botafogo, Fluminense and Vasco da Gama and concerts. A short visit to this stadium would hold significance for soccer fans. Now a tourist attraction in Rio de Janeiro, the stadium was also the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
How to Reach: The stadium can be easily reached by metro or train. Maracana station is on metro line 2, which can be boarded from downtown Rio or the Flamengo and Botafogo areas. Alternatively, get a transfer from line 1, which runs from the Copacabana and Ipanema areas.
9. Catch Brazilian Culture at Santa Tereza and Escadaria Selaron
Santa Tereza is the city’s most dynamic neighbourhood and one of the top tourist attractions inRio de Janeiro. You get to see a region of steep, calm lanes and hundred-year-old homes here. Its cafes and restaurants are famous with artists and young people who add to the Bohemian environs. Even though its most captivating designs are simply discovered from the roadside, there are a few attractions and activities that draw an immense crowd. Among them, the cathedral of Santa Tereza stands out extraordinarily. The Museu Chacara do Ceu has a huge collection of modern art including the works of Picasso, Miro and Matisse. At the edge of Santa Tereza is one of Rio’s most up-to-date leisure spots, the Escadaria Selaron, the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón. The structure has mosaics made of tiles, stoneware and mirrors, numerous in blue, green and yellow shades of the Brazilian flag. Selaron started by utilising broken tiles that he collected from several constructions sites and turned them into amazing creations.
How to Reach: Escadaria Selaron is easily reachable. It is roughly 1 mile from the Rio de Janeiro city centre. Hire a cab or travel by local transportations such as the city buses, Frescao buses, the subway (metro) or mini-buses.
On the hill just above the harbour, there is the church of Nossa Senhora de Montserrat and monastery of Sao Bento, which is one of the finest examples of architecture. The original 1617 church was without aisles until it was enlarged in the 17th century by the addition of eight side chapels. The finest artists of the Benedictine order were involved in decorating the interior. The excellent carving that covers the walls and ceiling was mainly the work of a monk named Domingos da Conceiçao, who was also responsible for the figures of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica on the high altar. The choir chapel has silver work by Mestre Valentim and 14 paintings by Ricardo do Pilar, a monk who was the foremost Benedictine painter of colonial Brazil. His masterpiece, Senhor dos Martirios is in the sacristy of the monastery.
How to Reach: Take the Cog Train. Travel through the countryside to the Village of Sao Bento to visit one of the best places in Rio de Janeiro. The train leaves approximately every 45 minutes.
The grand Municipal Theater, built in the early 20th century, was inspired by the Paris Opera of Charles Garnier and its interior is even more ornate and luxurious than the dramatic towered façade. Highlights of the theatre are the sculptures by Henrique Bernardelli and paintings by Rodolfo Amoedo and Eliseu Visconti as well as the drop curtain, the proscenium frieze and the ceilings. There are guided tours, some in English or you can attend classical concerts and ballet performances here.
How to Reach: The Theatro Municipal is an opera house in the Centro district of Rio de Janeiro. You can easily get buses or hire a metered taxi to avoid overpaying.
Rio de Janeiro is the only city in Brazil, where tourists can safely visit a favela and the safest of them all is Vidigal. After a successful pacification programme in the region a few years ago, Vidigal has incredible nightlife during the weekends, with bars such as Bar da Laje offering great views, appetizing food and delicious cocktails and Alto Vidigal with its all-night parties and exciting national and international DJ line-ups. Apart from famous bars and party venues, visitors can admire stunning scenic views and rent budget accommodation. Gradually this place is becoming one of the top tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro for people looking for an alternative experience in the city.
How to Reach: You would need a guide to explore this area. You can reach Vidigal by using public transport.
13. Ride the Waves at Arpoador
Tucked into the corner of Ipanema, Arpoador has some of the clearest and warmest waters of the beaches in Rio. During the day, it is a hotspot among surfers who go there to catch the small, neat waves or beach-goers who enjoy the suntrap of the peninsula. The most rewarding time to go is in the evening when you can watch the sunset over the horizon, providing one of Rio’s most vibrant and stunning sunsets.
How to Reach: You can get to Arpoador by bus or metro. These are the lines and routes that have stops nearby. Bus – 432, Bus – 455, Bus – 457, Bus – 474 & METRO L1.
Rio lives up to the name as the ‘Marvellous City’. There’s hardly anyone who would not fall hard for the alluring beauty of Rio de Janeiro. With stunning views of mountains, beaches, landmarks and more, this incredible destination has endless entertainment options for everyone, making it a must-visit place.
In February, most of Europe will be frozen land. So why not take a break to venture to destinations where the weather is warm and welcoming. Fortunately, the world has several warm and budget-friendly places that are waiting for your visit in this month. The merits of packing your bags in February also include low airfare, less crowd and more entertainment.
If you’re undecided about your getaway, we’ve listed out some of the best and warm destinations you can visit in February around the world. Go on, take your family or your beloved or even yourself on a solo trip and explore a new place – from peaceful beaches to tropical escapes and romantic Valentine’s breaks. February is a great month for soaking up the winter sun. Here’s your guide for where to travel in February.
1. Dubai, UAE
Europeans prefer Dubai as a February destination for its warm weather in the month. The temperature in February lurks around a comfortable 20°C, with lows of 15°C and highs of 24°C, making it convenient to hang around shopping avenues, markets and stroll at beaches. In February, Dubai witnesses 8 hours of sunshine, which promises a pleasant climate, different from Europe. And in comparison to Abu Dhabi, the neighbouring city, Dubai has more accommodation options, making it convenient to find a pocket-friendly stay. The city has the presence of several large chain hotels in its premium locations but the rooms can be expensive. With numerous apartment and independent hotels in neighbourhoods, it will be easy to find a budget-friendly room.
A popular holiday destination with a wide range of entertainment options, Dubai is one of the best warm cities for a winter break. The business hub of Middle East, the capital of Emirate of Dubai is home to hundreds of skyscrapers and modern architectural wonders which include Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab and Dubai Opera. The Dubai Fountain on the 12-hectare manmade Burj Khalifa Lake and 780,000 square feet-Dubai Miracle Garden embrace travellers who fly down to the most populous city of the UAE. Being an international shopping hub, Dubai also homes numerous shopping streets, malls and gold souks for you to explore. Travellers arriving in Dubai do not leave without experimenting with the wide range of gastronomical options available here.
Temperature: In February, the minimum temperature can go down to 15°C while the maximum will touch 24°C.
Time to reach from London: It will take approximately 7 hours and 30 minutes to reach Dubai from London
Popular attractions: Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Museum, Bastakia (Old Dubai), Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House, Dubai Creek & Al Seef District, Jumeirah Mosque, Deira, Dubai Frame, Dubai Aquarium, Burj al-Arab and Jumeirah Beach
With the rest of the Northern Hemisphere gripped in the bitter cold, Marrakesh (Marrakech in French) is one of the best warm cities for a February break. Located in the Kingdom of Morocco, North Africa, at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, Marrakesh is the fourth largest city in the Kingdom of Morocco and the capital of the mid-southwestern region of Marrakesh-Safi. With an average high temperature of 22°C and lows of 18°C, February is one of the cheapest months to travel to Marrakesh. A cultural, trading and religious centre for the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa, Marrakesh is nicknamed as the ‘Red City’ or ‘Ochre City’ for its red walls built by Ali ibn Yusuf in 1122–1123 and various buildings constructed in red sandstone during this period.
This February, fly down to Marrakesh to explore the historically significant medina quarter, an old fortified city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 16th-century El Badi Palace, 19th century- Bahia Palace, Ben Youssef Mosque and 16th-century Saadian Tombs. One of the sought-after warmtourist places to travel in winter, Marrakesh has over 400 hotels, including several budget ones for accommodation. To make your Valentine’s Day more special, pick one of the many roof-top cafes and bars that offer gorgeous views of the city while serving authentic Moroccan cuisines like briouat, khlea, Moroccan cigars, pastilla and tanjia. To make your holiday more memorable, take a trip to the Sahara Desert, located 220 miles away from the city. Adventure loving travellers can hire a bike and a guide and set out on a 168-mile ride to Tiznit to witness some of the most astounding views.
Temperature: The minimum temperature in February will be 18°C while the maximum will touch up to 22°C making it a comfortable climate to enjoy a holiday.
Time to reach from London: It will take an approximate 3 hours 20 minutes to fly to Marrakesh from London.
Popular attractions: The Medina, Jemaa el-Fnaa, Koutoubia Mosque, Saadian Tombs, Mellah, André Heller’s ANIMA, Moroccan Hammam, Spice souks and artisanal markets, The Bahia and Badii Palaces, The Majorelle, Agdal and Menara Gardens and Oasiria Amusement Park
3. Bali, Indonesia
A province of Indonesia, located east of Java and west of Lombok, Bali is the most visited destination of the country. A part of the Coral Triangle, Bali has the highest biodiversity of marine species especially fish and turtles and in this area alone, over 500 reef-building coral species can be found. Subak irrigation system, the 9th-century water management system covering 20,000 hectares of Bali is a UNESCO Worl Heritage Site since 2012 and is one of the best warm places to visit this February, while in Bali. The climate here in February rests at an average low of 22°C, while the average high comes in at 30°C. Since February is not the peak season in Bali, travellers can comfortably avail hotel rooms at lower rates.
A centre for history, arts, culture and cuisines, Bali has numerous tourist attractions in store for you. Kandapat Sari statue, Tirta Empul Temple, Pura Taman Ayun and Ulun Danu Temple are some of the architectural wonders waiting for you in Bali. While in Bali in February, visitthe nearby places like Kuta, Seminyak, Sanur and Ubud to explore the authentic culture and cuisines. Also, never miss the water sports and adventures, which make Bali the tourism capital of Indonesia.
Temperature: In Bali, the climate in February is pleasant with the average low of 22°C and a high of 30°C.
Time to reach from London: The flying time from London to Bali is approximately 12 hours.
Popular attractions: Ulu Watu, Tanah Lot, Mount Batur, Kuta Beach, Nusa Penida Island, Sacred Monkey Forest, Bali Bird and Reptile Park, Sekumpul Waterfalls and Nusa Dua Beach
4. Nassau, The Bahamas
In February, exchange your snowy front yard for the warm watered white beach in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. Those with cold feet head towards the tropics. As the year-end holiday crowds have disappeared and before the spring travellers descend in March, have the entire island to yourself. Take in the pristine sands at Cable Beach and Paradise Island, the peaceful lifestyle and 18th-century streets with the aroma of authentic delicacies such as Cracked Conch, Conch Salad, Rock Lobsters and more.
The season’s comfortable daytime temperature fluctuates in between 17°C and 26°C with clear skies ideal for snorkelling or diving at Stuart’s Cove, lingering on pristine beaches and exploring outdoor like Potter’s Cay and Paradise Island Bridge. Take advantage of the fairly quiet region and stroll across the popular Pink Sands beach. You can also consider a diving class after a long lunch on Harbour Island or leisure away the afternoon with a mojito and a novel – need anything more?
Temperature: The climate in Nassau in February is so welcoming with a minimum of 17°C and a maximum of 26°C.
Time to reach from London: The average flying time from London to Nassau is approximately 10 hours.
Popular attractions: Queen’s Staircase, Graycliff for Chocolate & Cigars, dive at Stuart’s Cove, browse the Straw Market, visit Rose Island, explore Pirates of Nassau Museum and play at Aquaventure Waterpark at the Atlantis Resort.
February, with all its central-heated, drizzly, bleah-ness, is a perfect excuse to catch a flight to Tenerife. With sun, sea and sand, you are at the largest of the eight Canary Islands, not much far away from the UK. Hosting about five million tourists a year, the largest island of Spain witnesses numerous festivals in February, which include Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spanish), the second most popular carnival in the world after the one held in Rio de Janeiro. Despite being a tourism season, flights are comparatively cheaper than summer and budget accommodations are also available.
At Tenerife, hike up Mount Teide or visit the UNESCO city of La Laguna or the mountain top village of Masca to explore the Spanish island to its full. With an average temperature of 17.5 ºC, 12 hours of daylight and approximately 8 hours of sunlight, February is the right time to visit Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Macizo de Anaga, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Barranco del Infierno or Hell’s Ravine is popular among hikers but needs prior booking for it. A popular cycling destination, you will witness cyclists throughout the island. Tenerife, with water around, is also a centre of water sports and activities which include surfing, jet skiing, canoeing, speed boating and fishing. A Tenerife holiday is incomplete without tasting the traditional ‘barraquito’, a hot drink made out of vanilla and coffee
Temperature: The average February temperature in Tenerife is ideal for an outdoor holiday with the lowest reaching 15°C and higher touching 21°C.
Time to reach from London: The flying time between Tenerife and London is approximately 4 hours
Popular attractions: Mount Teide National Park, Siam Park, Playa de las Teresitas Beach, Whale and Dolphin Watching, Loro Parque, Aqualand, Museum of Science and the Cosmos, Caving in Cueva del Viento and Masca Village
Indeed, the magic of Algarve is better experienced in ‘out of the season’ months like February. Less crowd, pleasant climate and several cultural events – A trip to Algarve in February are worthy. The southernmost region of Portugal covering 4997 km2 with a vast coastline notable for picturesque limestone caves and grottoes is a three-hour fly away from London. Though the day temperatures average around 17°C, it feels like mid 20’s when the sun is out, making it convenient to sunbathe or stroll over the beach in t-shirts. With few tourists touching down Algarve in this season, there will be ample space for water sports and adventures. Also while in Algarve in February, be a part of ‘Volta ao Algarve’ – aka the Portuguese tour de France, the cycling race through its landscapes, in which 25 world’s best cycling teams participate.
To make the city break in February the best, opt for a Rodrigues seaside walk or take a ride to Albufeira, the party spot in Algarve. For history lovers, a visit to Silves, the Redstone castle and Lagos, the old inner city inside the remnants of a protective wall are highly recommended.
Temperature: In February, the temperature in Algarve comes down to 8°C, which will reach 17°C in daylight that will feel like the mid-20s.
Time to reach from London: Algarve is just nearby London and can be reached in 3 hours by air.
Popular attractions: The Strip, Cataplana, The Ponta da Piedade, The Bone Chapel in Faro, Anchor cemetery and Praia do Barril (beach), Silves castle and town walls, Cabo de Sao Vicente (coastline), Praia da Marinha (beach) and The Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos (hiking trail)
7. Colombo, Sri Lanka
February is the best time to explore the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo. It falls right between two rainy seasons and the warm temperatures and low rainfall make it an ideal tourist destination. The usual temperature during February in Colombo is 27°C daily, which can touch 31°C or drop to 23°C. Be sure to visit Beira Lake, where you can experience adventure, pilgrimage spots and picnic at a single place. To soak up the greenery of the country, a 2-hour train ride is all you need from Colombo to Kandy. You’ll cross rain forests, large fields, spot elephants, ancient sites and temples as well.
While in Colombo in this February, get a taste of the busy city life, go shopping at Paradise Road or Good Market, explore traditional restaurants and cafes such as Dilmah T-Lounge, Kemara and the nightlife district at Alfred House Ave or Galle Rd. If you’re there on the first week of February, you’ll be able to be a part of Sri Lanka’s National Day on 4th February in the capital. Witness cultural performances, parades and food fests. To enjoy the best of the countryside, Sathutu Uyana and Ella are second to none. Do not forget to explore Yala National Park for rare wildlife spotting and key UNESCO Heritage Sites, Colombo Zoologican Gardens or walk through the 12-acre Galle Face Green Promenade. For shopaholics, a visit to the Pettah Market and Paradise Road is a must during their Colombo holiday.
Temperature: The average daily temperature of Colombo is 27°C, which can touch 31°C or drop to 23°C.
Time to reach from London: The flying distance from London to Colombo via air is 10 hours
Popular attractions: Gangaramaya Temple, Galle Face Green, National Museum of Colombo, Viharamahadevi Park, Independence Memorial Hall, Beira Lake, Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque, Seema Malaka, Dutch Period Museum, Old Parliament Building, Pettah Floating Market and Attidiya Bird Sanctuary
Nairobi has all the warm flavours that can be enjoyed in February. Kenya’s capital city offers amazing wildlife, from big beasts to the tall green grasses of Savannah. Safaris and nature trails are particularly famous in the capital city, especially for the wildebeest, cheetahs and zebras abound in the area. February is the peak of summer here with temperature touching up to 28°C and hence, the high season that makes the city one of the best warm places to visit in February. While in Nairobi, take a 6.5-hour drive to Masai Mara National Park, spread over 580 sq. mi. In this time of the year, Masai Mara sees the least precipitation and due to less water, the animals are lured out to watering holes. This leads to better, more frequent sightings and hence more crowd.
The countryside of Laikipia, 118 miles away from Nairobi, is also a better option for safari lovers to spot elephants in their natural habitat. If you’re adventurous, February is the right time to explore water adventures in Nairobi as the seawater quite clear. With an hour plane ride from Nairobi to Mombasa, you can be at Copacabana Beach, Mombasa. Diani Beach is another good option to take in the sea, sun and sand. Enjoy snorkelling, diving and other water-based activities here.
Temperature: In February, the average temperature in Nairobi will be 21ºC, which can reach up to 28º C and can drop down to 13º C.
Time to reach from London: The approximate flying time from London to Nairobi is 8 hours.
Popular attractions: Nairobi National Park, Giraffe Centre, Karen Blixen Museum, Nairobi National Museum, Railway Museum and Ngong Hills.
9. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok needs no introduction. Be it about beaches, islands, nightlife, shopping or Thai food, it truly redefines the phrase ‘Asian Paradise’. In Bankok, the most visited tourist destination in the world, the average temperature in February is 28°C and rains are almost over. With such a pleasant climate, travellers will find it convenient to explore its street life, cultural landmarks as well as red-light districts.
Apart from being the economic centre of Thailand, the capital city is also a hub of entertainment, fashion, arts and culture. Tourists fly down to Bangkok to explore the city’s tourist attractions like the Grand Palace, Buddist temples like Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Wat Suthat and Golden Mount. The city also homes several museums such as the National Museum, Museum of Siam and the King Prajadhipok Museum, which speaks about the cultural glorious past of the country. While in Bangkok, you also should not miss the 18th-century Phra Sumen Fort, Queen Saovabha Institute Snake Farm and Siam Ocean World. To witness the happening life in Bangkok, you need to be at Sukhumvit Road Bangkok, Silom Road Bangkok, Khao San Bangkok, Soi Cowboy Bangkok or Nana Plaza Bangkok.
You’re not far from some of the best beaches in Bangkok. The Gulf of Thailand is just a 2-hour drive from Bangkok and Koh Samet and Koh Lan are 2.5 hours away respectively. Go shopping in famous markets like Chatuchak, MBK Mall, Siam and Terminal 21. Explore Elephant Nature Park, limestone rocks of Phang Nga Bay and the tribes of North, namely Akha, Lisu and Karen. For festivals in February, Chinese Lunar New Year is a grand spectacle in the China Town area of Bangkok and Valentine’s Day, a revered day of love all over.
Temperature: The average day temperature in February in Bangkok is 28°C, with the maximum reaching 33°C and the minimum dropping down to 24°C.
Time to reach from London: The approximate flying time from London to Bangkok is 11 hours.
Popular attractions: Chao Phraya River, Wat Pho Bangkok, Chatuchak Market, Chinatown, Soi Cowboy, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Siam Paragon, Muang Boran, Wat Mangkon Kamalawat and Wat Suthat
Fondly known as the Mother City, the South African port city of Cape Town is another place you should visit this February. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town is famous for its natural setting in the Cape Floristic Region and landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point. February marks the end of summer and the city is blessed with hot and sunny days that often push temperatures over 30°C. Since this is the dry season and rain is uncommon, most days have clear blue skies. Evenings are generally mild and pleasant, which is good for exploring beautiful sceneries, age-old architecture, lively nightlife and relish African cuisine.
The scenic town also boasts a couple of festivals that take place in February. Cocktails, music and art are a few of them. While in Capetown, watch the Sun Met horseback racing in February. Take part in Summer Wine Feast, Nederburg Harvest Festival, Wolfie Familie Festival, Robertson Wine Valley Fest and SA Cocktail Week to explore the wide range of gastronomical options offered. The ‘With You’ Festival is one of the best places in the world for techno music lovers. The Cape Town Tens is another event that mixes casual sports with drinking dining and dancing and is very popular among the locals. Lastly, The Wolfie Family Festival is the one that will truly acquaint you to the city’s spirit.
Temperature: Cape Town has a warm climate in February with a high of 29° C and low of 17°C.
Time to reach from London: It will take approximately 11 hours to reach Cape Town from London via air.
Popular attractions: Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Robben Island, Sea Point Promenade, Clifton Beach, Cape Winelands, Old Biscuit Mill, Camps Bay and African penguin colony
So, we assume you’ve finally selected your destination. A place you can get soaked in the sun, explore new excitements and get rid of those frosty winters. Pack your bags and kick-start your journey right away to a new destination to make this February a special one.
The holiday season is officially over in January. This is also the time when you’ll find cheaper prices and fewer crowds. Europe is gorgeous throughout the year, both in winter and summer. The trick is to know where to travel at different times of the year. If you want to avoid the jam-packed airports and heavy traffic of the holiday season, January is a great time to visit Europe. You might miss out on some magical experiences but you can take advantage of fewer crowds, cheaper prices and picturesque winter wonderlands. Here is our list of 15 best places to visit in January in Europe:
1. Tenerife, Canary Island
With spectacular beaches and mild warm climate, Tenerife is an ideal place to travel in Europe this winter. In January, the largest of the eight Canary Islands, Tenerife experiences an average temperature of 17 °C, with the maximum touching 20°C and the minimum dropping down to 14°C. A part of Spain, Tenerife homes volcanoes like the famous 3,700m tall Mount Teide or the 2,400m tall Roque de los Muchachos, where adventure-loving tourists you can go hiking. The city of Laguna and Teide National Park are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tenerife that you should not miss while on a holiday. For history lovers, there is the History and Anthropology Museum of Tenerife that speaks about the island’s past. Take time to go off-roading on the dunes or try the local cuisine. If you’re here in January, make sure to check out the Canary Islands International Music Festival.
Average Temperature: In January, the maximum day temperature will touch 21° C, while the lowest will drop down to 15°C.
Top attractions: Cathedral of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the Church of the Conception of La Laguna, Cueva Pintada Museum, Pico del Teide & Santa Ana Cathedral and Cave of the Guanches
2. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, the Portuguese capital is a great city for a winter break in January in Europe. With the maximum temperature hitting 15°C this month, it is time to beat the summer crowds. Since it is an off-peak season unlike June to August, finding budget accommodation within the city will be easy. Also, you can experience the slow pace of the city. In Lisbon, do explore the local cuisines like Bacalhau à brás, Carne de Porco Alentejana and Caracois.
Get to the top of the Torre de Belem, the 16-century fortification and a UNESCO Heritage Site to admire the panoramic view of the ocean. You can also go surfing around Lisbon all year long. There are numerous surf spots dotted around the city but some remain closed in the colder months. January is also synonymous with the winter sale in Portugal and if you want to take the advantage, go to Avenida da Liberdade with its plenty of luxurious fashion stores, such as Burberry, Miu Miu, and Gucci or try the Chiado neighbourhood with its numerous cafes and quaint little shops.
Top Attractions: The National Museum of Ancient Art, the National Azulejo Museum, Pena Palace, Tower of Belem & Castelo de S. Jorge and Jerónimos Monastery
Average Temperature: In January, the maximum temperature hits 15°C and the minimum can drop down to 8°C.
3. Barcelona, Spain
If you want Barcelona all to yourself, January is the right time to visit here. In the first month of the year, the city on the coast of northeastern Spain is relatively free from mass tourism but perfect to experience the rich culture of this Catalan capital. It does get a bit cold up in the north but it’s always great to be here. The city is worth a visit all year long. The average temperature at day time is between 10 and 15°C, with January and February being the coldest months and some snow. But, it happens only at every alternate year with only a few snowflakes, nothing you can’t handle. Barcelona is less crowded in January with low hotel and flight prices. It is a magnificent seaside city with rich culture, fabled architecture and a lively drinking and dining scene. La Sagrada Familia – the landmark Gaudí-designed church, Park Güell with its sculptural structures and Casa Mila are some of the must-visit attractions in the city.
Top attractions: Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Vicens, Sagrada Família and Casa Batllo
Average Temperature: In January, Barcelona experiences a minimum temperature of 9°C, which can go up to 15° C.
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
It is always a different experience to celebrate the New Year in Amsterdam but if you have missed it, you can always visit in the latter days of January when the entire city is filled with art installations for the Amsterdam Light Festival that ends on January 19. There are over 30 different light installations to explore around the city if you are visiting during this month. You can also try ice skating at Ice Amsterdam at Museumplein. The Dutch capital city also celebrates National Tulip Day on January 18, when you can admire a variety of tulips or pick some in Dam Square.
The 17th-century canals and the 19th-century Defence Line of Amsterdam, two UNESCO World Heritage Centers that you should not miss in this city. An alpha-world city, Amsterdam’s main attractions include its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, the Concertgebouw and the Anne Frank House. The city is also famous for its nightlife with its red-light district and cannabis coffee shops.
Top attractions: The Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Natura Artis Magistra, Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, Vondelpark and Museum het Rembrandthuis
Average temperature: In January, the temperature in the Dutch capital will be between 1°C and 6°C, making it one of the best city breaks in January.
5. Monte Carlo, Monaco
Monte Carlo conjures images of a glamorous bygone era and this Mediterranean port has been a timeless playground for the famous and elites for more than 150 years. If you are here at the end of January, do not miss the Monte Carlo Rally. The rally might not be as exciting as the main event but still brings parties and excitement to the city. While you’re here, be sure to check out the iconic Monte Carlo Casino, from the James Bond movies. Stop by the Oceanographic Museum to learn about the diverse marine life or go for souvenir shopping at the Metropole Shopping Centre. Monte Carlo holds extraordinary experiences for the travellers.
Top attractions: Casino de Monte Carlo, Cathedrale de Monaco and Jardin Exotique
Average temperature: The average temperature in January is between 8° C and 12° C, making Monte Carlo one of the best European cities to visit in winter.
6. Vienna, Austria
Vienna is popular for its Christmas markets, but you can enjoy its rich history and culture in January without the holiday crowds. The city looks pretty in winter with its charming streets and imperial architecture basked in twinkling light. Stop into a local cafe to experience its rich coffee house culture after a day of touring the city. If you’re visiting Vienna for the New Year, try following the New Year’s Eve trail, Silveterpfad that takes you to different stages with live music. The city squares turn magical with endless stalls selling souvenirs and hot mulled wine. Winter in Vienna is amazing and the whole atmosphere, in general, is very different than other times of the year which is why it is enlisted as one of the top places to travel in Europe in winter.
Top Attractions: Albertina, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Schloss Schönbrunn, Mozarthaus Vienna, Hundertwasserhaus and Hofburg palace complex
Average Temperature: The average temperature in Vienna in January is between 0°C and 4° C.
7. Munich, Germany
Southern Germany is lovely throughout the year, but it is especially majestic during winter when it turns into a snowy wonderland. It is the ultimate cold-weather playground where you could enjoy sledding down a mountain or cosy up in a luxe hotel or relish your drinks in a tavern. You can base yourself in the city of Munich and opt for the day trips to several nearby places such as Salzburg or Austria. You can also visit the former house of the royal family Munich Residenz, which is also the largest city palace in Germany. January is also the best time to visit the famous Neuschwanstein Castle, situated on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Fussen in southwest Bavaria and renowned as an inspiration for Cinderella’s castle at Walt Disney World. It looks even prettier and magical, completely covered in snow.
Top attractions: Neuschwanstein Castle, Schloss Nymphenburg, Schloss Dachau Marienplatz, Theatinerkirche, BMW Museum, Deutsches Museum and Linderhof Palace
Average temperature: In January, Munich experiences a minimum temperature of 2° C and maximum of 7° C.
8. Gstaad, Switzerland
January is a good time to visit western Switzerland with tons of great skiing opportunities, fitting every level — from beginners to experts. With its celebrity-ridden ski resorts, it’s easy to forget that Gstaad is just a village with a budget-friendly side and plenty of cows. So what makes it so popular amongst the super-rich? There’s the skiing, of course. And the Swiss tax and banking regime also play a big role. Gstaad is located in a valley at the heart of the Bernese Oberland, surrounded by smooth slopes. And hence, skiing is a must-try activity while you’re here. You can even go for night skiing at Rinderberg that stays open late. The nearby town of Château-d’Oex hosts a nine-day hot air balloon festival in January every year and the majestic snow-capped mountains make a perfect backdrop for the hundreds of colourful balloons decorating the blue sky.
Top attractions: Wispile, Gruyeres Castle and Col du Pillon
Average temperature: The maximum temperature in Gstaad in January will drop down to -3° while the maximum will reach 5° C
9. Sierra Nevada, Spain
Home to Europe’s southern-most ski fields, Sierra Nevada boasts warm sunshine and the longest ski season in Europe. If you want to go skiing without frigid temperatures, this is the best place to be! The mountain range in Spain is only a 1-hour drive away from Granada, where you can reach from London via air and with a two-hour drive, you can reach the beach. While you’re here, be sure to check out the stunning Alhambra in nearby Granada that dates back to the 13th century, which served as the home to King Charles V and Queen Isabel during the 16th century. You can also hire a car and drive from Granada stopping along the mountain road and taking scenic pictures of nature around.
Top attractions: Lanjaron, Mountain Scenery in Berchules, Route to Pico de Veleta and the Mountain Village of Trevelez
Average temperature: In January, Siera Nevada will witness the minimum -7° C, which can go high up to 3° C
10. Rovaniemi, Finland
With white snow all around, Rovaniemi is one of the best places to visit in Europe in January. While on a winter day, get around on a snowmobile or a reindeer sleigh. While on a stay in this city located between the hills of Ounasvaara and Korkalovaara, try hands in snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or ice fishing. Rovaniemi is also great for walking tours with several museums, where you’ll learn more about the history and culture of this Finnish town. You can buy a Culture Pass to visit Museum Arktikum and learn about the history of Lapland and Arctic research, get a glimpse of northern contemporary art in the Korundi House of Culture and get familiar with the northern forests at Science Centre Pilke. Rovaniemi is the official town of Santa Claus, where Christmas can be experienced year-round in places like Santa Claus Village and SantaPark.
Top attractions: Pilke Science Centre, Korundi House of Culture, German Soldier Cemetery and Museum Arktikum
Average temperature: In January, the temperature in this Finnish town will be between 8° to -16° C.
11. Prague, Czech Republic
There is no bad time to visit Prague but the city transforms into a winter wonderland in January with snow-dusted St. Charles Bridge and Old Town’s church spires. Add some of Europe’s best Christmas markets outside of Germany and you have a holiday frontrunner, where even the weariest traveller will succumb to the trdelník (fried dough) and a glass of mulled wine. Prague is renowned for its historical buildings covered in red roof tiles and during winter this snow-covered architecture is a vision straight from the fairy tale. For the best view of the city, try the Prague Castle viewpoint or the Petrin Lookout Tower. January also sees fewer tourists, which means photos opportunities are even better when you can have Charles Bridge or the grounds of Prague Castle mostly to yourself.
Top attractions: Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Old Town Square and St. Vitus Cathedral
Average temperature: In January, Prague will experience a minimum temperature of -1° C, which will go up to 3° C in the daytime.
12. Bergen, Norway
With vibrant wooden structures, scenic harbour and sweeping views of the surrounding fjords – Bergen has all the makings of an idyllic Nordic village. Seeing the famous fjords is a must for any visitor. While you’re here, you can also visit the UNESCO’s World Heritage site of Nærøyfjorden, voted the world’s most unspoiled tourist destination by National Geographic. Bergen looks beautiful in the summer but it’s only during the winter months that you get to view the Northern Lights. So if you’re going to be in Scandinavia in January, you might as well tick this off your bucket list. Remember to check out Oslo, where you can take a fjord cruise or get a glimpse of vast Nordic history at the Viking Ship Museum. While you’re there, visit the old-fashioned café Frognerseteren that has views of the Oslofjorden and serves delicious apple pie, hot chocolate and Norwegian waffles.
Top attractions: Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf, Mount Fløyen (Fløyfjell), Grieg Museum and Hanseatic Museum
Average temperature: In January, the average temperature in Bergen will be between 0°C and 4°C.
13. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana is the capital city of Slovenia with a real-life fairy-tale setting. A visit to here during December is perfect to see the Baroque architecture surrounded by Christmas lights but you can decide to dodge the crowds and book a trip after the holidays in January when the city won’t be filled with overly-excited tourists and you’ll have a lot of room to stroll the pedestrian-only Old Town and sip coffee in peace by the riverside cafés. Ljubljana is also the perfect base for Slovenian day trips so make sure to add Lake Bled and the Julian Alps to your itinerary.
Top attractions: Ljubljana Castle, Dragon Bridge and Tivoli City Park
Average temperature: While in Ljubljana in January, you will experience a maximum temperature of 3°C, which will drop down to -2° C at night.
14. Venice, Italy
Venice gets overcrowded during peak season and attempts have been made recently to limit the number of tourists visiting the city. And this makes January the best time to venture the north-eastern city of Italy, which is also known by the nickname La Serenissima (The Serene). You’ll find the canals quiet and shrouded in mist and hotels at discounted rates. You can visit St. Mark’s Basilica in peace and click photographs. Travelling to Venice during winter allows you to experience the city at a much slower pace where you can soak up the rich history and culture. The city’s unique architecture and canals turn magical and the lack of crowd lets you experience it completely. A holiday in Venice in the first month of the year is one of the best EuropeanCity Breaks in January.
Top attractions: Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica, Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square
Average temperature: In January, the minimum temperature in Italy will be 0°, but the maximum can go up to 7° C.
15. Palermo, Sicily
Palermo in Sicily is another sunny destination to visit in January and it’s worth it to rent a car and drive all over Sicily while exploring its tiny villages from Palermo to Catania. However, someplace remains closed during the off-season. The gorgeous island of Sicily in the heart of Mediterranean has long seduced travellers with its diverse landscapes and cultural treasures. Sicily’s varied landscape with sparkling seas and sky-high mountains keeps the travellers awestruck. It makes for a stunning backdrop of outdoor activities. Whether it’s Etna in Catania or the sparkling Golfo di Castellammare in Palermo – every scenery makes a dramatic first impression in the mind of a visitor.
Top attractions: Mount Etna, Valley of Temples, Stromboli and Island of Ortigia
Average temperature: While in Palermo in January, you will experience a warm climate, where the temperature drops down to 16°C at night and goes up to 20°C in the day time.
So what are you waiting for? Plan a January holiday in magical Europe and get ready for an extraordinary experience – one that you will cherish for a long time!