It’s time to start thinking about where you want to travel to in 2016. When considering your destinations of choice, it’s important to carefully consider what places you want to visit, what you want to see, and what events you would like to attend. We’ve made planning your next 12 months of travelling that little bit easier, with our compact guide to the best destination to visit for every month of 2016.

By Emma Lavelle who is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.

  • January, February & March
  • April, May & June
  • July, August & September
  • October, November & December

January – San Sebastian, Spain

12 Destinations In 12 Months - The Wise Traveller

This little known seaside town in the Basque country will be thriving with activity in January when it receives the accolade of becoming one of the European Cities of Culture for 2016. Although a year-long celebration of festivals and events is planned, we recommend visiting mid-January to experience the inauguration ceremony.

From the 18th to the 24th of the month, the streets of the city will be filled with revellers as a special programme of events is planned to celebrate the beginning of an eventful year. The focus of the events will be on the local arts scene, with an abundance of music, art, film and theatre performances and exhibitions planned. The conclusion of the week-long celebration will be the official opening ceremony, which has been designed with public participation in mind.

February  –  Palm  Springs,  USA

If  you  have  a  keen  eye  for  design,  head  to  Palm  Springs  between  the  11th  and  21st  February  for  the  annual  Modernism  Week.  The  annual  celebration  of  mid-century  modern  design  focuses  on  architecture,  art,  fashion  and  culture,  perfectly  situated  in  a  city  famed  for  its  abundance  of  striking  modernist  structures.  Popular  events  during  the  festival  include  guided  walking  and  double-decker  bus  tours  that  visit  a  selection  of  significant  and  iconic  modernist  buildings.  The  extensive  programme  of  events  also  include  home  tours,  lectures,  nightly  parties,  Frank  Sinatra  tours,  panel  discussions  and  architectural  documentary  screenings.  It͛s  also  the  perfect  destination  to  experience  a  bit  of  winter  sun  and  spend  time  lazing  by  the  pool.

March  –  Nuuk,  Greenland

Visiting  the  Arctic  may  not  have  been  previously  on  your  wanderlust  bucket  list,  but  Greenland  has  so  much  to  offer  in  March.  As  the  hosts  of  the  Arctic  Winter  Games,  the  finest  circumpolar  athletes  will  be  flocking  to  the  capital,  Nuuk  to  participate  in  the  biennial  event,  creating  a  thriving  hub  in  the  otherwise  quiet  city.  Alongside  the  calendar  of  sporting  events,  there  will  be  an  exciting  festival  combining  food,  drink,  song  and  dance.  With  ten  hours  of  daylight,  March  is  one  of  the  best  times  to  visit  Greenland,  as  there  are  enough  hours  in  the  day  to  explore  and  witness  the  landscapes,  yet  the  nights  are  long  and  dark  

enough  to  be  hopeful  to  witness  the  elusive  Northern  Lights.  Ensure  that  you  experience  a  dog  sled  ride  across  the  tundra  and  take  to  sea  to  try  to  spot  breaching  whales  to  ensure  an  unforgettable  trip  to  the  Arctic.


The  23rd  April  2016  is  widely  assumed  to  be  the  400th  anniversary  of  William  Shakespeare͛s  death.  To  commemorate  the  occasion,  there  are  an  array  of  events  and  activities  planned  in  and  around  his  home  town  of  Stratford-upon-Avon,  including  the  opening  of  Shakespeare͛s  family  home  and  the  school  where  he  studied  as  a  child  to  the  public.  The  Royal  Shakespeare  Company  have  planned  a  year  of  performing  a  selection  of  some  of  The  Bard͛s  best-loved  plays,  including  A  Midsummer  Night’s  Dream,  Hamlet  and  Cymbeline.  The  celebrations  will  culminate  on  the  weekend  of  the  23rd  and  24th  April,  with  a  1,000-strong  Birthday  Procession,  an  acrobatic  show  inspired  by  Shakespeare͛s  stories  and  a  spectacular  firework  display.

May–  Cannes, France

12 Destinations In 12 Months - The Wise Traveller

One  of  the  most  iconic  events  in  the  film  calendar,  the  Cannes  Film  Festival  celebrates  its  70th  anniversary  in  2016.  From  the  11th  to  the  22nd  May,  the  chic  French  beach  resort  will  come  alive  as  the  most  important  directors,  actors  and  screenwriters  from  Hollywood  arrive  in  the  city,  many  of  them  chartering  exclusive  yachts  for  the  duration  of  the  event.  Although  the  main  screening  and  VIP  events  are  only  open  to  professionals  from  the  film  industry,  the  whole  city  will  be  bustling  with  activity.  Head  to  Cannes  in  May  for  public  film  screenings  on  the  beach,  luxurious  parties,  fine  dining  and  the  chance  to  spot  your  favourite  Hollywood  star.

June  -  Russia

2016  marks  the  100th  anniversary  of  one  of  the  world͛s  most  iconic  railway  journeys,  the  Trans-Siberian  Express.  To  celebrate  the  occasion,  the  luxury  private  train  company,  Golden  Eagle  are  extending  their  Trans-Siberian  tour  to  allow  guests  to  discover  a  selection  of  the  most  remote  regions  of  Russia,  with  two  special  services  planned  for  June  and  July.  The  June  itinerary  will  travel  over  the  Sayan  Mountains  and  the  Road  of  Courage,  coming  within  15  miles  of  the  Chinese  border.  Overall,  the  train  journey  covers  a  remarkable  quarter  of  the  entire  planet͛s  circumference,  allowing  passengers  such  luxuries  as  private  entrance  to  the  Kremlin,  vodka  tastings,  and  the  chance  to  straddle  two  continents  by  standing  on  the  border  of  Europe  and  Asia.

July – Pittsburgh,  USA

The  most  eagerly-awaited  exhibition  of  2016  has  to  be  the  Andy  Warhol  /  Ai  Weiwei  joint  exhibit,  housed  at  The  Andy  Warhol  Museum  in  Pittsburgh,  Pennsylvania.  Showing  from  June  4th  to  August  28th,  the  exhibition  will  explore  the  influence  of  the  two  iconic  artists  on  contemporary  life,  with  Warhol͛s  work  representing  the  twentieth-century  and  Weiwei͛s  representing  the  twenty-first  century  and  what  is  to  come  in  the  near  future.  Comparisons  between  the  two  artists͛  practices  will  be  made  throughout  the  extensive  exhibit,  which  will  flow  throughout  the  entire  seven  floors  of  the  museum.

August  –  Rio  de  Janeiro,  Brazil

12 Destinations In 12 Months - The Wise Traveller From  the  5th  to  the  21st  August,  all  of  the  eyes  in  the  world  will  be  on  Rio  as  it  hosts  the  summer  Olympic  Games.  Renowned  for  its  street  parties  and  carnivals,  Rio  seems  set  to  throw  an  even  bigger  party  than  usual  to  welcome  the  hordes  of  athletes  and  spectators  that  are  expected  to  descend  on  its  streets  and  beaches  for  the  month  of  August.  Even  if  you͛re  not  interested  in  securing  tickets  for  the  Games  themselves,  the  party  atmosphere  will  ensure  that  August  2016  will  be  one  of  the  best  times  to  visit  Rio  to  experience  the  full  flavours,  colours,  music  and  culture  of  life  in  one  of  the  most  vibrant  cities  on  earth.

September  –  Aarhus,  Denmark

Head  to  Denmark͛s  second  city  at  the  beginning  of  September  to  experience  one  of  the  largest  cultural  events  in  the  whole  of  Scandinavia,  the  Aarhus  Festival.  Aarhus  is  to  be  named  one  of  the  European  Capitals  of  Culture  for  2017,  and  has  already  undergone  major  rejuvenation  around  its  waterfront  in  anticipation  of  a  year  of  celebrations  to  come.  The  theme  for  the  2016  festival  is  ͚Upside  Down͛,  and  will  involve  a  vast  programme  of  exhibitions,  street  performances,  musical  events  and  art  exhibits.  Aside  from  the  festival,  the  city  boasts  three  Michelin-star  restaurants  and  the  new  rainbow  hued  glass  walkway  on  the  top  floor  of  the  ARoS  museum  has  been  attracting  international  acclaim.

October  –  Albuquerque,  New  Mexico

Head  to  Albuquerque  from  the  1st  to  the  9th  of  October  2016  to  witness  the  spectacle  of  the  world͛s  largest  hot  air  balloon  event.  The  Albuquerque  International  Balloon  Fiesta  is  expected  to  involve  over  500  balloons  of  varying  shapes,  sizes  and  colours,  allowing  visitors  the  option  of  taking  a  balloon  ride  themselves  or  simply  admiring  the  balloons  from  the  ground.  Alongside  special  challenges  and  competitions,  the  highlights  of  the  festival  are  watching  the  Dawn  Patrol  of  glowing  balloons,  and  the  Mass  Ascensions,  where  all  of  the  balloons  lift  off  at  once,  completely  filling  the  skies.

November  -  Abu  Dhabi,  UAE

Pencil  this  one  in,  as  the  grand  opening  of  the  highly  anticipated  Louvre  Abu  Dhabi  is  currently  tipped  to  be  in  late  November.  The  architecture  of  the  museum  is  as  much  a  reason  to  visit  as  the  art  works  inside,  with  the  striking  domed  building  located  on  a  mad-made  island.  Several  French  galleries  are  shipping  a  selection  of  their  masterpieces  to  the  museum,  with  the  collections  focused  on  bridging  the  gap  between  Eastern  and  Western  art.  Details  of  the  opening  exhibitions  are  currently  closely  under  wraps,  but  we͛re  expecting  big  names.

December  –  Kochi,  India

12 Destinations In 12 Months - The Wise Traveller

The  Southern  Indian  state  of  Kerala  has  seen  a  rise  in  tourism  over  the  past  couple  of  years,  mainly  down  to  its  luscious  landscapes.  In  2016,  the  city  of  Kochi  will  host  the  Kochi-Muziris  Biennale  contemporary  art  exhibition,  running  from  December  through  to  March  2017.  Curated  by  Sudarshan  Shetty,  the  exhibition  is  expected  to  feature  the  works  of  both  Indian  and  internationally  acclaimed  artists,  having  played  host  to  an  exhibit  by  Anish  Kapoor  in  2014.  The  works  of  art  will  not  be  confined  to  the  walls  of  the  city͛s  galleries,  as  street  art  and  murals  are  expected  to  decorate  the  streets,  making  for  a  fully  immersive  experience.