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
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
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
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
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.