The Best Cities to Visit in the World for Each Month of the Year
Suppose you could take 12 trips, one for each month, and visit whatever exciting city around the world you choose. Where would you go? What would be your choice for best cities to visit this year?
While there’s no real answer and it’s hard to go wrong in your choice, here are the 12 cities we would choose:
January: Cartagena, Columbia
This Colombian city is spectacular in so many ways, from its setting to its arts scene, but the best reason to visit in January, is for the Cartagena International Music Festival, which brings together some of the world’s best classical musicians to perform and conduct clinics. As you might expect, the performances are amazing – and the city itself presents a nice antidote to all that coldness going on up north.
February: Christchurch, New Zealand
Almost completely recovered from the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, this lovely city on Pegasus Bay on New Zealand’s eastern coast revels in its British heritage – a little bit of which is on display during the city’s annual World Buskers’ Festival, happening in February. See the worlds’ finest street performers, acrobats, magicians, mimes, comedians and more.
March: Dublin, Ireland
It’s a tad cliched, but there really isn’t anything like St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. It’s not the no-holds-barred, let’s-dye-the-river-green bacchanalia of the American version; it’s a tad mellower, and better for it. And of course, it’s springtime in Ireland, so you can see “The Emerald Isle” in all its green glory.
April: Paris, France
April in Paris – are you kidding? Not only is it the stuff of song and absolute romance, April in Paris is smack-dab in the middle of the shoulder season, which means costs are reasonable and crowds are smaller. There’s never a bad time to be in Paris, but this is one of the best.
Also read: 10 Things to do in Paris That You Can't Miss
May: Kyoto, Japan
With the Summer Olympics in August, Japan will be bursting with tourists in 2020. Beat the crowds by going in May and avoiding Tokyo; instead, head to Kyoto for its most famous and important festival, Aoi Matsuri. Don’t miss the archery contests featuring archers in traditional Japanese costumes shooting at targets while on horseback. Spectacular!
June: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
As the days get really long, it’s always a good idea to head to places where sunlight is at its max – and that includes San Miguel de Allende, an UNESCO world heritage site featuring steep cobblestoned streets, pastel houses and grand 17th-century Spanish colonial architecture. Named by Travel & Leisure magazine as the best city in the world two years in a row, the city has an exuberant and festive atmosphere with lively cafés, eclectic galleries and excellent restaurants.
The rainy season begins in June, but temperatures are warm and a mist in the air makes for an excellent stroll around El Jardin, San Miguel de Allende’s central plaza. The city's beloved gathering place brings together architecture from four different centuries in a single setting.
Also read: Mexico Vacations Off the Beaten Path
July: Stockholm, Sweden
If you evaluate cities based on maximum daylight, Stockholm is a clear winner. But even if you play vampire and shun the daylight Stockholm is a nearly perfect urban destination, with its palaces, museums, churches, and cultural venues. And don’t forget about smorgasbord and aquavit!
August: Vancouver, Canada
August heat starting to get to you? If so, a trip to Canada’s West Coast jewel will be a literal breath of fresh air. No matter what your scene, Vancouver has a burgeoning one, from arts to food to music. And Vancouver’s parks and green spaces – including the gardens of neighboring Victoria – are at their peak in August. Vancouver is close, affordable, and unforgettable.
September: Munich, Germany
The way to do Oktoberfest is not to do it in October, but to hit it in September, when crowds are a wee bit smaller and the weather’s just a little nicer. Oktoberfest may be the world’s largest beer fest (remember: drink from the boot with the toe down), but it’s also a great place to sample southern Germany’s hearty fare. And no matter how you feel about beer and wurst, Munich is still Munich, and that’s wonderful.
Also read: The 5 Best Places to Visit in Germany
October: Dakar, Senegal
With the year winding down it’s time to be a little daring, and the capital of Senegal, on Africa’s west coast, is just the ticket. The frankly French metropolis features everything from surfing on the Indian Ocean to a vibrant club and music scene, with great food and exotic markets thrown in. Dakar is emerging as one of Africa’s great cities; now’s the time to sample it.
November: San Juan, Puerto Rico
November can be a grey, dull month in much of the country – and that makes a vacation in the capital of America’s largest territory even more exciting and vibrant. The city is undergoing a cultural and food renaissance post-hurricane, and the surrounding beaches and mountains call for exploration. Rent a beach villa, bring the extended family, and kick back.
December: New York City, USA
New York in the winter is a hugely underrated destination. The crowds are down, the lights are gorgeous, and the feeling of a big city during the Christmas season is one you’ll never forget. Go full tourist, skate at Rockefeller Center, watch your breath illuminated in the lights of Times Square, and revel in the Big Apple in the holiday season.
That’s our list of the best places to go each month of the year. What are some of your favorite cities to visit and when? Let us know and find out about more hot destinations: Follow our Facebook page