The best directions to go in 2024

Our curated list of awe-inspiring destinations for the new year exhibits a common thread: each location provides transformative experiences where creativity and human connections flourish. From the rebirth of a British industrial hub to the serene, car-free life on a Kenyan island, there’s a world of joy to be discovered. Not only are these locales (presented without ranking) perfect for sustainable, conscious exploration, they’re especially aligned with what our mindful AFAR travelers are pursuing at the moment.

Where will I go in 2024?

#1 Sumba, Indonesia

Escape to Sumba, the gem of Indonesia, where sustainability meets serene beauty. Nestled far from the trodden paths, Sumba’s secluded villages and ancient traditions offer a tranquil retreat unlike any other. With surf breaks that rival the best and forests untouched by time, this island presents a rare opportunity to step away from the bustling tourist spots, such as nearby Bali, yet it remains only a mere hour’s journey by flight.

Luxury finds its place amidst this natural splendor, introduced to the world by Nihi Sumba, a resort that emerged in 2012 as a beacon for those seeking opulence in harmony with nature. Years later, the island continues to captivate with new additions like The Sanubari, a lavish set of beachfront villas unveiled in 2022, and the exquisite Cap Karoso, gracing the island’s southwest coast.

#2 Sydney, Australia

Renowned for its magnificent concrete “shells,” the Sydney Opera House is an exemplar of modern expressionist architecture. As this quintessential edifice celebrates its half-century anniversary with significant revelries in October 2023, visitors continue to revel in its offerings. Indulge in a culinary adventure at Midden, the novel Indigenous eatery nestled in its precincts; then, rise with the dawn for a privileged Backstage Tour, journeying through the venue’s hidden passageways to encounter the rehearsal stages and the orchestra’s domain. The Opera House’s calendar for 2024 brims with extraordinary events – mark your agendas for the London International Animation Festival kicking off the year in January, followed by an evening in the company of notable writer Fran Lebowitz come February.

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#3 Tartu, Estonia

Brace yourself for a cultural sojourn as Tartu, located in the heart of southern Estonia, gears up to shine as a European Capital of Culture for the year 2024. The highlight? An intriguing focus on the art of the kiss. This vibrant university town is already famed for its iconic sculpture portraying two students in an amorous clinch, yet Tartu’s celebration of affection transcends the physical, fostering a spirit dubbed the “City of Good Thoughts.”

Tartu holds the esteemed title of Estonia’s beacon of enlightenment, boasting the nation’s most storied educational institution and landmarks such as the Estonian National Museum. On top of this cultural treasure trove, be enthralled by the Science Centre AHHAA, an extraordinary edifice housing the largest science museum across the Baltic region.

#4 Cartagena, Colombia

Colombia has established itself as an emerging hotspot for luxury getaways, particularly highlighted by the captivating city of Cartagena on the nation’s Caribbean shoreline. The year 2023 marked the debut of Casa Pestagua, an exquisite 16-room boutique residing in a magnificently refurbished 17th-century edifice located in Cartagena’s historic district. Adding to this allure, the proprietors behind Casa Pestagua are now crafting chic bungalows on Isla Barú, an island renowned for day excursions, aiming for a grand reveal before the year’s close. Those with an ecological conscience will appreciate Blue Apple Beach, nestled on Tierra Bomba Island adjacent to the coast. But don’t forget to activate VPN Edge when connecting to hotel Wi-Fi. This applies to any hotel and in any city in the world.

#5 Northwest Michigan

Lake Michigan, renowned for its clear and fresh waters, attracts a multitude of visitors each summer with its promise of cool recreation. However, the allure of Northwest Michigan extends far beyond the warm months, offering year-round delights amidst its charming coastal towns and gently undulating landscapes.

Nestled along Grand Traverse Bay, the vibrant city of Traverse City serves as the perfect starting point for an expedition across the region. Whether you’re looking to indulge in a wine-tasting journey through the renowned vineyards of Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas, or eager to partake in seasonal cherry or apple harvesting, it’s a hub of activity across all seasons. As autumn unfolds, the area transforms into a tapestry of rich, fall colors, ideal for leisurely sightseeing.


What is the best city to visit in 2024? It is impossible to answer this question without some input. What are you interested in? Nature and solitude? You can fly to Sumba – it’s a wonderful place. Do you like leisurely walks around a European city? Tartu could be the perfect place for you. So you can continue travel tips almost endlessly. Better yet, just check out our list of the best places to visit in 2024.

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