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View of the Gulf of Aqaba with boats and yachts in Eilat marina, Israel | © Sergei25/Shutterstock
View of the Gulf of Aqaba with boats and yachts in Eilat marina, Israel | © Sergei25/Shutterstock

15 Destinations You Have to Visit in 2018

Picture of Alex Jordan
Travel Editor
Updated: 21 December 2017

Find out what’s in store for the world of culture in 2018.

With 2017 nearly over, Culture Trip looks ahead to next year and picks out just some of the amazing destinations we hope to visit. Warning: scroll down for serious wanderlust-inducing images.

1. Atlantic Canada

Pristine nature, amazing gastronomy and sporting adventures await on Canada’s Atlantic coast. Hunt icebergs in Newfoundland, sleep in an enchanted forest in New Brunswick, kayak around Kidston Island by moonlight and dine on the ocean floor in Nova Scotia.

Kidston Island Lighthouse, Nova Scotia, Canada | © Paul Reeves Photography/Shutterstock

Kidston Island Lighthouse, Nova Scotia, Canada | © Paul Reeves Photography/Shutterstock

2. Shanghai, China

One of the world’s most energetic and glamorous cities blends the old with the new to stunning effect. Art Deco buildings sit alongside opulent Chinese mansions overlooked by towering sci-fi skyscrapers. Experience the city’s engaging nightlife, spirited fashion and design scene, and passion for what’s new and next.

Locals and tourists enjoying a warm summer's day in downtown Shanghai, China | © LMspencer/Shutterstock

Locals and tourists enjoying a warm summer’s day in downtown Shanghai, China | © LMspencer/Shutterstock

3. Jordan

Explore ancient sights and lost cities in Jordan. Sleep in a Bedouin tent and dine underneath the stars in the Wadi Rum desert. Explore Petra, one of the new wonders of the world, and bathe in the therapeutic waters of the Dead Sea.

The temple-mausoleum of Al Khazneh in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan | © Truba7113/Shutterstock

The temple-mausoleum of Al Khazneh in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan | © Truba7113 / Shutterstock

4. Kekexili, the Tibetan Plateau, China

Often considered the world’s ‘Third Pole’, Kekexili recently became a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore alpine mountains and rolling steppe systems at nearly 15,000 feet above sea level. During the summer months, witness the migration of the endangered Tibetan antelope.

Tibetan landscape with grazing sheep and goats | © Dmitry Pichugin/Shutterstock

Tibetan landscape with grazing sheep and goats | © Dmitry Pichugin / Shutterstock

5. Mexico City and the Yucatan

Incredible, world-famous architecture await in Mexico City – the first North American metropolis to win the accolade of World Design Capital. Head east and explore Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá in the Yucatan Peninsula and snorkel through a fascinating exhibit of submerged sculptures at underwater contemporary art gallery, MUSA.

Mexican chef in Teotihuacan | © Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock

Mexican chef in Teotihuacan | © Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock

6. Johannesburg, South Africa

Explore Soweto and Maboneng and visit the former residence of Nelson Mandela on Vilakazi Street. Take a day trip to Maropeng, the cradle of humankind where the fossils of our earliest ancestors were found, and extend your stay with a safari on a private game reserve like Bakubung Bush Lodge.

Johannesburg, South Africa | © Nataly Reinch/Shutterstock

Johannesburg, South Africa | © Nataly Reinch / Shutterstock

7. Aysén, Chilean Patagonia

Truly reconnect with nature on Northern Patagonia’s final frontier. Trek past colossal glaciers, snow-capped peaks and jagged fjords in one of the most sparsely populated regions on earth. Adventure awaits.

Torres del Paine National Park, South American Andes, Chile | © kavram/Shutterstock

Torres del Paine National Park, South American Andes, Chile | © kavram / Shutterstock

8. Tasmania and Western Australia

Though it’s often and inexplicably overlooked, the island of Tasmania has lots to offer. There’s an intoxicating mix of rugged wilderness, culture and gastronomy, not to mention award-winning vineyards to rival the mainland. Head across to Western Australia and spend the night in Ningaloo Reef to sand dive with whale sharks at dawn.

Sunrise at Cape Tourville, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania | © Andrii Slonchak/Shutterstock

Sunrise at Cape Tourville, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania | © Andrii Slonchak/Shutterstock

9. Comporta, Portugal

Comporta is pure escapism. Forget your worries in the villages on Portugal’s Troia Peninsula. Let the hours roll by while exploring the unassuming cobbled streets and sprawl out on the quiet beaches.

Herdade da Mourisca, Portugal | Nuno Valente Fotografia/Shutterstock

Herdade da Mourisca, Portugal | © Nuno Valente Fotografia/Shutterstock

10. Utah, USA

Utah is one of the ultimate road trip destinations. Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway boasts miles of uncrowded scenery with dramatic limestone cliffs, wildflowers and the Logan River. Go see the iconic barns of Mormon Row at Grand Teton National Park and visit Yellowstone, the land of ‘fire and brimstone’ in the caldera of an ancient volcano.

Fall colour with morning light in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah, USA | © Johnny Adolphson/Shutterstock

Fall colour with morning light in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah, USA | © Johnny Adolphson / Shutterstock

11. Uganda

This magical country is a natural paradise and one of the best places in the world to safari. Track chimpanzee and gorilla, observe tree-climbing lions and herds of elephants, and gawp in amazement at the thousands of bird species that call Uganda home.

Stunning scenery in Uganda | © evenfh/Shuterstock

Stunning scenery in Uganda | © evenfh / Shuterstock

12. Emilia Romagna, Italy

The success of 2017’s Call Me By Your Name has reignited interest in one of Italy’s most beautiful and romantic regions. Not only are Bologna and Parma, long considered the gastronomic capitals of Italy, located in the area, there’s also the idyllic town of Crema, the setting for Luca Guadagnino’s masterpiece, to explore.

Levizzano Rangone, Modena, Emilia Romagna, Italy | © Luciano Mortula – LGM/Shutterstock

Levizzano Rangone, Modena, Emilia Romagna, Italy | © Luciano Mortula – LGM / Shutterstock

13. Bolivia

Take the cable car up to El Alto at 13,500 feet for a bird’s-eye view of La Paz. Trek through the Sub-Andean strip of the tropical Andes between Peru and Bolivia. Head south to Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), an otherworldly landscape part of the Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos.

Local woman wearing traditional clothing in front of a store in a street in La Paz, Bolivia | © Peek Creative Collective/Shutterstock

Local woman wearing traditional clothing in front of a store in a street in La Paz, Bolivia | © Peek Creative Collective / Shutterstock

14. Valencia, Spain

Bursting with natural beauty, culture and adventure, the region provides much more than sun and fun on the Mediterranean coast. There are 35 museums to explore, including the Oceanogràfic, which is home to more than 500 species of marine life. Head outside the city for hiking, kayaking, horse riding and cycling in Castellón.

View of the sea from Pope Luna's Castle, Valencia, Spain | © karnavalfoto/Shutterstock

View of the sea from Pope Luna’s Castle, Valencia, Spain | © karnavalfoto / Shutterstock

15. Valletta, Malta

As the European Capital of Culture for 2018, Valletta is experiencing widespread regeneration and will soon have a new national museum of fine arts, design cluster and covered food market. The Maltese capital’s longest, narrowest thoroughfare is also getting a makeover and that’s before we’ve even mentioned all the stunning nearby beaches.

The Grand Harbour in Valletta, Malta | © Visit Malta

The Grand Harbour in Valletta, Malta | © Visit Malta