2024 is set to be a record-breaking year for travel, and destinations around the world are pulling out all the stops to welcome visitors, be it scaling blockbuster exhibitions, opening brand new museums or putting a fresh spin on existing attractions.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a longtime fan, there’s something new awaiting you on your next visit to these trendsetting places. So put them on your travel bucket list and get started on planning that trip you’ve been dreaming about:
1. Refreshed cultural sites and art aplenty in the City of Light
Book a flight to: Paris
On top of the 2024 Summer Olympics, this year sees the reopening of the Notre-Dame cathedral in December and the Grand Palais in the summer.
Art aficionados can marvel at various landmark exhibitions – from the ongoing Marc Chagall showcase (until 26 February) at the Pompidou Centre and Mark Rothko retrospective (until 2 April) at the Louis Vuitton Foundation to the upcoming blockbuster exhibition (26 March to 14 July), “Paris 1874”, at the Musée d’Orsay that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist showcase.
2. Natural wonders and premium villas galore in Southern New Zealand
Book a flight to: Christchurch
Famous for its glacial valleys, hot springs and International Dark Sky Reserves, New Zealand’s South Island remains one of the best places to experience nature in its purest, most untouched form.
Explore the upcoming Pounamu Pathway, a network of four linked visitor experience centres, and traverse the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track, which is being upgraded in anticipation of being crowned the country’s 11th Great Walk later this year.
Late 2024 will also welcome the unveiling of 14 luxury villas and a new restaurant at Flockhill Lodge near Arthur’s Pass. Set within a working sheep station, the chic property offers magnificent vistas of the surrounding landscapes including Lake Pearson and Sugarloaf Mountain.
3. A booming restaurant scene in Southwest America that will whet your appetite
Book a flight to: Houston
Although foodies visiting the United States often make a beeline for New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Houston is the oft-overlooked home to a diverse and burgeoning culinary scene.
Popular joints Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers and El Hidalguense clinched spots on The New York Times’ list of best restaurants in America for 2023, and locals will claim that the barbecue in Houston is second to none.
In other news, a number of city parks such as Guadalupe Plaza Park and Hermann Park will receive upgrades in 2024, creating more green spaces for tourists and locals alike to play and relax in. And if you happen to be in town on 8 April, you’ll have a front-row seat to the total solar eclipse.
4. A must-visit museum for video-game buffs opens in the ancient Japanese capital
Book a flight to: Kyoto
Many flock to Kyoto during peak cherry blossom season or to witness the vivid autumn hues in all their glory. But in 2024, there’s even more reason to visit this historic Japanese city. Work on the highly anticipated Nintendo Museum is scheduled to be finished this March, where iconic products from the company’s illustrious gaming history will be on display.
As far as accommodations go, you’ll be spoilt for choice with five-star properties Six Senses Kyoto and Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto both planning to throw open their doors this spring.
5. Thrilling family-friendly attractions spring up in the Lion City
Book a flight to: Singapore
The Little Red Dot has no shortage of activities for the entire family. Notable recent openings include Bird Paradise, Asia’s largest bird park that houses 3,500 birds from 400 species, and Trifecta, a sports and lifestyle complex in the heart of town where adrenaline junkies can skate, surf and snowboard to their heart’s content.
Meanwhile Sentosa island, one of Singapore’s top tourist destinations, continues to delight with its variety of offerings. Check out a special musical fountain show at the new Central Beach Bazaar or take on the electric go-kart circuit and mini-golf course at The Palawan @ Sentosa.
6. West End musicals and picturesque day trips from London
Book a flight to: London
From the West End debuts of acclaimed musicals Hadestown (February) and Mean Girls (June) to the upcoming Museum of Shakespeare, London continues to deliver on the cultural front.
It’s also a great base from which to explore neighbouring towns. Visit Lewes, just over an hour from Central London by train, to check out Charleston, a recently launched gallery and community space. You can also hop on the new Sussex Art Shuttle or attend a summer opera festival in Glyndebourne, located a 10-minute drive from Lewes.
There’s also the charming seaside locale of Ramsgate (the fastest train from Central London will get you there in under 1.5 hours) where there are independent boutique stores to be explored alongside a meal at buzzy new venue Seabird. This cosy spot serves creative cocktails, natural wines and seasonal dishes featuring fresh and local produce.
Singapore Airlines will begin direct flights to and from London’s Gatwick Airport from June 2024 onwards, in addition to its flights to Heathrow Airport. For more information, visit the official website.
7. Revamped tourist draws and luxurious stays at Angkor Wat’s door
Book a flight to: Siem Reap
While travellers have long made the voyage to Siem Reap to wind their way through Angkor Wat’s ancient ruins, the past couple of years have seen new attractions opening and old ones getting a much-needed refresh.
Visitors can discover an array of traditional plant species at the Angkor Botanical Garden or swing by the Angkor Green Gardens, which houses a wax museum and 12 heritage villages. As for where to stay? Premium resort Angsana Siem Reap is set for a 2024 unveiling.
8. Your ticket to South Australia’s scenic countryside
Book a flight to: Adelaide
Besides new hotel openings and a vibrant restaurant and bar culture, Adelaide is the gateway to some of Australia’s most splendid landscapes and unique wildlife sightings. Board a ferry or short flight to Kangaroo Island to spot native animals in its protected nature reserves, and stay at beautiful boltholes such as the newly reopened Southern Ocean Lodge.
The lush greenery and rolling vineyards of Adelaide Hills, named a trending destination for 2024 by American Express Travel, are a mere 30-minute drive away.
9. Artsy adventures and wildlife encounters in a rising Sichuan province
Book a flight to: Chengdu
Beloved for its fiery cuisine and quaint teahouses, this city in China’s Sichuan province is fast becoming a cultural destination.
2023 marked the arrival of the Zaha Hadid-designed Chengdu Science Fiction Museum, an aptly futuristic build that houses equally avant-garde content. Meanwhile, contemporary art nonprofit M WOODS opened its latest outpost, M WOODS People’s Park, on the historic Citang Street, where it continues to champion local artists.
While you’re in town, a must-visit for wildlife lovers is the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where you can catch a glimpse of the adorable creatures.
For more information on Singapore Airlines flights to the above destinations, visit the official website.