Where should you go in January? There are so many reasons to travel in January and have a getaway weekend. There aren’t many tourists and travel is cheaper than during the other months. And it’s also a great way to start the promise to yourself to see more of the world.
So without further ado, here are great places to go to in January.
🎆London’s New Year Parade in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧
Our first suggestion on where to go in January is the capital of the United Kingdom. One of the biggest street parades in the UK (London is known for its parades), London celebrates its 34th year of New Year festivities in the West End that’s over 3 hours long and features world-class entertainment.
The official website has created a map of the path the parade is taking, so check their website, linked below.
💡Amsterdam Light Festival in the Netherlands 🇳🇱
Amsterdam Light Festival celebrates its 8th year under the theme Disrupt! Disruption describes things that cause a sudden interruption to an event, activity or process.
Founded in 2012, this festival has been a very disruptive force in Amsterdam history and has, since its creation, cemented a very young tradition of illuminating the streets of the capital with innovative light art gifted by artists from across the world.
If you want to know more about the Amsterdam Light Festival, read my article on the topic, which includes the various tours you can take and the history behind the very recent festival!
🎈Dolomiti Balloon Festival in Italy 🇮🇹
Ever dreamed of riding a hot air balloon and imagining what the skies must be like and how the world looks from above in the open skies at 5000 meters in altitude? But what about crossing the Alps in a hot air balloon?
For a week, balloonists from all over Europe flock over Dobbiaco to celebrate the Dolomiti Balloon Festival. It is spectacular, as you see an ascension of several hot air balloons.
👑👑👑Three Kings’ Parade in various cities across Spain 🇪🇸
The Three Kings’ Day, or Día de los Reyes, is celebrated in many cities across the world. According to the book of Matthew in the Bible, January 6 marks the day on the Christian calendar when the 3 Magi brought gifts to baby Jesus.
But the day before is when the festivities and parades happen to represent the journey the three kings made on camel to Bethlehem. On January 5, Spaniards and tourists across Spain are on the streets to celebrate this wonderful parade.
🥶36th Harbin Ice Festival in China 🇨🇳
Established in 1985, the Harbin Ice Festival is one of the four international ice and snow festivals around the world. The others are the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan, the Quebec Winter Carnival in Canada and the Helmenskollen Ski Festival in Norway.
Opening on January 5, 2020, the 36th Harbin Ice Festival celebrates the theme of “Pearl on the Crown of Ice & Snow”. Most of the exhibitions will be at the Ice and Snow World, the world’s largest ice and snow amusement park with an area of over 600 000 square meters.
There are over 2000 ice sculptures displayed, which are lit up in the afternoon for a dazzling exhibition.
The ice mining on the Songhua River has just started for their ice festival, which will begin in early January. Wearing traditional Chinese garb, the ice miners cut the ice into blocks and drag them out of the lake to build giant ice sculptures.
☕Vienna Coffee Festival in Austria 🇦🇹
If you love coffee and have been looking for an excuse to visit Vienna, then this festival is for you. Taking place in the Ottakringer Brewery, the Vienna Coffee Festival features great baristas in Austria and the world.
From coffee tastings to workshops, international experts share their knowledge of the bean, the machines to use and other practical tips to make a great cup.
The coffee is hot. The company is cool. And there’s live music and great food to celebrate.
❄️Grindelwald World Snow Festival in Switzerland 🇨🇭
📅January 20-25, 2020
On where to go in January, let’s get into the winter spirit and go to a snow festival. Located in Baerplatz, in the village center of Grindelwald, the festival started in 1983 as an event in which Japanese artists created a giant Heidi made of snow.
Now, it’s transformed into an integral cultural tradition. After the festival, the snow sculptures melt into the surroundings by themselves.
Grindelwald is also a nice ski resort, with stunning views of the Eiger mountain, so after seeing the sculptures, you can strap on your skis and ride down the slopes.
🍺Manchester Beer And Cider Festival in the United Kingdom🇬🇧
The final choice on where to go in January is in Manchester, UK, where the local beer and cider festival happens in late-January.
Featuring the best of brewing from the North of England, this is the biggest beer festival in the region, and it features over 750 ales, ciders, perries and foreign beers from around the world, including Germany, Czechia and Belgium.
I love beer, perry and cider, and there’s a nice selection of all of them at the festival. There’s also a variety of food choices to complement your drinking. In case you just want to visit the place but actually don’t like beer, there’s a dedicated gin bar, too.
I know, it’s not the typical article on where to go in January, but I wanted to put a spin on it.
Cultural festivals are great, because it’s at these times of the year when these places truly spark alive. And everyone truly enjoys them, locals and foreigners alike. I can almost guarantee you that you can’t get bored.
I hope that this article, as Marie Kondo would say, sparked joy in you and helped you motivate to travel in January. Every month is special, but because January marks the start of the year, it’s a great time to commit to the promise of seeing more of what’s out there.