There is nothing more exciting than the prospect of planning an unforgettable trip for the year ahead. If travel is on your bucket list for 2024, you're not alone. Get some inspiration with these 21 unique events happening across the globe that are worth traveling for. 


Carnival, Brazil 

Key dates: February 9–17

If you're feeling the urge to start the year off on a high note, the Rio de Janeiro Carnival in Brazil is a celebration not to be missed. In the week leading up to Lent, Brazilians don colorful, shimmering costumes and dance every night away in Rio’s packed streets. Expect samba dancing, music until the wee hours of the morning, and experiences unlike any other. 

Afrika Burn

Key dates: April 29–May 5

Craving a desert escape with nonstop inspiration? AfrikaBurn is a six-day event that brings people from across the world to the arid landscapes of Quaggafontein in South Africa. Aiming to “create a world anew,” AfrikaBurn is an extension of Burning Man in the US, and is known for its radical inclusivity and endless opportunities for creative expression. 

Lavender Festival

Key dates: Mid-July (2024 dates yet to be announced) 

If Croatia had a national scent it could well be lavender, with the country's fields creating a mesmerizing purple spectacle worth catching a glimpse of. Each year, the island of Hvar honors its lavender plants with a festival where you can sample perfumes and lavender-flavoured pastries, attend concerts and visit exhibitions on the history of the flowering plant. 

Fiesta de la Vendimia

Key dates: First week of March

Calling all wine lovers: every grape-harvest season, the normally quiet city of Mendoza in Argentina transforms into a lively hub of celebration for the Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia. From harvesting the grapes to sampling the finished product, you will get an insider look at the Argentinian wine industry. Beyond sipping on the local delicacy, you can enjoy Mendoza's cuisine, watch the massive parade and see folk songs and dances. 

The festival can start as early as January, but the main parade and performances begin in the first week of March. 

Woman partake in an archery competition in Mongolia.
See the Naadam Festival in Mongolia © mbrand85 / Shutterstock

Mongolian Naadam Festival

Key dates: July 11–15

Mongolia is known for its expansive landscapes and stargazing potential, but each year you can also experience ancient Mongolian traditions and celebrate its long history at the Naadam Festival. The main celebration takes place in Ulaanbaatar and features opening and closing ceremonies, plus competitions in Mongolia's "three manly sports" of wrestling, horse racing and archery.

The event in Ulaanbaatar will require tickets, but entrance is typically free to community Naadam Festival events across the rest of the country.

National Braai Day

Key date: September 24

In South Africa, National Braai Day is an extension of Heritage Day. The country is known for its 11 national languages, but one word that translates across all is "braai". 

Braai is the traditional art of South African barbeque. While events are happening all over the country, most locals take to the streets and their yards to enjoy grilled boerewors (spicy sausages) and cuts of meat. Befriend some locals or dine at a nearby braai restaurant to join the celebration.

View of the crowd during Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Spain © Xavi Torrent/Redferns/Getty Images

Music and theatre events

Primavera Sound

Key dates: May 29–June 2

If traveling for music is one of your favorite pastimes, the iconic Primavera Sound music festival in Barcelona, Spain, should be on your list. One of the city's biggest events, it's an experience you won't forget and offers a stacked lineup over three days. Artists on the bill for 2024 include SZA, Lana Del Rey, Vampire Weekend and many more.

Festival of Voices

Key dates: June 28–July 7

In the deep midwinter in Tasmania, Australia, thousands flock to the Festival of Voices for a week of magical music.  The festival features cabaret, contemporary and choral music and the chance to hear groups from across the world sing. If you want to go beyond the performances, you can also participate in lessons and workshops during the festival. 

People dance with headphones at a silent disco in the streets of Edinburgh.
Guru Dudu Silent Disco going around Edinburgh during the Fringe © Dan Smith Photography / Shutterstock

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Key dates: August 2–26

Throughout August, the whole city of Edinburgh in Scotland becomes a stage where creativity can be found around every corner. With a mixture of free and ticketed events, the Fringe Festival is whatever you make of it. Enjoy comedy shows in a darkly lit saloon, spend the afternoon at a concert in the park or catch a spoken-word performance while waiting for the bus. 

You can keep track of the events happening at the Fringe Festival by grabbing one of its paper brochures or by downloading the Fringe Festival app. Accommodation books up fast, so plan early. 

Sporting events

Superbowl LVIII

Key date: February 11

In 2024, the first-ever Las Vegas-based Superbowl – Superbowl LVIII – will take place, with a highly anticipated halftime show by Usher. Tickets are like gold dust, and buying from resellers is the most common (but usually priciest) way to get one. If you want to experience the atmosphere without attending the game, head to the pre- and post-game celebrations at the Mandalay Bay South Convention Center, where there will be activities, star player appearances, food and NFL memorabilia.

e logo, Paris 2024 representing the Olympic Games, several months prior to the start of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games is displayed on the illumined facade of Paris town hall.
Paris will light up this summer for the Olympics © Chesnot/Getty Images

Summer Olympic Games 2024, Paris

Key dates: July 26–August 11

It's officially an Olympic Games year in 2024; this time, the best athletes in the world are heading to Paris, France for the Summer Games. Before we watch them battle it out for gold, the City of Lights will unveil an opening ceremony unlike any other. Rather than host it in the Olympic Stadium, the athletes will float down the River Seine on boats for each nation. This new approach will make watching the opening ceremony in person a free event for everyone – though your view might be a bit restricted.

Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament 

Key Dates: January 13–February 11

Since its inception, the Africa Cup of Nations has been an adrenaline-pumping, month-long event. But what was once a tournament between only few countries has expanded to become a 24-team showdown. This year, it will take place across five cities in Côte d'Ivoire. Come and see if Senegal will hold on to its title. 

Although it's being held in 2024, the tournament will still be referred to as the African Cup of Nations 2023, following the postponement caused by tropical rainstorms in Côte d'Ivoire. 

Exhibitions and museum openings

Sign for La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale) in Venice.
Head to Venice to see the incredible art of the Biennale © TETSURO GOTO / amanaimagesRF / Getty Images

Biennale Arte 2024 60th International Art Exhibition 

Key dates: April 20–November 24 

The Biennale Arte in Venice, Italy, is a masterclass of art from around the world. The expansive exhibition takes place every two years and is worth multiple days of exploring. The main exhibition in 2024, Foreigners Everywhere, is curated by Adriano Pedrosa, who will be the first Latin American artist to curate the International Art Exhibition. You'll be able to see the artworks from April 20 through November 24, 2024. 

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County New Commons

Key date: Opening date in 2024 yet to be announced

On a mission to connect more with visitors, the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles is opening a new wing in 2024. The Natural History Museum Commons will become a gathering place for those interested in seeing where science, culture, history and community intersect. The new wing will have an outdoor amphitheater, indoor theater, and event space. With an array of activities curated to teach the history and science of Los Angeles, this is a perfect place to mix learning opportunities with fun. Keep an eye on the museum's website for a confirmed opening date. 

Pan African Heritage Museum 

Key date: December 2024

The Pan African Heritage Museum in Accra, Ghana, is set to open in December 2024 and will be the first museum devoted to exploring the origin and civilizations of Africa. The museum's goal is to be an educational destination for Africans and those of African descent to take an in-depth look into the history and cultures of their ancestors. In the meantime, you can explore the exhibits in its virtual museum

The Stonewall Inn, often shortened to Stonewall, is a gay bar and recreational tavern in the Greenwich Village neighborhood.
A new visitor center is opening to mark the history of Stonewall © Getty Images

Stonewall National Monument Visitors Center, NYC

Key date: June 2024

During Pride Month in 2024, the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center will officially open in New York City, providing visitors with a more profound look at the history of the Stonewall Rebellion. Through displays of artwork from LGBTIQ+ artists, guided tours, exhibitions and lectures, the center will act as a place to celebrate and honor the history of the LGBTIQ+ community. 

Seoul Robot and AI Museum

Key date: Mid-2024

With the wave of AI becoming a part of our daily lives, the Robot and AI Museum (RAIM) in Seoul, South Korea, is working to teach visitors about AI technology through its imaginative and interactive exhibits: expect to walk away with a more informed outlook. The museum was not only built with the help of robots and drones, but robots will also help maintain and assist with the museum's operations. RAIM is slated to open mid-2024 – keep up to date on its website.

Nature trips

Famous Mazatlan sea promenade, El Malecon, with ocean lookouts, tourist beaches and scenic landscapes.
See the eclipse in the beautiful scenery of Mazatlán © Elijah-Lovkoff / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Witness a total solar eclipse

Key date: April 8 

If witnessing a total solar eclipse is your dreams, 2024 is the year to see it. Marking a path through Canada, the US, and Mexico, millions of people will be in line for a total eclipse. But for those looking for an optimal view (and a little beach vacation), Mazatlán in Mexico is the top spot. Here, the eclipse is set to last 4 minutes and 15 seconds and will have nearly 100% totality, making it one of the best places in the world to witness the phenomenon. 

The solar eclipse will take place on April 8, but the time of totality will vary depending on your location. NASA makes sure to note: “Safety is the number one priority when viewing a total solar eclipse. Be sure you're familiar with when you need to wear specialized eye protection designed for solar viewing.”

Drive the Karakoram Highway

Key dates: April–October 

Pakistan is one of the destinations featured in Best in Travel 2024, and with its varied, mountainous landscapes, it offers some of the best road trips in the world, including the Karakoram Highway. The best time to hit the highway is from April to October. From Gilgit-Sost, it is typically 112 miles and takes four days. Along the way, stop to hike, sail the vibrant blue waters of Attabad Lake and experience views of the staggering Karakoram Mountain Range.

Hit the slopes in Hokkaidō

Key dates: Best snow conditions January and February

Considered to be Japan's premiere destination for skiing, Hokkaidō is where winter sports come alive, with its ever-so-powdery snow. For the best winter sports conditions, January and February are typically the most popular months to visit, although most ski lodges stay open until spring. You can also attend the Sapporo Snow Festival in February for snow sculptures, local cuisine, snow slides and so much more to celebrate the joys of the winter season.

Young happy beautiful girl walks along the cold shore of the Baltic Sea in windy sunny weather.
Spend the summer hiking the Baltic Trails © Getty Images/iStockphoto


Hike the Baltic Trails

Key dates: Summer (northern hemisphere) 

If hiking is your favorite pastime but elevation gain isn't what you’re after, another of the highlights in this year's Best in Travel may be the answer. The Baltic Trails are two long-distance hikes covering a combined distance of around 2000 miles (3219km), which pass through the countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, taking in national parks, villages and cultural-heritage sites. Relatively flat but lined with captivating forests, stunning coastline and ancient bogs, it's a mesmerizing journey. Depending on your chosen route, the hike can take anywhere from 70–110 days. Hiking during the summer is essential to avoid freezing temperatures. 

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