From the Winter Olympics to the FIFA World Cup, major sports events are coming up in international destinations that are both appealing and exotic. When you’re not marveling at the action on the track, field or ice, you can enjoy some of the world’s finest cultural and culinary offerings.
Ready to play? Book your tickets, rooms and flights for these 10 world-class sports events.
Super Bowl: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Why Now? The Super Bowl gets more than 110 million TV viewers in the U.S. alone, but nothing beats watching the football gladiators live with 70,000-plus spectators. Regardless of who wins the championship, the halftime show is a guaranteed highlight, with Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga among recent performers.
Don’t Miss: The late Prince staged an unforgettable halftime show in 2007. Today, visit Paisley Park, his 65,000-square-foot recording complex outside Minneapolis, and view instruments and outfits owned by His Purpleness.
Winter Olympics: PyeongChang, South Korea
Why Now? From hockey to figure skating, the Winter Olympics offer an unmatched blend of adrenaline and artistry. In 2018 the 23rd all-time edition in PyeongChang puts the Winter Games in Asia for just the third time ever. Boogie to Psy’s “Gangnam Style” along with the ultracute mascot, Soohorang the white tiger.
Don’t Miss: In nearby Seoul the Trick Eye Museum delivers a unique 3-D interactive experience where visitors pose with optical-illusion paintings, from giant sushi to a reimagined Mona Lisa.
World Figure Skating Championship: Milan, Italy
Why Now? If you can’t do the Olympics, head to Italy’s fashion capital to see skating stars like Nathan Chen or Kaetlyn Osmond strutting their stuff. Between events at the 12,700-capacity Mediolanum Forum, devour veal Milanese and visit the world’s largest Gothic cathedral.
Don’t Miss: Milan’s Museo delle Culture (MUDEC) has superb exhibitions on international artists from Frida Kahlo to Pablo Picasso.
Commonwealth Games: Gold Coast, Australia
Why Now? Down under, preview 2020 Olympic hopefuls as athletes on 70 Commonwealth teams compete in cycling, swimming and more. The Gold Coast, in eastern Australia, is also a surfer’s paradise and home to many theme parks.
Don’t Miss: At lush Tamborine Mountain, explore caves with glow worms and view the rainforest canopy on a skywalk.
World Hockey Championship: Copenhagen, Denmark
Why Now? The International Ice Hockey Federation‘s annual showcase attracts NHL players who represent the world’s top 16 nations. Ever-happy Denmark is hosting this tournament for the first time. After the games stroll Copenhagen’s Stroget pedestrian street or party at the Tivoli Gardens.
Don’t Miss: The original LEGOLAND is three hours from Copenhagen, featuring stunning models of the Statue of Liberty, the Acropolis and more.
FIFA World Cup: Various cities, Russia
Why Now? Arguably no sports event gets the world more hyped than this global soccer championship. First-time host Russia built a high-speed train network to transport fans between 11 host cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Don’t Miss: Longing for simpler days when superpower rivalries played out in space? Moscow’s Museum of Cosmonautics displays Yuri Gagarin’s space capsule and Soviet cosmonaut suits.
Rugby World Cup Sevens: San Francisco, California
Why Now? Thrill to 40 international men’s and women’s teams vying for supremacy in this rough-and-ready quadrennial showdown. The San Francisco edition takes place at AT&T Park, home of baseball’s San Francisco Giants.
Don’t Miss: From Bizarro! to Japanese manga, the Cartoon Art Museum has a spectacular 7,000-piece collection at its new Beach Street location.
European Athletics Championships: Berlin, Germany
Why Now? Looking for successors to sprint legend Usain Bolt and decathlon champion Ashton Eaton? Here’s where to do it. Beyond the Olympic Stadium, Berlin’s buzz encompasses East German history museums, packed discos and boutique hotels.
Don’t Miss: On a guided four-hour Berlin on Bike tour, learn how Cold War fugitives escaped over the Berlin Wall and view brutalist East German architecture.
Ryder Cup: Paris, France
Why Now? Hardcore fans can’t pass up seeing the great U.S.-Europe golf battle at Le Golf National, southwest of the French capital. 2018 marks just the second time the Ryder Cup is scheduled for continental Europe.
Don’t Miss: L’Atelier des Lumieres, Paris’s first museum dedicated to digital art, will specialize in events like a half-hour Gustav Klimt presentation with 120 video projectors.
Hong Kong International Races: Hong Kong, China
Why Now? This horse-racing classic marks its 40th anniversary in 2018, and the prize for just one race — the Hong Kong Cup — exceeds $3 million.
Don’t Miss: Hong Kong’s offbeat cafés always delight, from the Harry Potter–themed 9 3/4 Cafe to Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine.