Where to travel in 2018, you ask? Consider visiting these four cities and three countries, all of which will mark significant milestones and/or welcome new attractions in the year to come. Pack your bags and let your passions for history, sport, art, design and wine lead you to these exciting and wildly different destinations.
Nelson Mandela would have been 100 years old on July 18, 2018, and the country will honor their former leader with an as yet unannounced program of educational and cultural events in Johannesburg and beyond, called Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018: Be the Legacy.
Meanwhile, Africa’s first modern art museum, the Zeitz MOCAA, opened in Cape Town in 2017 with more than 100 galleries spread among nine floors; fortunately, entry tickets are valid for seven days, so feel free to take your time.
The World Design Organization has named Mexico City the World Design Capital (WDC) for 2018, honoring the city’s use of design in socially responsible efforts like a citywide bike-share program, the creation of new urban parks and the sprucing up of formerly rundown neighborhoods.
Though Mexico City is already full of vibrant attractions, such as the magnificent Palacio de Bellas Artes and the ornate, hilltop Chapultepec Castle, the Mexican capital is promoting its WDC title by using a signature shade of deep pink on everything from taxis to skyscraper lighting.
The city of New Orleans will mark its 300th anniversary in 2018 by celebrating its multicultural roots and communities, its penchant for joy and its sheer resilience.
A yearlong calendar of Tricentennial events includes an exhibition of the art collection of Philippe II, the city’s namesake Duke of Orleans; a restaging of the 1894 hit “Tabasco: A Burlesque Opera”; a gathering of tall ships from around the world; and plenty of jazz, food and fireworks. Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)
In June the Russian capital will host the 2018 World Cup at its 81,000-seat Luzhniki Stadium, part of the city’s huge Olympic complex. Between matches soccer fans can explore the adjacent Vorobyovy Hills-Gorky Park-Muzeon Park of Arts, which runs alongside the Moscow River and includes gardens, exhibition spaces and performance stages.
And though Moscow is perhaps best known for its onion domes, ballet and political intrigues, the city is also booming with farm-to-table restaurants, electronic-music nightclubs and some of the world’s most dynamic street art.
In spring of 2018, the Ontario capital’s long-awaited Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA) will finally debut in its brand-new digs — the first five floors of the art deco–era Tower Automotive Building. The reincarnated MOCA (which was originally located in the Queen West area) will be the highlight of an 8-acre cultural complex in Toronto’s hip, artsy Lower Junction.
Plan a trip for the last weekend in May and you can also catch Doors Open Toronto to tour many of the city’s most significant buildings for free.
Scientists have recently confirmed that this small South Caucasus country was the likely birthplace of wine — and on May 26, 2018, you can join Georgia in toasting its 100th year of declaring independence from Russia. (Its status as a republic became official in 1991.)
Georgians celebrate special occasions with multi-hour feasts called supras, which feature rich stews, hearty breads and creamy cheeses, as well as wines made from indigenous grapes like the dark, earthy red saperavi and nutty, funky white rkatsiteli. These Georgian vintages are often fermented in giant clay amphorae called qvevri, just as they were some 8,000 years ago.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held February 9 through February 25 in the Taebaek Mountains in the city of PyeongChang (aka Gangneung or Jeongseon), which is now a mre one-hour ride from Seoul on South Korea’s new KTX high-speed rail.
Keep an eye out for Soohorang, the Games’ white tiger mascot; this feline is a familiar figure in Korean mythology, symbolizing trust, strength and protection. While in Seoul check out the newly opened Seoullo 7017, a pedestrian-only high-line park stretching for almost a mile over downtown streets.
Where to Stay:
- W Mexico City
- Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel
- Moscow Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel
- Courtyard Seoul Pangyo
- THE PLAZA Seoul, Autograph Collection
- African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel
- AC Hotel New Orleans
- Delta Hotels Toronto
- MOXY New Orleans French Quarter
- Fairfield Inn & Suites New Orleans
- The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans
- The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto
- JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City
- Protea Hotel Fire & Ice Johannesburg Melrose Arch