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The best places to travel in every month of the year

The best places to travel in every month of the year

The best places to travel in every month of the year

Ever arrive in a city to find the sights closed for a national holiday? Ever started your beach break during the monsoon? Timing is everything when it comes to planning a holiday. 

Where to travel in January

A Silverback gorilla looks at the camera in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Uganda.
See a mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest ©Jonathon Gregson/Lonely Planet

Uganda

It’s dry season (or dryish) in Uganda, which means good conditions for tracking endangered mountain gorillas. It’s estimated that approximately 700 of these magnificent creatures survive, with half of them in the forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. 

Vienna 

For a shot of culture, head to Vienna for its winter ball season to dress up in your finest gear and waltz with the locals. 

Where to travel in February 

12 places to go in February

Carnival celebrations in Rio and Venice 

Hemis National Park, India 

Winter mating season peaks for the snow leopards of India’s Hemis National Park, making the elusive cats easier to spot. 

Where to travel in March 

Iguazú Falls

Vietnam

Conditions in Vietnam are usually variable, but March is fairly fine across the country. Go trekking in Sapa, enjoy the beaches of Mui Ne or Phu Quoc, or explore the historic town of Hoi An. 

Where to travel in April

Many people picnic under cherry blossoms at Yoyogi Park in Shibuya.
Japan lures in travelers who want to enjoy the beauty of the spring cherry blossoms © KanokpolTokumhnerd / Shutterstock

Japan 

It’s sakura season in Japan, which means cherry blossoms are blooming. They spread northwards, appearing in Kyoto, Tokyo and Hiroshima in late March and April. 

Boston 

Baseball season starts in early April in the sports-mad city of Boston, which also hosts the world’s oldest city marathon this month. 

Where to travel in May 

An ornate church sits on an island in the middle of an Adriatic bay.
See the beauty of the Bay of Kotor in May © Julian Love / Lonely Planet

The Adriatic Coast 

Montenegro is the place for a multi-activity holiday. May is the start of rafting season, conditions are good for hiking, and the coastal spots aren’t yet packed with visitors. On the other side of the Adriatic, Abruzzo in Italy is taken over by wildflowers and butterflies. 

Indonesia 

It’s the start of mating season for Komodo dragons, and you may be lucky enough to see a dramatic fight between males in Indonesia’s Rinca or Komodo islands. 

Where to travel in June 

St Petersburg 

It’s White Nights festival in St Petersburg, where the sun doesn’t set and the city is buzzing with ballet, opera, music and other cultural events.

Zambia 

Where to travel in July 

A dusty landscape in the Australian outback as seen from the Ghan railway.
See the beautiful Outback landscape from the Ghan railway in July ©Matt Munro/Lonely Planet

Red Centre, Australia 

Pantanal, Brazil 

July is peak dry season in Brazil’s Pantanal wetland, with thinning foliage and shrinking water pockets increasing the chances of sighting jaguars—the park is home to the world’s highest concentration of these elusive predators.

Where to travel in August 

A man looks over a turquiose volcanic from the rocky rim.
Iceland becomes more accessible in the summer months ©LightField Studios/Shutterstock

Iceland 

An otherworldly natural landscape can be found over in Iceland’s bubbling lava fields. This unique environment becomes more accessible in August, allowing visitors to explore the volcanic craters and rock formations, boiling lava flumes and a turquoise hot-water caldera lake.

Turquoise Coast, Turkey 

Hop on a traditional twin-masted sailboat (gület) to explore the gems of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, the wind in your hair and nothing but the sea, skies and a whole lot of relaxation to contend with.

Where to travel in September 

Pints of Guinness on a wooden table.
Sipping pints of Guinness in Dublin is the perfect way to spend a September afternoon ©Andrew Montgomery/Lonely Planet

Dublin, Ireland 

Sipping a Guinness in a Dublin pub is one of the Irish capital’s essential cultural experiences (and rightly so), but come September it’s another series of historic venues that take centre stage as the Dublin Fringe Festival rolls into town, bringing with it an exciting mishmash of off-the-wall theatre, film and art installations.

The Silk Road 

It’s not too hot in the ancient cities of Uzbekistan and the deserts of Turkmenistan, or too snowy on the lakes of Kyrgyzstan, so if traveling along the vast Silk Road is on your bucket list, then September is the best time to do it.

Where to travel in October 

People explore the ancient ruins of Petra.
People explore the ancient ruins of Petra. ©Justin Foulkes/Lonely Planet

Jordan 

Autumn temps in Jordan are around 27ºC/81ºF, making it a decent time to visit the mystical city of Petra and follow the old Bedouin paths onwards to Dana. 

New Zealand 

The crowds have moved on from the golden sands of Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. It should still be warm, but if it does turn chilly, dig your own thermal bath at Hot Water Beach.

Where to travel in November 

Northern Thailand

Mesmerising landscapes are on offer in Northern Thailand, where hiking trails that thread through waterlogged rice paddies to waterfalls and hilltop stilt villages are even more special without the selfie-snapping summer crowds.

Mexico 

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is 1-2 November, so expect skeleton outfits, sugar skulls and tequila across Mexico in honour of the departed. 

Where to travel in December 

A close-up shows a reindeer surrounded by snow in Finnish Lapland.
Reindeer in farm in winter Lapland, Rovaniemi of Finland ©Roman Babakin/Shutterstock

Finnish Lapland 

Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland is the “official” year-round home of Santa Claus, but for the real festive feeling, is best visited in December. 

Patagonia, South America

This article was first published on November 19, 2019 and updated on December 26, 2021

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