1 | MILAN
Milan lost a little of its allure over the last decade, but hosting the World Fair in 2015 may put it back on the travel radar. Expo 2015 takes place in the city between May 5th and October 31st, with the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” and that’s a great excuse to see the recently-cleaned-up Duomo and to head next door to one of the world’s most lavish shopping destinations, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
SEE THE MILAN CITY GUIDE»
2 | VILNIUS
In 2015, Lithuania is more attractive than ever for European travelers, since it’s officially adopting the euro as its currency. But even those outside the eurozone will want to discover the capital Vilnius, with its well-preserved World Heritage center, filled with baroque architecture. Think of it as a much smaller and less crowded alternative to other Eastern European capitals like Prague or Budapest.
3 | VIENNA
2015 is the 150th anniversary of the opening of Vienna’s Ringstrasse, a circular boulevard lined with monumental architecture. All throughout the year you’ll catch several related events in the city, and in May it’s hosting this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, one of the world’s most-watched televised events.
SEE THE VIENNA CITY GUIDE»
4 | BAKU
It’s time you’ve heard of the Azerbaijani capital, and 2015 may be the year. Baku is hosting the very first European Games, something like an European Olympics, with several sports competitions attracting over 6,000 athletes to the city in June. Other reasons to visit this fast-changing capital include striking modern glass towers and a fascinating Old Town on the World Heritage list.
5 | PARIS
You may have been there before, but there’s always a reason to return to Paris. This year it’s the anniversary of the opening of the world’s first restaurant, serving as a reminder that France still makes the most delicious cuisine. And then there’s the brand-new Louis Vuitton Foundation, in a spectacular Frank Gehry-designed building, hosting contemporary art exhibitions.
SEE THE PARIS CITY GUIDE»
6 | DUBAI
A new year always brings new skyscrapers and new over-the-top attractions in Dubai. In 2015 that’s the Palazzo Versace Dubai, a palatial hotel by the Dubai Creek. But even if you can’t afford to step inside it, you’ll still want to head to this gotta-see-it-to-believe-it city for another rather recent attraction, the Miracle Garden, the world’s largest flower garden.
SEE THE DUBAI CITY GUIDE»
7 | WASHINGTON D.C.
2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War, and the best place to get an American history lesson is always Washington DC. But there’s yet another major reason to visit the American capital this year -- it’s unveiling the new National Museum of African-American History and Culture -- and it’s also the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, with special events at Ford’s Theatre.
SEE THE WASHINGTON D.C. CITY GUIDE»
8 | ISTANBUL
Hagia Sophia is one of the world’s architectural marvels, and in 2015 it’s celebrating 80 years since it was turned into a museum. Make this the year that you visit the wonders of the city that’s so grand, it’s in two continents.
SEE THE ISTANBUL CITY GUIDE»
9 | BERLIN
You heard a lot about the Berlin Wall in November of 2014, when the world remembered 25 years since the fall of the wall that divided the city, the East and the West. There will be more celebrating in 2015, especially since this is the 25th anniversary of the German Reunification. Expect special events in October, but there’s plenty to see and do in the capital city throughout the year, especially around the work-in-progress that is the treasure-filled Museum Island.
SEE THE BERLIN CITY GUIDE»
10 | AMSTERDAM
One of the world’s most intriguing artists, Vincent van Gogh, died 125 years ago, so Amsterdam is remembering one of its most famous figures throughout the year -- and not just at the Van Gogh Museum. This year is also a year of SAIL Amsterdam, a major maritime event taking place every five years, with tall ships from all over the world moored in the city, and opening for visits. It’s happening in August, but before or after that you’ll still find plenty to see and do around the wonderful canals.
SEE THE AMSTERDAM CITY GUIDE»
11 | BRISTOL
England’s sixth-biggest city is this year’s “European Green Capital” so there will be eco-friendly conferences and events throughout 2015. You may fly there directly or make it a train trip from London. You’ll want to explore the streets where Banksy got started, and see why this has been named Britain’s most liveable city.
12 | PILSEN
You’ve probably never heard of it, but this major beer-making Czech city is a big destination in 2015 -- it’s been named this year’s European Capital of Culture (together with Mons in Belgium). Expect a rich calendar of cultural activities, including the city’s medieval buildings transformed into canvases for cutting-edge audiovisual projections. And this year will also be when the bells of the gothic St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral will be heard for the first time since WWII (the originals were melted down by the Nazis), adding to the reasons why you should make this your alternative to Prague.
13 | SINGAPORE
This island city-state is an Asian melting pot, and in 2015 it’s celebrating 50 years of independence from Great Britain, while hosting the biennial multi-sport Southeast Asian Games. Be sure to visit the futuristic Gardens by the Bay opened in 2012 next to the iconic Marina Bay Sands, and see the grand opening of the new National Gallery, incorporating two monumental buildings to showcase local art and culture.
14 | HAVANA
Mark our words: Havana will soon be one of the most popular destinations in the Americas. Everyone will want to see this stuck-in-a-timewarp city before modernization finally arrives after a possible lifting of the American embargo. This rundown-but-beautiful city is also lively and romantic, with a look and feel not found anywhere else -- think colonial monuments and vintage cars crossing the streets.