Where to go in the new year? Which destinations are most exciting for 2024 and which are worth travelling to? A colourful mix of places, countries and regions near and far awaits you in this blog post – so there’s definitely something for everyone and every budget.
At the turn of the year, many travel blogs take a look back at the past year. I’d rather look to the future and introduce you to a select handful of great and varied travel destinations that will be on trend in 2024 and that may even surprise you. Ready?
Lake Millstatt: Time for two
Well, Lake Millstatt is something of a second home for me. My family used to live there and even though I do not remember it because I was still very, very small, I have many positive associations with the region – and of course the lake.
What makes Lake Millstatt and the surrounding area so special and different from other lakes in Carinthia? The cosy combination of tranquillity by the lake, the opportunity to go on great hikes with magnificent panoramas, but also the culinary component. “Time for two” is one of the main focuses of the region – and it’s not just about time as a couple, but also for friends and family outings for two. For this reason, many experiences at Lake Millstatt are designed for two people.
There are two highlights I don’t want to withhold from you:
- Bivouacs: Seven small wooden huts have been erected around Lake Millstatt. Each of these bivouacs has a unique location and is associated with a hotel or restaurant to provide culinary catering.
- Lake picnic: Row across the lake in a wooden boat and enjoy the picnic basket you have brought with you at a secret spot. Mhhh!
Salzkammergut: European Capital of Culture 2024
The time has finally come! Bad Ischl and Salzkammergut are the European Capital of Culture 2024, marking the first time ever that a region has held this title. A lot has happened in one of the most beautiful parts of Austria in recent years, and it remains exciting to see what the Capital of Culture programme will surprise us with. The ceremonial opening will take place at the end of January and we can definitely look forward to it.
Having explored the Salzkammergut in great detail over the last two years and summarised my tips and experiences in my first book, there are of course also numerous blog articles planned about it.
Don’t miss the following three places on your Salzkammergut trip:
- Klo & So Museum in Gmunden: Yes, the Kammerhof Museum does indeed have a permanent exhibition about toilets and their history. There is also an outhouse of Emperor Franz Joseph in the museum.
- Die Röhre: The emphasis here is on variety. For breakfast alone, you can choose from more than 50 different options.
- Dachstein shark: On the Heilbronn circular hiking trail on the Krippenstein, an 8-metre tall prehistoric shark stands guard and reminds us that this part of Austria was the bottom of the sea in prehistoric times. You can even climb into the Dachstein shark!
Tip: Glücksorte im Salzkammergut – get my book about this special region in Austria (available only in German).
South Moravia, Czech Republic: Variety at its best
The first international travel destination that I would like to recommend to you in this blog post lies just over the border with the Czech Republic: South Moravia. This region, which snuggles up to the north of Lower Austria, is ideal for day trips, weekends and short breaks.
Off to Znojmo: historical depth and impressive architecture
Not far from the Austrian border, the fascinating city of Znojmo unfolds. Known for its historic tunnels, which stretch like a labyrinth beneath the city, Znojmo offers a unique exploration tour for the adventurous. The tunnels, which once served as storage cellars and shelters, tell the story of the city in a very special way.
Another highlight is Znojmo Castle with a rich history dating back to the 11th century. It offers an impressive insight into the past. From the city towers, you also have a breathtaking view over the picturesque landscape of South Moravia.
When planning a visit, definitely make sure to leave time to check out the local breweries like Znojmo Brewery or Old Cock Brewery both located in the city centre.
Brno: the lively centre of South Moravia
The second-largest city in the Czech Republic is a vibrant hub that combines culture and history with modern flair. As a starting point for numerous excursions in the surrounding area, the city offers a perfect balance between urban life and nature experiences.
Brno’s nightlife is particularly appealing. With a variety of bars, clubs and restaurants that are open until the early hours of the morning, there is something to suit everyone’s taste. My personal highlight: the Super Panda Circus adventure bar.
If you are looking for adrenalin and a sense of adventure, you should take a trip to the Moravian Karst. Accessible cave systems like Punkva Caves with different routes and varied formations demonstrate the versatility of the region. What is so special about Punkva is the combination of cave exploration by foot as well as by boat. A trip there is only complete with a hike to check out Macocha abyss.
Mikulov: a paradise for connoisseurs
The charming and enchanting little town of Mikulov lies directly on the border with Austria. It is a real gem for lovers of good wine and culinary delights. The town is surrounded by rolling hills covered in vines and is known for its excellent wines. A wine tasting in one of the local wineries is therefore a must for every visitor. Check out Gourmet South Moravia for further information to help you plan your trip and find great food spots.
The imposing Mikulov Castle, which dominates the cityscape, is another highlight. With its baroque charm and beautifully landscaped gardens, it invites you to linger and explore. Inside the castle is a wine museum that documents the region’s long wine tradition. The library is also not to be missed.
Poland: Surprises around every corner
Anyone who knows me knows that I always find a reason to travel to Poland. And there really is something for everyone here. Truly everyone. Poland is one of the most diverse countries in Europe and surprises me anew every time I visit. I’ve explored different parts of Poland six times in the last few years and I’m travelling there again this year – it’s not yet decided exactly where I’m going. It’s not really important to me where in Poland I’ll go, because I’ve never been disappointed so far.
What makes Poland so special and why should you definitely travel there in 2024? Poland is colourful, because street art can be found in almost every town, no matter how small. Poland is delicious, because who can say no to pierogi? Poland is super easy to reach, as you can even get to Warsaw from Vienna in 7.5 hours – and for less than €28 if you’re travelling on a budget. Poland is an invitation to try something new and immerse yourself in a country full of surprises.
If you now feel like exploring Poland, I can highly recommend these places and regions:
- Lower Silesia: hiking, nature, mines, small villages.
- Eastern Poland: street art in Lodz, castles and palaces, Warsaw and its cuisine.
- Gdansk in the far north: Sea breeze, old Hanseatic city, small alleyways and romance.
Costa Rica: 100% Natur
Hardly any other country has ever charmed me with its nature as much as Costa Rica. For me, the Central American country is the greenest place on earth that I have ever seen. Maybe that’s simply because I was there during the rainy season. And that’s also the time of year I recommend travelling there. Yes, there may be a chance of rain from time to time, but it doesn’t rain every day or even for hours on end. Another advantage of the rainy season is that there are relatively few other travellers in the country. This means you can spontaneously organise your itinerary and stay somewhere longer if you feel like it.
If you are looking for a little adventure in 2024 and have 2-3 weeks to spare, you should definitely take a closer look at Costa Rica. Anyone who loves nature experiences, national parks, hikes, volcanoes and coasts will feel right at home in Costa Rica. A big plus point is the relatively good security compared to other Central American countries. Costa Rica is often referred to as the Switzerland of Latin America. Not once did I feel even the slightest bit unsafe.
My highlights in Costa Rica and what you should definitely see when you’re there:
- Whale watching in Marino Ballena National Park near Uvita.
- Watch the capuchin monkeys at the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park.
- Splash around and relax in the thermal springs around La Fortuna.