25 BEST Places to Visit in January

So it’s a brand new year, and you are looking for the best places to visit in January. We got you covered! Whether you are seeking warm or cold, skiing in the Alps, or soaking up the beaches in Asia, we are delving into our favorite places to travel in January around the world.

Being a winter snow bunny and a powder chaser, January is one of my favorite times of the year to explore winter destinations. If it involves hot chocolate, mulled wine, and lots of white fluffy snow, it’s a yes for me. Though it’s also a fantastic time to escape dreary weather where you may be from and head for warmer climates.

January is also a great time to travel if you seek fewer crowds and cheaper prices. Families with children are back in school, and summer is nowhere near, meaning more people are planning their summer travel and fewer people actually travel. Below are some of the best places to head for a January vacation.


The Best Places to Visit in January


Madonna Di Campiglio, Italy

Dolomites
Having Lunch While Skiing Near Madonna Di Campiglio

Madonna Di Campiglio is the jewel of the ski and winter scene in the Trentino region. It’s a well-known resort famous for hosting many Italians looking for solid skiing, dining, and relaxation in a very posh environment. It still holds on to its claim to fame as the summer vacation spot of Austrian Royalty and Princess Sissi. The town is a beautiful little gem set at the base of the Dolomites and has all the charm of a classic European mountain town.

Madonna Di Campiglio is nearly car-free, and it’s easy to take an evening stroll after a day on the slopes. We spent our evenings window shopping while checking out 19th-century architecture with a cappuccino in hand.

Charming wooden homes line the streets at the foot of the Dolomites. It is easy to see why the resort town is well cherished in Northern Italy and a great spot to travel to in the winter season if you love skiing, winter hiking, tobogganing, and cozying up around the fire.

30 Important Italy Travel Tips to Know Before You Go

Grindelwald, Switzerland

Travel Switzerland
Grindelwald First in January / Best Places to Visit in January

Grindelwald is a little mountain village not far from Interlaken. This small Swiss town provides perfect access to multiple ski areas and numerous hiking trails.

High above Grindelwald lies the Bernese Alps and a famous mountain face. That mountain is Eiger’s notorious North Face, one of the most well-known mountain faces in the world.

Wengen - Jungfrau
Lauterbrunnen in winter

The village has a long main road and plenty of accommodation options to handle the many tourists who journey up the valley from Interlaken.

The village lacks the same charm that the surrounding villages have, such as Gimmelwald, Murren, or Wengen, but it does provide amazing access to the mountains – great for skiers and those after a solid European winter holiday. Grindelwald is especially great if you want to go up Jungfraujoch or plan to enjoy Grindelwald First and the many experiences you can have up there.

If you are traveling all the way to Switzerland in the winter, it’s best to make the effort and see Lauterbrunnen nearby. It’s here you can find one of the most famous waterfalls in switzerland!

18 BEST Places To Visit In Switzerland

Laos

Visiting Laos in January means prices are dramatically reduced, the weather is amazing and there’s so much to see and do. These are just some of the reasons why this is the best time of year to travel to this beautiful country.  

Think no crowds, no line-ups and a chill vibe where you can just go about your merry way as slowly as you wish. Explore some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, visit stately temples, browse vibrant night markets, take a cruise on the Mekong or just enjoy the sunny weather on a lounge patio with an exotic cocktail in hand. 


Northern Idaho, USA

Lookout Pass
Snowboarding at Lookout Pass / Best Places to Visit in January USA

If you’re into skiing or snowboarding and after a good winter vacation, I suggest heading to the potato state instead of Colorado like the rest of the Southern United States population. Idaho has some fantastic ski resorts, many relatively quiet and unheard of but complete with endless epic skiing and snowboarding.

The powder? Oh, it’s sublime and sticks around for quite a while during January. We have been snowboarding in Idaho well into April, so there’s no doubt there will be snow.

Head to Sandpoint for the cutest mountain town by the frozen lake before skiing at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. Want something a little less crowded? Opt for Silver Mountain near Kellog or Lookout Pass Ski Area located between Montana and Idaho on the Idaho Panhandle.

travel-credit-card

The Maldives

Maldives

One of the best places to visit in January is not a place at all but a group of islands and atolls. Who wouldn’t want to escape dreary winter weather and exchange it for a tropical paradise? The Maldives is truly not a spot in the world to be missed.

January is frequently the coolest month of the year across the islands, which means you won’t have to sweat it out in between ocean dips. Visiting the Maldives in January means less rainfall as it’s their dry season.

Overwater Maldives

In the middle of the dry season, there’s not much rain to worry about, meaning it’s also not that humid. There’s plenty of sunshine to fill your vacation, and any clouds that might be in the sky get blown away by winds from the northeast.

Average daytime temperatures are 30°C, the sea temperature is a balmy 28°C, and it’s pretty dry. Spend your days relaxing on an overwater bungalow, scuba diving in one of the best places in the world, go snorkeling with family, and enjoy spicy Maldivian cuisine under the stars.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Maldives?

Morocco

Alleys of Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen in January / Where to Travel in January

One of the best places to visit in January is Morocco. Thanks to Morocco being mainly desert, January is never what you’d consider properly cold, and it’s far from scorching hot.

The average daytime temperature for Marrakech, for example, is 19°C. There’s also plenty of sunshine and little rainfall, meaning you’ll have great weather that isn’t too sweltering. It’s perfect for exploring some of the city’s top sights, and a good time of year if you don’t like the heat or crowds.

The rest of the country features a nice breeze from the Atlantic ocean, so you feel nice and cool even in the sun. That said, the sun feels nice and warm on the Mediterranean coast and ocean dips by the seaside town of Essouraia are ideal

If you plan on heading into the desert or to the blue city of Morocco, Chefchaouen still bring a jacket as nighttime temperatures might drop to 8 °C and below.

35 Fun and Interesting Facts About Morocco 

Innsbruck, Austria

Things to do in Innsbruck

There aren’t many cities in Europe quite like Innsbruck. It’s coined the title “Capital of Alps,” and easy to understand why once you set foot in the city. The impressive Nordkette Mountain Range towers over the city, and nature never feels far away.

things to do in innsbruck

It’s the only city where you can ski, explore a grand palace, window shop, and savor a strudel all in one day making it the perfect place to visit in January if you like winter. There are plenty of things to do in Innsbruck with the Austrian Alps at your hotel doorstep and a city rich in history.

In many ways, everything we love about Austria is packed into a modern and historical city. The fact that you can be in a beautiful medieval old town and then in the heart of the Alps within minutes is not something found everywhere in the world.

30 BEST Things to do in Austria

Hokkaido, Japan

Furano Ski Resort
Snowboarding in Furano / Best Places to Visit in January

Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost island that receives polar temperatures that blow over from nearby Siberia. You will not be working on your sun tan here, but it does make for sublime ski conditions in January.

The island is renowned for its legendary dry snow or powder, making it one of the best regions in the world for snowboarding and skiing. If you are after the island’s famous powder for skiing, the best time to visit Hokkaido is between December and March.

Niseko Ski Resort in January

During January, snowfall is abundant away from the island’s coast and blankets much of the countryside and mountains. Many ski resorts, like world famous Niseko Ski Resort, set records for the most snow in a season, despite a shorter season than their North American and European counterparts.

Places like Furano, and local resorts around Sapporo, open their doors to skiers and snowboarders. January is high season at some resorts, but you likely won’t be too bothered unless you’re at Niseko.

Ski conditions are superb, and Hokkaido is culturally fascinating, with an abundance of delicious Japanese food. A typical winter day in January involves plenty of snow, a bowl of hot ramen, and soaking in one of the many Japansese bathhouses.


Cape Town, South Africa

things to do in cape town 2020

If there is one city in the world I love traveling to, it’s Cape Town, a city too beautiful for its own good. Where one can get easily lost in the depths of nature and still have dinner at any sushi, tapas, or bistro, they want just a short drive away.

There are so many things to do in Cape Town it’s hard to optimize your time there unless you have a full year. We have spent more than three months in South Africa’s hippest city, and felt we barely scratched the surface of what the city has to offer.

Cape Town will easily enchant any visitor with adventure activities like climbing the iconic table mountain, hiking up Lions Head of sunset, or snorkeling with Cape Fur Seals. When you want something a bit more relax head to Constantia to sip delicious Pinotage while overlooking the tip of Africa.

January in South Africa means Summer. Cape Town has barely any rain, blue skies, sunshine, and rising temperatures; the daytime average is 25°C. It’s a good time of year to hit the beach, go surfing, and enjoy a stroll at the V&A Waterfront.


Banff National Park, Canada

Things to do in Banff in the winter

Banff National Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world. Have you logged onto Instagram lately? In case you missed it, Banff, Alberta, has been the hot place to go for the past few years. Imagine vast mountains, beautiful bright blue lakes, and a charming small Canadian town under towering Mount Rundle.

If it sounds and looks like the perfect place to spend Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring – that’s because it is (we should know as we were so tempted we finally moved there).

Banff is surrounded by three large ski areas for powder hounds – Mt. Norquay, Banff /Lake Louise, and Banff Sunshine combine to form SkiBig3. This area becomes a skier or snowboarder’s version of heaven in the winter.

Keep in mind that January in Alberta is anything but warm. The average temperature is about -10°C during the day, and even more frigid as the sun sets. Expect snow, fog, and a few sunny days so bring a warm packable down jacket and bundle up!

If you are looking for bright blue lakes to kayak on and plenty of hiking opportunities it’s best to wait until summer to visit the Canadian Rockies. However, if you like cold weather activities like nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and skiing and snowboarding, Banff is one of the best places to head in January.

The Best Things to do in Banff National Park

Kenya

Safari Clothing in Masai Mara National Reserve

January marks the height of the summer in Kenya with high temperatures hovering around 30°C. Meaning it’s a great time to spot wildlife while on safari as the animals congregate toward watering holes.

The landscape is still stunning still with green effects lasting from the previous month’s rains. Because of the nice weather, you may see quite a few other tourists out on safari in the Masai Mara or enjoying the coastal breeze on Diani Beach.

10 Helpful Kenya Travel Tips to Know Before You Go

Oman

One of the best places to visit in January is the Middle Eastern country of Oman. In January, the average daily temperature in Oman is comfortable 25°C, which is pretty mild for Oman.

If you think that is hot, don’t step foot here between June and September (when we did) when temperatures reach 40°C with high humidity and you’ll be seeking your air-conditioned room during the day.

Many people haven’t thought to visit Oman, but it’s quickly rising as a top tourism destination. Oman is a wonderful country to explore – when the temperature is right of course.

Oman has stunning deserts, unique wadis, a blissful coastline, and endless mountains to hike around. Oman has you covered if you’re looking for a culturally interesting all-around holiday in January.

35 FUN & Interesting Facts About Oman

Costa Rica

Beach Packing List

Costa Rica is one of the best places to travel in January for a bit of beach and a bit of forest with the family or on a honeymoon. January is dry in Costa Rica – dry and hot. The average temperature is 27°C, with highs of something like 33°C throughout the month. Most of the time in January, the days will be filled with sunshine (66% of them to be exact) – perfect for lounging around on the beaches around Santa Teresa.

At other times, it’ll be cloudy. However, little to no rain is expected, so January is the perfect month to get out into nature and enjoy places like the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve and Arenal. Even the evenings are beautifully balmy, so you won’t need to pack sweaters – just the travel camera for some epic sunsets.

Summer clothes only, people; the as minimum temperature in January is 21°C. This is the Central American vacation you’ll love.

It’s also nice because there’s less humidity in January, a serious issue in Costa Rica. Overall, it’s comfortable and a fantastic place to visit in January and one should not hesitate to book a trip at one of the best resorts in the country!

24 Costa Rica Travel Tips To Know

Egypt

Egypt
Visiting the Pyramids / Where to Travel in January

Egypt is a fantastic country to visit in January. Even though it’s winter, the average temperature of 22°C is pleasant and great for exploring ancient sites.

Conversely, the temperature can drop to around 9°C at night so always best to pack a travel jacket. Northern Egypt is colder, in general, and there’s more rainfall.

Cairo, for example, is pretty cloudy. In the South, destinations like Siwa receive little to no rain in January and the temperature hovers around 25°C. Coastal areas, such as Marsa Matruh, see changeable weather at this time of year.

It’s a great time to visit Egypt without being too hot and bothered, not having to cover up from the sun the whole time. There’s something nice about going on vacation and not having to wake up before sunrise to beat the sun, or to not always be craving your air conditioned room. Trust us when we say, if you can walk around all the ancient sites mid day without wanting to run into the AC the whole time, then your Egypt trip will be one ot remember.

One of the best things to do in Egypt? Cruise the Nile on the historic Steam Ship Sudan, though make sure to book well in advance as it’s a bucket list trip for many.


Nicaragua

Tropical rainforests, virtually untouched beaches, stunning scenery and incredible weather… what more could anyone want out of an escape from winter in North America? How about incredible natural attractions including lakes and active volcanoes? How does embarking on outdoor adventures sound? 

I’m talking about visiting incredible natural wonders including Ometepe Island, Apoyo Lagoon Natural Reserve, Cerro Negro Volcano, San Juan del Sur, Somoto Canyon National Monument and Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, which is one of the biggest rainforests in the Americas.

If you like warm weather with an average temperature of 25°C and little rain, Nicaragua might just be the place for you to travel to in January.


Vietnam

travel quotes for instagram
Ninh Binh / Best Places to Visit in January

If you’re seeking an exotic destination with nice, dry weather that’s not too cold nor too hot, stunning scenery, fewer crowds and an abundance of world-class attractions, Vietnam is the perfect choice for a vacation in January. 

Whether you wish to sail in renowned Halong Bay, go hiking on Cat Ba Island or visit one of the largest caves on earth at Hang Son Doong, you’ll never be without something to see and do in Vietnam.


Bali, Indonesia

Although January is considered the rainy season in Bali, that doesn’t mean it rains every second of every day. Sure, it rains but when it does, the showers come in fast-moving tropical downpours that clear up quickly to reveal sunny skies and temperatures hovering around 27°C. Stick around the beaches to enjoy pink and orange cotton candy skies in January.

The best part about traveling to Bali in January is the fact that it’s the height of the low season, which means the tourist crowds are virtually gone. You won’t have to deal with crowded beaches and attractions which is a probelm in Bali. You’ll also score pretty good deals on flights and accommodations around the island.

Bali is full of incredible attractions including Tanah Lot, Mount Batur Volcano, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary and the giant Bali Swing. As you travel around the island, you’ll see some of the best scenery in the world, consisting of towering mountain peaks, terraced rice fields in Ubud and stunning coastline in Uluwatu.

Want to extend your vacation? Take the ferry to the Nusa Islands, a more rugged and timeless version of Bali.

14 Amazing Bali Waterfalls You Need to Check Out

Bruges, Belgium

Located in Belgium, Bruges is said to be one of the most scenic cities in Europe and it’s also one of the best places to visit in January. While the canals, fairytale scenes and classic architecture are top draws to the city, in January, it’s the lack of crowds, low prices and festive atmosphere that draw tourists who don’t mind a bit of cold, damp weather. 

Some of the top things to do in the city include canal cruises, pub-hopping and visiting attractions such as the Lake of Love, Belfry Tower, Groeninge Museum, Church of Our Lady Bruges, Burg Square and Minnewater Lake.


Belize

When it comes to Central American countries during the winter months, Belize has been a go-to for many snowbirds for years and a delightful budget honeymoon destination. In January, daytime temperatures average 25°C which means it’s nice enough to spend your days at the beach or exploring the fascinating natural wonders that the country has in abundance. 

The country is also known for being home to one of the biggest barrier reefs on earth and it and many other underwater wonders can be explored with scuba diving and snorkeling excursions.  

The Great Blue Hole, Lamanai Archaeological Reserve, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, Xunantunich Mayan Ruins and ATM Cave Belize are some of the notable attractions around the country. 


New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand is awe-inspiring at any time of year but with mild temperatures, plenty of sunshine and little rain, the month of January wins for being one of the best times to visit the country. 

Drive around the countryside admiring the stunning landscapes, immerse in Maori culture, watch incredible sunsets and explore the many beaches, lakes, mountain trails and forests. Care to do some surfing, skydiving, ziplining, or bungee jumping? Ultimate adventures await!  


Dubai, UAE

It’s quite hot in Dubai most of the year but in January, you’ll find that the temperatures are just high enough to make it comfortable.

Daily temperatures average between 15°C and 25°C with the sun shining for over 10 hours each day, so getting rained out isn’t much of a worry! By now, I’m sure you’re aware of the opulence that this flashy city is known for.  Expect extravagance around every corner.  

I’m talking about huge luxury malls, stunning manicured beaches, elaborate amusement parks and ultra-modern architecture like none you’ve seen anywhere else.

Some of the top attractions include Burj Khalifa, Adventure Waterpark, Dubai Miracle Garden, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, The Dubai Fountain and Ski Dubai which is an indoor ski resort.  


Harbin, China

Not everyone wants to travel somewhere warm and tropical during the winter months to escape cool weather. Some people like to go where it’s snowy and cold. If you’re one of those people, one of the best places to go to experience an ultimate winter wonderland is Harbin, China. 

The city’s nickname is Ice City and its claim to fame is hosting the International Ice and Snow Festival each January. 

While the festival, which features incredible snow and ice sculptures, is the biggest draw to the city in January, there are many other reasons to visit!

Saint Sophia Cathedral, Bingxue Big World, Zhongyang Pedestrian Street and Sun Island are just some of the top attractions. If you love skiing, Yabuli ski resort is the place to head to.


Phuket, Thailand

The Big Buddha, Phuket / Best Places to Visit in January

Phuket is a tropical paradise, and one of those dream destinations many people have on their bucket list. Temperatures average a warm 28°C and there’s the least chance of rain, making Phuket one of the best places to visit in January in April.

The golden, sandy beaches are the top draw to this region but there’s so much more to see and do including embarking on jungle safaris, snorkeling in some of the clearest waters around, participating in a wide range of water sports, browsing bustling night markets and enjoying one of the most vibrant nightlife scenes in Thailand. 

Some of the must-see attractions in Phuket include Monkey Hill Viewpoint and The Big Buddha which is a large sculpture on top of a mountain that almost all visitors make sure to have on their Thailand itinerary.


India

india - best places to visit in january

While the summer is not the best time to visit many areas of India due to the heat and humidity, January presents almost-perfect weather conditions. Believe it or not, it’s possible to enjoy both winter and summer activities during a trip to India in January. 

Some higher-elevation areas are colder and see enough snow for downhill skiing. That being said, most of the country averages a daytime temperature of around 55°F which is just right for attending festivals and visiting world-class attractions.

The Taj Mahal, Mysore Palace, Red Fort and Ellora Caves are just some of the must-see attractions in the country. 


Where to Go by Month?

Things to do in Japan
Hokkaido in the Spring

Plan For Your Trip

About Natasha

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years, across 7 continents, experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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