Where will you be going next year?

What's new for 2010? South Africa hosts the World Cup, Beirut is ready to party, Doha becomes Arab Capital of Culture, Istanbul becomes European Capital of Culture Istanbul, Stockholm becomes Europe's first Green Capital and Korea hosts Formula One

Published 10 November 2009 in Travel Articles

Beirut, Lebanon - Takes its place as the party capital again

After three years of rebuilding, the capital of Lebanon, perched on a gorgeous stretch of Mediterranean coastline, has finally been given the all-clear by the British Foreign office as a safe place to visit. Beirut can now take its place again as a veritable party capital of the Middle East.

Beirut is Lebanon's most populous city and has its roots in the Phonician era and was home to the first law school in the world. It may be famous for its market, Souk el Barghout, at Martyr's Place but the city is renowned for its partying.

To party with the best of them be prepared to spend the cash. One of the liveliest places to visit a Monot Street in the Ashrafieh district but also the Mar Mikhael district. Alcohol though is not cheap. Beers cost around £3 and the pleasure of supping on a cocktail will cost you around £9.

To mingle with the beautiful, rich and famous, take a wad of cash and go to the the Sky Bar located on a roof top. It offers great views over the Med. is considered the in place.  Alternatively White, also perched on a roof top looks over Martyrs' Square. 

It you don't like it too hot then the best time to visit is during May to June and November to December, when skies are clear and blue  temperatures are mild. For winter visitors, February is the best bet. Ski season is in full swing, but the city usually enjoys a peculiarly sunny, chilly, spell

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Doha, Quatar - Unesco's Arab Capital of Culture

You may never have thought of Doha as a holiday destination, but perhaps you should. Once a simple pearl fishing village, Quatar's capital has been voted Unesco's Arab Capital of Culture 2010. Attractions include the Museum of Islamic Art (00 974 422 4444; mia.org.qa) located in in a striking building designed by the Chinese-American architect I M Pei, and built on an artificial island just off the Corniche, where silk from the Alhambra palace jewels and lamps are on display. Also worth visiting is the the Waqif Art Center  in Souk Waqif (waqifartcenter.com) where you can browse through shops and galleries.

But this year Doha is jockeying for a place on the holiday landscape, literally. The Racing and Equestrian Club (grec.gov.qa) runs races every Thursday at the Al Rayan racetrack. Though you are not allowed to bet, there are prizes to be won, donkey rides for kids and of course the general buzz of an exciting race.

New for 1020 is the Museum of Modern Arab Art and new hotels are opening to accommodate hoped for visitors.

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Istanbul, Turkey - European Capital of Culture 2010

Istanbul is loved by many for ts architectural beauty, its ornate mosques, amazing museums, the old town and because it literally straddles both Europe and Asia. In 2010 this amazing city will be enjoying the coveted title of European Capital of Culture and if you needed an excuse to visit, this is as good as any.

When you get there, prepare to be dazzled by the exotic architecture of the city's major attraction, the Topkapi, the 15th century Ottoman palace. Check out even older antiquities at the nearby archeological museum. Entrance is £8 and for that you'll get to see t the baskets of emeralds and diamdons, the bejewelled trhones, swords and even the staff of Moses. Another £6 allows entry to the chambers of the harem.

Next year the city will see a plethora of new hotels and the iconic Pera Palas (perapalas.com) has been restored to its former grandeur. This 19th century hotel was built to accommodate travellers on the Orient Express and Agatha Christie was said to be a frequent visitor.

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Stockholm, Sweden - Europe's first Green Capital

Stockholm will become Europe's first Green Capital next year. This is a brand new award by the European Commission designed to inspire healthy city living.

Just one look around the city and its obvious why the city was able to win this award hands down. The heart of any city often comes hand in hand with pollution and hard living. But in Stocklholm's city centre are some of Europe's finest natural harbours and a clutch of islands. Aound this  is the cityscape, with neat low-rise districts and Ekoparken, a park that's 10 square miles long.

Walking around Stockholm is a pleasure but for around £13 per person you can also get another perspective by hopping on a sea kakay courtesy of Kanotcenter Svima Sport (svima.se).

In the next yar a new museum of photography will open in May (fotografiska.eu) and a concept restaurant called BAR where you decide your own menu by choosing ingredients from fish tanks, ice counters and your vegetables, give them to the chef who will serve them up beautifully cooked.

The best time to visit is in the summer from June to August. At this time, all its cafes, open-air museums and most attraction are open. But many of the locals flock to North of Sweden to see the midnight sun.

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South Africa - its game on!

If you love football then head to South Africa in 2010 where next's years' World Cup is due to take place and combine your footy with a safari.

Tickets are sold in phases and the third phase begins on December 5th after the draw for groups and fixtures has been held. Tickets will be available on a first come first serve basis from fifa.com from February 1st.

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Gwangju, Jeollanam-Do, Korea - Korea gears up for its formula one GP Debut

For the first time ever, the world's F1 global community - drivers, teams, officials and thousands of spectators - will descend on the country on October 17 2010 and you could be one of them.

Located in the Jeollanam-do provice in the south-western corner of the country, the circuit is purpose built and is part of the 'J Project'. The $35 billion J Project features golf courses, theme parks, hotels, a casino and a shopping mall and sportfing facilities.

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Comments

Sergio, Madrid

winter:Argentina, Morocco. Summer: West Ireland, Scotland, .... and more

17 November, 2009

Johan, Amsterdam

in Januari to Valencia. later maybe to Southern Africa or the Far East

17 November, 2009

Alex, St Petersburg, Russia

I think, Nepal, China, India, France, UK...

17 November, 2009

Silvina Patricia, Milan

Istanbul is really cool!

17 November, 2009

Martino, Mougins, France

Still not sure, but South Africa and Istanbul sound tempting.

17 November, 2009


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