Whether you’re looking for beaches, history, or a non-stop party, we’ve got you covered.
This island city-state is well on its way to becoming a melting pot of culture, leaving behind its reputation for being low on the cultural scale. Check out the award-winning street food carts, especially Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle, which won a Michelin star in 2016. Wash it all down with a Singapore Sling at one of the many bars that have made it to the World’s 50 Best Bars list. But the real reason to visit in February? The island will be decked up in its best thanks to Chinese New Year, the most important event in the Chinese calendar. Celebrations will continue till February 11, so you might want to book those tickets now.
Photograph: mrsiraphol / freepik.com
The Floating City kicks things up a notch in February with the annual Carnival of Venice starting on February 8 and wrapping up on February 25. Think 17 days of celebrations, masquerades, parades, live performances, and parties around every corner. Going back more than 700 years, the festival offers revellers a hedonistic experience in this romantic Italian city.
Photograph: armelle76 /Needpix.com
There’s one reason why you’d be crazy enough to visit Iceland in the middle of its long, cold winter—to see the awe-inspiring northern lights. The long nights provide the perfect opportunity to see the other-worldly aurora borealis from any spot in the city. Some prefer to head to one of the few areas outside the city centre that provide a clearer view. Those wanting to warm up after a day out in the cold can head to one of the area’s popular and scenic hot springs and geothermal pools.
Photograph: sergejf / Flickr
New Orleans, USA
Once a year people from around the world come together in this crumbling city for a party like no other. Parades and masquerade balls begin in January and go on till February, with Mardi Gras Day, translated to ‘Fat Tuesday’, falling on February 25 this year. This is the last day of the carnival season and sees the biggest parades and parties. We suggest you fly in to New Orleans two weeks before Fat Tuesday so as to explore the city and experience all the celebrations in the run up to the big day.
Photograph: Pedro Szekely / Flickr
Los Cabos, Mexico
If you’re looking for someplace sunny with lots of beaches, we suggest you head to Los Cabos, with its golden sand and scenic view of the Pacific Ocean. February also falls in the middle of the whale watching season in that region and Los Cabos is a wonderful spot from which to see the majestic beasts up close in their natural environment.
Photograph: Karen/ Flickr
To experience a lively Swiss carnival, head to Lucerne for Fasnacht, an age-old festival. Expect colourful floats and people dressed up as strange masked figures and monsters, parading through villages and towns, walking to the beat of local big brass bands playing Guggenmusik. This year Fasnacht will be celebrated from February 20 to 24, so be sure to keep your feet warm as you’ll end up outdoors for long hours watching the parade.
Photograph: Hofec/ Wikimedia Commons
This historic city is home to rich repositories of art, making it a popular destination for art lovers. The museums here house some of the most celebrated greats, so a visit to the the Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Centro de Arte Reina Sofía are a must, even if you’re just passing through. The nightlife in Madrid is also legendary, so be prepared to dance away till the dawn, at the city’s many bars and nightclubs. The end of February also sees Madrid host its annual week-long Carnival, packed with parties, masquerades, parades and intriguing traditions, like the burial of the sardine.
Photograph: bearfotos /freepik.com
The country’s largest city is a snowy wonderland in February, and you can take in beautiful castle, bridges, and museums at your own pace. You might also be lucky enough to go ice skating on the turquoise Lake Bled. But the real reason to visit in February is to celebrate Kurentovanje with the locals. Kurentovanje is festival that’s on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. Think parades, people dressed up as demons, costumes with lots of clanging bells, and a host of other characters. The festival celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Head to Ptuj to truly experience the weeklong festival at its roots.
Photograph: Ekke/ Wikimedia Commons
Prague, Czech Republic
If you don’t mind a bit of cold, February is a great time to visit Prague as it’s the slow season so there are bound to be fewer tourists jostling and thronging the popular spots, plus you can make the most of off-season perks. You can take your time exploring the cobblestone streets of Prague’s scenic Old Town and the stately Prague Castle. Climb up St Vitus Cathedral’s south tower for a scenic view of the city and then head for a cruise down Vltava River to take in the historic landmarks lining the banks.
Photograph: Govisity.com / Flickr
February is one of the best months to visit the port capital of this Middle Eastern sultanate, as the weather is pleasant, far removed from the sweltering heat of the summer. With its scenic beaches, breathtaking hiking terrain, palatial modern architecture, and souks that sell everything under the sun, Muscat offers visitors a range of options. The city is far removed from the glitzy skyscrapers of its neighbouring countries, and offers a beautiful mix of tradition and modernity.
Photograph: Thierry Gregorius / flickr