Holidaying close to home can be great, but there’s so much more to see once you cross an ocean or two. If you want to fly beyond Europe, check out some of the amazing destinations in America, Asia, the Middle East and more.
Flying long-haul from Birmingham has never been easier – with dozens of long-haul destinations available by direct flight or under 3 hour connections, the world is at your fingertips.
Look past the stereotypes to discover the real charms of Los Angeles. There’s good weather year-round, a world-class art scene, and a foodie culture that celebrates local ingredients and immigrant communities.
Highlights: Outdoor concerts and picnics at The Hollywood Bowl. Celebrity sightings at the Ivy or the Chateau Marmont. The J. Paul Getty museum and villa, both beautiful buildings filled with artistic treasures. Easily accessible hiking routes, like Solstice Canyon and Griffith Park. Real deal Mexican food in all its forms – from superlative tacos and burritos to delicious regional dishes like mole and cochinita pibil. Buying vinyl and CDs at legendary Amoeba Records.
New York City
New York City needs no introduction. To riff on the popular saying: if you can get bored here, you can get bored anywhere. From theatres, museums and galleries to restaurants, sports and shopping – there’s something for everyone. Read our complete guide here.
Highlights: Wandering around the city’s neighbourhoods or relaxing in one of the many leafy parks. Museum Mile on 5th Avenue. Exploring the diversity of all five boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. Theatre galore, from big Broadway shows to smaller theatre companies like The Public. Green space above the streets on the High Line. Iconic dishes like bagel and lox, pastrami on rye, and thin crust pizza.
Famous among the cool crowd as rapper Drake’s hometown, Toronto is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in the world. Known for its harsh winters, visit in spring, summer or autumn to ensure a good (i.e. warm) time.
Highlights: Kensington Market for street food, vintage clothes and circus performers. 360-degree views from the legendary CN Tower. A hub of Canada’s finest arts and culture, including the star-studded Toronto International Film Festival held every September and the Art Gallery of Ontario, which houses an extensive collection of First Nation and Inuit artwork. The Hockey Hall of Fame for understanding Canada’s favourite game.
One of the world’s most densely populated cities, Tokyo is known for both its crowds and its efficiency. Walk down any street and you’ll be met with a dizzying array of colours, sights and sounds. In this city, ancient meets new like nowhere else in the world.
Highlights: Food and sake at cheap izakaya or pubs. Cherry blossom season in April and May. More Michelin stars than any other city in the world. Feasting on Japanese cuisine – tempura, tonkatsu, yakitori, ramen, sushi and more. The outrageous street style of the Harajuku neighbourhood. Finding your inner peace in the city’s temples. The early morning trading frenzy at Tsukiji fish market. Shopping local boutiques in the bohemian Shimokitazawa neighbourhood.
KL, as Malaysia’s capital is known by locals, is a hot and bustling ball of a city. The religious, architectural and culinary landscape reflects the city’s diverse makeup – Malay, Chinese and Indian heritage, mixed with British and Portuguese colonial influence.
Highlights: Yummy street food on every corner – grilled satay, rich laksa soup and nasi lemak full of coconut milk and sambal hot sauce. The elegant Masjid Jamek mosque. The attractive colonial buildings around Merdeka Square, where independence was first declared. Hanging out with over 200 species of birds at the Bird Park. The soaring Petronas Towers, symbolic of the city’s meteoric rise. Strolling through the Lake Gardens for some calm amidst the city chaos.
Delhi is not the best place to relax. Thronged with people, cars and bikes, the city is chaotic and at times overwhelming. But within all that life, there are joys to be found – a rich culture, thriving art scene, and authentic Indian cuisine that’s way more delicious than the curry from your local. Read our complete guide here.
Highlights: 450 year-old Mughal architecture, like the Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb. The museums, shops and tree-lined streets of colonial New Delhi. Souvenirs from all around India. Contemporary art at Talwar Art Gallery and Nature Morte. Scrumptious Indian food – succulent tandoori chicken, crispy and spicy chole bhature, sweet and creamy kulfi and lots of moreish chaats or snacks.
Summertime in the Harbour City is lots of fun. Take advantage of the sunny seaside location and work on your tan or learn how to surf. Once the sun sets, drink a glass of local wine before partying at one of the city’s swanky clubs.
Highlights: Glorious city beaches – iconic Bondi, laid-back Coogee, hidden Store Beach and secluded Camp Cove. Picnics in the peaceful Royal Botanic Gardens. Paddington Market for some serious souvenir shopping. Diverse arts and culture, including a massive literature festival, the world’s biggest short film festival and Aboriginal performance at the Bangarra Dance Theatre.
If you want to live the high life, look no further than Dubai. Bathed in sunshine and infused with Middle Eastern culture, this city serves you life on a silver (or more likely gold) platter. Indulge in lavish hotels, restaurants and clubs, amidst a growing crowd of global expatriates. Read our complete guide here.
Highlights: The view from the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The stunning Jumeirah mosque. Shopping at the massive Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates. The Al Fahidi Historic Quarter for a taste of what Dubai was like decades ago. The enormous aquarium for all kinds of cool and rare sea creatures. The Al Quoz Industrial Area for an edgier side to Dubai, where converted warehouses now house art galleries.
The Qatari capital is growing in popularity as a tourist destination, thanks to its luxury, landmarks and local culture. A true jewel of the Middle East, the city showcases hundred-year-old history alongside modern development. Read our full guide here.
Highlights: The Corniche, a long waterfront promenade perfect for walking, running and people-watching. The world’s largest collection of Islamic art, housed in the sculptural Museum of Islamic Art building. Ultra-posh restaurants, hotels and shops. Riotous camel races at the Shahaniya Racetrack. Cruising along the coast on a traditional dhow or wooden fishing boat.