20 Best Countries to Visit in January For New Year Adventures 2024

Nothing beats shouting “Happy New Year” in a thrilling, exciting location, taking in all the culture and new experiences as you enter the new year. 

New Year adventures are special not only because it’s January, the sweet spot of winter, but also because you get to enjoy a lot of New Year sales and discounts. 

So, to help you make the most of your new year experiences, this article will show you the best countries to visit in January. 

Three… two… one… Happy New Read! 

Most times, what you do at the beginning of the year sets the tone for how the rest of the year will go.

And if you want an adventure-filled year, there’s nothing better than starting with fun right off the bat. 

Not only will you have fun, but you’ll also create memorable experiences that will become the poster image for your year. 

What Makes This List Of Best Countries to Visit in January Great?

We considered these when carefully selecting the top 20 best countries to explore in January.

  • 1. Favorable Weather: Countries with pleasant January weather, including destinations like Switzerland, Thailand, and Australia, were given priority in our selection. 
  • 2. Festive Atmosphere: New Year’s celebrations take center stage in January travel. Therefore, we prioritized countries celebrated for their lively and culturally rich New Year festivities, such as Brazil, China, and Scotland.
  • 3. Off-Peak Benefits: We also considered countries like Iceland, Cambodia, and Mexico for off-peak advantages, with fewer crowds and budget-friendly options in January.

And here’s the list of the best countries to visit in the winter.

1: Switzerland

Best Countries to Visit in JanuarySnow-capped mountains surrounded by hills covered with grasses
Source: travelanddestinations.com

Switzerland is a sovereign country in south-central Europe. Switzerland’s snowy landscapes and winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding, create a winter wonderland for adventure seekers, making it one of the best countries to visit in January. 

Swiss cities host vibrant New Year celebrations with fireworks and street parties, adding to the festive atmosphere.

2: Thailand

Many colourful lanterns hung on lines throughout a city, with tall buildings surrounding it.
Lamphun, Thailand Source: mappr.co

Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia and is one of the best warm-weather destinations in January, making it the perfect time to embrace the country’s vibrant culture. 

For some natural marvels, explore lush jungles, pristine beaches, and picturesque islands for unforgettable experiences during the dry season.

3: Australia

A night scene of a city with tall buildings surrounded by water and a bridge over it
Source: aeccglobal.com

Australia is a country in Oceania and is one of the best countries to visit in January, especially if you are the adventuring type. 

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Australia’s summer in January offers diverse experiences, from beach relaxation –like Gold Coast and Byron Bay, to outdoor adventures and wildlife exploration. 

Explore the Aboriginal heritage and attend various music festivals for a cultural immersion. 

4: Brazil

A festival with many people in colourful costumes and different lights
Source: rio-tickets

Brazil, a large Portuguese-speaking country in South America, is a country that knows how to throw a party, with the world-famous Carnival, a spectacle of dance, color, and flavor.

Brazil shines in January with warm weather, making locations like Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro absolutely stunning. 

For some local cuisines, enjoy Brazilian delicacies like feijoada and acarajé while immersing in the festive atmosphere.

5: Norway

Beautiful green lights (Northern Lights) in the night sky surrounded by tall mountains
Source: nationalgeographic.com

A country in Scandinavia, in northern Europe, Norway emerges as the fifth-best country to visit in January and one of the best places to visit in winter.

The most obvious of Norway’s many charms is its pristine winter landscapes, where snow-covered mountains and Northern Lights create a mesmerizing backdrop for unforgettable adventures.

Norway has lots of historical sites to explore, like the Bergen Wharf, Nidaros Cathedral, and the stave churches that offer glimpses into Norway’s rich past, all while surrounded by a winter wonderland.

6: Canada

a city at night with lights surrounded by the ocean
Source: britannica.com

A country in North America, Canada’s charm lies in its vast, snow-covered landscapes and the warmth of its people, with opportunities for thrilling winter sports and cozy, fireside relaxation.

Historical sites are also a thing to be amazed at. You can explore historical sites like Quebec City’s Old Town and Banff’s iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise while enjoying your winter cruise.

7: Japan

A red and white temple with tourists outside surrounded by some green trees and others with flowers
Source: travelandleisure.com

An island nation in the Pacific Ocean, located to the east of China, Korea, and Russia, Japan is quite a beautiful country, but in January, with the winter sakura trees blossoming, it is easily one of the best countries to visit in January. 

Japan’s charm is a captivating blend of tradition and innovation with ancient rituals to welcome the Japanese New Year amid futuristic cityscapes.

Japan has historical sites such as Kyoto’s temples and Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park.

8: New Zealand

Two tourists walking close to a lake around snowy mountains with a clear blue sky above it
Source: hotels.com

From its stunning natural beauty to the vibrant Kiwi culture, New Zealand unfolds a blend of outdoor adventures, charm, and hospitality amidst breathtaking landscapes.

New Zealand is immersed in lots of historical sites like Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the Otago Gold Rush heritage, and the Maori cultural sites.

9: South Africa

A large city by the side of the ocean with tall buildings and waves
Source: expatica.com

South Africa’s charm lies in its diverse landscapes, wildlife, and warm hospitality, from embarking on safari adventures to experiencing its rainbow nation culture.

While in South Africa, visit historical sites such as Robben Island, the Cradle of Humankind, and the historic towns of Stellenbosch and Paarl.

10: Argentina

a bridge surrounded by huge mountains and waterfalls with trees and grasses
Source: lonelyplanet.com

A country in South America, from Patagonia’s beauty to the tango rhythms of Buenos Aires, Argentina is one of the best places to visit in winter. 

Argentina’s charm is in its striking landscapes and vibrant culture. Delve into historical sites such as the Casa Rosada, Iguazu National Park, and the ancient ruins of Quilmes, uncovering Argentina’s rich historical tapestry.

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11: Chile

mountains with red peaks surrounded by water
Source: planetware.com

A country in South America as well, Chile’s charm is found in its diverse and dramatic landscapes, like the wonders of the Atacama Desert and the magnificent, pristine beauty of Patagonia.

Chile has a lot to offer for adventurers looking for what to discover. You can visit historical sites such as the Chilean National History Museum and Valparaiso’s UNESCO-listed historic quarter.

For more fun, read our blog post on how to plan your Chile itinerary for solo female travelers. 

12: India

Buildings surrounded by water under the evening sky
Source: timesofindia.com

A country in South Asia, India takes the twelfth spot for the best places to visit in January. It has a web of cultures and spirituality that shine well through the vibrant festivals held in January.

When you visit India during the new year, explore ancient sites like the Taj Mahal, Jaipur’s Amer Fort, and the ancient caves of Ellora and Ajanta.

13: Morocco

Many tents with yellow lights on the street and people walking around
Source: gq-magazine.co.uk

Morocco is a coastal country in North-western Africa. From exploring bustling souks, admiring intricate architecture, and taking in the vast Sahara Desert, it charms you with its blend of ancient traditions and vibrant markets.

Morocco has a pack of winter special allure. Don’t forget to check out historical sites like Marrakech’s Medina, the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, and the historical city of Fes in Morocco

14: Egypt

The Giza pyramids in Egypt over sunset
Source: escapeauthority.com great-pyramid

Egypt’s charm is steeped in ancient wonders and the mystique of the Nile. The country’s unique allure is illuminated in January through explorations of the Pyramids of Giza, ancient temples, and vibrant local culture.

Visit historical sites like Luxor’s Karnak Temple, Abu Simbel, and the Valley of the Kings, unlocking the secrets of Egypt’s remarkable history.

15: Sri Lanka

A beautiful beach with tall palm trees over a clear blue sky
Source: thetimes.co.uk

Sri Lanka is known for its tropical beauty and rich history. In January, the country showcases its lush jungles, pristine beaches, and sacred temples, making it one of the best countries to visit for adventure heads. 

While in Sri Lanka, explore historical sites such as the ancient city of Anuradhapura, the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, and the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, each offering a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s storied past.

16: Scotland

Stone monuments on a watery ground under a purple sky
Source: delicious.com
Callanish Stones Isle of-Lewis

Scotland emerges as the sixteenth in the best countries to visit in the winter, a country in northwest Europe to the north of England and forming part of the United Kingdom, with its misty landscapes. 

Scotland showcases a seamless blend of ancient traditions and modern revelry, especially during Hogmanay celebrations. It is also very budget-friendly to travel. 

Historical gems like Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, amidst the winter chill, are great places to check out.

17: China

Colourful buildings with yellow lights and a river in front of them
Source: escape.com Yu Garden

A nation or civilization occupying the country around the Yellow, Yangtze, and Pearl Rivers in East Asia, taken as a whole under its various dynasties, China’s unique allure in January is a captivating blend of history and culture.

China is known for its very colorful and exciting festivals, with a few of them like the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival, and the Zhonghe Festival, all happening in January. 

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China is a country of limitless amazement. Explore iconic sites like the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and the ancient Terracotta Army.

18: Mexico

Colourful buildings on a street with a big building in the center under the day light
Source: outofyourcomfortzone.net

A country in North America, located south of the United States and northwest of Guatemala and Belize from Central America, Mexico is one of the best warm-weather destinations in January. 

Mexico’s charm knows no bounds, and in January, it unveils its treasures with mild weather. It is known for its dazzling beaches, rich culture, ancient ruins, and mouth-watering cuisine.

​While in Mexico for winter fun, explore the ancient Maya ruins of Chichen Itza and join vibrant local festivals amidst a tapestry of color and culture. Also, check out the top spots in Mexico.

19: Iceland

Colourful green lights in the sky with mountains and waterfalls under
Source: independent.co.uk

A country in the North Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes referred to as the Republic of Iceland, it is one of the best places to sit back, relax, and enjoy the new year, from the Northern Lights to the ice caves to the geothermal hot springs.

When you visit Iceland in January, don’t forget to explore Þingvellir National Park and visit the Skogar Museum.

20: Cambodia

Tall gold coloured mountains and stone buildings surrounded by grass
Source: fodors.com Bayun Temple

A country in Southeast Asia, Cambodia has various local New Year festivities with budget-friendly activities and friendly, welcoming locals. Cambodia has a lot of historical sites, with the most iconic being Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and the Bayon Temple. 

Maximizing Your New Year Adventures:

To ensure a fulfilling January exploration, here are essential tips:

  1. Packing Essentials – Pack clothing suitable for your destination’s weather, and don’t forget to carry versatile footwear, travel adapters, and essential toiletries.
  2. Local Celebrations – One of the highlights of New Year’s Adventures is the festivities. Enjoy local New Year festivities, and don’t be shy to savor regional cuisine.
  3. Off-Peak Benefits – Traveling in January brings the advantage of fewer crowds, which adds benefits from shorter lines at attractions and accommodations to reduced prices. 

Embarking on a January adventure is one of the best ways to start your year. 

Whether you seek winter wonderlands, vibrant festivals, or tranquil escapes, these destinations cater to diverse preferences. So, why wait? 

Kick off the year with unforgettable memories and enriching journeys. The world is waiting to be discovered!

Which Country is Best to Visit in January?

When it comes to choosing the best country to visit in January, preferences matter. Countries like Thailand and Australia offer excellent options for those seeking warm weather and tropical vibes, while Switzerland, Canada, or Japan are better for a winter experience. 

What European Countries are Best in January?

Wondering which European countries are perfect for your January adventure? Switzerland, Austria, and France are perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Norway and Finland are also great choices, with the chance to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights.

Which Place is Best in January?

The best place to visit in January depends on your interests and desired experience. The Maldives, Bali, or the Caribbean islands are ideal if you’re looking for a tropical paradise. Consider Thailand, India, or Vietnam for a blend of culture and adventure. 

Is January a Good Time to Visit Europe?

Yes, January can be a fantastic time to visit Europe, but it depends on what you’re looking for. While it’s the midst of winter, Europe offers a unique charm during this season, with winter sports in the Alps.

Which Countries to Visit in January for Warm Weather?

If you’re chasing warm weather in January, consider destinations in Southeast Asia like Thailand, Cambodia, or Vietnam, where you can bask in tropical climates and explore beautiful beaches.