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Vacation inspiration: where to go in January

If you're itching to get away in the New Year, we've got some great destination ideas for you. Based on our 'best time to book' number crunching and destination guides, here's our pick of the best places to go in January:

Beirut, Lebanon

Why you should go in January: January is one of the cheapest months to visit Beirut, Lebanon, according to our Best Time to Book data.

Cost from UAE to Beirut: From around *Dh651 per person

Best time to book flights to Beirut, Lebanon: The best deals can be found around 3 or 4 weeks in advance, or 24 weeks in advance of the flight.

What to do there

At only 4 hours away from Dubai Beirut is the perfect place to go for a long weekend to shake off those January blues! Beirut is a lively modern city but still has plenty of historical sites and museums to keep history fans happy. The National Museum of Beirut has some excellent collections that help explain the country’s history and is one of the most respected museums in the region. The city has a wonderful East-meets-West vibe and there are loads of shops, art galleries, bars and restaurants that demonstrate this. Hamra Street, in particular, was a gathering place for artists and intellectuals in the 60s and 70s and still maintains some of its original charm.

Where to stay

The artists and intellectuals of Beirut would’ve been right at home at the Hayete Gusthouse. Each of the four rooms is decorated with upcycled and funky furniture, giving the guesthouse a retro feel. Rooms start at around *Dh300 a night.

Best places to go in January: Beirut Lebanon


Why you should go in January: The International Kite Festival is held in January every year and is one of Rajasthan’s most popular festivals.

Cost from UAE to Jaipur: From around Dh626* per person

What to do there

The International Kite Festival is held every year in Jaipur and is one of the country’s most beloved festivals. It lasts for around three days and attracts thousands of spectators, as well as competitors from around the world. It is split into two sections: the Kite War and the Friendly Kite Flying Session. The skies fill with kites of all colors, shapes and sizes as competitors vie for the winning titles- and prizes! If you can’t make the Festival, there are lots of other things to see in Jaipur that make it worth a visit: the Hawa Mahal (The Pink Palace) and the Amber Fort being two of its main attractions.

Where to stay

Your budget is likely to go far in Jaipur and the city has a good mix of chain and independent places to stay. At the Hilton Jaipur, rooms cost from around Dh369* per night. The Hari Mahal Palace is a more traditional hotel with an indoor pool and large rooms that cost from around Dh121* per night.


Why you should go in January: January is one of the cheapest months to visit Georgia, according to our best time to book data.

Cost from UAE to Georgia: From around *Dh847 per person

What to do there

Temperatures drop in the mountains in Georgia in the winter months but it’s still a great place to go in January, especially if you like snowsports. The Caucasus Mountains have been growing in popularity with serious skiers and snowboarders in recent years, so it’s a perfect time to go before the prices of the ski passes start to creep up. The two main ski resorts are Mestia and Gudauri. The former is a smaller destination with just two ski lifts. It’s worth noting that most reviewers say it is better suited to skiers with more experience on the slopes. The ski season here runs from December to April, so January is the perfect time to go. Fly to Tbilisi then on to Mestia. Gudauri is a more established resort with more ski trails suited to beginners or intermediate skiers (as well as very advanced skiers). Any hotel you stay in can help you organize rental equipment and your ski passes.

Where to stay

The three-star Edelweiss Hotel in Upper Gudauri has been designed to resemble a Swiss ski chalet but comes at a fraction of the cost (from around *Dh175 per night). One of the benefits of this hotel is that it offers discounted single rooms. All rooms have WiFi, refrigerators, private bathrooms and electronic safes. The options are more limited in Mestia but most of these Mestia hotels come in at under Dh50 a night.

Want more ideas? Check out our article on the Top 10 attractions and things to do in Georgia

Best places to go in January: Georgia


Why you should go in January: It’s one of the newest routes introduced by the Sharjah airline Air Arabia,  which now offers five direct flights a week.

Cost from UAE to Prague: From around Dh725* per person

What to do there

Prague is a city full of fairytale architecture and incredible character, as well a strong communist history. Two of the best sights in the Czech city include Prague Castle, which is the biggest surviving ancient castle in the world, and the Church of Our Lady before Týn with its astronomical clock (another of Prague’s “oldest in the world” claim to fame). The clock famously features 12 marionettes that file out of the clock face when the bell chimes on the hour, representing the 12 apostles. Other top sights in Prague include St Vitus Cathedral, the Franz Kafka Museum and the stunning Český Krumlov Unesco World Heritage Site.

Where to stay

The Absolutum Boutique Hotel is affordable but doesn’t compromise on style, and receives good reviews from guests. It’s fairly central and one of Prague’s most popular galleries, the DOX Contemporary Center for Art, is just a 5-minute walk away.


Why you should go in January: Austria is beautiful – if rather cold – in January, but there’s so much to see and do indoors you won’t mind the cold.

Cost from UAE to Austria: From around *Dh1,299 per person

What to do there

Two good options when visiting Austria in January are Vienna and Salzburg. As long as you dress for the weather, the cold shouldn’t be an issue as most things stay open and public transport isn’t affected at all. Salzburg is Mozart’s birthplace, and the place where most of the movie The Sound of Music was filmed. The most popular places to visit include Leopoldskron Palace, the Von Trapp family home, and the Mondsee Church, the filming location for the wedding. There are lots of organized tours which tick off the main attractions here. Another place to go to in Austria in January is Vienna, the Austrian capital. There’s the stunning Vienna State Opera House, and in winter months you’ll probably face less competition for tickets from other tourists! Other top sights are the Hofburg Imperial Palace, the Museum of Fine Arts and the huge Gothic cathedral.

For more ideas on what to see or do, read this article on the Best 15 attractions and things to do in Vienna.

Where to stay

Hotel Sacher Salzburg has excellent views of the Hohensalzburg fortress and is close to Mozart’s childhood home and the Holy Trinity Church. The building is stunning and decorated to a very high standard, hence the price tag – from around *Dh1,907 per night – but it’s worth it. For cheaper options, look here. Hotel Kaiserin Elisabeth in central Vienna is minutes from St Stephen’s Cathedral and the other best sights in Vienna. Rooms cost from around Dh469 per night and you can organize an airport pickup for a surcharge.

Best places to go in January: Salzburg


Why you should go in January: The weather is good and there’s plenty to keep you busy on home soil (including the Dubai Shopping Festival!)

What to do there

Dubai is more of a staycation than vacation but there’s no harm in taking some time off work and enjoying what’s on your doorstep. Let’s be honest, how often do we get the chance to explore where we live? Taking a long weekend in January to stay at home and explore the old souk, shop at JBR’s The Beach, visit `Global Village, check out the art al Alserkal Avenue, or relax on one of the city’s excellent beaches, is a nice way to remind ourselves what we love about the city, especially after the craziness of Christmas!

Want to entertain children at home? Read this article on the best activities for children in Dubai. Or want to make sure you make the most of the Dubai Shopping Festival? Click here.

Where to stay

Choose from one the many hotel apartments in Al Barsha if you’re on a budget (they start at around *Dh200 a night) but don’t want to be too far from the city’s malls and other attractions. You’re also spoiled for choice with Dubai hotels by the beach but an affordable option by the ocean is the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort which has a lovely outdoor pool and beach access.

Read more: Guide to the best free things to do in Dubai.

Best places to go in January: Dubai

Published January 2019. Prices correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change and/or availability.


Vacation inspiration: Where to go in February


Vacation inspiration: Where to go in December

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