There are hundreds of destinations in the world worth traveling to, but more than where you go — it matters when you go. Factoring in seasonal weather conditions and the months when crowds are scarce, there’s an ideal time to visit these top travel destinations to get the most out of your adventure.
The best time to visit Iceland is in the summer between June and August. At this time of year, the weather is milder and there are close to 24 hours of daylight. Although if you can bear the cold, February is not a bad time to go either — the Winter Lights Festival in Reykjavik, which celebrates light after a long few months of darkness, happens at the beginning of the month.
September and October are the best times to visit Rome as the crowds wind down and the weather is pleasant compared to the peak summer heat. From making a wish at the Trevi Fountain to strolling through Vatican City, window shopping near the Spanish Steps’ high-end boutiques to visiting the second-century Pantheon — the cool breeze during these months is perfect for it all.
Most of Greenland is covered in an ice sheet because of the Arctic climate. The best time to visit really depends on why you’re visiting. The summer months between June and August have cool, not freezing weather and are a great time for whale-watching. In Ilulissat, January through March are bitterly cold and snowy, but are a perfect time to catch the Northern Lights and experience dog sledding.
The best time to visit this popular Greek island is from September to October or in December, and then again in April and May when the tourism season is just beginning. In the fall and winter months, the weather is warm — typically in the 70s and 80s, perfect for hanging by the Aegean Sea — and there isn’t too much of a crowd, which means hotel rates tend to drop.
This breathtaking Hawaiian island has gorgeous weather year-round, but the best times to visit are April and May, and September through November. Both spring and fall in Maui are pleasantly warm and a welcome relief from the heavy crowds of the summer and winter. But if you’re a surfer, the winter will provide the best waves.
Barcelona is known for its art and architecture, but most travelers head there to enjoy the scenic coastline. Generally, the summer months are peak travel season. Specifically, June is the ideal time to experience events like the Sonar Electronic Music Festival and the celebration of the Summer Solstice, which brings fireworks and beach bonfires to the city’s coast.
Tokyo is pretty busy year-round. March and April are the best times to visit as the weather is pleasantly mild in an otherwise subtropical and humid location. If you want to cross something special off your bucket list, April would be the perfect time to go to see the cherry blossoms bloom.
Agra attracts millions of visitors every year to see the Taj Mahal. The famous monument was deemed a World Heritage Site by the United Nations for being "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage." It was built for a Mughal ruler’s wife, Mumtaz, as a symbol of his love and devotion to her after she died in childbirth. To visit Agra, it’s best to go between November and February to avoid the scorching heat of summer and the monsoon rains.
The Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim is open every single day of the year, which is great news because it offers amazing views. But if you want to visit the North Rim with the highest viewpoints at over 8,000 feet, go between mid-May and late fall because that’s the only time of year it’s open.
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The Galapagos Islands provide a scenic escape in any season, but from December to May, temperatures range from the low 70s to mid-80s, perfect for hiking through the wilderness. This is also a good time for bird-watching and to spot sea turtles nesting on the beaches. The Galapagos penguins live on the islands all year so you’ll see them too. Keep in mind that the government highly regulates the tourism scene, so make sure you know what’s allowed and what’s not.
The best time of year to go to Bali would be between April and June, but September is a close second. Not only are those months ideal for scuba diving, surfing and snorkeling in the clear waters, but the crowds aren’t too bad either. Room prices and villa rentals during these months can be 30-50% cheaper than the high season. Consider visiting the Bali Bird Park and Goa Gajah Temple for an easy adventure.
You’ll want to visit the Mojave Desert in peak blooming period for the desert wildflowers. Wildflower blooms are typically spotted at Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Park at different times of the year. To see poppies, go sometime between mid-February and mid-April. Other wildflowers seen in the early spring season are verbena, evening primrose and the blazing star.
The best time to visit the vibrant Turkish city is from March to May, as well as September to November. The summers in Istanbul tend to be hot and humid, but springtime in April is pleasant and full of blooming pink Judas trees. And in the fall months, hotel prices are much more affordable. A must-do on your trip should be strolling through one of Istanbul’s bazaars filled with Turkish carpets, hand-woven cloths, Turkish delight and local spices like sumac.
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Temperatures on the islands range from 66 degrees to 75 degrees year-round thanks to the trade winds. Rain is also scarce, so any time is a good time, unless you are hoping to avoid other tourists. If that’s the case, plan a trip for the spring or fall months since the summer and holiday times tend to be peak seasons.
Aspen is a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts but there are still ideal times to visit the Colorado resort town. December to February is the prime ski season with more than 160 inches of snowfall each year.
Renowned as the birthplace of pizza and spaghetti, Naples will give travelers a true taste of Italy. It also boasts some of the world’s best opera and theater houses. The best time to visit Naples is the short stretch between March and May. Average temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, making it ideal for touring the historic city or strolling down tiny streets to find the perfect pizza.
The best time to visit Bermuda is when the weather becomes pleasant enough for bathing on the beach for hours on end — which is in March and April with highs around 70 degrees and lows around 60. It’s not hot enough for swimming, but that means the prices are more affordable. But if the balmy beach season is what you’re after, the hottest months in Bermuda are between May and October.
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If you’re planning a trip to Toronto, try for spring or early fall. April and May hover around 60 degrees, and the low temperatures wallow in the 30s and 40s. If that’s a bit chilly for you, September and October offer slightly warmer weather and the Toronto Film Festival is around that time of year, too.
Avoid the rainy season in Phuket and visit sometime between November and April, when high temperatures still fluctuate in the 80s and 90s but the rainfall is down. These months are ideal for beach days, swimming and boating. March in Phuket is roaring with the Thao Thep Festival, one of the island’s major events with lots of cultural and sporting activities.
Costa Rica’s tropical climate makes it perfect to visit any time you’re in need of some sun. From relaxing at the beaches to exploring the jungles and taking a whirl at ziplining, there’s lots to do but you should plan according to the season. In Costa Rica, the rainy months are between May and November, so the best time to visit would be between December and April.
Cape Cod is full of visitors, including local tourists from other parts of Massachusetts, just about any time of year the sun is shining and the water is warm enough to swim in. For an especially ideal time to visit the charming seaside peninsula, go between May and June, or in September when the tourists head home. Quaint villages, chowder shacks and ocean beaches make Cape Cod a gorgeous early- and late-summer destination.
Although summer is the most expensive time to visit Dublin, it’s when you’ll get the most bang out of your buck. For a usually chilly location, temperatures are warm between June and August and festivals fill the streets. For bookworms, the Dalkey Book Festival in June hosts renowned authors in a charming village for talks, open mics and panels while July’s Festival of Curiosity celebrates art, science, design and technology. Other festivals in the summer include the Taste of Dublin, Forbidden Fruit and Bloomsday.
To wander through the streets of Edinburgh and be royalty for a day at the famous Edinburgh Castle, plan your visit for the summer. From June to August, average temperatures are in the mid 60s — perfect for the traditional Edinburgh International Festival and the self-titled, “world’s greatest platform for creative freedom,” the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Summers in Lisbon can get hot and crowded, but if the weather isn’t a big concern, try for a trip in June to experience the classic festivals in the old city. The main ones are the Festas de Lisboa and Santo Antonio, which is centered around a giant feast. The old neighborhoods get decorated in arches and colorful balloons and people take to the streets with food and drinks in hand. Another great time to visit Lisbon is late spring or early autumn, when there aren’t as many tourists and the weather is still great for the beach.
Summers in Copenhagen can be mild and sometimes even dip into sweater weather, which is pretty characteristic of the cozy Denmark "hygge" way of life. Visiting during June and August is ideal to experience the hidden energy of Copenhagen with bustling summer festivals. Most tourists also make a trip to see The Little Mermaid statue that’s been on Copenhagen's waterfront since 1913. The weather at this time of year is perfect for strolling along the Strøget — a pedestrian, car-free shopping area in the city.
It’s no surprise that Paris is a hot tourist destination and that it’s bursting with visitors no matter when you go. So narrowing down the weather is the best place to start when picking a timeframe. June through August in Paris is sunny skies with an average of 70-75 degrees, making it particularly enjoyable for hanging around the Eiffel Tower both in the day and nighttime. The weather is also important if you’re walking everywhere, including to the Louvre Museum (home of the Mona Lisa), Musée d'Orsay or the Luxembourg Gardens. The City of Lights is also gorgeous in the fall, but Paris Fashion Week might limit your hotel options.
From Creole cuisine to beignets and Jazz music, New Orleans is bound to be a good time. Especially during Mardi Gras and Carnival. Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday," and there’s a whole lot of eating during the carnival season in New Orleans. If you’re planning a visit down for some classic Southern cooking, there’s really no better time to go.
There really isn’t one perfect time to visit New York City — it’s cinematic and bustling year-round. But if you had to pick one season, go with fall. The crisp autumn breeze, colorful foliage of Central Park, comfortable temperatures and cozy pizza parlors are storybook NYC, not to mention perfectly Instagram-worthy. And late fall and winter boast the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and holiday activities like ice skating at Rockefeller Center.
The breathtaking beaches of the Virgin Islands are reason enough to go. The island's tropical vibe is perfect for boating, fishing and laying in the sun. The best time to visit is between September and November, as it’s before the holiday travelers flock there for winter. Even though it might rain a lot in the fall, low hotel prices are worth a rainy day or two. You should note that the hurricane season usually runs from June to November, which is also when heavy rains tend to occur.
Chicago has endless things to see and do — from exceptional museums to soaring skyscrapers, visitors always leave impressed. Even though it can be tourist-heavy, the best time to visit Chicago is the summer, anytime from May to August, and even into September. Average temperatures range from 60 to mid-80s and the cool breeze from Lake Michigan is a welcome addition. The summer is perfect for lounging in Millennium Park or rock climbing at Maggie Daley — and even more ideal for tagging along on a Chicago Architecture River Cruise.
There’s a similar weather pattern for most of Southeast Asia — a wet season and a dry one. The best time to visit Angkor is during the dry season from late November to the end of March. The city is home to Angkor Wat, an incredibly popular temple in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. It was transformed into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century and welcomes tourists from all over the world.
First things first — no matter when you travel to London, pack an umbrella. The city is known for rainy days year-round, but to skip the cold and as much rain as you can, go anytime from March through May when temperatures land somewhere in the 60s. Also at this time of year are a number of events, including the London Coffee Festival, Museums at Night and the State Opening of Parliament, which is particularly exciting if you’re a fan of the Royal Family.
The best time to visit Buenos Aires is between April and June, which is Argentina’s fall, or from September to December, which is their spring. Fall brings affordable room rates, pleasant weather and some cool local festivals like the Buenos Aires Book Fair and the International Decorative Art Fair.
Dubai, with all its glitz and glam, is a top travel destination. But unless you enjoy over 100-degree weather, you might want to visit in the winter. The best time to visit for blue skies and still hot, but bearable temperatures is from November to March. This is prime tourist season, so there will be crowds in popular areas like Jumeirah Beach and the Dubai Mall. For an incredible view of the Persian Gulf, head straight to the top of the Burj Khalifa, which is the world's tallest building.
The pristine mountains of Kathmandu are picture-perfect, and the autumn season is the most ideal time of year for trekking. During September and November, Nepal is usually dry and suitable for backpackers exploring on foot. Travelers can also experience the local heritage as Nepal celebrates one of the most important Hindu festivals — Dashain — around this time.
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For the best experience of the Red City, avoid the summer and plan for spring or fall. March through May, or September to November are the best for pleasant weather. If you want a peek into the local life of Marrakech, you can brave the crowds and go during religious holidays like Ramadan that follow the lunar calendar. Ramadan — when observers fast from sunrise to sunset — can affect everything from public transportation to attractions and restaurants, but the sunset feast of “iftar” is well worth it.
The average high temps of Sao Paulo drop below 80 degrees between March and May and the summer winds are down, too. Depending on when Easter falls, you might miss Carnival if you go during those months, so consider rescheduling if that’s something you’d want to be part of.
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Fiji has more than 300 islands and tourist season peaks in June and July, two of the coolest months in the Island capital. June through September are beautiful, with temperatures averaging 79 and 80 degrees. If crowds are a concern, try to squeeze in a trip in May, between the rainy season and peak season.
The best time to visit Queenstown is December through February, when it’s cool enough to take part in outdoor activities the city has to offer. During New Zealand’s summer, sunrise can be as early as 6 a.m. and the sun can set as late as 9:30 p.m.
Dry season runs from June to October, making it a great time for animal sightings. October specifically is great for animal and bird sighting. This is also high-water season as the Delta flood peaks from June to August, suitable for boating and canoeing safaris. The Delta welcomes the most visitors in August.
To get a taste of Austin, plan a visit between March and May for fair weather and the South by Southwest film festival that draws creatives from all over the country. The end of summer and early fall is another great time to visit Austin to experience a rodeo.
The striking blue waters of the Maldives are an especially popular destination for honeymooners and scuba divers. Many resorts have reefs so close to shore, travelers can easily swim from the beach for an underwater adventure. The best time to visit the islands is between November and April. Those months offer visitors the best weather even if at a high price, as they are part of peak tourist season.
This Mexican Island in the Caribbean Sea is as popular for scuba diving as it is for it’s calm, sandy beaches. Between March and June is the best time to enjoy both.
The best months of the year to visit Beijing are September and October. Not only is fall scenic and temperate, the city’s gearing up for a couple celebrations, too. The Mid-Autumn Festival — also called the Moon Festival — falls around the time of the autumn equinox, usually the last week of September. The special day symbolizes reunion and prosperity. And during the first week of October, China celebrates National Day, a holiday celebrating the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
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Havana has conditions that make it a tourist hot spot most of the year, but between December and May, visitors can expect extra warm weather and sunny skies. The temperature in Havana rarely dips below 65 degrees and the highs reach 79 degrees in February. To get a true taste of Havana, stop by Plaza de la Catedral and stroll the streets of the old city.
You’ll want to visit Yosemite National Park when most of the snowmelt occurs and the waterfalls reach peak runoff, which is in the spring. Different falls also flow at different times. Ribbon Falls — visible from the road as you drive into Yosemite Valley — only flows through June, while Yosemite Falls flows through July with peak flow in May. Some falls can be dry by the end of summer as the average high temperature climbs to 89 degrees in August. Generally from May to September, the park is easily accessible but not overly crowded.
Prague is not only beautiful in the spring, but the crowds are smaller and the festivals are plenty. The Prague International Music Festival is one of the most popular, and plenty of reasonably priced hotels near the city center will make your stay easier and more enjoyable.
Budapest is split by the Danube River and is made up of three main regions — Pest, Buda and Óbuda — and whether you’re there for the ancient architecture, museums or just to wind down near the river, the city has a lot to offer. For the ideal trip, book your flight for autumn. Over the span of three months, temperatures range from the 70s in September to mid-40s in November, perfect for outdoor activities. Both the Jewish Cultural Festival and the Budapest Wine Festival happen in September. If you're just looking for a warm-weather holiday, check out these postcard-perfect destinations that boast warmer temps year-round.
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