Just because you’re a seasoned traveller doesn’t mean you have any reason to get jaded in 2019. There are plenty of exciting new openings coming next year to inspire you to plan your next trip.

Academy Museum, Los Angeles, USA

Discover the art and science of the silver screen in a space that promises a lot more glitz than your average museum. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars, has been actively building this collection for more than a decade and it will be shown to the world at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. There’ll be everything from scripts to costumes, and highlights include a full-sized shark model from Jaws, Shirley Temple’s Juvenile Oscar and one very famous pair of ruby slippers.

The red carpet will be out for the museum’s grand opening in 2019.

The Museum of the Future, Dubai, UAE

Explore the trends and innovations of tomorrow in one of the world’s most futuristic cities. Dubai’s Museum of the Future will showcase the design and products we could all be using in the next decade and beyond. It will be the first of its kind in the world and will include a demonstration space where you can see new prototypes in action. The building is set to be another architectural marvel for Dubai – breaking from the city’s tradition of eye-catching skyscrapers, the museum will take the shape of a gleaming, silver oval covered in Arabic calligraphy.

Step into the future in late 2019.

Litchfield National Park © Swiss Media Vision / Getty Images
Litchfield National Park © Swiss Media Vision / Getty Images

Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

The most visited park in Australia’s Top End, Litchfield is about to undergo extensive improvements to make it even more attractive to visitors seeking adventure. In total, there will be five new swimming spots, at least three new campgrounds and new routes for both mountain biking and 4WDs. Locals adore this national park and, as it comprises roughly 1500 sq km of wilderness, there’s plenty of it to keep intrepid visitors happy.

All improvements are due to be finished and the park open to the public by March 2019.

Bangkok Observation Tower © Image courtesy of the Chao Phraya River Tourism Association
Bangkok Observation Tower © Image courtesy of the Chao Phraya River Tourism Association

Bangkok Observation Tower, Thailand

Bangkok’s metropolitan skyline is about to light up with a fabulous candle-shaped skyscraper that will be Southeast Asia’s tallest observation tower when complete. At 450 metres above the bustling city streets, the tower will be instrumental in efforts to revitalise the waterfront of the Chao Phraya River. As well as gazing out at the city, visitors will get plenty of opportunities to learn about Thai culture and history inside the tower. Some of the profits from ticket sales will go to the local community.

Construction is underway and the tower is expected to be open to the public in 2019.

Statue of Liberty Museum, New York, USA

If there can only be one icon in the USA, surely Lady Liberty is it. Now she’s getting her very own museum to replace the tiny exhibition centre inside the pedestal. Every visitor will get a chance to learn more about her history, delve into the story of her construction and explore the ideals she represents. The freestanding museum – built with sustainable-design principles – will be on Liberty Island, providing sweeping views of the New York City skyline and the famous statue itself. There will be time and space to reflect on the idea of liberty and the key components that keep it protected, such as a free press, elections and access to education. It will be free to enter too.

The museum will open to the masses in 2019.

Commercial space flights © Virgin Galactic
Commercial space flights are soon set to launch © Virgin Galactic

Commercial space flights

The final frontier may finally be on your doorstep. Four companies are anticipating that 2019 is the year they’ll launch commercial flights to space. There’s plenty of choice: SpaceX hopes to take two passengers around the Moon, Blue Origin is planning a tourist trip to the edge of space and Virgin Galactic is also working hard to blast off. Perhaps most intriguingly, Russian company Energia wants to fly travellers to the International Space Station and take them on a spacewalk. If you fancy it you’ll need a lot of money to go with that keen sense of adventure – the price for a spacewalk comes in at a whopping US$100million.

Roe & Co Distillery, Dublin, Ireland

There’s no better indicator that Irish whiskey is back in fashion than the fact that drinks giant Diageo, which owns Guinness, has got in on the act. The company is developing its own addition to Dublin’s burgeoning distillery quarter with the opening of Roe & Co Distillery in the former Guinness power plant. Alongside the whiskey distillery, an exciting visitor centre is planned for next year. This version of the ‘water of life’ is named after George Roe, who once owned Ireland’s biggest whiskey distillery before it closed, along with many others, during the financial difficulties of the 1920s.

Get a taste of the action from April 2019.

Tama Tugu Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Get an experience of a Malaysian rainforest in one of Asia’s most modern cities. This green lung in Kuala Lumpur will total 27 hectares and be full of running and walking trails. The ambitious project includes the planting of 4000 ethnic Malaysian trees and 1000 species of flora and fauna. As well as the wild side of nature, there will be a campsite, wetland areas, a jungle walk, an education centre and even an events space to explore. Providing a green refuge to residents and visitors alike, Taman Tugu will also create a huge carbon surplus.

The park will have a phased launch throughout 2019, with the hiking trails open by the start of the year, followed later by the full public facilities.

Solar Eclipse Tours © Leonardo Patrizi / Getty Images
Solar Eclipse Tours © Leonardo Patrizi / Getty Images

Solar eclipse tours, Argentina and Chile

The USA went crazy for a total solar eclipse in 2017 and now there are a wealth of options for travellers who want to chase the next one in July 2019. There are hundreds of different themed tours available to viewing spots in Chile’s Atacama and Coquimbo regions, or several provinces in Argentina, including Buenos Aires. Choose from tours with astronomy experts and veteran ‘eclipse chasers’ or itineraries built around everything from hiking to wine tasting. The highlight, of course, will be a rare opportunity to see the moon totally blocking out the sun.

The solar eclipse is on 2 July 2019 but start booking soon if you want a spot on a dedicated tour.

The Climate House, Oslo, Norway

Klimahuset (Climate House) promises to offer an incredible opportunity for the entire family to learn more about natural and man-made climate change, as well as encouraging people to start taking sustainable action to tackle it. Located in the botanical gardens of Tøyen, the venue will provide a jam-packed activity list daily, including markets, debates and films, a play area for children and some very artistic installations. The structure itself is, naturally, a zero-emissions building.

The Climate House’s doors will open in autumn 2019.

Discover our selection of the best places to go in 2019Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox with our weekly newsletter.

Want to keep on top of the latest and greatest in the world of travel? Check out Lonely Planet's daily travel news.


Explore related stories



10 of the world’s best foodie destinations (and what to eat when you get there)

Mar 1, 2024 • 12 min read