2017 promises to be such an amazing year for travel, it even has our experienced globetrotters excited. Putting together the New in Travel list of the best new openings and attractions for the coming year left Lonely Planet’s Travel News team ready to pack our bags, hop on a plane and do some serious firsthand research.
From temples of haute couture to mind-boggling bird’s-eye views, find out which of the 35 entries on the list had us reaching for our passports.
The Marrakesh museum will be located next to the designer’s Jardin Majorelle © Abdelhak Senna / Getty Images
Fin McCarthy – Global News Editor
Wants to visit: Musées Yves Saint Laurent Paris and Marrakesh, France and Morocco
Two museums dedicated to the iconic French designer are opening in Paris and Marrakesh.
When a trip involves Marrakesh or Paris, two of my favourite cities, I’m always excited. But add Yves St Laurent to the mix – the man who introduced ‘le tuxedo’ for women and whose influence on the catwalk today is still undeniable – and I’m storming the departure gates. This year two new museums are opening, celebrating the designer’s incredible legacy. His former Paris atelier, which is being refurbished to its former glory, allows visitors the opportunity to get a sense of his work process, while also immersing themselves in the city of haute couture. Or take a trip to Morocco to drink in the electric blue of the designer’s Jardin Majorelle, which he bequeathed to Marrakesh, and where the new museum will display his work. But why not make both pilgrimages? I know I will.
New Holland Island is a gateway to St Petersburg’s past and future © Peter Kovalev
Alex Butler – Global News Reporter
Wants to visit: New Holland Island, St Petersburg
The historic island has been transformed into a vibrant public space.
So much of St Petersburg’s allure lies in its wealth of history. But for me, New Holland Island, with its focus on public space and the arts, is a perfect addition to Russia’s cultural capital. The project seems poised to bring a burst of modernity to the historic city, providing a place for locals and travellers to go skating, visit food carts or even see a concert – the perfect way to kick back after a long visit to the Hermitage. Strolling onto the formerly restricted naval island will not only provide an interesting insight into the city’s past, but also a glimpse of its future.
Prince performs at Super Bowl XL © Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images
James Martin – Global News Reporter
Wants to visit: Prince’s Paisley Park
An incredibly intimate look at the life and work of Prince.
As I’m a devoted follower of Prince’s music, the opening of his Minnesota estate Paisley Park is one of the most exciting new developments in travel for 2017. Fans of the iconic performer will no doubt be aware of the unique spirit and impressive output of His Royal Purpleness, who used the 65,000 square-foot complex as his creative sanctuary. From recording a string of hit records and feature films to the manufacturing of clothing for upcoming tours, everything was done on site either personally or under the watchful eye of the industrious perfectionist. Following his death, Paisley Park has grown to represent sheer creativity and artistic opportunity. The idea of getting a first-hand look at the inner sanctum of one of music’s most enigmatic characters will no doubt excite and inspire many travellers and music fans alike.
Students chat in the midst of the impressive Art 42 collection © PHILIPPE LOPEZ / Getty Images
AnneMarie McCarthy – Social News Coordinator
Wants to visit: Art 42, Paris
An eclectic collection of art salvaged from the streets and created especially for the space.
I know the idea of street art being displayed in a museum seems contradictory and, on many levels, it is. Yes, the joy of street art lies in the serendipitous discovery, but the museum’s careful curation reflects this feeling of surprise. While there is a beauty in the temporary, fleeting nature of the pieces, bad weather, officials or taggers soon make their unwelcome mark on it. Many of these artworks have been taken from the streets with the aim of preserving them, while some have been created specifically for the museum. They brighten up the space of this non-profit school where students pay no tuition and, most importantly, remain free to see to anyone with an interest in one of the world’s most exciting art forms.
Get a bird’s eye view of the new Shanghai skyline © 123ArtistImages / Getty Images
Megan Eaves – Destination Editor for North Asia
Wants to visit: Shanghai Tower
The world’s second tallest building and the highest observation deck on earth.
There is nothing quite like seeing Shanghai from above, and the city keeps on giving with towers that soar higher and higher. Shanghai Tower takes this to the next level – being able to look down on the 101-storey Shanghai World Financial Center will be a breathtaking moment. Even from Shanghai’s smaller skyscrapers, there is something peaceful about seeing the Pudong River like a tiny slip of water winding its way through a forest of apartment blocks and high rises. And from the Tower’s observation deck on the 118th floor (the world’s highest!), they will appear like a million tiny pins. For a moment, the chaos of the world, and Shanghai’s frenetic pace, will seem like another planet.
Thrill Walk will give you a fresh perspective from the awesome Schilthorn mountain © Steffen Egly
Daniel Fahey – Destination Editor for Western Europe
Wants to visit: Thrill Walk, Switzerland
A walk to truly get your adrenaline going.
Do we conquer mountains or do they conquer us? The new Thrill Walk up Switzerland’s Schilthorn, a 2970m summit of swirled winter snow and striking 360-degree vistas, could settle that question. Its current viewing platform, which commands a view over the hunched massifs of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and breezes out as far as the Black Forest, offers a panorama worthy of God’s own eye; a powerful reminder of nature’s might. But by traversing the Thrill Walk, a curling metal bridge that clings to the neck of the Birg peak, anyone can master the mountain, feeling the cool of its cragged throat and taking in the gut-chucking drop below.
Get close to the All Blacks’ action in the new immersive experience © Michael Steele / Getty Images
Tasmin Waby – Destination Editor for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific
Wants to visit: The All Blacks Experience, Auckland, New Zealand
Enjoy the team even when they’re away winning games elsewhere.
I’m not even a huge rugby fan, despite growing up in a rugby-loving household, but I’m excited about the All Blacks Experience. First, it’s going to be an interactive museum where you test yourself a bit. Second, it’s down in the waterfront area, which is such a great part of Auckland to explore. But mainly because the All Blacks are such a brilliant example of the Kiwi spirit. They’re a real testament to New Zealanders who are so hard-working, ingenious, proud and respectful.