Escape the winter chills to these top January destinations | Finnair Iceland
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Escape the winter chills to these top January destinations

Once the holiday season ends, it's time to explore a different kind of magic – the charm of January travel. Make the most of the new year by embarking on a winter adventure in the best cities in Asia and the USA. See our best recommendations on where to travel in January 2024.


January in Japan is very special as Shōgatsu, or New Year, is celebrated. The celebrations include secular traditions such as gift-giving and seasonal food. You should try the wonderful Osechi Ryori, colourful New Year's dishes packed together in special jubako boxes, which resemble bento boxes.

However, the most important New Year's tradition is Hatsumode, the year's first visit to a Buddhist shrine. In Tokyo, Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa is a popular site to honour the start of the new year.

The weather in Tokyo during this time can be chilly, but that is just a perfect excuse to experience the delightful hot springs in nearby onsen towns, such as Hakone.


Singapore is alive with vibrant festivities as it gears up for the Chinese New Year. The streets are adorned with lanterns, and the traditional lion and dragon dances can be seen around the city. For the best experience, head straight to Chinatown!

Do not miss out on the New Year's food, which is often called a "reunion dinner". Some of the best restaurants offering this traditional meal include Peony Jade and Peach Garden.

For a different kind of spectacle, make your way to one of the most beautiful spots in Singapore, Gardens by the Bay and check out their amazing light shows.


January is an ideal time to explore Bangkok, as the weather is pleasant and relatively dry. Now is a good time to make the most of the not-too-sweaty weather and visit some of the cultural sights. Start at the most impressive, Grand Palace, the official residence of the King of Siam, or now Thailand. Of course, you will want to see the famous temples too, Wat Pho and Wat Arun are the most stunning.

Thailand is a mecca for anyone wanting to eat seasonally. Start at the markets and test out some of the exotic fruit in season in January, such as Rose Apples (a pear-shaped, rose-flavoured crunchy fruit) or Guavas. The locals love to enjoy hot soups as the weather isn't super-hot. Great January dishes include Kaeng Liang, a spicy vegetable soup and Kuay Teaw Ped, Thai Duck Noodles. 

Los Angeles

An escape to Los Angeles in January means enjoying the mild weather without the peak tourist crowds. If you have always wanted to do a studio tour or join in as an audience member to one of the shows filmed in the city, now is your best chance. Check out tips on how to make the latter possible here

If you also want to explore the main cultural sights, you can do it in January without the usual queues. Start at The Getty Center or Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Los Angeles locals know that sunrises and sunsets are at their most stunning in the winter when humidity is at its lowest. The best spots to check them out include Palisades Park in Santa Monica and Parker Mesa Overlook in Topanga State Park.


Miami in January offers a vibrant and energetic atmosphere as the city hosts various events and festivals. A real Miami experience is the renowned Art Deco Weekend, packed with events, concerts and exhibitions paying homage to the style. If jazz is more your thing, do not miss the South Beach Jazz Festival

Miami is one of the few places in the US where beach life can be enjoyed all around the year. January is the chilliest of months, but there is still a great chance to dip into the ocean and work on your tan. Both the air and the water temperatures hover around a pleasant 20 to 24 degrees all month, so make sure you pack your swim gear. 

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