52 Places to Go in 2016

It’s a big world out there, so we’ve narrowed it down for you. From ancient temples to crystalline waters, here are our top destinations to visit this year.

Check out the 10 Places to Travel by BuzzFeedVideo:

Mexico City, Mexico
A metropolis that has it all.

When Pope Francis visits Mexico City next month, he will draw the faithful from around the country. The Mexican capital, though, is attracting pilgrims of another kind: travelers seeking some of the world’s best cuisine, museums and forward-thinking design. With young people from around Latin America and Spain streaming into the city, and the Mexican peso hitting record lows against the dollar, the city — daunting and endless as it is — radiates energy.

Certainly, there is no more exciting place to eat. Enrique Olvera, who reinvented Mexican cuisine at Pujol, has inspired a generation of restaurants in his wake; recent openings include Fonda Fina in La Roma and Fonda Mayora in nearby Condesa.

Design fans can work up an appetite shopping for products by studios like David Pompa and Lagos del Mundo or for designs by Carla Fernández. Photography lovers have two new destinations: the FotoMuseo Cuatro Caminos and the newly renovated Centro de la Imagen.

But getting to know the city means diving into its colonias. In the shadow of Paseo de la Reforma, the city’s grand boulevard, the Colonia Cuauhtémoc, beckons business travelers and tourists alike, with the new design-conscious Carlota hotel and an increasing number of restaurants. Many other areas demand a more intimate exploration. You can stroll by the French-style 19th-century mansions of La Roma or take a turn around Parque México in Condesa.

Of course, there are places you should not wander but the city is far safer than it was in the 1990s, and taxi services like Uber and Yaxi make getting around a lot more comfortable. It’s also easier to get to: in the summer, AeroMéxico, JetBlue and American Airlines have boosted flights.

And if you’re overwhelmed, you can visit Futura CDMX, a scale model of the Federal District due to open soon — the latest flourish of pride in a city that’s ever coming back.

Bordeaux, France
An ancient wine region gets a stunning update.

Next year will see the opening of La Cité du Vin, an ambitious institution along the coast of the river Garonne dedicated to the history of French viticulture. The undulating wooden structure, designed by XTU architects, is part of a huge greening and revitalization effort along Bordeaux’s waterways, which also includes the 2013 opening of the Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas, Europe’s largest lift bridge, and the transformation of over 7,500,000 square feet of former docklands into more than 5,000 new apartments and public waterside attractions. In 2007, half of the restored neoclassical city was Unesco-listed, making it the largest urban World Heritage site. And all the effort has been paying off: A 2013 survey ranked Bordeaux France’s second-favorite city, after Paris. More recently, a restaurant boom has welcomed enticing openings by the likes of Joël Robuchon, whose namesake restaurant opened at the end of 2014 within the city’s palatial Grande Maison hotel. Gordon Ramsay recently took the helm at Le Pressoir d’Argent, the restaurant within the InterContinental Bordeaux — Le Grand Hotel, while the French celebrity chef Philippe Etchebest, has taken over the Café Opera in Bordeaux’s Grand Théâtre. Other appetizing new entries include Franco-Chinese restaurant Dan, high-end minimalist Garopapilles and locavore Belle Campagne, in a rustic-chic townhouse in Bordeaux’s picturesque Old Town.

Malta
The Mediterranean on a dime.

Malta is an affordable Mediterranean playground with a superb climate, sublime beaches, megalithic temples and a distinctive crossroads culture. English is one of two official languages, but few Americans have discovered Malta’s charms. There are three inhabited islands to explore — Malta, home to buzzing Valletta, a Unesco World Heritage city of stunning limestone buildings; Gozo, more tranquil and with a dramatic coastline filled with great spots for diving; and idyllic, car-free Comino, which has one hotel and few residents. As Valletta celebrates its 450th anniversary this year, the old city has gotten some fresh touches, including a new city gate, a restored open-air opera house and a new parliament building, all designed by the renowned architect Renzo Piano. And in Malta, you can follow in the footsteps of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who spent their honeymoon shooting their latest film, “By the Sea,” in Gozo, which served as a more economical, but equally romantic, stand-in for the South of France. (You may also recognize the island from “The Whale” or “The Da Vinci Code.”)

Coral Bay, St. John
Visit the U.S. Virgin Islands’ quiet corner before big development.

The beaches are less crowded, the emphasis is on local over commercial, and the people share a friendly sense of neighborhood pride. Among the town’s attractions: monthly full-moon parties at Miss Lucy’s, and a Thanksgiving “Thankspigging” pot luck pig roast hosted by the community at Skinny Legs, where the eating often swells into a singalong. But this quiet community may soon change. Visit before a proposed outlet mall and megamarina, expected to engulf the bay, transforms the laid-back atmosphere of this little corner of the United States Virgin Islands.

Read more about the article here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/01/07/travel/places-to-visit.html