As the new year fast approaches, we surveyed some potential newcomers to add to your list. Our criteria spanned party capitals, cultural hubs and places of riveting beauty that are not to be missed. Passports at the ready.
Croatia's Dalmatian Coast is a glistening option any summer. While Hvar is the party island, it's routinely swamped with revellers. Some of the region's lesser-visited islands are equally charming yet blissfully empty. Lopud and Sipan are both standouts, if only for their rustic restaurants. Another gem is Korcula, which boasts medieval buildings, sandy beaches and lush vineyards specialising in pošip grapes, which make the best local wines.
Brits have long flitted to Malta (it was once part of the British Empire), but it's not as popular a destination for Australians. Time to change that. This southern European island nation captivates with postcard-perfect beaches, historical sights and a clutch of new public buildings by Renzo Piano. It consists of three islands: one named Malta, and two smaller ones, the serene Gozo and the car-free Comino. Malta's proximity to Italy and North Africa influence its delectable cuisine.
Oakland is the Brooklyn of the west coast-a thriving hub of innovation in food, culture and style-that has stepped out of the shadow cast by its glitzier neighbour. Visitors to San Francisco are advised to check out the edgier sister city next door. Discover top-notch restaurants like Camino (from Russell Moore, ex Chez Panisse), urban wineries and craft breweries. Check out the excellent Oakland Museum of California, the bustling markets of Lake Merritt, and tour the waterfront precinct of Jack London Square.
Malaga is a Spanish province, known for its picturesque beaches and for being the birthplace of Picasso, but it's also the name of its capital city. Lately, the city is rearing up as a vibrant arts destination with a trio of new museums. There are now branches of Centre Pompidou, Carmen Thyssen Museum, and St Petersburg State Russian Museum, which are drawing arts lovers from around the world. Malaga is a place where Gothic buildings and Renaissance cathedrals are juxtaposed with hip bars, inventive restaurants and cool design stores.
The capital of South Korea is known for its neon skyline, high-tech thinking and cutting-edge design (not least in terms of beauty products). After successfully replacing an old elevated highway with a central park and waterway, the city is now working on Seoul Skygarden, a dazzling new green space to be unveiled late next year. Korean food has boomed globally, so it's no surprise that Seoul is a culinary mecca.