Best Countries to Visit in January

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 12/12/2023

A new year brings about new travel destinations and a whole new slew of adventures! Most travellers crave a fresh start when kicking off the new year in January and that is precisely what we have in mind at Tata AIG.

This blog lists the best countries to visit in January, from tropical paradises to wintery snowscapes. We also explain which of these countries require travelling insurance so you can plan your trip accordingly. Read on to find your perfect destination!

Best Holiday Places In January: Cost, Crowds and Visa Requirements

Country  Average Cost for 1-Week (Per Person) Crowds in January  Visa-On-Arrival for Indians?
Japan  ₹2,17,644 Low Season No 
Australia  ₹2,41,353 Peak Season No 
Norway  ₹1,40,052 Low Season No 
Costa Rica ₹1,12,403 Peak Season No 
Egypt  ₹1,69,479 Peak Season No 
Kenya  ₹1,93,455 Peak Season No 
Seychelles  ₹1,26,500 Peak Season Visa-Free
Sri Lanka ₹61,230 Peak Season Yes 
Thailand  ₹78,023 Peak Season Yes 
Vietnam  ₹78,298 Peak Season Yes 

Disclaimer: The prices were taken from Makemytrip and Thrillophilia on 28/11/2023 at 3:00 pm. Please note that tour prices are subject to change depending on peak and low seasons and current inflation rates. Always check official sources for current rates before booking your trip.

10 Best Places To Visit In January in the World

Japan

Japan is one of the best countries to visit in January, as this month marks the beginning of the Shogatsu (New Year) celebrations. It is also a good time to partake in winter sports and hot spring stays.

Many shrines and temples host their New Year's events and offer you a great opportunity to experience Japan's culture. These events include Hatsuhinode (first sunrise), Hatsumode (first temple visit), Omamori (good luck charms) and Shishimai (a traditional lion dance).

Moreover, the new year also marks the first big sales at department stores and other shops in larger cities like Tokyo. Major shopping districts like Ginza, Harajuku, Shibuya, and Aoyama are the places to be if you are looking to snag a bargain.

Average Tour Price:** ₹2,17,644 for 6 Days/5 Nights[1] (Low Season)

Best Places to Visit/Things to do:

Shopping Districts in Tokyo (Ginza, Harajuku, Shibuya, and Aoyama).

Shrines in Kyoto for Hastumode: Yasaka-jinja Shrine, Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine or Heian Jingu Shrine.

Onsen resort towns like Kurokawa Onsen (Kyushu) and Kusatsu (Gunma Prefecture).

Ski resorts in Nagano, Hokkaido or Niigata.

Popular Tourist Spots in Japan:

Imperial Palace in Tokyo (opens 2nd January)

Jigokudani Monkey Park

Shirakawago Village

Must-See Events in Japan:

Sapporo Snow Festival (held in late January and continues into February).

Coming of Age Day (second Monday in January).

Sumo Grand Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium in Tokyo (mid-January).

Australia

January marks mid-summer in Australia, where temperatures can go from pleasant to hot, making it the perfect summer getaway. The cities can get quite hot during January, but they are also air-conditioned and Tasmania is a cooler alternative for outdoor activities.

For beach vacations, it is best to stick to the New South Wales (including Sydney) and Victoria (including Melbourne) coastlines or cross the Bass Strait to Tasmania.

This is because Northern coastlines like North Queensland and Northern-Western Australia are teeming with deadly box jellyfish that linger from November to May – making the beaches inaccessible for watersports or swimming.

Aside from popular beaches in Sydney (Bondi and Manly) and Melbourne (St. Kilda), New South Wales and Victoria are also good options for their picture-perfect coastlines if you prefer a small-town or remote beach destination.

Other outdoor activities you can participate in include hiking and sightseeing in the Blue Mountains (West of Sydney), Australian Capital Territory/Canberra, the Highlands in New South Wales and long-distance trekking in Tasmania.

Important:

Swim only at patrolled beaches in areas between the yellow and red flags. These are the determined safe areas marked by lifeguards.

Average Tour Price: ₹2,41,353 for 7 Days/6 Nights[2] (Peak Season)

Best Places to Visit/Things to do:

Blue Mountains (West of Sydney) for hiking and sightseeing

The Highlands of New South Wales (Inland), the Australian Capital Territory/Canberra, and Tasmania for sightseeing.

Tasmania for long-distance trekking and other outdoor activities

Penguin Island (Kayaking)

Popular Tourist Spots in Australia:

Beaches in Melbourne (St. Kilda), Sydney (Bondi, Manly), New South Wales and Victoria.

Sydney Opera House

Mount Barney National Park

Lake Macquarie

The Great Barrier Reef

Must-See Events in Australia:

Country Music Festival (Tamworth, New South Wales)

Sydney Festival (early January)

Australia Day (26th January) rallies in cities like Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, and Melbourne.

Norway

Norway is one of the best holiday places in January if you want out of India's monsoon rains. The country is a bonafide winter wonderland chock-full of winter activities, low prices and fewer crowds this time of the year!

There is no shortage is sights to see in in Norway! Often, the best place to start is Oslo for its museums, art galleries and sleek opera house. Other cities with popular indoor activities include Trondheim, Bergen and Ålesund.

For outdoor activities such as skiing, you can start your trip at Geilo or the region between Oslo and Bergen for their resorts. For quieter surroundings, the village of Røros is an excellent choice.

Despite the colder weather, you can also go surfing or snorkelling with whales in the Arctic Circle, owing to the Gulf Stream's warm waters.

Average Tour Price: ₹1,40,052 for 8 Days/7 Nights[3] (Low Season)

Best Places to Visit/Things to do:**

Tromsø or nearby Alta for huskie and reindeer sledging.

Arctic Circle for water sports activities like snorkelling or surfing

Restaurants in Oslo and Bergen for authentic Norwegian cuisine

Svalbard and Telegrafbukta in Tromsø for ice bathing

City of Bergen for the Hurtigruten cruises

Popular Tourist Spots in Norway:

National Museum in Oslo

Heit Sørfjorden Sauna (Hardangerfjord region)

Kirkenes Snow Hotel

Camp Tamok (Near Kirkenes)

Must-See Events in Norway:

Northern Lights Festival in Tromsø.

Tromso International Film Festival (mid-January for 1 week).

Also Read: When To See The Northern Lights In Norway

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the best countries to visit in January! It is the dry season and the best time to hit the beaches and go snorkelling and scuba diving or hiking at national parks. Fiesta season is also in full swing, so book your flights and other reservations well in advance.

San Hose is the place to be on New Year's Day when they kick off celebrations downtown or at the Zapote district. If you want to escape the heat, you can head further north or visit the central region, where the weather is much cooler.

You can also go on yoga trips around the Nicoya Peninsula in Nosara village, after which you can travel down the coast to Tamarindo to go surfing. However, if large crowds are not your thing, nature hikes in the Osa Peninsula are a great alternative.

Average Tour Price: ₹1,12,403 for 8 Days/7 Nights[4] (Peak Season)

Best Places to Visit/Things to do:

Nicoya Peninsula, Punta Arenas, and Jacó for New Year's Eve celebrations.

Surf Villages of Tamarindo and Playa Avellanas for surfing.

Osa Peninsula for nature hikes.

Off the coast of the Catalinas Islands for giant manta ray sightseeing.

Popular Tourist Spots in Costa Rica:

Manuel Antonio National Park.

Central Valley in San Jose.

Playa Tamarindo Beach.

The Suspension Bridges of Monteverde.

Must-See Events in Costa Rica:

New Year's Day celebration in Zapote district, San Jose(southeast of the city centre).

Black Christ of Esquipulas event in Santa Cruz.

Two-week-long Palmares Festival (mid-January).

Egypt

January marks wintertime in Egypt, making it the best holiday place in January. The weather is a lot cooler but still sunny in Cairo and around the Nile Delta region, so you no longer have to deal with the stifling desert heat.

It is peak season around January, so if you do not mind the crowds, it is an excellent travel destination. Moreover, be sure to make your reservation well in advance as you will find fewer discounts around this time.

Average Tour Price: ₹1,69,479 for 6 Days/7 Nights[5] (Peak Season)

Best Places to Visit/Things to do:

The City of Cairo for the Pyramid complex and its mosques (Al-Azhar Mosque and the Sultan Hassan Mosque)

Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab and Hurghada for indoor activities (restaurants, entertainment, and nightlife)

Cities of Aswan and Abu Simbel.

Cruises along the Nile River.

Popular Tourist Spots in Egypt:

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo

Ras Mohammed National Park near Sharm El Sheikh City.

Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx, Giza Necropolis.

Tombs of the Nobles in Esna.

Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa in Alexandria.

Must-See Events in Egypt

Cairo International Book Fair at Nasr City Fairgrounds in Heliopolis.

Coptic Christmas (7th January).

Revolution Day and National Police Day (25th January).

Kenya

Much like Egypt, January is the dry weather in Kenya and is considered a high season. The weather is usually hot and dry but bearable when compared to later months. The evenings can also get chilly, so pack a jacket when visiting.

This is especially true if you plan on hiking or joining safaris on Mount Kenya National Park, Hell's Gate National Park or visiting the savannahs in Maasai Mara, where the weather can get quite frigid.

Kenya is also the best holiday place in January for its beaches, where you can partake in snorkelling and scuba diving – which the beach towns of Mombasa and Malindi are perfect for.

Wildlife safaris and sightseeing are also a prime way to pass the time. You can witness the wildebeest migration at Maasai Mara National Reserve and bird migrations and several migratory birds in Amboseli National Park.

The wildebeest numbers are not huge in January, but you can see other wildlife like giraffes, elephants, hippos, zebras, lions and cheetahs – they are also less shy due to fewer visitors.

You also get offered low season rates at Maasai Mara because of this, despite it being high season in other parts of the country.

Average Tour Price: ₹1,93,455 for 7 Nights/8 Days[6] (Peak Season)

Best Places to Visit/Things to do:**

Hiking and guided treks at Batian, Nelion, or Lenana in Mount Kenya National Park. Also, check out Karunguru Coffee Estate or Shipton's Caves, which are close by.

Beach towns of Mombasa and Malindi for sea kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, or surfing in the Indian Ocean.

Dolphin watching at Wasini Island or Mombasa Marine National Park.

Popular Tourist Spots in Kenya:

Mt. Kilimanjaro

Nairobi National Museum

Watamu Beach, north of Malindi

Tsavo National Park

Must-See Events in Kenya

Nairobi Restaurant Week

Lamu Cultural Festival

Seychelles

The perfect tropical paradise to escape the cold winter months in January. Seychelles offers turquoise waters and white sandy beaches as far as the eye can see.

Moreover, it is a visa-free country, and Indian tourists do not need a visa when travelling to Seychelles! So it is not hard to see why the archipelago of Seychelles is the best place to visit in January in the world.

The weather sits at a temperature of 27°C and you can expect short, frequent bursts of rainfall. Despite this, January is still considered peak season since this time of the year is considered the holiday season across most countries.

Since Seychelles is primarily a beach destination, watersports are the go-to activities. If you are an avid fan of scuba diving or snorkelling and have previously trained for them, we recommend bringing your own gear.

January brings forth peak season prices and the rates for renting out gear can be high. Make sure you book accommodations and flight tickets in advance, as good options sell out quickly and prices can skyrocket if left to the last minute. Carry an umbrella and raincoat too!

Average Tour Price: ₹1,26,500 for 6 Days/5 Nights[7] (Peak Season)

Best Places to Visit/Things to do:

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in the northern island regions

Rock climbing in Mahé at Constance Ephélia.

Hiking and trekking in Anse Marron or Copolia Trail (Mahe Island)

Island hopping and cruises across Seychelles

Sightseeing in Moyenne Island and Anse Lazio Beach

Popular Tourist Spots in Seychelles

Morne National Park

Coconut Plantation House of La Digue

Victoria Bazaar

Ruins of the Leprosarium in Curieuse Island

Must-See Events in Seychelles

New Year Festival.

Seychelles Sailing Cup, hosted near the island of Praslin.

Sri Lanka

The southwest areas of Sri Lanka are prime tourist destinations during the month of January. The weather will be cool and dry with the late autumn rains finally letting up. Temperatures are quite temperate and will remain around 30°C at most.

January is also peak season. Hence, it is best to make your reservation in advance since most countries in the Southern Hemisphere are still on summer break around this time.

You can start your trip at Colombo and travel southwards to see the sights of Galle and enjoy its beaches. You can then head north towards the Central Highlands, Kandy, and the Cultural Triangle (Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, etc.).

Sri Lanka is one of the best countries to visit in January if you are on a budget and want to engross yourself in the Buddhist culture. You can also visit Yala National Park, a wildlife sanctuary or the ruins at Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa for some light sightseeing.

Average Tour Price: ₹61,230 for 6 Nights/ 7 Days[8] (Peak Season)

Best Places to Visit/Things to do:

Hiking or climbing up Adam's Peak (Sri Pada)

Sightseeing the ruins at Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the rock fortress at Sigiriya and the cave temples of Dambulla.

Surfing, snorkelling, windsurfing and whale watching at Bentota, Tangalle, Mirissa, Galle and Weligama.

Wildlife Safaris at Udawalawe, Yala, Horton Plains and Bundala National Parks.

Popular Tourist Spots in Sri Lanka:

Galle Face Green and Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo

The Tea Houses of Nuwara Eliya.

Mirissa village

The City of Temples, Jaffna

Must-See Events in Sri Lanka:

Poya day (During the full moon of every month)

Thai Pongal

Galle Literary Festival

Thailand

High season is in full swing during this month, making Thailand one of the best countries to visit in January. The weather is a lot cooler and the Chinese New Year often falls in January, bringing with it several events and festivals.

Since it is peak season, get tickets well in advance – at least 2 weeks before, especially if you plan to travel by rail when commuting between cities. Buses tend to be more flexible.

Prime spots to visit include Chinatown in Bangkok and the mountain towns of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai for the elephant sanctuary and nightlife, respectively. The beaches in Phuket are also a great option if you want a more relaxing trip.

Important:

Do not take photos inside the temple of Buddha and wear proper clothing when visiting temples and other religious sites.

Average Tour Price: ₹78,023 for 6 NIghts/7 Days[9] (Peak Season)

Best Places to Visit/Things to do:

Sea kayaking, snorkelling and scuba diving in Phuket.

Touring/Sightseeing Phang Nga Bay or taking a trip out to Phi Phi Island.

Sightseeing in Ang Thong Marine National Park and Bophut Fisherman's Village

Popular Tourist Spots in Thailand

Wat Pho Temple in Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok

The Grand Palace in Bangkok

Elephant Valley in Chiang Rai

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

Doi Suthep Temple, Chiang Mai

Must-See Events in Thailand

The Chinese New Year

Bo Sang Umbrella and Sankampaeng Handicrafts Festival (third weekend of January)

Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the best countries to visit in January. Stepping out of the rainy season and into milder temperatures and sunny days, January is a great time to explore Vietnam's beaches.

January is peak season, so you can expect crowds in Central Vietnam and tourist spots and beaches down south. However, the North remains relatively free; hence, January is the best time to explore Northern Vietnam if you are not a fan of crowds.

You can either take your time visiting the beach resorts of Danang, Hoi An, and Nha Trang in Central Vietnam or head to Phu Quoc Island if you want the best beach experience. If you plan to head north, Hanoi and Halong Bay are a must-see/visit.

Average Tour Price:** ₹78,298 for 7 NIghts/8 Days[10] (Peak Season)

Best Places to Visit/Things to do

Sightseeing the Fansipan Mountains and hiking in Sapa

Watersport activities and diving in the resort city of Nha Trang

Popular Tourist Spots in Vietnam

Hon Mun Marine Park

Halong Bay

Northern Mountainous areas like Mai Chau, Moc Chau, Sapa

Must-See Events in Vietnam

The Lunar New Year (Tet) in Hue, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Da Lat Flower Festival

Which of These Destinations Require Travel Insurance?

Of the countries listed here, Norway mandates a valid travel insurance policy. This rings true for any Schengen region country you plan on visiting. The other destinations on this do not mandate one when visiting, but official authorities highly recommend getting one.

Healthcare can get quite expensive if you fall sick during your trip, especially in countries like Australia. Moreover, the added stress of navigating a foreign healthcare system on your own in a country like Japan, where English is seldom used, can be extremely stressful.

This is why we recommend buying travel insurance from Tata AIG.

Our travelling insurance can cover you for unexpected medical emergencies and other perils that can arise when overseas. We take care of these issues in your stead and protect you from legal liabilities as well.

Moreover, our flight cancellation insurance takes into consideration that plans can change last minute. We give you the flexibility to cancel your trip and ensure you are adequately reimbursed for any unused and non-refundable reservations.

Conclusion

A new travel destination is a great way to kick off the new year in January. Whether you are looking for tropical getaways, snowy landscapes or a scenic retreat, the world is your oyster! The locations listed in this blog as the best places to visit in January in the world.

In fact, some destinations like Seychelles are visa-free! So, go ahead and take your pick of the lot. Make sure you have a good travel insurance policy from us to ensure a safe and stress-free trip. Happy Travels!

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