Creatives search near and far for new places that will inspire to create, but you’ve got to go beyond your safe bets. Still not sure where to head to next? Around the world, exciting things are happening. We put together an article of more unusual destinations that you should keep an eye on in 2019.

This list was put together based on the exciting travel destinations for the arts based on Guardian’s take, the gathered opinions of industry leaders on design-inspired destinations compiled by Architectural Digest, and the hot-spots of this year according to National Geographic. Based on this impressive resume, here are the 30 top destinations where you might just find that new wave of inspiration.

The most exciting artsy holidays in 2019

1. St. Petersburg, Russia


Target location: Hermitage Museum

What’s exciting: Piero della Francesco show will go on till March 11. Following this one is an exhibition focusing on from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples from the ancient times, which will go on till June. The next exhibition is a homage to Mikhail and Ivan Morozov till September. The exhibition towards the end of the year is a collection of 19th century art from Marquis Campana.

2. Basel, Switzerland


Target location: Fondation Beyeler in Riehen

What’s exciting: Early Picasso works (Blue and Rose periods) in Basel showcase the period of radical change in art history.

3. Naples, Italy


Target location: Gallerie d’Italia

What’s exciting: An exhibition rounding up famous collections – 36 paintings by artists such as van Dyck, Rubens, Caravaggio, and others.

4. Berlin, Germany


Target destination: Bauhaus art school

What’s exciting: Founded in 1919 in Weimar, the Bauhaus art school was relocated to the city of Dessau and then the capital, Berlin. Events and exhibitions will take place this year around Berlin to mark the 100 year anniversary of a school that made an impact on the world of art and design.

5. Yorkshire, UK


Target destination: Yorkshire Sculpture Festival

What’s exciting: The Yorkshire Sculpture International is going to be a 100 day festival with projects across 4 galleries from the UK: Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield, Henry Moore Institute, and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

6. Amsterdam, Netherlands


Target location: Rembrandt at Rijksmuseum

What’s exciting: Rijksmuseum celebrates the 350th anniversary since Rembrandt’s death. See 300 prints, 60 rare drawings, and 22 famous paintings from the Dutch Golden Age.

7. Madrid, Spain


Target destination: Museo del Prado

What’s exciting: For Prado’s 200th birthday, major celebrations and events will be held. Some of the highlights of the exhibition will include Fra Angelico and the Rise of the Florentine Renaissance, alongside other artists such as Uccello, Masaccio, Donatello, and Masolino.

8. Delft, Netherlands


Target destination: Pieter de Hooch

What’s exciting: Pieter de Hooch is one of the most well-known artists from Delft, known for his contribution to the Dutch Golden age. His paintings captured everyday life in drawing rooms, courtyards, and other everyday occasions which show unique insights into the life of the 17th century.

9. Venice, Italy


Target destination: Venice Art Biennale

What’s exciting: Venice Art Biennale, enough said. Not only is this one of the most exciting art events of the year, you also get to explore artsy Venice at the same time. Installations for the Biennale will be displayed around the city, some which are otherwise closed to the public.

10. Paris, France


Target destination: All over Paris

What’s exciting: This October, the Louvre focuses on the works of Leonardo da Vinci. The list of other exhibitions is quite impressive as a lineup around Paris this year. Some of the must-visit galleries are Centre Pompidou (Francis Bacon), Grand Palais (Soviet Art), Musee d’Orsay (Berthe Morisot), and Centre Pompidou ( Dora Maar – who was Picasso’s muse).

The best destinations for design inspiration in 2019

11. Matera, Italy

30 Destinations for Art, Design, and Photography Inspiration in 2019 - Matera, Italy

The city of Maltera in Southern Italy has been making many lists for top travel destinations in 2019. It has been crowned as the European Capital of Culture, famous for the cave dwellings that recently were getting restored and turned into unique hotels.

12. Agra, India


The Taj Mahal has been under restoration for a year, mostly covered by scaffolding in 2018. This year, you get to see it in all its beauty. India is rich with cultural activities, with the charm of Southeast Asia present in every corner of the city. To avoid the rainy season, it’s best to visit in the months of November through March.

13. Savannah, USA


The small town in Georgia is charming in its own, but it has also become a hub of the contemporary arts because of the influence of the Savannah College of Art and Design.

14. Namibia, Southern Africa


Southern Africa is famous for the majestic landscapes, but in the recent years there’s been a transformation of the region which made it one of the top destinations in the ‘fancy’ travels hit list.

15. Singapore


Predicted to be an extremely popularized travel destination, Singapore offers an encapsulated experience of everything you would want in an inspirational vacation. Based on architecture alone, the design aspect of the city makes it popular amongst creatives.

16. Petra, Jordan


Some of the best wonders of the ancient world lie in Jordan. This year, the Petra Museum is going to open to share insights about the history of this magical place. Middle East tops many bucket lists, and this is definitely the place to go if you’re looking for inspiration.

17. Seto Inland Sea, Japan


If you’re on that constant lookout for fancy art fairs, here’s something refreshing – the Setouchi Triennial art fair in the remote Seto Inland Sea. The fair will take place across 3 islands this year, which is also the home to the famous Chichu Art Museum.

18. Liechtenstein


Europe’s 4th smallest country situated between Germany and Austria might not be the first thing that comes to mind for a travel destination, but this year the nation celebrates the tricentennial with lots of festivities planned around the country.

19. Auckland, New Zealand


Being part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network, Auckland was praised for the music scene which continues to attract tourists in the recent years. What’s particularly fun this year, is the celebrations that will take place in light of the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s adventures that led to the discovery of the place.

20. Copenhagen, Denmark


Denmark’s calm capital is the not-so-hidden gem for art and design enthusiasts alike. This year particularly, the Museum of Copenhagen will open once again, showcasing the city’s history and unique architecture.

Top destinations for photography in 2019

22. Mexico City, Mexico


National Geographic kicks off the list with a destination that’s been continuously popular for travels in the past few years. On top of a food paradise, Mexico City offers excellent sceneries for street photography and lots of cultural destinations for a one-of-a-kind vacation.

22. Peruvian Amazon, Peru


More than half of the country is covered in a rainforest. This is a unique location with the best of wilderness and natural wonders, perfect for photographers seeking inspiration with nature.

23. Fanjingshan, China


Fanjingshan is China’s newest UNESCO World Heritage site. For ambitious hikers and adventurers, this might be the travel destination of a lifetime. There are some really bizarre rock formations and offers a close-up of some really rare species. If you’re not into the climbing aspect, there’s the optional cable car.

24. Dakar, Senegal


Senegal’s capital is always about the touch of the unexpected. Slightly chaotic, but at the same time stylish, you could be driving along the ocean and see a breathtaking view on one side and a busy city life at the market on the other. Some call it the city of contrasts, which is perfect for a photography travel destination.

25. Hoang Lien Son,Vietnam


Hoang Lien Son is quite the contrast from the busy life of Hanoi. Visitors that come to this city take a variety of hike routes to reach Vietnam’s highest peak. You can also visit different ethnic minority groups and go on guided tours in the region to photograph one of the most remote areas of Vietnam.

26. Greenland


What can you expect from the world’s largest island? Arctic adventures of course. 80% of the island is covered by an ice sheet, with barely any roads connecting the towns. Although transportation is a bit of a hassle, this is the one place to go to photograph the northern lights in context to the largest national park.

27. Oman


Ever fancied riding Arabian horses? Recently the horse culture has been restored in Oman. It’s not only a great place to go for horseback riders, but also for curious adventurers ready to explore the Hajar mountains, see amazing beaches and endless sand dunes.

28. French Polynesia


Located halfway between California and Australia, they say all you need is a swimsuit for this location. This isn’t the typical destination for hot spots, museums, and art, but more so about getting in touch with nature.

29. Vevey, Switzerland


There is a rare event in Switzerland that is held five times a century – Fete des Vignerons. It’s a celebration of the rich wine culture and traditions. Interestingly, it’s been recognized as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Museum and makes it a point of interest for all the restless adventurers. Switzerland in general is a destination of picture-perfect moments, but Vavey is worth the visit for the rare event and countryside views.

30. Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico

30 Destinations for Art, Design, and Photography Inspiration in 2019 - Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico

One of the most remote places on the list is New Mexico’s Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness. It’s okay if you haven’t heard about it, it’s one of the off-the-map destinations that rarely surfaces in travel articles. You can roam freely in the wilderness, and capture some of the most isolated and deserted natural wonders, feeling like you’re the only being for miles.


For more ideas that might inspire you, see our cover on the top unusual travel destinations for photographers. Seems like you’re all done with research, it’s time to brainstorm about your next getaway.

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