These travel destinations are the hottest places to be seen in February with a wealth of events, festivals and culture awaiting you, as well as fabulous weather!
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
What’s happening in February? Rio is undergoing huge change at the moment in readiness for hosting both the World Cup 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. And February is a great time to visit as the city is pulsing with the raucous Rio Carnival. Celebrations last all month and include two days of colourful street parades from the city’s samba schools, fancy balls and hundreds of lively street parties across all districts. The official Sambódromo parade runs for 2 days from 10 February. Prepare to party hard!
And if you have enough strength left for sightseeing, there are plenty of interesting things to do in Rio, dubbed ‘The Marvelous City’. Chill out on Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches, climb Sugar Loaf Mountain (or cheat and take the bus) and experience the art-Deco Christ The Redeemer statue up close.
Key dates; All of February – Rio Carnival
Average temperature in February; 29 degrees C
Flight time from the UK; 10 hours 30 minutes
Visa required? UK passport holders do not currently need a visa
What’s happening in February? The fascinating American city of New Orleans is the hottest place to be in February! There are 2 major events this month; The Super Bowl XLVII is held at the Superdome on 3 February and Mardi Gras falls on 12 February. Forget trying to get tickets to actually attend the Superbowl – watch it surrounded by thousands of fans in New Orleans instead. You can join in the colorful and lively Mardi Gras Carnival however which is one of the greatest parties on earth! The parades begin on 20 January and snake through the French Quarter, Uptown and Metairie.
New Orleans was founded in May 1718 and is well known the world over for its jazz scene, Cajun cuisine and historic neighbourhoods. Getting back on her feet after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the city has much to offer in the way of cultural and historical sights. Hit the French Quarter to soak up the best jazz in the city, particularly on Frenchmen Street. Admire one of the oldest cathedrals in the US at the St. Louis Cathedral. Browse the National WWII Museum and post-carnival chill out at the City Park and the Audubon Park.
Key dates; 3 February – Super Bowl and Mardi Gras – 12 February
Average temperature in February; 19 degrees C
Flight time from the UK; 13 hours 30 minutes
Visa required? Yes all travellers need a visa to enter the USA, which must be obtained online from ESTA. Visa is 14 USD and is only valid for 2 years, so check yours hasn’t expired!
What’s happening in February? The Vietnamese New Year, aka Tet Nguyen Dan, falls in February and the whole country will celebrate with a week off work and special gatherings with family and friends. This will be the Year of the Snake and every major city will have elaborate fireworks displays and festive events.
There are tons of other things to do in HCMC, such as exploring the vivid exhibits at the War Remnants Museum, admiring the Saigon cityscape from up high on the Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck and taking in a cultural show at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre. City center highlights include the Central Post Office, Saigon Opera House and the Notre Dame Cathedral on Paris Square.
Key dates; 10 February – Vietnamese New Year
Average temperature in February; 33 degrees C
Flight time from the UK; 14 hours
Visa required? UK passport holders do require a valid visa to enter Vietnam
What’s happening in February? Hong Kong is a 24 hour city and there’s always something going on. February is no exception with the biggest event this month being the Chinese New Year which falls on 10 February. Catch the vibrant Night Parade on the 10th, the extravagant fireworks display on the 11th and the special race day at Sha Tin Racecourse on the 12th. In addition the Confucius Carnival is held on the 17th and the Salsa festival runs from the 18th to 24th. And after all that indulgence and festive food, you can always join the annual Hong Kong Marathon which runs on 24 February.
If you can squeeze in some sightseeing in Hong Kong then there are a few things that are obligatory! Riding the 120 year old Peak tram up Victoria Peak is a must! Take a wander through Kowloon’s old streets, barter with the street sellers and enjoy some local dim sum dishes. Spend a day at Ocean Park, the local theme park and wildlife conservation center where the main draw is 4 beautiful giant pandas.
Key dates; 10 February – Chinese New Year
Average temperature in February; 20 degrees C
Flight time from the UK; 12 hours
Visa required? UK passport holders do require a valid visa to enter
What’s happening in February? Soccer fever hits South Africa again in February as the Africa Cup of Nations Football Final is played out. If football isn’t your thing there’s plenty of history, culture and action to experience. Take the cable car up to mighty Table Mountain to admire glorious Cape Town sprawled beneath you. See the city onboard the City Sightseeing Red Bus which takes in all the key sights. Head down to Plettenberg Bay for a spot of whale watching.
Key dates; 10 February – Africa Cup of Nations Football Final
Average temperature in February; 26 degrees C
Flight time from the UK; 10 hours 30 minutes
Visa required? UK passport holders do not require a valid visa to enter