Best Places to Travel in 2016

The Wall of the fort, the coastline, and some city views
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Ian Allen

The 50 biggest, buzziest destinations to visit this year include France’s new culture hub, a revived Hawaiian hideaway, and Mexico’s next great arts city.

28. Galle, Sri Lanka

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Once a pit stop on the Spice Route for rowdy sailors, Galle is an easy, hour-long drive from Colombo. It’s well worth a visit, to see its 17th-century fort (and UNESCO World Heritage site), municipal offices, places of worship, and homes that sell for millions of dollars. Vintage cars sit by washed-out walls, giving the city a Havana-like feel; a Moorish bazaar scene plays out on the streets with merchants plying gems and jewelry; myriad vantage points offer views of a blustery sea and melting sunsets. Next door to the fort is an international cricket stadium—the sea is at its side—with a busy calendar of matches. Galle is awash with hotels, from the grand, beachside Jetwing Lighthouse, by Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, to 42 Lighthouse Street, a newly opened boutique gem in the fort. Get a taste for local art at Hempel Galleries and take home 1950s travel posters from Stick No Bills. The Galle Literary Festival is back after three years, running from January 13 to 18, and will fill the city with poetry and live performances. There’s even a new built-in weekend getaway: half an hour away on scenic Koggala Lake, Tri, a hilltop eco-resort with design inspired by the spirals of the Fibonacci sequence, has just begun to welcome visitors. —Govind Dhar

The Wall of the fort, the coastline, and some city views

Best Places to Travel in 2016

28. Galle, Sri Lanka

Once a pit stop on the Spice Route for rowdy sailors, Galle is an easy, hour-long drive from Colombo. It’s well worth a visit, to see its 17th-century fort (and UNESCO World Heritage site), municipal offices, places of worship, and homes that sell for millions of dollars. Vintage cars sit by washed-out walls, giving the city a Havana-like feel; a Moorish bazaar scene plays out on the streets with merchants plying gems and jewelry; myriad vantage points offer views of a blustery sea and melting sunsets. Next door to the fort is an international cricket stadium—the sea is at its side—with a busy calendar of matches. Galle is awash with hotels, from the grand, beachside Jetwing Lighthouse, by Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, to 42 Lighthouse Street, a newly opened boutique gem in the fort. Get a taste for local art at Hempel Galleries and take home 1950s travel posters from Stick No Bills. The Galle Literary Festival is back after three years, running from January 13 to 18, and will fill the city with poetry and live performances. There’s even a new built-in weekend getaway: half an hour away on scenic Koggala Lake, Tri, a hilltop eco-resort with design inspired by the spirals of the Fibonacci sequence, has just begun to welcome visitors. —Govind Dhar

Ian Allen
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