British Airways has named its six top destinations for South African travellers in 2017, and their January sale means you can visit for pretty cheap too.
Unsurprisingly London tops the list (they are British Airways after all), but the UK capital is an appealing offer with attractions like the Chelsea Flower Show and the FA Cup Final. Special fares to London start from R10 237 and they’ll be offering up to 30 flights a week from South Africa. These include 10 weekly A380 services from Johannesburg and three weekly flights between Cape Town and Gatwick. There are up to 16 flights a week to Heathrow and Gatwick from Cape Town and double daily services from Johannesburg.
Paris remains as alluring as ever and if you can get there in January you can take part in Les Soldes, the regulated sales at major department stores and boutiques that kicks off on the 11th. And you might as well stick around for Paris Fashion Week taking place 22 – 26 January (hey, a girl can dream can’t she?). You can also plan ahead for Taste of Paris from 18 – 22 May, which brings together the top food and wine producers (oh my heart!) and the Jazz Festival À Saint-Germain-Des-Prés, offering performances in the heart of the city between 11 and 22 May. Fares to Paris are priced from R10 568.
Rome is city that blends centuries of history with modern Italian culture. Plan your trip for April (all those long weekends must count for something) and you can attend Natale di Roma on 21 April when citizens celebrate their city’s birthday. Most of the festivities take place at the Campidogilo. As you’d expect from a city founded in 753 BC the Romans have had plenty of practice and mark the occasion by firing off huge numbers of fireworks. There’s also May Day, a more modern holiday but celebrated with the same gusto, when trades unions organise a free concert in front of the basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano. Yep, it’s pretty much a rock concert in a museum. Fares to Rome start from R10 372.
The list wouldn’t be complete without New York, which also one of my travelling highlights. There is so much to do in the city, you can stay a month and not make a dent. Make sure you stroll through central park, eat the street food, and visit Soho. There’s also the classics like the Museum of Modern Art (give yourself a day for this), go catch a Nicks game, watch a concert at Carnegie Hall or catch a Broadway Musical (worth every penny!). You can also head to Queens to see a new production of West Side Story set in a restored factory. The show runs from 4-6 March. And the Lincoln Center’s Columbus Circle base is headlining jazz at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and is hosting late-night sessions with up-and-coming artists. The special fares to New York start at R12 721.
Over on the West Coast, Los Angeles remains a favourite for film lovers. Combine a bit of real-world Big Bang science with a large dollop of entertainment at the Science Behind Pixar Exhibition at the California Science Centre which runs until 16 April. If West Coast pop culture is more your thing, then you can catch Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: The Ramones and the Birth of Punk at the Grammy Museum every Saturday and Sunday until 28 February. Alternatively Pop Art for the People: Roy Lichtenstein in LA is on at the Skirball Cultural Center every Saturday and Sunday until 12 March. Fares are available from R13 783.
I am particularly excited about this destination. If you can head over immediately you can still experience the Mardi Gras parades that start in January and run until Fat Tuesday or 28 February. The brightly festooned Mardi Gras floats carry krewe royalty and celebrities, while masked participants lead marching bands and riders on horseback through the streets. Even if you miss Mardi Gras there’s still plenty to see and do in New Orleans, particularly in the historic French Quarter which offers visitors an abundance of restaurants, music clubs and shopping, all contained in an intimate neighbourhood. You can get there from R14 316.
The special rates are available till the end of January. Head over to britishairways.com for more.