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The top 7 new tourist attractions around the world

Nov. 11, 2021
6 min read
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While 2020 was a year marked by closures, lockdowns and travel being paused for most people, 2021 has been filled with reopenings, rebooked trips and new projects coming to life after a year put on hold.

The travel industry is still on the mend and facing challenges, but there is a lot to look forward to as we head into the holiday season and 2022. Here's a look at the top new tourist attractions you should consider putting on your travel list for next year.

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Summit One Vanderbilt

(Photo by Mimi Wright / The Points Guy.)

If you've been dreaming of views of the New York City skyline, check out Summit One Vanderbilt. It's the city's newest observation deck that sits above Grand Central Terminal.

The views are stunning, but that's not the only thing that Summit One Vanderbilt has to offer. Interactive art installations throughout the space offer unique new ways to experience the city.

Levitation "sky boxes" suspend visitors over the city, and the two-story mirrored space (Transcendence) transports travelers into what feels like a tesseract from "Interstellar." There's also a room called Affinity that's filled with silver balloons and mirrors.

But no matter where you are within the Summit One Vanderbilt space, you'll be sure to see a different view of the Big Apple in all its captivating beauty.

Related: 3 ways to experience New York City, whether you’re on a budget or have money to burn

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Munch Museum

Art lovers can head to the newly reopened Munch museum in Oslo, Norway. The museum, which houses the world's largest collection of art from Edvard Munch, first opened in May 1963, but it has undergone a major renovation in recent years. The new Munch museum opened in October and offers 11 galleries filled with more than 200 works of art on permanent display.

Tickets for adults are 160 NOK (about $18.50), but kids 15 and younger can visit for free.

Marvel's Avengers Campus at Disneyland

(Image by Leslie Harvey.)

Of course, we can't talk about the best attractions without mentioning Disneyland's newest addition: Marvel's Avengers Campus.

If you're a fan of Marvel superheroes such as Spiderman, Black Widow and the Dora Milaje, you may have the chance to meet them while at the park. You can also check out attractions like Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure (the area's newest attraction) and Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout!

No Disney park area would be complete without food options. Check out superhero favorites Pym Test Kitchen and Shawarma Palace while there.

Related: Everything you need to know about visiting Disneyland

Little Island

(Photo by Nicholas Ellis/The Points Guy)

Another newly opened attraction in New York City you won't want to miss is Little Island. Head to Pier 54 along the Hudson River to experience this floating park made from 132 concrete platforms that sprout from the water like tulips.

The park offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city, with more than 100 trees, 350 different flower species and lots of activities for the entire family. The area also has an amphitheater (The Amph) that hosts all sorts of performances and events. There are nearby food trucks, too, so you can grab a bite to eat while visiting.

It's starting to get colder in New York, so you may want to hold off on visiting this spot until spring. But if you're planning a trip to New York during the warmer months, make sure you add this to your must-do list.

CopenHill climbing wall

(Photo courtesy of Copenhill Urban Mountain/Facebook)

Denmark is now home to the world's tallest artificial claiming wall. While CopenHill in Copenhagen, Denmark, technically opened in 2020, 2021 is the first year U.S. travelers really had the chance to check it out.

On the side of the almost 280-foot-tall building is a wall that expert climbers can scale. There are 10 routes to the top, all with varying levels of difficulty, but you'll need to be an experienced climber (and at least 18 years old) to take part. This is most certainly not for beginners.

The wall is the newest addition to CopenHill, which also offers a number of other outdoor activities. The building roof slopes down, providing an area filled with places to run, hike and even ski or snowboard.

Related: Denmark has reopened to fully-vaccinated US and UK travelers

Sky Lagoon

(Photo courtesy of Sky Lagoon Iceland/Facebook)

For those who prefer relaxation to an adrenaline rush, there's Iceland's new thermal spa near downtown Reykjavík. Sky Lagoon is an oceanside geothermal lagoon that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.

Passes to the spa start at 6,990 ISK (around $54), but you can purchase more expensive passes that include a seven-step spa treatment called The Ritual.

If you're lucky (and time your visit right), you might even experience the northern lights while you take a tip in the warm waters of the lagoon.

Related: Iceland trip-planning from A to Z: Glaciers, geothermal spas and lava caves

'Game of Thrones' studio tour

No matter what you think of the final season of "Game of Thrones," I think we can all agree that the filming locations and set design were stunning. Many filming locations in Belfast, Ireland and Dubrovnik, Croatia, have been popular tourist spots for years, but a new studio tour is set to open at Linen Mills Studio in Northern Ireland at some point this year.

Related: Unbelievable castles from 'Game of Thrones' you can visit in real life

Once it officially opens (at the time of writing, the website promised a date sometime this year), the studio tour will take visitors through real sets used in the show with original set pieces, weaponry, props, costumes and more. The tour has been developed in partnership with HBO, and it is set to be the only permanent, officially licensed "Game of Thrones" experience in the world.

The studio is in the midst of hiring for the attraction now, so our fingers are crossed that the opening will stay on track for later this year. Winter is coming, after all.

Featured image by Summit One Vanderbilt (Photo by Melanie Lieberman/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Steep $550 annual fee
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  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more