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The best new openings of 2017: Part 3

View from Schilthorn

Looking for inspiration to refresh your travel wish list in 2017? From walking a tightrope above a 3000m drop to tasting gourmet snacks fresh off a 3D printer, we have sought out the best openings and brightest attractions for this year. This is the final part of our three-part special series.

21. Thrill Walk, Switzerland
Opened July 2016

If hiking the Bernese Alps isn’t enough of an adrenaline rush for you, it’s time to tackle Schilthorn Mountain’s new Thrill Walk. You’ll need nerves of steel to cross the tightrope with nothing but a net between you and a drop of nearly 3000 metres, but you’ll be rewarded with priceless views and stunning photos from the observation deck.

22. Pike Place Market expansion, Seattle, USA
Opening June 2017
Arguably America’s most famous food market, Pike Place Market is finally due to be completed in 2017 with its long-planned expansion to the Market Historic District. As well as an extra 30,000 square metres of public space to wander in, there’ll be plenty more local shops, restaurants, farm and craft stalls to browse for souvenirs and artisan treats.

23. Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh, Connemara, Ireland
Opened November 2016
The newly opened visitor centre at Patrick Pearse’s Cottage lies in the heart of the Gaeltacht area where Irish is still a vibrant, living language in use by the locals. As well as paying tribute to one of the key figures of the country’s revolutionary history, it celebrates the local history and cultural impact of the native language. Set in the middle of an incredible windswept landscape, it’s a chance for visitors to experience an often hidden part of Ireland.

(Also read: Best new openings of 2017: Part 1)

(Also read: Best new openings of 2017: Part 2)


LEGO's biggest store is located in London's Leicester Square.
Image courtesy: ©LEGO

24. World’s largest Lego store, London, UK
Opened November 2016

The world’s biggest Lego store is now open in Leicester Square and is a must-see for young and young-at-heart travellers. Covering a whopping 914 square metres over two floors, it’s a huge treasure trove for fans of the building bricks that have sparked a love of construction and creativity for decades.

25. Mangrove Museum, Chilaw, Sri Lanka
Opened July 2016

The race is on to protect the world from climate change and the extraordinary mangrove trees are at the forefront of the battle. They can eliminate up to five times more carbon than any other forest and the Sri Lanka Mangrove Conservation Project hopes to cement their importance for generations to come.

Freshly picked coffee beans at Monte Alto Organic Coffee Planatation.
Freshly picked coffee beans.
Image courtesy: ©Matt Munro/Lonely Planet

26. Ruta de Cafe, El Salvador
Go back to the source of the world’s favourite pick-me-up by exploring the Coffee Route. El Salvador’s dense coffee forests are opening up to tourism and are full of exciting opportunities for extreme sports, wildlife spotting and a chance to cultivate the beans themselves, all within sight of the countryside’s magnificent hills and mountains.

27. H&W Shipyard Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Opens 2017

Step back in time with a stay at what promises to be the world’s most authentic Titanic-themed hotel. One of the Northern Ireland’s most iconic buildings will be transformed into an exclusive boutique hotel, giving visitors a chance to fall asleep surrounded by history.

The beer fountain offers eight varieties of local brews.
Image courtesy: ©Yellowj/Shutterstock

28. Europe’s first beer fountain, Žalec, Slovenia
Opened September 2016

Celebrate all things ale and hoppy with this innovative fountain of beer. The micro-chipped glass will trigger the automatic dispensers allowing you to taste eight different varieties of the local brews that Slovenia is so proud of. Its location in the public square means it’s always open for business.

29. IMG World of Adventure, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Opened September 2016

With zones dedicated to dinosaurs, Marvel and Cartoon Network, family travel in Dubai just got a lot more fun. IMG World of Adventure is the world’s largest indoor theme park and is just the beginning for the United Arab Emirates, with similar ventures being planned for Doha and Abu Dhabi.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in Costa Rica.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in Costa Rica.
Image courtesy: ©Bart Goovaerts/500px

30. Turismo Bribri, Talamanca, Costa Rica
Starts April 2017

Turismo Bribri is a new tour agency aiming to give visitors a chance to experience the indigenous Bribri culture of Costa Rica for themselves. Local guides will help you explore the rainforest, natural food and medicine and learn about the unique Bribri language and culture while supporting the local community.

31. Noma’s urban farm, Copenhagen, Denmark
Opening February 2017

One of the world’s most famous restaurants is going in a whole new direction by reopening in a new location nestled in their very own urban farm. With it comes a new focus on seasonal produce, dividing Noma’s menu into three distinct seasons; seafood in winter, a fully vegetarian menu in spring and summer, before turning to forest produce and game for autumn.

Macca Kabe
The world's largest hotel will open in Mecca this year.
Image courtesy: ©prmustafa/Getty Images

32. The Abraj Kudai hotel, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Expected to open 2017

Pilgrims to Mecca will soon be able to book one of 10,000 rooms currently being built in the largest hotel in the world. There will be 12 towers (10 four-star and two five-star) and 70 restaurants spanning a whopping 1.4 million square metres. It literally doesn’t get any bigger than this.

33. Food Ink, Worldwide
Worldwide in 2017

Get a taste of the future as the world’s first 3D printing restaurant ( embarks on a world tour this year after a successful pop-up in London. Combining fine dining with the latest in technology, the results are visually stunning gourmet feasts. If you can’t book in for a full meal, you can visit during the day to taste the snacks and learn how the printers work.

Shanghai Tower offers unrivalled views of the city.
Image courtesy: Wikipedia/Ermell/CC0 1.0

34. Shanghai Tower, China
Opened July 2016

Now officially the world’s second tallest building, Shanghai Tower offers unrivalled views of the city’s incredible skyline from the world’s highest observation deck 118 storeys above the ground. Best of all, you’ll reach it by travelling upwards at 18 metres per second in the world’s fastest elevator.

35. University of Kairaouine Library, Fez, Morocco
Opened June 2016

Bibliophiles will have a new entry on their bucket list with the reopening of the oldest library in the world at the Kairaouine University. Closed since 2012, it has been a centre for Islamic learning since 859 and now scholars can once again explore the sprawling courtyards, reading rooms and ornate interiors that have been home to Islamic studies for centuries.

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