Maison Gainsbourg
Credit: Alexis Raimbault

Time Out reveals the 22 best new things to do in the world in 2022

Featuring Maison Gainsbourg, House of Music, Hungary and Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto exhibition

Written by Time Out PR
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The 22 best new things to do in the world in 2022 have been revealed by Time Out, and the top spot goes to Maison Gainsbourg, a Parisian house museum dedicated to the life and work of French singer Serge Gainsbourg. It is followed by the opening of the House of Music, Hungary in Budapest and the Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto exhibition in Melbourne.

The list features the 22 very best experiences, events and new openings in the world in 2022, curated by Time Out’s global network of local expert editors and contributing journalists. Celebrating the most fun, original and simply unmissable things to do next year, the result is the essential bucket list to help people go out better, anywhere in the world: timeout.com/best-things-to-do-in-the-world.

Caroline McGinn, Time Out’s Global Editor-in-Chief, says: “Time Out’s list of the best new things to do in 2022 is our essential guide to the most exciting things happening around the world this year. It’s picked by Time Out’s international network of over 100 expert editors and independent local writers, whose everyday mission is to help people go out better. It includes monumental new museums and attractions, long-awaited comebacks for much-loved festivals, blockbuster theatre productions, and more. This is the only list you need to discover the world’s coolest cultural experiences for 2022.”


Read the full list at timeout.com/best-things-to-do-in-the-world

1. Maison Gainsbourg: snoop around the house of a French cultural icon - Paris, France

Closed off to the public since Gainsbourg’s death in 1991, early next year the interior of feted (and controversial) French singer Serge Gainsbourg’s Parisian townhouse will finally open as a museum dedicated to his life and work. His daughter, the actor and singer Charlotte, has led the project, where the main attraction will surely be Serge’s famously eccentric living area, with its piano, art deco bar and huge collection of sculptures. 

2. House of Music, Hungary: a stunning new concert hall - Budapest, Hungary

Opening in early 2022, Sou Fujimoto’s House of Music, Hungary in City Park features a roof perforated with 100 or so cavities that allow natural light, trees and sound to infiltrate the two performance venues, exhibition spaces and library, which are linked by magnificent spiral staircases, and a complete glass exterior to aid reliance on renewable energy. 

3. Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto exhibition - Melbourne, Australia

The first exhibition in Australia to focus solely on the life and work of twentieth-century French designer Gabrielle (AKA Coco) Chanel, runs until April 25 at the National Gallery of Victoria In collaboration with Paris’s leading fashion museum, the Palais Galliera. It sees Melbourne become the first city outside of France to host this epic touring show, featuring more than 100 Chanel garments, exploring Coco’s enduring influence on fashion, perfume, jewellery and accessory design – all with a multimedia twist that’s unique to the Aussie museum.

4. Floriade Expo 2022: a once-in-a-decade gardening show - Almere, Netherlands

An event so huge it only happens once every ten years, the Floriade Expo starts on April 14 with a theme of ‘Growing Green Cities’. Known as the world’s ultimate flower show, the new, custom-built waterside site will feature countless pavilions, an arboretum, a magnificent greenhouse complex and a rich arts and culture programme.

5. “Regeneration” Black cinema exhibition at Academy Museum - Los Angeles, USA

Set to debut in the second half of 2022, the Academy Museum’s next exhibition will focus on nearly an entire century of often-overlooked cinema. A collaboration with Washington, D.C.’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, “Regeneration” dives into the works of Black filmmakers from the birth of the motion picture industry through to the Civil Rights era.

6. National Museum of Norway: the largest museum in the Nordics - Oslo, Norway 

In June 2022, the new National Museum of Norway will become the largest museum in the Nordics, housing a collection of 100,000 objects. Highlights will include Munch’s ‘The Scream’, the Norwegian Baldishol tapestry from 1150, and an array of Golden Age Flemish landscapes. As well as the art, the building itself will take visitors’ breath away, with its 2,400-square-metre ‘Light Hall’ made of shimmering marble glass. 

7. Museum of Broadway: discover the history of the “Great White Way” - New York, USA

The brand-new Museum of Broadway is the first institution dedicated to the history of the “Great White Way”, aka Broadway. Appealing to those taking in a show, or just theatre fans, the three sections of the museum will feature a map room showing how the theatre scene migrated across the city over the years, another space illustrating the development of the Broadway art form through various artefacts and works of art, and finally a ‘backstage’ area looking at the professionals that make the shows happen every day.

8. Detour Discotheque: the world’s most remote club night - Westfjords, Iceland

The self-styled ‘party at the edge of the world’, Detour Discotheque, will be popping up in the remote fishing village of Þingeyri, in the Westfjords of Iceland, for two nights only. On April 29 and 30, DJs from Iceland, the USA and the UK will be performing to a small crowd of just 160, drawing inspiration from the discos of 1970s New York. It will be the first in a series of parties in remote locations around the world, and is sure to be a night out like no other.

9. Taipei Performing Arts Center: a colossal new theatre - Taipei, Taiwan

Seven years late to the date, the NT$5.4 billion (£147 million), 59,000 square-metre Taipei Performing Arts Center will no doubt wow visitors when it finally opens in summer 2022. The arresting structure looks like an industrial cake with a giant silver sphere bulging towards an adjacent metro station and houses an 800-seat playhouse, a 1,500-seat grand theatre and an 800-seat multipurpose theatre. The best thing about this outlandish venue? A looped walkway links all three auditoriums with windows into hidden spaces (and which is freely accessible to the public).

10. Retrace the Silk Road by train - Tashkent to Khiva, Uzbekistan

In 2022 the extension of Uzbekistan’s railways means travellers will be able to retrace the fabled route of Marco Polo through Uzbekistan, from the capital Tashkent all the way to western Khiva – whose 94 mosques and 63 madrasas make it a Unesco World Heritage Site – all by high-speed rail. 

11. Hans Christian Andersen Museum opening - Odense, Denmark

The brand-new Hans Christian Andersen Hus is just 90 minutes by train from Copenhagen, in the charming city of Odense. Visitors can escape into the fairytale worlds of ‘The Snow Queen’, ‘The Ugly Duckling’, ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘The Princess and the Pea’, while exploring fun, interactive and inventive biographical exhibits and theatrical imaginings of Andersen’s memoirs.

12. An 11-day Primavera Sound festival - Barcelona, Spain

The festival that turns Barcelona into a huge, beachside party with an audience from all around the world returns bigger than ever in 2022 – taking place across two weekends for the first time, there will be additional concerts scheduled in between and an extra DJ event at the end, making it an 11-day sun-kissed celebration of music’s hottest names, including the Strokes, Dua Lipa, Jamie XX and more.

13. ‘The Burnt City’: return of Punchdrunk Theatre - London, UK

The last major London event by immersive theatre gods Punchdrunk was the epic ‘The Drowned Man’, eight long years ago. But the wait is very nearly over. Outdoing themselves for sheer scale and ambition, new show ‘The Burnt City’ (March 22 to August 28) takes place in not one but two former military arsenal buildings, and will be a (sort of) adaptation of two Greek tragedies set during the Trojan War. 

14. Color Factory comes to Chicago - Chicago, USA

The eye-catching, kaleidoscopic installations of roving interactive museum Color Factory will land in Chicago 2022. It will be its largest-ever show, giving Chicagoans a chance to fill their Insta feeds with a generous amount of fluorescent lighting at the Willis Tower. Previous exhibits have featured candy pink rooms and NASA-themed ball pits, so expect a wildly colourful mix of Colour Factory classics and new rooms themed around Chicago itself.

15. Ghibliland: the Studio Ghibli theme park - Nagoya, Japan

The world’s first Studio Ghibli theme park is set to open in 2022 near Nagoya (around three hours by train from Tokyo). Visitors can explore five areas with rides, shops, exhibitions and gardens themed around hit anime like ‘My Neighbor Totoro’, ‘Princess Mononoke’ and the Oscar-winning ‘Spirited Away’.

16. Phantom of the Opera in Sydney Harbour - Sydney, Australia

Premiering in March and running for a month, a brand-new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s megahit ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ is being staged not in the famed nearby Sydney Opera House but out on the open water of the city’s harbour. The bespoke reimagining is the brainchild of director Simon Phillips and set designer Gabriela Tylesova, two of Australia’s most respected theatremakers.

17. Ride new Regiojet sleeper train all the way across Europe - Prague, Czech Republic, to Brussels, Belgium

The biggest extension to Europe’s night-train network in years will see a new batch of sleeper trains run by the Regiojet network taking travellers across Europe between Prague and Brussels via Dresden, Berlin and Amsterdam. Doze off in magnificent Prague, then wake up 800 kilometres away in EU capital and waffle-and-beer-paradise Brussels. Spurred on by the climate emergency, it’s part of a huge continent-wide drive to revive the good old-fashioned sleeper. 

18. Game of Thrones studio tour - Belfast, Northern Ireland

The official Game of Thrones Studio Tour is opening on February 4 in Northern Ireland’s Linen Mill Studios, outside Belfast. Essentially Westeros’s answer to London’s Harry Potter studio tour, the experience will feature props, costumes and sets, including ​​the entirety of Winterfell’s Great Hall. 

19. Opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum - Giza, Egypt

When it finally opens in 2022, the Grand Egypt Museum (GEM) will be the biggest museum in the world dedicated to a single civilisation. Located in Giza with views of the great pyramids, it’s just a 40-minute drive from the capital, Cairo. The museum’s rotating display will comprise 50,000 artefacts, with that number again in storage. Most importantly, this will be the first time that all 5,000 pieces of King Tutankhamun’s funerary treasure will be displayed in the same place – death mask included. 

20. Novi Sad: European Culture Capital 2022 - Novi Sad, Serbia

Serbia’s second-largest city will wear the crown of European Capital of Culture for the year and the city has gone all in ahead of more than 1,500 events featuring 4,000 artists, including an exhibition in The Mlin Cultural Station, an abandoned pasta factory. Many have been making the pilgrimage to EXIT Festival for years, but 2022 will see Novi Sad’s gorgeous architecture and unique history put it on the map as a major destination-in-waiting.

21. Istanbul Modern: explore Istanbul’s revamped waterfront  - Istanbul, Turkey

The return of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art to the Karakoy waterfront is set to enliven a seaside stretch that has also seen the recent opening of Galataport, a multipurpose development with a long pedestrian promenade along the Bosphorus, as well as a bevy of restaurants and shops. The new, expanded Istanbul Modern will have the flexibility to host more cutting-edge exhibitions, and also contain a library, cinema, design store and various event spaces.

22. Time Out Market Porto - Porto, Portugal

And last but not least...Slated for a 2022 opening, Time Out Market is set to open a second Portuguese location, in Porto, housed in the iconic and historic São Bento train station. Set across 22,000 sq ft with 15 restaurants, four bars, four shops, one café and an art gallery, Time Out Market Porto will bring the city’s best chefs, restaurateurs and cultural experiences together under one roof.

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