What does your Chinese zodiac sign say about you? Or more specifically, what does it say about the way you travel? We picked twelve destinations around the world based on the character traits and personalities of each Chinese zodiac

Year of the Rat

Where to go: Tokyo, Japan

Clean, convenient and brimming with cultural hotspots old and new, Tokyo is the perfect place for those born in the year of the rat, who are known to be energetic and curious.

During the day, a visit to the city’s fabulous museums are a must for the intelligent rat. We personally love Nezu Museum, Mori Art Museum and Tokyo National Museum.

Charming and sociable, a night of bar hopping in Tokyo's Ebisu district– which has some great vinyl bars like Bar Martha and world-renowned cocktail lounges, like Trench – is sure to result in lively conversations and new friendships.

Where to stay: Aman Tokyo, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, or The Tokyo Edition 

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Photo 1 of 3 Tokyo nightlife
Photo 2 of 3 Aman Tokyo
Photo 3 of 3 Nezu Museum

Year of the Ox

Where to go: Zambia

The strong and grounded ox might be a little introverted at times, but that doesn't mean they lack a spirit of adventure. So a trip to the wide open plains and wild rivers of Zambia—removed from any crowds or hustle and bustle—is a dream. 

Book one of Zambia's many luxurious (and ultra private) tented camps for a dose of glamping, where you can spend your days exploring the region's incredible landscapes and wildlife. Venture out on a safari, go horseback riding through splendid Teak forests and mopane woodlands, or take a scenic helicopter ride over Victoria Falls. There's no wrong choice here. 

Where to stay: Royal Chundu, Thorntree River Lodge, or Royal Zambezi Lodge

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Photo 1 of 3 Royal Chundu in Zambia
Photo 2 of 3 An elephant in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Photo 3 of 3 Thorntree River Lodge

Year of the Tiger

Where to go: Queenstown, New Zealand

Those born in the year of the tiger are confident and live for adventure – something Queenstown in New Zealand has in spades. Whether it’s zip-lining through the forest, jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet, bungey jumping from a 134-metre cable car, or jet-boating at a 80 kilometres per hour through the iconic Shotover Canyons.

For a change of pace, tee off at one of Queenstown's championship golf courses: Jack’s Point, Millbrook Resort and The Hills

Queenstown is also home to some fabulous restaurants, like Rata by Michelin-star chef Josh Emett, and Boardwalk, a fine dining establishment on Lake Wakatipu. For something more casual but no less delicious, the famous Fergburger always hits the spot. 

Where to stay: Eichardt's Private Hotel, The Spire, or Azur Luxury Lodge

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Year of the Rabbit

Where to go: Paris, France

Soft, sensitive and with a knack for romance, it's hard to look past Paris to satiate the rabbit's appetite for fantasy. 

Visit the Museum of Natural History in the 5th arrondissement, followed by a stroll in the lush Jardin des Plantes. Or bask in the 17th century elegance of Parc Monceau, armed with a picnic of goodies from your local épicerie and boulangerie.

For the artsy bunny, visit the 18th arrondissement—it's where the cool kids hang out. Make a stop at art gallery Chapelle XIV followed by a long and lazy lunch at Brasserie Barbès

Other restaurants in Paris we love are Le Saint Sebastien for its retro decor and stunning modern European cuisine, Le Cadoret for its classic French fare, and Le Rigmarole for its creative dishes and zero-waste approach.

Where to stay: Le Bristol, Cheval Blanc Paris, or Esprit Saint Germain

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Photo 1 of 3 Cheval Blanc Paris
Photo 2 of 3 Chapelle XIV
Photo 3 of 3 Brasserie Barbès

Year of the Dragon

Where to go: Istanbul, Turkey

Mysterious and rich in history, Istanbul will appeal to the Dragon's old soul with ancient marvels like the Hagia Sofia, and its bohemian spirit found in its galleries, bars and cafes. 

Spend time in Cihangir, a neighbourhood that has served as a stomping ground for artists, writers and intellectuals since the 1970s. Wander the cool little bars on Akarsu Cadessi, like Geyik or Smyrna. And no matter how many drinks you've thrown back the night before, it's always worth waking up for a Turkish breakfast. We recommend Kahve 6 or the legendary Van Kahvalti Evi.

One of the best ways to soak in Istanbul's unique cityscape is at one of the city's many rooftop bars. We love Mikla, a Turkish restaurant and bar with a beautiful terrace overlooking Sultanahmet Mosque, Golden Horn, and the Bosphorus.

Where to stay: Mandarin Oriental, The Bank Hotel, or Ciragan Palace Kempinski

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Photo 1 of 3
Photo 2 of 3 The Bank Hotel in Istanbul
Photo 3 of 3 Inside Hagia Sofia

Year of the Snake

Where to go: Melbourne, Australia

Sophisticated and complex with a quirky sense of humour, those born in the year of the snake will thrive in lively and creative Melbourne.  

Visit the ever-changing and always inspiring exhibitions at the NGV or ACMI, wander the lush Royal Botanical Gardens and go for a stroll down Smith Street in Fitzroy, which was named "the world's coolest street" in 2021. We'd say Greville Street in Prahran is a close second—audiophiles (which many snakes are) will love Greville Records. It's an institution.

And of course, there's the food. Melbourne's bustling wine bars are as famous for their stunning wine lists as they are for their contemporary dishes that show off Australia's produce. Some of our personal favourites are Marion, Old Palm Liquor, Bar Liberty, Embla and Neighbourhood Wine. Food lovers will also enjoy its markets, including South Melbourne Market and Queen Victoria Market. Be sure to get some fresh oysters shucked on site for a mid-market snack. 

Where to stay: Ovolo South Yarra, Hyatt Centric Melbourne, or QT Melbourne

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Photo 1 of 2 Hyatt Centric Melbourne
Photo 2 of 2 Old Palm Liquor

Year of the Horse

Where to go: Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Those born in the year of the horse are adventurous, introspective and wildly independent. When travelling, they love destinations that are rich in history and character. Jaipur, the rose-hued capital of Rajasthan, was founded by the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in the 18th century and much of its storied marvels remain, from ancient architecture to lively bazaars. 

There's a plethora of extraordinary palaces, including the blush Hawa Mahal. Jal Mahal, a palace in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake, is breathtaking at sunset.  

Restaurants like Cinnamon and 1135 AD at Amber Fort offer a taste of traditional Rajasthani cuisine. Other restaurants worth visiting are The Rajput Room, which overlooks the lawns of Rambagh Palace, and something more casual, Tapri Central is a charming cafe serving fragrant teas and local comfort foods. If it's drinks you're after, we love Bar Palladio for its unapologetically over-the-top (and very blue) decor. 

Where to stay: Amanbagh, The Oberoi Rajvilas, or Rambagh Palace

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Photo 1 of 3 Amanbagh
Photo 2 of 3 Rambagh Palace
Photo 3 of 3 Hawa Mahal

Year of the Sheep

Where to go: Galle, Sri Lanka

The easy-going and creative souls born in the year of the sheep will love the laidback luxury of Galle; from its Unesco-listed buildings to colourful new town, market-lined streets and seductive beaches. If you're visiting Unawatuna beach, be sure to swing by Koha Surf Lounge

The culture-loving lamb will enjoy Exotic Roots, an eccentric art and music space that celebrates all things Sri Lankan. 

Enjoy brunch in a bright, airy setting at Church Street Social in Fort Bazaar, enjoy local favourites at Hoppa and make a stop at the sleek 39 Bistro & Wine Bar for its Mediterranean inspired specialties and traditional Sri Lankan curries.

Where to stay: Amangalla, Le Grand Galle, or Kahanda Kanda

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Photo 1 of 3 Le Grand Galle
Photo 2 of 3 Church Street Social
Photo 3 of 3 The beaches in Galle are some of Sri Lanka's best kept secrets

Year of the Monkey

Where to go: Mexico City, Mexico 

Like those born in the year of the monkey, Mexico city is vibrant and full of life, with plenty of fascinating pockets for the this cheeky zodiac to explore. True to its name, it's here in Mexico City that you'll find a melting pot of the various cultures and languages found throughout Mexico.

So it goes without saying that the dining scene here is criminally underrated. There's Maximo Bistrot, which the late Anthony Bourdain dubbed "the best restaurant in Mexico". Enrique Olvera's Pujol, which is "the spirit of Mexico captured on a plate" and the charming Amaya, a hip venue that serves natural wines and a modern take on local cuisine. 

For drinks, La Clandestina is great for a mezcal-filled evening. El Mayor is a lovely rooftop restaurant and bar with views over the Templo Mayor, and Balmori Roofbar, despite its brutalist design, is incredibly inviting. 

Where to stay: Condesa DF, Umbral Curio Collection, or Four Seasons Mexico City.

See also: The Local Edit: Yasmin's Guide to Mexico City

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Photo 1 of 3 Condesa DF in Mexico City
Photo 2 of 3 The iconic courtyard at Four Seasons Mexico City
Photo 3 of 3 Pujol Restaurant

Year of the Rooster

Where to go: Singapore

Singapore—being convenient, organised and full of sights to explore—is a great destination for those born in the year of the rooster, who are confident and charismatic but also creatures of habit, who don't like too much fuss when it comes to travel.

Spend a day walking The Southern Ridges, a 10-kilometre recreational trail that connects five parks along the southern ridge of Singapore—Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park, and Labrador Nature Reserve. 

Roosters typically love the finer things in life, and Singapore doesn't hold back when it comes to wining and dining. From fine dining at restaurants like Claudine and modern BBQ magic at Burnt Ends, culture-forward cocktail bars like The Elephant Room to creative wine bars like Club Street Wine Room, No Sleep Club and Rebel Rebel.

Where to stay: Raffles Hotel Singapore, Parkroyal Collection Pickering, Andaz Singapore

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Photo 1 of 3 Photo: Kharl Anthony Paica
Photo 2 of 3 Raffles Singapore
Photo 3 of 3 The Southern Rides (Photo: National Parks Board)

Year of the Dog

Where to go: Dublin, Ireland

Sociable, smart and sophisticated, those born in the year of the dog will love the young and upbeat energy of Dublin. 

Dublin's history and love for literature has plenty to offer this brainy zodiac sign. Visit the Museum of Literature, spend a sunny afternoon reading on the grass at Iveagh Gardens, visit the Oscar Wilde Statue at Merrion Square Park, or join a Literary Pub Crawl, a lively excursion where you'll follow in the footsteps of Irish authors and poets.  

Of course, it wouldn't be a trip to Ireland without a trip to a good bar (or five). We recommend the art deco cool of Cafe en Seine, the glasshouse-style botanical garden at Opium, and the meticulously crafted cocktails at The Blind Pig

Where to stay: The Shelbourne Hotel, Number 31, The Dean Hotel.

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Photo 1 of 3 Number 31 in Dublin
Photo 2 of 3 The streets of Dublin (Photo: Diogo Palhais/unsplash.com)
Photo 3 of 3 The famous library at Trinity College (Photo: Naomi Hutchinson/unsplash.com)

Year of the Pig

Where to go: Los Angeles, California 

Where do we begin? Much like those born in the year of the pig, there is much to love about Los Angeles. 

LA is a playground for art- and culture-loving pigs, with an excellent selection of museums and galleries—our personal favourites are Getty Center, LA Louver, The Broad, The Getty Villa, and Hauser & Wirth, where you should definitely plan a stop at the gallery's on-site restaurant, Manuela

Speaking of food, there's everything from smokey delicious taco trucks to some of the world's top restaurants. Head to Eszett for chef-driven cuisine, David Chang's Majordomo, Salazar for Mexican mesquite BBQ, Bestia for modern Italian, Jon & Vinny's for great pizza and Ysabel for a night of West Hollywood Chic. If you can't pick a cuisine, head to Grand Central Market for a little taste of everything. Who says you can't have it all? 

Where to stay: Petit Ermitage, 1 Hotel West Hollywood, Chateau Marmont

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Photo 1 of 3 1 Hotel West Hollywood
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Photo 3 of 3 Grand Central Market, Los Angeles
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