Top 10 city breaks: What's trending on your wishlist this year?

Aoife O'Riordain digested the search data to discover what might tempt you to make a visit in 2015

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The Independent Travel

New York

While New York's newest skyscraper and America's tallest building, One World Trade Center, opened downtown in November, visitors have to wait until spring to survey the city's skyline from its One World Observatory, set to occupy floors 100 to 102 (oneworldobservatory.com). Another architectural landmark has been taking shape in the hip Meatpacking District. Designed by Italian "starchitect" Renzo Piano, the new home for The Whitney Museum of American Art (whitney.org) will be unveiled on 1 May. The new gallery, wedged between the High Line and the Hudson River, will feature larger spaces to show the museum's collection of modern and contemporary American art; the restaurant will be operated by Danny Meyer.

Take a trip down memory lane with the new permanent Jim Henson exhibition opening at the Museum of Moving Image (movingimage.us) in November. It will display more than 400 puppets, props, costumes, sketches and storyboards that brought childhood classics like The Muppets, Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock to our screens (nycgo.com).

Amsterdam

Next year is the 125th anniversary of the death of Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. To mark the event, Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum (vangoghmuseum.com) will stage numerous events and exhibitions throughout the year, notably in September with the opening of "Munch: Van Gogh", which will see his work displayed alongside pieces by the Norwegian artist. As well as Rembrandt's master work, The Night Watch, the Rijksmuseum (rijksmuseum.nl) will, from 12 February to 17 May, also be exhibiting "Rembrandt; The Late Works", the blockbuster show from London's National Portrait Gallery.

For a city synonymous with water there could be few places better suited to welcome tall ships, and Sail 2015 (sail.nl) looms large in Amsterdam's cultural calendar. From 19-23 August, tall ships will sail down the River Ij and drop anchor in the city centre with a raft of celebrations (iamsterdam.com).

Dubai

For many, Dubai means sun and shopping, and 2015 offers a slew of new possibilities for enjoying both. It'll be the 20th anniversary of the annual Dubai Shopping Festival (mydsf.ae) in January with sales, entertainment and prize draws in all the shopping hotspots. Retail of another kind is on offer at the colourful Deira Fish Market, one of the must-dos of any stay. Later next year all of its fish, vegetable, spice and fruit traders will be upping sticks to occupy stalls at the new market, set to be unveiled in Al Hamriya on the Deira Corniche. There will be a special area for visitors to observe the traditional auctions as well as a number of restaurants and cafes.

The paint has barely dried on the new Four Seasons Resort at Jumeirah Beach (fourseasons.com/ dubaijb), which opened earlier this month. With two pools, a spa and all the usual trappings befitting its luxury status, the hotel goes even further than your average sun lounger with poolside day villas available to guests, complete with air conditioning and TVs. Doubles from £260 room-only. Other glitzy resorts set to open in 2015 include St Regis, W Hotels and Palazzo Versace Dubai (definitelydubai.com).

Barcelona

Following the recent opening of the Museu Del Disseny (museudeldisseny.cat), the New Year will herald even more cultural institutions to tick off your sightseeing list in Barcelona. In February the permanent exhibitions at the Museu Etnologic Montjuic (museuetnologic.bcn.es) are expected to reopen and the new Museu De Cultures Del Mon (museucultures.mon.bcn.cat) is scheduled to open. The latter will be housed in two grand, neighbouring townhouses near the Picasso Museum, and will display over 30,000 objects from Africa, Asia, America and Australasia.

Foodies are also anticipating the spring opening of Enigma (en.bcn50.org), the final phase of a self-styled "gastronomic amusement park" created by Albert Adria, younger brother of Ferran, who is also involved in the project. The new high-concept restaurant will have a cocktail bar and offer an exclusive tasting menu to a small number of guests. Enigma will be a neighbour to the Adrias' already wildly popular Tickets tapas bar and recently opened Mexican restaurants Hoja Santa and Niño Viejo.

Architecture buffs should also keep and eye out for Casa Vicens, one of Gaudi's most important residential buildings, rumoured to be reopening to the public in 2015 (barcelonaturisme.com).

Rome

Flowing through the centre of the Eternal City, the River Tiber never seems to get the attention it deserves. Tevereterno (tevereterno.it) encourages Romans and tourists to utilise the urban riverbank through a series of innovative ideas, the latest of which is a project to turn the stretch between the Ponte Sisto and the Ponte Mazzini into a huge open-air art gallery. In spring, internationally acclaimed artist William Kentridge will complete a 550m large-scale site-specific mural, Triumph and Lament, which will officially open with musical performances by composer Philip Miller.

From 10-11 May, Open House Roma (openhouseroma.org) will offer the chance to explore many impressive buildings not usually open to the public. And with the Trevi Fountain still under scaffolding for months to come, 2015 also sees the start of the restoration of another iconic sight, the Spanish Steps – get there before work starts later in the year (turismoroma.it).

Dublin

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth, on 13 June 1865, of one of Ireland's literary giants, WB Yeats. Throughout the year there are numerous events planned in the capital and beyond to celebrate his life and far-reaching influence (yeatsday.com). From 28 January to 1 February, music fans should make sure they are in town for the Temple Bar Tradfest (templebartrad.com), which will be marking its 10th birthday. This celebration of all types of traditional and folk music, held in various atmospheric settings, will feature a special performance by 1960s folk legend Donovan at Dublin Castle on 31 January.

The city's newest boutique hotel has just opened on Harcourt Street right in the heart of the city. The Dean (thedean.ie) will appeal to a hip, youthful crowd with more than 250 works by Irish artists, and the funkily kitted-out rooms range in size from Mod Pods and Punk Bunks to the more sophisticated suites and penthouse. The rooftop Sophie's bar and restaurant has sweeping, 360-degree views of the Dublin skyline. Doubles start at €109 room-only (visitdublin.com).

Las Vegas

Vegas stalwarts New York-New York (nynyhotelcasino.com )and the Monte Carlo (montecarlo.com) both have renovated facades, with a new plaza between them overlooking the Strip, but there's plenty more to do in Sin City besides gambling.

In May, one of the world's largest music festivals, Rock in Rio (rockinrio.com), will travel to North America for the first time, with dates in Las Vegas on 8, 9, 15 and 16 May. The confirmed line up includes international superstars ranging from Metallica to Taylor Swift. Elton John is also set to extend his spectacular "The Million Dollar Piano" show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace (caesers.com) for another three years. Tickets are already on sale for this glitzy extravaganza, which includes 68 video screens, with performances in January, March and April (visitlasvegas.co.uk).

Venice

The highlight of La Serenissima's calendar is the annual Carnevale (carnevale.venezia.it) , taking place from 31 January and 17 February. But a very close second is the return of the 56th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale (labiennale.org) to the Giardini, the Arsenale and a variety of spaces around the city. Artists from 53 participating countries will be interpreting the theme of All the World's Futures, set by curator Okwui Enwezor.

There is plenty more in store for art lovers too – the Gallerie dell'Accademia (gallerieaccademia.org) has just unveiled five new galleries that will house works from its vast permanent collection and has also announced a major retrospective of the work of Willem de Kooning to coincide with the Biennale. Further up the Grand Canal, in spring the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca' d'Oro (cadoro.org) will host "Plessi. Liquid Life" – an ambitious installation by contemporary Italian artist Fabrizio Plessi, inspired by water (en.turismovenezia.it).

Paris

Following the opening of the Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton (fondationlouisvuitton.fr) this autumn, January sees the unveiling of a second architectural landmark in another Parisian park. French architect Jean Nouvel's new home for the Philharmonie de Paris (philharmoniedeparis.fr) is soon to open in the Parc de la Villette.

Meanwhile a new retail concept is taking shape in the ultra-hip northern Marais. Le Jeune Rue (lajeunerue.com) is the ambitious project of French businessman Cédric Naudon, who is busy transforming 40 shops along the rues Volta Vertbois and Notre Dame into one hip enclave of fashion, food and design, with the help of design talent such as Paola Navone, Tom Dixon and Inigo Maurer.

The coming year will also see the reopening of the iconic Hôtel de Crillon, one of the city's grandest palace hotels, which is set to re-emerge under the super-luxurious Rosewood marque (rosewoodhotels.com). At the other end of the scale, style-conscious sleepers watching their euro can check into the city's latest budget option in February, a self-styled "haute hostel" by Generator (generatorhostels.com) in edgy Canal St Martin (en.parisinfo.com).

Berlin

Celebrities and celluloid will be firmly on the agenda for the annual Berlinale, celebrating its 65th anniversary from 5-15 February. The festival will pay a special homage and award a honorary Golden Bear to German director Wim Wenders for his lifetime achievement in the medium.

Football fans will make the pilgrimage to the city's Olympic Stadium for the Uefa Champions League Final (fussball.visitberlin.de) on 6 June.

Following this year's blockbuster celebrations marking 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, on 3 October 2015, the city will mark a quarter-century since German Unification, with a traditional street party by the Brandenburg Gate and the former site of the Wall. Already home to the new 25Hours Hotel and the renovated Zoo Palast Cinema, Bikini Berlin (bikiniberlin.de) on Budapester Strasse is a 1950s architectural landmark next to the Berlin Zoo. As part of its ongoing regeneration, the latest addition is a concept mall with a changing roster of pop-up boutiques (visitberlin.de).

Selection compiled from the year's most searched cities on Google, Trivago, TravelSupermarket and Expedia, along with data from aviation intelligence expert OAG.

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