Cape Town, South Africa (Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)
A new crew of cultural capitals is stepping into the global spotlight. Up-and-coming cities and regions across the continents—from Africa to Europe to Asia—have won prestigious capital of culture nods, which honor a local commitment to design, heritage, literacy, or even sports. Happily, travelers win too. Anyone visiting reigning capitals of culture this year can expect an exciting time, to put it mildly, as locals celebrate their accolades with commemorative gatherings and once-in-a-lifetime events.