There are countless beautiful destinations all across the globe. No matter how much time you spend traveling, you simply wouldn’t be able to see them all. That’s why it’s important to make lists and prioritize. After all, you don’t want to be stuck going to the same places every year.
There are many different types of travelers. Some enjoy going to big cities, while others prefer traveling to stunning natural wonders of our world. While some like hiking through unique landscapes, others visit islands when they’re on vacation. Regardless of what kind of traveler you are, you probably have a list of destinations that you want to visit at some point. Nevertheless, there are some places that are so alluring that they should be on every single person’s bucket list. Even if you’re a nature lover, there are some cities that you would surely fall in love with. Similarly, if architecture is what attracts you as a traveler, certain natural wonders of the world are so stunning that you shouldn’t miss out on visiting them.
Despite your preferences, there are destinations that every person should have the opportunity to visit at least once during his or her life. It’s important to constantly search for new places that you can go to, since there are countless health benefits that you can get from traveling. Apart from reducing stress levels, traveling to new places will also help you reinvent yourself and stay humble. Apart from that, you will also increase your happiness if you constantly keep discovering new places.
25 Cappadocia, Turkey
When you visit Cappadocia, you will feel like you’re on a different planet. This destination is located in Central Anatolia, Turkey and is most famous for its underground cities, cave churches, and moon-like landscape. Cappadocia is known for being one of the world’s best places to fly with hot air balloons. Because of exceptional flying conditions and unique landscapes, this activity will truly be an adventure that you’ll remember. In fact, a lot of tourists who come to this area visit only so they could fly with hot air balloons.
Cappadocia is a popular tourist destination among hikers as well. Hikers have the option of embarking on a journey through either the Pigeon Valley or the Rose Valley. The road through the Pigeon Valley offers breathtaking views of man-made caved and natural cliffs, while going through the Rose Valley will allow you to experience one-of-a-kind landscapes. Although many visitors come here only for a day, it’s recommended that you spend at least one night here, since it’s very charming at night.
24 Cartagena, Colombia
If you’re planning on going to Colombia, then you absolutely have to visit Cartagena. This is the most popular city in the whole country. It is found on Colombia’s northern coast and it faces the Caribbean Sea. Cartagena has great historical value because it used to be the first Spanish colony in South America. Not only that, but it was also one of the first sanctuaries where freed African slaves could go to. The reason why this city is so beautiful is because it remained mostly unchanged since the 17th century. Here, you will find numerous stunning palaces, churches, and mansions.
There are two main parts of the city that you should visit. The first part is known as the walled colonial city. The other represents a long strip of hotels and condos located on the beach. While you’re here, you must visit the Castillo de San Felipe, a famous fortress that was built in the 17th century. This fortress used to help the Spaniards protect themselves against pirates when they were sending gold to Europe.
23 The Maldives
The Maldives is an island country that is regarded as one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. It is situated in the Indian Ocean, and serves as a romantic getaway for many honeymooners across the globe. After all, it has a unique romantic vibe that only a few other places can give off. Over a million people come to the Maldives each year to relax on some of the world’s most precious beaches.
There are almost 1,200 islands that are part of the Maldives archipelago. Due to the high number of islands, there are numerous resorts and places that were designed for all types of different travelers. It doesn’t matter if you’re coming with your spouse, family or alone, you will surely have a wonderful adventure when you decide to come here. It’s worth mentioning that the Maldives offers outstanding diving options. You will be able to see a huge variety of marine life in full detail here thanks to the crystal clear water.
22 Annecy, France
Annecy is a small town found on the northern tip of Lake Annecy in France. It is a charming place that is divided by small canals and streams that run out of this lake. This destination is sometimes referred to as the Venice of France, due to the similarities between these two destinations. Nevertheless, Annecy is much more peaceful than Venice, so you won’t have to worry about it being too crowded here.
The town center of Annecy is built around a Chateau that was established in the 14th century. When you visit this small town, make sure to also go to Lake Annecy, as well as the nearby mountains. Here, you will find some activities perfect for adventurists and nature lovers. You’ll have the option of doing anything from sailing and skiing to cycling and paragliding. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Annecy include the Saint Maurice Church, Annecy Castle, and Palais d’Isle.
21 Santorini, Greece
For most people, it takes only one photo of Santorini to convince them to visit this beautiful island. This destination offers alluring traditional Grecian architecture, stunning beaches, and breathtaking ocean views. Santorini is a volcanic island that is part of the Cyclades island group in Greece. Apart from being famous for its views and architecture, it is also known for its local wineries that make wonderful wine. Some of the wineries that you must visit include the Argiros Estate, Santo Wines, Boutari Winer, and Roussos Winery. This island is one of the most popular destinations for a romantic getaway as well.
If you’re into water sports, then you’ll be happy to find out that scuba diving and snorkeling are very popular here. Aside from taking part in these activities, you also have the option of visiting the Museum of Prehistoric Thira. Here, you’ll find artifacts found in the ruins of a Minoan Bronze Age settlement known as Akrotiri.
20 Madrid, Spain
Madrid is both the capital, as well as the largest city of Spain. It holds a special place in the hearts of travelers who love European history. Madrid is especially known for its cultural and artistic heritage, so you can expect to see and learn quite a lot while you’re here. Some of the museums that you should visit include the Reina Sofia National Museum and Art Centar and Museo del Prado. In fact, Museo del Prado is regarded as one of the finest art museums on the planet. Nevertheless, it is also a city with a vibrant nightlife. Because of this, Madrid is also a top pick for young people all across the world.
If you like to have a good meal when you travel somewhere you’ve never been before, then you’ll be glad to learn that this city is known for being one of the richest culinary capitals in Europe. Madrid is also home to one of the biggest palaces in Europe, known as the Royal Palace.
19 Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is the only place on the planet that encompasses both Asia and Europe. It represents the most populous city in the country of Turkey, and is known for being one of the largest cities in the world. Istanbul is a very popular tourist destination because it offers tourists the best of both the ancient and modern worlds. Some of the attractions you’ll need to visit while here include the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, and the Galata Tower. Of course, you should also pay a visit to an architectural wonder known as Aya Sofya, which is a structure that dates back to the year 537.
The locals in this city are notable for their huge hospitality, so they’ll surely help you enjoy your stay here. Due to its strategic location, Istanbul was a place that Romans, Venetians, Greeks, and Persians wanted to take advantage of. Because of this, you will see a lot of history as you walk down the streets of this city.
18 Sicily, Italy
Sicily is one of the most diverse islands found in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s also the largest island here. Every person should visit Sicily at least once in their lives, since you will get to see a lot of interesting historical sites here. There are many amazing relics that can be found on this island today. Apart from that, Sicily is also home to alluring beaches, powerful volcanoes, and delicious Mediterranean cuisine.
When you travel to this island, it’s a must that you go to its capital city called Palermo. Here, you will discover gorgeous ancient architecture. Palermo is filled with charming medieval streets. The island of Sicily is popular among hikers, since it is home to breathtaking landscapes. One of the most active volcanoes in the world is found here. Known as Mount Etna, it represents the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy.
17 Ouro Preto, Brazil
Ouro Preto is one of the best preserved colonial towns in the world. It also represents one of the most visited destinations in Brazil. Ouro Preto is a town that was first built in the 17th century. Soon after, it became the focal point of a gold rush. It served as the most popular places where people would come to have their gold measured and sold. Because it is well preserved and rich in history, it is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Despite the fact that a huge number of people used to live here, many moved out towards the end of the 19th century, when almost all of the gold had already run out. The ones that stayed couldn’t construct new buildings because they didn’t have enough money, so they chose to preserve the colonial architecture. However, the architecture is exactly what helped make this town a famous tourist destination.
16 The Seychelles
The Seychelles is a group of islands that is found in the Indian Ocean. It is, just like the Maldives, a popular destination among honeymooners and young couples, since it is one of the world’s best known places for a romantic getaway. If you’ve always been looking for a paradise on Earth, then this is where you should go. Despite the fact that there are 115 islands that comprise the Seychelles, only a few of them are inhabited. Nevertheless, you’ll still be able to visit some of the uninhabited ones if you want to have intimacy with your partner.
The Seychelles is one of those destinations that you should put on your bucket list because you’ll fall in love with it so much that you’ll forget about the rest of the planet. Here, you’ll be able to truly relax, since it’s hard to really experience stress when you’re a tourist on one of these gorgeous islands. Apart from chilling on the beach, you’ll also have the option of going hiking, diving, and snorkeling.
15 Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a European city that is extremely rich in history and is home to numerous architectural masterpieces. Because of its charming buildings and historical sites, this city is especially popular among couples. The center of Prague is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its cultural significance. If you love beer, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the Czechs have some of the best breweries in the world.
Some of the most popular attractions in this city are the Charles Bridge, Josefov, and the Prague Castle. It’s worth mentioning that the Prague Castle is the biggest ancient castle on the planet, while the Charles Bridge represents one of the most alluring architectural marvels of the city. When you come here, you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to visit some of the city’s most notable museums including the Czech National Gallery, the Karel Zeman Museum, the Jewish Museum, as well as the Czech National Museum.
Iceland is a country that’s perfect for any nature lover. It is known for being home to some of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls. It’s truly a mystery how such a small island can have so many stunning landscapes. Despite the name Iceland, this country doesn’t have harsh winters for an island at its latitude. It is a location famous among hikers all across the globe. Nevertheless, hiking can be quite challenging here.
One of the most popular tourist activities here is glacier hiking. If this is something you would enjoy, then it’s best that you go to the area of Skaftafell, located in the southeastern part of the country. Whale watching is also an experience that you shouldn’t miss out on. Even though you’ll have the option of going all year long, know that whale sightings are most common during the summer. The locals here are extremely friendly and hospitable, and will most certainly make your stay more enjoyable.
13 Machu Picchu, Peru
Although you may have seen countless photos of Machu Picchu online, you will experience the true beauty of this place only after you come here. Numerous people from all over the globe come here every year. In fact, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. There isn’t another archaeological site in South America that can even come close to this one when it comes to the number of visitors it gets each year.
The Spanish conquest ended up destroying nearly all of the cities that were built by the Inca civilization. Nevertheless, Machu Picchu remained safe due to its hidden location. This is exactly why it is regarded as a true archeological gem. This is one of the best preserved Inca cities on the planet. There are a lot of different theories about the purpose of Machu Picchu, including that it was a secret ceremonial center and a royal estate.
Malta is a small island country located south of Sicily. It is known for its rich history and cultural significance. It is believed that this island has been inhabited since around 5200 BC. Malta is home to some of the oldest buildings on the planet. Its preserved architecture is exactly the reason why countless people come here every year. During its rich history, numerous civilizations came to Malta, including the Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Phoenicians, and the British.
Even though this island is small in size, it is home to 9 different UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is filled with picturesque towns that you will instantly fall in love with. While you’re here, you should go on one of its famous boat trips. Malta is notable for its extremely friendly locals, who’ll surely make your stay more pleasant. Activities like snorkeling and diving are very popular here, which means that you’ll have the opportunity to explore a rich underwater world.
Patagonia is a massive and beautiful region located in the southern part of Argentina. It is a place filled with amazing wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. There aren’t too many places like Patagonia on our planet. Somehow, it manages to provide a feeling of great isolation, yet it’s filled with wildlife. One of the most popular activities here is to go glacier hiking. Since the area covers more than 400,000 square miles, you will truly have a lot to see here.
One of the highlights of Patagonia is Península Valdés, a nature reserve found on the coast of Argentina. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can see elephant seals, orcas, southern right whales, as well as sea lions. If you go down one of the countless dirt roads, you most likely won’t see another vehicle or person for hours due to the size of this area.
10 Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Found in the northern part of Cambodia, Angkor Wat is one of the most famous temples on the planet. It is part of the Angkor Archaeological Park, which is often referred to as the most important archaeological site in the southeastern part of Asia. The temple is one of the most fascinating structures in the world. It has been a place of worship since it was established back in the 12th century.
Keep in mind that the Angkor Archaeological Park is quite big, so you shouldn’t really plan on staying here for just one day. It will take you at least a few days to explore this unique tourist destination. More than 2 million people come to the temple each year. Apart from admiring the architecture, many come here to enjoy the sunrise and sunset. While you’re in the Angkor Archaeological Park, it’s also a good idea to visit Angkor Thom, the Bayon, and Ta Prohm.
Barbados is an island situated in the Caribbean, northeast of Venezuela. It represents one of the most famous and developed islands in the world. Regardless of whether you’re coming here to have an adventure or a peaceful getaway, you will surely fall in love with this island. The locals are noted for their gracious hospitality, and they’ll certainly make you feel like Barbados is your second home.
Some of the best hotels and restaurants in the entire Caribbean are located on this island. Apart from its alluring white-sand beaches, you can also find huge botanic gardens and unspoiled natural beauty here. You will also get a chance to see diverse wildlife. Some of the most popular activities in Barbados include surfing and scuba diving. The crystal clear water will help you see a variety of life underwater. Once you come here, it’s a must that you visit the island’s most popular attraction – Harrison’s Cave. This is an underground cave that is known for its pools, small waterfalls, and stalagmites.
8 Serengeti National Park, East Africa
Serengeti National Park is a huge conservation area that stretches over two countries – Tanzania and Kenya. It is a very popular tourist destination, with most people traveling here to engage in safari. This area is best known for its rich wildlife and flora, as well as breathtaking landscapes. Serengeti is perhaps most famous for its migration, which happens every October and November. This migration is unlike any other in the world. During these two months, more than 200,000 zebras and 1.3 million wildebeest move from the northern hills to the south. They start moving back to the north in April.
Serengeti is especially popular among photographers, since you can take some unbelievable shots here. If you want to get a good view of the area, it’s recommended that you take a balloon safari. In Serengeti, you’ll have the option of sleeping in safari lodges, luxury tented camps, as well as regular campsites.
7 Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan is an ancient city found in the country of Myanmar. It used to be the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, which later became Myanmar. Between the 11th and the 13th century, more than 10,000 Buddhist temples, monasteries, and pagodas were established in this ancient city. Nowadays, there are more than 2,200 pagodas and temples that are still standing. Bagan is often compared to places like Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat. Nevertheless, the main difference between them is that Bagan has yet to be spoiled by tourism.
Despite this being such a precious destination, it is still relatively unknown. This is because Myanmar was under the rule of an oppressive military junta up until 2011. It’s a good idea to pay a visit to this country before it becomes an extremely popular tourist destination. If you want to get a good view of the ancient city of Bagan, you can take a hot air balloon ride.
6 Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto once served as the capital of Japan, and is often regarded as the country’s most beautiful city. The center of the city looks extremely modern. Nevertheless, you will get the opportunity to travel through time when you visit its parks and temples. Since it was the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years, it has accumulated an incredible collection of shrines, temples, and palaces, all of which were built for monks, shoguns, and emperors. Since the city wasn’t bombed during World War II, it is still home to many prewar buildings.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Kyoto is Kinkaku-ji, better known as the Golden Pavilion. The Fushimi Inari Shrine is also a famous landmark of the city. To reach this Shinto shrine, you will have to go on a two-hour-long walking trail. On this path, you will see more than 10,000 orange torri gates. If you’re traveling to Kyoto, then you must pay a visit to the temple of Kiyomizu-dera as well.