The perfect travel destination list seeks to address a significant issue: there are so many locations to explore.
Here is a list of 30 worldwide locations that will inspire you to visit every gorgeous location on the planet. From the sleek skyscrapers of Dubai to the emerald-green seas of the Bora Bora lagoon, you’re bound to discover at least one (and probably many!) vacations that spark your curiosity.
Let us know which ones you’ve gone to, which ones excite your interest the most, and what your thoughts are on each destination you’ve been to.
30. Argentine Patagonia
The Argentine Patagonia is ranked 30th by US News & World Report, down eight positions from prior rankings.
As U.S. News puts it, “cobalt lakes, azure-tinted glaciers, green forests, and turquoise sky” abound in this Andes region. There are few better places on the earth for a journey full of adventure and exploration.
A visit to the rocky Mount Fitz Roy, the famous (and enigmatic) Cave of the Hands, the Punta Tombo wildlife preserve, the Peninsula Valdes marine animal sanctuary, and the spectacular Perito Moreno Glacier round out any journey. Bring your camera as well as your sense of amazement.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to Argentina’s Patagonia
TIP: Because springtime in the southern hemisphere begins in October and November, those months are your best choice for organising a vacation.
Fun Fact: The biggest dinosaur fossils yet discovered were discovered in Argentine Patagonia. They are descendants of the biggest known titanosaur, which weighed around 83 tonnes.
29. Amalfi Coast, Italy
Italy’s Amalfi Coast is ranked 29th. The Amalfi Coast, located on the Sorrentine Peninsula, has long been known for its natural beauty and beautiful seaside communities. It was a popular holiday location for glamorous movie stars during the golden era of Hollywood.
Days are spent eating Italian cuisine, sipping wine, and strolling through the picturesque cobblestone streets. You may also anticipate consuming a lot of wine while gazing out at the Mediterranean Sea.
What You Should Know Before Visiting the Amalfi Coast
TIP: If you want to work on your tan on the beach, get up early since they are normally first come, first served.
Fun Fact: The Amalfi Coast appears in Sofia Loren’s 1995 film “Scandal in Sorrento.”
28. Cancun, Mexico
Cancun has long been the ideal destination for East Coast Americans (especially Floridians) looking for a foreign escape that is nonetheless near to home. Despite the influx of visitors, the neighbourhood has managed to retain the allure that drew people in the first place.
Cancun is most renowned for its luxurious hotels, raucous nightlife, and beautiful beaches. Indulge in all of these — as well as the Mexican cuisine! — without reservation. However, alternative activities such as seeing Mayan sites, swimming in cenotes, and snorkeling should be considered.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to Cancun
TIP: While in Cancun, plan to visit one of Grupo Xcaret’s six eco-tourism parks, the finest of which are Xcaret and Xelha. The Mexican-owned enterprise is recognised for launching the Yucatan Peninsula’s eco-tourism movement, and the parks provide fantastic and diverse local experiences.
Fun Fact: Cancun is situated on the Yucatan Peninsula, which was the Mayan civilization’s cultural, political, and economic core. Many inhabitants are of Mayan descent, and the language is still commonly spoken in the region.
27. San Francisco, California
Everyone should make a trip to San Francisco at least once in their life. Despite the fact that internet giants dominate the news these days, it remains down-to-earth, diversified, and full of things to do.
Where do I begin? Whatever your preference, you’ll want to visit the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, the sunbathing sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, the historic prison Alcatraz, and rest in one of the city’s numerous parks, notably Dolores Park on weekends for spectacular people-watching.
Treat your tastes and book a reservation at one of the Bay Area’s numerous Michelin-starred restaurants for supper.
What You Should Know Before Visiting San Francisco
TIP: Looking for comparably gorgeous scenery and diverse cultural activities, but at a lesser cost and with (slightly) fewer crowds? Head over the Bay Bridge to Oakland, which National Geographic called one of the most interesting locations to visit on the planet.
Fun fact: A Japanese resident of San Francisco originated the fortune cookie.
26. Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is one of the world’s biggest waterfalls. For ages, humanity has been intrigued by the ferocity with which water rushes down cliffs on the border between the United States and Canada.
This natural treasure is made up of three breathtaking waterfalls. A boat cruise is one of the greatest ways to see them.
What You Should Know Before Visiting Niagara Falls
TIP: While there is a considerable discussion regarding which side of the falls is better, the common consensus is that the Canadian side has superior vistas. This is due to the fact that you may (ironically) get a greater perspective of American Falls as well as get up and personal with Horseshoe Falls.
Fun Fact: Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the United States, having been established in 1885.
25. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, located mostly in Wyoming but also in Montana and Idaho, was America’s first national park and remains one of the most popular in the country, with over 3.8 million visitors each year. It’s easy to understand why so many people gather here, with unexpected geysers, rainbow-colored hot springs, towering peaks, dazzling lakes, and loads of fauna ranging from elk to boars to bison.
Despite dropping five points this year, the park remains a fantastic holiday destination. It is ideal for a family vacation and is well-suited to budget tourists due to its abundance of campsites (over 2,000).
What You Should Know Before Visiting Yellowstone
TIP: You’ll never be able to completely avoid the crowds at this extremely popular park, but April, May, September, and November are your best options for finding some peace and quiet.
Fun Fact: Yellowstone National Park is bigger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.
24. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s biggest reef, is home to hundreds of marine species. This makes it ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling.
With over 600 islands and almost 2,900 distinct reefs, the reef system is really massive. This is not just one of Australia’s finest achievements, but it is also a global national treasure. Seeing it with your own two eyes is a fantastic experience beyond words.
What You Should Know Before Visiting the Great Barrier Reef
TIP: Though swimming underwater to view the reef is essential, we also suggest arranging a helicopter trip to see it from above.
Fun Fact: The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s biggest living structure, made up of corals, which are organisms that live in groups.
23. Santorini, Greece
Santorini is a photographer’s dream, with its stunning blue-domed churches, whitewashed homes, and vibrant beaches. This is the spot to go if you want to take images to put on Instagram and make everyone back home envy.
Make time to see some of Santorini’s archaeologically noteworthy sites, such as Ancient Akrotiri (a volcanic ash-preserved ancient city) and Ancient Thera (where humans lived as early as the 9th century BC). Also, don’t miss out on seeing the smaller islands that surround it, such as Thirassia, Nea Kameni, and Palea Kameni.
What You Should Know Before Visiting Santorini
TIP: U.S. News advises going in September and October, or April and May, when the weather is still nice but there aren’t as many other people roaming around.
Fun Fact: Locals like to assert that there is more wine than water on this island where it seldom rains, which is impossible to establish (and vino abounds).
22. Florence, Italy
Florence is a must-see city for art and history aficionados (as well as anybody who enjoys wonderful Italian cuisine).
As the cradle of the Renaissance, it is home to some of history’s most famous artworks by world-renowned painters like Michaelangelo, Brunelleschi, and Donatello, to mention a few. Florence is home to trendy stores, small cafés, and stunning gardens, in addition to art museums and architectural treasures.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to Florence
TIP: According to U.S. News, if you want to spend your honeymoon in Europe without spending a lot, consider Florence.
Fun Fact: It took over 140 years to create the city’s famous “El Duomo” cathedral.
21. Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite, one of America’s most visited national parks, with over 4 million yearly visitors and spans 750,000 acres of wildness just waiting to be discovered.
It’s home to stunning waterfalls like the 317-foot Vernal Fall and the 617-foot Bridalveil Fall, as well as legendary rock formations like El Capitan and Half Dome, where the world’s top rock climbers put their skills to the test.
Not unexpectedly, the fauna here astounds. Yosemite is home to dozens of species of butterflies, marmots, bobcats, and mule deer, to name a few. Keep a watch out for black bears, which are estimated to number 300-500 in the park.
What You Should Know Before Visiting Yosemite
TIP: If you want to camp here during the summer, be sure you get a site early. Want to avoid the usually awful traffic in Yosemite? Instead of driving, make use of the park’s vast free transportation system.
Fun Fact: This is one of the few sites in the nation where you may see a moonbow, which is a rainbow formed by the light of the moon rather than the sun.
20. St. Lucia
Whether you’re on a cruise ship or simply want to unwind at an all-inclusive resort or boutique hotel, St. Lucia is a clear winner. This Caribbean island has a variety of scenery for holidaymakers, from beautiful beaches to lush jungles to the looming volcanic peaks known as the Pitons.
Hiking, climbing, and zip-lining are popular activities for adrenaline seekers, while newlyweds (and soon-to-be-married couples) like the romantic combination of gourmet cuisine, adults-only resorts, and exotic activities.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to St. Lucia
TIP: Go when the weather is mild, which is usually in May and June.
Fun Fact: St. Lucia is the only nation in the world named for a woman: Christian martyr Saint Lucia of Syracuse.
19. Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
Dubai has one of the world’s biggest retail malls, the world’s tallest structure, one of the world’s largest man-made marinas, and the list goes on.
This Las Vegas-style urban area in the United Arab Emirates offers tourists an unusual combination of attractions, including beaches, waterparks, loads of shopping, and even an indoor ski resort. Outside of the city’s skyscrapers, the wide desert awaits, best explored by quad-biking or sandboarding.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to Dubai
TIP: Though you’re sure to spend a hefty lot for a vacation to Dubai regardless of when you go, you may save a little money by going during the sweltering summer months and reserving your hotel room two to three months in advance.
Fun Fact: Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands were built with enough imported sand to cover 2.5 Empire State Buildings.
18. Machu Picchu, Peru
Many visitors consider their visit to Machu Picchu as a life-changing experience. Why? It’s an archaeological marvel, the ruins of an old Incan metropolis that dates back more than 600 years. It’s no surprise that this is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Peru’s most popular tourist destination.
Visit important places such as Funerary Rock, where it is thought Incan royalty were mummified, and Shrine of the Condor, a rock temple built to resemble the majestic bird of the same name.
What You Should Know Before Visiting Machu Picchu
TIP: If you’re planning a vacation, be sure to get your tickets in advance, since only 2,500 people are allowed to enter Machu Picchu each day. (And this is a location that many people want to visit.)
Fun Fact: There are over 100 separate flights of stairs on the site.
17. Australia, Sydney
Sydney, with its renowned Opera House and vibrant Bondi Beach, is the ideal holiday destination for anyone seeking a mix of culture, arts, nightlife, and leisure.
Spend the day on the water at Darling Harbour before heading to the Royal Botanic Garden for some fresh air. Would you want to travel like a local? Purchase a rugby match ticket and a Tim Tam, a delicious chocolate-covered pastry that goes well with coffee.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to Sydney
TIP: You may save money by visiting Sydney during the shoulder seasons, which are generally September through November and March through May.
Fun Fact: In 2007, Bondi Beach hosted the world’s biggest swimsuit photoshoot, with 1,010 bikini-clad ladies taking part, earning it a place in the Guinness World Records book.
16. Arizona’s Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is incredibly vast (277 river miles long and up to 18 miles broad! ), which explains why so many people want to see it.
The Grand Canyon had 6.4 million visitors last year, making it the country’s second-most popular national park (behind Great Smoky Mountain Nationals Park). The park, which opened in 1919, has activities for all skill levels, whether you want to go down into the canyon and camp beneath the stars (with a backcountry permit, of course) or just stroll along the South Rim Trail, an easy walking trail with breathtaking vistas.
What You Should Know Before Visiting the Grand Canyon
TIP: If you’ve been wanting to visit the Grand Canyon for a long time, now is the time. With musical performances, talks, films, and other special activities, the park is commemorating its 100th anniversary.
Fun Fact: The Grand Canyon is home to the most distant settlement in the continental United States. Supai Village, located at the canyon’s foot and part of the Havasupi Indian Reservation, with a population of 208 people. It is not reachable by road, and mail is brought by pack mule. Would you want to see it for yourself? The community has a number of campsites that may be reached through a hiking route.
15. Bali, Indonesia
Bali has been a popular ex-pat destination in recent years, with groups of “digital nomads” working and playing there.
However, the island has not lost its unique beauty as a result of the increased number of visitors and remains a fantastic location. Spend your day swimming at the beach, trekking active volcanoes, seeing temples, and admiring vistas of tiered rice terraces.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to Bali
TIP: While shoulder season (January through April and October through November) brings less customers and lower rates, it often means rain. There’s plenty of it. If at all possible, avoid the wet season.Fun
Fun Fact: Balinese people celebrate Nyepi on the Saka new year. This Hindu festival is a day of quiet during which everything on the island is shut down and no noise is permitted.
14. New York City
New York City is known as “the city that never sleeps,” and you won’t want to either when you come, fearing you run out of time to take it all in.
Explore out modern sites like the High Line (an elevated park) and Hudson Yards (a mega-mall along the Hudson River), but also make time for New York City staples like seeing a Broadway musical or standing in Times Square.
Foodies will have a difficult time deciding where to dine (the city has 93 Michelin stars), which is why planning an extended vacation is usually a smart idea.
What You Should Know Before Visiting New York City
TIP: it gets chilly here in January and February, but this is also the greatest time to lock in reasonably low hotel prices. You may spend your time dining in the city’s restaurants, touring its magnificent museums, and seeing world-class theatre without having to spend much time outside in the cold.
Fun Fact: In New York City, a birth occurs every 4.4 minutes – and death occurs every 9.1 minutes.
13. Banff National Park, Canada
Some of the world’s most beautiful mountain views and panoramas may be seen in Banff, a little Canadian town situated at 4,537 feet above sea level inside the same-named national park. Banff is Canada’s highest town, and Banff National Park was the country’s first, founded in 1885.
In the winter, shred some snow at one of Banff’s three ski resorts, then return in the summer for activities like hiking, bicycling, fishing, and climbing (scaling steep terrain using nothing but your hands).
What You Should Know Before Visiting Banff
TIP: If you want to take advantage of summer and winter activities, the ideal dates to come are June to August and December to March.
Fun Fact: Banff National Park has almost 1,000 glaciers.
You may gaze at picture after image, but nothing compares to experiencing the Maldives for yourself. If you like vivid sunsets, flour-like beaches, and brilliant blue oceans, this is the location for you.
Though getting to this little island country southwest of Sri Lanka is challenging, it also means it’s exceedingly quiet and isolated, making it ideal for a honeymoon or romantic beach trip.
Don’t worry about becoming bored, either: go snorkeling or scuba diving, relax in the spa, or browse around the lively Male’ Fish Market.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to the Maldives
TIP: The rainy season in the island country lasts from May to October, but it’s also the perfect time to visit for fewer tourists and lower prices.
Fun Fact: The nation’s inhabitants converted to Islam around 1153 AD. The Maldives is still the most Muslim nation on the planet.
11. Barcelona, Spain
Is there anything Barcelona doesn’t have? Soccer, architecture, shopping, nightlife, world-class cuisine and wine, arts and culture – is there anything Barcelona doesn’t have? If there is, we honestly have no idea what it is.
This cosmopolitan Spanish city has some amazing architecture, including numerous structures created by Antoni Gaudi, so be sure to take tours of his wacky works like Park Guell and the yet-to-be-completed Church of the Sacred Family (La Sagrada Familia).
Las Ramblas is usually crowded with nightlife and shopping; for an interesting art experience, watch the growth of legendary artist Pablo Picasso at Museo Picasso.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to Barcelona
TIP: Because it may be quite humid here, U.S. News recommends visiting in May or June, before things really heat up.
Fun Fact: In preparation for its 1992 Olympic hosting, the city flew in sand from as far away as Egypt to make Barceloneta Beach a desirable destination. Despite being primarily man-made, the beach remains a fantastic site for seaside relaxation.
10. Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park, Montana’s crown gem, is every outdoor enthusiast’s fantasy.
The park’s glaciers, which give breathtaking vistas as well as a number of pure lakes, are, of course, its most distinguishing natural feature. There are hundreds of routes that will take you up hills, down valleys, and over some of the most breathtaking scenery, you’ll ever see.
What You Should Know Before Visiting Glacier National Park
TIP: Plan on spending a day or two at the adjacent town of Whitefish. This Glacier National Park entryway is one of America’s greatest little towns and a destination in its own right.
Fun Fact: Mountain goats, the park’s official emblem, are extremely likely to appear during your stay.
9. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, the capital of Japan is one of the world’s most interesting cities. It is typically fast-paced, with neon lights lighting the crowds as they race to their next location.
However, Tokyo is also a city of temples, picnics beneath the cherry blossoms, and ensuring that you appreciate the quantity of wonderful cuisine that can be found on almost every corner.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to Tokyo
TIP: For more agreeable weather, visit during the months of March and April, or September and November. Of course, spring is when the city’s cherry blossoms are at their peak.
Fun Fact: Tokyo is the world’s biggest metropolitan region, with a population of about 36 million people.
8. Phuket, Thailand
Start researching for flights to Phuket now if you want a trip that feels opulent but won’t break the wallet.
This southern Thai island, about an hour’s flight from Bangkok, is encircled by the Andaman Sea, so white sandy beaches abound. If you want to see a beautiful sunset, go to Promthep Cape, the island’s southernmost point and a favourite picture location. Climb to the summit of the huge alabaster monument known as Big Buddha for panoramic views of the island and beyond.
You may even learn something while on vacation if you go to the Soi Dog Foundation, and innovative animal refuge that fights the meat trade and cares for thousands of stray cats and dogs in the neighbourhood.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to Phuket
TIP: Travel between November and April for the greatest weather and optimal conditions for beach activities such as swimming and boating.
Fun Fact: The island is not pronounced as colourfully as it seems. The proper pronunciation is “poo-ket” or “poo-get.”
7. Rome, Italy
Though the historical importance of Rome cannot be emphasized, do not believe that this Italian city is locked in time. On the contrary, upscale stores and opulent hotels may be found close to prominent landmarks such as the Pantheon (completed in 120 AD) and the Colosseum (built-in 80 AD).
Then there’s the city’s art, of course. Stroll around Rome and you’ll come across some of the world’s greatest treasures – an incredible collection of frescoes, paintings, ceilings, and fountains made by luminaries such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael, and Bernini.
After all that exploring, there are plenty of possibilities to dine and drink, including at many Michelin-starred restaurants. City favourites include suppli (deep-fried risotto balls with cheese and ragu meat sauce) and cacio e pepe (a deceptively simple mix of al-dente pasta, pecorino romano, and fresh black pepper).
What You Should Know Before Visiting Rome
TIP: Tourists flock here in the summer when temperatures are likewise scorching. Instead, visit between October and April, when the crowds are smaller, the prices are lower, and the weather is cooler. Just remember to have a light jacket with you.
Fun Fact: Every year, over $1.5 million in coins are thrown into the Trevi Fountain by visitors. Caritas, a Catholic non-profit that helps organisations focusing on health, disaster assistance, poverty, and migration, receives the funds.
6. London, England
When making the argument for London as one of the finest locations to visit in the world, U.S. News cites English writer Samual Johnson: “When a man is Weary of London, he is bored of life.”
London will expand your intellect and thrill your senses, from live Shakespeare plays to really world-class (and free!) museums like the National Gallery. Of course, no trip to London would be complete without a visit to Buckingham Palace, where you can view the famed stone-faced guards outside and the 19 sumptuous State Rooms inside (though you can’t see the queen’s private chambers). Another must-see attraction is the Tower of London, a medieval castle on the north bank of the Thames.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to London
TIP: Many American cities now have direct flights to London, so set a price alert and act quickly when rates decrease.
Fun Fact: The names of London’s pubs alone are worth a visit; witty titles include The Case is Altered, The Pyrotechnists Arms, John the Unicorn, and The Job Centre.
5. Tahiti, French Polynesia
Need we say more? Flavorful French food, world-class resorts, and warm waves. Though Tahiti might be pricy, many believe it is well worth it.
Tahiti, the biggest of the 118 French Polynesian islands, is divided into two major zones (connected by a land bridge). Tahiti Nui, the island’s bigger section, is home to the capital Papeete and surfing mecca Papenoo Beach, while Tahiti Iti, the island’s smaller region, provides more privacy and the beautiful white beaches of La Plage de Maui.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to Tahiti
TIP: Visit during Tahiti’s winter, between May and October, when there is less humidity and rain.
Fun fact: Overcrowding is not an issue in Hawaii; the island receives more tourists in ten days than all of French Polynesia receives in a year.
4. Maui, Hawaii
If you’re short on time or can’t decide which Hawaiian island to visit, Maui is smack in the middle – it’s not too huge or too little, neither too calm or too frantic, according to U.S. News.
Maui has five zones to visit, including the famed West Maui and South Maui, which are home to some of the island’s most well-known attractions and beaches (Wailea Beach is in South Maui, for example). However, don’t miss East Maui, where you may go along the Road to Hana, or the Upcountry, where you can visit Haleakala, the world’s biggest dormant volcano.
What You Should Know Before Traveling to Maui
TIP: Because we’re talking about Hawaii, your vacation will be costly. Budget for add-ons if you need them (for example, gym access and WiFi at your hotel), and do some insurance research before you get to the car-rental counter.
Fun Fact: How’s this for a unique selling point? Maui boasts the most beach on any Hawaiian island, with 60 miles of red, white, and black sand.
3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Don’t dismiss the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora because of its small size. Bora Bora is a little more than 2 miles broad and 6 miles long, yet it packs a lot of natural beauty. To begin, you won’t be able to take your gaze away from the island’s blue lagoon, which is encircled by a thick forest.
If you want to do anything other than rest on your vacation, try hiking or taking a 4X4 tour of Mount Otemanu, which is part of an extinct volcano that rises 2,400 feet above the lagoon. You may also snorkel amid Coral Gardens’ coral reef, where you can see reef sharks, eels, and stingrays.
What You Should Know Before Visiting Bora Bora
TIP: Albeit Bora Bora may be quite costly to visit, you can save money by travelling between December and March (though you should avoid the Christmas holiday) and carrying your own booze and sunscreen.
Fun Fact: Bora Bora is one of the nations that has ceased to exist. The Kingdom of Bora Bora was an autonomous kingdom until 1888 when it was overrun and annexed by France.
2. Paris, France
Paris has it all: world-class food, iconic sites, and centuries of history. These are just a few of the reasons why, according to U.S. News, it is the world’s second finest destination to visit.
Though you’ll want to spend your time seeing major tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the Musee d’Orsay, you should also make time to explore other regions of Paris, such as the city’s 20 varied districts known as arrondissements. The romantic 18th arrondissement, with attractive squares, cafés, and bars set off from the city’s more tourist-packed neighbourhoods, and the 2nd arrondissement, which has covered tunnels and some of the city’s hippest restaurants, are two standouts.
What You Should Know Before Visiting Paris
TIP: Summer in Paris is crowded, but the weather is great, with average highs in the 70s.
Fun Fact: The Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 World Fair as a temporary structure, and it was almost demolished in 1909. Fortunately, local authorities recognised its worth as a radiotelegraph station, saving the prospective tourism attraction for future generations.
1. South Island, New Zealand
Rather than selecting a single city or area, U.S. News chose an entire island for the coveted top slot. South Island, the bigger but less populous of New Zealand’s two islands, was chosen for its “breathtaking landscape, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and cheap activities.”
They weren’t joking about the once-in-a-lifetime experiences, either. The 33.5-mile Milford Sound trip, which is restricted to 90 people at a time, is regarded as one of the greatest in the world, including stops at Lake Te Anau, suspension bridges, a mountain pass, and the country’s largest waterfall, Sutherland Falls.