The wonderful planet we live on has many fantastic places to visit. Of course, many of these places are obvious travel destinations. But once you get beyond that, it’s easy to form a long bucket list of the best places to visit. So we chose our favorite worldwide destinations that will make you grab your bags, head to the airport, and travel around the world.
Some spots are iconic places that you see people visiting everywhere. However, some of the others may be destinations you probably didn’t know existed. So, get your passport ready as we virtually travel the world to see the best of the best that our planet has to offer.
40. Paris, France
The city of love is home to many attractions that need to be on everyone’s bucket list. One of the most iconic, of course, is the Eiffel Tower. However, close by is the Arc de Triomphe, better known as the Notre Dame Cathedral. If you appreciate art and want to see the Mona Lisa, the Louvre Museum is just a few steps away (via Harpers Bazaar). There are even more sites to see and many designer shops to stop by on your way to your next destination. After a few days of walking the beautiful city, you may fall in love with it (via Forbes).
This is no Instagram filter. This geopark located west of downtown Zhangye is one of the most visited places in China for its breathtaking beauty and colorful rock formations. The mountains feel like they belong in an art gallery of nature’s wonders (via China Highlights). The area was once part of the ocean over 540 million years ago and different sedimentary rocks were formed depending on the period (via Harpers Bazaar). Over time, the river and wind erosion created colorful layers.
Santorini is one of the most popular places to visit in Greece. If you visit, you’ll figure out why it needs to be on your bucket list. Going to the top of the cliff in the Caldera will give the most breathtaking view of the ocean and the whitewashed houses that will make you want to move there and never come back (via Greeka). This fantastic island has many restaurants, hotels, red beaches, infinity pools, and historical venues to keep you busy. Just remember to have your camera ready.
This little-known island is part of a series of islands called the Raa Atoll in the Maldives region (via Wikipedia). What puts this place on our bucket list of places to visit is the island’s stunning waters. Filled with tiny creatures called phytoplankton, the ocean waters burst into light with millions of dinoflagellates at night. It creates bioluminescence, mimicking a beautiful starry night sky in the waters. You can sit and relax on the white sandy beaches and watch the twinkling of the stars (via Life Hack).
Many people have Australia as one of the best places in the world to travel to. While you’re there, we recommend you take some time and travel the Great Ocean Road (via Australia.org). It’s 150 miles long and has connected the cities of Torquay and Allansford since its completion in 1932 (via Wikipedia). It provides one of the most scenic views globally, taking travelers to several landmarks and attractions for its entire length. The road also claims the title of the world’s longest war memorial as it was built and dedicated to soldiers of the First World War.
Suppose you want a historical and archeological adventure for your next trip. If that’s the case, visit the ancient Punic Trading Post called Tipasa by the ancient Romans (via whc.unesco.org). The exciting thing about this place is that it shows how an indigenous civilization interacted with different colonizers from the 6th Century B.C. to the 6th Century A.D. with monuments, basilicas, fountains, and even an amphitheater (via Life Hack). It was a trading center with many commercial exchanges for a coastal city. It’s one of the few places in the world where this was possible and still stands today for all to admire.
This beautiful place is one that you don’t want to miss. The Mendenhall Ice Caves are a 12-mile-long glacier with stunning frozen icy blue walls (via Life Hack). The locals used to call the glacier by two names: Aak’wtaaksit, which translates to “Glacier behind the little lake,” and Sitaantaagu, which means “glacier behind the town.” If you want to visit, the only way to get to the caves is by using a kayak and then climbing over the glacier (via Atlas Obscura). So if you are ready for an extraordinary adventure, this is one for you.
One of the best locations you can find is hidden away on the Adriatic Sea. There’s a little town called Dubrovnik with a population of around 42,000 people. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979 as it is home to fantastic architecture dating back to the medieval periods of the town’s history. You can visit Rector’s Palace, the Clock Tower, Cathedral of the Assumption, and Saint Blaise’s Church. You can also partake in the annual Dubrovnik Summer Festival (via Wikipedia). It starts on July 10th, lasts for 45 days, and is full of daily concerts, games, food, art shows, and games for visitors to enjoy.
Located in the River Menderes valley, the town of Pamukkale is a water lover’s dream. The city is located on top of a giant travertine formation, leading to the natural appearance of thermal spring water pools naturally shaped over thousands of years (via Wikipedia). The collections range in temperatures from around 95 degrees to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. In the past, people called the town Hierapolis. It was the center for doctors and other healing practices. They used the thermal springs as treatments for various conditions of that era.
For people with waterfalls on their bucket lists, Iguazu Falls is generally near the top of their lists. The falls themselves are part of the Iguazu River and split the river into the upper and lower sections (via Wikipedia). The entire system is considered the largest waterfall system in the world. The main characteristic of this waterfall is the gorgeous layers of basalt towers that make up the two-step falls. Since the falls are so significant, there are multiple areas to visit and see, such as the Devil’s Throat, a canyon where approximately half the water from the river falls.
Machu Picchu is simply one of the best places in the world to visit for any traveler that has an interest in human civilizations that came before us (via Wikipedia). Among the ancient ruins of the Incan Citadel, you can find fascinating exhibits to visit such as the Intihuatana Stone. The name can be translated to “tie up the sun,” and the stone itself points directly at the sun during the Winter Solstice. If you so wish, you can start your tour at the beginning of the Inca Trail, a trail system to lead travelers through the mountain range to the summit.
Waikato has many things to offer for travelers, including rainforests and beautiful beaches. There are also the underground Waitomo caves with exciting creatures and Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, where you can go hiking and visit a predator-free forest that has looked the same for hundreds of years (via newzealand.com). If you’re a movie buff, Waikato is also the home of one of the most iconic movie sets ever made: Hobbiton, also known as The Shire in the Lord of the Rings films. So if you’re a big fan of the Lord of the Rings films, Waikato is the place to have on your bucket List (via Forbes).
If you wish to visit the Wave, you have to plan ahead of time. Due to the environmentally fragile nature of the stunning sandstone formations, only 10 permits are given for visitors daily, with an additional 10 permits available online for registered plans with a four-month advance. It’s entirely worth attempting to get access to visit The Wave. This is the only place on earth to see the unique U-shaped formations and striations in the stones formed in the Jurassic Age (via Wikipedia). Visitors can even find dinosaur tracks from the era.
In local native language, this loosely translates to “Blue Towers” National Park. In this park, visitors will find three massive granite mountains that reach 8,200 feet (via Wikipedia). Under the right weather conditions and lighting, they have colored a striking blue-gray as they tower against the skyline. Additionally, there are several glaciers you can see and visit in the park. If you’re lucky, you might also catch a glimpse of the endangered Chilean Huemul.
Who hasn’t dreamed of a trip to Venice? Traveling down the Grand Canal on a gondola during a lazy afternoon, sipping wine, and taking in the sights and smells has been portrayed in movies and media for decades. Nevertheless, while you’re there, be sure to take part in the Carnival of Venice by wearing your Venetian mask (via Wikipedia). There is also the oldest film festival in the world for film buffs. If music is more your thing, you’ll love the Teatro La Fenice or The Phoenix, a long-established Opera House that first opened in 1792. These are just a few things to do in Venice.
One of the best destinations travelers can visit is the Forbidden City, the home of emperors and China’s political center for five centuries (via Britannica). Constructed from 1406 to 1420, this palace has witnessed many important moments in China’s history and is filled with artwork and artifacts from the Ming and Qing dynasties. With 980 buildings and almost 9,000 rooms, UNESCO listed it as the most extensive collection of preserved ancient wooden structures globally. With an estimated value of $70 billion U.S. Dollars, it’s the most valuable piece of real estate in the world (via Harpers Bazaar).
If you always wanted to experience a mix of South American and Caribbean culture in one place, then this is the answer. La Isla de Providencia was once the home to an English Puritan colony in the 1600s but was later taken by Spain (via Wikipedia). It’s filled with stories of pirates like Henry Morgan, who used the island as a hub for raiding the Spanish empire, and there are even rumors that one of his treasures is buried somewhere there. It is also known for Crab Cay, a smaller island perfect for snorkeling. It’s the ideal getaway to relax and have fun in the sun (via Forbes).
Any camping and nature lover dreams of one day going to one of the nation’s most famous parks. Yosemite has a lot to offer, from the Yosemite Valley, where you’ll find some of the most renowned rock-climbing places in the world: Half Dome, El Capitan, the Sentinel rock, and many more. It also has a lot of flora and fauna diversity, with a forest of ancient sequoia trees that will keep you in awe. There are also many trails, restaurants, lodging, and shops for everyone to enjoy (via Worldwide Honeymoon).
The Vatnajökull ice caves in Skaftafeli are the largest glacier in Europe (via skaftafeli.com). This natural reserve is a dream for any nature photographer, amateur or not, to take the most breathtaking pictures you’ve ever taken of blue ice surrounding you, the highest peak, and the tallest waterfall of the region. There are tours of the area that will take you on an adventure, and you can walk to the top of the peak to have a fantastic view of the park (via Life Hack).
“The Windy City” has a lot to offer for travelers who want an urban experience. You will need at least three days to enjoy its full splendor thanks to its fabulous restaurants and shops on Michigan Avenue. Travelers can visit one of the tallest towers in the world: The Willis Tower, where you can look down at the city below, if you dare. The Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium will also keep you busy for days (via Worldwide Honeymoon).
Egypt’s capital is one of the most ancient cities globally and is filled with many places to visit and explore. Tahrir Square is the home of the Egyptian Museum, where you’ll find from royal mummies antiques to gilded King Tutankhamun artifacts. Nearby is Giza, the place where the majestic Great Sphinx and the pyramids are. With so many places to visit, Cairo is one of the best (via Forbes).
The massive Victoria falls were once called “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or “The Smokes that Thunders” by the Kololo tribe for obvious reasons; it’s the most immense curtain of falling water in the world (via Zambia Tourism). The falls are found on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and it’s so big that you can see the spray from miles away, which is convenient because they are very easy to locate. The best time to visit is between March and April when the power of the falls is at its finest (via Life Hack).
The Netherlands has the perfect weather and soil conditions for growing fields of Tulips that look like a colorful painting in the distance. The best season to see the fields in all their glory is between March and the end of May, where you will find them in many areas around the country (via Holland.com). However, most tulips farms are in the Noordoostpolder in Flevoland and along the coast of The Hague and Leiden. Even the world’s most extensive flower exhibition is called The Keukenhof, where you’ll feel like you’re in a colorful heaven of tulips (via Life Hack).
17. Capilano Suspension Bridge – Vancouver, British Columbia
For those with a truly adventurous spirit, you can test your fears on the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which crosses over the Capilano River at the height of 230 feet (via Wikipedia). Created in 1889, the bridge offers a one-of-a-kind view of the surrounding old-growth Douglas Fir Forest and the river system. The total length is just about 460 feet, and it will take you through the tops of the trees for a sight most people will never see. If you still feel adventurous after completing the walk, you can also take the recently opened Cliffwalk in the same area.
Bagan is an ancient city founded sometime during the middle of the ninth century (although it may extend further back to the second century). At its height, this place was home to over 10,000 Buddhist pagodas, temples, and monasteries (via Wikipedia). These days, a little over 2,200 remain. Nevertheless, they are still a fantastic example of the beauty and design ideas. If you do visit, be sure to check out the ‘stupas.’ They are enormous structures that house relics of the Buddhist faith. Some have been housed in these structures for centuries.
On a continent so great that it gets two entries on this list, you owe it to yourself to travel to Perth if you make it to Australia (via Wikipedia). It’s located on the Western coast of Australia and is their fourth-largest city, but it’s also one of the most isolated cities in the world due to its location. This alone gives it a unique culture and stature among world cities. While you are there, you can visit Swan Valley and its numerous wineries, restaurants, and breweries or see the Perth Zoo. Science lovers can visit the Gravity Discovery Center and Observatory for daytime or nighttime exhibits.
This might be the hottest destination to add to your bucket list, but it’s quite worth it. In the town of Naica in Chihuahua, Mexico, there is a cave called the Cave of the Crystals, which is a real-life version of Superman’s fortress of Solitude. Because of the extremely high temperatures of the cave, it has the perfect conditions to grow the largest natural selenite crystals in the world. The biggest one found to date is 39 feet tall, 13 feet in diameter and weighs 55 tons (via Life Hack).
This isolated village is for travelers who love destinations with hidden gems. The town of Gásadalur is hidden in the middle of mountains that is so secluded that it wasn’t until recently that it got a road connection with other villagers. It only had one path between the mountains, and the postman would only deliver mail three times per week. Nevertheless, this cozy village with a spectacular panoramic view over the isle of Mykines has magic air with beautiful waterfalls, and its unspoiled nature makes it the perfect place to visit (via Visit Faroe Islands).
This archipelago is technically located in the Arctic. However, it has one of the warmest temperatures you’ll find in the area because of an elevation anomaly. Its beautiful mountains and scenery surrounded by water make it the perfect destination to watch the Northern Lights in the winter (via Wikipedia). It has the largest deep coral reef globally, and it’s the home of many fish species. If you love rock climbing and surfing, this special place is one to add to your list (via Harpers Bazaar).
11. Ashikaga Flower Park – Ashikaga Tochigi, Japan
For anyone who loves a good garden, the Ashikaga Flower Park in Japan is a visit that cannot be missed. The primary draw is the wisteria trees (called Fuji in Japanese), growing enormous and having hundreds of thousands of flowers. One tree is over 150 years old and covered in a blue-violet flower shade (via My Modern Met). Many have referred to it as ‘the most beautiful tree in the world.’ Of course, you’ll also find a multitude of other trees and flowers at the park, but it’s undoubtedly worth a visit just for this one tree (via Life Hack).
For those people with a fiery heart, a trip to a park with massive volcanoes may be up their alley. Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes. Mauna Loa, the world’s largest shield volcano, is far from all this park offers. You’ll be amazed at the sight of natural, molten earth. Then, you can visit the 1790 Footprints and follow the Ainapo Trail. Don’t forget to take a tour of the Ainahou Ranch and visit the Kilauea Crater. The Volcano Art Center is also a place you must visit during your time on the island (via Wikipedia).
Barcelona is no doubt one of the most visited cities globally. The city sees nearly six million people visit its borders every year. It’s recognized as one of the most crucial travel hubs in Europe, serving over 50 million travels a year through its international ports. However, even if you are in Barcelona while traveling to another destination, you should take the time to see plenty of places. If nothing else, take some time to visit the Gothic Quarter in the heart of the old city. Some of the buildings in that part of the city are as old as when the Romans settled the city (via Wikipedia).
An original beauty found in Namibia is the Wind Cathedral. However, it’s not a Cathedral of rock and stone buildings you may think of. These are a set of dunes that range from a burning pink to an intense orange coloration when the sun strikes them perfectly. You can get the most bang for your buck by taking a sky view as you float silently over the dunes inside of a hot air balloon. These typically fill up early in the morning so be quick about it. Pack some cool clothes too as temperatures in the area often exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit (via World Atlas).
At one of our oldest destinations on the list, the caves that make up this landmark are over 400 million years old. Currently, they serve as one of the most famous Hindu temples or shrines outside of India. To reach some of the temples, you must climb a flight of stairs 272 steps high (via Wikipedia). If you arrive for your visit in January or February, you might be able to partake in the Thaipusam festival, an annual pilgrimage for Hindus that starts on the full moon. The festival celebrates the god Shiva providing the local people a mighty warrior to save their people in a war from far-off history.
Tokyo is the most populated metropolitan area in the world. For tourists, there’s not much of a better place for your bucket list. You can do practically anything you dream of in this single city. It’s a foodie’s joy and there is enough shopping to satisfy anyone—countless casinos and hotels. You can see the seat of the Emperor on your way to visit the tallest tower in the world, the Tokyo Skytree (via Wikipedia). If you time your trip correctly, you can witness the unique athleticism of Sumo wrestlers at the Kokugikan arena. It cannot be understated how much there is to do and see in this centuries-old location.
This is probably the most accessible destination to pick on this list. There’s an unbelievable number of attractions here that even if we filled up this entire article with nothing but Disney attractions, it wouldn’t be enough. A trip to Disney World is a multi-day event. You have to spend time at its four theme parks: Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and of course, Magic Kingdom. After that, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon will be calling you (via Wikipedia). There are also several golf courses, countless restaurants, and shopping centers. Visiting Walt Disney World is simply a lifetime experience that every person should have.
Niagara Falls makes this list. Why? Because even though it’s been a worldwide attraction for almost 200 years, its reputation is well-earned. Giant glaciers formed them at the end of the last ice age. The freshwater Great Lakes feed the falls. Over 30 million people yearly make the trip to witness the incredible power of 85,000 cubic feet of water per second pummeling the rocks below (via Wikipedia). If you visit the falls, be sure to stay until after sundown, you don’t want to miss the floodlights illuminating the water as it spills over, coloring the mist in beautiful, multiple colors.
3. El Yunque National Park – Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
The only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service, El Yunque is the perfect place to hike in panoramic paths surrounded by a diverse ecosystem, with unique plants and animals, including the famous coqui frog which fills the air with its song (via Harpers Bazaar). Some of the paths you can take have beautiful waterfalls and natural pools that you can jump in a refresh before taking the road back home. There is also the Yokahú tower which has a breathtaking view of the island’s many mountains and beaches (via Discover Puerto Rico).
The city of Cape Town has a bit of the best of everything: amazing beaches with clear blue waters, great culture, and panoramic views to die for (via Harpers Bazaar). It’s now wonder it is on so many bucket lists for those who loves exploring new places. You can have fun in the urban area with many places to visit with hundreds of shops and world-rated restaurants, or you can go in the wilderness and visit Table Mountain for one of the city’s best views. It’s the best of both worlds in one fantastic place (via Forbes).
When you think about the perfect destinations to visit, one place comes to mind: New York City. It’s city that never sleeps, and it’s so loved that even Frank Sinatra sang about it. There are many things to experience in The Big Apple, from the best pizza or coffee to the iconic Statue of Liberty (via Forbes). You have to visit the classic Empire State Building and Central Park. Also, match sure you catch a musical on Broadway, or go to the 5th Avenue to visit the designer shops and feel like a celebrity. The list of places to visit is endless, so take a week off and enjoy New York City to the max (via Worldwide Honeymoon).