World’s 30 Best Travel Destinations, Ranked

Best places to visit in the world.

Bali, one of the best travel destinations

The ultimate ranking of travel destinations aims to solve a serious problem: so many places to visit, so little time.

But even in a world with a trillion destinations, some manage to stand out and rise to the top. From the sleek skyscrapers of Dubai to the emerald-green waters of the Bora Bora lagoon, you’re sure to find at least one vacation that piques your interest (and likely several!).

These are the 30 best places to visit in the world. Which ones have you already been to? And which ones stoke your wanderlust most?

30. Argentine Patagonia

Traveler in Argentine Patagonia

In this region of the Andes, you’ll find glaciers, evergreen trees, deep blue lakes and clear skies everywhere you look. For a trip full of adventure and discovery, there are few better destinations on the planet.

No trip is complete without a visit to the craggy Mount Fitz Roy, the historic (and mysterious) Cave of the Hands, the Punta Tombo wildlife preserve, the Peninsula Valdes marine wildlife refuge and the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier. Be sure to bring your camera and your sense of wonder.

* Rankings are based on U.S. News & World Report's " World's Best Places to Visit ," traveler ratings as well as our own editorial input.

What to Know Before You Go to Argentine Patagonia

Argentine Patagonia Glacier National Park

Where to stay: Cyan Soho Neuquen Hotel

Hot tip: Since springtime occurs in the southern hemisphere in October and November, those months are your best bet when planning a trip.

Fun fact: The largest dinosaur fossils ever unearthed were found in Argentine Patagonia. They belong to the largest-known titanosaur, believed to have weighed about 83 tons. 

Note: We may earn money from affiliate partners if you buy through links on our site.

29. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Campania, Amalfi Coast

Set in the Sorrentina Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast has long been renowned for its natural beauty and idyllic coastal towns. During the golden age of Hollywood, it was a preferred vacation spot for glamorous movie stars.

Days here are spent eating Italian food, drinking wine and walking around colorful cobblestone streets. You can also expect to drink copious amounts of wine as you look out into the Mediterranean Sea.

The best way to see the coast is to rent a car and then drive to different towns each day.

What to Know Before You Go to the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast road

Where to stay: Hotel Marina Riviera

Hot tip:  If you're planning on using a beach chair to work on your tan, make sure you wake up early, as they are usually first come, first served.

Fun fact:  The Amalfi Coast is featured in Sofia Loren's 1995 Film, "Scandal in Sorrento."

28. Cancun, Mexico

Beach sunset in Cancun

For years, Cancun has been the preferred getaway for East Coast Americans (particularly Floridians) who want an international getaway that's still close to home. But despite the droves of tourists, the area has managed to keep the charm that attracted people in the first place.

The city is known mostly for its luxury hotels, wild nightlife and warm beaches. Definitely indulge in all of these — as well as the Mexican food! — but also consider other activities like visiting Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes and snorkeling. One thing is certain: You won't run out of things to do in Cancun .

What to Know Before You Go to Cancun

Cenote Zaci, Mexico

Where to stay: Hyatt Zilara Cancun

Hot tip:  While you're in Cancun, make a plan to visit one of Grupo Xcaret's six eco-tourism parks, with the best ones being Xcaret and Xelha. The Mexican-owned company is credited with starting the eco-tourism trend in the Yucatan Peninsula, and the parks offer incredible and varied local experiences.

Fun fact:  The Yucatan Peninsula, where Cancun is located, was the cultural, political and economic center of the Mayan civilization. Many locals have Mayan ancestry and Mayan continues to be widely spoken in the area.

27. San Francisco, California

Close up of Golden Gate Bridge

Everyone should visit San Francisco at least once in their lives. Though tech companies grab all the headlines these days, it remains down-to-earth, diverse and packed with things to do.

Where to start? No matter your style, you’ll want to check out the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, see the sunbathing sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, take a tour of the historic prison Alcatraz and relax in one of the city’s many parks, especially Dolores Park for its epic people-watching on the weekends. 

For dinner, treat your tastebuds and make a reservation at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the Bay Area .

What to Know Before You Go to San Francisco

San Francisco houses

Where to stay: The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

Hot tip: Want similarly beautiful landscapes and rich cultural attractions, but at lower prices and with (slightly) fewer crowds? Head to Oakland just across the Bay Bridge, named one of the most exciting places on earth to travel by National Geographic. 

Fun fact: The fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco by a Japanese resident. Random!

26. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls in autumn Canadian side

Niagara Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the world . The power with which water storms down cliffs on the border between the United States and Canada has captivated the imagination of humans for centuries. 

This natural wonder is comprised of three awe-inspiring falls. One of the best ways to experience them is on a boat tour.

What to Know Before You Go to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls boat tour

Where to stay: Sheraton Niagara Falls

Hot tip: There is some debate about which side of the falls is better, but the general verdict is that the Canadian side offers better views. This is because you can (ironically) get a better view of the American Falls as well as get up close to Horseshoe Falls. 

Fun fact:  Established in 1885, Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the U.S.

25. Yellowstone National Park

Bison at the Great Prismatic Spring

Located mostly in Wyoming as well as Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone is America’s first national park and remains one of the most popular in the country, welcoming more than around 3.3 million people in 2022. With unpredictable geysers, rainbow-colored hot springs, craggy peaks, shimmering lakes and tons of wildlife — from elk to boars to bison — it’s easy to see why so many people flock here. 

The park makes for an awesome family trip and is well-suited to budget travelers since it offers so many campsites ( over 2,000! ). 

What to Know Before You Go to Yellowstone

Old Faithful Geiser erupting, Yellowstone

Where to stay: Stage Coach Inn

Hot tip: You’ll never fully beat the crowds at this wildly popular park, but April, May, September and November are your best bets for finding some solitude.  

Fun fact: Yellowstone is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.  

24. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

snorkle Destinations: Great Barrier Reef, Australia

As the largest reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of marine species. This makes it a paradise for scuba diving or snorkeling. 

The reef system is truly gigantic, with over 600 islands and about 2,900 individual reefs. This is one of Australia's greatest prides, but it's also a planetary national treasure. Seeing it with your own two eyes is an experience that is incredible beyond words.

What to Know Before You Go to the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef from above

Where to stay: Crystalbrook Flynn

Hot tip: Though going underwater to see the reef is a must, we also recommend booking a helicopter tour to experience the magic of it from above.

Fun fact:  Made of corals, which are animals that live in collectives, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet.

23. Santorini, Greece

White washed houses in Santorini

With its picturesque blue-domed churches, whitewashed buildings and colorful beaches, the island of Santorini is a photographer’s paradise. If you want to snap photos to post to Instagram and make everyone back home jealous, this is the place to go. 

Also make sure to experience some of Santorini’s archaeologically significant sites, like Ancient Akrotiri (an ancient city preserved by volcanic ash) and Ancient Thera (where humans lived as early as the 9th century BC). And don’t forget to visit the smaller islands that surround it, including Thirassia, Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni. 

What to Know Before You Go to Santorini

Santorini houses

Where to stay: Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Santorini

Hot tip: To optimize your vacation, visit in September and October or April and May — when the weather is still warm, but there aren’t as many other tourists milling around.

Fun fact: While it’s difficult to prove, locals like to say there’s more wine than water on this island where it hardly rains (and vino abounds).

22. Florence, Italy

Florience center, Italy

For art and history buffs (and anyone who appreciates delicious Italian food), Florence is a must-visit city. 

As the birthplace of the Renaissance, it’s home to some of the most iconic artworks by the world’s premier artists throughout history — Michaelangelo, Brunelleschi and Donatello, just to name a few. In addition to art museums and architectural wonders, Florence is also home to chic shops, quaint cafes and spectacular gardens. 

What to Know Before You Go to Florence

Il Duomo, Florence

Where to stay:  NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa

Hot tip: Keep Florence in mind if you want to spend your honeymoon in Europe without spending a fortune, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Fun fact: The city’s famed “El Duomo” cathedral took over 140 years to build .

21. Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite, one of the most-visited national parks in America with more than 4 million annual guests, encompasses 750,000 acres of wilderness just waiting to be explored.

It’s home to scenic waterfalls, like the 317-foot Vernal Fall and the 617-foot Bridalveil Fall, as well as iconic rock formations like El Capitan and Half Dome, two popular spots for the world’s best rock climbers to test their mettle.

Not surprisingly, the wildlife here also impresses. Dozens of species of butterflies, marmots, bobcats and mule deer are just some of the animals that call Yosemite home. And keep your eyes peeled for black bears; some 300 to 500 roam the park . 

What to Know Before You Go to Yosemite

Yosemite National Park

Where to stay:  The Ahwahnee

Hot tip: Summer can get really busy here, so if you want to camp, be sure to book a spot early. Want to beat Yosemite’s notoriously bad traffic? Ditch the car and take advantage of the park’s extensive free bus system.

Fun fact: This is one of the only places in the country where you can catch a moonbow — like a rainbow, but created by the light of the moon instead of the sun. 

20. St. Lucia

St. Lucia Les Pitons

Whether you’re visiting on a cruise ship or just relaxing at an all-inclusive resort or boutique hotel, stunning St. Lucia is a clear winner. This Caribbean island offers diverse terrain for vacationers, from its pristine beaches to its lush rainforests to its volcanic peaks, the Pitons, that loom over the landscape. 

Adrenaline-junkies love hiking, climbing and zip-lining, while newlyweds (and soon-to-be-married couples) enjoy the romantic mix of fine dining, adults-only resorts and exotic activities. 

What to Know Before You Go to St. Lucia

St. Lucia boats

Where to stay: Rabot Hotel From Hotel Chocolat

Hot tip: Visit when temperatures are moderate, which is typically in May and June.

Fun fact: St. Lucia is the only country named after a woman: Christian martyr Saint Lucia of Syracuse.

19. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai skyscrappers

Everything is bigger and better in Dubai, home to one of the world’s largest shopping malls, tallest towers, largest man-made marinas — and the list goes on. 

This Las Vegas-like urban center in the United Arab Emirates has an eclectic mix of activities for visitors to enjoy, including beaches, waterparks, tons of shopping and even an indoor ski resort. Outside the skyscraper-filled city, the vast desert awaits, best enjoyed via quad-biking or sandboarding.

What to Know Before You Go to Dubai

Dubai beach

Where to stay:  Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Hot tip: Though you’re likely to pay a pretty penny for a trip to Dubai no matter when you visit, you can save a little cash by visiting during the scalding-hot summer months and by booking your hotel room two to three months in advance.

Fun fact: Dubai’s man-made Palm Islands were constructed using enough imported sand to fill up 2.5 Empire State Buildings . 

18. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Many travelers describe their visit to Machu Picchu as life-changing. Why? It’s an archaeological wonder, the remains of an ancient Incan city dating back more than 600 years. No wonder this is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most-visited attraction in all of Peru. 

Be sure to visit significant sites like Funerary Rock, where it’s believed Incan nobility were mummified, and Temple of the Condor, a rock temple sculpted to look like the impressive bird in its name.  

What to Know Before You Go to Machu Picchu

Llamas in Machu Picchu

Where to stay: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Hot tip: If you’re planning a trip, be sure to get your ticket in advance, as only 2,500 people can visit Machu Picchu each day. (And a lot of people have this destination on their bucket list.)

Fun fact: The site contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs . 

17. Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbor with boats

With its iconic Opera House and lively Bondi Beach, Sydney is the perfect spot to vacation if you’re looking for a blend of culture, arts, nightlife and relaxation. 

Spend the day on the water at Darling Harbour, then head to the Royal Botanic garden for even more fresh air. Want to travel like a local? Get a ticket to a rugby match and order a Tim Tam, a popular chocolate-covered cookie that pairs well with coffee. 

What to Know Before You Go to Sydney

Sydney Opera House in the evening

Where to stay: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Hot tip: You can make your trip more affordable by visiting during Sydney’s shoulder seasons, which are typically September through November and March through May.

Fun fact: In 2007, Bondi Beach was the site of the largest ever swimsuit photoshoot ; 1,010 bikini-clad women participated, enough to earn it a spot in the Guinness World Records book.

16. Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon from observation point

The Grand Canyon is truly massive (277 river miles long and up to 18 miles wide!), which helps explain why so many people feel the urge to see it in person. 

In 2022, 4.7 million people visited, making the Grand Canyon the second-most popular national park in the country (behind Great Smoky Mountain Nationals Park). Established in 1919, the park offers activities for all ability levels, whether you want to do an intense hike down into the canyon and sleep under the stars (with a backcountry permit, of course) or simply want to saunter along the South Rim Trail, an easy walking path with views that wow.

What to Know Before You Go to the Grand Canyon

Family in the Grand Canyon

Where to stay:  The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon

Hot tip: If you’ve wanted to visit the Grand Canyon for a while now, this is the year to do it. The park is celebrating its 100th birthday with musical performances, lectures, screenings and other special events.

Fun fact: The most remote community in the continental U.S. can be found in the Grand Canyon. At the base of the canyon, Supai Village — part of the Havasupi Indian Reservation — has a population of 208. It’s inaccessible by road, and mail is delivered by pack mule. Want to see it for yourself? The village houses a collection of campsites , accessible via a hiking trail.

15. Bali, Indonesia

Landmark Temple Gates in Bali

In recent years, Bali has become a popular expat destination, where groups of "digital nomads" work and play. 

But the island hasn't lost its original charm to this added tourism and continues to be an incredible destination. Divide your time between swimming in the beach, hiking active volcanoes, visiting temples and enjoying views of tiered rice terraces.

What to Know Before You Go to Bali

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple in Bali

Where to stay: Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach

Hot tip:  Though shoulder season (January to April and October to November) means fewer crowds and cheaper prices, it also means rain. Tons of it. We'd recommend avoiding the rainy season if possible.

Fun fact: On the Saka New Year, Balinese people celebrate Nyepi. This Hindu celebration is a day of silence when everything on the island shuts down and no noise is allowed.

14. New York, New York

New York City Manhattan

As the saying goes, New York City is “the city that never sleeps” — and you won’t want to either when you visit, lest you run out of time to take it all in. 

Be sure to check out newer attractions, like the High Line (an elevated park) and Hudson Yards (a mega-mall along the Hudson River), but also make time for some New York City classics, like catching a Broadway show or standing under the lights of Times Square. 

Foodies will have a hard time choosing where to eat (the city is home to almost 100 Michelin stars !), which is why an extended trip is always a good idea.

What to Know Before You Go to New York City

New York City Broadway

Where to stay: The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel

Hot tip: Yes, January and February get cold here, but this is also the best time to lock in relatively reasonable hotel rates. You can spend your time eating in the city’s restaurants, exploring its fabulous museums and catching its world-class theater shows without needing to spend much time in the chilly outdoors. 

Fun fact: There’s a birth in New York City about every 4.4 minutes — and a death every 9.1 minutes. 

13. Banff National Park, Canada

Banff Lake Louise

Some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery and vistas are located in Banff, the tiny Canadian town located at 4,537 feet above sea level inside the national park by the same name. Banff is the highest town in Canada, and Banff National Park was Canada’s first, established in 1885.

Shred some powder at Banff’s three ski resorts in the winter, then come back in the summer for activities like hiking, biking, fishing and scrambling (scaling steep terrain using nothing but your hands).

What to Know Before You Go to Banff

Kayaking in Banff National Park

Where to stay: Fairmont Banff Springs

Hot tip: June to August and December to March are the best times to visit if you want to take advantage of summer and winter activities. 

Fun fact: Banff National Park has more than 1,000 glaciers.

12. Maldives

Sunset in the Maldives

You can look at picture after picture, but you still really need to visit the Maldives to believe its beauty. If rich sunsets, flour-like beaches and vibrant blue waters are your style, this is the destination for you. 

Though it’s somewhat difficult to get to this small island nation southwest of Sri Lanka, that also means it’s incredibly private and secluded, which makes it the perfect spot for a honeymoon or romantic beach getaway. 

And don’t worry about getting bored, either — explore the water by snorkeling or scuba diving, relax in the spa or wander around the bustling Male’ Fish Market.

What to Know Before You Go to Maldives

Maldives overwater bungalows

Where to stay: Velassaru Maldives

Hot tip: May to October is the island-nation’s rainy season — but that also means it’s the best time to go for fewer crowds and better rates.

Fun fact: In 1153 AD, the nation’s people converted to Islam. Today, the Maldives remains the most heavily Muslim country on earth.

11. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Sagrada Familia

Soccer, architecture, shopping, nightlife, world-class food and wine, arts and culture — is there anything Barcelona doesn’t have? If there is, we honestly can't think what it would be. 

This cosmopolitan Spanish city is home to some awe-inspiring architecture, including several buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi, so be sure to book tours of his whimsical creations like Park Guell and the yet-to-be-finished Church of the Sacred Family (La Sagrada Familia). 

For nightlife and shopping, Las Ramblas is always bustling; for an enriching arts experience, follow the progression of famed artist Pablo Picasso at Museo Picasso.

What to Know Before You Go to Barcelona

Barcelona Park Guell

Where to stay:  Hotel Bagues

Hot tip: It can get really humid here, so it's best to plan your trip in May and June before things really heat up.

Fun fact: In preparation for its 1992 hosting of the Olympics, the city flew in sand from as far away as Egypt to make Barceloneta Beach a place where people would want to go. Though largely man-made, the beach remains a wonderful spot for seaside R&R. 

10. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park in the winter

The crown jewel of beautiful Montana, Glacier National Park is every outdoors traveler's dream.

Of course, the most defining natural feature of the park are its glaciers, which provide spectacular views as well as a number of pristine lakes. There are hundreds of trails that will take you up peaks, down through valleys and across some of the most beautiful landscapes you'll ever see.

What to Know Before You Go to Glacier National Park

Mountain goats at Glacier National Park

Where to stay: Firebrand Hotel

Hot tip:  Plan to spend a day or two in the nearby town of Whitefish. This gateway to Glacier National Park is one of the best small towns in America and a destination in its own right. 

Fun fact: During your visit, you're very likely to run into mountain goats, which are the official symbols of the park.

9. Tokyo, Japan

Akihabara Tokyo

The Japanese capital is one of the most exciting cities on the entire planet. It is notoriously fast-paced, with neon lights illuminating the multitudes that are constantly rushing to their next destination. 

But Tokyo is also a city of temples, of taking time to picnic under the cherry blossoms and of making sure you enjoy the abundance of delicious food that can be found on basically every corner.

What to Know Before You Go to Tokyo

Sensoji temple , Tokyo

Where to stay: The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Hot tip: Visit between the months of March and April or September and November for more comfortable temperatures. Of course, spring is when the city's cherry blossoms are famously in full bloom.

Fun fact: Tokyo happens to be the largest metropolitan area in the world, with more than 40 million people calling the greater metro area home.

8. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket boats

If you’re looking for a vacation destination that feels luxurious but won’t break the bank, start searching for flights to Phuket now. 

This island in southern Thailand, which is just an hour flight from Bangkok, is surrounded by the Andaman Sea, so white sandy beaches abound. If a stunning sunset is what you’re after, head to Promthep Cape, the southernmost point on the island and a popular spot for photo-ops. For views of the island and beyond, climb to the top of the massive alabaster statue called Big Buddha.

You can even learn something during your vacation by visiting the Soi Dog Foundation, an innovative animal shelter that’s fighting the meat trade and taking care of the thousands of stray cats and dogs in the area.

What to Know Before You Go to Phuket

Phuket temple

Where to stay: InterContinental Phuket Resort

Hot tip: Visit between November and April for the best weather — and ideal conditions for beach activities like swimming and boating. 

Fun fact: The island is not pronounced in the rather colorful way it appears to be. The correct way to say it is “poo-ket” or “poo-get.”

7. Rome, Italy

Rome, Colosseum

Though Rome’s historic significance cannot be overstated, don’t assume that this Italian city is stuck in the past. On the contrary, you’ll find posh storefronts and luxurious hotels not far from iconic structures like the Pantheon (built in 120 AD) and the Colosseum (built in 80 AD).

And then, of course, there’s the city’s art. Stroll through Rome, and you’ll stumble upon some of the greatest treasures the world has ever seen — an astonishing collection of frescoes, paintings, ceilings and fountains created by icons like Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael and Bernini.

After all that exploration, take advantage of ample opportunities to eat and drink, including at several Michelin-starred restaurants. City staples include suppli (deep-fried balls of risotto, mozzarella and ragu meat sauce) and cacio e pepe (a deceptively simple mix of al-dente pasta, pecorino romano and fresh black pepper). 

What to Know Before You Go to Rome

Rome Spanish Plaza at dawn

Where to stay: Radisson Blu Ghr Hotel

Hot tip: Tourists congregate here in the summer when temperatures are also sweltering. Go instead between October and April, when there are thinner crowds, better rates and cooler temps. Just make sure to bring a light jacket.

Fun fact: Each year, travelers throw about $1.7 million worth of coins into the Trevi Fountain. The money is donated to Caritas, a Catholic nonprofit that supports charities focused on health, disaster relief, poverty and migration.

6. London, England

Modern bridge London

English writer Samual Johnson once said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” 

From live performances of Shakespeare to truly world-class (and free!) museums like the National Gallery, London will enrich your mind and enliven your senses. Of course, no visit would be complete without a stop at Buckingham Palace to see the famous stone-faced guards outside and the 19 lavish State Rooms inside (though, unfortunately, you can’t see the queen’s private quarters). Another must-see landmark is the Tower of London, the historic castle on the north side of the River Thames.

What to Know Before You Go to London

London in the spring

Where to stay: Vintry & Mercer

Hot tip: Many U.S. cities now offer direct flights to London, so set a price alert and act fast when you see fares drop.

Fun fact: London’s pubs are worth a visit for their names alone; fanciful monikers include The Case is Altered, The Pyrotechnists Arms, John the Unicorn and The Job Centre. 

5. Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti, French Polynesia

Flavorful French cuisine, top-notch resorts, warm waters — need we say more? Though Tahiti can be pricey, travelers say it’s so worth it. 

The largest of the 118 French Polynesian islands, Tahiti is split into two main regions (connected by a land bridge). Tahiti Nui, the larger region, is home to the island’s capital Papeete and surfing hotspot Papenoo Beach, while Tahiti Iti, the smaller region, offers more seclusion and the bright white sands of La Plage de Maui.

What to Know Before You Go to Tahiti

Tahiti bungalows during sunset

Where to stay: Hilton Hotel Tahiti

Hot tip: Visit between May and October, Tahiti’s winter, when there are less humidity and rain. 

Fun fact: Overcrowding is not a concern here; Hawaii gets more visitors in 10 days than all of French Polynesia does in a year.

4. Maui, Hawaii

Rocky beach in Maui

If you’re short on time or you just can’t decide which Hawaiian island to visit, Maui is right in the sweet spot: not too big, not too small, but just right.

There are five regions to explore on Maui, including the popular West Maui and South Maui, home to some of the island’s best-known attractions and beaches (Wailea Beach is in South Maui, for example). But don’t overlook East Maui, where you can travel along the Road to Hana, or the Upcountry, where you can explore the world’s largest dormant volcano, Haleakala. 

What to Know Before You Go to Maui

Maui cave

Where to stay:  Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Hot tip: This is Hawaii we’re talking about, so your trip will be on the pricey side. Be sure to budget for add-ons if you need them (think gym access and WiFi at your hotel), and do some research on insurance before you head to the car-rental counter.

Fun fact: How’s this for a selling point? Maui has more beach than any other Hawaiian island — 60 miles of it, with red, white and black sand.

3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora overwater bungalows

Don’t write off the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora just because of its size. Though it’s a little more than 2 miles wide and just 6 miles long, Bora Bora packs in an abundance of natural beauty. To start, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the island’s turquoise lagoon surrounded by lush jungle.

If you’re looking for more than relaxation on your trip, consider hiking or booking a 4X4 tour of Mount Otemanu, part of an extinct volcano that rises 2,400 feet above the lagoon. You can also snorkel among the coral reef of Coral Gardens, where you might catch a glimpse of reef sharks, eels and stingrays.

Because of its remoteness, flying into Bora Bora Airport will be quite a journey, no matter where you're departing from. But you'll forget everything as soon as you see this Polynesian paradise that is beautiful beyond words.

What to Know Before You Go to Bora Bora

Bora Bora Island

Where to stay: Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Hot tip: Though Bora Bora can be wildly expensive to visit, you can cut costs by visiting between December and March (though you should avoid the Christmas holiday) and by bringing your own alcohol and sunscreen with you.

Fun fact: Bora Bora is one of the countries that no longer exists . The Kingdom of Bora Bora was an independent state until it was forcefully overtaken and annexed by France in 1888.

2. Paris, France

Paris from the Arc de Triumph

Paris has it all — incredible cuisine, legendary landmarks and centuries of history. Those are just some of the reasons it’s the second-best place to visit in the world.

Though you’ll want to spend your time hitting up popular tourist spots like the Eiffel Tower and the Musee d’Orsay, you should also carve out time to explore other parts of Paris — the city’s 20 diverse neighborhoods, called arrondissements, for instance. Standouts include the 2nd arrondissement, which touts covered passages and some of the city’s hippest restaurants, and the romantic 18th arrondissement, with charming squares, cafes and bars, set apart from the city’s more tourist-packed areas.

What to Know Before You Go to Paris

Paris Montmartre at dawn

Where to stay: Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal

Hot tip: Yes, summer in Paris is busy, but the weather is also ideal — average highs are in the 70s.

Fun fact: Built for the 1889 World Fair, the Eiffel Tower was originally meant to be temporary , and was almost torn down in 1909. Luckily, local officials saw its value as a radiotelegraph station, preserving the future tourist icon for generations to come. 

1. South Island, New Zealand

Milford Sound

South Island, the larger but less populated of the two islands that make up New Zealand, earn this top-spot honor for its gorgeous scenery, adrenelin-pumping experiences and affordability.

The 33.5-mile hike on Milford Sound, which is limited to 90 people at a time, is considered one of the world’s best treks, with stops at Lake Te Anau, suspension bridges, a mountain pass and the tallest waterfall in the country, Sutherland Falls.

For a heart-pumping experience, you can jump out of a helicopter while flying over the Harris Mountains with skis on your feet. Still not satisfied? Roam Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage area, and explore the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, two of the most accessible glaciers in the world.

What to Know Before You Go to New Zealand

South Island, New Zealand

Where to stay: QT Queenstown

Hot tip: Book your trip for the fall, when South Island is temperate, not overcrowded and offers great rates. Bonus: This is also when the island is at its most stunning.

Fun fact: New Zealand natives, called Kiwis, are among the most hospitable you’ll ever meet. The local saying “He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata” translates , appropriately, to “What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people.”

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The Simple Travel

Top 25 Best Countries to Visit: Your Ultimate Travel Destination Guide

Exploring different countries is super exciting, especially if you love travel and adventures. Each country has its own special things to offer: cool cultures, amazing nature, awesome buildings, interesting history, and, of course, delicious food!

If you want to discover a new place, this list of the top 25 Best Countries to Visit in the World is perfect for you to start your journey. From awesome places in Europe like Italy and Greece to fantastic spots in Asia like Vietnam, India, and Malaysia , this list has something great from every part of the world.

Get ready to explore because the world is waiting for you!

WHAT IS COVERED IN THIS ARTICLE?

Top 25 Best Countries to Visit

1. italy: the artistic jewel of europe.

Best Countries to Visit: Verona-Northern-Italy

The first on this list of best countries to visit , is Italy, the Artistic Jewel of Europe, a timeless masterpiece that beckons you with its rich history and cultural treasures. This European gem has something for everyone, from art enthusiasts to history buffs, making it a must-visit destination.

You must visit Italy at least once because it offers you an unparalleled blend of history, art, and culture to explore. Its cities, from Rome to Venice, offer a unique blend of ancient ruins, Renaissance art, and culinary delights, making it a captivating destination for all.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Italy: Don’t miss iconic sites like the Colosseum, Vatican City, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. You can explore the Uffizi Gallery, marvel at Milan’s Duomo, and wander through Pompeii’s ancient streets.

Best Time to Visit in Italy: For the best experience, you should plan a visit during spring or autumn. During these seasons, you’ll enjoy pleasant weather and fewer crowds, perfect for sightseeing and savoring the stunning landscapes!

Best Food You Must Try in Italy: You must indulge in authentic Italian cuisine, from pasta and pizza to gelato and espresso. Explore regional specialties like Neapolitan pizza, fresh seafood on the Amalfi Coast, and rich risotto in Milan, for a true taste of Italy’s culinary diversity. Your taste buds are in for a treat!

2. Germany: A Blend of Modernity and Tradition

The-Black-Forest

The second one of the best countries to visit on this list is Germany, a European treasure that offers you a delightful blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. You must visit Germany as this is a country of rich contrasts, from the modernity of its cities to the timeless charm of its villages. It’s a land of diverse experiences, welcoming both history enthusiasts and lovers of contemporary art and culture.

Main Attractions You Must Germany: Germany boasts an array of must-see attractions. You can explore the historic streets of Berlin and Munich, visit the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle, and take a step back in time to the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The beautiful landscapes of the Black Forest and Bavarian Alps are perfect for nature lovers!

Best Time to Visit Germany: You should plan your trip for late spring to early autumn for pleasant weather and the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities. The Christmas markets in December offer a unique, festive experience.

Best Food You Must Try  in Germany: Delve into German cuisine by savoring dishes like bratwurst, sauerkraut, schnitzel, and pretzels. Don’t forget to pair these hearty meals with a refreshing German beer or sample the local wines. Germany’s culinary offerings are as diverse as its landscape, and there’s something to suit every palate!

3. Turkey: Where East Meets West

Cappadocia

The next destination on our list is Turkey, a country where the East meets the West, offering you a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty.

You should visit Turkey at least once because here, you get to explore a captivating blend of ancient history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes. Undoubtedly one of the best countries to visit, It’s a place where you can witness the influence of both European and Asian civilizations, making it a unique and intriguing destination.

Main Attractions You Must in Turkey : You must visit Turkey’s historical treasures, including the magnificent Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, the rock-cut churches of Cappadocia, and the ancient city of Ephesus. You should also explore the stunning landscapes of Pamukkale’s terraces and the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia.

Best Time to Visit Turkey: You should plan your visit during the spring or autumn when the weather is mild and ideal for exploring the country. Avoid the scorching summer heat and the chilly winters.

Best Food You Must Try in Turkey: Don’t miss out on trying Turkey’s kebabs, baklava, Turkish delight, and the traditional Turkish tea or coffee. Be sure to sample local street food for an authentic taste of Turkey’s culinary heritage!

4. Spain: A Fiesta for the Senses

Alhambra-Spain

The next destination on our list is Spain, a vibrant and passionate country known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and world-renowned cuisine. You must visit Spain because it offers you a diverse range of experiences, from the historic cities of Madrid and Barcelona to the tranquil beaches of the Mediterranean.

Additionally, you can feel the fiery energy of flamenco dancing, adding an electrifying touch to your experience in this captivating country. One of the best countries to visit, in Spain, you can immerse yourself in both tradition and modernity.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Spain: Spain is teeming with iconic landmarks. You can explore the historic Alhambra in Granada, take in the surreal architecture of Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, and marvel at the ancient Roman aqueduct in Segovia. Don’t forget to savor the beautiful beaches of Costa del Sol and Costa Brava.

Best Time to Visit Spain: To make the most of your Spanish adventure, consider visiting in the spring or autumn. The weather is pleasant, and the summer crowds have dispersed. It’s an excellent time for sightseeing and enjoying the outdoor activities!

Best Food You Must Try in Spain: Spanish cuisine is a gastronomic delight with savory paella, tapas, churros, and delectable seafood dishes that you must try. Be sure to pair your meals with some fine Spanish wine, such as Rioja or Cava, and experience the rich flavors of this vibrant culture through its cuisine.

5. Greece: Mythical Landscapes and Ancient History

Santorini-Greece

The next one on our list of the best countries to visit in Europe is Greece- a country steeped in ancient history, surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean, and offering a captivating blend of culture and natural beauty.

You must visit gorgeous Greece and explore the land of myths and legends, where ancient ruins, such as the Acropolis in Athens and the Palace of Knossos in Crete, coexist with picturesque islands and a warm Mediterranean spirit. It’s a place where you can explore the birthplace of democracy and enjoy stunning seaside landscapes.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Greece: No trip to Greece is complete without visiting iconic sites like the Parthenon in Athens, the ancient city of Delphi, and the white-washed buildings of Santorini. You can also explore the historical treasures of Rhodes and the breathtaking monasteries of Meteora.

Best Time to Visit Greece: You should consider visiting Greece during the late spring or early autumn when the weather is pleasant, and the tourist crowds are thinner. This provides the perfect opportunity to explore the rich history and beautiful landscapes.

Best Food You Must Try in Greece: Greek cuisine is a delight for food enthusiasts. Savor dishes like moussaka, souvlaki, Greek salad, and baklava. Don’t forget to try local specialties like fresh seafood and Greek yogurt. Pair your meals with traditional ouzo or Greek wine for an authentic taste of Greece’s culinary heritage.

6. India: A Mosaic of Cultures

India

The next destination on our list is India, a country that offers a kaleidoscope of experiences, from its rich history and diverse cultures to its magnificent landscapes and mouth watering cuisine.

One of the best countries to visit, India is a land of contrasts and a melting pot of traditions, where ancient temples and modern cities coexist harmoniously. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in spirituality, explore historical treasures, and savor the flavors of a cuisine that’s as diverse as the nation itself.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in India: You must explore the Taj Mahal in Agra, witness the spiritual fervor of Varanasi, and discover the historical grandeur of the forts and palaces in Rajasthan. Don’t miss the natural beauty of Kerala’s backwaters or the serene Himalayan landscapes.

Best Time to Visit India: The ideal time to visit India depends on the region you plan to explore. Generally, the post-monsoon period from October to March offers pleasant weather for most parts of the country. However, be sure to check the climate for specific regions and experiences.

Best Food You Must Try in India: Indian cuisine is a tantalizing journey of flavors. Savor classics like biryani, samosas, butter chicken, and dosa. Be sure to explore regional specialties, such as the street food in Delhi, spicy curries in Goa, and the delectable sweets of West Bengal. Your taste buds are in for an unforgettable adventure through India’s culinary traditions.

7. Japan: Where Tradition Meets Innovation

Places-to-Visit-during-Winter-in-Japan

The next destination on our list of best countries to visit in Asia is Japan, a land where tradition meets modernity, offering a unique blend of ancient culture, futuristic cities, and breathtaking natural beauty.

Japan is a country of contrasts, where you can explore ancient temples and shrines in Kyoto, experience the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, and immerse yourself in traditional tea ceremonies and sumo wrestling. It’s a place that seamlessly integrates a rich heritage with cutting-edge technology.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Japan: When in Japan, make sure to visit iconic landmarks like Kyoto’s Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing, and Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park. Explore the beautiful cherry blossoms in spring and the stunning autumn foliage in places like Nikko and Kyoto.

Best Time to Visit Japan: To make the most of your Japanese adventure, you should consider visiting during the spring (late March to early April) for cherry blossoms or in the autumn (late September to early November) for colorful foliage. These seasons provide a visual feast and comfortable weather for sightseeing.

Best Food You Must Try in Japan: Japanese cuisine is renowned worldwide for its exquisite flavors. You must savor dishes like sushi, ramen, tempura, and takoyaki. Explore local specialties such as okonomiyaki in Osaka, kaiseki in Kyoto, and street food delights in Tokyo. Don’t forget to pair your meals with traditional sake or green tea to complete your culinary journey through Japan.

8. Thailand: The Land of Smiles

Phuket-Island

The next destination on our list is Thailand, a land of vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes, and mouthwatering cuisine that offers a sensory adventure like no other.

One of the best countries to visit, especially to enjoy beaches and warm weather, you must visit Thailand as it is sure to enchant you with its rich traditions, stunning temples, and bustling markets. It’s a place where you can explore ancient history, lounge on pristine beaches, and sample some of the most delectable street food in the world.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Thailand: When in Thailand, you should make sure to visit iconic sites like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho in Bangkok, the ancient city of Ayutthaya, and the temples of Chiang Mai. Don’t miss the serene beauty of the Phi Phi Islands or the lively markets of Chiang Rai.

Best Time to Visit Thailand: The ideal time to visit Thailand depends on the region you wish to visit. Generally, the cool and dry season from November to February is a great time to explore most parts of the country. However, be aware that some regions may experience variations in climate.

Best Food You Must Try in Thailand: If you love Thai cuisine, you must try it at its place of origin! You must savor dishes like pad Thai, green curry, mango sticky rice, and som tum (papaya salad). You can also explore local specialties like seafood on the Andaman coast, boat noodles in Bangkok, and street food in night markets. Thai food offers a delightful blend of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors that you won’t want to miss.

9. New Zealand: Adventure and Nature’s Beauty

New-Zealand-Hobbiton

The next destination on our list is New Zealand, a land of natural wonders, outdoor adventures, and a rich Maori heritage, making it a paradise for explorers and nature enthusiasts.

One of the best countries because of its breathtaking landscapes, you must visit New Zealand and explore its snow-capped mountains to pristine beaches, lush rainforests and crystal-clear lakes. It’s a place where you can experience the thrill of adventure sports, enjoy the tranquility of nature, and immerse yourself in a vibrant Maori culture!

Main Attractions You Must Visit in New Zealand: You must explore New Zealand’s iconic landmarks, such as Milford Sound, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, and the glowworm caves of Waitomo. Don’t miss the stunning fjords of Fiordland National Park or the geothermal wonders of Rotorua.

Best Time to Visit New Zealand: The best time to visit New Zealand largely depends on your interests. The summer months from December to February are ideal for outdoor activities, while the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn offer milder weather and fewer crowds.

Best Food You Must Try in New Zealand: While in New Zealand, sample local delicacies like green-lipped mussels, lamb, and pavlova. You should also explore the world-renowned New Zealand wines, particularly the Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region. The country’s culinary offerings reflect its diverse landscape and rich cultural influences, making it a treat for food lovers.

10. France: Elegance and Romance

Trocadero-viewpoint

The next destination on this list of best countries to visit in Europe is France, a country that epitomizes elegance, romance, and a rich cultural heritage, making it a dream destination for travelers worldwide.

You must visit France and experience the rich land of art, fashion, and culinary excellence. It’s a place where you can explore world-class museums, stroll along charming streets, and savor exquisite cuisine and wine. The country’s rich history and diverse regions ensure there’s something for every traveler.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in France: Don’t miss the iconic landmarks of France, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Palace of Versailles, and the historic Mont Saint-Michel. Explore the artistic treasures of the Louvre Museum, the picturesque vineyards of Bordeaux, and the stunning lavender fields of Provence.

Best Time to Visit France: For the best experience, you should consider visiting in the spring or autumn. During these seasons, you’ll enjoy pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and the opportunity to witness the stunning landscapes and gardens in full bloom.

Best Food You Must Try in France: French cuisine is celebrated worldwide for its sophistication and flavors. You must savor classic dishes like croissants, coq au vin, escargot, and crème brûlée. Explore regional specialties such as bouillabaisse in Marseille, duck confit in Gascony, and Alsatian tarte flambée. And, of course, pair your meals with some of the finest French wines for an unforgettable gastronomic experience in this culinary haven.

11. Malaysia: A Tropical Paradise with Cultural Riches

beaches-in-Malaysia

The next one of the best countries to visit, especially in Asia, is Malaysia. It is a lovely country of diverse culture, breathtaking landscapes, and a fusion of flavors that make it a captivating destination for travelers seeking a mix of experiences.

You must visit Malaysia and experience its vibrant blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous cultures, creating a unique cultural tapestry. It’s a place where you can explore bustling cities, pristine beaches, tropical rainforests, and experience a harmonious coexistence of tradition and modernity.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Malaysia: When in Malaysia, make sure to visit iconic sites such as the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur , the historic city of George Town in Penang, and the stunning beaches of Langkawi. You should also explore the cultural diversity of Malacca, the lush Cameron Highlands, and the wildlife in Borneo.

Best Time to Visit Malaysia: Malaysia has a tropical climate, so it’s warm and humid throughout the year. The best time to visit is during the dry season, from December to February or June to August, when the weather is more pleasant for outdoor activities.

Best Food You Must Try in Malaysia: Malaysian cuisine is a true delight, with a mix of flavors and influences. You must savor dishes like nasi lemak, laksa, satay, and roti canai. Explore regional specialties such as rendang in Kelantan, Hainanese chicken rice in Penang, and seafood in Sabah. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the diverse street food, where you’ll discover a culinary paradise in every bite.

12. Switzerland: Alpine Splendor

Jungfraujoch

The next destination on our list is Switzerland, a country renowned for its stunning Alpine landscapes, precision engineering, and a rich cultural heritage that beckons travelers from around the world.

Known as one of the best countries to visit, Switzerland is a picturesque wonderland that you must explore. This amazing country is an ideal mix of natural beauty and modern amenities. It’s a place where you can explore the snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps, indulge in world-famous chocolates, and experience a sense of order and tranquility that is second to none.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Switzerland: You must explore the iconic Swiss landmarks like the Matterhorn, Lake Geneva, and the Swiss National Park. Don’t forget to explore the charming cities of Zurich, Lucerne, and Bern, each with its own unique character. Take a scenic train journey on the Glacier Express or the Bernina Express to immerse yourself in the breathtaking mountain scenery.

Best Time to Visit Switzerland: The best time to visit Switzerland largely depends on your interests. Winter is perfect for skiing and snow sports, while summer offers opportunities for hiking and outdoor adventures. The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn are great for milder weather and fewer crowds.

Best Food You Must Try  in Switzerland: Swiss cuisine is a delightful blend of German, French, and Italian influences. Here, you can try out dishes like fondue, raclette, rösti, and Swiss chocolate. Explore regional specialties, such as rosti in Zurich, Swiss cheese in Gruyères, and pastries in the Engadin. Don’t forget to pair your meals with fine Swiss wines and discover the culinary treasures of this alpine paradise.

13. Canada: Wilderness and Urban Wonders

Banff-National-Park-Canada

The next destination on our list of best countries to visit, especially in North America, is Canada. It is a vast and diverse country known for its natural beauty, multicultural cities, and friendly locals, offering an array of experiences for travelers.

You must visit Canada and explore its wide-open spaces, pristine wilderness, and a rich tapestry of cultures. It’s a place where you can explore vibrant cities like Toronto and Vancouver, witness the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, and experience a welcoming and inclusive society.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Canada: When in Canada, make sure to visit iconic sites such as Banff National Park, Niagara Falls, and Old Quebec. You should also explore the multicultural city of Toronto, the coastal beauty of Vancouver, and the historic charm of Quebec City.

Best Time to Visit Canada: The ideal time to visit Canada depends on the region. Summer (June to August) is perfect for exploring most parts of the country, while the fall (September to October) offers stunning foliage displays. If you enjoy winter sports, visit during the snowy months.

Best Food You Must Try in Canada: Canadian cuisine reflects its diverse culture and regional influences. Savor dishes like poutine, butter tarts, Nanaimo bars, and tourtière. Also, don’t miss out on trying out regional specialties like fresh seafood in the Maritimes, maple syrup in Quebec, and wild game in the northern territories. Don’t forget to pair your meals with Canadian craft beer and ice wine for a true taste of the country’s culinary diversity.

14. Mexico: Ancient Ruins and Vibrant Colors

Tulum

The next destination on our list is Mexico, a country brimming with vibrant culture, ancient history, and a culinary tradition that is celebrated worldwide.

Undoubtedly one of the best countries to visit for a relaxing, beachy vacation, Mexico also offers you a rich tapestry of experiences, from exploring the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza to lounging on pristine beaches and savoring the flavors of its diverse cuisine. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in colorful traditions and explore the past while enjoying modern amenities.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Mexico: Don’t miss out visiting iconic Mexican landmarks such as the Mayan temples in Tulum, the historic center of Mexico City, and the lively markets of Oaxaca. Explore the stunning beaches of Cancun and the Yucatan Peninsula, and delve into the natural beauty of places like Copper Canyon.

Best Time to Visit Mexico: The best time to visit Mexico depends on your interests. Winter is ideal for beach destinations, while the spring and fall offer pleasant weather for exploring cultural sites and cities. Be mindful of the hurricane season in some coastal regions during the summer.

Best Food You Must Try in Mexico: Mexican cuisine is a feast for the senses, known for its bold and diverse flavors. You must try out dishes like tacos, enchiladas, guacamole, and chiles en nogada. Explore regional specialties, such as mole in Puebla, ceviche in Baja California, and street food delights in Mexico City. Pair your meals with traditional Mexican beverages like tequila and mezcal to complete your culinary journey through Mexico.

15. Vietnam: History and Scenic Beauty

Ho-chi-minh-city-vietnam

The next one of the best countries to visit is Vietnam. It is a beautiful country with a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and a cuisine that’s known for its flavors and diversity.

You must visit Vietnam because it is a captivating blend of old-world charm and modern dynamism. It’s a place where you can explore ancient temples and pagodas, sail through picturesque limestone karsts in Halong Bay, and savor the taste of street food that’s beloved around the world.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Vietnam: When in Vietnam, you must not forget to visit iconic landmarks like the ancient town of Hoi An, the bustling streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, and the vibrant floating markets of the Mekong Delta. Also, explore the natural beauty of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and the historical significance of the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Best Time to Visit Vietnam: Vietnam’s climate varies by region. Generally, the best time to visit is during the dry season, which is from November to April, when you can enjoy pleasant weather for traveling and exploring.

Best Food You Must Try in Vietnam: Vietnamese cuisine is celebrated for its fresh and flavorful dishes. You must try out the classics like pho, banh mi, spring rolls, and goi cuon (fresh spring rolls). Also, try out the regional specialties such as cao lau in Hoi An, bun cha in Hanoi, and seafood in coastal regions. Vietnamese cuisine is a culinary adventure that offers a delightful burst of flavors and a rich cultural experience.

16. Maldives: A Tropical Paradise in the Indian Ocean

Maldives-Travel-Guide

The next destination on our list is the Maldives , one of the best countries to visit to have the experience of a tropical paradise. This gorgeous country is known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a tranquil ambiance that makes it the ultimate escape for sun and sea enthusiasts.

Why You Should Visit Maldives: The Maldives is a picture-perfect destination where you can relax in overwater bungalows, snorkel amidst vibrant coral reefs, and experience the epitome of luxury and serenity. It’s a place where you can create unforgettable memories in an idyllic setting.

Main Attractions You Must Visit Maldives: While the Maldives is renowned for its laid-back, beach-centric lifestyle, you must ensure to explore its underwater world through snorkeling or diving. Also, don’t forget to discover the stunning marine life, coral gardens, and the beauty of nature on islands such as Maafushi and the cultural nuances of Malé.

Best Time to Visit Maldives: The best time to visit the Maldives is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. This period offers the most favorable weather for sunbathing and water activities. Be cautious about the monsoon season, which typically occurs from May to October.

Best Food You Must Try Maldives: Maldivian cuisine is a delightful blend of fresh seafood, coconut, and aromatic spices. Savor dishes like mas huni, garudhiya, and curries. Sample the catch of the day, as well as international cuisine available at luxury resorts. Fresh fruit and coconuts are abundant, making it a tropical culinary experience for every visitor.

17. Morocco: A Blend of Desert and Medina

Sahara-Desert

The next destination on our list is Morocco, one of the best countries to visit to experience a mesmerizing blend of exotic landscapes, vibrant culture, and a rich historical heritage, making it a captivating destination for adventurers and culture enthusiasts.

You must visit Morocco because it is a land of diverse experiences, where you can explore ancient medinas, ride camels through the Sahara Desert, and immerse yourself in the lively markets and Moroccan cuisine. It’s a place where you can step back in time while enjoying the conveniences of the modern world.

Main Attractions You Must Visit Morocco: Don’t miss iconic Moroccan landmarks such as the medina of Marrakech, the historic town of Fes, and the blue city of Chefchaouen. Explore the Atlas Mountains, visit the Roman ruins of Volubilis, and take a camel trek into the Sahara Desert for a magical desert experience.

Best Time to Visit Morocco: The best time to visit Morocco is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is moderate and ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Summers can be scorching, and winters can be chilly in some regions.

Best Food You Must Try in Morocco: Moroccan cuisine is a feast for the senses, known for its vibrant flavors and aromatic spices. Savor dishes like tagine, couscous, kebabs, and pastilla. You must explore its regional specialties such as harira in Marrakech, seafood in coastal towns, and street food delights in markets. Don’t forget to enjoy Moroccan mint tea, a symbol of hospitality, and a wide array of pastries and desserts. Your taste buds will be delighted by the culinary treasures of Morocco.

18. South Africa: Safari Adventures and More

Cape-Town

The next destination on our list is South Africa, a country known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, offering a unique blend of experiences for travelers.

One of the best countries to visit in Africa, South Africa is a land of contrasts, where you can explore breathtaking national parks, experience vibrant cities, and delve into its complex history. It’s a place where you can go on safari to witness the “Big Five” and enjoy modern amenities in a country with a rich cultural tapestry.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in South Africa: you must explore the iconic South African landmarks such as Table Mountain in Cape Town, the historic Robben Island, and the stunning Garden Route. Explore the wildlife of Kruger National Park, the Zulu heritage in KwaZulu-Natal, and the scenic beauty of the Drakensberg Mountains.

Best Time to Visit South Africa: The best time to visit South Africa depends on the region and your interests. Generally, the dry winter months (May to September) are ideal for wildlife safaris, while the summer months (October to March) are great for coastal and cultural experiences.

Best Food You Must Try in South Africa: South African cuisine is a delightful mix of flavors and influences. You have to savor dishes like bobotie, boerewors, bunny chow, and milk tart. Explore regional specialties such as seafood in Cape Town, boerekos in the Karoo, and braai (barbecue) in various regions. Be sure to pair your meals with local wines, particularly the celebrated wines from Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, for an authentic culinary journey through South Africa.

19. Portugal: Coastal Beauty and History

Lisbon

The next destination on our list is Portugal, a country known for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and a warm, welcoming culture that makes it a delightful destination for travelers.

One of the best countries to visit in Europe, Portugal is a country that offers you a treasure trove of experiences, from exploring historic cities like Lisbon and Porto, to savoring world-renowned wines and enjoying the tranquil beaches of the Algarve. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in tradition while embracing modern comforts.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Portugal: you must not miss iconic Portuguese landmarks such as the historic neighborhoods of Alfama and Ribeira, the charming town of Sintra, and the Douro Valley wine region. Explore the coastal beauty of the Algarve, the ancient University of Coimbra, and the cultural diversity of Madeira and the Azores.

Best Time to Visit Portugal: The best time to visit Portugal is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is mild, and the tourist crowds are thinner. Summers can be hot, especially in the south, and winters are generally mild and great for cultural exploration.

Best Food You Must Try in Portugal: Portuguese cuisine is celebrated for its flavors and variety. Savor dishes like bacalhau (salted codfish), pastéis de nata (custard tarts), and francesinha (a hearty sandwich). You should also explore regional specialties such as seafood in Lisbon, the famous Porto wine, and the spicy peri-peri chicken in Algarve. Don’t forget to try the local cheeses and indulge in the wines of the Douro Valley. Portugal’s culinary offerings are a gastronomic delight for every traveler.

20. Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice

Reykjavik

The next destination on our list is Iceland, a land of breathtaking natural beauty, dramatic landscapes, and a unique blend of geothermal wonders, making it a captivating destination for adventurers and nature enthusiasts.

You must visit Iceland at least once in your lifetime because it is a country that invites you to explore its otherworldly landscapes, including glaciers, volcanoes, and geysers. It’s a place where you can witness the mystical Northern Lights, soak in natural hot springs, and experience a culture deeply rooted in Viking heritage.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Iceland: You must visit its iconic Icelandic landmarks such as the Golden Circle, including Geysir, Gullfoss waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park. Explore the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, the Blue Lagoon, and the volcanic landscapes of Landmannalaugar. Witness the stunning waterfalls of Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

Best Time to Visit Iceland:

The best time to visit Iceland depends on your interests. Summer (June to August) is ideal for exploring the highlands and the Midnight Sun. Winter (November to February) is perfect for witnessing the Northern Lights, but the weather can be quite cold.

Best Food You Must Try in Iceland: Icelandic cuisine offers unique and hearty flavors. You must try out dishes like lamb stew, skyr (a type of yogurt), and Icelandic hot dogs. Explore regional specialties such as fermented shark (hákarl), rye bread baked in geothermal springs, and fresh seafood like arctic char and langoustines. Be sure to try the traditional Icelandic schnapps called Brennivin, and experience the local culinary culture with its distinct charm. Your taste buds are in for a distinctive Icelandic culinary adventure.

21. Australia: Down Under Adventures

Sydney Harbour Bridge Facts

The next destination on our list is Australia, a vast and diverse country known for its stunning natural beauty, unique wildlife, and a laid-back lifestyle that makes it a fascinating destination for travelers.

Another one of the best countries to visit, Australia is a land of contrasts, where you can explore bustling cities like Sydney and Melbourne, experience the tranquility of the Outback, and witness the distinctive wildlife, including kangaroos and koalas. It’s a place where you can enjoy both cultural attractions and the great outdoors.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Australia: you must definitely visit the iconic Australian landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, and Uluru. Don’t forget to explore the urban sophistication of Sydney, the artistic flair of Melbourne, and the wilderness of the Daintree Rainforest and the Kimberley region.

Best Time to Visit Australia: The best time to visit Australia depends on your interests and the region you plan to explore. Generally, the spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) offer pleasant weather for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Be mindful of the summer heat and tropical monsoon seasons in some areas.

Best Food You Must Try in Australia: Australian cuisine is a mix of fresh, diverse flavors influenced by various cultures. You just have to savor dishes like meat pies, Vegemite, Tim Tams, and lamingtons. Explore regional specialties such as seafood in Tasmania, Barramundi in the Northern Territory, and coffee culture in Melbourne. Be sure to pair your meals with Australian wines, particularly the world-renowned wines from regions like the Barossa Valley and Margaret River, for an authentic culinary journey through Australia.

22. Peru: Inca Ruins and Amazon Rainforest

Machu-Picchu-Peru

The next destination on our list is Peru, a country known for its ancient history, breathtaking landscapes, and a culinary tradition that is celebrated worldwide, making it a captivating destination for adventurers and food enthusiasts.

One of the best countries to visit in South America, Peru is a land of contrasts, where you can explore the mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu, traverse the Andes mountains, and savor the rich flavors of its diverse cuisine. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant traditions and history of the Inca civilization.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Peru: You must explore the iconic Peruvian landmarks such as Machu Picchu, Cusco’s historic city center, and the Nazca Lines. Explore the Amazon Rainforest, Lake Titicaca, and the colorful Rainbow Mountain. Witness the condors at Colca Canyon and the bustling markets of Pisac.

Best Time to Visit in Peru: The best time to visit Peru largely depends on the region. The dry season from May to September is perfect for visiting Machu Picchu and exploring the Andes. The shoulder seasons are great for less crowded experiences, while the Amazon is best visited during the rainy season from November to April.

Best Food You Must Try in Peru: Peruvian cuisine is known for its flavors and diversity. Don’t forget to try dishes like ceviche, lomo saltado, and causa. Explore regional specialties such as rocoto relleno in Arequipa, cuy (guinea pig) in Cusco, and Amazonian cuisine in Iquitos. Be sure to savor the famous Pisco Sour and enjoy local fruits like lucuma and chirimoya. Your taste buds will be treated to a gastronomic adventure through Peru’s culinary heritage.

23. Indonesia: Tropical Paradise and Cultural Riches

Bali-Indonesia

The next destination on our list is Indonesia, a vast and diverse archipelago known for its natural beauty, vibrant culture, and a culinary tradition that tantalizes the taste buds, making it a captivating destination for travelers.

Another one of the best countries to visit in Asia, Indonesia is a land of endless possibilities, where you can explore ancient temples like Borobudur, relax on pristine beaches, and discover a rich tapestry of cultures across its islands. It’s a place where you can experience lush rainforests, majestic volcanoes, and an underwater paradise for divers and snorkelers.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Indonesia: Don’t miss iconic Indonesian landmarks such as Borobudur and Prambanan temples in Java, the serene beauty of Bali’s rice terraces, and the Komodo Islands. You should also explore the vibrant city of Jakarta, the cultural heart of Yogyakarta, and the natural wonders of Raja Ampat.

Best Time to Visit Indonesia: The best time to visit Indonesia varies by region and your interests. Generally, the dry season from April to October is ideal for most destinations. Be aware of the rainy season from November to March, which may affect some areas more than others.

Best Food You Must Try in Indonesia: Indonesian cuisine is a culinary adventure filled with rich flavors and aromatic spices. Some of the must-try dishes here are nasi goreng, rendang, satay, and gado-gado. Explore regional specialties such as mie ayam in Surabaya, soto in Jakarta, and Padang cuisine in West Sumatra. Be sure to try traditional Indonesian beverages like teh botol and es cendol, and enjoy exotic fruits like durian and rambutan. Your culinary journey through Indonesia will be a sensory delight.

24. Bhutan: The Land of Happiness

Bhutan Travel Guide

The next destination on our list is Bhutan, a land of pristine landscapes, rich culture, and a deep spiritual heritage that makes it a unique and captivating destination for travelers seeking a Himalayan escape.

One of the best countries to visit to explore untouched beauties of nature, Bhutan is a country that you must visit. Explore its gorgeous snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, and ancient monasteries because it’s a place where you can witness the spiritual devotion of its people, experience traditional festivals, and appreciate a commitment to sustainable living.

Main Attractions You Must Visit in Bhutan: the  iconic Bhutanese landmarks you must visit are such as the Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, the capital city Thimphu, and the Punakha Dzong. Explore the serene valleys of Phobjikha and the biodiversity of Jigme Dorji National Park. Immerse yourself in Bhutan’s unique culture by attending a local festival or exploring the traditional architecture of its dzongs and monasteries.

Best Time to Visit Bhutan: The best time to visit Bhutan largely depends on your interests. The spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) offer pleasant weather, clear skies, and colorful flora. The winter months are great for enjoying snowfall in the highlands, while the monsoon season from June to August brings lush green landscapes but occasional rain.

Best Food You Must Try in Bhutan: Bhutanese cuisine is known for its unique flavors and use of chilies. You must try out dishes like ema datshi (chili and cheese), phaksha paa (pork with radish), and momo dumplings. Explore regional specialties such as yak meat and butter tea. Be sure to try ara, a local spirit, and enjoy Bhutan’s culinary traditions, which reflect its mountainous terrain and agricultural lifestyle. Your taste buds will be treated to a distinct culinary experience in Bhutan.

25. Netherlands: Canals and Windmills

Amsterdam

The final best on our list of best countries to visit, is the Netherlands. It is a lovely country known for its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and a vibrant cultural scene that makes it a captivating destination for travelers.

You must visit The Netherlands and explore this magical land of charming canals, historic windmills, and world-class art. It’s a place where you can explore picturesque cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht, witness the beauty of tulip fields in spring, and enjoy a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Main Attractions You Must Visit the Netherlands: The iconic Dutch landmarks you must visit are such as the canals of Amsterdam, the historic Anne Frank House, and the Keukenhof Gardens during tulip season. Also, don’t forget to explore the windmills at Kinderdijk, the historic city of Delft, and the tulip fields in Lisse. Immerse yourself in Dutch art at the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum.

Best Time to Visit the Netherlands: The best time to visit the Netherlands depends on your interests. Spring (March to May) is ideal for witnessing the tulip fields in bloom. Summer (June to August) is perfect for outdoor activities, and autumn (September to November) offers milder weather and fewer tourists. Be prepared for cooler temperatures in winter.

Best Food You Must Try in the Netherlands: Dutch cuisine offers a mix of hearty and flavorful dishes. Savor dishes like bitterballen, haring, erwtensoep (pea soup), and poffertjes (mini pancakes). You must also try out regional specialties such as stamppot in the north, Dutch cheese in Gouda, and seafood in Zeeland. Don’t forget to pair your meals with Dutch beer or genever (Dutch gin), and experience the country’s culinary heritage, which reflects its maritime history and agricultural traditions. Your culinary journey through the Netherlands will be a delightful experience.

In conclusion, the world of travel is a realm filled with boundless possibilities and incredible experiences. Among all of these best countries to visit, you are going to witness the extraordinary diversity our planet has to offer. From stunning natural landscapes to rich cultural heritage, each destination invites you to embark on a transformative journey.

Don’t you also wish to explore and experience all the beauties of nature and culture these unique destinations have to offer?

If you enjoyed reading this article, check out our article on the best cities to visit in the world . Do leave us a comment and share your adventures! 

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An aerial view of Karpathos and the surrounding sea

  • BEST OF THE WORLD

25 breathtaking places and experiences for 2023

Looking for your next adventure? You’ll find it on our annual list of the world’s best destinations for travelers.

Travel inspiration is everywhere you look. The question is where to go next. Here’s our annual list of superlative destinations for the year ahead—places filled with wonder, rewarding to travelers of all ages, and supportive of local communities and ecosystems. Reported by our global editors and framed by five categories ( Community , Nature , Culture , Family , and Adventure ), these 25 destinations for 2023 are under the radar, ahead of the curve, and ready for you to start exploring.

Community: Where conservation benefits everyone

A man visits and leans on the Profitis Ilias chapel overlooking the sea

Discover Karpathos, Greece, a surprising and sublime spot in the Dodecanese Islands , where women-led ventures are leading the charge in sustainable tourism. Spend a long weekend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin , a vibrant Great Lakes city that celebrates its cultural community as much as its breweries. Experience how long-held traditions and contemporary perspectives intersect, with Indigenous tourism outfitters in Alberta, Canada . Board a new high-speed train that makes lesser known regions of Laos accessible to tourists and brings economic opportunities to locals. Head to Ghana to explore Black heritage and hang out with a fashion-forward crowd in the capital, Accra. ( Learn more about how these Best of the World destinations support their communities. )

Nature: Escapes to wild, beautiful places

A zebra herd exits a deep spillway on the Selinda Reserve

Marvel at the biodiversity of Botswana —as well as the programs to rehabilitate endangered species, create wildlife corridors, and develop community-owned tourism projects. Linger in the   Scottish Highlands , where a rewilding movement is aiming to restore the original landscape and native flora and fauna. In Slovenia , a longtime leader in sustainable tourism, set off on new gastrotourism biking routes that visit farms, vineyards, cheesemakers, and other food producers. Big Bend National Park   brings to life the frontier legend of Texas—but the landscape will also surprise you. In the Azores ,   applaud   award-winning sustainability programs that conserve the natural wonders of this volcanic archipelago known for whale watching and thermal springs.   ( Delve into our best destinations for nature lovers. )

Culture: Places where history and heritage rule

Portrait of Dr. Mohamed Abdel Moneim Megahed, Egyptian Archaeologist, inside the tomb of Khoi in Djedkare Cemetery at the Archaeological Area in Saqqara

Visit King Tut’s new home in Egypt at Cairo’s Grand Egyptian Museum and see Luxor’s Avenue of the Sphinxes. Tap into the creative energy of Asia’s top film festival and sip craft beer in Busan, South Korea , the nation’s second largest city. Make a pilgrimage through history along Italy’s Appian Way , Europe’s ancient “superhighway.” Explore culture and history—with a side of Low Country cuisine—at the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Caroli na . See one of the world’s largest assemblages of stone statues at Longmen Grottoes , a UNESCO World Heritage site in Henan Province, China.   ( Here’s how to visit these Best of the World destinations .)

Family: Inspiring journeys for all ages

A train in Switzerland runs on the track along the coast through the wine country

In Switzerland , ride the rails to quaint Alpine towns for chocolate, hiking, and skiing. Help save the turtles in Trinidad & Tobago , one of the most important leatherback turtle rookeries in the world. In San Francisco, California ,   gather around a campfire with Golden Gate views at Presidio Tunnel Tops and hike the urban Crosstown Trail.   Go birdwatching in the avian paradise that is Colombia , the enchanted land of Disney’s Encanto.   Visit the playing grounds of a storied soccer team in Manchester, England —and be inspired by the city’s art scene as well.   ( Explore more of these family-friendly destinations .)

Adventure: Adrenaline-pumping outdoor excursions  

Aerial view of the Hanan zone (high) and the hurin zone (low) of the Choquequirao arqueological center

Trek to Choquequirao, Peru ,   an isolated Inca site that’s under the radar—but soon to be more accessible. In New Zealand , the country that invented bungee jumping, rekindle your sense of adventure post-pandemic. Get your adrenaline rush in less visited areas of the popular adventure state of Utah . In Austria , hike the cross-country Bergsteigerdörfer network of mountaineering villages to sample local culture. Finally, add Revillagigedo National Park, Mexico , to your itinerary. Its protected waters, supported by National Geographic’s Pristine Seas initiative, hold one of the largest aggregations of sharks and manta rays in the world.   ( Dive deeper into these adventure trips. )

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The 40 Most Beautiful Countries in the World

By Caitlin Morton

China

Every country in the world has something to offer, from local cuisine to groundbreaking architecture . But actually ranking the most beautiful countries in the world? That's a bit trickier (eye of the beholder, and what not). That’s why we let the World Economic Forum do much of the work for us: Every year, the foundation releases their Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report , a survey that ranks the world’s countries based on various factors, from safety to life expectancy—and yes, even natural resources. 

The latter takes into consideration details like total animal species, the number of UNESCO World Heritage sites , and the amount of protected ecosystems—and 2022’s results are as stunning as ever. We pulled the top 30 countries from the all-encompassing “natural resources” section of the WEF’s report , and then polled Traveler editors for their personal picks (consider them bonus entries, if you will) to put together this list of the world’s most beautiful countries. Get ready to swoon.

This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

Australia

Australia ’s natural beauty is unrivaled—from the Great Barrier Reef to the wild isolation of the Outback, to the winelands of Victoria. Witnessing the majesty of Uluru should be on every traveler’s bucket list, whether viewed from above by helicopter or from a distance at ground level during the technicolor sunset. Another must-see? Tasmania . The island state’s mountain wilderness and pristine coastline are remarkably beautiful.

Cabo San Lucas Memorial Day Getaways

Home to 67 national parks, more than 5,000 miles of coastline, and landscapes ranging from deserts to snow-capped volcanoes, Mexico ranks high on this list for a reason. The state of Oaxaca lays claim to wild, crowd-free beaches and Hierve el Agua, a set of natural rock formations and mineral springs. Down in the southern state of Chiapas, the Sumidero Canyon astounds with 3,000-foot cliff walls, caves, and waterfalls. Mexico also takes great lengths to protect its wildlife: the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve northwest of Mexico City welcomes millions of butterflies every autumn, while the whale sanctuary in El Vizcaino is an important reproduction site for grey and blue whales .

The Amazon

There is no shortage of grandeur in Brazil , whether you’re standing below the horseshoe-shaped falls of Iguazu, kayaking through the incomparable Amazon, or looking out from the peak of Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro . Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago off the northeast coast, features some of the best beaches in the country . Lençóis Maranhenses National Park boasts blindingly white sand dunes juxtaposed against turquoise lagoons. Then there’s the biodiversity—the greatest on the planet, to be exact. It’s not uncommon to spot jaguars, spider monkeys, piranhas, giant water lilies, and mangroves (among several other million species).

Antelope Canyon

The United States of America

You could spend a lifetime exploring the sites of America, all as beautiful as they are diverse. Hawaii’s vertical Na'Pali Coast is easily one of the most beautiful coastlines on the planet. Denali National Park in Alaska is worth braving the extreme low temperatures. And perhaps you’ve heard of a charming little tourist destination known as the Grand Canyon ?

China

China has 56 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within its borders—the second-most of any country in the world (after Italy, which has 58). Here you’ll find otherworldly landscapes like the Zhangye National Geopark, whose striped, technicolor mountains are basically Mother Nature’s answer to Photoshop. You can also see skyscraper-like sandstone pillars at Wulingyuan Scenic Area, endless fields of yellow rapeseed plants in Luoping County, and multicolored lakes in the Jiuzhaigou Valley—and that’s just for starters.

India

Home to Himalayan peaks and Indian Ocean beaches, India’s terrain can only be described as breathtaking. Kerala is easily one of the most country’s most beautiful states, with elephants and tigers, lush lagoon networks, and tea plantations. There are incredible stretches of sand even outside of Kerala, like Marina Beach in unsung Tamil Nadu, or Chandipur Beach in Orissa, where tides recede nearly three miles out to sea. The Valley of Flowers National Park is spectacular, as hundred of species of alpine flowers carpet the western Himalayas in chromatic glory.

Canada

Oh, Canada. The world’s second-biggest country has almost too much spectacular scenery to single out favorites. But if we had to pick, we’d start with the remote Torngat Mountains National Park, a land of polar bears and caribou, glaciers and fjords, and a stretch of mountains you’re not likely to ever forget. Truly all of the country’s 48 national parks are worth a visit, from Alberta’s serene Banff to Yukon’s extreme Kluane.

Raja Ampat Indonesia

One of the crown jewels of Southeast Asia, Indonesia has some of the best islands in the world . First up is the spiritual, sun-kissed paradise that is Bali . It is crowded, yes; but you can still find enclaves of quiet in places like the central region of Tabanan, with its waterfalls, butterfly parks, and UNESCO-protected rice fields. Located off the coast of West Papua, the Raja Ampat Islands are a scuba diver’s dream with blue channels and biodiverse reefs. And don’t forget about the relatively crowd-free island of Flores , complete with white sand beaches and steep green hills.

France

France is the stuff fairytales are made of, with fields of lavender and castles at every turn. The country’s coastline beckons travelers from all over the world, whether it’s to the beaches of Biarritz, white cliffs of Normandy, or any one of the glitzy towns along the French Riviera . For some truly untouched nature, make a beeline for the island of Corsica; if it’s ski slopes you’re after, head west to Mont Blanc.

Colombia

Colombia ’s incredible landscape deserves to be recognized, and not just because it contains parts of the Amazon rainforest and the Andes mountain range. Tayrona National Park is one of the most picturesque places in South America, with beaches dotted with coconut palms and rainforests sitting nearly 3,000 feet above sea level. The ochre desert meets the aquamarine sea at Cabo de la Vela, a unique cape surrounded by rocky cliffs—it’s hard to get to, sure, but absolutely worth it.

Spain

Aside from its world-class beaches (like Playa de Las Catedrales in Galicia, pictured), Spain is home to 16 national parks, including five in the Canary and Balearic Islands. Doñana National Park is home to five threatened bird species, plus scenic marshes and sand dunes. Teide National Park has the tallest mountain in the country (Mount Teide) and third tallest volcanic structure in the world (Pico Viejo).

Japan

Japan is at once serene and exhilarating, ancient and unexpected. The subtropical Ogasawara Islands offer pristine beaches, exceptional snorkeling and whale watching, and forests packed with 195 endangered bird species. Solitary Mount Fuji is the country's most iconic landmark, rising above villages and reflecting on lakes’ surfaces. Even the cities here are bursting with natural beauty: see Kyoto ’s scattering of cherry blossoms and Arashiyama bamboo forest, or the calm, grassy parks of Tokyo .

South Africa Warm Places to Visit in December

South Africa

South Africa is one of the best safari destinations in Africa, offering easy access to the “Big Five” (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) at places like Kruger National Park. Looking for penguins? Boulders Beach is just an hour’s drive south from Cape Town. If you can believe it, the landscapes here are even more diverse than the wildlife, from wildflower-filled Namaqualand to the soaring Drakensberg Mountains to the Blyde River Canyon. Even in urban Cape Town , you need only look up to see iconic Table Mountain and Lion’s Head .

Thailand

The number of foreign visitors to Thailand has doubled in the past ten years, and it’s easy to understand why. There are literally hundreds of islands offering something for every type of traveler, whether it’s the lush jungles of Ko Kut or the crystal-clear diving waters of Ko Tao. To catch sight of wild elephants and tigers, dramatic waterfalls, and some of the world’s oldest rainforests, venture inland to the wondrous Khao Sok National Park.

Val d'Orcia Tuscany Italy

Few parts of the world can claim so intense a range of natural beauty as Italy, from craggy peaks and verdant hills to coasts of jaw-dropping beauty. There’s nothing quite like driving through the winding, cyprus-lined roads of Tuscany , past rolling green hills and golden fields dotted with sunflowers. The Dolomites are some of the most beautiful mountains you’ll find anywhere, too; San Pellegrino Pass is one of its best spots for rock climbing, skiing, and, well, just being in awe.

Tanzania

Tanzania is a biodiverse wonderland, but its main draw is undoubtedly the Serengeti—especially if you can visit between January and March to witness the Great Migration . And don’t forget about Mount Kilimanjaro, rising like a magnificent mirage over the vast plains. Another deservedly popular spot is the Ngorongoro Crater, a vast and thriving volcanic caldera known as Africa’s Garden of Eden (assuming the garden had flamingos and zebras). Tanzania also has some 800 miles of Indian Ocean-facing coastline, with the white sand beaches and sapphire waters of Zanzibar generating the most tourism buzz.

Peru

Machu Picchu ’s panoramic views and mysterious stone walls are worth a plane ticket to Peru alone, but the country has more to offer than just Incan ruins. The Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world, is known for its terraced agriculture and epic birdwatching (find everything from flamingos to giant hummingbirds here). The Paracas Natural Reserve (an easy day trip from Lima) is another ecologically rich area, where Humboldt penguins waddle freely on red sand beaches.

Argentina

Argentina is one of the most awe-inspiring countries in the world, and not just because of its legendary tango performances. This nation is indeed a natural wonderland—just look at Los Glaciares National Park in Patagonia, comprised of jagged mountains, picturesque lakes, and massive glaciers . The northwestern part of the country contains some of the Andes and a lot of vicuñas (relatives of the llama). On the Argentina-Brazil border, Iguazú Falls—a collection of 200 falls reaching heights of 200 feet—is easily one of the most stunning sites in South America.

Angel Falls

Venezuela is truly a land of superlatives. It has the world’s highest waterfall, for starters; and the 3,212-foot cascades of Angel Falls (that’s 19 times taller than Niagara ), located in the lush Canaima National Park, are by far the country’s most popular attraction. Mount Roraima also dazzles, with vertical cliffs stretching all the way through the clouds. The archipelago of Los Roques has white sand beaches, mangrove swamps, and spectacular reefs and underwater life.

Galpagos Islands Ecuador

It’s almost unbelievable how biodiverse Ecuador is. The country is a smidge smaller than Nevada, but encompasses pieces of the Amazon, Andes, and Pacific Coast, as well as the entire Galápagos archipelago. We’d argue that the Galápagos Islands are reason enough for Ecuador to land on this ranking, filled with volcanoes, lakes, beaches, and more animal species than we have room to cover here.

Cameron Highlands Malaysia

Split by the South China Sea, Malaysia is like two countries in one—Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo—with islands thrown in as an added bonus. You’ll find a variety of diverse landscapes throughout this Southeast Asian nation. The Langkawi archipelago has pristine beaches, coral reefs, and lush mountains (plus that famous Sky Bridge you’ve definitely seen pictures of). The Cameron Highlands in Pahang are home to stunning tea plantations and butterfly farms. Hoping to spot some wildlife? The Kinabatangan River winds for 348 miles through the state of Sabah, providing habitats for saltwater crocodiles, Bornean orangutans, pygmy elephants, and more.

Countries With Incentives for Retirees Coron Busuanga island Palawan province Philippines

Philippines

There are more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines, and they easily number among the most beautiful in the world. The Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan encompasses mangrove forests, one of the world’s most impressive cave systems, and an underground river. The Chocolate Hills of Bohol Island consist of an estimated 1,776 grass-covered domes that are mysteriously uniform in shape. The rice terraces of both Banaue and the Philippine Cordilleras provide panoramic views of every shade of green imaginable.

Costa Rica

It’s easy to sink into the pura vida (pure life) when you’re surrounded by misty waterfalls , deserted beaches, and protected jungles. In fact, more than a quarter of Costa Rica enjoys some form of environmental protection. Cocos Island National Park, the only island in the eastern Pacific with a rainforest, is a world-class diving destination replete with hammerhead sharks, giant manta rays, sea turtles, and dolphins. La Amistad National Park is another uniquely diverse site, with cloud forests, glacial valleys, and a rare tropical alpine grassland (say that five times fast). It’s also home to Cerro Chirripó, the highest mountain in Costa Rica.

Most Beautiful Places in the World Ha Long Bay Vietnam

Cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City draw tons of tourists every year, but Vietnam is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts (or anyone who simply enjoys a pretty landscape). Ha Long Bay, located in northeast Vietnam , is beloved for its blue waters and spread of limestone islands—all occupied by tropical trees and wildlife. In the northeast, Hà Giang has breathtaking mountain scenery criss-crossed with steep rice terraces and hiking trails. On the southern coast, Ninh Van Bay has great snorkeling and diving . And you can always hop on a quick flight and spend a few days on Phú Quốc, a jungle-draped island off Vietnam’s southwestern coast.

Best Places to Travel in March Panama

We named Panama one of the best places to visit in 2022 , thanks to its biodiverse jungles, sprawling beaches, and relative lack of crowds compared to neighboring Costa Rica. The Caribbean-facing province of Bocas del Toro is a one-stop shop for both gorgeous beaches and active wildlife—for a truly memorable experience, take a nighttime snorkeling trip through bioluminescent waters right off the coast. A straight shot south from Bocas del Toro, the Pacific Ocean-facing province Chiriquí offers an equally beautiful, but wholly different slice of nature. Here you can hike through cloud forests, swim beneath roaring waterfalls, and witness the panoramic sunrise from the summit of Volcán Barú.

Kenya

There are plenty of reasons to head to Kenya , and we’re not just talking about its bevy of resorts and safari camps . The Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley is the ultimate place for wildlife spotting , with cheetahs, giraffes, black rhinos, and some of the highest bird diversities in the world. Mount Kenya is the second highest peak (after Kilimanjaro) and one of the most impressive landscapes in Africa, with glacial lakes and forested slopes.

New Zealand World's Happiest Countries

New Zealand

New Zealand is no stranger to breathtaking landscapes, with towering mountains, turquoise lakes, and more than 9,000 miles of windswept shores . Just look towards the resplendent fields of pink and purple lupins at Lake Tekapo; or Milford Sound, a mountainous fjord where you can live out all of your Lord of the Rings fantasies. The splendor also extends below the surface to the Waitomo glowworm caves—leave it to New Zealand to make even worms look beautiful.

Bolivia

Landlocked Bolivia is often overshadowed by its neighboring countries, but this South American nation has a staggering amount of natural beauty. The country’s claim to fame is Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat which becomes a giant sky-reflecting mirror during the wet season. Just north of the Chilean border in the shadow of the Andes, Laguna Colorada is a salt lake known for its blood-red waters. And while we’re on the subject of lakes, we’d be remiss not to mention Lake Titicaca—it’s the highest navigable lake in the world (12,500 feet above sea level) and features sparkling blue water, snow-capped mountains, and floating villages.

Isle of Skye Scotland

The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom comprises England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, which explains why its natural sites are so beautifully diverse. In England, be sure to visit the rugged beaches of Cornwall and dazzling bodies of water in the Lake District. Wales is all about epic mountain ranges, namely Brecon Beacons and its surrounding hiking trails. Scotland’s lochs, highlands, and Isle of Skye number among the most beautiful places on the planet. And Northern Ireland has several unique sites to its name, including the Giant’s Causeway and Dark Hedges.

Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia

Poised between the Balkans and central Europe, Croatia is a land of limestone caves, undulating fields, and white pebble beaches. The country’s most famous waters are found inland at the Plitvice Lakes National Park, a system of waterfalls, caves, and 16 terraced lakes that cover the entire blue-green color spectrum. The Adriatic Sea coast is truly unrivaled, speckled with more than 1,000 islands surrounded by impossibly clear water. The Dinaric Alps provide even more sublime views and help contribute to Croatia’s overall landscape—the craggy peaks and caverns near the coast transition to rolling farmland in the northeast Hrvatsko Zagorje region.

Most Beautiful Places in Iceland Vatnajokull

Situated just outside the Arctic Circle, Iceland has emerged as one of the world’s most desirable tourist destinations. Travelers flock to the island nation by the millions to bear witness awe-inspiring vistas, from towering volcanoes to gushing waterfalls and expansive underground ice caves. Jökulsárlón, the deepest glacial lake in the country, is famous for its floating blue icebergs and gatherings of seals. Down in Vik, the black sands and basalt columns of Reynisfjara Beach are just begging to be photographed.

The Azores Portugal

After soaking up all that Lisbon has to offer, venture outside of Portugal’s capital city to really experience how stunning the country is. The Algarve region is ideal for road trips , where you can pull over and appreciate some seriously gorgeous beaches lines with steep cliffs (we recommend Praia da Marinha ). The Douro River is another must-visit spot, thanks to spectacular views created by the steeply terraced vineyards at the river’s edge—similar to those found in the Moselle in Germany or the LaVaux vineyards in Switzerland. And don’t forget about the Azores , an Atlantic island chain of nine volcanic islands overflowing with hedges of blue hydrangeas .

Torres del Paine National Park Chile

Chile occupies some of the most pristine landscapes on our planet: the moonlike dunes of Valle de la Luna; the swirling, cerulean surfaces of the Marble Caves; the gurgling geysers of El Tatio. But when you think of Chile, you most likely think of Torres del Paine . The national park is like a microcosm of all the things that make Patagonia such a spectacular place: sky-high mountains, blue icebergs, and mythical lakes galore.

Sossusvlei Namib Naukluft National Park Deadvlei

When it comes to sheer natural beauty, few countries in Africa come close to Namibia . The Namib Desert is the country’s shining star, from the otherworldly landscapes of the Skeleton Coast , to the shifting dunes of the Namib Sand Sea, to the eerie, sun-blackened trees of Deadvlei. The Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, is a granite massif that glows when the sun sets (Brandberg means “Fire Mountain” in Afrikaans). And this is a coastal country, so you better believe there are beaches—namely the stunning Fish River Canyon (the largest canyon in Africa) or the rivers and wetlands in the Caprivi Strip.

Greece

Greece may be best known for the the architecture of Athens and coastal scenes of Santorini (if we had a dollar for every Oia snapshot on our Instagram feed…), but there’s a lot more to the country than its immediate associations. Each of the 6,000+ islands and islets offer swoon-worthy vistas, from the cliff-lined beaches of Zakynthos to the epic sunrises in Mykonos. Not a beach bum? Pay a visit to Epirus , the mountainous, forest-filled region in northwestern Greece.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is one of our favorite travel destinations —a country complete with rambling temple ruins, leafy tea plantations, and wide, golden beaches. Animal lovers should take particular note, as the country has tons of options for wildlife viewing. Both Udawalawe National Park and Gal Oya National Park contain hundreds of elephants , while Yala National Park is home to the world’s highest concentration of leopards. And tea lovers, this advice is for you: Base yourself at Thota­lagala, a seven-suite hotel near Dambatenne, the world’s most famous tea estate, planted in 1890 by Sir Thomas Lipton (yes, that Lipton).

Norway

Norway is the land of glaciers, mountains, the Northern Lights, and fjords—so many fjords . The UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord in southwestern Norway are among the most scenic anywhere, with steep rock walls and dense forests. For something a little more unique (and daring), there’s Trolltunga at Hardangerfjord. This protruding rock sits about 2,300 feet above Lake Ringedalsvatnet and provides some of the most spectacular panoramic views in the country. And don’t forget about the Lofoten Islands , sitting pretty off the country’s northwestern coast.

Turkey

Turkey’s landscapes are varied, breathtaking, and even a tad peculiar. Most of the best vistas are found in Asian Anatolia, like the fairy chimneys and rock pillars of Cappadocia , or the craggy peaks and alpine pastures of the Kaçkar Mountains. In the Aegean region, the frozen waterfalls and stacked pools of Pamukkale ensure you'll never be satisfied with your hotel’s infinity pool again. The Turquoise Coast (or Turkish Riviera) is another prime location, especially if perfect beaches, mountain views, and a Mediterranean climate are what you’re looking for.

Nepal

In Nepal, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and breathtaking landscapes go hand in hand. Home to eight of the world’s 10 tallest mountains (including Mount Everest , the highest point on earth), the country is famous among hikers and adventure seekers. The Gokyo Lakes comprise the world’s highest freshwater lake system, where vibrant, glacier-fed waters are surrounded by snowy peaks. Chitwan National Park is home to rare populations of rhinoceros and Bengal tigers, while Sagarmatha National Park is the place to see snow leopards and red pandas.

Lauterbrunnen Switzerland

Switzerland

Tucked away in the Alps, Switzerland is easily one of the most beautiful countries in the world, no matter when you’re visiting. Come wintertime though, it becomes a veritable wonderland , with powdery ski slopes and frozen lakes galore. For the best vantage point of the country’s natural beauty, stay in the village of Zermatt, a ski town so pristine that people actually buy bottles of air from the surrounding mountains (including Switzerland’s iconic Matterhorn mountain). Not a fan of skiing? A summer visit to Switzerland is always a good idea, where Lake Geneva’s picturesque banks and Zurich's badi (natural swimming pools along the lakes and rivers) are waiting to host your next family vacation .

top 8 countries to visit

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PlanetWare.com

18 Best Places to Visit in the World

Written by Lana Law Updated May 11, 2023

Author Lana Law has traveled the globe extensively, including two year-long world trips, the most recent one in 2022/2023.

The world is filled with such a wide variety of wonderful destinations and beautiful places to visit, it can be difficult to compile a list of the best ones. Thinking about a traveler who, for whatever reason, has never set foot outside his or her hometown, where would be the first places they might visit?

Mt. Cook, New Zealand

The list of the world's best places to visit has to include great cities, like New York, Paris, London, and so on, each of which is filled with a multitude of individual sites or must-see places to visit. The list also includes specific sites, monuments, and locations, each also worthy of a visit in their own right.

For more ideas on where to go and what to see, read our list of the top places to visit in the world.

1. Machu Picchu, Peru

2. the grand canyon, arizona, 3. rome, italy, 4. maui, hawaii, 5. masai mara, kenya, 6. new zealand, 7. istanbul, turkey, 8. angkor wat, cambodia, 10. london, england, 11. manhattan, new york, 12. paris, france, 13. montreal, canada, 14. san francisco, california, 15. marrakesh, morocco, 16. cartagena, columbia, 17. the canary islands, 18. hong kong, map of places to visit in the world.

Machu Picchu

Highlights : Ancient 700-year-old city with an incredible location high in the Andes

Located high in the Andes mountains of Peru, Machu Picchu is now believed to have been a sacred royal retreat for the Incan rulers. Built in the 15 th century CE and abandoned less than 100 years later, the remote site continues to amaze with its perfectly joined, mortarless, intricate stonework. Huge multi-ton blocks of stone are perfectly joined with each other, without the use of mortar or cement.

The journey to Machu Picchu typically starts in the mountain city of Cusco , which was the capital city of the Inca Empire . Cusco is a fascinating place to explore-be sure to spend a few days there before or after your Machu Picchu adventure.

It's possible to hike the Inca Trail from Cusco to Machu Picchu. The full hike takes five days, but you can also start closer and do a one-, two- or three-day hike along the trail. Most people take the train from Cusco, which takes about three and a half hours.

Machu Picchu has taken steps to avoid over-tourism and has limited the number of visitors to the site each day. All visitors need a permit prior to visiting. They are easily available from the Peruvian Ministry of Culture reservation page up to four months in advance. Many websites, hoping to sell tours, do not share this information.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Peru

Grand Canyon

Highlights : The earth's geological history opens before your eyes in a mile-deep chasm

This incredible sight, one of the seven natural wonders of the world , is in the U.S. state of Arizona. It's one of those beautiful places for which photos or video just don't do it justice-its sheer size and scope are hard to comprehend.

With geology formed over the past two billion years, yes billion, the 277-mile-long canyon itself is believed to have been started around five to six million years ago. It was formed by the flow of the Colorado River, which still flows through it and continues to erode the geology along its course. The Grand Canyon is up to 18 miles wide in places and up to a mile deep. Imagine standing on the edge, looking down a sheer rock wall almost a mile to the river below.

Most visitors come to the area referred to as the South Rim . This is where a number of impressive hiking trails into the Grand Canyon begin and great overlooks are spread along the rim road, known as Desert View Drive. A range of accommodations is available here and nearby, from tents to a rustic luxury canyon-side resort built from logs. A few accommodations are also found on the remote North Rim .

Many visitors access the canyon via the historic Grand Canyon Railway , which runs from the town of Williams, Arizona. The 64-mile rail line provides an entertaining way to get to the canyon with food and live music onboard. For those who prefer to drive, see our articles on driving north from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon or driving from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon .

Read More: Top Attractions & Things to Do at the Grand Canyon

The Roman Forum

Highlights : History around every corner; the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon are must-sees

The Eternal City is more like a giant, living museum. Visitors are immersed in and surrounded by thousands of years of history. It's a relatively compact city, and a three-day itinerary gets you to the minimum number of must-see places.

These must-see sites for any visitor include the Colosseum and adjacent Roman Forum ; the Pantheon ; and Vatican City , a separate country in the middle of central Rome.

Take some time to explore the outskirts of Rome, too. Consider a hike along a tomb-lined section of the Appian Way, the ancient Roman superhighway, and a visit to one of the aqueduct ruins outside the city.

If you feel like hitting the beach after all your exploring, Rome has a wonderful assortment of beach towns just a short drive away on the Lazio Coast. Escape the heat, hustle, and bustle of the city to bathe in the cool waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Rome

A lush tropical beach on Maui

Highlights : A tropical paradise with stunning beaches and five-star luxury resorts

This Hawaiian island offers a wide range of experiences for visitors. You can surf, enjoy a meal on the beach at a five-star luxury resort in Wailea, ride a horse across a dormant volcano in Haleakala National Park , or hike through a rainforest in the West Maui Mountains. The natural scenery is amazing-it's truly one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

When it comes to accommodation, there is something for everyone here, from rustic hippie bungalow bed and breakfasts to five-star luxury resort hotels . Wailea has all the luxury resorts-it's like the beachfront Beverly Hills of Maui. If you're staying here, be sure to venture out and spend some time in Kihei, where the locals hang out.

  • Top Attractions & Places to Visit in Maui
  • Best Beaches on Maui

Cheetah in the Masai Mara

Highlights : Wild animals in their natural environment, luxury safari lodges

Kenya's Masai Mara is an incredible bio-diverse area and a popular safari destination. It's an opportunity to see the "big five" animals (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo) all during one trip or, if you're lucky, during one afternoon.

The protected Masai Mara National Reserve park area is huge, with over 1,500 square kilometers of mainly grassland, extending all the way to the Serengeti Plain of Tanzania. The popular times to visit are during the twice-yearly migrations, the main ones being in July and August. Over a million wildebeest and other animals cross the area in huge groups to go from one feeding area to another. Most visitors fly into Nairobi , then take a small bush plane to the Mara.

  • Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Kenya
  • Best Game Reserves in Africa

Lupin blooming at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Highlights : Amazing natural sights in one easy-to-visit country

With its striking natural beauty , friendly citizens, and recent popularity due to its use as the filming location for the Lord of the Rings films (as well as many others), this island nation is one of the world's great places to visit. The biodiversity here is amazing — it's believed New Zealand was one of the last places on Earth to have human inhabitants.

Start your visit off in Auckland , with its culture, history, and museums. Spend some time on the water and at the beach — Waitemata Harbour has beaches, along with a range of sailing and boating activities.

Visit the Rotorua area to learn about and experience Indigenous Maori culture and head to Queenstown to experience the country's wide range of outdoor extreme action sports. Remember, this is where bungee jumping was invented.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New Zealand

Istanbul

Highlights : Shopping in the bazaars, the Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia are not to be missed

Turkey's capital city is another destination that offers a great mix of culture, food, and history. There are thousands of years of history here, starting with Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans and leading up through the Ottoman Empire.

There's a mix of the new and the timeless here unlike anywhere else. You can spend the day shopping and the night at a wonderful restaurant eating great Turkish food and dancing to Turkish music, then rise (very early) in the morning to the sound of the Ezan or morning Islamic call to prayer. It echoes across the rooftops as it's broadcast from loudspeakers set atop the minarets of the city's mosques.

Istanbul has excellent public transit, which means it's easy to get around and explore all the major sites and monuments. Must-see places include the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia , and Topkapi Palace.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Istanbul

Stone faces, Angkor Wat

Highlights : A stunning ancient jungle city with hundreds of intricately constructed temples

Located just outside the Cambodian city of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat is the largest religious site in the world. Angkor Wat is Cambodia's top tourist attraction.

It was created originally as a Hindu temple and mausoleum for the Khmer ruler in the early part of the 12 th century and was converted to a Buddhist temple at the end of the 12 th century. Just part of an enormous ancient city. Angkor Wat is the temple area, and Angor Thom was the city and palace area. There are hundreds of other ruin sites in the area, all part of the ancient capital of Angkor.

Siem Reap and its temples and ruins are now very easily accessible via daily flights from Hong Kong and other large Asian cities. Accommodations range from inexpensive guesthouses to lavish luxury resorts, with everything in between.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Siem Reap

Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Bali

Highlights : Tropical beaches, volcano hikes, ancient temples, and friendly people

The tropical Indonesian island of Bali is a lush, tropical destination that should not be missed. A bit of everything can be found here, from towering volcanoes and sun-kissed shores to lush jungles complete with mischievous monkeys.

Add in the cultural aspect of vibrant temples and the friendly Balinese people, it becomes very easy to spend longer here than you may have planned. Bali has a long list of interesting things to do including rice terrace tours, volcano climbs, surfing lessons, and handicraft markets.

In the evening, enjoy the delights of Balinese dining with a tasty plate of Nasi Goreng or satay followed up by the rhythmic beats of a Kecak dance performance.

Tower Bridge in London

Highlights : History, architecture, dining, and world-class shopping

This historic English city is another destination just filled with incredible places to visit. A trip to London is an opportunity to visit iconic places like the Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace , and the Tower of London .

Take advantage of the city being a cultural center as well by seeing a West End theater show or watching a musical performance at the Royal Albert Hall. Modern London is also a city of fine dining, luxury hotels, and world-class shopping.

Don't miss the museums, the vast British Museum is free, and usually quite crowded. Make time to visit The Wallace Collection , a free museum on Oxford Street. It has one of the world's greatest collections of furniture and porcelain, along with some important Old Master paintings.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in London

Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty

Highlights : Shopping, dining, Broadway shows, museums, and the Statue of Liberty

One of the five boroughs of New York City, Manhattan is actually an island, bordered by the East River and the Hudson (and a little bit by the Harlem River). This island is a bit less than 23 square miles and is home to almost two million residents. Add in the daily influx of workers, and the island routinely holds close to four million people.

No other city in the world offers the frenetic energy of New York City. It's filled with the world's best shopping and dining, along with incredible museums .

Manhattan also has a giant green heart, Central Park . No matter the season, it provides a playground for the city's residents, offering a range of activities from museums to a zoo. There's also a lot of green space where you can play and relax, along with miles of running, biking, and skating trails. You can also enjoy plenty of things to do in winter in NYC , from skating and sipping hot chocolate, to shopping and Broadway shows.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New York City

The Eiffel Tower

Highlights : Dining, shopping, the Eiffel Tower, museums, Seine River cruises

No visit to the French capital is complete without a trip to and a trip up its most iconic structure. The 300-meter-tall Eiffel Tower was quite simply, the tallest man-made structure in the world, from its opening in 1889 for 41 years until 1930.

Use your visit as a stair workout and climb the 300 steps from ground level to the first of three levels on the tower. If you're in great shape, climb another 300 steps to the second level. Then hop on the elevator here to get to the top. Aside from the workout, you'll also skip most of the crowd who want to take the elevator the whole way.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Paris

Old Montreal in summer

Highlights : Notre Dame Cathedral, historic Old Town and waterfront, delightful dining options

As you listen to the sound of French being spoken around you and explore Old Montreal , wandering down its narrow cobblestone streets-you might think you're in France. The historic area is filled with quaint shops and cafés; this Canadian city can be a chance to experience a bit of Europe in North America.

The city also has a thriving food scene, with several popular farmers' markets, including the Atwater Market and the Jean Talon Market. It's also known for its bagels, cooked hot and fresh by several iconic must-visit bakeries.

Be sure to visit the beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica and take a drive up to Mount Royal, the big hill (or low mountain) the city is named after. You'll be rewarded with some amazing views extending all the way to the port.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Montreal

The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco skyline

Highlights : The iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, historic streetcars

San Francisco is a truly unique American city and one of the world's great vacation spots. Explore its hills, ride the cable cars that climb them, and eat some seafood at Fisherman's Wharf . Also spend some time exploring Marin County on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge , including the picturesque town of Sausalito . The giant redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument are only 30 minutes away and also well worth a side trip.

Be sure to also make time for a visit to or even better, a drive across, the Golden Gate Bridge. This monument to modern engineering genius spans the strait that connects San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The almost two-mile-long, six-lane bridge connects the Northern California city with Marin County.

Opened in 1937, the bridge has a unique, geometric beauty and can be viewed from many areas on either side of its span. Some of the best views are from the Marin Headlands, a hilly part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a national park that includes areas on either side of the bridge.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in San Francisco

Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, Marrakesh

Highlights : Old walled city, shopping in the bazaars, and a sensory overload

Start your Marrakech adventure in the Jemaa el-Fnaa , the main, open square in the Moroccan city. It's the gateway to the medina or old walled city. The square is like nowhere else in the world, presenting a constant show of humanity. There are musical performers, snake charmers, monkey trainers, amateur boxing matches, and transvestite belly dancers.

It's also a giant food market, as well as a giant antique market and swap meet. You can even get a haircut or have some dental work performed. At night, there are fire performers, and an outdoor food fair is set up in the center, with rows of food stalls fronted by counters lined with chairs.

This exotic African destination is only a short flight (usually less than four hours) from most major European cities. As a popular getaway destination, there are frequent flights available. Accommodations range from riads , traditional houses remade into luxury boutique hotels in the medina to five-star luxury resorts just outside the city in an area called La Palmeraie.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Marrakesh

Cartagena's walled city

Highlights : Incredible 500-year-old walled city with historic 19th-century architecture and some of Colombia's best dining

Colorful Cartagena, one of the great historical Spanish cities of the Caribbean, pulses with life along the north coast of Colombia. Founded in 1533, its old walled city has seen its fortunes rise and fall through the centuries and has more recently experienced a resurgence and revitalization.

Significant restoration of the old city has resulted in once-dilapidated 16th-century buildings springing back to life as modern, yet historical hotels, world-class restaurants, and shops. Wander through the narrow city streets to see an impressive church, an open plaza with public works of art, or an eclectic shop selling that perfect souvenir.

Be sure to wander along the ancient city walls, and as you watch the sunset over the ocean, think back to what life used to be like here nearly 500 years ago.

It's easy to get to Cartagena from the United States, with daily flights from Miami and good connections through Panama City. This is the perfect destination for an exotic long weekend getaway from almost anywhere in North America.

Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Cartagena, Colombia

Gran Canaria landscape

Highlights : White-sand beaches, rugged mountains, luxury resorts, island adventures

Off the coast of northwestern Africa are a delightful chain of islands that should be on every sun-seeker's to-do list. The Canary Islands are all a bit different from one another, allowing the intrepid traveler to have four or even five (or more), experiences in one trip.

The Canary Islands are especially known for their beaches. Stunning white-sand beaches washed by crystal-clear waters are among the best beaches in Spain . Many people come here to stay at the multitude of luxury resorts that line the waterfront, and rarely venture off the property.

Those that have a taste for adventure will find towering volcanoes, stunning hiking trails, towering pine forests, and authentic old towns dating back to the time of Christopher Columbus.

Some of the most popular islands are Tenerife , Gran Canaria , Lanzarote , and Fuerteventura . Each of these offers its own unique experience and landscape.

Hong Kong at sunset

Highlights : Star Ferry across Victoria Harbor, skyscrapers, Victoria Peak views, awesome dining

Asia's largest city can feel like an Asian Manhattan, with giant skyscrapers in a compact area and a serious focus on business. But venture deeper, and you'll find the city's unique mix of ancient Chinese culture and remnants of its British Colonial history as well. Gleaming skyscrapers are built with hand-assembled bamboo scaffolding in a fusion of new and old.

The city is divided into two main sections: Hong Kong Island and Kowloon , separated by Victoria Harbour . Take the Star Ferry across the harbor, still one of the great travel bargains, given the spectacular scenery on both sides. You can also venture into the more rural areas to discover the sparsely populated Outlying Islands , hiking trails , and beautiful beaches .

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Hong Kong

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

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More Great Places to Visit Around the World: If you are heading to Europe, be sure to see our guides to the best places to visit in France , Italy , and Portugal . Our lists of best places to visit in Scotland and Ireland will also point you in the right direction in these countries. For ideas on where to go in America, see our recommendations for the best places to visit in the United States .

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Travel Babbo

A Family Travel Blog

The Best Countries to Visit (Our 20 Favorite Countries Ranked)

By Eric Stoen on May 13, 2020 • Last Updated May 23, 2024 This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure here .

Rating Every Country We’ve Traveled To

During the COVID-19 shutdown we were at home and looking for ways to stay entertained, so I asked my wife and kids to rate every country they’ve been to from 1 to 10. I added in my votes and ranked every country that had at least two votes. The goal: come up with a list of the best countries to visit, at least from our experience.

Everyone could vote based on any criteria. In general the ratings were consistent from person to person, but there were some definite outliers – places where one person remembered things differently than the others. In a family of five, you can’t always keep everyone happy. We had some fun discussions when people disagreed!

Our Top 20 Countries (the 20 Best Countries to Visit)

In order to give you family travel ideas, here are our top 20 countries to travel to. Keep in mind that at the time we created this list our girls were 10 and 14 and our son was 12, and they had been to 62 countries. We split our travels between cities and nature and add in frequent cultural activities and cooking classes. We don’t go to a lot of museums or concentrate on history. Likewise we don’t spend full days at the beach or shopping.

Five continents are represented in our top 20. Australia came in at number 21, and our top African country is the Seychelles at 29.

Note that I’m including the average score after every destination.

20. The Netherlands (7.3)

Favorite countries - Netherlands - Keukenhof Gardens outside Amsterdam

Favorite Places: Amsterdam, the Keukenhof Gardens and the tulip fields throughout the country in the spring.

Relevant Blog Posts: None. Amsterdam is usually a 1-2 day layover for us. We love the city but I’ve never written about it.

19. Chile (7.4)

Patagonia with kids - Hiking in Torres del Paine National Park

Favorite Places: Patagonia, the Atacama Desert and Easter Island. Santiago is fun for a day or two as well.

Relevant Blog Posts: Spring Break in Patagonia | Chile’s Atacama Desert with Kids | Easter Island with a 6-Year-Old

15 (tie). Antarctica (7.5)

Antarctica with Kids: Kayaking in Antarctica

Favorite Places: Antarctica isn’t, strictly speaking, a country, but it’s an amazing place to visit with or without kids. We’ve taken our kids at 8 and 12 and loved everything about it.

Relevant Blog Posts: Antarctica with an 8-Year-Old ; Adventures By Disney Antarctica: A Magical Expedition ; An Antarctica Packing List

15 (tie). Indonesia (7.5)

Bali with Kids - Swinging!

Favorite Places: Indonesia is mainly about Bali for us, since my daughters love the island, but Borobudur is amazing as well. We want to keep exploring.

Relevant Blog Posts: Bali with Kids | How to Visit Borobudur

15 (tie). Norway (7.5)

Disney port excursions - Running around Bergen (literally)

Favorite Places: We love Oslo and Bergen, especially in the summer, and the Norway in a Nutshell tour is a great way to travel between them. The fjords are gorgeous as well, and Tromsø in the arctic circle is a good way to experience the midnight sun.

Relevant Blog Post: Oslo with Kids . Most of my Norwegian travels were pre-kids and I haven’t written about them.

15 (tie). Sweden (7.5)

Sweden with kids - Loved the reflections

Favorite Places: Stockholm and Gothenburg are both great cities to explore for a few days, but we love the coastal towns and the forests of Central Sweden.

Relevant Blog Posts: Exploring the Magical Forests of Central Sweden | The Icebug Xperience West Coast Trail

14. Turkey (7.6)

Best counties to visit - Turkey - Overlooking Cappadocia

Favorite Places: Istanbul and Cappadocia. And we loved our day on a gulet near Bodrum.

Relevant Blog Posts: Istanbul with Kids | An Amazing Trip to Cappadocia with Kids | Bodrum with Kids

13. Switzerland (7.7)

Lake Lugano at sunrise

Favorite Places: My wife and I have traveled all over Switzerland pre-marriage and loved all of the small towns – places like Interlaken, Crans-Montana and Luzern – and I recently hiked and biked from Engelberg to Interlaken. With the kids we’ve only explored Zurich on layovers and Lake Lugano on a day trip from Como. Definitely one of the best countries to visit – we just need to plan more Swiss trips with the kids.

Relevant Blog Post: Hiking in Switzerland: Engelberg to Interlaken

12. The Maldives (7.8)

Six Senses Laamu

Favorite Places: Six Senses Laamu in the Laamu Atoll.

Relevant Blog Posts: Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives: Our New Favorite Resort Anywhere | A Return to Paradise

11. Canada (7.9)

Winnipeg Manitoba - Loved watching these two playing/wrestling from below

Favorite Places: Vancouver, Banff and Winnipeg and the surrounding areas. Victoria on Vancouver Island is fun as well.

Relevant Blog Post: Manitoba, Canada with Kids . All of our other Canada trips were before I started writing about our travels.

10. Croatia (8.0)

Best family holidays Europe - Croatia - Plitvice Lakes National Park is stunning!

Favorite Places: Zagreb and Plitvice National Park. We still need to get to Krka National Park and Dubrovnik.

Relevant Blog Posts: Croatia With Kids: Zagreb and Plitvice Lakes

9. Brazil (8.3)

Amazon Rain Forest with Kids - Mirante do Gavião

Favorite Places: The Amazon Rainforest and the Rio Negro. Manaus is worth a day or two as well. We haven’t been to Rio yet.

Relevant Blog Posts: The Amazon Rainforest with Kids: A Magical (Unplugged) Expedition

7 (tie). Laos (8.5)

Best countries to visit - Laos - At the top of Phousi Mountain in Luang Prabang, Laos

Favorite Places: We’ve only been to Luang Prabang and loved it. We need to explore the rest of the country.

Relevant Blog Post: Asia with Kids: A Crazy Three-Week, Six-Country Itinerary

7 (tie). Japan (8.5)

Kyoto with kids - At Kongoji Temple

Favorite Places: Tokyo, Kyoto, Naoshima Island and Hiroshima

Relevant Blog Posts: Kyoto to Hiroshima, a 10-Day Journey | 10 Places Not to Miss in Tokyo | Tokyo with Kids Made Easy | Kyoto with Kids | Hokkaido: Adventure in Northern Japan

6. Portugal (8.7)

Best countries to visit - Portugal - Cascais

Favorite Places: Lisbon, Cascais and Sintra. Still haven’t visited Porto or the Douro Valley.

Relevant Blog Posts: None. Definitely one of the best countries to travel to, but our trips have largely been focused around weddings.

5. New Zealand (8.8)

Favorite countries - Driving around New Zealand's South Island

Favorite Places: The South Island. We’ve explored it far more than the North Island, even though we’ve visited Auckland several times.

Relevant Blog Posts: None. We need to go back and see more, and I’ll write about it next time!

3 (tie). Faroe Islands (9.0)

Faroe Islands - Oda making sure my son didn't plummet to his death

Favorite Places: Torshavn, Tjørnuvik, Saksun, Gjógv, Mykines

Relevant Blog Post: An Amazing Week in the Faroe Islands (with Kids)

3 (tie). France (9.0)

Paris on a Budget - At the Louvre

Favorite Places: Paris, Provence

Relevant Blog Posts: The Best Things to Do in Paris with Kids | Tips for Visiting Paris on a Budget | 10 Tips for a Perfect Family Vacation in Paris

2. Italy (9.1)

Val di Fassa - Photographing from the hiking viewpoint

Favorite Places: Florence, the Dolomites, Venice, Cortona, Cinque Terre, Rome, Lake Como, Ravenna, San Gimignano

Relevant Blog Posts: Florence with Kids: What to Do and Where to Stay | Our Favorite Restaurants in Florence | How to Visit Cinque Terre | Positano Italy (and the Amalfi Coast) | Why You Should Never Do a Day Trip to Florence or Rome | A Week in Florence without Kids | A Perfect Trip to Florence with Kids | Venice in High Season with Kids | Italy Unplugged: A Week in Emilia Romagna | Hiking the Via Francigena Through Tuscany | Kid-Friendly Adventure in Trentino’s Stunning Val di Fassa | Adventures with Kids in the Dolomites: Trentino’s Val di Fiemme | Two Weeks on Lake Como with Kids | A Villa in Tuscany for a Month

1. Greece (9.8)

Paros Greece - Another evening in Naoussa

Favorite Places: Naxos, Paros, Santorini (or pretty much any Greek island in the summer, unless it sees a lot of cruise ships)

Relevant Blog Posts: Naxos Greece: Our Favorite Island | Three Weeks on the Greek Island of Naxos with Kids | A Day Trip from Naxos to Santorini | Paros Greece with Kids

The Best Countries to Visit: Your Turn

What are the best countries to visit from your family’s experience? Do you agree/disagree with our ranking? Would love to hear your thoughts on the best countries to travel to in the comments below.

And I should note that a lot of people are finding this post when Googling “coolest countries to visit”. So I did a separate post on the coolest countries .

Travel Insurance and Credit Cards

We never used to travel with travel health coverage, or even trip cancellation insurance, but we regretted that when my wife broke her knee traveling recently. I write about it here . I highly recommend purchasing insurance – either on an annual basis if you travel a lot, or for individual trips. We went with G1G based on price and what they offer.

And if you don’t have a credit card that earns you miles/points with every purchase, get one! We’ve traveled to a lot of the countries above for free by redeeming miles for tickets. My favorite cards right now are HERE . I highly recommend getting one without foreign transaction fees .

The Best Countries to Visit pin

More from Travel Babbo

Where to Travel with Your Kids at Every Age

May 14, 2020 at 11:13 am

This is such an inspiring list! I can’t wait to do some rankings with the kids. Our plans to spend a month in Greece this summer (inspired by your article on Naxos) have been derailed, but seeing it as number one on your list validates our decision to reschedule it as our long trip next summer.

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May 14, 2020 at 11:16 am

Our June Naxos plans fell through, but we’re still optimistic about August – if they’ll let Americans in and if the airlines are flying, we’ll be there.

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May 16, 2020 at 12:01 am

You have been to some amazing places. Interesting that Europe has scored so highly with all the family.

May 18, 2020 at 8:00 am

We’ve traveled to Europe the most, so maybe there’s a sense of familiarity and comfort, especially for the kids? If I was doing my own ranking there are a lot of non-European countries that would be in the top 20, including Ecuador, India and Tanzania.

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November 15, 2020 at 9:06 am

Ecuador is the only country my kids have traveled to and we loved it!

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May 17, 2020 at 5:38 pm

No. 1. Jordan. We all had a magnificent time there. Small Country so easy to see everything but every day was something different and a different period of history.

2. Grand Cayman. 7 mile beach is just gorgeous. Easy to get to and clean and friendly.

We had a disaster of a trip to Italy but I’d go back to Venice in a heartbeat.

May 18, 2020 at 7:57 am

I’ve only spent one day in Jordan, in Petra, but it’s at the top of my list to return to.

We haven’t been to Grand Cayman, simply because the Caribbean can be a hassle to reach from California. It’s easier to get to Fiji than Grand Cayman. But I’ll add it to our list!

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May 22, 2020 at 2:37 pm

Great list, and so many places I need to visit! I’ll add the Czech Republic, in particular Prague, to the discussion. I love Prague for all of its magical architecture and the ability to walk everywhere. And, so many great little outdoor cafes either right in the center of town or along the canal.

May 22, 2020 at 2:40 pm

Thanks Megan! The Czech Republic actually finished towards the bottom of our list, but for the kids at least that was based solely on one August visit when Prague was very crowded. I think they would like it better if we were to return in the spring or fall. It’s an amazing city, just not fun with too many people. And I want to explore a lot more of the country as well.

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May 23, 2020 at 4:58 pm

I absolutely love reading your blogs and post. Thank you. Though my kids are older now, we did go ‘round the world’ with them, with partners and a grandson in 2018. Tokyo to Porto then a week on a small (36 passengers) boat from Dubrovnik to Split, on to BC in Canada then a relax in Santa Monica before home. Every place held something special and was so different to the next. I would say the highlight for us all was Canada- we stayed in a small town called Smithers and the the younger ones did extreme mountain bike riding, fishing, hiking, shooting at the gun range and drives to nearby First Nation sites. Unbelievable. I loved it so much I went back in 2019 and did 5 weeks Canada/Alaska which was out of this world.

May 25, 2020 at 1:04 pm

Thanks Joanne! Your trip sounds amazing – a lot of our favorite places. We still haven’t been to Porto though. And we would love to explore Canada more. I’ll add Smithers to our list.

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May 29, 2020 at 3:54 am

Great places.

How wonderful for the children. We are slow budget family travellers and often find ourselves saying that we want our kids to have places to discover on their own. Travelling as a family is truly wonderful and we love it. Maybe it will be the highlight of our lives as parents. Yet, as they get older we find ourselves thinking more of solo or exchange trips for them alone that doesn’t include us plus trips for just the two of us that don’t include them. Like much of parenting it is a tough call…

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June 20, 2020 at 12:31 am

Pretty amazed that Greece beat out Italy (and by a large margin) given your love of Florence. What happened to Spain?

June 20, 2020 at 2:59 pm

Spain is roughly halfway down our list. The kids have only been 3 times, and only for a day or two each time.

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September 5, 2020 at 10:03 am

You have missed cape Town as other interesting place to visit.

September 6, 2020 at 7:30 pm

1) I love Cape Town. 2) Cape Town is not a country. 3) We have not taken our kids to South Africa so it was not included in our voting.

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June 1, 2023 at 12:13 pm

So far, South Africa, Israel and Switzerland have been my favs. Israel is so impactful, obviously, for different reasons. Costa Rica is pretty nice. The U.S. is up there if you think in terms of Kawaii, Hawaii and parts of CA, OR, WA. Austria was great. England was was as well. France nice, but overall, I would put South Africa at the top of the list of all the places we have visited.

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November 28, 2020 at 9:26 am

Pointers for Switzerland travel from US for perhaps one full week in the country? Note: We are rather healthy but in our late 60’s. Love your blog and robust sense of adventure and open minds regarding diverse cultures!

November 29, 2020 at 2:26 pm

Hi Scott. I asked my friend Kate in Zurich for suggestions, since she knows Switzerland far better than I do.

Her thoughts: For a week in Switzerland I would suggest taking the train as it’s so easy, safe, and convenient. Plus, you get to see the Swiss landscapes the whole time. Spend a day exploring old town Zürich, the next day take the train to Luzern and explore it overnight. The rest of the week take the train to Lauterbrunnen and spend a few days exploring the beautiful hiking and waterfalls, sleeping in either Wengen, Grindelwald, or Mürren. If there’s extra time, visit Rhinefalls and the cute historic town of Stein am Rhine.

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December 4, 2020 at 9:28 am

Have you visited mexico? Was expecting mexico on the list…..I’ve never been there though

December 4, 2020 at 9:43 am

Mexico was halfway down our list. We love San Miguel de Allende, I’m a huge fan of Mexico City, and my wife has a lot of family history in Mexico. But we’ve spent too much time in touristy, less-interesting areas like Los Cabos, Playa del Carmen and Cancun. We need to explore more of real Mexico.

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June 1, 2021 at 7:25 am

You should visit Oaxaca and Chiapas…..amazing places

June 1, 2021 at 7:58 am

Of course! On our list.

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January 27, 2021 at 4:27 pm

I’ve enjoyed perusing your lists! Since the majority of us aren’t doing much travel these days, our travel group likes to reminisce about our past travel adventures. You’ve done a country list and city list. Next up, consider a favorite experience/activity while traveling. Here’s our top 10 experiences: 1) Safari in the Serengeti & Ngorogoro Crater 2) Antarctica cruise 3) Amazon River cruise and live aboard 4) Diving and snorkeling in Palawan, Philippines 5) Live aboard and diving on the Great Barrier Reef 6) Great White Shark cage diving in Cape Town 7) Visiting Skellig Michael Island in Ireland 8) Southern Alps plane tour in New Zealand 9) Ziplining in Costa Rica 10) Spending the night in a treehouse in Sri Lanka

I would love to hear what you and your family’s top experiences have been. Gives others great ideas for future travel too.

Aloha, Bonnie

January 27, 2021 at 4:55 pm

Thanks Bonnie! I did a post back in 2016 with our favorite activities ( https://travelbabbo.com/ten-cool-kid-friendly-activities/ ) but it could definitely be time to update that with more recent things. I was thinking about having the kids rate hotels too.

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May 24, 2021 at 12:21 pm

I have a soon to be 7yo & 2yo, we are trying to decide on where to go next year as a little family holiday and I am determined to take us somewhere that is more than just playing by the pool and beach. This list has given me more destinations to add to the TTT list. I am stuck between Croatia and Naxos in Greece to start off with as they both look amazing!

May 24, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Great! Both Croatia and Greece would make excellent destinations. Naxos will definitely have more beach/pool time, Croatia would be a little more culture and nature.

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May 24, 2021 at 6:47 pm

My first thought is, will you adopt me. WOW your kids are lucky and I am sure so well educated. I was happy to see Portugal on your list. A kinda unknown, great value hidden treasure of Europe. And I gotta say, I love the southern coast of Spain. Your list was really fun to read and some never entered my mind and to be honest, one I have to look up as I have no idea where it is. I am excited to see what is coming from you and your family as being retired, it is time to get back to traveling. If you could note somewhere how the traveling would be for senior single female it would be great. Many years ago, I traveled to Isreal and Greece alone (not a senior back then), but I loved it.

May 25, 2021 at 9:40 am

Thanks Tracy! I’m glad you’re inspired! And I definitely need to explore southern Spain more.

I am unable to write about travel from a senior single female perspective as I am none of those, and I only blog from personal experience. There are so many good travel blogs though – if you search around you should be able to find someone who matches you and your travel style perfectly.

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June 5, 2021 at 9:03 am

I vote for this location as NUMBER ONE ! ! Without a doubt ……

The Amalfi coast in Italy ! ! ! the most beautiful… people, hotels, food views, …… on and on ! ! !

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June 16, 2021 at 8:44 am

Great list! Just a note, it’s Vancouver Island in Canada, not Victoria Island 🙂

June 16, 2021 at 10:37 am

Thank you so much! Change made!

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July 23, 2021 at 9:36 am

Nice Post Eric! I am afraid to travel alone and you travel with kids. Hats off to you. Maybe some day I will also travel like you. Great Post Man.

Please visit India some day.

July 23, 2021 at 9:41 am

I have visited India many times, both with and without kids. One of my favorite countries!

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February 7, 2022 at 8:44 am

Taiwan is definitely the best. I bet the only reason it’s not here is because they didn’t go. I recommend it!

February 7, 2022 at 9:13 am

We’ve been to Taiwan – you could have done a search for Taiwan on this website, or gone to my About Me page , to verify that. It finished roughly halfway down our rankings. Would love to return.

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March 3, 2022 at 8:49 am

Love this list. Having traveled and lived abroad we are excited to return to travel overseas soon with our 9-year old daughter. Having lived in Estonia for four years, I highly recommend it. Very found memories of the people, land and sauna culture as well as the best intact historic city IMHO in Europe without the crowds. Even more memorable at Christmas time as the best uncrowded Christmas market we’ve been to. (birthplace of the Christmas tree as well as Riga, Latvia’s claim to fame). Thanks for your blog.

March 3, 2022 at 12:03 pm

I love Estonia! I’ve traveled around Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania several times, but before the kids were born. Would love to take them.

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August 21, 2022 at 10:29 pm

Great list. Italy, Greece, France, Spain and Turkey are my favorites in Europe. Jordan and Israel were also fascinating.

Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico and Ecuador in the Americas.

Botswana, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya in Africa.

Australia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Palau and Japan in Asia/Oceania.

Still high on bucket list: New Zealand, Morocco, Egypt, Portugal, Croatia and Peru. So many places. So little time.

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November 7, 2022 at 9:34 pm

“Sad that a beautiful country like INDIA is not in the list” . Especially when Taj Mahal is in seven wonders of world. Rajasthan mighty forts and rich culture. Gold beaches of Goa . Keralas back waters and greenery, Tibet and Kashmir mountains . Thousands of years old temples in Tamilnadu.

November 8, 2022 at 9:44 am

This is a very strange comment. Have you not looked through my website? Have you seen all of the India photos I’ve posted to Instagram? This specific post is based on family voting, and only one of my kids has been to India. But India, and Rajasthan in particular, is one of my favorite places in the world and I have said that many, many times.

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  • Nature Travel

15 of the World's Most Naturally Beautiful Countries

These nations boast breathtaking scenery, diverse landscapes, and abundant wildlife.

Elizabeth Rhodes is a special projects editor at Travel + Leisure , covering everything from luxury hotels to theme parks to must-pack travel products. Originally from South Carolina, Elizabeth moved to New York City from London, where she started her career as a travel blogger and writer.

top 8 countries to visit

What is the most beautiful country in the world? When it comes to the earth's diverse destinations, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. From the red rock formations of the American West to the Maldives' pristine white-sand beaches, there are myriad incredible places to visit around the globe. To help you plan your next scenic adventure, we've narrowed it down to the 15 countries with the most spectacular natural landscapes. Prepare to be wowed by majestic mountains, lush rain forests, awe-inspiring waterfalls, breathtaking coastlines, and stunning wildlife.

From massive waterfalls to black-sand beaches , this island country is bursting with beauty. Depending on the time of year you visit , you can experience unique natural phenomena. During the winter months, you can spot the spectacular northern lights dancing over frozen waterfalls and icy landscapes. Come summer, you can hike and then soak in hot springs under the midnight sun.

Between the snowy French Alps, glamorous French Riviera, rolling vineyard- and lavender-covered hills of Provence, and rocky coast of Brittany, is it any surprise France is often considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world? Plus, those natural wonders provide us with French wine, cheese, and more, so what's not to love?

Made up of thousands of islands, Indonesia has everything from green terraced rice fields to beautiful beaches, dense rain forests, and more. The island of Bali is popular among travelers seeking vistas of intricate temples against a backdrop of crashing ocean waves or rolling hills with a volcano in the distance.

United States

From sea to shining sea, the United States offers endless picturesque landscapes. With the turquoise waters of the Florida Keys , the magnificent Grand Canyon, the snowcapped peaks of Alaska , and the postcard-worthy California coastline , it would take years to fully explore the country's most beautiful places.

When you think of the perfect beach paradise, what images come to mind? We're guessing sparkling aquamarine waters and sugar-white beaches like those in the Maldives. On one of these remote islands, you can gaze at the Indian Ocean from your thatched-roof overwater bungalow or dive under the surface to explore the vibrant coral reefs and abundant sea life.

Italy is a dream destination. One visit and you'll be so enchanted by its natural beauty, delicious food, incredible architecture, and friendly people that you'll be ready to plan your next trip. It's hard to choose between the vineyard-covered Tuscan hills, the wanderlust-worthy Amalfi Coast, and the soaring peaks of the Dolomites , so we recommend visiting them all.

Switzerland

The breathtaking alpine landscapes of Switzerland — with sparkling lakes and charming villages — make this a must-visit destination, particularly for outdoorsy types who love to hike and ski. In the winter, the country resembles a living snow globe, while summertime reveals green mountains and fragrant wildflowers.

Bamboo forests, relaxing hot springs, iconic Mount Fuji , and tropical beaches — you'll find all this and more on a trip to Japan . Plan your getaway during the spring cherry blossom season to see the country's famous blooms for yourself.

Everyone knows Costa Rica has incredible biodiversity, so nature lovers frequently put it at the top of their travel list. Pretty beaches, the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest , volcanoes, waterfalls, and tons of wildlife are just a few of the reasons why this is one of the world's most naturally beautiful countries.

Eight of the world's 10 tallest mountains, including Mount Everest , are in Nepal. The Himalayas are a draw for adventurers hoping to test their climbing skills and endurance. Other visitors can choose to admire these impressive mountains from a distance. Of course, there's plenty more to see here, including wildlife like rhinos and tigers.

Chris Marinaccio/Travel + Leisure

The Amazon rain forest and Andes Mountains — home to Machu Picchu and Rainbow Mountain — are reason enough to visit Peru, so the delicious ceviche and pisco are bonuses. For something completely different, head to Huacachina — a village set amid the only natural desert oasis in South America.

United Kingdom

London , Edinburgh, and Manchester might overshadow the United Kingdom's abundant natural beauty, but it's well worth venturing outside the major cities. From the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast to the basalt columns of the Giant's Causeway and the dreamy Scottish Highlands , there's plenty to explore in the U.K.

South Africa

South Africa offers a truly impressive array of landscapes, with something for everyone. The diverse terrain features everything from vineyards and Kruger National Park to the mountainous coastline. Explore the natural wonders on a safari for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Another popular safari travel destination, Tanzania is home to the Big Five: elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos. The popular Kilimanjaro National Park is home to the iconic eponymous volcano, while Serengeti National Park teems with wildlife, including millions of wildebeest who migrate there every year. Tanzania also has a beautiful coastline and stunning islands like Zanzibar.

New Zealand

Outdoor adventure opportunities abound in New Zealand , where you can cruise around Milford Sound's fjords, ski on the North or South island, check out geothermal phenomena like geysers and mud pools, and admire the country's ancient glaciers.

Related Articles

The 17 Best Countries to Visit in Europe

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

It’s no secret Europe is an appealing continent for country-hopping. Once you’re there, cycle-friendly streets, extensive train systems, and relatively cheap inter-country flights make it highly accessible. Scenery wise, Europe has everything from snowy mountains, lush forests, and glittering beaches to ultra-modern cities, medieval villages, and Neolithic structures. Wherever you go, you can just as easily spend your time immersed in local history, art, and architecture as you can lingering over a four-hour meal, wandering cobblestone streets, or dancing the night (or day) away.

Perhaps the biggest challenge in planning a trip to Europe is deciding where to go. To make it a little easier, we’ve put together a guide to our favorite places. The first nine are the obvious contenders; there’s a reason why these countries are frequently talked about—they’re easily reachable, they’re well-adjusted to tourists, and they feature a wide range of activities, experiences, and landscapes. The remaining eight countries represent equally great options for something similar but slightly more off the beaten path (for non-European tourists, at least). Whichever you choose, you'll find something for every type of traveler.

United Kingdom

joe daniel price/Getty Images

With four separate countries—England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland— the U.K . offers a taste of European diversity. From mountains, lakes, and valleys (like the Mourne Mountains , Snowdonia National Park , and the Scottish Highlands ) to rocky coastlines, rolling hills, and pebble-strewn beaches (like Seven Sisters , the Lake District , and the Pembrokeshire Coast ), it’s a hiker’s paradise. Beyond its natural wonders, the U.K. also boasts lots of lively, inclusive cities packed with bustling literary and expat scenes, LGBTQIA+ history, some of Europe’s best comedy, music, and drag festivals, and a culture centered around food and drink.

Whether you’re exploring some of the world’s best cocktail bars or restaurants in Barcelona and Madrid , lounging in the turquoise waters of the Costa Brava or Tenerife , browsing the art of Bilbao , or marveling at the medieval architecture of Seville or Toledo, one thing unites all of Spain —its warm, welcoming people. Known for closing shops to eat lunch with loved ones and later chatting for hours over pintxos and wine at dinner, Spaniards make time to appreciate life and its simple pleasures, and that energy is delightfully contagious. Solo travelers especially will never feel alone here.

Nikada/Getty Images

Contrary to Hollywood portrayals, France is more than high-end fashion, delicious pastries, and top-quality wine—though of course those are prevalent. While you can easily live out your ritzy cinematic montage via shopping on the Champs-Élysées , sunbathing on wind-swept piers in the French Riviera , or touring chateaux in wine country, the affordable ways of experiencing French culture are what make it special. Most museums offer free or discounted hours, cabarets often have cheaper performance nights, some of the best meals come from Paris street vendors or Aix-en-Provence markets, and five euro grocery store wine is better than most table wines.

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Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, with a partner, or with family, Italy has something for everyone. You can have a city break filled with art and shopping in Milan or Florence or immerse yourself in harrowing history in Pompeii . You can relax on white sand beaches in Sardinia or the Amalfi Coast . You can have an action-packed skiing trip or hiking trip. Whatever you choose to do, there is one thing you can and should explore everywhere, at every opportunity: the country's food and wine scene. Local cooking classes from the village nonna are especially fun.

Although Iceland is slightly harder to reach and could get overcrowded at popular spots like The Blue Lagoon , once you’re here, any hassle is forgotten. There are so many jaw-dropping waterfalls , glaciers , mountains , caves , and hot springs everywhere you look that you’ll forget you’re still on Earth. If you road trip (or travel by horse ) around the Ring Road that circles Iceland’s perimeter, you can also branch off to lesser travelled lava rock fields, fjords, and potential Northern Lights viewing spots. For an extra dose of Icelandic magic scenery, keep an eye out for elf walks .

Stefan Cristian Cioata/Getty Images

An excellent choice for nature lovers, history buffs, and partiers alike is Greece . Islands like Santorini , Crete , and Mykonos attract the most visitors and press, but there are literally hundreds of inhabited islands made for hiking, snorkeling, and dancing in the sun. If you prefer city life on the mainland, Athens is the heart of Ancient Greek history with modern levels of fine-dining and nightlife, and Thessaloniki is rich in Byzantine art and international festivals. To combine history and art all in one experience, visit during the brief public opening times of Ancient Greek theaters to catch a play. 

Jakob Radlgruber / EyeEm / Getty Images

With long, dark winter nights and long, bright summer days, Sweden is prime territory for Northern Lights viewing and Midsummer celebrations, but its friendly locals, buzzy student population, and inviting bakeries make it entertaining year-round. Stockholm is a great gateway city, as it has everything you’d want from an urban hub—museums, restaurants, nightclubs, and a distinct mix of architectural styles—plus easy access to day trips , farther afield Swedish cities, and the equally appealing neighboring countries of Norway and Finland. Always make time to enjoy fika , a daily social hour with friends over coffee and pastries like kanelbullar (Swedish cinnamon buns).

Known for its breweries , meat-heavy meals, exclusive nightclubs and festivals , and eclectic art scene, Germany is often seen as a hipster’s paradise or the perfect backdrop to a rowdy night out. While it is both of those things—especially Cologne with its university life and Berlin with its extensive street food, street art, and prevalence of eerie abandoned spaces—it’s also a country with impressive architecture, meandering scenic drives , an appreciation for literature , kid-friendly attractions, some of the best Christmas markets in Europe, and a strong commitment to remembering its darker history . 

The Netherlands

Most people associate the Netherlands with three Ws: windmills, waterways, and weed. While it’s difficult to go anywhere without encountering at least one of those—and you should wander canals and frolic in tulip-covered fields—it’s home to more than just natural and “herbal” beauty. The first country to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption, the Netherlands is a welcoming place for LGBTQIA+ visitors and hosts queer-celebratory festivals, performances, and events throughout the year. It’s also edam gouda destination for cheese aficionados, with dedicated cheese museums in Amsterdam and traditional medieval cheese markets easily accessible from the capital city.

Evan Schiller/Courtesy of Ballybunion Golf Club

If dramatic scenery and its culturally-ingrained love of alcohol attract you to the U.K., Ireland has both—plus even greener landscapes and even kinder locals. You’ll pay steeply in Dublin, especially for attractions like the Guinness Storehouse , but its unique architecture , literary heritage, and theater scene are worth the coin. The best way to see the country, though, is to drive along the western coastline via the Wild Atlantic Way . Accommodation ranges from homestays to full-on castles , and you can traipse woodland waterfalls , befriend Connemara horses, hike the Cliffs of Moher , and hear live music in Galway along the way.

Take everything great about Spain while subtracting the heftier crowds and costs, and you'll get Portugal . In addition to wine and sangria, you can sip on local drinks like port, ginjinha (sour cherry liquor), and vinho verde (green wine) for a few euros a glass, plus intercity train travel and rideshare apps are often cheaper than the bus. Approachability is a big plus, but the highlights are river tours around Porto and the Douro Valley , sampling pastel de nata (egg custard tarts) and pão de deus (coconut bread) in Lisbon , exploring fairytale castles of Sintra , and hopping beaches and coves along the Algarve .

Switzerland

Manuta/Getty Images

As with France, people often associate Switzerland with elaborate indulgences, like fancy ski resorts , the wealthy city of Geneva , and internationally acclaimed dining . While no trip to Switzerland would be complete without a surplus of fondue and chocolate, some of the best experiences in the country are found outside its cities. Hiking and skiing around its lakes , mountains, and parks will give you the chance to get up close and personal with its natural charm, but you don’t even have to be an active traveler to partake: there are also many ways to catch the views by train .

This central European country shares more than just a border with Italy: it also shares a passion for local wines, truffle-laden pastas, mountaintop skiing, and lakeside castles and hiking—and all at a fraction of the price. Capital city, vegetarian-friendly Ljubljana, is completely walkable, with lots of meandering canals and small farmers’ and flea markets even on the coldest of days. If you head to Slovenia’s most popular lake—Lake Bled—during the off season, you can avoid touristy beach parties and instead enjoy a virtually uninterrupted view of crisp, turquoise water shimmering beneath the mountains.

Faroe Islands

It’s hard to find unspoiled nature, but the Faroe Islands get pretty close. Located between Iceland and Norway, this remote sovereign nation offers the same rugged, otherworldly landscapes as its neighbors, but with significantly less foot, car, and boat traffic. If you’re more of an indoor cat, you may want to give this trip a skip, but otherwise suit up with layers and waterproof gear and get ready to fall in love with puffins. Stay with a local if you can—it’s more traditional, more affordable, and you’ll learn more about respecting the ecosystems around you.

Much like Greece, Croatia can impress steadfast city-breakers as much as die-hard nature-chasers. From summer festivals in Split and Dubrovnik to dedicated booze-cruise boats that take you to islands like Hvar and Brač, it has plenty of opportunities to indulge hedonistic tendencies. Equally prominent, though, are chances to rejuvenate on more remote islands , plan a leisurely food crawl , or hike through forest, mountains, and waterfalls at national parks like Krka or Plitvice Lakes .

Czech Republic

If Germany’s castles, scenic road trips, and literary appreciation are as appealing as its vast quantities of alcohol, the Czech Republic offers all of the above but with smaller crowds and, especially outside its capital, significantly lower costs. With its Franz Kafka museum, striking Jewish quarter, and black light theater performances as well as its thriving restaurant , nightlife , and absinthe scenes, Prague is definitely worth a visit, but make sure to take advantage of the extensive domestic train system to take day trips or spend time elsewhere to see some of its best architecture, World War II history, and wine and beer producers.

If you can’t decide whether to go to France, Germany, or the Netherlands, Belgium has elements of all three. It has the excellent chocolate of France, the impressive range of architecture like Germany, and the walkable, canal-filled cities like the Netherlands. Plus, the Belgians are the inventor of frites . The bilingual capital of Brussels is an ideal gateway to other cities and neighboring countries, and with its diplomatic ties, it also offers a great cultural melting pot. Eat at least one meal in Matongé, its African quarter, before traveling out to other cities like Antwerp or Bruges .

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The 60 most beautiful places in the world

By Katharine Sohn

The 60 most beautiful places in the world 2024

Where are the most beautiful places in the world? On a planet home to flamingo-pink lakes in Mexico, plus vast, multi-coloured hills in the USA, green ripples of rice paddies in Indonesia and epic icescapes in Antarctica, it's hard to choose a favourite – but why pick one? From countries all around the world, these are our top 60 most beautiful places to visit.

Scattered along Scotland's west coast this chain of isles is one of the country's most beautiful places to visit. Think...

Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Scattered along Scotland 's west coast, this chain of isles is one of the country's most beautiful places to visit. Think shimmering white-sand beaches , sparkling seas and crowd-free hinterlands – it's one of the UK's last remaining secrets, and for good reason.

With endless rows of vines tumbling down hillsides and birds of prey swooping along the riverside at first glance you'd...

Douro Valley, Portugal

With endless rows of vines tumbling down hillsides and birds of prey swooping along the riverside, at first glance you'd think this place was anywhere but Europe. Right in the depths of Portugal , this valley is as romantic as it comes – hike along ridges, taste-test your way through the region's wine and cosy up in some of the country's very best hotels, before waking up and doing it all again.

The most westerly point on mainland Australia is this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was founded before Captain Cook...

Shark Bay, Australia

The most westerly point on mainland Australia is this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was founded before Captain Cook discovered land at Botany Bay, with Dutch explorers touching down here in the 17th century. The area is diverse – there’s a beach made up entirely of tiny white shells, stromatolites on the shore of Hamelin Pool and the salt mine at Useless Loop, which produces the purest grade of salt in the world and is only accessible via four-by-four – or visible from the sky.

A small seaside town in the Ica region of Peru Paracas is where the desert meets the sea. A trip to the area isnt...

Paracas, Peru

A small seaside town in the Ica region of Peru , Paracas is where the desert meets the sea. A trip to the area isn’t complete without a boat ride to Islas Ballestas, the rocky islands off the Pacific coast known for their diverse wildlife including flocks of sea lions and crowds of baby penguins.

The redcliff coastline and pristine whitewashed Moorish villages that dot the southwestern region of Portugal have...

Algarve, Portugal

The red-cliff coastline and pristine whitewashed Moorish villages that dot the south-western region of Portugal have started shifting crowds away from the region’s busier hotspots. It has its own sunny microclimate and affordable places to stay such as Casa Mãe in Lagos make it a great winter-sun option too.

With its striking architecture grand boulevards worldclass art jewelbox patisseries and classic places to stay this is a...

Paris, France

With its striking architecture, grand boulevards, world-class art, jewel-box patisseries and classic places to stay , this is a city that never sleeps. Its unrivalled food scene is best experienced by stumbling upon corner bistros down cobbled streets.

Vietnamese for peace Hòa Bình province is located in the north of the country and is home to hill tribes including the...

Hòa Bình, Vietnam

Vietnamese for peace, Hòa Bình province is located in the north of the country and is home to hill tribes including the Hmong, Muong and Dzao, plus endless rice fields.

Offradar Milos has some of the best beaches in the Aegean without the buzz of Mykonos or Santorini. Moonlike Sarakiniko...

Sarakiniko Beach, Milos, Greece

Off-radar Milos has some of the best beaches in the Aegean without the buzz of Mykonos or Santorini . Moon-like Sarakiniko is made up of mounds of undulating bone-white, wave-like volcanic rock and forms one of the island’s most mesmerising bays.

The most extreme continent on earth is also the coldest windiest driest and most inhospitable to forms of life. Pristine...

The most extreme continent on earth is also the coldest, windiest, driest and most inhospitable to forms of life. Pristine and practically untouched, no one lives in Antarctica full time, apart from seals, penguins and marine life. It’s as remote as one can get.

Known as the hottest place on earth Death Valley reached a record temperature of 53°C in 2019. Its a vast area of...

Death Valley, California

Known as the hottest place on earth, Death Valley reached a record temperature of 53°C in 2019. It’s a vast area of extremes: with snowy peaks, scorching sands and wildflower meadows, the National Park encompasses a wide range of different landscapes. One of the most popular locations is the multi-hued Artists Palette, a series of eroded hills whose colouring is due to the oxidation of natural metal deposits in the mountains. ‘ Star Wars ’ fans will be keen to see the site that inspired the planet Tatooine.

In summer endless fields of lavender in bloom turn the Provençal landscape purple. At the end of the season when the...

Provence, France

In summer, endless fields of lavender in bloom turn the Provençal landscape purple. At the end of the season, when the crop is harvested, honey, soaps and pastries are made with a fragrant dose of the plant.

Monks at Bayon temple

Bayon, Cambodia

Built in honour of one of Cambodia’s most famous kings, Jayavarman VII, Bayon is a 12th-century state temple that’s a unique architectural feat in the heart of Angkor Thom. Fifty-four gothic towers carved with 216 gargantuan smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara – the bodhisattva of compassion – fill the temple , and the design showcases the shift from Hinduism to Mahayana Buddhism. With Angkor Wat not far away, Bayon, its off-the-beaten track little sister, is a close second in popularity.

The famous three peaks of the National Park are among Wyomings most recognisable sights the Grand forming the highest...

Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

The famous three peaks of the National Park are among Wyoming’s most recognisable sights, the Grand forming the highest point of the range. It’s a hike on many pro adventurers' list, but for newbies looking for an outdoors excursion floating down the Snake River or mountain-biking through the 310,000-acre landscape are viable options, too. Top it off with supper at Snake River Grill in Jackson’s town centre and an overnight stay at the cliff-side Amangani .

The worlds highest waterfall with 3212ft cascades is located in the UNESCOprotected Canaima National Park and was the...

Angel Falls, Venezuela

The world’s highest waterfall, with 3,212ft cascades, is located in the UNESCO-protected Canaima National Park and was the inspiration for the Disney film ‘Up’. The site is only accessible by boat or plane.

A gateway to the East Kyrgyzstan has natural beauty. Unspoilt pine forests rocky ridges and rolling jailoos  are typical...

A gateway to the East, Kyrgyzstan has natural beauty. Unspoilt pine forests, rocky ridges and rolling jailoos (summer pastures) are typical of the country. In the warmer months visitors flock to glacial lakes, while in winter a stay with semi-nomadic shepherds is an experience unlike any other.

The 12500ftlong canal runs straight through the centre and has inspired numerous artists including Canaletto Monet and...

Grand Canal, Venice

The 12,500ft-long canal runs straight through the centre and has inspired numerous artists including Canaletto, Monet and JMW Turner. Flanked by buildings dating from the 12th to the 17th centuries, it’s the grandest waterway in the Floating City .

Hwange has a greater diversity of mammals than any national park in the world and is the largest natural reserve in...

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Hwange has a greater diversity of mammals than any national park in the world and is the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe . The size of Belgium , it is home to more than 50,000 elephants and 500 species of bird. The wet-season winter months are the best time to see migratory birds or book an off-season safari when the park gets fewer visitors.

A third of Mongolia is covered in desert and while its the 18thlargest country in the world its three million...

A third of Mongolia is covered in desert, and while it’s the 18th-largest country in the world, its three million inhabitants make it the most sparsely populated. Visitors can go local: riding horses, helping to look after livestock and sleeping in a herder's ger – a traditional felt yurt.

This salt lake constitutes the lowest point on the continent. Normally dry due to evaporated water with its saltdeposit...

Lake Eyre, Australia

This salt lake constitutes the lowest point on the continent. Normally dry due to evaporated water, with its salt-deposit haze, the body only fills completely twice every 100 years on average.

Minutes from scooterbuzzing Ubud are artsy lowkey villages vivid green rice paddies lush forests and vast jungles. Bali...

Bali, Indonesia

Minutes from scooter-buzzing Ubud are artsy, low-key villages, vivid green rice paddies, lush forests and vast jungles. Bali is one of Indonesia’s 17,000 islands and sees an average temperature of about 30°C year round. Explore by bicycle and then head to one of its many cool beach clubs.

East Sussex England

Seven Sisters Country Park, East Sussex, UK

Britain’s unspoilt south coast is home to one of the country's greatest walking trails and seaside parks, the Seven Sisters. Made up of 280 hectares of chalk cliffs, a winding river valley and flat top grasslands with views of the English Channel, the coastal path begins near Eastbourne, the start of the 100-mile South Downs Way.

On a route made famous by revolutionary Che Guevara who kicked off his motorcycle journey in Buenos Aires head down to...

Atacame Desert, South America

On a route made famous by revolutionary Che Guevara who kicked off his motorcycle journey in Buenos Aires , head down to Chile through the Atacama Desert into the Peruvian Amazon and up to Venezuela. Vast expanses of sandy flats quickly roll into high tops of dunes and gorges leading to plateaus of dusty grass. It’s a trip for explorers, with the Andes standing tall above the Argentine –Chile border, blurring one side into the other. NASA even uses the desert as a testing ground for future Mars missions.

Fujisan the tallest peak in Japan is a sacred mountain and symbol. On a clear day it can be seen from Tokyo but one of...

Mount Fuji, Japan

Fuji-san, the tallest peak in Japan , is a sacred mountain and symbol. On a clear day, it can be seen from Tokyo , but one of the best ways to view the still-active volcano is by taking the shinkansen bullet train from the capital to Osaka (top tip: sit on the right-hand side for the best views). Surrounding areas Hakone (where there are natural hot springs) and Fujigoko are worth visiting during cherry-blossom season.

The largest city in Rajasthan is filled to the brim with buzzing bazaars sacred lakes and gilded royal palaces  the...

Jaipur and the Hawa Mahal Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan

The largest city in Rajasthan is filled to the brim with buzzing bazaars, sacred lakes and gilded royal palaces – the decadent 18th-century royal-owned Rajmahal Palace is a smart hotel. Among the famously rosy-hued buildings of the Pink City, the honeycomb-like Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds, is surely the most recognisable of all. The incredible sandstone structure has 953 small exterior windows (called jharokhas ) decorated with intricate lattice work.

The Namib Desert is the oldest in the world and in the middle of its vast Skeleton Coast are endless miles of stone and...

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

The Namib Desert is the oldest in the world, and in the middle of its vast Skeleton Coast are endless miles of stone and sand, dry riverbeds and dunes. Desert-adapted animals here include elephant, giraffe, lion, brown hyaena and Cape fur seals that thrive in the area.

Its a few hours from buzzing Edinburgh not far from the Cairngorms to the start of the eastern Highlands. Stretching...

The Scottish Highlands

It’s a few hours from buzzing Edinburgh , not far from the Cairngorms, to the start of the eastern Highlands. Stretching around Skye, around the North Coast 500 route up to the village of John O' Groats, the region is also home to the tallest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis. There’s natural beauty everywhere, from babbling Fairy Pools and big-horned cattle to clear coastal waters and snowy mountain caps.

Meaning cotton castle in Turkish this natural wonder is made up of layers of white travertine terraces of iceblue spa...

Pamukkale, Turkey

Meaning cotton castle in Turkish , this natural wonder is made up of layers of white travertine terraces of ice-blue spa pools. It’s also next to the site of the well-preserved ruins of Hierapolis, the Greek-Roman city established in the 2nd century BC.

Stretching over eight countries  France Switzerland Monaco Italy Liechtenstein Austria Germany and Slovenia  the Alps...

Stretching over eight countries – France , Switzerland , Monaco, Italy , Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany and Slovenia – the Alps are the most extensive mountain range in Europe . It has some of the greatest skiing in the world with popular towns including Chamonix -Mont-Blanc (the highest mountain), Lech , Gstaad and Courchevel .

This archipelago of five islands  Bazaruto the largest Benguerra Magaruque Santa Carolina and the smallest Bangue  was...

Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

This archipelago of five islands – Bazaruto, the largest, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and the smallest Bangue – was once part of a peninsula connected to the mainland but now, when the Indian Ocean retreats at low tide, swirls and ripples of white sand become visible. A protected marine park, its waters are rich in manta rays, schools of dolphins, hawksbill turtles and dugongs (cousins of equally curious manatees).

Six turquoise waterholes lie within the salty plains of Ojos del Mar in the Tolar Grande region of Bolivia. Inhabited by...

Ojos del Mar, Bolivia

Six turquoise waterholes lie within the salty plains of Ojos del Mar in the Tolar Grande region of Bolivia . Inhabited by stromatolites (deposits formed by algae) and microorganisms, the water can change slightly in colour, depending on the angle of the sun, from bright blue to seafoam green.

Home to the tallest mountain in New Zealand the AorakiMount Cook National Park part of the Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage...

Mount Cook, New Zealand

Home to the tallest mountain in New Zealand , the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, part of the Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Site on the South Island, is a mountaineer’s dream. More than 40 per cent of the area is covered in glaciers, with the largest and longest named the Tasman Glacier. It was here that Sir Edmund Hillary trained for the first momentous ascent of Mount Everest.

One of the Luberon's most striking hilltop hamlets Gordes stands tall on the edge of the Vaucluse plateau. With views...

Gordes, Provence

One of the Luberon's most striking hilltop hamlets, Gordes stands tall on the edge of the Vaucluse plateau. With views across the surrounding region of Provence , the quintessential medieval town is a must-visit. A stay at Bastide de Gordes , the village’s most glamorous hotel, will make the trip complete.

Easily one of the Canadian Rockies most recognisable landmarks Emerald Lake is located within Yoho National Park in...

Emerald Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Easily one of the Canadian Rockies’ most recognisable landmarks, Emerald Lake is located within Yoho National Park in British Columbia. Backed by the towering mountain peaks of the President Range, in summer the clear glacial water is ideal for canoeing and attempting a quick swim.

The selfgoverned group of 18 volcanic islands makes up this remote archipelago where sheep outnumber humans. Grasslined...

The Faroe Islands

The self-governed group of 18 volcanic islands makes up this remote archipelago where sheep outnumber humans. Grass-lined houses, craggy coastlines and lush waterfalls are all part of the Nordic landscape but there’s a surprising food scene too.

Modern highrise buildings meet period architecture in retro Hong Kong one of the most densely populated cities in the...

Modern high-rise buildings meet period architecture in retro Hong Kong , one of the most densely populated cities in the world. It’s a street-food capital where eating dim sum like a local in an old teahouse is a mandatory experience. For the best views of the harbour, catch a Star Ferry or hike the hills of Ma On Shan, one of the summits that surround the city.

The magical walled Blue City is a tangle of winding medieval streets. The monumental 15thcentury Mehrangarh Fort which...

Jodhpur, India

The magical, walled Blue City is a tangle of winding medieval streets. The monumental 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, which is still run by the royal family and now serves as a museum, looks out over the old city and its mesh of box-shaped buildings, shops and bazaars.

The Navajo name of this slot canyon translates to ‘the place where water runs through rocks and the narrow ravine is an...

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

The Navajo name of this slot canyon translates to ‘the place where water runs through rocks’ and the narrow ravine is an American Southwest treasure, filled with ripples of eroded stone formations, and sunlight creating orange filters and bright patterns. The popularity of this spot among keen photographers speaks for itself – this is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

This Arctic archipelago about a threehour flight north of Oslo has one of the harshest environments on the planet....

Svalbard, Norway

This Arctic archipelago , about a three-hour flight north of Oslo , has one of the harshest environments on the planet. Nearly two-thirds of it is protected and the islands are made up of bird sanctuaries, nature reserves and national parks where polar bears roam. The Northern Lights can be seen in the winter and in the summer, when the temperature tops out at 6°C, the sun doesn’t go below the horizon.

The forwardthinking capital of Scandi cool appeals to foodies design junkies and a cool young crowd. With its...

Copenhagen, Denmark

The forward-thinking capital of Scandi cool appeals to foodies, design junkies and a cool young crowd. With its ground-breaking food scene , including world-famous Noma (and Noma 2.0 ), it’s a city to be taken seriously. Colourful buildings dot the central Nyhavn port, but it’s worth exploring alternative community Christiania, quirky Vesterbro and hipster Nørrebro, too.

The old town of Lamu on the Indian Ocean island of the same name was established in the 14th century. Now a UNESCO World...

Lamu, Kenya

The old town of Lamu , on the Indian Ocean island of the same name, was established in the 14th century. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the port city is a mish-mash of cultures – Swahili, Asian, Arabic, European – while along the laid-back coast majestic dhows sail by all day long.

More than 3000 narrow quartzsandstone pillars make up Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area in the Hunan...

Wulingyuan, China

More than 3,000 narrow, quartz-sandstone pillars make up Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area in the Hunan Province. These natural wonders, many higher than 656ft, are broken up by ravines, gorges, caves and waterfalls. It’s easy to see why the UNESCO World Heritage Site was James Cameron’s inspiration for Avatar .

Home to the worlds tallest trees Redwood National Park north of San Francisco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part...

Redwood National Park, California

Home to the world’s tallest trees, Redwood National Park, north of San Francisco , is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of an International Biosphere Reserve that protects close to half of the planet’s old-growth redwoods – some of which are 370ft high. With more than 200 miles of trail routes, it’s ideal for camping, hiking and riding.

The crumbling façades of this island nation's capital keep bringing in waves of travelling artists rum fanatics and...

Havana, Cuba

The crumbling façades of this island nation's capital keep bringing in waves of travelling artists, rum fanatics and cigar smokers to the city. It’s where Hemingway wrote seven of his books and drank Mojitos at La Bodeguita del Medio. And with temperatures of 27°C in December, it’s an ideal winter-sun destination.

Considered to be the cultural centre of Japan Kyoto is awash with ancient temples and shrines serene teahouses and...

Kyoto, Japan

Considered to be the cultural centre of Japan, Kyoto is awash with ancient temples and shrines, serene teahouses and sublime gardens. The bright-orange Fushimi-inari, a shinto shrine in the hills, is a visual beauty. Grab an artisan coffee, taken very seriously in the traditional city, and make the two-hour pilgrimage through the shrine's thousands of torii (gates). Other spots worth visiting include Gion, the home of the geishas, the golden pavilion of Kinkaku-ji and Nishiki market for street food or a traditional kaiseki feast at one of the city's local restaurants.

The kaleidoscopic city may best be known for its market life spice sellers and ancient medinas but its reimagined riads...

Marrakech, Morocco

The kaleidoscopic city may best be known for its market life, spice sellers and ancient medinas, but its reimagined riads, cool independent shops and contemporary art scene are giving it a modern edge. There are lots of places to discover – from Yves Saint Laurent’s restoration of cobalt-blue Jardin Majorelle to the smoky street-food stalls in Jemaa el-Fna.

A quick ferry ride from Naples the island of Ischia  famed for its thermal spas and unshowy local life  is a tumble of...

Ischia, Italy

A quick ferry ride from Naples , the island of Ischia – famed for its thermal spas and unshowy local life – is a tumble of fishing villages and beaches that match Amalfi but without the crowds.

Bondi Icebergs might easily be the most famous pool in the world. The Olympicsize structure has been standing on the...

Bondi Iceburgs, Australia

Bondi Icebergs might easily be the most famous pool in the world. The Olympic-size structure has been standing on the southern end of Bondi Beach for more than 100 years. It’s not heated or chlorinated, but filled with seawater, with the Tasman Sea crashing against its edge.

The Philippines has more than 7000 islands  about 5000 of which are uninhabited  where roughly 175 languages are spoken....

The Philippines

The Philippines has more than 7,000 islands – about 5,000 of which are uninhabited – where roughly 175 languages are spoken. For diving, El Nido is the ideal spot with crystal-clear water and vibrant marine life.

About 20 minutes outside Kyotos city centre is the atmospheric Arashiyama bamboo forest. Arrive at around 7am to avoid...

Arashiyama, Bamboo Forest, Japan

About 20 minutes outside Kyoto’s city centre is the atmospheric Arashiyama bamboo forest. Arrive at around 7am to avoid the crowds and get a chance to see and feel the wood, as well as hear it creaking in the wind. Morning light is just as ethereal, too. Arabica coffee shop is nearby, overlooking Hozugawa River.

The incredible pink lakes here make up part of the protected nature reserve of Ría Lagartos Biosphere on Mexicos Yucatn...

Las Coloradas, Yucatan, Mexico

The incredible pink lakes here make up part of the protected nature reserve of Ría Lagartos Biosphere on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula. Red-coloured algae, plankton and brine shrimp that thrive in the waters not only turn the native flamingos pink but help produce 500,000 tons of salt per year.

The Avenue of the Baobabs Madagascar

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

This is one of Madagascar's most visited natural sites – and for good reason. Aside from the spectacular photo opportunities on offer as the sun casts auburn shades on the trees, travellers come to support local conservation efforts, and spot the unique wildlife that frolics in the overgrowth nearby.

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Blue lagoon, Iceland

One of  Iceland's  most spectacular sites is, surprisingly, man-made. The Blue Lagoon's waters are a byproduct of a nearby geothermal power plant, which passes through turbines and into the lagoon. Natural geological layers account for the water's rich mineral content, which travellers use to their benefit, bathing and smothering themselves in the rich clay.

Eager to spot a waddle of penguins in the wild There's no need to save up for the ultimate excursion to Antarctica ...

Cape Town, South Africa

Eager to spot a waddle of penguins in the wild? There's no need to save up for the ultimate excursion to Antarctica – although that's just as high on many bucket lists. On the shores of some of  South Africa's  most picturesque beaches, the animals mingle in search of a mate – safe from the fearsome great white that circle beneath the waves just metres away.

Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon, USA

The Grand Canyon is part of the Colorado River basin and, aside from its beauty, is geologically significant as the waters that pass through here have revealed billions of years worth of rock layers. While it's popular with travelling day-trippers, native Americans still call it home, having first settled in the caves thousands of years ago.

Inside view on IkKil Cenote close to Chichen Itza Mexico

Cenotes, Mexico

Formed by the collapse of eroded limestone,  Mexico's  cenotes harbour secrets and beauty discovered by sunshine-chasers each year. The unique formations were celebrated by the ancient Maya people, and archaeological investigations over the years have found artefacts made from gold, jadeite, shell and more on the sandy depths.

A road poising through the desert of Joshua Tree as sunrise

Joshua Tree National Park, USA

Stone tools and spearheads discovered in Joshua Tree National Park suggest the region was inhabited as long as 8,000 years ago. Modern travellers experience this wilderness in a very different way, checking into luxurious micro-resorts and serviced holiday homes. Think the landscapes are otherworldly by day? Look to the skies at night for an altogether different, and unforgettable, sight.

Maldives

The Maldives

Spoiling retreats of all shapes and sizes litter the sandy banks of the Maldives , an archipelagic state in the Indian Ocean. Between the indulgent wellness resorts and exotic restaurants, the crystal-clear waters offer ample opportunity for snorkelling and diving excursions. Dive into the blue and find yourself in a world of kaleidoscopic colour as fish fizzle in and out of focus.

Peyto Lake in Canada

Peyto Lake, Canada

One of Canada's most beautiful and most-photographed lakes is a pool of cerulean on darker days, while its glacier waters mirror the sky's dappled blue on brighter days. Keen amblers are well rewarded as they reach Bow Summit, the highest point on the Icefields Parkway.

Argent Beach on La Digue Island Seychelles

La Digue, Seychelles

The third most populated island in  the Seychelles , La Digue takes its name from a ship in the fleet of French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, who visited the Seychelles in 1768. Thanks to its otherworldly granite formations, glassy waters and fine sand, Anse Source d'Argent is often regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – a spot travellers fawn over as they venture out from the island's uber-luxurious hotels and resorts.

Grand Prismatic Spring Yellowstone National Park Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park, USA

Bison, bears, geese, deer – these are just some of the animals that call the oldest national park in the world home. Each change of the seasons beckons new residents out of their homes, as many cosy up during the cold winters and await the first signs of spring. A highlight of the park is the Yellowstone Caldera, a gargantuan crater that was formed by a cataclysmic volcanic eruption some 640,000 years ago.

Best Countries For Tourism in the World

Here is the list of 79 best countries for tourism in the world, 1. india - the land of diversity.

India - The Land of Diversity

Situated in South Asia, India is a country with deep cultural roots and a rich heritage. A great country for budget travel, India is popular for its forts and palaces. You can visit India to find yourself through yoga, to lose yourself in the mountains of Himalayas, to be mesmerised by the ancient temples. The crowded bazaars, blaring traffic, filmy music, the colour, the noise and not to forget, the chaos will leave you all amazed and overwhelmed. Best Time : December - March

2. Thailand - The Gateway to Southeast Asia.

Thailand - The Gateway to Southeast Asia.

Thailand, a dreamy beachside paradise, is a country that has managed to retain its cultural integrity in spite of being a major tourist destination. One can find everything here - from pristine beaches to dense forests, ancient monasteries to coral reefs, from Buddhist monks to floating markets and finally the fragrant and rich food to treat your taste buds. Best Time : November - March

3. Maldives, Maldives - A Tropical Haven For Honeymooners

Maldives, Maldives - A Tropical Haven For Honeymooners

Known For : Stay in an Overwater Bungalow Diving in Maldives Snorkelling in Maldives

The Maldives is an archipelagic state situated in the Indian Ocean known for its luxurious water villas. A tropical haven of white sand beaches, the Maldives is located in the south of Sri Lanka and is ideal for an adventure, honeymoon, or leisure holiday. Imagine having a room on a pier jutting out from the shore with a glass floor under which manta rays and reef sharks can be seen swimming, and step out from your overwater bungalow to the view of turquoise water.

Best Time: December to April

103 Maldives Attractions

4. Singapore - The Quintessential Cosmopolitan

Singapore - The Quintessential Cosmopolitan

Known For : Gardens by the Bay Sentosa Island Universal Studios Singapore

Best described as a microcosm of modern Asia, Singapore is a melting pot of culture and history, and an extravaganza of culinary delights. Officially known as the Republic of Singapore, it is both a city and a country located in Southeast Asia. One of Asia's most visited destinations, Singapore is best described as an amalgam of a fast-paced life and an off-the-back-street inheritance.

Best Time: January to November

270 Singapore Attractions

Vietnam

Vietnam in south-eastern Asia is arguably one of the most beautiful countries on the continent. Known for its natural beauty and abundance of natural attractions such as the vast paddy fields, limestone islands in Halong Bay or the massive cave system in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, the country provides quite an unmatched experience. Add to that the ever-delightful authentic Vietnamese cuisine which is fast gaining popularity around the world and you have a wholesome experience like no other. Best Time : Spring (February to April) and Autumn (August to October)

6. Sri Lanka - A Land Like No Other

Sri Lanka - A Land Like No Other

Sri Lanka is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean known for its spectacular beaches, thousand-year-old Buddhist temples, an abundance of wildlife, and rich archaeological history. The plethora of water sports, breathtaking sunsets, sprawling tea gardens and of course, mouth-watering Sri Lankan food, are sure to make you fall in love with this gorgeous place.  Best Time : December - April

7. Mauritius - Indian Ocean's Island Paradise.

Mauritius - Indian Ocean's Island Paradise.

Known For : Black River Gorges National Park Seven Coloured Earth of Chamarel Scuba Diving in Mauritius

Mauritius, or the Republic of Mauritius, is a multi-cultural island nation located about 2,000 kilometres from Africa in the Indian Ocean and southeast of Seychelles. With palm-fringed beaches, aquamarine waters, imposing mountains and lush national parks, Mauritius is popular for a honeymoon as well as family holidays.

Best Time: July to October (winter)

146 Mauritius Attractions

8. Indonesia - Where Culture Meets Nature

Indonesia - Where Culture Meets Nature

Indonesia is a kaleidoscope of taste, sight, sound, and smells bottled up in the world's largest archipelago. Spread out over a mind-boggling 17,000 islands, the country offers a vast melange of experiences begging to be sampled by visitors from across the world. Ranging from the smouldering volcanoes of central Java to the verdant expanses of Bali's rice terraces, from Jakarta's sprawling luxury malls to the untouched marine biosphere of Rajah Ampat and the lush rainforests of Borneo, Indonesia is ripe for adventure for the eager tourist.  Best Time : April - September

9. New Zealand - The Land Where Adventures Wait

New Zealand - The Land Where Adventures Wait

New Zealand lies to the southwest of the Pacific Ocean and promises breathtaking landscapes adorned with picturesque coastlines and the mightiest mountains. One of New Zealand's highlights is its opportunities for adventure activities as well as its nice blend of museums, art galleries and heritage sites. Best Time : December - February

10. Bhutan - The Happiest Country in All of Asia

Bhutan - The Happiest Country in All of Asia

The ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ – Bhutan nestles in the mountainous regions of the Eastern Himalayas and is one of the cleanest countries in the South Asian territory. A remote kingdom that still clings to its Buddhist culture but embraces modernisation, Bhutan is a land with monasteries, traditional architecture, beautiful valleys, snow-clad mountain views and lush greenery. Being landlocked, the country enjoys a significant tourist influx from its neighbours, Tibet and India. Best Time : March to May, September to November

11. Australia - Land Down Under

Australia - Land Down Under

Home to the Great Barrier Reef and iconic beaches and surf spots, Australia is the perfect destination for adventure seekers and lovers of beach getaways. Popularly known as the land of Kangaroos, Australia is both the smallest continent and the largest island country in the world. An evergrowing multicultural marvel, the country is famous for its beautiful blend of cosmopolitan cities, wild and enchanting outbacks, thriving wildlife and mesmerising beaches along the eastern coast. Best Time : Spring (September to November) and Autumn (March to May)

12. Malaysia - Truly Asia

Malaysia - Truly Asia

A potpourri of all things Asian, Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. An intriguing blend of diverse wildlife, idyllic islands, magnanimous mountains, rainforests, and rich culinary landscape makes it one of the most visited tourist places in Asia.  Best Time : December - March

13. Nepal - On Top of the World

Nepal - On Top of the World

A hub for the adventure-lovers and home to Mt. Everest, the world's tallest peak, Nepal is a Himalayan country sandwiched between India and China. The mighty snow-capped mountains here such as Annapurna, Mount Everest, Manaslu, and Kanchenjunga are home to some of the best trekking trails in the world. It is also a major religious hub with its many pilgrimage sites for the followers of Buddhism and Hinduism like the Pashupatinath Temple and the Boudhanath Stupa. To make things better, the crime rates are very low, making it a very safe travel destination. Best Time : September - Late November

14. Seychelles, Seychelles - The Honeymoon Paradise

Seychelles, Seychelles - The Honeymoon Paradise

Known For : Anse Lazio Snorkeling in Seychelles Sunbathing in Seychelles

Seychelles is an island nation, located in the Indian Ocean close to the east of Africa. Known for its breathtaking beauty, It is an archipelago of 115 islands, 45 of which are granitic islands, while 74 are coralline islands. Its capital and largest city is Victoria. Popular as the island of love, Seychelles’ surreal beauty makes it a popular luxurious honeymoon destination. The most visited islands of Seychelles are Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.

Best Time: April to May, September to October

96 Seychelles Attractions

15. United Arab Emirates - The Centre of Culture and Modernity

United Arab Emirates - The Centre of Culture and Modernity

Once known for its fishing-based economy, today, UAE is much more than vast deserts and ancient forts. Immersed in its rich Emirati culture, the UAE is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world offering touches of modernity with its ever-expanding infrastructure. From its traditional souks to palm-shaped islands, glittering huge malls, luxurious hotels, grand architecture and theme parks, the country offers you a complete package to relax, rejuvenate and be adventurous, all at the same time. Best Time : October - April (Winters)

16. Turkey - A Land of Culture with Modern Twist

Turkey - A Land of Culture with Modern Twist

Settled on the border of Asia and Europe, Turkey is an archive of Islamic Middle East impact and the influence of Christian European West. Turkey at present represents a modern and westernised culture that exists along with its more exotic and esoteric side hidden from outside world. Explore the dual sides of the country with the natural panoramic landscape, historic places, fertile valleys, huge mountain ranges, rugged coastline and quaint villages.  Best Time : April - June (Spring) and October - November (Autumn)

17. Jordan - The Land of Mesmerizing Beauty

Jordan - The Land of Mesmerizing Beauty

Also known as the 'Lawrence of Arabia', Jordan is a spectacle of a destination. Jordan is packed with grand structures and hints of old civilisations. Petra, a city in Jordan, is said to be over 2000 years old. Apart from the old civilisations, another important aspect is the biblical evolution of the society that is evident in some of its structures. Hospitality is a very important part of the culture and thus, everywhere you go, you will receive a very warm welcome. Best Time : March-May and Mid-September to Mid-November

18. Philippines - Gateway to hidden beaches and exotic islands

Philippines - Gateway to hidden beaches and exotic islands

The Philippines is a nation studded with a myriad of islands in south-east Asia. It is home to many fantastic beaches, coral reefs and churches. It is also a very popular tourist destination offering plenty of options for tourists regarding nature, wildlife, adventure, entertainment and nightlife. The people are very warm and affable, and they will not hesitate to go an extra mile to see a smile on your face. Best Time : November - April

Qatar

In just forty years, this Gulf state has grown from one of the poorest countries in the Gulf to the richest in the world. Mainly functioning on oil and natural gas revenue, Qatar is developing at breakneck speed, and everything from universities to shopping malls, 5-star hotels to football stadiums (in preparation for the 2022 World Cup) are springing up along the desert floor. Best Time : October-December

20. Cambodia - A Country Rich in Heritage & Natural Beauty

Cambodia - A Country Rich in Heritage & Natural Beauty

Cambodia is a country steeped in history. In spite of years and years of struggle, the country has emerged today as a nation with an infectious spirit seen in its people and a tourism business that is flourishing. Home of the famous Angkor Wat and numerous other temples, this country is intoxicating in its beauty, to say the least. Apart from the historical and the cultural, Cambodia is also urbane, boasting of beautiful Phnom Penh, its capital, and tonnes of restaurants serving delicious cuisine.  Best Time : November - January

21. Greece - All-Time Classic

Greece - All-Time Classic

Surrounded by crystal blue waters all around, Greece has 2000 islands among which only 160 are inhabited. It has everything that a traveller could ask for, starting from history and culture, huge mountains, golden beaches and ancient ruins. Along with the history, the culture in music, food and festivals is strongly held up high here. One can delve into the ancient times with splendours like Acropolis and Parthenon . Best Time : March - April (Spring) and September - October (Autumn)

22. Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Known For : Victoria Harbour A Symphony of Lights Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong, officially known as the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is a burst of culture and colour. Housing 18 districts, Hong Kong is one of the most heavily populous regions in the world and the city with the most number of skyscrapers in the world. A major port and shopping hub, Hong Kong is the land of an iconic skyline, delectable cuisine, and protected lush nature reserves. Best Time : October to early December (Autumn)

Best Time: October to December (Autumn)

337 Hong Kong Attractions

23. Oman - Gateway to the Charming Arab World

Oman - Gateway to the Charming Arab World

Oman is an Arab country located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Though there is no diversity in religion here, you will find a variety of tranquil landscapes and sceneries. The beauty of the emerald beaches, the rich Arab history in the ancient forts, the lush green mountains, unique wildlife and endless deserts will give you an Arabian adventure unlike any other country in the Gulf Coast. Best Time : November-February

Kenya

Kenya is located along the eastern coast of the African continent. It is a large country that is a hotbed for tourists. Although it is largely known for its safaris, there is also a lot more to Kenya, such as Nairobi, which is its commercial capital. Wildlife, heritage sites, highlands and valleys -- the country truly has it all. Best Time : Late June to October

25. Saudi Arabia - Hub of Temples and Mosques

Saudi Arabia - Hub of Temples and Mosques

Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Arab country located in Western Asia and constituting most of the Arab Peninsula. Most of the citizens are Muslims, and freedom of religion is restricted by the laws of the country. Only Muslims are respected in the country but, people are very helpful and friendly towards tourists. The rich history, vast stretches of deserts, forts, mosques and temples spread throughout the country will fascinate you. Best Time : November - February

26. Switzerland

Switzerland

Switzerland is a land of stereotypes – expansive greenery, picturesque landscapes, chocolate, cheese, and watches. Switzerland’s lush green vistas are so perfect that they seem to be plucked out of a postcard. It truly is one of the most beautiful places on Earth – soaring Alpine mountains, medieval churches, a bucketful of fresh air, disarming landscapes, and green fields you would endlessly want to run through. It is one of those few places where everything runs on time, the chocolate is fantastic, the countryside is breath-taking and everything is as perfect as a dream! Best Time : Mid-December - Mid October

France

France is an irresistible assortment of picture perfect landscapes, cultural foible, remarkable fashion sense, historical bequest and of course gastronomic adventures. Basking in the glory of Mother Nature, France offers distinct geographical features from rolling countryside and majestic mountains to stunning white sand beaches and sun-drenched vineyards. With its dash of contemporary finesse and lavish lifestyle, this country will leave you in absolute awe. Best Time : March-May and September - November

28. England - Amalgamation of Royalty and Culture

England - Amalgamation of Royalty and Culture

One of the most popular countries in the world, England is located in Europe. It is also the dream destination for a lot of people for its beauty and grandeur. With a great history behind it, it has a rich heritage and culture. The English countryside is one of the most peaceful places in the country. The most famous historical sites include the old castles on the countryside, Roman sites and the royal palaces. Each city in the country has its own charm. Best Time : July - August

29. Germany - The Land of Festivals

Germany - The Land of Festivals

A country of superior intellect and rich culture, Germany offers its travellers a well-rounded experience of beautiful architecture, beautiful countryside, fun-filled festivals and the most brilliant, lip-smacking cuisine. Every time is a good time to visit - be it in Summer/ Spring when the country is blooming and shrouded in colour or Fall/Winter when everything is serene, calm and covered in snow. The air is infectious and always full of anticipation and festivities. Best Time : March to August

30. Scotland - An amalgamation of Culture, Nature and Music

Scotland - An amalgamation of Culture, Nature and Music

Scotland, a part of the UK, is located in northwestern Europe and is one of the most important countries in the continent. When one thinks of Scotland, the chequered kilts and bagpipes come to mind. However, there is a lot more to the country. From the lush green highlands to the coastal blue waters, from fine Scotch whiskies and brilliant food, you can experience all. Scotland also has a long history, and its magnificent castles can vouch for that. Best Time : May - September

Italy

Italy is a country situated in Europe with 20 regions, each having its own glorious history, culture and traditions. It is the place where the Renaissance started and the place which gave the world Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. The icing on the cake is the delicious food that you get to eat here. Best Time : December - March

32. Croatia

Croatia

Located in Eastern Europe, Croatia is a coastal country that is not only beautiful to look at but also offers a variety of things to do for tourists. There is history interspersed with architecture, great opportunities for swimming, Balkan wine, some of the best seafood and more. The most regularly visited cities here are Dubrovnik and Zagreb, its capital. It also encompasses several islands that are breathtakingly beautiful. In a nutshell, this country offers pretty much everything under the sun for a great vacation. Best Time : April-May; September

Egypt

Egypt is a country that brings to mind the exotic. Beautiful pyramids, mysterious mummies and lots of gold. That is what everybody perceives Egypt as. But it is so much more. There is Cairo, its most famous city, the river Nile, desert adventures, its temples and mosques and the general aura of history rooted in the culture that pervades the entire country. Best Time : September-April

34. United States of America - The Hub of Diversity and Opportunities

United States of America - The Hub of Diversity and Opportunities

Occupying a huge chunk of North America, the United States of America or USA is a Pandora Box full of surprises for all kind of travellers. From crowded mega-cities to serene small towns, breathtaking natural beauty, man-made wonders, and fast-paced, exciting and ever-changing environs, the country will leave anyone awe-inspired with its vividness. Best Time : March-May; September - November

35. Morocco - The Exotic Land of Spices & Stories

Morocco - The Exotic Land of Spices & Stories

Morocco is a country in North Africa. It is blessed with abundant natural beauty and is one of the top destinations for tourism. Majestic mountains standing tall in the distance, cities that are ancient, sprawling deserts and more characterise this country. Famous attractions here include the medina in Marrakesh, the Fort Kasbah of the Udayas, the dozens of souks and the Jemaa el-Fnaa. It is a truly beautiful country, with lots to offer to every kind of tourist. Best Time : March-May

36. Malta - The Island of Legends

Malta - The Island of Legends

Known For : Upper Barrakka Gardens HMS Maori Lascaris War Rooms

The island state of Malta is located in the Mediterranean Sea and falls south of the Italian island of Sicily. Temples, fortresses, sandy beaches, cliffs, and jutted coves is what makes this small island nation worth visiting, coupled with thrilling activities like scuba diving, snorkelling, and a long and fascinating history going back to the days before Christ.

Best Time: April to June

21 Malta Attractions

37. Austria - The Land of Music and Arts

Austria - The Land of Music and Arts

Basking in the glory of natural beauty, Austria is one of the most prominent attractions of central Europe. Rooted in its deep imperial culture, the country offers much more beyond the scenic beauty including neo-classical architecture, the craze for music, popular cafes, and the thrill of sports like skiing. From the rustic backdrops to colourful mismatched houses, Austria is a place to relax, savour and appreciate the culture of the country of many years of making. Best Time : June-August, September and October

38. Netherlands - The Land of Tulips

Netherlands - The Land of Tulips

Amongst one of the most developed and progressive nations of the world, the Netherlands offers an immersive and enriching travelling experience. With the most exquisite flowers blooming in the summer, refreshing showers in the fall, snowfall and nostalgia in the winter and the most colourful landscapes in the spring, the Netherlands has something to offer to everyone. From markets to gardens to the most absurd museums and shops, this country gives a 360-degree experience to its tourists, of a culture and lifestyle so diverse that it always stays with the traveller. Best Time : Spring and Autumn

39. Laos - The Land of Serenity and Bountiful Nature

Laos - The Land of Serenity and Bountiful Nature

Sitting cosily in Southeast Asia, the Republic of Laos is a landlocked country with a sparse population. Known for its spectacular landscape, the country comprises lofty mountains, lush jungles, glistening rice fields and tea leaves covering the mountain surface. The remote tribal villages, ancient Buddhist caves, rich cultural heritage, cafe culture in cosmopolitans, elegant colonial architecture and peaceful stupas add to the charm of this land of lotus-eaters. Best Time : November - February

40. Japan - Home To Great Architecture & Great Food

Japan - Home To Great Architecture & Great Food

Japan, located in Eastern Asia, is a sovereign nation. It is well known for its bustling cities, imperial palaces, national parks and lots of beautifully constructed temples. Tokyo, the capital of the country, is a much-visited tourist destination, home to tonnes of skyscrapers. There is a lot to do in Japan, from adventure sports to relaxing at the beach and discovering the real beauty of Japanese architecture. Best Time : March-May

41. South Africa - Where Natural Beauty Abounds

South Africa - Where Natural Beauty Abounds

South Africa is a country that is as well known for its wildlife and safaris as it is for its beaches and Winelands. It has been given the name of 'Rainbow Country', as it is very culturally diverse. South Africa has a lot of big, popular cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, which in turn have a lot to offer to tourists. It shares its northern borders with countries like Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The country has also been listed as one of the most megadiverse nations in the world, regarding its biodiversity. Best Time : May - September

42. Czech Republic - The Land of Art, Music and Beer

Czech Republic - The Land of Art, Music and Beer

The Czech Republic is a small country with a big package, offering something for its every visitor. Evolved as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, this country exhibits its enriched culture through its magnificent castles, museums, cathedrals, medieval towns and lying at its heart, the culture-crammed capital city, Prague. Often tagged as 'city of a thousand spires', Prague is adorned with incredible architecture, rustic cobblestone streets, noteworthy churches and medieval bridges. The city is also a haunt for night birds, offering fine dining, old breweries, zesty jazz clubs and buzzing markets. Best Time : May - October

43. Bahrain - Concoction of liberalism, diversity and prosperity

Bahrain - Concoction of liberalism, diversity and prosperity

Known For : Arad Fort Reef Island Al-Khamis Mosque

The Kingdom of Bahrain is a Middle-Eastern island nation, an archipelago of thirty-three islands bordering Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This desert island is a diverse society that brings immigrants from all the other six continents to live together harmoniously, boasting of a high standard of living and development, with sky-kissing million dollar buildings as well as two artificial islands. It is known for its petroleum reserves, offshore banking and tourism. Bahrain's biggest yearly event - Bahrain Grand Prix F1 race is held in the month of April each year. Best Time : February to April and October to December

Best Time: December to March

25 Bahrain Attractions

44. Brazil - Living the Carnival life

Brazil - Living the Carnival life

Brazil, the largest country in Latin America and the fifth largest country in the world is a land of great diversity, be it in culture, geography or ecosystems. From the wilderness of the great Amazon rainforests and sun-kissed tropical beaches to the Grand Carnival celebration in Rio, the country has it all. Visit the colonial-era towns in the state of Minas Gerais, blend in the culture of Bahia or visit the futuristic capital city of Brasilia. The plethora of options available in the country actually encapsulates the visitors in their charm. Best Time : November-March; June-September

45. Israel - Where the History Comes Alive

Israel - Where the History Comes Alive

Israel is considered a Holy nation bordered by Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. It is also home to Jerusalem ( the birthplace of Lord Jesus). It has a vibrant history and culture. It has ties to diversified religions, and this makes it an interesting place to visit for travellers. It is also a highly modernised country, and the regions are divided into cities which are further sub-divided into towns.  Best Time : December - April

46. Belgium - French and German Cultures Amalgamated

Belgium - French and German Cultures Amalgamated

Chocolates, beer, laces and porcelain are what you think of when you hear Belgium. All of this holds true, but there is a lot more to explore in this small country. Rich in art and culture, Belgium has a fine heritage with many monuments in various cities of the country. Being the centre of EU and NATO, the country holds a lot of prominence among other countries. From long beaches in the north to the highlands in the south, the country offers you everything. Best Time : Mid-April to Mid-October

47. Bahamas - An Ocean of Gorgeous Landscapes

Bahamas - An Ocean of Gorgeous Landscapes

Known For : Grand Bahamas Paradise Island Bimini Island

The Bahamas offers over 700 islands waiting for visitors to explore. It is considered to be one of the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. This Paradise of beaches is located 50 miles off the east coast of Florida and is heaven for beach lovers. The Bahamas provides the quintessential island experience, gorgeous beaches and numerous tours and activities. The breathtaking scenery and pleasant weather are one of the few reasons to plan a vacation to the Bahamas.  Best Time : December-February

Best Time: Anytime except the month of September

11 Bahamas Attractions

48. Kuwait - A Wonderful Mix of The Ancient & The Modern

Kuwait - A Wonderful Mix of The Ancient & The Modern

Located at the top of the Persian Gulf, Kuwait is a country that has often been well-known for being rich in oil. Its neighbouring countries include Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. Kuwait City is the capital of the country and is famous for its modern architecture. Kuwait includes modern-day skyscrapers as well as ancient, beautifully built mosques, so it truly is a mix of modernity and ancient times. Best Time : November - April

49. Spain - An explorer's paradise

Spain - An explorer's paradise

With amazing beaches and super fun nightlife, Spain is considered to be one of the most exotic countries in Europe. It is not just known for its beaches, but also its snowy mountains and deserts. The country is historically rich with the third rank in the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. It is also famous for the numerous festivals taking place. Spain is also architecturally marvellous with Islamic, Catholic and Renaissance architectural designs. Best Time : Spring and Fall are the Best Seasons to Visit Spain

50. Canada - The Epitome of Ethnic Diversity

Canada - The Epitome of Ethnic Diversity

Canada is the second largest country in the world, and it continues to attract tourists with its diversity, hospitality and magnetic. beauty. Whether you are a daredevil or a nature lover, Canada has something for everyone. It is considered to be one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. Blessed with all of its natural attractions, it is the ideal place for fishing, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, etc. making it every adventurer's paradise.  Best Time : March-May and September - November

51. Lebanon

Lebanon

Lebanon lies in the Middle East and is a sovereign. It is often called the Lebanese Republic. It shares its borders with countries like Syria, Israel and Cyprus. Lebanon is actually supposed to be the smallest country in the entire continent of Asia. It has a wonderful coastline that you can never get tired of and even boasts of a popular city - fashionable Beirut. Lebanon is home to a cuisine that we have all sampled at some point, in several different versions - Lebanese cuisine.  Best Time : June - September

52. Ireland - The Mythical Island of Europe

Ireland   - The Mythical Island of Europe

Located in northwestern Europe, the island of Ireland is famous for its ancient rocks and great legends. Apart from the natural beauty of the beaches, lakes, mountains and limestone deserts, the country is also known for its numerous festivals. It is also known as the Emerald Isle as it is rich in poetry, prose, painting as well as tourist literature. With proper warmth and hospitality, Ireland is very popular among tourists. Best Time : Summer (June-September)

53. Hungary - A fusion of traditional and modern Europe

Hungary - A fusion of traditional and modern Europe

Currently among the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world, Hungary offers a unique amalgamation of traditional European culture and modern-day practices. Here, you can take a trip through quaint, rural villages and enjoy a thriving nightlife in Budapest, both within a distance of a few miles. With a capital city regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world, Hungary is home to several World Heritage Sites, UNESCO Biosphere reserves and the second largest thermal lake in the world.  Best Time : April - September

54. Tanzania - The Canvas of Natural Beauty

Tanzania - The Canvas of Natural Beauty

Tanzania is one of the most ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse country in Africa. The people of Tanzania with their smiling faces and infectious spirits would give you a warm welcome. Tanzania continues to attract people with its beautiful ebony carvings and marvellous textiles. This country is the proud owner of Africa's tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro. Tanzania proudly flaunts its natural beauty whether it's the animals, the landscapes, the beaches or its coral reefs. Best Time : July-October, December-March

55. Portugal

Portugal

With a rich culture, eccentric cities and an exquisite countryside, Portugal is among the best value destinations in Europe. The landscape is exceedingly diverse as one can see it changing as they travel from green mountains in the North to rocky cliffs and waterfalls in the Centre to the desert-like landscape in Alentejo and laidback beaches in Algarve. Surfing is another activity Portugal is sought after for. Portugal is the place to be if you desire the best of European landscapes and culture in one spot. Best Time : Summer (July-August)

56. Jamaica, Jamaica - The Land Rich in History and Natural Beauty

Jamaica, Jamaica - The Land Rich in History and Natural Beauty

Known For : Waterfalls Seven Mile Beach Ras Natango Gallery and Garden

Jamaica, the fourth largest island country in the Caribbean Sea is a tropical wonderland. Its warm weather is one of its many qualities making it an ideal destination especially for those who want to escape the cold. Its sun-kissed beaches with their crystal clear waters and white sands attract many visitors. Adventure lovers swoon at the country's water sports. Snorkelling, scuba diving, and surfing are some of the actvities visitors ot for.  Best Time : Mid-December through April

Best Time: November to December

8 Jamaica Attractions

57. Poland - The Country With a Quiet Charm

Poland - The Country With a Quiet Charm

Poland is a country in Eastern Europe, filled with big castles and ancient museums. It is a country that is rich in history and proud of it. Apart from the bustling cities like Warsaw and Krakow, Poland also offers unspoilt natural beauty in the forms of lakes, wooded areas, rivers and hills. It is as we mentioned, a historic destination on account of Poland being central to World War II. Memorials and synagogues abound in this country for a walk back in time.  Best Time : March to May and September to November

58. Mexico - Cradle of civilizations

Mexico - Cradle of civilizations

Mexico is a land of great cultural, ethnic and geographical diversity. Be it hiking in the rugged desert landscaped in the North or basking in the lush green tropical settings, the country has it all. From the historic ruins of the Mayans and Aztec in Chichn Itz and Teotihuacn to the beautifully preserved colonial cities of Puebla and Campeche, the country never ceases to amaze its visitors which flock from all over the world. Best Time : November to March

59. Denmark - The Scandinavian gem

Denmark - The Scandinavian gem

Danish pastry is synonymous with the country of Denmark. Other major attractions are fairy tales, football matches and the statue of the bronze mermaid sitting on a rock that looks over the city. With a long and interesting historical background, Denmark is rich in culture and heritage. Now, it is one of the most modern and developed nations in Europe and holds in store for you the best itineraries for travel lovers. Best Time : Mid-June to Mid-August

60. Brunei - A Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures

Brunei - A Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures

Known For : Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque Kampong Ayer

The Nation of Brunei, also known as Brunei Darussalam or the ‘Abode of Peace,’ is a small country located in Southeast Asia. Wedged in the island of Borneo next to the Malaysian state of Sarawak, this oil-rich country is also bordered by the South China Sea. With an interesting culture, spectacular architecture, and matchless biodiversity, Brunei is a bucket-list destination that can be visited on an impulse! Best Time:  January to May

Best Time: January to May

18 Brunei Attractions

61. Sweden - For the experimental traveller

Sweden - For the experimental traveller

Known for its breath-taking landscapes, exotic dishes and notoriously eccentric culture, Sweden is indeed amongst the most diverse countries on the planet. Offering a 360-degree experience that includes both thriving city life and an exotic ride through the countryside, the country is a delight for both mountain lovers and beach junkies. With a rich history, astounding architecture and the most incredible sights, Sweden is a traveller's paradise. Best Time :  June - Mid August

Peru

Peru is a counry in South America. More than anything else, it's known for its lush Amazon rainforests as well as the ancient city of Machu Pichu. The country offers a lot of trekking opportunities for adrenaline junkies or those who wish to revel in the beauty of nature. Peru is also known for its variety of festivals that are celebrated with a lot of pomp and joy and which can last for days. The population is culturally diverse, just like the landscapes. Best Time : June - September

63. Iceland

Iceland

Amongst the most coveted travel destinations, Iceland is one of the most surreal and magnificent countries in the world. Located close to the Arctic Circle, it offers amazingly dramatic and breath-taking landscapes and exotic natural phenomena. Summer is the best time to visit, owing to the mild temperatures and a plethora of available activities from hiking fjords to playing golf at midnight. However, no time is a bad time to visit this spectacular snow-covered country. Best Time: September to March and June to August

64. Uruguay - An Oasis of Peace

Uruguay - An Oasis of Peace

Uruguay is a country located in South America surrounded by Argentina nad Brazil on sides. The country is rich in flora and fauna and you will get to see the most amazing beaches here. Over half of the country's population lives in the capital city Montevideo making it the most populated city in the country. The celebrations and festivals are considered to be the main attractions of Uruguay. From legalising the production and use of marijuana to being one of the most literate countries in the world, Uruguay offers you experiences of all kinds. Best Time : Spring( October-November)

65. Chile - The Land of the Poets

Chile - The Land of the Poets

Chile is home to poets like Pablo Neruda and Isabella Allende. There are plenty of places to visit in Chile from the urban boulevards of Santiago, the Andean foothills and the Atacama Desert, the Pacific coastline and the National Parks, the guanaco and the glaciers. It is known to be the distinction of being the longest country in the world as also the narrowest - it is 4300 km long and just 175 km wide. Chile happens to have the world's largest swimming pool. Its Atacama desert is the driest place on earth. Chileans are friendly and hospitable. It is an ethnically diverse country which gives it vibrant culture and a multitude of flavours. Best Time : October-March

66. Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste

Known For : Dili Atauro islands Baucau

Timor Leste, also known as East Timor is a small country located northwest of Australia and east of Indonesia. A world in its own self, Timor Leste gives you the uninhibited version of things otherwise subverted in other locations. There is something so utterly challenging in its mountains and untouched reefs that pushes the visitor to explore more. AsiaÕs newest country offers some of the worldÕs last great off-the-beaten-track adventures. Best Time: April to July

Best Time: May to November

6 Timor Leste Attractions

67. South Korea - The land where Technology and Nature Goes Together.

South Korea - The land where Technology and Nature Goes Together.

Situated in South East Asia, South Korea is warm and welcoming with a rich heritage and culture. The capital city offers many other cultural and artistic attractions, such as the Museum of Art, the Seoul Fortress, and other old tombs. South Korea is not only rich in lakes, mountains, forests, and sanctuaries but also is the largest market for innovative cosmetics. Korea is also known for its excellence in cosmetic surgery. For shoppers, South Korea offers Korean antiques, artwork, traditional arts and crafts, clothing and accessories. Best Time : Spring (April - June)

68. British Virgin Islands - The Gem of Caribbean

British Virgin Islands - The Gem of Caribbean

Known For : The Baths Rhone Marine Park (Salt Island) Fallen Jerusalem National Park

An overseas territory of Britain, British Virgin Islands is nothing but beautiful and an enchanting place to be. With still a major chunk of the islands untouched, this archipelago features all the gorgeous things from rolling green hills, verdant mountainous landscape, reef-lined sparkling beaches and popular shipwrecks. Best Time:  September to November

13 British Virgin Islan Attractions

Haiti

Known For : La Citadelle Labadee Jacmel

Haiti is an exceptionally beautiful country located on the Hispaniola island in the Caribbean between the North Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean sea. A multitude of monuments, rugged mountain peaks, waterfalls, turquoise beaches and lush green vegetation dot the country's diverse landscape. Head to this fascinating country to discover its rich cultural heritage and be overwhelmed by the remarkable positive energy that runs within its residents. Best Time: November to March

Best Time: November to March

11 Haiti Attractions

70. Colombia - The Land Of Many Lives

Colombia - The Land Of Many Lives

Known as the Gateway to South America, Colombia is one of the most culturally and geographically diverse countries in the world. Blessed with a rich cultural heritage and a variegated mixture of flora and fauna, Colombia caters to all kinds of visitors. Visit the historical Bogota or treat yourself to the eternal spring of Medellin, immerse yourself in the exuberance of Cali or simply head for a trek in the Andes and the Amazon. Best Time : December - March

71. Argentina - Eclectic Argentia

Argentina - Eclectic Argentia

Argentina, the second largest country in Latin America is blessed with vast and varied landscapes that range from rugged peaks of the Andes to the glaciers in Patagonia and grasslands of the Pampas, making it a scenic retreat for all kinds of travellers. Be it exploring the mesmerising beauty of its natural wonders, breathing in the air of Buenos Aires and dancing to the tunes of Tango or tasting some of the finest wines in Mendoza, Argentina is a country worth your admiration. Best Time : March-May for Buenos Aires, December - March for Patagonia

72. Taiwan - The Charming Land of History & Architecture

Taiwan - The Charming Land of History & Architecture

Taiwan is a little island that lies towards the east of China. To its northeast lies Japan and the Philippines are towards the south. Taiwan is very well-known for urban cities such as Taipei, its capital as well as hot springs resorts and beautiful Chinese temples. The nation also boasts of some beautiful landscapes. Cycling along the highway with the Pacific ocean on one side of you is just one of the ways in which you can bask in Taiwan's beauty. Best Time : April - May; October - December

73. Dominica- Land of Natural Treasures

Dominica- Land of Natural Treasures

Known For : Cabrits National Park Kalinago Barana Aute Trafalgar Falls

The raw and rugged beauty of nature will sway away your breath; such is the very essence of the Caribbean Island of Dominica. Brimming with all sorts of natural assets from thick forests and thick forests and looming volcanic peaks to snaking mountain streams and pristine lakes, this country is a dream for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility. Best Time: February to April

Best Time: February to May

9 Dominica Attractions

74. Zimbabwe - Your Dose of Adrenaline

Zimbabwe - Your Dose of Adrenaline

Zimbabwe is the country of wonders. Known to be every adrenaline junkie's dreamland, this country has a lot to offer.Despite the struggles it has faced, Zimbabwe is still one of the most popular tourist locations in Africa. Zimbabwe proudly displays its rare blend of music, art, and dance. One cannot help being mesmerized by its beautiful landscapes, captivating art, and exotic wildlife. This majestic wonderland doesn't fail to give its visitors a thrill of a lifetime while making sure that the experience is worth every penny. Best Time : May-August

75. China - China: A Land of Mysteries and Beyond

China - China: A Land of Mysteries and Beyond

China or officially known as the People’s Republic of China is a country nestled in Eastern Asia housing world’s largest and about one-fifth of the population. The country is one of the world’s four great ancient civilisations dazzling world with its deep-rooted culture, classic cuisine, kung fu, fine silk, pagodas, paintings, porcelains, Ming vases and tea. China never failed to amuse the people around the world with their key attractions including the Great Wall of China, Terracotta Warriors and the Forbidden City.  Best Time : March - April (Spring), September - October (Autumn)

76. Azerbaijan - The Land of Fire

Azerbaijan - The Land of Fire

Georgia is the most visited  country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Known for its diverse landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, Georgia is a destination that offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern vitality. The city's architecture reflects its complex past, with a mix of medieval, neoclassical, and Soviet-era structures. Ideal Duration : 7-10 days for exploring Tbilisi, Batumi, and Kazbegi; longer for exploring the wine region and mountains Best Time : May to September (Warmer months) Accommodation Cost (per night in USD) : Dorm bed: $10-20 Budget: $30-60 Mid-range: $80-120 Luxury: $150 and above Budget for Food & Drinks (per day in USD) : Budget: $10-20 Mid-range: $30-50 Visa Policy for Indians : eVisa available Visa Policy for Other Nationals : eVisa or Visa on Arrival for many countries Getting In : Tbilisi International Airport (TBS), Kutaisi International Airport (KUT) Getting Around : Marshrutkas (minibusses), trains, taxis, rental cars

77. Georgia - Caucasus Charms, Stories of History

Georgia - Caucasus Charms, Stories of History

5 Attractions

78. Armenia - A Journey into the Heart of the South Caucasus

Armenia - A Journey into the Heart of the South Caucasus

Slovenia, a European gem nestled between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, enchants with its natural splendor and picturesque towns. Ljubljana, the capital, exudes old-world charm alongside a vibrant arts scene.

79. Slovenia - Green Wonders, Alpine Delights

Slovenia - Green Wonders, Alpine Delights

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These Countries Are the Best for Tourism

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top 8 countries to visit

#15 in Best Countries Overall

Italy is a south-central European country, whose boot-shaped borders extend into the Mediterranean Sea. The country’s historical cities, world-renowned cuisine and geographic beauty make it a popular destination for more than 40 million tourists each year. The nation is home to Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest and most active volcano, and houses two countries within its borders – the Vatican and San Marino.

GDP PC, PPP

GDP PER CAPITA, PPP

top 8 countries to visit

#17 in Best Countries Overall

A number of independent kingdoms united in 1492 to form the Kingdom of Spain, a cultural patchwork that continues to shape the modern nation’s dynamic identity. Spain comprises much of the Iberian Peninsula, which it shares with Portugal on the southwestern edge of Europe. It also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and two enclaves in North Africa.

top 8 countries to visit

#12 in Best Countries Overall

It is difficult to overstate the influence  France has on the world, both in the past and today. Located in Western Europe, France is one of the world’s oldest countries, and its reach extends around the globe through science, politics, economics and perhaps above all, culture. Starting in the Middle Ages, France evolved through kingdom, empire and finally, into a republic. It was one of the first nations to champion the rights of the individual.

top 8 countries to visit

#27 in Best Countries Overall

Located in southeastern Europe, Greece as an independent nation is young, existing since the 19th century. Its civilization, however, is one of history’s oldest and most influential, credited with creating the concept of democracy as well as the ancient Olympic Games, and laying Western foundations in science, the arts and philosophy.

top 8 countries to visit

#4 in Best Countries Overall

The Commonwealth of Australia occupies the Australian continent. The country also includes some islands, most notably Tasmania. Indigenous people occupied the land for at least 40,000 years before the first British settlements of the 18th century.

top 8 countries to visit

Switzerland

#1 in Best Countries Overall

Switzerland, officially called the Swiss Confederation, is a small country in Central Europe made up of 16,000 square miles of glacier-carved Alps, lakes and valleys. It is one of the world’s wealthiest countries, and has been well-known for centuries for its neutrality.

top 8 countries to visit

New Zealand

#8 in Best Countries Overall

British and Polynesian influences course through picturesque New Zealand, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean southeast of Australia . Early Maori settlers ceded sovereignty to British invaders with the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, and European settlers flooded in. Today, 70 percent of Kiwis, a common term for the people of New Zealand after a native flightless bird, are of European descent. A sense of pride has surged among the Maori, the country’s first settlers who now account for about 14 percent, as homeland grievances become more openly addressed.

top 8 countries to visit

#29 in Best Countries Overall

Thailand, which translates to “land of the free,” is the only Southeast Asian nation that did not encounter European colonization. Located just above the equator, the nation is wedged into the Indochina peninsula with neighbors Myanmar , Laos and Cambodia and has an arm that extends out to Malaysia .

top 8 countries to visit

#34 in Best Countries Overall

Egypt, with vast swaths of desert in its east and west and the rich Nile River Valley at its heart, is site to one of the world’s earliest and greatest civilizations. Its location at the northeast corner of Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea has made it a cultural and trading center. But its location has also made it a prize to claim by empires and put it at the center of social and religious movements.

top 8 countries to visit

#6 in Best Countries Overall

Japan, one of the world’s most literate and technically advanced nations, is an East Asian country made up of four main islands. While most of Japan is covered by mountains and heavily wooded areas, the country’s roughly 126 million people lead a distinctly urban lifestyle. Long culturally influenced by its neighbors, today the country blends  its ancient traditions with aspects of Western life.

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This African country is No. 1 for friendliest destination: See who made the top 10

top 8 countries to visit

  • The world's friendliest countries were determined by a new report from digital financial services company Remitly.
  • The company surveyed 3,000 participants from 27 countries on the "agreeableness" trait from the popular Big 5 Personality Test.
  • The scores of each country's residents were averaged, with the higher averages deeming the country friendlier.

Traveling to a new country can be nerve-racking , from having a basic grasp of the language to navigating the public transit system.

One thing that can ease the stress of being in a new place is encountering friendly locals, who can make you feel welcome and help if you’re lost.

Digital financial services company Remitly recently determined the world’s friendliest nations in a new report . The company surveyed 3,000 participants from 27 countries on their “agreeableness” from the popular Big 5 Personality Test in April. Participants took a simplified version of the test’s “agreeableness” section and were given a score between 1 and 40, with a higher score meaning they were more agreeable. The scores of each country’s residents were averaged, and the higher the average, the friendlier the country. 

Solo traveling basics: Expert advice for your first trip

If someone’s personality is concluded as agreeable, they’re friendly, compassionate and empathetic. This is the type of person who prioritizes interpersonal relationships, is warm to others and wants to strike up conversations − all good traits if travelers want to feel comfortable in a new destination. 

Learn more: Best travel insurance

“A big part of being in a new place is the experience you have with locals, whether it's getting insider tips on the best places to eat, or making long-lasting connections and forging friendships that will last a lifetime,” said Ollie Cassel, head of growth marketing at Remitly, in an email to USA TODAY. “The friendliness of the people you interact with can sometimes make or break your experience.”

Read below to find out the top 10 friendliest countries, according to Remitly.

10. Belgium, 32.5

Belgium is ranked as one of the friendliest countries to travelers. The European nation not only has progressive social policies and low crime rates, but English is easily spoken, which makes it easy to meet locals. 

9. Estonia, 32.58

Home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and more than 1,000 islands, Estonia has friendly locals who are known to be respectful and polite to foreigners. A 2019 survey of almost 14,000 Estonians found that most residents prioritize safety and openness. 

8. Germany, 32.66

There’s a lot of history and culture to uncover in Germany, and its friendly residents help make it a popular European destination. Germans aren’t known for engaging in small talk but will help you out if you’re in need. 

7. Canada, 32.84

Known for their kindness – and love for the word “sorry – Canadians scored high for agreeableness in the Remitly report, which makes it a welcoming destination for travelers. 

6. Australia, 33.13

With friendly, laid-back locals, Australia earned a spot as one of the friendliest countries for travelers, so you can feel good about visiting the Land Down Under. 

5. Sweden, 33.30

Known to have friendly and courteous locals, Sweden earned the spot as the fifth-friendliest nation. It makes sense: The country is often ranked as one of the happiest places in the world . 

4. Mexico, 33.47

Known for having strong family ties and being proud of their heritage, Mexicans are generally friendly and kind to travelers, earning the North American country the fourth spot in the report. 

3. Croatia, 33.50

Scoring the spot for the third-friendliest country, Croatia is highly welcoming for travelers. Croatians are known to be polite and social, so you can feel comfortable asking locals for directions. 

2. Greece, 33.71

The Greeks live by a value known as philoxenia , which translates to “friend of the foreign” and stems from ancient Greek mythology. Essentially, this means the country is especially welcoming and warm to travelers. 

1. South Africa, 34.63

South Africans are known to be friendly, so travelers can expect to encounter many locals saying hello and striking up conversations. Eleven official languages are spoken in the African country, like English and Afrikaans, so you can feel comfortable engaging with residents. 

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at [email protected] .

The Key Points at the top of this article were created with the assistance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and reviewed by a journalist before publication. No other parts of the article were generated using AI. Learn more .

America's Best Towns to Visit

City view

10 great US towns to check out now

These destinations, selected by CNN Travel editors, offer loads of personality and plenty to see and do without the elbow-to-elbow crowds of the big tourist cities.

Duluth, Minnesota

Making the most of life on the lake: How this town got its cool reputation

Knoxville, Tennessee

This ‘scruffy little city’ tastes and sounds great

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Why ‘Beer City USA’ is so much more than a drinking town

Macon, Georgia

From ‘ghost town’ to ‘popping’: How this Southern destination got its groove back

Flagstaff, Arizona

This Grand Canyon pit stop is now a bona fide hot spot

San Luis Obispo, California

The laid-back California dream lives on here

Portland, Maine

This coastal culinary hub has a ‘big-city feel in a small-city package’

Tacoma, Washington

‘Grit City’ shines thanks to stunning scenery and glass art

Providence, Rhode Island

This Rhode Island gem moved rivers to emerge as New England’s creative capital

Richmond, Virginia

Our top town offers first-rate arts, food and festivals and a hard look at its complicated history

See Duluth, Minnesota

how we chose

We tapped our network of CNN Travel contributors for nominations for our inaugural list, winnowing the finalists to 10 by looking at each town's attractions, food and beverage offerings, nightlife and cultural scene, sense of identity, proximity to other interesting spots and wow factor. We also looked at lodging options and the ease of getting there and around.

PHOTO CREDITS

  • Intro : Chris Johnson/Visit Richmond
  • Duluth : Visit Duluth
  • Knoxville : SeanPavonePhoto/iStockphoto/Getty Images
  • Grand Rapids : Ideology/Experience Grand Rapids
  • Macon : Visit Macon
  • Flagstaff : CNN
  • San Luis Obispo : Brittany App/Visit SLO
  • Portland : Visit Portland
  • Tacoma : CNN/Travel Tacoma/Museum of Glass
  • Providence : N. Millard/GoProvidence.com
  • Richmond : Richmond Region Tourism

These are the best airlines in the world, according to a survey of travelers — see the full list

  • Airline ratings company Skytrax has released its 2024 list of the best airlines in the world.
  • Qatar Airways took the top spot from Singapore Airlines, 2023's winner.
  • No airlines from the US made it in the top 20.

Insider Today

Qatar Airways has reclaimed the title of best airline in the world after losing out in 2023, according to travel industry rating company Skytrax.

Skytrax announced the results of the World Airline Awards, which polled travelers from over 100 countries on their impressions of more than 350 airlines, at a gala on Monday in London.

Once again, airlines from Asia and the Middle East dominated the awards, sweeping the top six spots and taking 12 of the top 20.

European carriers accounted for seven of the top 20 spots, with Turkish Airlines ranked highest in seventh.

No airlines from the US made the top 20 after Delta Air Lines fell one spot in this year's rankings to 21st. Delta was one of only two US airlines to crack the top 50, with United in 42nd.

Here's a closer look at the 20 best airlines in the world for 2024 according to Skytrax:

20. Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines)

top 8 countries to visit

Saudia , which changed its name from Saudi Arabian Airlines last year, jumped up three spots to finish 20th in this year's rankings.

Saudia is Saudi Arabia's flag carrier and is a member of the Sky Team alliance. It's also one of the few major airlines in the world the not serve any alcohol on board its flights.

19. Etihad Airways

top 8 countries to visit

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways fell six spots in this year's rankings but managed to stay in the top 20 at 19th.

Etihad reintroduced its Airbus A380 fleet and its luxurious The Residence suite after a four year hiatus.

18. Lufthansa

top 8 countries to visit

Lufthansa jumped three spots to 18 this year. The German national airline is a member of the Star Alliance and recently introduced its first new aircraft with the long-awaited Allegris cabin .

17. Virgin Atlantic Airways

top 8 countries to visit

Virgin Atlantic jumped up five spots to 17th in this year's rankings. The British carrier, co-owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines, is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its founding this year.

16. Vistara

top 8 countries to visit

Vistara is ranked 16th for the second consecutive year and remains India's top airline. The carrier, founded in 2013 as a joint venture between Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, is in the process of merging with Air India .

top 8 countries to visit

Spain's Iberia fell one spot to 15th in this year's rankings. The Spanish national carrier is an Oneworld alliance member alongside its International Airlines Group sibling, British Airways.

14. Fiji Airways

top 8 countries to visit

Fiji Airways moved up one spot this year to 14th. Fiji Airways is now Oceania's only representative in the top 20 after Air New Zealand fell to 23rd this year.

13. British Airways

top 8 countries to visit

British Airways moved up five spots in the rankings to 13th place. BA is the highest-ranked of the International Airlines Group (IAG) carriers, which also include Iberia (15th), Aer Lingus (49th), and Vueling (56th).

British Airways also won this year's award for the world's most family friendly airline.

12. Hainan Airlines

top 8 countries to visit

Hainan Airlines dropped one spot to 12th this year. Hainan has consistently been China's highest-rated carrier and the only one of the country's four major airlines not owned by the Chinese central government.

11. Korean Air

top 8 countries to visit

Korean Air slipped one spot to 11th place this year. South Korea's largest airline is still awaiting final approval from the US government for its proposed merger with Asiana, which was announced in late 2020.

10. Swiss International Air Lines

top 8 countries to visit

Swiss International Airlines jumped two spots in the 2024 ranking to 10th place. Swiss, founded in 2002 following Swissair's bankruptcy, is the highest-ranking member of the Lufthansa Group, which includes Lufthansa (18th), Austrian (28th), and Eurowings (70th).

9. Air France

top 8 countries to visit

Air France slipped two spots to 9th place this year despite winning a host of awards, including the world's best first-class catering, best first-class lounge dining, and best airline in Western Europe.

top 8 countries to visit

Taiwanese carrier EVA Air moved up one spot to 8th this year. The carrier is a subsidiary of container shipping giant Evergreen Group.

7. Turkish Airlines

top 8 countries to visit

In seventh place is Turkish Airlines . It's once again Europe's highest-ranked airline.

6. Japan Airlines

top 8 countries to visit

Japan Airlines dropped one spot to sixth this year. The Japanese flag carrier also won this year's award for the world's best premium economy cabin.

5. Cathay Pacific Airways

top 8 countries to visit

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific moved into the top five this year, up from eighth position in 2023. Cathay also took home the prize for this year's best economy-class cabin.

4. All Nippon Airways (ANA)

top 8 countries to visit

All Nippon Airways or ANA fell one spot to fourth place this year. Despite that, the Japanese carrier managed to snag awards for the world's best airport services and the best airline staff service in Asia.

3. Emirates

top 8 countries to visit

Dubai's Emirates Airline moves into the top 3 this year after spending 2023 in fourth position. Emirates remains the world's largest operator of the A380 Superjumbo, with more than 100 in its fleet.

2. Singapore Airlines

top 8 countries to visit

After spending 2023 as the world's best airline, Singapore Airlines is back in second place, a position it also held in 2022 and 2021. Second place is nothing to scoff at. The airline also picked up honors for the world's best cabin staff and the world's best first-class cabin.

1. Qatar Airways

top 8 countries to visit

Qatar Airways takes the No. 1 spot again after falling second behind Singapore Airlines last year. It's a familiar position for the airline, which also claimed top honors in 2022, 2021, and 2019.

This year, Qatar Airways also won awards for the best business class cabin and lounge.

top 8 countries to visit

  • Main content

The 10 best places to travel in August

Jordi Lippe-McGraw

Editor's Note

August is here, and while some might see it as summer's swan song, it's also prime time for the ultimate getaway. Whether you're dreaming of sipping cocktails on a beach that feels like it's from a postcard brought to life, hiking trails that make you question your fitness choices, or simply finding a spot where Wi-Fi signals dare not tread — this is your month.

No more debating between yet another weekend of backyard barbecues or finally using those vacation days. August is your last call for summer escapades before pumpkin spice takes over our lives. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen and let's make this August one for the books. We've got the ultimate list of 10 places to travel this August that'll have you booking flights faster than you can say "out of office."

Santa Barbara, California

top 8 countries to visit

Santa Barbara , otherwise known as the American Riviera, is the ultimate destination this August. From July 31 to Aug. 4, the city celebrates the 100th anniversary of Old Spanish Days, or Fiesta. This beloved festival transforms Santa Barbara into a vibrant tapestry of cultural activities, featuring lively performances, bustling markets, spirited parties and delectable cuisine, all of which honor the town's Indigenous, Spanish and Mexican influences. But the excitement doesn't stop there. August also marks the start of harvest season in the wine regions throughout the county, which are renowned for world-class grapes and top-notch producers. With a warmer summer predicted, it's the perfect time to explore lush vineyards, witness the harvest and indulge in some of the fine wines produced there.

TPG tip : For a luxurious stay, book a room at El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel for around $1,137 per night. For a cheaper option, stay at The Leta Santa Barbara Goleta, Tapestry Collection by Hilton from $227 or 72,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Bristol, Virginia

top 8 countries to visit

Why Bristol? Country music is trending, and this is one of its hometowns. This year, Bristol and its surroundings are buzzing with celebrations, including the 50th anniversary of the historic Carter Family Fold in August. This event promises unforgettable performances and a deep dive into country music history. But that's not all. Nestled in the picturesque Appalachian Mountains, Bristol offers ample opportunities for outdoor adventures. Hike scenic trails, explore lush forests or take a leisurely drive through breathtaking mountainscapes. The city also boasts a vibrant arts scene, a charming downtown area with unique shops and delightful local eateries.

TPG tip : Stay at The Sessions Hotel, which is part of Marriott's Tribute Portfolio, from $190 or 39,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

top 8 countries to visit

This summer, the historic city is hosting the 75th edition of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, an event that blends theater, music and dance. From July 10 to Aug. 25, immerse yourself in Croatia's premier cultural institution, offering top-quality performances, such as classical concerts and contemporary dance shows, in a stunning setting. Dubrovnik isn't just about culture, though. Its historic charm, beautiful architecture and gorgeous coastal views make it an ideal summer destination. Stroll along the ancient city walls, get lost in the enchanting Old Town or swim in the sparkling Adriatic Sea. Head out of town to explore the serene beaches and scenic hiking trails, many of which lie just outside the city. And don't miss visiting local wineries and presses to taste exquisite Croatian wines and olive oils.

TPG tip : Book a room at the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik from $532 or 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

top 8 countries to visit

If you're looking to beat the heat this August, the Patagonia region in Argentina and Chile offers a perfect escape. While much of the world is sweating it out, you can enjoy the crisp, cool air of a Patagonian winter. Imagine hitting the slopes for skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing in the majestic Andes. The landscapes are nothing short of breathtaking, with snowcapped peaks, frozen lakes and vast glaciers like Perito Moreno, and the stunning Torres del Paine rock formation. Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled to spot pumas, guanacos and various birds, with the added bonus of possibly seeing southern right whales off the coast. One of the best parts? The peaceful solitude. With fewer tourists around, you'll often have stunning vistas and trails all to yourself. Plus, you can immerse yourself in local culture during events like the Festival de la Nieve in Bariloche, where music, dance and winter sports come together for a truly unique experience. So, swap the summer swelter for Patagonia's cool and captivating charm.

TPG tip : For some of the most incredible views from bed, stay at The Singular Patagonia for around $370 per night.

Kyoto, Japan

top 8 countries to visit

Experience the beauty and tranquility of Kyoto in August, a time when the city's traditional culture and natural beauty shine. The Gozan no Okuribi (or Daimonji) festival on Aug. 16 is a highlight, featuring five giant bonfires lit on the mountains surrounding Kyoto to mark the end of the Obon season. Explore Kyoto's stunning temples, traditional tea houses and beautiful gardens. Wander through the bamboo groves of Arashiyama, visit the iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine with its vermillion torii gates or take a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined, canal-side Philosopher's Path.

TPG tip : Stay at ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto for around $115 or 22,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

top 8 countries to visit

Escape the Mediterranean crowds and head to one of Europe's most affordable summer destinations. August brings the vibrant Prague Pride, one of the Czech Republic's biggest cultural events, attracting around 90,000 visitors across 150 events. The 14th annual festival runs from Aug. 5-11, with the parade on the final day. Expect film screenings, performances, sports, discussions, concerts, picnics and parties, all themed around family. The parade kicks off at Wenceslas Square with a DJ and heads to Letna Park for a lively party. For the history buffs, Prague is a treasure trove of historic sites like the medieval Old Town and majestic Prague Castle, too.

TPG tip : Stay close to the action at Almanac X Alcron Prague for around $180 per night.

Cairns, Australia

top 8 countries to visit

September might be just around the corner, but don't fret! Your tourist visa has been acquired, your flight has been booked and you're ready for touchdown in Cairns, Australia . Perfect timing. August in Cairns is graced with warm temperatures (63-80 degrees Fahrenheit, on average) and sunny weather. The Great Barrier Reef is at your doorstep, and the beaches of Green Island are ready to be explored. Imagine snorkeling by day, or sailing the coast, then walking the city's Esplanade Boardwalk by night, all with temperate weather to enjoy it all the more.

TPG tip: Book a room at the waterfront Hilton Cairns from $187 or 50,000 Hilton Rewards points per night.

Snowmass, Colorado

top 8 countries to visit

Snowmass, just 9 miles from Aspen , hosts a vibrant summer community and is a top destination for mountain biking. It offers captivating mountain views and access to 2.8 million acres of wilderness for activities and exploration. This August, it's an especially great time to visit as the iconic Snowmass Rodeo celebrates its 50th anniversary with a newly unveiled $6 million arena and a grand new entrance into Snowmass Village. Every Wednesday through Aug. 21, experience this beloved Western tradition with authentic cowboys and cowgirls competing in barrel racing, saddle bronc, bull riding and more. Unique acts will debut each week, and a special evening July 3 will commemorate 50 years of Snowmass Western Heritage.

TPG tip : Stay at Viceroy Snowmass for around $365 per night.

top 8 countries to visit

Edinburgh in August is a cultural haven with the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. From Aug. 2-26, the city is alive with thousands of performances spanning theater, comedy, dance, music and more. The historic city provides a stunning backdrop for the festivities, with its medieval Old Town, neoclassical New Town and the iconic Edinburgh Castle. Beyond the festival, explore the Royal Mile, hike up Arthur's Seat for panoramic views or enjoy a dram of whisky at a local pub.

TPG tip : Stay at W Edinburgh from $388 or 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

top 8 countries to visit

On the northern tip of Serengeti National Park runs the Mara River. August is the ideal time to book a safari so you can stake a place out near the banks of the river and witness the awe of the Great Migration. Wildebeests, zebras, gazelles and myriad other animals cross the waterway daily as they migrate along with the sources of water and food. And the predators know it. You might see lions, cheetahs, leopards and crocodiles on the prowl, waiting for their next, unsuspecting meal. Consider Kogatende as your resting place. You'll experience better viewpoints and access to the majestic event than if you were camped in the Maasai Mara in Kenya with the rest of August's tourists.

TPG tip: Book a room at the Melia Serengeti Lodge Melia Collection from $1,486 per night, based on double occupancy.

9 of the best places in the US to escape the crowds

Jun 28, 2024 • 9 min read

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Stand in awe of the Temple of the Sun in Capitol Reef National Park © ToTheHeightsPhoto / Shutterstock

With its epic expanse and diversity of landscapes, it seems like it should be easy to find some solitude in the USA .

But that's not always the case, with some of the country's beauty spots getting clogged with visitors, particularly during the summer high season . That's why we asked our expert writers and staff to share some of their favorite places in the country to find some space.

Here are 9 of the best places in the US to escape the crowds. 

1. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah 

Recommended by Deepa Lakshmin

The thing about hiking at popular national parks is that you will inevitably get stuck in a bottleneck waiting to scramble over a rock or shuffle through a narrow path. That can kill the mood, so I was pleasantly surprised by how quiet Capitol Reef – one of  Utah’s Mighty 5 national parks  – was.

I hiked two trails, Sulfur Creek and Cohab Canyon, that were gloriously empty. Following Sulfur Creek through slot canyons and over waterfalls was my favorite, because the 5.8-mile trek feels completely untouched by humans. No trail markers, no signs, no bathrooms, no trash cans: just you in the wild. (And preferably a guide who knows where to go. I’m a newbie hiker and wouldn’t do this solo, especially because the water level can rise as high as your chest depending on conditions.)

Stay in Torrey, UT for easy access to the park; I checked out the new Skyview Hotel on a trip last year , which is ideal for glamping under the stars. There aren’t a ton of accommodation or dining options in such a small town, but that also means there’s really no wrong choice. Wild Rabbit Cafe is a must for breakfast, and have a nice sit-down dinner at Hunt & Gather . Fun extras are a cider tasting at Etta Place and a massage at Red Sands’ spa . Your muscles will thank you after all that trekking.

A road winds through multicolored sedimentary rocks in Montana.

2. Montana Badlands

Recommended by Bailey Freeman

Montana’s mountains may attract most of the state’s attention , but its eastern badlands are perfect for those looking to truly escape it all. Characterized by striking landscapes, dinosaur fossils, dark skies, and a perplexing lack of tourists, this well-kept secret will illuminate Earth’s staggering history – with hardly another visitor in sight. 

Hike through the pyramid-like mounds that punctuate the prairie in the Terry Badlands , or camp on top of the banded cliffs that make the whole area look like a painting. Just down the road, you can also wander the otherworldly hoodoos and cliffsides of Makoshika State Park , one of Montana’s hot spots for dinosaur fossils; both Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils have been found here, and scientists are discovering more specimens all the time. At night, the sky opens up to a flood of stars that overlook the ancient terrain; bring a telescope or a camera and scope out the wonders of the heavens.

People sit just outside of their tent in Gates of the Arctic National Park.

3. Coldfoot, Alaska

Recommended by Erin Kirkland

Unpretentious and built for function in Alaska’s far north, the tiny community of Coldfoot delivers for people wanting to experience Alaska’s remote spaces and adventurous activities . Essential as a truck stop for drivers transiting the Dalton Highway across the Arctic Circle, visitors arrive via auto (note that most rental agencies will not allow travel along this mostly gravel road) along the highway, or by air, thanks to several small carriers out of Fairbanks , 253 miles south. 

Coldfoot sits at the base of the stunning Brooks Range and provides access to year-round recreation. From June 1 to mid-September, stop at the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center for information, maps, ranger-led presentations, and interpretive displays showing the region’s history. Coldfoot Camp can assist travelers wanting to hike or raft deeper into the Brooks Range and Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve or Arctic National Wildlife Refuge , with gear and guides provided. In the fall and winter months, Coldfoot becomes a top place to view the sweeping and colorful northern lights . Nightly tours departing from Coldfoot Camp with options to add snowshoeing or fat biking to the adventure.

The structure of the Hovenweep Pueblo Ruins are lit up at sunset.

4. Hovenweep National Monument, Four Corners, USA

Recommended by Liz Prado

Surrounded by high desert and stunning red rock canyons, Hovenweep National Monument is a little-visited archaeological zone in the Four Corners region, where  Arizona , New Mexico , Colorado and Utah meet. It’s a place to escape the throngs at nearby national parks and imagine what life was like long ago. The one-time home of the Ancestral Puebloans, Hovenweep is a cluster of six ancient villages built between 1200 and 1300 CE and peppered across Colorado, Utah and the Navajo Nation. Wide expanses of dirt roads and trails connect the sites, a treasure trove of teetering towers and sacred kivas perched on canyon rims. 

The largest and easiest to access is the Square Tower Group , a clutch of well-preserved structures along a 2-mile trail near the visitor center in Utah . There’s a first-come-first-served campground as well as ranger-led programming. The other archaeological sites are between 4 and 9 miles away; before heading out, ask about trail and road conditions and grab a map as GPS is unreliable and cell service almost nil. Wherever you explore, stay for the stargazing – Hovenweep is also one of the world’s rare gold-tier International Dark Sky Parks, where up to 15,000 stars can be seen on cloudless nights.

Saguaro cactus at the front range of the Superstition Mountains in Arizona.

5. Superstition Mountains, Arizona

Recommended by Melissa Yeager

Eager hikers visiting Phoenix swarm iconic Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale to get a photo from the humpback-shaped mountain for their Instagram. The resulting crowds along the less-hiking, more-bouldering route make it one of my least favorite hiking experiences in Arizona. Break free of the crowd, and take the drive east on Hwy 60 to the Superstition Mountains . The desert dazzles in this area, with stunning saguaro cacti and views for days. 

Hieroglyphic Trail will give you a less intense hike with the payoff of seeing petroglyphs near a waterfall. More intermediate hikers will find  Fremont Saddle a delightful route. (Bring a lunch to enjoy at the top as you rest and admire sweeping views of Weavers Needles.)  Experienced hikers looking for a rugged challenge can hike and climb the boulders for a spectacular view of the region from the top of Flat Iron. The Superstitions are gorgeous but wild. Cell service in the area is scarce, and in some places you’ll need a car that can navigate unpaved roads.  Make sure to bring enough water for your trip as trailheads may not have public water dispensers. 

A dog stands on a rock and watches the sunrise in Shenandoah National Park.

6. The Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Recommended by Ann Douglas Lott

Surrounded by Virginia ’s Blue Ridge Mountains and West Virginia’s Alleghany Mountains, with the Shenandoah River flowing its entire length, this 140-mile stretch of paradise is often overshadowed by the majestic mountain ranges of the western US. But this place practically begs to be your next scenic road trip . Drive the curving roads of the Blue Ridge Parkway or Skyline Drive , or meander along wide open back roads (or follow I-81 if you’re short on time), stopping into charming, historic small towns like Staunton, Harrisonburg and Lexington for antiquing and brewery-hopping. Chill out at sprawling vineyards , pick up fresh bread from a local farm or relax under curtains of fragrant lavender at a lavender farm . Then get outside and trek a section of the Appalachian Trail found inside the state’s big and beautiful beast: Shenandoah National Park . The slogan “Virginia is for lovers” rings true in the Shenandoah Valley. Life moves enchantingly slowly, and the romance of the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains is undeniable. Oh, and once you’ve experienced your first Shenandoah sunset, you’re hooked. 

A car drives along a coastal highway, with the sea on one side and fall trees on the other.

7. Bellingham, Washington 

Recommended by Chamidae Ford 

In western Washington , trees and waterfront collide for unmatched beauty. If you’re looking for a town that truly encapsulates the PNW spirit but lacks the crowds, Bellingham is for you. Nestled 30 minutes from the Canadian border, Bellingham is a quaint and idyllic oasis bursting with outdoor activities. Opt for a slight detour along Chuckunut Drive rather than I-5 to fully experience the region's beauty. Chuckanut provides excellent views of Sammish and Bellingham Bay, with tons of hikes (Oyster Dome is a favorite) and viewpoint stop-offs. 

In town, grab lunch at Mambo Italiano — the sandwiches made with in-house focaccia are unforgettable. Browse the indie bookstore, Village Books , for your next great read, and in the summer, head to their lawn on Mondays for an outdoor movie. Ride your bike along the bay or enjoy a sunset picnic along the water at Boulevard Park. You can’t visit the PNW without stopping by one of the numerous breweries in the area; it's a classic local hang. Otherlands Beer is a stellar option for top-notch brews and good vibes. And when you need a late-night snack, stop by the beloved college haunt, AB Crepes .

Two people following a hiking trail downhill towards the sea

8. Channel Islands National Park, California 

Recommended by Brekke Fletcher

If you’re looking to get off the grid and are willing to hop on a boat, then the Channel Islands National Park is for you. Located off the coast of Southern California, between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles , this wildly wonderful archipelago carries the distinction of being one of California ’s least-visited national parks. To get there, you’ll need to take a tour with an outfit like  Island Packers , which provides two points of departure from Ventura and Oxnard. 

Five islands make up the park: San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and tiny, southern Santa Barbara, which is much further south. Visiting any one of them allows you to see and experience a place that is mostly as it was for tens of thousands of years. From land and sea, behold stunning, rugged landscapes and look out for some of the 150 plant species and a few animals that are unique to the islands. If you wish to lengthen your time on the islands there are several campgrounds for overnight stays you can reserve in advance. And if you plan to visit between June and November, you can add whale-watching to your excursion.

A waterfall pours from a lush forest in Puerto Rico.

9. Jayuya, Puerto Rico

Recommended by John Garry

Just a domestic flight from the mainland US, travelers heading to  Puerto Rico and searching for solitude should head to Jayuya, nestled in the Central Mountains. Here, crowds of a different kind dominate – like choirs of coqui frogs and gangs of roving roosters. Legend says native Taíno populations escaped Spanish persecution by hiding in the Central Mountains until the mid-19th century, and now, Jayuya serves as the island's Indigenous epicenter, with museums celebrating local heritage and ancient petroglyphs aplenty.

It's easy to see how Jayuya held on to its traditions. Imposing mountain peaks protect the town – including the 4398ft Cerro de Punta – and even today, the only way to get here is along razor-thin roads that twist and tumble like a roller coaster. Those who brave the journey reap major rewards: barely-trafficked hikes around Toro Negro State Forest , tiny group tours at working coffee farms like Hacienda San Pedro and jungle pools fed by waterfalls like Cascada Las Delicias. After a dip in Jayuya's chilly waters, head to La Destileria Craft Spirits for a taste of pitorro , a locally-made moonshine rum that will warm your soul.

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Changes to Pittsburgh International Airport checkpoint begin July 8

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – As airline passengers have begun to take to the skies for this summer travel period, the surge in passenger volume at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) in the early hours of the morning has started to exceed the capacity of the security checkpoints, particularly during the hours of 4 to 7 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. The increase in passenger volume is a result of additional flights that have been added by airlines to accommodate traveler demand.

Travelers who are booked on early morning flights are advised to get into the airport terminal at least two to three hours prior to their scheduled departure time because the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint lanes are the most crowded between 4 and 7 a.m.

In an effort to best meet the increase in early morning travel volume, we are adjusting passenger flow to facilitate checkpoint efficiency and improve the customer experience,” said Karen Keys-Turner, TSA Federal Security Director for the airport. “Starting on July 8, between the hours of 4 and 7 a.m., Mondays through Fridays, the alternate security checkpoint will be dedicated exclusively to travelers enrolled in TSA PreCheck® who are ticketed to fly out of PIT. PreCheck lanes at the main checkpoint will not be open during this time.

The move will expedite the screening process, maximize space and minimize line wait times for all travelers at both checkpoints. TSA piloted this change for a few days last month to determine whether it would improve passenger flow and the agency has decided to move forward with the change in early July.

Travel volume has increased tremendously during the past several months and the change is an effort to improve checkpoint efficiency and streamline passenger flow into the checkpoint during the early morning peak travel period. TSA PreCheck® passengers should proceed directly to the alternate checkpoint on the departures level as opposed to going to the main checkpoint Monday through Friday from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m.

After 7 a.m., a TSA PreCheck lane will be available at the main checkpoint through 8 p.m. The alternate checkpoint may reopen during the day on an as-needed basis, dependent on passenger volume to serve both TSA PreCheck and non-TSA PreCheck travelers.

Signs will be posted in the terminal to inform travelers of this change as they arrive in the terminal and make their way to the TSA checkpoints. TSA PreCheck passengers arriving at the main checkpoint 4 to 7 a.m. will be redirected to the alternate checkpoint. Save time by proceeding directly to the alternate checkpoint.

CLEAR passengers should still proceed to the main checkpoint.

TSA is staffed to screen passengers nationwide, including at PIT, however there are a limited number of checkpoint lanes at Pittsburgh and during the early morning peak period, the number of travelers exceeds the capacity of the checkpoints. PIT’s new terminal, expected to open in 2025, will alleviate checkpoint capacity issues.

The high passenger volume is a nationwide trend. On Sunday, June 23, TSA screened 2.99 million travelers nationwide. It set a record for the most people screened in a single day in TSA’s 22-year history. In fact, seven of TSA’s top 10 busiest days in history have taken place since mid-May.

Nationwide, TSA expects to screen more than 32 million individuals from Thursday, June 27, through Monday, July 8, which is a 5.4% increase over 2023 Independence Day holiday travel volumes.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL 25 Rankings Week Showcase

Who are the best teams in ea sports™ college football 25.

Hey College Football Fans,

Welcome back to the Campus Huddle! This week, we have a special “living” edition of the Campus Huddle, centered around Rankings Week.

So what is Rankings Week? 

It’s a time to celebrate various EA SPORTS™ College Football 25 rankings, from the Toughest Places to Play, to the Top Offenses and Defenses, to our final Team Power Rankings before the worldwide launch on July 19. Plus, we’ll have our Sights and Sounds Deep Dive coming Wednesday, showcasing the incredible and unique presentation features coming to EA SPORTS™ College Football 25.

The full Rankings Week schedule can be seen here:

TOUGHEST PLACES TO PLAY

We laid out the significant impact that Homefield Advantage can have on the outcome of games in EA SPORTS™ College Football 25 during our Gameplay Deep Dive Campus Huddle . Audio and in-game modifiers such as blurred routes, incorrect play art, confidence and composure affects, and screen shaking are some of the immersive impacts away teams and players will be forced to contend with. 

But not all Homefield Advantages are created equal. The Development Team worked to compile a list of the Top 25 Toughest Places to Play, factoring in historical stats such as home winning %, home game attendance, active home winning streaks, team prestige, and more.

Rankings are subject to change in future updates.

  • Kyle Field - Texas A&M
  • Bryant-Denny Stadium - Alabama
  • Tiger Stadium - LSU
  • Ohio Stadium - Ohio State
  • Sanford Stadium - Georgia
  • Beaver Stadium - Penn State
  • Camp Randall Stadium - Wisconsin
  • Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium - Oklahoma
  • Doak S. Campbell Stadium - Florida State
  • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium - Florida
  • Autzen Stadium - Oregon
  • Memorial Stadium - Clemson
  • Neyland Stadium - Tennessee
  • Jordan-Hare Stadium - Auburn
  • Williams-Brice Stadium - South Carolina
  • Michigan Stadium - Michigan
  • Lane Stadium - Virginia Tech
  • Rice-Eccles Stadium - Utah
  • Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium - Texas
  • Kinnick Stadium - Iowa
  • Notre Dame Stadium - Notre Dame
  • Spartan Stadium - Michigan State
  • Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium - Arkansas
  • Albertsons Stadium - Boise State
  • Davis Wade Stadium - Mississippi State

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS DEEP DIVE

In case you missed it, Kirk Herbstreit is back with our next Deep Dive, taking a look at the sights and sounds featured in EA SPORTS™ College Football 25. The Development Team spent years capturing countless traditions, mascots, fight songs, and more to the game, ensuring all 134 schools and fan bases were represented with pride. These elements make College Football special and unique, bringing the unmatched feeling of game day to your fingertips.  

For even more on the presentation elements and how they come to life, check out the latest Campus Huddle hosted by Senior Game Designer Christian Brandt.

OFFENSIVE/DEFENSIVE POWER RANKINGS

The Development Team meticulously examined hundreds of thousands of data points to arrive at our team power rankings. With help from our friends at Pro Football Focus (PFF), the team analyzed all 134 rosters, thousands of players, years worth of game film, and mountains of stats, ultimately arriving at our Team Power Rankings.

Here are the Top 25 offenses in EA SPORTS™ College Football 25: 

  • Georgia - 94 OVR
  • Oregon - 94 OVR
  • Alabama - 91 OVR
  • Texas - 91 OVR
  • Ohio State - 89 OVR
  • LSU - 89 OVR
  • Miami - 89 OVR
  • Colorado - 89 OVR
  • Missouri - 89 OVR
  • Clemson - 87 OVR
  • Utah - 87 OVR
  • Penn State - 87 OVR
  • Ole Miss - 87 OVR
  • Kansas - 87 OVR
  • Arizona - 87 OVR
  • NC State - 87 OVR
  • Notre Dame - 85 OVR
  • Texas A&M - 85 OVR
  • Memphis - 85 OVR
  • SMU - 85 OVR
  • UCF - 85 OVR
  • Florida State - 83 OVR
  • Oklahoma - 83 OVR
  • Virginia Tech - 83 OVR
  • USC - 83 OVR

As the old saying goes, “Defense wins championships.” Here are the Top 25 defenses in EA SPORTS™ College Football 25:

  • Ohio State - 96 OVR
  • Oregon - 90 OVR
  • Alabama - 90 OVR
  • Clemson - 90 OVR
  • Notre Dame - 90 OVR
  • Michigan - 90 OVR
  • Texas - 88 OVR
  • Penn State - 88 OVR
  • Utah - 88 OVR
  • Florida State - 88 OVR
  • Oklahoma - 88 OVR
  • Iowa - 88 OVR
  • Virginia Tech - 86 OVR
  • Wisconsin - 86 OVR
  • USC - 86 OVR
  • Auburn - 86 OVR
  • LSU - 84 OVR
  • Texas A&M - 84 OVR
  • Colorado - 84 OVR
  • Oklahoma State - 84 OVR
  • Louisville - 84 OVR
  • North Carolina - 84 OVR
  • Kansas State - 84 OVR
  • Florida - 84 OVR

TEAM POWER RANKINGS

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Here are the Top Teams in EA SPORTS™ College Football 25.

  • Georgia - 95 OVR
  • Ohio State - 93 OVR
  • Oregon - 93 OVR
  • Alabama - 92 OVR
  • Texas - 92 OVR
  • LSU - 90 OVR
  • Michigan - 88 OVR
  • Miami - 88 OVR
  • Texas A&M - 88 OVR
  • Ole Miss - 88 OVR
  • Colorado - 87 OVR
  • Oklahoma - 87 OVR
  • Wisconsin - 87 OVR
  • USC - 87 OVR
  • Virginia Tech - 87 OVR
  • Oklahoma State - 87 OVR
  • Iowa - 87 OVR

Let us know what you think! Join the conversation today by following EA SPORTS™ College Football 25 on social media and rep your school. Next week, we’ll have even more information to share including our Dynasty Deep Dive where we explore the ins and outs of the mode, recruiting, and more! 

College Football 25 launches worldwide on July 19th, 2024. Pre-order the Deluxe Edition* or the EA SPORTS™ MVP Bundle** and play 3 days early. Conditions and restrictions apply. See disclaimers for details. Stay in the conversation by following us on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , YouTube , and Answers HQ .

Pre-order the MVP Bundle*** to make game day every day, and get both Madden NFL 25 and College Football 25 with exclusive content.

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    It offers captivating mountain views and access to 2.8 million acres of wilderness for activities and exploration. This August, it's an especially great time to visit as the iconic Snowmass Rodeo celebrates its 50th anniversary with a newly unveiled $6 million arena and a grand new entrance into Snowmass Village.

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    5. Superstition Mountains, Arizona. Recommended by Melissa Yeager. Eager hikers visiting Phoenix swarm iconic Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale to get a photo from the humpback-shaped mountain for their Instagram. The resulting crowds along the less-hiking, more-bouldering route make it one of my least favorite hiking experiences in Arizona.

  29. Changes to Pittsburgh International Airport checkpoint begin July 8

    In fact, seven of TSA's top 10 busiest days in history have taken place since mid-May. Nationwide, TSA expects to screen more than 32 million individuals from Thursday, June 27, through Monday, July 8, which is a 5.4% increase over 2023 Independence Day holiday travel volumes. ###

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