Looking for the absolute best places to put on your travel bucket list? Lucky for us, our beautiful globe is filled with so many stunning destinations that we will never run out of new places to travel to.
So if you need some travel inspiration for your next trip, you are in the right place! From lush tropical islands and majestic mountain ranges to breathtaking metropolises, fairytale small towns, and incredible natural wonders, here is a list of the most breathtaking destinations in the world that you need to visit at least once in a lifetime.
I personally visited all these dream destinations so I can assure you from first-hand experience that no matter which destination you choose from this list, it will surely leave you speechless. Let’s dive right in!
Most Breathtaking Dream Destinations in the World
1. Petra, Jordan
If we’re talking about the most breathtaking dream destinations in the world, the ancient city of Petra has to feature on top of the list. The rose-colored city of Petra is one of the New Seven Wonders of the Modern World and no Jordan itinerary is complete without visiting this magical place!
The most famous spot in Petra is the Treasury which you most likely know from the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade movie. But there are many more interesting sites in Petra, like the Royal Tombs, the Theatre and the Monastery so it’s best to spend at least one full day in Petra. If you’re looking for the best view in Petra, don’t forget to check out the Treasury from the above viewpoint!
A one-day ticket to Petra costs 50 JD (70 USD) per person but if you’re planning to spend more time in Petra, you can purchase multi-day tickets as well. It’s worth checking out the Jordan Pass before buying your tickets as it already includes the entrance ticket to Petra besides the mandatory visa for Jordan.
2. Dolomites, Italy
Covering more than 140,000 hectares with 18 peaks rising above 3,000 meters, the Italian Dolomites are one of the most stunning mountain destinations in the whole world. Jagged peaks, breathtaking viewpoints, emerald alpine lakes, fairytale towns, amazing hikes, and delicious food – you can have it all in the Dolomites!
If you want to discover one of the best places to visit in Italy, make sure to include the Dolomites in your Northern Italy itinerary. Getting to the Dolomites is a bit tricky as there is no dedicated airport in the area but luckily you can find bigger airports within a few hours drive such as in Venice, Bergamo, or Milan.
Although you can spend weeks in the area, 5 days in the Dolomites will give you enough time to visit the must-see spots, such as Alpe di Siusi, the church of St. Maddalena in Val di Funes or the Seceda ridgeline. Hiking at Tre Cime di Lavaredo is one of the best things to do in the Dolomites and if you want to find one of the best viewpoints in the area, you should also do the Cadini di Misurina hike.
Don’t worry, if you’re not much of a hiker you will still find plenty of amazing things to do in the Dolomites. You can visit the most beautiful lakes in the Dolomites such as Lago di Carezza or the Instagram famous Lago di Braies, discover charming little towns like Ortisei or Cortina d’Ampezzo (which is one of the best places to stay in the Dolomites) or just simply enjoy the delicious Italian cuisine while admiring the stunning landscape at one of the restaurants.
3. New York City, USA
New York City is undoubtedly one of the most popular dream destinations and no USA bucket list is ever complete without visiting the Big Apple. Many people choose summer for their first trip to New York City but since it’s one of the best Christmas destinations in the USA, visiting the city during the holidays is also a good idea.
NYC boasts so many amazing sights that even a lifetime wouldn’t be enough to discover everything, however, you can easily see the best sights in just one day in New York City. If you’re visiting NYC for the first time, spending 4 days in New York is the perfect amount to get a better feel of the city and visit more interesting places, even outside of Manhattan.
Midtown Manhattan and Lower Manhattan are definitely one of the best areas to stay in NYC and you can also find 3 of the most iconic viewpoints here: the One World Observatory, the Empire State Building, and the Top of the Rock Observation Center. No matter which one you choose, the view will definitely leave you speechless!
Seeing the colorful neon lights in Times Square, taking a stroll in Central Park, and visiting the Statue of Liberty is a must when visiting New York. If you love theatre, you definitely need to watch one of the Broadway Shows for an unforgettable experience. For history and art lovers, there are tons of museums to choose from such as the American Museum of Natural History or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
4. Provence, France
Visiting the lavender fields in Provence is a true bucket list experience. If you want to see the fields for yourself, you need to be aware of your timing as it can make or break your trip. The lavender season in Provence generally lasts from mid-June to mid-July, so make sure to plan your trip according to these dates. For seeing the lavenders in full bloom, the best time to visit is either the last week of June or the first week of July.
Although you can find lavender fields practically anywhere in Provence, the most beautiful fields are located around Valensole so it’s worth staying nearby. The closest towns are Valensole and Riez but since they are really small, it’s better to stay in one of the bigger towns like Manosque where you will find plenty of hotels and restaurants to choose from.
The closest airport to the lavender fields is in Marseille. As there is no public transportation in the area, having a car is necessary so the best option is to rent a car at the airport. This way you can explore the area at your own pace and you can also include visiting some of the most beautiful towns in France like Roussillon, Gordes or Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. If you’re an outdoor lover, you can also visit Gorges du Verdon where you can rent a boat or a kayak, or just simply chill at the beach.
Apart from lavender fields, you can also find many other fields like sunflower, sage, or hay. Provence is really one of the most beautiful dream destinations in the world so it’s worth spending at least 3-4 days there to be able to explore all the beauty Provence has to offer.
5. Bali, Indonesia
The lush tropical island of Bali is certainly the most famous of the more than 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia. Bali is a dream destination to many and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re looking for white sandy beaches, forested volcanic mountains, incredible waterfalls, unbelievably green rice terraces, or beautiful temples, Bali really has it all.
There are so many wonderful sights to explore and various activities to do that it’s recommended to spend 2 weeks in Bali if you really want to see all the beauty the island has to offer. You can rent a scooter to get around the island but if you’re visiting Bali for the first time, it’s better to hire a private driver who can show you around.
The southern side of Bali is the most touristy area on the island and it’s packed with beautiful beaches, posh cafes, fancy restaurants, and cool party places. Canggu is one of the most popular hotspots for digital nomads and as a result, you can find many amazing restaurants and cafes in Canggu.
The central area is the cultural heart of Bali and it is also the most picturesque side of the island. Ubud is one of the best places to stay in Bali as a first timer and from there you can reach easily reach some of the best sights on the island such as Tegallalang rice terraces, Campuhan ridge walk, and some of the best waterfalls in Bali like Tegenungan or Kanto Lampo.
If you want to see how Bali looked like 20 years ago before it became a tourist hotspot, make sure to visit the nearby Nusa islands. Nusa Penida is the most famous one thanks to its T-Rex-shaped beach (Kelingking beach) but the two smaller islands – Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan – are worth visiting as well.
6. Budapest, Hungary
If you’re looking for gorgeous architecture, fairytale castles, world-famous thermal baths, cool ruin bars, and delicious cuisine, you need to put Budapest on your travel bucket list right away. The Hungarian capital has a rich history and it offers many unique things to see and do. Moreover, Budapest is a really affordable destination, which makes it one of the best places to travel for college students or people traveling on a budget.
Spending a weekend in Budapest will give you the chance to visit the most famous Hungarian landmarks such as the Hungarian Parliament, the Buda Castle, and the Fisherman’s Bastion, which is undoubtedly one of the most instagrammable places in Budapest. Taking a walk along the Danube river and seeing the majestic buildings rising on both sides will be an unforgettable memory!
Summer is definitely the best time to visit Budapest when the weather is perfect for strolling around. However, it’s also the most crowded time of the year so if you would like to avoid the crowds, it’s better to visit in late spring or early autumn. Winter is also an amazing time for visiting as the city is beautifully decorated with Christmas lights and you can find many amazing Christmas markets in Budapest as well.
7. Santorini, Greece
The whitewashed cliff-side towns, deep blue roofs, pink bougainvillea flowers, and the endless view of the shimmering Aegean Sea definitely make Santorini one of the most beautiful islands in Greece and it’s one of the best dream destinations that everyone needs to visit at least once in their lifetime!
If you’re visiting Santorini for the first time, try to spend at least 3 days in Santorini to be able to properly explore the island. Oia is one of the most popular places to stay in Santorini and if you’re looking for that postcard-perfect view with the blue domes, you definitely need to put it on your Santorini itinerary. You will find the best sunset spots in Santorini in Oia along with some of the most instagrammable places in Santorini, so it’s certainly worth staying there at least one night.
Fira is another great place to stay as there are more options to choose from and it’s generally cheaper as well. Apart from Oia and Fira, make sure to visit the cute town of Imerovigli and the black sandy beach in Perissa, and it’s also worth going on a boat tour to see the sunset.
8. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The ancient city of Angkor Wat is considered the largest religious monument in the world and it has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992. The name Angkor Wat translates to Temple City and it feels quite fitting as the 400 square km area comprises more than 1000 temples.
The closest city to Angkor Wat is Siem Reap so if you want to stay close to the temples, it’s best to book an accommodation in Siem Reap. In order to visit Angkor Wat, you need to purchase an Angkor Pass. It can only be purchased at the official ticket center and you buy a 1-day pass for 37 USD, a 3-day pass for 62 USD, and a 7-day pass for 72 USD.
If you’re visiting Angkor Wat for the first time, it’s recommended to purchase a 3-day pass to be able to properly explore the area. Apart from the world-famous Angkor Wat, the other temples like Ta Prohm, Bayon Temple, and Pre Rup are also worth visiting. Keep in mind that these are all religious sites so you need to dress accordingly (you need to cover your knees and shoulders).
9. Venice, Italy
Known for its hundreds of canals, gondolas, and footbridges, it’s no question that Venice is one of the best dream destinations in the world. Plan to spend at least 2 days in Venice if you want to visit the best spots and enjoy the delicious food and the super romantic vibe of the city.
As Venice has been built on more than 100 small islands, there are no roads in the city, hence no cars or motorbikes. The only form of public transportation is the Vaporetto boats that move on the Grand Canal of Venice and they can also take you to smaller islands like Burano, Murano, or Lido.
Taking a gondola ride is one of the best ways to see the city but be prepared to pay big bucks for that, as a 30-minute long gondola ride typically costs around 100 EUR (120 USD). If you love photography, you’re in for a real treat as you can find countless instagrammable spots in Venice, such as the St. Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs, or the Scala Contarini del Bovolo.
10. Dubai, UAE
The futuristic city of Dubai with its majestic skyscrapers, beautiful parks, gorgeous flower installations, never-ending highways, and insanely beautiful views is definitely a place that needs to feature on your travel bucket list. The scorching heat makes it impossible to enjoy Dubai in the summer so it’s best to visit either in late autumn, winter, or early spring to have the best weather for sightseeing.
Whether you are looking for a laid-back beach vacation or a holiday filled with adventure, you will definitely find it in Dubai. There are countless amazing things to do in the city so if you want to get the best of your holiday, it’s best to spend at least 4 days in Dubai.
The Burj Khalifa with its 830 meters (2,723 feet) height is currently the tallest building in the world. You can admire it from the ground but it’s worth going up to the top as well from where you can get an awesome view of the city. Want to make your Dubai trip even more memorable? Then make sure to book one of the best hotels in Dubai with Burj Khalifa view!
Other great things to do in Dubai include visiting Dubai Miracle Garden, swimming at Jumeirah Beach, going on a desert safari, and seeing the Dubai Mall Aquarium. Dubai is also a paradise for photographers as you can find many amazing instagrammable places in Dubai. You can take some amazing sunset photos at Dubai Creek Harbour, snap a picture with the Burj Khalifa at the Wings of Mexico statue or enjoy the beautiful sand dunes at the Dubai Desert.
11. Paris, France
Paris is not only one of the most beautiful cities in France but it’s also one of the most breathtaking dream destinations in the world. You can easily spend there weeks without getting bored but spending 4 days in Paris is a good start to discover the best of the city. You can find a wide range of accommodations in Paris, however, if you want to make your stay even more memorable, make sure to book a hotel with Eiffel Tower view!
If you’re visiting Paris for the first time, seeing the famous Eiffel Tower must be on your itinerary. No pictures do justice to how incredible the Iron Lady is in real life! If you want to take some amazing pictures with the Eiffel Tower, head over to Trocadero on the other side of the Seine river. This beautiful square offers an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower, no wonder it’s one of the most popular Instagram spots in Paris!
Paris is also home to many world-class museums and while many people decide to visit the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, Musée d’Orsay and Musée Rodin are also worth exploring. The best things to do in Paris include shopping on the Champs-Elysées, eating countless macarons and croissants, visiting the Sacré-Coeur, wandering through the cute streets of Montmartre, and seeing a show at the famous Moulin Rouge.
If you’re planning to stay longer or you have some extra time, it’s worth considering doing some day trips from Paris. Disneyland and the Palace of Versailles are usually the most popular choices but thanks to the amazing train system, you can easily reach Strasbourg, Metz, or even London within a few hours.
12. Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, which was once the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most beautiful dream destinations you can ever visit. Located in the Mandalay region of Myanmar, Bagan is mostly famous for its ancient temples and the hot air balloons flying above the temples during sunrise.
Bagan is an absolutely wonderful place to visit and no Myanmar itinerary is complete without spending at least 3 days in Bagan. The area was once home to more than 10,000 temples but unfortunately a big chunk of them were destroyed during the centuries. Don’t worry though, you can still find more than 3,800 temples scattered around Bagan that are waiting to be explored.
Temple hopping is definitely one of the best things to do in Bagan, especially at sunrise when you can admire the hot air balloons in the sky above the temples. If you’re interested, you can also go for a hot air balloon ride which is certainly an unforgettable experience. Since Bagan covers a huge area, you either have to hire a driver with a tuk tuk or if you want to explore the area by yourself, you can rent an electric scooter.
If you want to stay close to the temples, you can choose between 3 different places. Old Bagan is the closest one to the temples but you won’t find so many accommodation options there, mostly just luxury hotels. New Bagan is a little bit further but it offers a wider range of accommodations. The last (and in my opinion the best) option is to stay in Nyaung-U, which is quite close to the temples and you can find amazing hotels and restaurants in the city.
13. Hallstatt, Austria
Located in the Salzkammergut area, the picturesque little town of Hallstatt is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Austria and a dream destination to anyone who loves fairytale villages. The town is sitting on the shores of Lake Hallstatt at the foot of the Dachstein Mountains so the incredible scenery is guaranteed.
Hallstatt is dotted with many beautiful Alpine-style houses and amazing cafes and restaurants tucked away in cute little alleyways. The best things to do in Hallstatt include getting lost in the small streets of the old town, taking a stroll on the lakefront, renting a boat to see Hallstatt from the lake, and trying the most delicious Austrian treats in one of the cafes or restaurants.
If you’re looking for the best viewpoints in Hallstatt, there are two of them you need to visit. The first viewpoint called Aussichtpunkt Hallstatt is located right by the lake and it offers a postcard-perfect view of the town. The second one, the World Heritage Skywalk is located on top of the mountains where you can get a panoramic view over the entire town, the lake, and the surrounding mountains. The easiest option to get to the World Heritage Skywalk is to take the funicular but if you’re not afraid of a little workout, you can hike up as well.
Hallstatt is really popular among foreign tourists, therefore it’s insanely crowded during the summer. If you’re looking for a more peaceful experience, try to visit in the shoulder season instead of summer. Spending one day in Hallstatt is enough to explore the best places in town and if you don’t want to stay there, you can stay in Salzburg instead from where you can reach Hallstatt within 1.5 hours.
14. Bangkok, Thailand
The vibrant, chaotic city of Bangkok is the most popular starting point of any Thailand vacation or Southeast Asian adventure. While many people only have a short layover in the city and often have only 24 hours in Bangkok, it’s best to set aside some extra days for discovering all the beauty the city has to offer.
It’s worth spending at least 4 days in Bangkok to be able to see the best places in the city and visit a few attractions around Bangkok as a day trip. From stunning temples like the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, or Wat Arun, huge shopping malls like Siam Paragon or ICONSIAM to sprawling markets and countless amazing rooftop bars, Bangkok really has it all.
Bangkok is home to many unique markets, such as the Talad Rot Fai Night Market or the Chatuchak Weekend Market, which is currently the biggest open-air market in the world. You can also visit two of the most unique markets, the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and the Maeklong Railway Market. These are located outside of Bangkok so you will need to have your own scooter or book an organized tour in order to get there.
If you want to make your stay in Bangkok even more memorable, make sure to check out these incredible Bangkok hotels with infinity pool!
15. Bavaria, Germany
Located in Southeast Germany, the region of Bavaria is mostly known for its fairytale castles, magical small towns, and incredible landscapes. Bavaria is easily the most beautiful region in Germany and doing a road trip through Bavaria has to be on the top of your Germany bucket list.
One of the most beautiful dream destinations in Bavaria is the Neuschwanstein Castle. Located in a small town called Hohenschwangau close to the German-Austrian border, Neuschwanstein Castle is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful fairytale castles in Europe.
You can easily visit Neuschwanstein Castle as a day trip from Munich but it’s worth spending a few days nearby to be able to properly explore the area. You can find many amazing viewpoints at Neuschwanstein Castle and there are some well-established hiking trails in the area as well.
Another unmissable place to visit in Bavaria is Lake Eibsee. The lake is located at the foot of Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, so it’s possible to visit both places on the same day. You can take a cog-wheel train or a cable car to the top of Zugspitze from where you can get an amazing panoramic view over the area.
If you’re looking for the best small towns in Germany, you can’t leave Bavaria without visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The town boasts many half-timbered buildings and cobbled lanes so walking through Rothenburg ob der Tauber definitely feels like being in a fairytale. Berchtesgaden and Garmisch-Partenkirchen are also worth visiting, as well as Munich, the capital of Bavaria.
16. Hong Kong
The lively and vibrant city of Hong Kong is one of the must-see places in East Asia that you should add to your travel bucket list right away. Located in the southern part of China, Hong Kong is actually a special administrative region of China with a high degree of autonomy. While you need to have a visa for visiting China, luckily most nationalities can enter Hong Kong visa free.
There is no shortage of beautiful green parks, bustling street markets, huge shopping malls, and world-class art exhibitions in Hong Kong, not to mention all the amazing restaurants and cafes you can find all over the city. Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon area are the most popular places among visitors but it’s also worth taking a day trip to Lantau Island where you can visit the huge Tian Tan Buddha statue.
Hong Kong boasts many interesting sights to see, therefore it’s worth spending at least 2 days in Hong Kong to be able to see all the beauty the city has to offer. Some of the best things to do in Hong Kong include riding the Star Ferry, strolling around Victoria Harbour, admiring the Monster Building, exploring the different neighborhoods, and shopping at Temple Street Night Market.
If you want to find one of the best viewpoints in the city, take the Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak from where you can get an amazing panoramic view over Hong Kong. Another great viewpoint is the Red Incense Burner Summit on top of Braemar Hill which also offers an incredible view of the Hong Kong skyline.
17. Jungfrau region, Switzerland
Although the whole country of Switzerland is absolutely wonderful, if you only have limited time or you want to concentrate on only one region, make it the Jungfrau region. Located south of the Swiss capital city, Bern, the Jungfrau region is actually a smaller part of Bernese Oberland and it’s mostly known for its diverse landscape consisting of beautiful alpine lakes, snowcapped mountains, amazing hiking trails, and fairytale small towns.
Interlaken is one of the largest towns in the area, located between two amazing lakes: Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. You will find plenty of things to do around Interlaken, such as going on a boat tour or taking the cable car up to Harder Kulm. On top of that, Interlaken can also serve as the perfect base for discovering the area.
One of the main highlights of the region is Jungfraujoch, a 3,454 meters (11,330 ft) high mountain peak that was used as a filming location for one of the James Bond movies (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service). Although the view from the top is definitely fascinating, be prepared to pay big bucks for the experience as a return ticket starts from 195 CHF (220 USD).
Grindelwald is another unmissable sight in the Jungfrau region. You can take a cable car up to Grindelwald-First from where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the nearby mountains. If you’re up for a little workout, you can do a 3 km (1.8 miles) hike to reach one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland, Bachalpsee.
When in the Jungfrau region, you can’t miss the picturesque fairytale town of Lauterbrunnen. Set in the Lauterbrunnen Valley featuring rocky cliffs and beautiful waterfalls, Lauterbrunnen is one of the most beautiful dream destinations in the region and an absolute must visit on every Switzerland itinerary.
18. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia is definitely a place that needs to feature on every Southeast Asia bucket list. Majestic skyscrapers, historical landmarks, colonial architecture, luxurious shopping malls, beautiful parks, friendly locals, and stylish cafes and restaurants – Kuala Lumpur really has it all.
While most tourists stick to the Golden Triangle – Kuala Lumpur’s main hub that comprises KLCC, Bukit Bintang, Chinatown – the city is actually pretty big and it offers numerous amazing sights to see. It’s worth spending at least 3 days in Kuala Lumpur but even if you have one week to spend in the city, you will definitely not get bored.
The Petronas Twin Towers dominate the city’s skyline and they are certainly one of the most well-known landmarks in Kuala Lumpur. The towers with their 452 meters (1,483 feet) height used to be the tallest twin towers in the world until 1996. Visiting the Petronas Towers and admiring the beautiful view from the Observation Deck on the 86th floor is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
If you love panoramic views, you can also visit the 421 meters (1,380 feet) tall KL Tower, or otherwise known as Menara KL. No Kuala Lumpur itinerary is ever complete without visiting the colorful stairs at Batu Caves, a 400 million year old limestone cave with a 100 year old temple. Other great things to do in Kuala Lumpur include visiting the Perdana Botanical Gardens, taking a stroll in KLCC Park, getting lost in Chinatown, grabbing a meal on Jalan Alor, and taking a day trip to the Cameron Highlands.
19. Mykonos, Greece
Mykonos is mostly known for its vibrant nightlife and great bars so it’s undoubtedly a perfect destination for traveling with friends or as a couple, but it can be a great place for a family vacation as well thanks to its laidback vibes. Like most of the islands in Greece, Mykonos is also well connected to the other islands and Athens by ferry, but since it has its own airport it’s easily accessible by plane as well.
If you’re visiting Mykonos for the first time, it’s best to stay in Mykonos Town which is the liveliest part of the island. You will find the most instagrammable places in Mykonos there, along with many amazing cafes and restaurants.
Windmills are one of the icons of the island, you can find 5 of them lining up next to each other near Little Venice in Mykonos Town. It’s also one of the most popular sunset spots in Mykonos so it’s worth going there in the evening to see the breathtaking sunset colors.
There are many public buses running between Mykonos Town and the most popular beaches so it’s quite easy to get around the island. You can also rent a car or an ATV so you will be free to go around at your own pace.
Spending 3 days in Mykonos is the perfect amount of time to see the highlights of the island but if you’re looking for a more relaxing holiday and planning to spend more time at the beaches, you can easily spend one week in Mykonos as well.
20. Lake Bled, Slovenia
The fairytale-looking Lake Bled with its small island in the middle is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful dream destinations to visit in Europe. Surrounded by the snowcapped Julian Alps, the emerald-green Lake Bled is a perfect destination for a romantic getaway or a family vacation as well.
Lake Bled is one of the most popular day trips from Ljubljana – the capital city of Slovenia – but since it offers countless amazing activities, it’s best to spend at least 2 days at Lake Bled. Walking around the lake is definitely one of the best ways to explore the area. The lake is quite small so you can easily complete the whole lake circuit in just 1-2 hours.
If you’re up for a little workout, you can climb up to Mala Osojnica, which is one of the best viewpoints at Lake Bled and it offers an incredible panoramic view over the lake and the whole area. The hike can be completed in 45-60 minutes and it’s a fairly easy one, although wearing proper hiking shoes is highly recommended.
Sitting on top of a steep cliff, 130 meters (425 feet) above Lake Bled, Bled Castle is another unmissable sight in Bled. It’s said to be the oldest castle in the country and it’s currently one of the most popular tourist attractions in Slovenia. When in Bled, you can’t miss renting a boat or kayaking on the lake, and if weather permits, you can also swim in the crystal clear waters.
21. Rome, Italy
Rome is one of the most popular travel bucket list destinations, for a good reason! The Italian capital is just simply stunning and it’s definitely not to be missed when planning a trip to Italy.
Rome is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and you can easily spend weeks exploring all the beauty the city has to offer. If you’re short on time, 4 days in Rome will give you enough time to discover the highlights and try some of the best Italian foods such as pizza, pasta and of course, some gelato!
Some of the best things to do in Rome includes strolling up the Spanish Steps, admiring the Trevi Fountain, visiting Forum Romanum and the Colosseum, exploring Castel Sant’Angelo, wandering around the Trastavere neighborhood, and climbing up to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica from where you can get an incredible panoramic view over the city.
22. Siquijor, Philippines
Although the small, charming island of Siquijor is located quite close to the southern coast of Cebu and Bohol, it’s not so popular among tourists which makes it one of the best islands in the Philippines if you want to escape the crowds. It takes only 1.5 hours to reach Siquijor from Bohol by ferry so it’s worth combining a trip to both islands.
Pristine beaches, dramatic waterfalls, beautiful corals, and friendly locals are just a few of the many highlights Siquijor has to offer. Cliff diving in Salagdoong Beach is one of the most popular things to do on the island, where you can jump from a 10 meters (33 ft) high cliff into the crystal clear water. If you’re looking for the most beautiful beach in Siquijor, head over to the white sandy Paliton Beach which is also one of the best sunset spots on the island.
Another must visit is Cambugahay Falls – a three-tiered waterfall offering many pools to swim in and ropes and swings to let your inner child out. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in Siquijor but since it’s the most famous one as well, it can get quite crowded during the day. It’s better to get there early to have the place all to yourself!
Since Siquijor is quite small, you will only need 2 full days to explore the best places on the island but if you’re looking for a laid-back, relaxing holiday, you can easily spend up to one week on the island. The best option for getting around is to rent a scooter but tricycles, private drivers, and organized tours are also available. Most of the tourist spots are located on the southern coast so it’s best to book a hotel in this part of the island.
23. Golden Circle, Iceland
Although Iceland is one of the best dream destinations in the world in itself and it’s worth spending at least a week in Iceland, if you’re short on time then you can concentrate on one of the most popular sightseeing routes in Iceland, the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle consist of three unique and beautiful sights: the Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and the Gullfoss waterfall.
All three sights are relatively close to Reykjavik – the capital city of Iceland – so it’s possible to visit all of them in just one day. The whole route is just under 230 km (140 miles) in length so you can complete it in 3 hours but you will need a full day if you want to enjoy the attractions as well. You can find countless tours operating on the Golden Circle route but if you rent a car, it’s possible to do the tour by yourself as well.
Start your Golden Circle route by visiting Thingvellir National Park first. Thingvellir was the first parliament of Iceland (and the world’s first parliament as well) and the national park is also famous for being the meeting point of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
The next stop is usually the Geysir Geothermal Area, where you can find beautiful volcanic landscapes and the Strokkur Geysir, which erupts every 6-10 minutes. The last stop in the Golden Circle route is Gullfoss waterfall which is considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland.
It’s worth taking a detour on the way back from Gullfoss waterfall and see Kerið crater as well. If you have more time in Iceland, make sure to spend some time in Reykjavik as well and you can also visit the famous Blue Lagoon, located only 45 minutes away from Reykjavik.
24. London, United Kingdom
London is one of the most iconic and well-known cities in Europe, attracting millions of tourists every year. Home to the British royal family and many historical landmarks, London is definitely a city that needs to be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Seeing the Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament is a must when visiting London, and no London bucket list is complete without admiring the Tower Bridge and taking a ride on the London Eye.
Apart from the historical landmarks, there are many unique things to do in London. If you’re a Harry Potter fan you definitely need to go for a Warner Bro’s Studio Tour where you can explore the wonders of the Wizarding World. You can also visit the Madame Tussauds wax museum and the London Dungeon or watch a musical at one of the famous theatres in London. Don’t forget to try an authentic English breakfast and fish and chips while you’re in the city!
Spending a weekend in London is a good start but if you want to properly explore the city, you will need to stay for at least 5 days in the city. If you’re planning to do a few day trips from London, you can stay even longer!
25. Abu Dhabi, UAE
Although Dubai mostly outshines Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates is still one of the top dream destinations in the world and it’s very well worth visiting. Most people only spend one day in Abu Dhabi, either as a layover or as a day trip from Dubai. However, if you have more time, it’s better to spend 2-3 days in the city as it has lots of amazing things to offer.
One of the highlights of Abu Dhabi is the fairytale-looking Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the entire world and it also offers some of the best photography spots in Abu Dhabi.
Visiting the Mosque is free but there is a really strict dress code. As a woman, you need to wear an abaya they gave you at the entrance which has to cover your whole body and your hair as well. The dress code is not that strict for men but they still need to cover their arms and knees.
Another must see place in Abu Dhabi is the Qasr al Watan Palace. It’s a fairly new landmark (opened in March 2019) inside the Presidential Palace and it looks absolutely incredible both from the outside and inside as well.
Most people don’t know that, but you can actually find a Louvre in Abu Dhabi as well. It’s significantly smaller than the one in Paris but if you love museums, you will definitely enjoy it. If you have more time in Abu Dhabi, you can take a desert tour, visit the Ferrari World or enjoy one of the best beaches in Abu Dhabi as well.
26. Florence, Italy
If you love art and culture, you definitely need to put Florence on the top of your travel bucket list. Being the birthplace of the Renaissance, the capital of Tuscany boasts many interesting museums such as the Uffizi Gallery where you can see Botticelli’s Birth of Venus or the Galleria dell’Accademia which is home to Michelangelo’s famous David statue.
It’s recommended to spend at least 2 days in Florence to be able to discover all the beauty the city has to offer. Florence can also serve as a base for your Tuscany road trip as it’s easy to visit the highlights of Tuscany from the city and it also offers countless day trip opportunities.
Apart from the countless museums, visiting the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, or otherwise known as the Duomo di Firenze is a must. Other great things to do in Florence include crossing Ponte Vecchio, strolling around Mercato San Lorenzo (the famous outdoor leather market), and visiting the Basilica of Santa Croce. If you’re looking for the best viewpoint in Florence, head over to Piazzale Michelangelo from where you can admire an amazing sunset over the city.
The vibrant, futuristic city of Singapore is one of the biggest hubs in Southeast Asia and it’s also one of the most beautiful dream destinations in the world. Singapore is a totally walkable city and all the main sights are relatively close to each other so it’s easy to see all the best spots in just one day in Singapore. This is also good news for budget travelers as Singapore is quite expensive!
The Supertree Grove is the most iconic spot in Singapore and you definitely have to include it in your Singapore itinerary. These Supertrees are actually not trees – they are made of concrete and steel and they work like a vertical garden, giving a home to more than 158,000 plants. Walking amongst them feels like you are in another world!
The Supertrees look really amazing in the daylight as well but the real magic comes when the night falls. The trees are performing a magnificent music and light show which is an absolutely magical experience to witness. Another great show to see in Singapore is the Spectra, which is a light and water show performed by many dancing fountains and colorful visual projections.
Singapore has so many unique things to offer that it’s impossible to get bored in the city. You can visit the world’s largest indoor waterfall in the Cloud Forest, enjoy the beautiful tropical plants in the Flower Dome, take a stroll around Chinatown or see the iconic Merlion statue in Merlion Park.
28. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Often referred to as the Venice of the North due to its hundreds of canals, Amsterdam has a truly unique vibe and it’s undoubtedly one of the best bucket list destinations to visit in Europe. The city is mostly known for the Red Light District and the world-famous coffee shops (aka weed shops) but it has many more amazing things to offer.
You can find many great art museums in Amsterdam like the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum and if you’re interested in Jewish history you can visit the Anne Frank House as well. For the best panoramic views, head over to A’DAM Tower where you can also try Europe’s highest swing on the observation deck. Going on a canal tour is certainly one of the best ways to see the city and if you want to learn more about its history, you can join a free walking tour as well.
Spending 2 days in Amsterdam is enough to cover the main tourist spots but if you have more time in the city, rent a bike and take a day trip to the nearby Zaanse Schans windmills as well! It’s worth scheduling your visit in spring to see the tulip fields in full bloom and enjoy the mild weather in Amsterdam.
29. Chiang Rai, Thailand
The small town of Chiang Rai is often overlooked by tourists, however, it’s definitely one the best places to visit in Thailand and a real dream destination to those who love visiting unique temples. Located close to the borders of Laos and Myanmar, Chiang Rai is home to some of the most unique temples you can find in Thailand.
Wat Rong Khun, or otherwise known as the White Temple is the most famous one with its fully white and majestic design. It’s actually no longer a temple but a privately owned art exhibit. The White Temple is filled with Buddhist symbolism and the white color represents the purity of Buddha.
Besides the White Temple, you also can visit the Blue Temple (Wat Rong Suea Ten) which is a relatively new attraction since it’s only been finished in 2016. The deep blue colors against the shiny golden details create a very unique atmosphere and since the temple is free to visit it’s definitely worth including it in your Chiang Rai itinerary.
If you have more than one day in Chiang Rai, you should go up to the nearby hill to visit the Huay Pla Kung Temple. The temple is mostly known for the huge statue sitting on top of the hill which is often mistakenly referred to as the Big Buddha, but it actually represents the goddess of Mercy. The stairway leading up to the statue is guarded by beautifully designed, white dragon statues and once you are up there, you will have the most amazing view over the city.
30. Cinque Terre, Italy
If you love colorful small towns, Cinque Terre is definitely one of the top dream destinations you need to visit on your next trip to Italy. Cinque Terre (which means ‘Five Lands’ in English) comprises five small villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
Located on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline, these five small fishing villages are known for their colorful little houses, incredible vineyards, beautiful harbors filled with fishing boats, and amazing restaurants selling delicious seafood. You can spend a few days in each village if you want to properly discover them but even if you have one day in Cinque Terre, it’s still possible to see them all.
You can find many amazing Airbnbs in Cinque Terre and if you’re on a budget, La Spezia is one of the best places to stay in Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is closed to car traffic but don’t worry, you have countless other options for visiting the small villages. The easiest option is to take a train which connects the five villages with La Spezia and Levanto, a one-day ticket costs 16 EUR (19 USD).
You can also decide to hike between the villages, in this case, you only need to purchase a Cinque Terre Trekking Card which costs 7.5 EUR (9 USD) for one day. In the summer months, it’s also possible to get to the villages by boat but they don’t run as frequently as the train does.
31. Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Located in the southern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mostar is mostly known for its iconic Stari Most, or otherwise known as Old Bridge. The bridge is not only beautiful to look at but if you’re up for an adrenaline rush, you can also jump off from the 24-meters (almost 80 ft) tall bridge.
As Mostar can easily be visited in one day, many tourists are only going there as a day trip from Dubrovnik or Split. However, it’s worth spending at least one night in the city to experience its charming vibes and soak in the beautiful views. Mostar can be extremely crowded during the day (especially in the summer months) but if you are staying the night you can explore the city the next morning in a much calmer way.
Some of the best things to do in Mostar include visiting the Old Bridge Museum, shopping in the Old Bazaar, and climbing up to the top of Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque which offers an amazing panoramic view. Mostar also boosts many amazing restaurants – many with an amazing view of the Old Bridge – where you can try some of the best dishes from the Balkans such as cevapi or burek.
32. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Lying on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is definitely one of the best dream destinations in Europe. Often referred to as the Pearl of the Adriatic, this charming city has recently become quite famous among visitors as it was the main filming location for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. Even if you haven’t seen a single episode, you need to put this city on your travel bucket list right away!
The city is quite small so spending 3 days in Dubrovnik is enough to discover the best places but if you’re looking for a more relaxed holiday, you can easily spend up to one week in the city. Even if you have only one day in Dubrovnik you need to go up to the city walls – the view is just incredible from up there!
If you have more time, you can take a ferry ride or a kayak tour to the nearby Lokrum island, go for a Game of Thrones walking tour, relax at the beautiful beaches or take a day trip to Kotor (Montenegro) or Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina). On a clear day, it’s also worth riding the cable car to the top of Mount Srđ from where you can get an incredible panoramic view over the city.
33. Prague, Czech Republic
Known for its rich architectural heritage and beautiful old town, the city of Prague has become a popular tourist hotspot in Europe over the last few years. The historical center of Prague is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and exploring the charming little streets in the Old Town is a really unique experience.
Walking across the charming Charles Bridge is one of the best things to do in Prague and if you’re traveling with your significant other, you can also put up a lock on the Love Lock Bridge. Other great things to do in Prague include taking a walking tour in the Jewish Quarter, admiring the unique Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square, visiting the Prague Castle, and trying the delicious Czech cuisine.
The Czech Republic is also famous for its world-class beers so if you’re a beer lover you can go for a beer tour or visit the Prague Beer Museum as well. Prague is one of the best weekend getaways in Europe but you can easily spend more time in Prague without ever getting bored.
Located in the heart of the French Riviera, the micro-state of Monaco definitely belongs to the best places to visit once in a lifetime. One day in Monaco gives you plenty of time to explore the country but if you plan to stay longer, there is no shortage of amazing hotels and apartments in (or very close to) Monaco. If you’re short on time, you can also visit Monaco as a day trip from Nice.
When thinking about Monaco, the casino of Monte-Carlo is often the first one that comes to mind. Even if you’re not into gambling, seeing the beautiful building of the casino will surely leave you speechless. Not to mention all the fancy and expensive cars parking in front of it!
Taking a walk around Port Hercules and admiring the gorgeous yachts is another unmissable thing to do in Monaco. After that, head over to ‘The Rock’ – the oldest part of Monaco where you will find plenty of cute pastel-colored houses. You will get the best views of the marina from there and you can also check out the Prince’s Palace and the Saint Nicholas Cathedral.
Liechtenstein, the fourth smallest country in Europe is a must visit for anyone who loves alpine landscapes and beautiful medieval castles. Nestled between Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein covers only 160 km2 which makes it possible to see all the best places in the country even if you have only one day in Liechtenstein.
Vaduz, the capital city of Liechtenstein is certainly the most popular place to visit in the country. It offers many great sights to see, such as Vaduz Castle, the Kunstmuseum or the Vaduz Cathedral. You can find some cute cafes and restaurants in the city so you can easily spend half a day in Vaduz and if you’re interested, you can also get a stamp on your passport at the tourism office.
Apart from Vaduz, it’s worth visiting the mountain town of Triesenberg, the cute little town of Balzers with its majestic castle and the beautiful lake of Stausee Steg. Although you can visit Liechtenstein as a day trip from either Switzerland or Austria, it’s worth staying there longer, especially if you’re planning to do a few hikes.
36. Barcelona, Spain
Nestled between the beautiful mountains and the inviting coastline, Barcelona is definitely one of the most popular cities to visit in Europe. The capital of Catalonia is mostly known for the famous La Sagrada Familia and the many colorful and breathtaking works of Antonio Gaudi across the city. Starting from the gorgeous architecture to the most amazing local food, there are just so many things to love about Barcelona!
Although you can see almost all the must-see spots in just 24 hours in Barcelona, it’s worth spending at least 3 days in the city to truly experience its unique vibe. Walking through the Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter, admiring the unique architecture of the La Sagrada Familia, visiting Casa Batlló and Casa Mila, and seeing the sunset in the Park Güell is a real must when visiting Barcelona!
If you have more time in the city, you can go up to Mount Tibidabo where you can spend a fun day in the amusement park and have an amazing panoramic view over Barcelona.
Since Barcelona is really popular among tourists, it usually gets very crowded during the summer. If you want to visit without the crowds, try to plan a trip to Barcelona in the off-season. Since the city is blessed with mild temperatures during winter, it’s also one of the best winter sun destinations in Europe if you want to escape the cold.
37. Kotor, Montenegro
If you’re looking for a beautiful and affordable hidden gem in Europe, you need to put Kotor on your travel bucket list. Located in gorgeous scenery right next to the Adriatic Bay and the limestone cliffs of Mount Lovcen, Kotor is not only a dream destination to visit but it can also serve as a great base for discovering all the beauty Montenegro has to offer.
The Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the Old Town, the fortifications, and the bay. Inside the city walls, you will find a maze of cobbled streets with many stone houses and piazzas.
If you’re not afraid of a little workout, you can climb up the 1,350 steps to the Castle of San Giovanni where you can have an amazing panoramic view over the city, the bay, and the mountains. Taking a boat tour and visiting the Lady of the Rocks on an artificial island is another great thing to do in Kotor.
If you want to properly explore the city, you should spend at least 2 days in Kotor but if you’re planning to use it as a base to discover the rest of the country, you can easily stay up to one week. Some great places to visit close to Kotor are Tivat, Budva, Sveti Stefan, and the Lovcen National Park and it’s also possible to take a day trip to Dubrovnik as well.
That’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed reading about all these breathtaking dream destinations and you managed to find some new travel inspiration in this article for your next trip.
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email, I always love helping you out! Have your visited some other once in a lifetime destinations you would like to add to this travel bucket list? Let me know in the comments!
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What Camera Gear Do We Use?
- Camera body: Sony Alpha 7 III
- Standard zoom lens: TAMRON 28-75 mm f/2.8
- Wide angle lens: Sony FE 16-35mm f/4
- Telephoto lens: TAMRON 70-180 mm f/2.8
- Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro
- GoPro: GoPro Hero 7
- Camera Bag: Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L
- Tripod: Manfrotto Compact Action
If you want to read more about what is in our camera bag, check out my detailed post about our travel photography gear!