Best Places to Travel
Every Place Tells a Story
Isn’t that just so true? Places do have stories. And the more places you travel to, the more stories you’ll be told. So basically, traveling is the best storybook in the world.
Why Do We Want to Go to Certain Places?
What is it about certain places that makes us want to visit them?
Is it because it’s a legendary destination that has reached a mythical status in our collective minds? (Hello, Great Wall of China!) Is it because you’ve seen incredible pictures on Instagram? (Maldives, I’m talking to you.)
Or is it something more personal, like you’ve always been interested in Tudor history so you want to trace the footsteps of Anne Boleyn, or that your idea of paradise is traveling to Nice and sipping pink champagne on the French Riviera?
Maybe you crave a luxury all-inclusive in Mexico because just hearing the word Mexico bring beaches, margaritas and relaxation to mind. Or it is Mexico City that tempts you with its Aztec history and vibrant art scene?
Different places have the power to inspire us to travel in different ways, and we all have our own our reasons for traveling. Yet some places are more popular than others. So let’s take a look at some statistics (which of course, change with time).
What are the Top 10 Most Visited Cities?
According to a city index by Mastercard, these are the 10 most visited cities:
- Kuala Lumpur
- New York
What are the Top 10 Most Visited Countries in the World?
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) these are the most popular tourist places in the world.
What are the World’s Best Places to Travel to?
Just because they’re the most visited does that mean they’re the best places to visit in the world? Not necessarily. According to US News, the top places to travel to in the world are:
It’s a dreamy travel bucket list, all right. But it may not be the bucket list for you. Even experts can’t agree on what the best places to travel are.
In a guide to the 50 Best Places to Travel in 2022, for example, Travel and Leisure’s choices include Anguilla, Bermuda, Todos Santos near Cabo; the Finger Lakes, Vegas and Quebec – but the only place they share with the list above is the Maldives.
What are the Most Beautiful Places in the World?
Okay, picking the most beautiful places on earth is like picking the 10 prettiest snowflakes in a blizzard – an impossible chore, but let’s look at 10 of Travel & Leisure’s top choices for beautiful places to travel to – an eclectic mix to be sure.
- Torres del Paine National Park Chile
- Bagan, Myanmar
- Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, Costa Rica
- Anse Source d’Argent Seychelles
- Grand Canyon, Arizona
- Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia
- Whitehaven Beach Australia
- Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
- Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
- Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, because if you go to the top most beautiful destinations listed by Conde Naste Traveler, you’d have to add in the Azores, Mount Kilimanjaro, and the Wulingyuan Scenic Area in China to name a very few.
We at Seeking Elsewhere have our own ideas of the most beautiful places in the world and they range from breathtaking natural parks to elegant European spa towns. In no particular order, because they all have their own appeal, they include:
Bath, England – A stunning town of ancient hot springs, Georgian architecture and golden beige stone.
Pamukkale, Turkey – The white calcium-crusted hills and the ancient pillars toppled in thermal pools make this a gasp-worthy destination from many angles.
Baden-Baden, Germany – Impossibly grand hotels, cobblestone lanes and cozy cafes make this German spa town a blink-worthy mix of snooty aristocrat sophistication and cute touristy charm.
Killarney National Park – Visit this beauty in fall, and you’ll be looking at a stunning mix of vibrant blue lakes, leaves of stop-light reds and yellows, babbling brooks and hills.
Banff, Canada – Mountain drama! Who ever gets tired of jagged grey peaks, glacier-white snow and the translucent turquoise rivers of the Canadian Rockies?
Eze Village in the French Riviera – It’s the vast views over Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and the Mediterranean that will grab you in this medieval village perched high over the sea.
Karlovy Vary – This Czech spa town is a fairytale come to life with its pastel villas, steaming fountains and walkable parks.
Moon Valley, Chile – Dunes, dry lakes, crusts of salt and ever-changing sand formations give this natural attraction in the Atacama Desert a captivating moonscape appeal.
Cappadocia, Turkey – Nature has given full reign to its sculptural creativity in Cappadocia, carving pillars, pinnacles, caves and chimneys from the soft ‘tuff’ rock spewed out by ancient volcanoes.
Angkor Wat – Wow. Just wow. Angkor Wat is one of those manmade wonders that takes you back in time and transports you to a world where the sacred is both divine, and divinely beautiful.
Bucket List Travel
Well, this is interesting. According to the Big 7 Travel website, who surveyed some 1.5 million followers about their travel bucket list fantasies, most people have 11 places on their bucket list and hope to at least get to seven of them.
Included in the top results were:
- New Orleans
- Kerry, Ireland
- Marrakesh, Morocco
- Sydney, Australia
- The Maldives
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Bora Bora
Best Places to Travel – A Surprising Conclusion
What’s the one place that everyone seems to agree belongs on a bucket list? The luscious Maldives – a perennial favourite island destination.
When it comes to the best cities to travel to, Paris remains high in many people’s dreams. No astonishment there, but it’s perhaps more surprising that Dubai often rates higher than London or New York.
What’s really surprising is how diverse the choices are. What seems evident from all of this is that – Paris and the Maldives excepted – when it comes to the best places to travel there is no single answer.
And these lists are only a few dots in the great big atlas of the world. We haven’t mentioned the Galapagos Islands (it should be on our own list, only that would make it 11), or the Grand Canyon or even Venice. Clearly, the sky is the limit when it comes to beautiful places to see.