The world is a big place ripe for adventure with beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, ancient architecture, and bustling cities. While there’s no way to narrow down all of the places that are bucket-list worthy, here are just a few amazing destinations to consider dusting off your passport for!
- Giethoorn Village, Netherlands
Ever wondered what a city with no roads would look like? Head to the Netherlands and visit Giethoorn Village, a series of small islands interconnected by miles of waterways and 176 bridges. There are no roads or cars to be found anywhere in Giethoorn Village. All part of its storybook charm!
Known as the “Venice of the Netherlands”, residents of this idyllic village traverse the city on foot, by bicycle, or by small boat. Visitors can rent a boat for themselves or catch a ride with one of the canal cruise operators. Around 1 million visitors come to Giethoorn Village every year to admire the unique thatched-roof houses, enjoy a peaceful cruise on the waterways, and have a delicious Dutch meal.
- The Florida Everglades
Want to see the closest thing there is to a living dinosaur? Journey to the Florida Everglades to get up close and personal with crocodilian creatures! The Florida Everglades is the largest subtropical wilderness area in the United States. These forests and wetlands are home to an abundance of wildlife and are the only place in the world where both alligators and crocodiles coexist.
The most famous resident of the Florida Everglades is the American alligator. Visitors can almost always spot one of these large reptiles (or two, three, or a dozen, depending on the day!) swimming the waterways or basking along trails. In addition to these show-stealing reptiles, visitors may be able to spot a variety of rare birds, turtles, deer, and, if they are really lucky, an elusive crocodile or panther.
- Tokyo, Japan
Want to step into the future and the past at the same time? Take a trip to Tokyo to marvel at the futuristic neon-lit skyscrapers and historic temples. A mix of ultra-modern and high-tech with traditional style and culture makes Tokyo a top bucket list contender!
Tokyo is a big, bustling city full of unique things. From restaurants entirely staffed with robots to immersive digital art installations, virtual reality experiences, and high-tech thrill rides. When it’s time to slow down, visitors can find ancient temples, traditional teahouses, old-world markets, and tranquil waterways to explore. Tokyo is also a foodie’s paradise with over 200 Michelin-starred restaurants and a vibrant street food scene with artful creations like animal-shaped mochi treats and giant dumplings.
- Waitomo, New Zealand
Fancy visiting another planet? Head deep underground to the otherworldly glowing caves of Waitomo, New Zealand, for an adventure like no other! Touring the Waitomo caves is one of the most unique experiences in the world. Home to thousands of bioluminescent creatures known as glowworms, these caves sparkle and glow like some distant planet in a sci-fi movie.
Visitors to Waitomo have the choice of several different tours through the intricate cave systems. From underground boat rides to glowworm grottos or more adventurous underground tubing tours known as blackwater rafting. Once you’ve had your fill of the underworld, Waitmo’s above-ground destinations are just as awe-inspiring with lush green landscapes, roaring waterfalls, and unique wildlife.
- La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Ready for an outdoor adventure? Make the trek to La Fortuna, Costa Rica for lush tropical rainforests teeming with wildlife and the laid-back “Pura Vida” lifestyle Costa Rica is famous for! La Fortuna sits at the base of the Arenal Volcano and is an outdoor lover’s paradise. From wildlife watching, where you may spot monkeys, toucans, sloths, and ocelots to adventure sports like volcano hiking, whitewater rafting, ziplining, and canyoneering, La Fortuna has something for everyone.
When it’s time to slow down, La Fortuna is full of relaxing hot springs, tranquil gardens, yoga retreats, and gorgeous waterfalls. You can also visit local farms and sample tropical fruits, made-from-scratch chocolate, and locally-grown coffee. La Fortuna is a feast for all the senses!
- The American Southwest
Want to see some of the oldest and most unique geological formations in the world? Take a trip through the American Southwest for a glimpse into millions of years of geology and ancient cultures. The Southwest region of the United States is full of red rock deserts, towering sandstone buttes, and of course, the Grand Canyon!
This iconic region has so much to see and do and is the blueprint of the classic American road trip. Here, dusty desert roads intermingle with everything from 1000-year-old pueblos and ancient temple sites to the modern neon-lit cities of Las Vegas and Reno. It also has one of the largest concentrations of National Parks in the US and some of the most gorgeous sunsets. Southwestern desert sunsets fill the sky with an array of cotton candy colours unlike anywhere else in the US!
- Saxony, Germany
Fancy a holiday full of art, culture, and history? Travel to Saxony, Germany to immerse yourself in thousand-year-old cultures, art, and the breathtakingly beautiful Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Visitors come from all over the world to marvel at Saxony’s historic castles and architecture, rich culture, and world-class music and theatre.
Saxony is also home to Saxon Switzerland National Park where some of the most stunning natural scenery can be found. The park is a top destination for hiking and rock climbing and features the famous landmark, Bastei Bridge. The bridge connects a series of rock formations believed to have been formed by water erosion over one million years ago.
- The Sunda Islands
Want to be immersed in rich culture, gorgeous island views, and animals that don’t exist anywhere else on earth? Set sail for the Sunda Islands in South Indonesia to visit the jungles of Bali, the temples of Java, and the Komodo dragons of Komodo Island. The Sunda Islands are a unique choose-your-own-adventure experience adored by nature lovers, beach bums, history buffs, and foodies alike!
There are hundreds of islands in the Sunda region with varying landmarks, from volcanoes, and nature preserves to ancient kingdoms and cultural sites. Visitors can choose to stay on one island or visit several by way of cruise, ferry, or seaplane. The Sunda Islands are rich in biodiversity with wildlife like the Sumatran tiger, Komodo dragon, and Bornean orangutan not found anywhere else in the world.
- Machu Picchu, Peru
Ever wondered what life was like for ancient civilizations? Journey to Machu Picchu, Peru to see one of the most revered archaeological sites in the world. This ancient city sits 2,430 meters above sea level in the Peruvian Andes and was home to the Inca Empire around the 15th century. Today, Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts over a million visitors a year!
Within this ancient city lies the ruins of almost 200 structures, including homes, temples, and agricultural areas. The mountainside in which it was built is also home to a variety of unique plant and animal species. Visitors may have a chance to spot exotic birds, mammals, and some 370 species of orchids that grow there.
- England’s Jurassic Coast
Have a penchant for palaeontology? Head to Southern England to visit the iconic Jurassic Coast. A wonderland of fossils, unique rock formations, and gorgeous coastlines, there is much to explore across this historic region. Some of the fossils and geologic features found here are believed to be over 185 million years old!
Visitors to the Jurassic Coast can explore over 150 kilometres of scenic coastline, visit one of the many museums, or even take part in a fossil dig! The most popular area of the coast is a large limestone arch formation known as Durdle Door. The surrounding town of Dorset also has lots to do with its breathtakingly beautiful countryside and castles to explore.
- The Galapagos Islands
Want to spend some time with 100-year-old tortoises and learn about evolution? Set sail for the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador to follow in the footsteps of famed biologist Charles Darwin. The Galapagos Islands are one of the most biodiverse regions, full of rare species like the Galapagos tortoise, not found anywhere else on Earth. As one of the longest-living species, the Galapagos tortoise can grow to the ripe old age of 100!
Those that find fascination in the studies of Charles Darwin and evolutionary history will enjoy a visit to the Darwin Research Station. Here, visitors can learn about the history of the islands as well as what modern scientific research and conservation projects are taking place. An abundance of unique wildlife, like pink iguanas, playful sea lions, and colourful birds are also found throughout the islands.
- Southern Africa
Fancy seeing a lion in the wild or swimming in one of the world’s biggest waterfalls? Take a South African Safari for a bucket list experience like no other! The countries in Southern Africa have some of the most beautiful landscapes and rarest wildlife.
Millions of tourists come to Southern Africa every year for a chance to see some of the most magnificent animals. Land safaris offer wildlife spotting opportunities for lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, and rhinoceros, while river safaris bring visitors stirringly close to hippos and crocodiles. Daredevils and adrenaline seekers head to the Devil’s Pool for an exhilarating swim along the edge of Victoria Falls.
- Iceland’s South Coast
Ever wanted to stand on a glacier, walk through an ice cave, or paddle an iceberg lagoon? Travel to the South Coast of Iceland for an icy adventure like no other! While Iceland as a whole is full of impressively icy landscapes, the South Coast is home to Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe.
There are many unique things to see and do along Iceland’s South Coast. From strolling diamond beach, named for the glittering ice pieces constantly washing ashore, to paddling amongst icebergs in Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. There are also glacier hikes, ice climbing, and ice caves to explore. Iceland’s South Coast is a true bucket list adventure for those that don’t mind a little cold!
- Rome, Italy
Want to step back in time in one of the most iconic cities in the world? Head to Rome for centuries-old architecture, artwork, and world-renowned cuisine. There’s a reason Rome is at the top of everyone’s bucket list; it has an unrivalled culture and old-world charm that millions flock to the city to experience every year.
One of the most iconic places in Rome is the Colosseum, a 2,000-year-old relic of the Roman Empire. This ancient amphitheatre where gladiators once fought is at the very top of Rome’s most visited list. The Colosseum alone sees over 6 million visitors a year making it not only one of the busiest in Italy but also the world! When visitors are done exploring the Colosseum and other historical sites around Rome they can enjoy all the culinary delights that the city has to offer. The restaurants of Rome are famous for their fresh pasta, pizza, gelato, and some of the best wine in the world!
- Paris, France
Want to sip wine and eat croissants under the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower? Pack your bags for Paris to visit one of the biggest bucket list cities of all time! Millions of people travel to Paris yearly to experience its world-renowned art, culture, cuisine, and of course, its most cherished icon, the Eiffel Tower!
There is so much to see and do in the famed city of Paris. From strolling the Louvre to see priceless works of art like the Mona Lisa to marvelling at medieval cathedrals and the mystery of the Catacombs. Paris is also a top dining and shopping destination with Michelin-starred chefs and world-famous fashion designers. While there are lots of exciting places to visit around the world, Paris continues to be at the top of the list for many travellers. Of those that have already visited, many simply cannot wait to return.
Ready For Your Travels?
Whichever grand bucket list destination you choose, be sure to have your currency in order. Travel FX can help with all your travel currency needs, from buying, selling, or international transfers. Have your currency exchange ready before you land for one less stress to deal with at the airport!