Did You Know?
Countries spend billions of dollars in developing their international tourism sector. In the last year alone, Germany spent $84.3 bn, the United States spent $79.1 bn, and China spent $72.6 bn. to develop and promote their tourism industry.
Looking to go on that dream vacation? There are 20 places mentioned here, which you can choose from. Although, I could go on and on, as there are hundreds of other places around the globe that are worth visiting too. But I have chosen these 20 destinations as they offer everything a person would look for on a vacation, be it culture, sight-seeing, food, beaches, heritage sites, and so on.
(The places are sequenced alphabetically and not in any order of preference.)
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, wonder of the world, and also new wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal, is in Agra, India. This structure is a must see, and is a lovely combination of Persian, Islamic and Indian architecture. The area is pollution free as no traffic is allowed near, you will have to either walk or board an electric bus. Other heritage structures to see around here are Agra Fort, Itmad-ud-Daula, Chini ka Rauza, Sikandra Fort, Radhasoami Satsang, Fatehpur Sikri, and Akbar's Tomb. There are also many lovely weekend getaways that you could go to after your tour, to enjoy some peace and quiet for sometime. A word of advice would be to visit Agra in the winter, November / December / January being the best months.
Cape Town is the most visited tourist destination in South Africa. And the reasons are evident. Its climate is absolutely perfect for a lovely holiday, and there are many beaches that can be visited, all unique in their own way. Some great areas to go to are Camps Bay, Bantry Bay, Hout Bay, Blouberg, and Clifton. Then there is the famous Table Mountain which is a must see. In this city, the Cape Dutch style buildings are a sight to behold. You also would not want to miss out on some great shopping at the Green-market Square Flea Market. Night life in Cape Town is never a let-down, with the city having some of the finest restaurants, cafes and clubs in all of South Africa. In short, a vacation to Cape Town is like a complete holiday all packed into one place.
A trip to Egypt in like 'out of the world', due to the fact that there are like some 100+ pyramids that the country boasts of. The pyramids and Great Sphinx at Giza (near Cairo) are the most famous, besides the largest and only existing structure out of the 7 wonders of the ancient world - the Pyramid of Khufu. Other noteworthy places to visit for some amazing pyramids are Hawarra, Saqqara, Meidun, Lisht, Abusir, Dashur, and Abu Rawash. The greatest open air museum on the planet is at this place called Luxor. And basking glory in the summer, Alexandria is the best for its resorts and beaches. If you are interested in coral reefs and marine life, then Sinai is the place to go to for that kind of stuff.
A visit to the 'sunshine state' Florida, would leave you overwhelmed. Before you think of anything to do there, the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando is a must go. It is the most visited and biggest entertainment resort in the world. It accounts for a major chunk of the 50+ million tourists that visit Florida every year. The place is packed with amusement parks, hotels and restaurants, since tourism is big here. Then its coastline offers hundreds of miles of sandy beaches for that perfect summer vacation. Besides all these action-packed activities, Florida's tropical flora and fauna is as good as you would get anywhere in the world. Dolphins, tropical fish, manatees, turtles and so much more is there to be enjoyed with. The perfect way would be to have a ball of a time at the amusement parks, and then retire to the beach side for a nice relaxing vacation.
Goa is the smallest state in India, but easily one of the most beautiful. It is a very popular tourist destination, especially with the Europeans and Americans. Food, dance, beaches, and heritage, you name it and its here. The main destinations is Goa are its beautiful beaches, and there are numerous beach side resorts that one can find all along them. The main beaches to hang out in Goa are Anjuna, Baga, Colva, Candolim, Benaulim, Bogmalo, Miramar, and Dona Paula. Besides the coastline, there are a few interesting museums that can be visited, but the 2 that are the best are the Goa State Museum and the Naval Aviation Museum. Along with a couple of world heritage sites, one would be able to witness a lot of Portuguese influence in the culture, constructions and food, since this was a place that was ruled by the Portuguese for a considerable amount of time.
Greece is right there at the top, as far as world vacation destinations are concerned. A vacation to Greece will give you everything you ever wanted in a holiday. The breathtaking hot springs, beautiful villages, rich history, mouth-watering seafood, and some of the best beaches in the world, are all here. The streets are always alive with music, fireworks and celebrations. Winter is the time to enjoy some great skiing, with so many mountain ranges around here that offer this recreational sport. In short, this is one destination that can be chosen for a summer as well as a winter vacation, depending on the time of the year.
Hong Kong, popularly known as the place where east meets west. And there is a good reason for this. The surroundings, infrastructure, people, culture, etc., all point towards this very aspect. For example, at the same corner, you will find a swanky theater that is showing the latest American movie, and at that very place you will find a store selling local or traditional medicines or souvenirs. It is a true cosmopolitan city, be it for its trendy restaurants, churches, pubs, and all the traditional Chinese stores. The food in Hong Kong is top class and there is something to please everyone, be it cuisines from Europe, the US, Asia, or anywhere else in the world. Besides all this fun, the places to visit would be the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
Las Vegas is known as the entertainment capital of the world, and is known to everyone around the world for its legalized gambling and casinos. You need to head straight to the Las Vegas Boulevard, which is also called the Las Vegas Strip (a 4+ mile strip). There are so many casinos and hotels around, that you wouldn't wanna go anywhere else. The well-known casinos are Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Binion's, The Venetian, Golden Nugget, to name a few. Now there are many others too, which are great casinos to go to. And besides this, Las Vegas has some great resorts, museums and galleries to visit too. So after a great time with the gambling, you could head to these other places for a quiet end to the day.
Maldives, the small island country, is the place to head too, if you want a perfectly quiet and relaxed holiday. Known for its amazing resorts and breathtaking scenery, it is a major tourist destination for people from all countries. A stay at any resort is the best experience, or you could even rent a whole villa to yourself, that would be out in the middle of the water, to ensure that you have all the privacy in the world. The warm seas of Maldives are a great place to be by, and enjoy the sight of a lot of fish in the water, due to the fact that the water is so clear, which allows long distance visibility. All in all, Maldives is a perfect honeymoon destination.
If you have put aside a lot of money for your holiday, then Monte Carlo is the place to head to, for its worth. Monte Carlo is a place of the rich, since it allows certain unique tax exemptions. There are some great casinos to go too, besides the best of hotels to stay at. This is not the place to be at if you are looking for a quiet time. Besides the casinos and hotels, Monte Carlo is also famous for its fashion shows, of course the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, something that you cannot miss, if you are here at that time of the year. The race is held in May or June every year. Also, Hôtel de Paris is a famous hotel here that has been featured in many movies. Last but not the least, you would not want to miss going to the Monte Carlo Harbor.
Do you want to do some of the best shopping in the world? Well, then head straight to New York. And while you are going around shopping, you will love the cityscape. New York is one of the busiest cities on the globe. You have to catch a glimpse of the Empire State Building, Ellis Island, and Broadway. Other things to look out for here are the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Bronx Zoo, Washington Square Park, Times Square, and the New York Botanical Garden. Adirondack Park too cannot be missed. It is the largest state park in the United States, and would you believe that its size even beats another state in the US!
You want to be the first to see the sunrise, then head to New Zealand. This country, made up of two land masses, North Island and South Island. NZ is very well-known for its unique flora and fauna. Music is something that is closely associated with this place, ranging from blues, jazz, country, rock and roll, and hip hop. There are numerous ocean, lake and river cruises and charters to choose from. You can enjoy a nice scrub, facial, wax, or massage at any of the many spas, and spring/health resorts. The country is also full of casinos, gaming/racing venues, theaters, musical events, children's activities, pubs, and restaurants. Big game, inshore, and freshwater fishing, it is all there for you to choose from. Never leave New Zealand without going to the Fox and Franz Josef glacier on South Island.
Before I say anything else, let me tell you that there are 3 must-visit places in Paris - the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. Then you need to enjoy a visit to the Tuileries Garden and Left Bank Luxembourg Garden. Then there is one of the world's largest museum, the Louvre. A place to have some fun and loosen up is Disneyland Paris. Something that should not be missed is the Le Lido, the Moulin Rouge cabaret dance hall. Enjoy a show there with some lovely dinner. And finally, I don't need to tell you that Paris is one of the best places in the world for shopping, dining and hotel stay.
Spain is the second largest tourist destination in the world. A trip to this country would leave you wanting more. Spain was one of the first countries in the world to develop summer / beach vacations. The Costa Brava, Costa Daurada, Costa del Maresme, Costa del Azahar, Costa de Valencia, Costa Blanca, Costa Calida, Mar Menor, Costa de Almería, Costa Tropical, Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz, Marbella, Sotogrande, and Málaga. The list can go on and on, for the summer destinations in Spain. On the cultural front, Spain, along with Italy, officially has the most world heritage sites, 42 to be exact. With so many mountainous regions, Spain is big when it comes to winter vacations. A few places to name are the Pyrenees, the Sistema Central, The Sistema Ibérico and Sierra Nevada. And lastly, for some great nightlife, you would love to be in Barcelona or Madrid. Spain has a total of 44 world heritage sites, second-most in the world.
Sri Lanka is like second heaven. The country is full of lowlands and evergreen forests. In the southern part, a must visit is the Yala National Park. The species of birds and animals that you would get to see here will leave you spellbound. Sri Lanka is also well-known for its scenic beaches, and they have many. A few notable ones are Negombo, Kosgoda, Tangalle, Wadduwa, Dondra Head, Unawatuna, Arugam Bay, and Mirissa. Make no mistake, there are hundred others with the same standards. A good place to visit is Adam's peak, besides the many world heritage sites, like Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, and Central highlands, to name a few.
Switzerland is the most sought-after winter destination in the world. It has 40,000 miles of well-maintained trails, and 15,000 miles run through mountainous regions. The Swiss Alps and summits attract people from all over the globe. If you thought Switzerland was only a winter holiday destination, you are mistaken. The same places are very popular in summer too. Hiking is very popular in the summers. For others, cable cars operate throughout the year. Klein Matterhorn is the highest summit in Europe to be serviced by cable car. Switzerland also boasts of Jungfraujoch - the highest train station in Europe. Popular areas for skiing are Valais, Bernese Oberland and Graubünden. Switzerland has developed an amazing transport network, and each and every mountain village can be got to by some kind of public transport.
If you love the night life, catch a plane to Sydney. There are numerous nightclubs, restaurants and pubs to go to. Some of the popular places to go to are Kings Cross, Oxford Street, Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and The Rocks. You will be assured of a great time, along with some of the best food that you can lay your hands on. And while in Sydney, you cannot miss visiting the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. For those who would love to indulge in some gambling, there is only one casino in Sydney, which is the Star City Casino situated near Darling Harbor. A tip would be to try the harbor cruise at night along with a fantastic dinner, believe me, it's worth it.
Thailand has it all, busy colorful streets, beautiful beaches, skyscrapers, shopping malls, the best in nightlife, and some amazing worship structures. So it is everything that you can get and experience in this country. Some of the best places to visit are Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, Phi Phi, Koh Chang, and Chiang Mai. Now to enjoy some amazing beach resorts and summer fun, Pattaya and Hua Hin have it all. One thing is sure, once you are here, you wouldn't wanna pack your bags to leave ever. Thailand is home to some of the most world renowned spas and health / rehab facilities. With a large forest cover too, elephant trekking is also something that is worth experiencing.
Turkey is amongst the top vacation destinations of the world, and the place known as where the continents meet. Turkey's diverse geography means that you can expect to experience four different climates in a single day. This country would present to you large land masses, huge mountain ranges, vast fertile valleys, some of the best beach resorts, and not to mention, quite a few great but uncrowded beaches. And this is one of the few countries in the world where you would get to see mosques, churches and palaces, all in close proximity. Noteworthy cultural visits would be to places like Ephesus, Troy, Pergamon, House of Virgin Mary, Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Trabzon, Konya, Didyma, and Church of Antioch.
The last place on my list is Venice. This is another destination that is perfect for a summer as well as a winter vacation. It has an amazing history and is noted for its beautiful architecture. There are many old churches that are worth visiting. San Marco Square is right in the center of the city, and the place to be if you want to have a good time. The Palazzo Ducale is also a must-see structure, simply for its breathtaking waterfront. Venice is filled with many art galleries too. The Grand Canal is a long canal that runs right through the city. This is referred to as the most beautiful street in the whole of Venice. The city made up of 117 tiny islands, and is amazingly linked by 400 bridges over 150 canals. A note of caution though, accommodation in Venice is slightly on the expensive side, so make sure you have your bookings done in advance.
The mentioned destinations are easily the most beautiful places in the world. A vacation to any of these places will need some sort of planning, so make sure you have everything else sorted out once you choose the place you want to go to. The most exotic places in the world are not necessarily the most expensive, as we can see from the list above. A great vacation can be planned only after you decide on your budget, finalize the location, and then get on with the bookings. I'll sign off here, assuming that your next vacation is going to be one that you will remember for the rest of your life. And if you go on a vacation and experience a good time, or if you have any other suggestions, do feel free to share your thoughts here in the comments section. Cheers!