Top 30 Best Travel Destinations in 2016

A view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel

Some destinations never fizzle away. No matter how many times you visit, they always have something to make you feel speechless, excited, breathless, constantly longing for more. It is impossible to leave out those cities destinations this coveted list.

At the same time, there are destinations that have managed to avoid social media attention and have largely stayed away from the traveler’s eye. These priceless beauties are finally opening their arms to visitors and offering some of the most amazing travel experiences ever. From the stars of Europe to the safaris of Africa, from the ruins of South America to the gems of Asia, THESE are the top 30 travel destinations worth visiting in the year 2016.

Rome, Italy

A view of Colosseum
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Fascinating art, daunting historic ruins, ancient traditions, world-class fashion, a deeply rooted culture, exotic cuisines and exciting shopping opportunities are just some of the things that attract you to Rome. Once famous as the base of operations for the Great Roman Empire and home to The Vatican, Rome has always been at the center of world history. Both have been responsible for giving the city some of its most precious sights and architectural beauties, from that awe-inspiring colosseum to the wonders in the Vatican Museum. From Baroque fountains to renaissance palazzos, any trip to the Eternal City is sure to leave you spellbound, excited and transformed. Explore your love for Rome – Take a closer look at the Colosseum by night.

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Jerusalem, Israel (featured image)

You think you know it all, but you soon come to realize that there is always more than what meets the eye. The Holy City has emerged as one of the top travel destinations over the past few years not only because of its soul-stirring experiences, but also because of those exciting adventures. Jerusalem is intense and loves to cling onto its history and culture with both hands. The locals are as passionate as they get, and you can always expect lively discussions in those bars and cafes. The Old City is holy for Christians, Jews and Muslims, and is brimming with relics and sacred buildings. It lets you walk in the footsteps of prophets and historic greats and explore buildings designed by gods and kings. It is a spiritual experience second to none. Ancient sights such as the Zion Square, Jaffa Gate, Western Wall and Mount of Olives are incredibly popular tourist spots here. And there’s a lot to see and do outside the Old City as well. Places such as the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and the Israel Museum.

Barcelona, Spain

Save Download Preview Sagrada familia cathedral in Barcelona
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A grand drinking scene, exhilarating shopping experiences, a fiery culture and architectural beauties welcome you to Barcelona, a city that is always moving, always living the good life. Barcelona’s artistic flair stretches back generations, and it isn’t just restricted to wall hangings and museums. Every corner of the city is full of art. From elaborate dishes to architectural gems, fiery ingredients to grand cocktails, Barcelona really takes living to the next level. And once you’re done enjoying that energy, check out those whimsical Gaudi wonders such as the La Sagrada Familia. Oh and Barcelona also has beaches that let you get closer to the sun and sand, without ever taking you away from the party and good life!

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Tallinn, Estonia

The historic centre of Tallinn
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The best place to be in Tallinn is its atmospheric Old Town. Famous for its ancient streets and spires, Old Town is a haven for tourists and can easily be seen on foot. It presents great insights into the city’s past through attractions such as the Town Hall Square, Rocca-al-Mare Open Air Museum and St. Olav’s Spire. Better yet, unlike other cities, Tallinn doesn’t suffer from winter blues. In fact, it becomes more beautiful in the winter months and its Christmas markets rank among the best. The city feels cosmopolitan, but doesn’t restrict you to a structure. It presents modern-day delights, but doesn’t commercialize its historic beauties. It offers luxe restaurants and great arts, but not without that authentic Estonian hospitality. Tallinn is as fascinating as any European city gets!

Dubai, UAE

Dubai Skyline view
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We’ve said it before, and we simply have to say it again. No trip to Dubai is ever complete without knowing more about its superlatives. After all, when the longest, fastest, largest and grandest can be found in the same city, you cannot stop yourself from enjoying a larger-than-life adventure. Be sure to tick off attractions such as the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Fountain, the Dubai Mall, Aquaventure Waterpark, Dubai Creek and Dubai Aquarium from your list, but don’t ignore the city’s true beauty that is best seen through those Bedouin experiences in a desert camp. It is difficult to look beyond the glitz and glamor of Dubai, but you really need to move beyond the obvious to see the city in all of its glory.

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Dublin, Ireland

View Of Dublin With The River Liffey - Ireland
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Someone may have told you that the Guinness tastes better here, but don’t believe everything you hear. Dublin might be most famous as a destination for alcohol indulgences, but it has more than enough for the entire family. Attractions such as the Phoenix Park, Dublin Zoo and Stephen’s Green keep the kiddies entertained while culture buffs can walk in the footsteps of world-famous writers and artists. But that much was pretty obvious when UNESCO gave it the title of the City of Literature. The city is also known to be an amazing place for a cup of coffee and exotic cuisines made using the freshest of ingredients. For those wanting to dive into the city’s history, there are a number of castles, ancient palaces, magnificent public buildings and traces of a Viking past to explore.

Kathmandu, Nepal

A view of the Pashupatinath Temple
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Kathmandu astonishes you with its sights and smells and you suddenly start having second thoughts. However, as you spend a few hours in the city, you realize that it is just like any other metropolis in the Indian subcontinent, with the only difference being that it is incredibly scenic and extremely special. As one of the oldest cities on the planet, Kathmandu has its fair share of Buddhist temples, stupas and architectural beauties, and despite those touts and crowds, popular pilgrim destinations such as Swayambhunath Temple and Pashupatinath Temple are a must. These trips introduce you to an entirely unique culture and bring you closer to the local way of life. Adventure lovers can easily choose one of those river-rafting adventures as well. After all, Nepal is one of the top river-rafting destinations on the planet! And those searching for natural beauty only need to remember that the city is actually located on the foothills of the majestic Himalayas, the greatest mountain range on the planet. A mere trek to the Everest Base Camp is all you need to see nature at her beautiful best.

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Glasgow, Scotland

The Clyde Arc bridge in Glasgow
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The largest city of Scotland manages to reinvent itself every few decades to present an entirely new experience that disarms your guard with its seductive charms and makes you fall in love with its intriguing lifestyle. Friendly yet captivating, Glasgow is a special gem in Europe. At first sight, it presents sombre buildings, a great history and an easy-going lifestyle. But that’s where you’re wrong. Underneath that façade are some of the best live music venues in Britain, some of the hottest bars, the most stylish restaurants and luxe brands that promise incredible shopping experiences. Explore masterpieces made by the ‘Gaudi of Glasgow’, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and come to terms with its enviable natural beauty that even manages to leave NYC’s Central Park green (well greener) with envy. And if you still need a reason to visit Glasgow, it is also home to the best deep-fried pizza in Europe!

Hanoi, Vietnam

Turtle tower in Sword lake in Hanoi, Vietnam
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Hanoi lost a lot of time as a tourist hotspot due to a long history of war and violence, but it has finally managed to turn things around and offer a safe haven to its visitors. As one of the main cities of Vietnam, Hanoi has certainly seen its share of economic development, but it surprisingly manages to hold onto its easy-going character. The city is also undergoing major transformations as it adds all kinds of art galleries, luxe hotels, touristy markets and exotic restaurants to cater to its tourist population. For the perfect Hanoi experience, venture clear of those phony merchants and head over to the Old Quarter, where real farmers sell their wares and locals have noodles for breakfast. This is where you get to see Hanoi at its beautiful best.

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Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand
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Waiheke Island. A place that has its own microclimate, its own craft boutiques and its own culture. An island that promises magic and mysteries at every step. An attraction that is home to some of the best vineyards, restaurants and craft boutiques in the region. Waiheke is nothing like its next-door neighbor, and therein lies its beauty. Beach bums have those silky white sands at Onetagi, Oneroa and Palm Beach while hiking enthusiasts can choose from a number of trails which take visitors into those beautiful forests. History buffs can see actual WW II tunnels and gun emplacements and adventure lovers only need to be reminded that they’re visiting one of the most beautiful spots in New Zealand, the adventure capital of the world.

Singapore

Singapore Skyline And Merlion With Sunrise
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Despite all that architectural ingenuity and those world-class attractions, Singapore is a city that introduces to a beautiful shade of green in the form of countless gardens and parks. Its laws might feel draconian, but there is no denying that a trip to the city is always enjoyable. World-famous attractions such as the Night Safari, Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Zoo are ideal for first-time visitors, and those exploring those beautiful neighborhoods such as Little India and Chinatown are a must if you have more time on your hands. Singapore also has its very own Orlando. Sentosa Island lets you bring out the child in you through a number of fun attractions such as Universal Studios, Dolphin Lagoon and Underwater World.

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Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Casapueblo house in Punta del Este
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Bikini-clad models, bronzed sexy bodies, shirtless men, thumping beats, seductive cocktails and makeshift booths in fascinating beaches. Just another day for Punta. It is flashy, fleshy, seductive and glamorous. It feels soulless, but that’s how it would rather be. Punta Del Este is where you go to catch a glimpse of your favorite celebrities. Considered to be a favorite among the rich and the wealthy and the hot and sexy, Punta Del Este presents a delightful combination of seaside villas, luxe hotels and party atmosphere.

Paris, France

Eiffel Tower
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Paris, one of the most popular travel destinations on the planet, always promises a fun and exciting journey. It feels timeless and presents a number of historic attractions and iconic pieces of architecture such as the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre, but it is also famous for its street style, high-end fashion, shopping adventures, lamplit bridges and romantic vibe. Paris is as beautiful as it gets, and perhaps the best thing to do here is to enjoy a cocktail at one of those terrace bars that offer a view of the Eiffel Tower. Well, the second best. You simply cannot miss out on visiting the Eiffel an hour before sunset for the most exhilarating sunset experience of your life.

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New York, USA

Empire State Building
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New York Fashion Week. Burlesque Festival. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. New York Film Festival. The best time to visit New York is while it is celebrating something. That said, the city always seems to be on the move, always seems to have a celebration to look forward to. There is no ideal time to visit NYC as every day of the year promises an exciting adventure. Bars, cafes, art galleries, glitzy architecture, world-class museums, nightclubs and the very best of shopping experiences all conspire to ensure that you don’t get a moment of peace, irrespective of the time of the day or night! It is fast, edgy, energetic and ever-changing. And that’s why it feels so exciting.

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Winnipeg, Canada

A view of Winnipeg at sunset
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The city is actually named after a bear, and that should perhaps tell you something about what to expect here. Winnipeg was once famous as a booming city and a major trading post for the First Nations people, but is more popular for its fascinating wildlife adventures and vast prairies today. Its enchanting lakes promise never-ending canoeing and swimming adventures and those wetlands introduce you to a spectacular array of birds and animals. Stop by the city to explore the city’s selection of restaurants and explore beautiful neighborhoods such as the French Quarter. The best time to visit Winnipeg is when an outdoor event or festival such as the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Winnipeg International Jazz Festival Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival is being held.

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech Morocco

Marrakech is a holiday that makes you give unending explanations once you get back home. After all, it’s not every day that one gets to see a new culture, exfoliate in an ancient bathhouse, enjoy a drink in buildings dating back to the 18th century and get the most beautiful henna tattoos as a reminder of the time they spent there. The tattoo may not last for every, but those memories stick on for life.

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Cape Town, South Africa

A view of Table Mountain in Cape Town
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Cape Town doesn’t need any introduction. It remained a shining jewel in a continent ridden with problems. Cape Town also had its own share of issues and has finally managed to overcome most of them, but it has been one of those few experiences that have continually been open for the modern-day traveler. Enchanting vineyards, golden beaches, natural beauty and glamorous lifestyle literally redefines how you live the good life, and you suddenly feel envious of those lucky enough to live here. After all, a city that boasts of that beautiful Table Mountain as a backdrop has to present something special, doesn’t it?

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Palau, Oceania

Beautiful view of The Arch landmark in Palau
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It is not fair for something so small to be so mesmerizing. Palau might not be big on its size, but every corner of the country is worth watching. Palau is home to approximately 200 islands that are surrounded by a beautiful lagoon and covered with dense forests. Needless to say, activities such as sunbathing and diving are the most popular attractions of Palau, and the republic certainly has some of the best dive sites and beaches on the planet. Add the beautiful marine life and those fascinating wrecks into the mix, and you would have to force yourself to go back home. After all, they don’t call it the underwater Serengeti for nothing!

Lisbon, Portugal

The colourful streets of Alfama is a must in Lisbon
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Sun-kissed streets, beautiful beaches, seaside promenades, picturesque backdrops, fairytale-like attractions, Lisbon really feels like a city of your dreams. It is most famous for its nocturnal activities and a night out always ends after dawn in one of the sundecks of those river-facing clubs. And if you’re not a creature of the dark, simply check out those historic wooden trams, beautiful heritage, medieval wonders, ornate streets and chic cafes during the day.

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Maui, Hawaii

Woman snorkeling in clear tropical waters
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Each Hawaiian island has something special to offer and Maui’s specialty is outdoor adventures. Mountain biking, windboarding, snorkeling, ziplining, hiking, kayaking, surfing and swimming are just some of the things to do in Maui. Sounds like enough for your journey, but we’ve not even mentioned iconic drives such as the Road to Hanna, whale-watching expeditions, exotic waterfalls, beautiful beaches, mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets and all that wildlife. And don’t even get us started with all that natural beauty that these Hawaiian Islands enjoy.

Shanghai, China

Shanghai Tower
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Shanghai. Even the name sounds so exotic. It isn’t just the largest city in China, it is also the most beautiful and cosmopolitan city in the country. It lets you peek into China’s glorious past, exciting present and promising future at the same time through a myriad of sights and attractions that don’t just shake your thoughts, but also stir long-lost feelings. The city is divided into two by the picturesque Huangpu River and it literally feels like both halves developed entirely on their own. Puxi feels much more traditional and is home to many of those historic sites while Pudong is beautifully modern and presents a dramatic skyline.

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Hokkaido, Japan

Jigokudani Hell Valley In Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, Japan
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Simply put, Hokkaido is the Japan of your dreams. It occupies 20% of the country’s land and is home to just 5% of its population. Needless to say, Japan doesn’t feel overcrowded here. But that’s not its main charm. Hokkaido presents a number of mountains, beautiful agricultural plantations, exotic wildlife and picturesque drives on roads that stretch as far as your eyes can see. Hokkaido is also famous for its culture and history, thrilling adventures such as skiing and hiking, beautiful national parks and hidden onsens that only the locals seem to know about.

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Market Hall In Rotterdam
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Amsterdam is certainly the place to be, but think twice before missing out on Rotterdam. It may have begun its journey as a fishing village and might have been bombed during WWII, but it has actually emerged as a modern-day powerhouse. A modern city with an ancient heritage. The best thing to do in Rotterdam is to explore its beautiful architecture and rich cultural offerings. A surge in drinking, nightlife and dining activities has also gone a long way in making Rotterdam THE destination to watch out for in the year 2016.

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Kotor, Montenegro

Top View Of The Kotor And Kotor Bay, Montenegro
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Located between a moody bay and a dramatic mountain, Kotor is a town that doesn’t even have to try to look beautiful. From a distance, you can hardly distinguish between its walls and the surrounding mountainside, and the town actually feels like it is one with nature. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 12th century town is also famous for its historic architecture, beautiful churches, hidden piazzas and traditional shops selling all kinds of goods.

Quito, Ecuador

Interior Of The Church Of San Francisco, Quito
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Quito enjoys a dramatic location high in the Andes surrounded by mountain peaks that love to hide their scintillating scenes behind the afternoon mist. The best thing to do in Quito is to explore its UNESCO World Heritage listed Old Town, an ancient extravaganza packed with architectural wonders and colonial-era monuments. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, has everything the modern traveler needs, but since it was founded on the ruins of an actual Incan city, you cannot not expect it to be high on history and architecture. Other places worth visiting include baroque beauties such as the Santo Domingo and San Francisco monasteries.

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Gold Coast, Australia

Visitors ride on Sky High Skyway in Sea World Gold Coast Australia
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Gold Coast is synonymous with all things fun and exciting. It is where you go to have a gala time. After all, any place that offers 52 kms of golden sand beaches and as many as 300 days of sunshine has to be the perfect spots for those in love with the sun, the surf and the sand. Gold Coast is perhaps the best place to learn surfing in Australia as well as the most happening place to be in. The Coolangatta Beach suits surfers while Burleigh Heads is ideal for those wanting scenic views. And if you love the crowds, Broadbeach is where you need to be. Beaches and the water plays a huge role in any trip to Gold Coast, but don’t forget about the Springbrook National Park and Lamington National Park, famous for their beautiful waterfalls, exciting hikes, and luxe retreats.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Teatro Colon
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Sexy, seductive, captivating and alive. You really don’t need a reason to fall in love with the birthplace of tango. Buenos Aires is always brimming with energy and full of sexy people and it almost always has something exciting to look forward to. The Teatro Colon, romantic adventures, delicious cuisines, wild nightlife scenes and a beautiful European heritage let you tick off all those touristy things, but those atmospheric neighborhoods are where you need to be.

Lima, Peru

A view of Machu Picchu at sunset
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Founded all the way back in the year 1735, Lima is a majestic city with a delightful history. What makes Lima so famous is that it is full of ancient Incan sites, beautiful palaces dating back to the colonial times and ornate cathedrals worth exploring. It is vibrating with energy and has a number of beachfront areas that promise great dining, drinking and shopping experiences. But forget all that. It is where you fly into to visit the greatest of them all, the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

African Elephants in Botswana, Africa
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It might be a rare oasis in the midst of the desert, one that is also visible from space. But no one cares for all that. What makes the Okavango Delta so coveted is that it is one of the top safari destinations in Africa. The wetlands are home to a number of islands that host all kinds of wildlife such as lions, hippos, elephants, crocodiles, antelopes and hyenas. To top it all, the area’s natural beauty is sparingly fed by that extraordinary river which flows from the mountains in Angola only to falter on its way to the Indian Ocean and die in the Kalahari Sands. Think of Okavango as the river’s last breath before its inevitable death.

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Moscow, Russia

Image by: Gumbao/bigstock.com
Image by: Gumbao/bigstock.com

Moscow’s history is perhaps its greatest legacy. The weight of the Kremlin, the grandiose of St. Basil’s cathedral and the sheer history resonating in the area tantalizes you, moves you, inspires you and makes you think about how the world might have been had this superpower not collapsed into a slumber. Moscow certainly feels like brushing up on history lessons, but it also has an enjoyable vibe. After all, the city gives you just about everything you could possibly need. Nightclubs, restaurants, bars, cafes, fashion, arts, glamour, beauty, nature, adventure, they all find a place here.

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