What are the most beautiful places in the world? Well that depends on what you consider beautiful, and that’s exactly why you’re in the right place!
There are hundreds if not thousands of places on Earth that deserve to be on this list, but we couldn’t possibly name them all. Which is why we picked just the top few in each category, including beaches, mountains, big cities, small towns and those unique sights that are unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
So, whether you’re into white sandy beaches, spectacular mountain views or surreal lakes, you’ll find plenty of stuff for your bucket list below!
Love running around big cities? Make sure that you have at least one of these on your bucket list!
Tokyo is THE most beautiful city in the world. Its neon lights are magical and the unique skyscrapers are captivating. And that’s just one small slice of Tokyo magic. Apart from the futuristic building, this mesmerizing city also boasts ancient Shinto shrines and parks full of cherry blossoms. Early spring is the best time to visit Tokyo since that’s when everything is in full bloom.
Plus, head to any of the viewpoints in those massive skyscrapers and you’re in for gorgeous panoramic views of the city with Mt. Fuji in the back – what’s not to love?
Who can forget about the City of Love? Paris is easily at the top of the list of most beautiful places in the world, and not even because of the Eiffel Tower of the Louvre. Everything about Paris is Instagrammable, from the cute croissant you get in a cafe to the evening cruise on the Seine.
Paris is laid out in circles, which also makes it one of the most confusing cities in the world for non-residents. But that’s also part of its charm! And the view of the arrondissements from above is simply magical.
The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps. The Greatest City in The World. All these phrases refer to New York City, and all of them are true – at least to a degree. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with spectacular skyscrapers and a park the size of Monaco in the middle of Manhattan.
New York is an enchanting city, and a panoramic view from one of the skyscrapers – preferably the Empire State Building – is enough to make you never want to leave. The Statue of Liberty, the Met, MoMA, the Brooklyn Bridge and Flatiron building are just some of the famous sights that will make you stop and stare in awe in this stunning metropolis.
If you’re into architecture, you know exactly why Barcelona is on this list. The city is home to the bulk of Antoni Gaudi’s buildings, which represent some of the most unique works of architecture on the planet. La Sagrada Familia alone is reason enough to cross the ocean, and Casa Battló and Casa Milà aren’t too shabby either.
If that’s not enough, remember that Barcelona also has extraordinary beaches, delicious food and beer, exceptionally friendly locals and the best Picasso museum in the world!
Indian architecture is truly something else and there’s no better place in the world to experience it than Jaipur. The Pink City, the Old City, Rajasthan’s Royal Capital are all used to describe India’s most popular tourist hub, and each of them is a reason to fall in love with Jaipur.
Admire the colorful buildings, walk around the massive forts and try to figure out the world’s largest stepwell. Head to one of the city’s vast parks, see all the stunning monuments and visit at least one Animal farm or safari for the wild animals. Even if you spent a month in Jaipur, it wouldn’t be enough to cover half of the things that make it one of the most beautiful places in the world!
The Sinking City is easily one of the most stunning places in Europe. Venice has always been a popular destination for tourists and for good reason – how many other cities do you know where boat traffic is worse than car traffic?
Venice should be at the top of your bucket list because we might be one of the last generations that witnesses its existence. The city is slowly sinking and if nothing is done to curb climate change, it will be completely underwater soon. Some experts say that Venice could be underwater as soon as 2100, so make it a priority in your upcoming travels.
Is your bucket list missing a few spectacular sandy beaches? Then it’s lacking at least one of the stunning places below!
Boracay White Beach in the Philippines is pretty much paradise on Earth. There’s soft white sand, azure blue sea and swaying palm trees – how can you say no to that? And the White Beach is not the only slice of paradise on Boracay Island – there’s at least a dozen other beaches with the same soft sand and magical views!
The best part is that the hotels are right on those beaches and they’re incredibly cheap!
Byron Bay is one of the most popular places in Australia thanks to miles and miles of gorgeous beaches. It is extremely popular with vacationers for the excellent snorkeling and surfing opportunities in the area. The Tallow Beach in Arakwal National Park is easily the most beautiful beach here – the white sand stretches to your left and right as far as the eyes can see, with the crystal-clear sea in front of you. And behind you there’s nothing but untouched nature for miles and miles!
The Golden Horn is Croatia’s most famous beach featured in practically every tourist advertisement for the country. And for good reason – this sandy beach has such a unique shape that a single photo is enough to intrigue even those who hate summers.
The shape of the Golden Horn is constantly changing, due to winds and tides. But some things remain the same – the sand will always be soft and the sea around you will always be spectacularly blue. This beach is on Croatia’s Brač island, and it’s just one of dozens worth exploring in the area.
It would be unfair to select just one beach from Bora Bora when all of them are so spectacularly stunning. No matter where you are on this island you feel like you’ve stepped right into a fairytale, and you never want to leave. And if we’re being perfectly honestly, if you’re truly experiencing Bora Bora you’re not even sitting on the beach – you’re jumping into the sea straight from your villa on water.
This popular tourist destination in French Polynesia is best known for its luxurious resorts and turquoise sea. The mild climate makes it a great vacation spot practically year round – Bora Bora winter (June, July, August) is the high season for tourism!
Quaint houses and cobblestone alleys hold a charm you just can’t experience in big cities with busy streets. And that’s exactly what you will see in the most beautiful small towns and villages!
Rothenburg is a medieval town in Bavaria, Germany. It’s best known for its medieval old town, which appears unaffected by the passing of the time. The town is encircled by a 14th century wall that is spectacularly undamaged, with medieval gates at town entrances.
This small town is incredibly picturesque, which makes it very popular with tourists. There are bus tours nearly every day – especially in the summer – that will take you to Rothenburg and back, and which are a great way to explore this charming place. Keep in mind that it takes about 15 minutes to walk from one end of Rothenburg to the other – there’s not a lot to do and see here, other than to admire the picturesque houses.
Jaffa is an ancient port town in Israel, best known for its picturesque streets. Walking through the cobblestone alleys truly feels like you’ve stepped back in time, but in a good and charming way. The contrast between the ancient buildings in Jaffa and the modern skyscrapers of Tel Aviv is truly astounding.
In fact, Tel Aviv grew out of the ancient port city, which just makes it even more intriguing. Jaffa’s proximity to one of the most modern metropolises in the Middle East makes it a great base for further exploration of the area – spend your days roaming around the modern streets of Tel Aviv, but head to this historic town in the evening for a truly unique experience.
Ushuaia is the southernmost city on the planet, which technically makes it the End of the World. And if that’s not enough to intrigue you, Martial Glacier should do the trick. It’s only 7 kilometers from downtown Ushuaia, with numerous hiking trails that offer incredible panoramic views of this charming city.
The nature outside the city is spectacular and exceptionally colorful throughout the year. And it gets even better – Ushuaia is also popular for cruises to Isla Yécapasela, which is commonly known as ‘Penguin Island’ because of the colonies. So, not only can you go to the End of the World, but you can also watch penguins and take a cruise to Antarctica from there!
Bran is a small village in Romania internationally famous for the Bran Castle, more commonly known as Dracula’s Castle. It’s associated with Dracula because of Bram Stoker’s namesake novel, but what’s funny is that there’s zero evidence that Stoker ever knew about Bran Castle. Plus, the fortress from the novel and the one in this tiny Romanian village bear no resemblance at all.
Nonetheless, the myth continues in the 21st century, and a myriad of tourists flocks to the Romanian village to explore the fortress of the notorious vampire. It doesn’t hurt that the castle is in an idyllic setting with beautiful forests and mountains surrounding the quaint village.
Chefchaouen is a Moroccan city famous for being blue. Most buildings are in various shades of blue, which creates intrigue and attracts tourists. What’s best is that nobody knows exactly why everything’s blue, but there are numerous theories.
The town truly looks like something out of a fairytale, and it’s exceptionally Instagrammable. But that’s not the only reason to visit Chefchaouen. Its proximity to Tangier and Ceuta make it a great base for exploring Morocco, while the hundreds of hotels in town ensure there’s a spot for every tourist that visits. Chefchaouen is also a popular shopping destination because you can get a lot of stuff there that’s not available in the rest of the country!
Are you craving some spectacular mountain views to add to your bucket list? Make sure that it has at least one of the following places!
Or anywhere in Switzerland, really! With more than 15,000 mi² of the Alps, Switzerland is easily one of the best destinations in the world for mountainous tourism. And Zermatt village is the most popular spot in the country for it. It lies at the foot of the Matterhorn and offers spectacular lodging where you can enjoy views of this majestic mountain through a glass wall, from the comfort of your hot tub.
Matterhorn is popular for skiing, snowboarding, Alpine climbing, mountain biking and pretty much anything else you could do on a mountain any time of the year. It’s also featured on the delicious Toblerone chocolate, which might be the reason why everyone knows the shape of this spectacular mountain.
Tanzania’s dormant volcano is one of the most impressive sights on the African continent. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the topographically most prominent peak on the planet. It’s also a very popular climbing destination in the Kilimanjaro National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What makes the volcanic massif even more attractive is that it’s surrounded by untouched nature. The snowy peak stands tall in the midst of vast plains and it’s surrounded by mountainous forest that’s full of various mammals. Some of them are endangered, which really makes this place one of the most unique spots on our planet.
Uetliberg mountain peak is nowhere near as impressive as Matterhorn or even remotely as scary as Denali. But it does offer some of the best views you will experience in your life, since on a clear day you can see nearly the entire Lake Zurich.
This mountain peak is maybe half an hour away from downtown Zurich, and it offers sprawling views of the city and lake below. And if the panoramic vistas just don’t cut it for you, there’s always one of the dozen or so hiking trails to keep you entertained!
Denali is an alpinist’s dream. The highest mountain peak in North America draws the bravest and most experienced climbers, and not even all of those make it back. The success rate for climbing Denali is only about 50%, and more than 100 alpinists have died attempting to get to the top.
But you don’t have to reach the summit to enjoy the views. You can be as just as amazed at lower altitudes, or if you just spend some time in the Denali National Park. The untouched nature here in Alaska is absolutely breathtaking, even if you’re not admiring it from the top of such a dangerous mountain.
Kirkjufell is a popular mountain in Iceland. It’s not a big mountain – the height of 463 meters can’t even begin to compare to the tall peaks of Switzerland. However, this gorgeous mountain is one of the few places in the world where you can experience Aurora Borealis and for that it certainly deserves to be listed among the best mountain views in the world. The dramatic shape and idyllic coastal location make this one of the most popular attractions in Iceland.
If Kirkjufell looks familiar, it’s probably because you already saw it in Game of Thrones. It was featured in seasons 6 and 7 as the “arrowhead mountain” – you wouldn’t just be able to admire to Northern Lights here, but you could also experience some scenes from the famous TV show!
Yes it’s another mountain in Switzerland, but I can’t help myself! It is the top destination in Europe (and wider) for mountainous tourism, and Jungfraujoch is one of the most stunning mountains in the country. It is home to Top of Europe, which features the highest altitude post office on the continent.
Jungfraujoch is popular for skiing, snowboarding, Alpinism and mountaineering. And if you’re not really an adventurous person, Top of Europe features a restaurant and a bar where you can enjoy a more hedonistic experience. The Sphinx Observation deck offers breath-taking mountain views, while the Ice Cave below the main deck promises you an unforgettable experience.
Huayna Picchu is one of the most famous mountains in the entire world. It rises over the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu, which makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet.
There’s a trail up the side of the mountain that takes you to the temple and terraces on top, which are absolutely mesmerizing. The views of the lost city from the top are out of this world, and certainly something you’re not going to forget for a while. However, the trail to the top is steep and exposed at times and it can be quite challenging even for experienced hikers. It’s particularly dangerous between November and April because it gets slippery, but it still doesn’t take much more than an hour to get to the top.
Our planet is full of gorgeous untouched nature and most of it is within national parks. Add a couple of the following destinations to your bucket lists for some of the best views of your life!
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia is home to Ayers Rock (Uluru), which is a massive sandstone rock formation. What makes this giant rock special is its age – Uluru and Kata Tjata began to form nearly 550 million years ago, which is honestly just hard to fathom.
The sight of this monolith is spectacular, especially during sunset. There are loads of tourist-friendly experiences in the area that will set up a romantic dinner or a picnic for you, so that you can admire it in all its glory.
Yosemite is thought to be the prettiest national park in the US. Famed for the Sierra Nevada mountains and the giant sequoia trees, California’s best national park is certainly a must for everyone who visits the state.
And it’s a US national park after all, so it doesn’t just wow you with the beautiful nature. It also boasts Yosemite Village, which features lodgings, restaurants, cafes and even art galleries and museums for a truly enriching experience.
The Grand Canyon National Park is easily one of the most famous spots on the planet. Nearly six million people flock to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon every year, making this one of the most popular tourist spots in the States.
It took nearly six million years for the Colorado River to carve out the Grand Canyon! But what many people don’t know is that we have president Roosevelt to thank for this astonishing sight. He was one of the largest proponents of preservation of the Grand Canyon, and visited the area frequently to admire the beautiful vistas.
The national park is more than just that one famous spot. There’s lots of great hiking trails worth exploring, a bunch of camping spots for the perfect night under the stars and even bicycle trails on the South Rim. You can even ride a mule if you want!
The Zhangye National Geopark is one of the most beautiful nature sites in China. It’s best known for the colorful rock formations commonly called “rainbow mountains”, which are an astonishing sight.
China’s rainbow mountains are an extremely rare sight, with only a couple other places in the world boasting the same phenomenon. What’s special about Zhangye Daxia is that there’s so many different peaks in the geopark, it’s insane. With so many different shapes, sizes and patterns, it’s truly a feast for your eyes.
There are some places on our planet that are so surreal they feel out of this world. If you want to see something different from everything else you’ve experienced so far, add a few of the places below to your bucket list!
Japan is home to many gorgeous and unique places, but Angel Road is perhaps the most intriguing one. It is a sandbar that connects mainland Shodoshima with three smaller islands. So, what’s so unique about it?
Well, the 500m sandbar is only visible twice a day, when the tide is low. When the water level rises, Angel Road disappears entirely and you’d never know it was there. It is possible to cross it if you get there on time – legend has it that if you manage to walk the Angel Road, you can make a wish and it will come true.
The Spotted Lake in British Columbia is one of the most famous lakes in the world. It is a salt lake richly concentrated with various minerals that appear as ‘spots’ on the lake. What actually happens is that a lot of water evaporates in the summer, revealing the various mineral deposits. The color of the ‘spot’ depends on which mineral is dominant in the area.
That’s another cool thing about this unique lake – if you were to walk past it during fall, you wouldn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Except maybe for the fence that surrounds the lake, to prevent people from getting too close.
Pamukkale means ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish, and it’s an apt name for the fascinating sight in Denizli. Pamukkale is a UNESCO World Heritage spot where calcite-filled waters worked thousands of years to create tiny blue ‘pools’. The ‘pools’ are in fact mineral basins formed from calcium deposits.
It’s a surreal sight and it’s without a doubt one of the most interesting spots on the planet. Plus, the travertine terraces are only a part of magic in this area – they’re adjacent to the well-preserved ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis, which is virtually the reason why the entire area is under UNESCO protection.
Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past century, you’ve heard of Mount Rushmore – the massive sculpture of four American presidents (Roosevelt, Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson) carved into a mountain. The iconic monument is in Keystone, South Dakota and it draws millions of people to this location every year.
Mount Rushmore is not the only site of its nature – there are other monuments carved into the cliffs out there, but very of them are as famous as the American one. In fact, there’s a Crazy Horse (Native American war leader) memorial just minutes away from the sculpture of four American presidents, but it’s been a work in progress since 1948.
You didn’t think we’d forget to include the pyramids, did you? The Giza Necropolis is a historic site famous for the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx, which might just be the best-known archaeological sites on the planet. They are absolutely mesmerizing, since their sheer size is something you can’t really comprehend until you’re standing right in front of them.
And you can enter all three of the Great Pyramids, as long as you buy for a ticket. But who wouldn’t spring for an entrance fee, when they’ve already made it all the way there?!
Cappadocia is a spectacular blend of history and gorgeous nature that attracts a myriad of tourists to central Turkey every year. It’s best known for the cone-shaped rock formations that are found in Monks Valley. The best way to admire these unique rocks is to go on a hot air balloon ride over the valley, which nearly 2000 people do every day.
This is the only place in the world where hundreds of hot air balloons fly almost every morning, allowing thousands of people to admire the enchanting scenery. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is certainly one for the bucket lists!
This saline lake on the Middle Island of Australia’s Recherche Archipelago is one of the most famous sights in the country. It is best known for the pink color that looks exceptionally beautiful. It’s often confused with the Pink Lake that, contrary to its name, is not actually pink in color.
Lake Hillier is on the very edge of the Middle Island, divided from the Southern Ocean with a long and thin shore. It’s safe to swim in the lake despite the high saline content, but it’s not actually allowed without the approval of Western Australia Department of Environment Conservation.
The African Renaissance Monument is a massive statue in Dakar, Senegal. And I do mean massive – the monument is 52 meters tall, which makes it one of the tallest statues in the world. What makes this sight even more impressive is that it lies on top of one of the twin hills, which makes it appear even taller.
The copper statue was built in just two years, and it’s been drawing tourists to Dakar since 2010. The monument represents an African family facing North-West, which symbolizes Africa leaving obscurantism and instead moving towards the light.
Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.