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The 15 Best Places to Visit in the World in 2024 (Our Picks)

The 15 Best Places to Visit in the World in 2024 (Our Picks)

We live in a vast and varied world that offers endless destinations to titillate the senses and show you landscapes, cultures, and architectural wonders that defy imagination. If you want to start your globetrotting travels with the very best places to visit in the world, you’re in the right place. 

From ancient intricate temples in a faraway Forbidden City to amazing and rare wildlife wandering the Galápagos Islands, there are some places that every world traveler needs to visit. Here are the 15 best places to visit in the world! 

15 of the Best Places to Visit in the World

The best places to visit in the world all have one thing in common: They promise great adventure. Adventure, however, can look like a lot of different things.

Maybe your adventure is meandering through a historic city to marvel at the architecture and long-standing landmarks. It can be touring museums and galleries in a fast-paced metropolis that buzzes with light and sound.

Your ideal adventure could be trekking out to the Egyptian pyramids, ascending to the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, or lounging in the sand on a beach in the Maldives. 

Whatever you’re into, you’ll find a place that stirs your soul in this list of the best places to visit in the world. 

1. Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Lion statue occupies the foreground of the Forbidden City, one of the best places to visit in the World, with an orange sky as seen at dusk


Once the center of the walled city of Beijing in ancient times, the Forbidden City is a temple complex containing ornate palaces, temples, gardens, and fearsome statues that make the importance and sanctity of this place obvious from the first glimpse. 

The Forbidden City was built in 1404 as a home for China’s imperial emperors. Lush and intricately-laid gardens contrast with the bronze, gold, stone, and marble throughout the complex. The entire place is designed with Feng Shui principles for optimized flow and harmony. 

Starting at the Northern Gate, you’ll head into the living quarters of emperors and see the spiritual temples and gardens. Finally, tour the three southern political halls: Supreme Harmony, Middle Harmony, and Preserving Harmony for a taste of life in imperial Beijing. 

The huge scale of the royal temples, palaces, and gardens is so visually striking that photos really can’t do this place justice. Taking a guided walking tour of the Forbidden City is the best way to experience the wonder and majesty of it all.

Read Next: Average Trip to China Cost & Is China Safe to Visit?

2. The Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Morning view of the Colosseum in Rome, one of the very best places to visit in the world

Prochasson Frederic/Shutterstock

The Colosseum can seem overrated to some travelers. It’s so famous and we’ve all seen the photos — is it really worth visiting? Absolutely. The size, strength, and story of the Colosseum in Rome makes it one of the best places to visit on the planet. 

This massive stadium has been standing for nearly 2,000 years and is the largest amphitheater in existence, standing almost 12 stories high. Once a gory battleground, it’s now a sober reminder of the nature of mankind and what we’ll do to survive (and entertain). 

A tour guide can help get you in the mindset of the day: Almost 2,000 years ago, you’d watch from your seat as fierce gladiators enter the Colosseum with the knowledge that they will fight their opponent and win — or die.

You’d see the true will of survival as men pitted against one another battled to emerge victorious as the crowd and emperor looked on as though watching a play. 

It’s worth going inside the Colosseum if you’re able to get skip-the-line tickets in advance or happen to arrive on a less-busy day in the spring, fall, or winter. But even visiting to see the exterior will check an essential box on your bucket list.

Read Next: What a Trip to Rome Costs & Is Rome Safe to Visit in 2024?

3. Times Square, New York City, United States

Powerful view of Times Square as seen in the late afternoon with cabs and billboards all around

NEW YORK CITY – DEC 01 Times Square ,is a busy tourist intersection of neon art and commerce and is an iconic street of New York City and America, December 01th, 2013 in Manhattan, New York City/Luciano Mortula – LGM/Shutterstock

Are you really a world traveler if you haven’t been to the iconic Times Square in New York City at least once? This bustling plaza in Midtown Manhattan radiates energy day and night in the heart of the City That Never Sleeps. 

You can easily fill up your day in Times Square alone, taking in the shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, museums, galleries, and Broadway shows as you venture along Broadway, Seventh Avenue, and 42nd Street. 

As one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the world, Times Square sees over 50 million people annually. A constant stream of people, yellow taxis on the street, and every kind of store, entertainment, and place you can imagine make it feel like you’re in a movie. 

The world’s most famous New Year’s Eve celebration is held here each year and the bright lights of the digital billboards have become as well-known as the towering skyscrapers that line the streets on Times Square.

You don’t need a guide — just walk, pop into the places that interest you, and take in the energy of this amazing city. 

Read Next: Trip to New York City Cost & Is NYC Safe to Visit in 2024?

4. The Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Evening view of the Louvre Museum and its iconic glass pyramid for a piece on the best places to visit in the world

Paris, France – OCTOBER 2016. Louvre Museum. Famous historical art landmark in Europe. Romantic, tourist, architecture, beautiful symbol. Day. Toned/Sergii Molchnko/Shutterstock

Another iconic spot you’ve got to see: The Louvre Museum. It’s the world’s most-visited museum and gallery, home to some of the most well-known paintings, sculptures, and artifacts of the Western world. 

But did you know that the Louvre was built in the 12th century as a fortress, then transformed into a palace for French kings? Today, more than 10 million people flock to the Louvre each year to see the famous works within its walls that span over 15 acres.

Even the pyramidal structures in the courtyard have become canonical in their own rites. You’ll wander past Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Alexandros of Antioch’s Venus de Milo, Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, and more incredible works of art. 

It would take days — weeks, even — to fully tour this massive and important center of art, architecture, and history. But if you can give it at least a day of your next trip to Paris, you’ll find it’s well worth it.

Touring the museum with an official guide is the best way to do it, and you can choose a theme for your tour if you’d like to see the “greatest hits,” specific eras and artists, or night tours with smaller crowds.

Read Next: What a Trip to Paris Costs in 2024 & Is It Safe to Visit Paris?

5. The Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Unusually clear and sunny day in Agra with the Taj Mahal in full view with the reflecting pond leading up to the monument for a roundup of the best places to visit in the world


A bucket-list travel destination for millions, the Taj Mahal is as impressive in stature and design as it is in history and story. The rounded domes, pillars, and reflecting pool are easily recognized as one of the 7 wonders of the world. 

The Taj Mahal was commissioned by Shah Jahan, Mughal emperor of India in the mid-1600s, after the death of his wife, the queen, as an ornate tomb and shrine to her life.

This mosque-like mausoleum stands apart architecturally with Indian, Persian, Islamic, and Turkish influences. The ornate exterior of white marble catches your eye as soon as it comes into view. 

The emperor and queen’s bodies are enshrined here, and the Taj Mahal complex (complete with lush, perfectly-manicured gardens and walled in with sandstone slabs) stands proudly by the Yamuna River in Agra, India. 

Take a guided tour into the Taj Mahal to see the octagonal chamber filled with carvings and cenotaphs (false tombs) of the emperor and queen, who are actually entombed on the floor below. The walls are inlaid with turquoise, jade, carnelian, and jasper, making it truly stunning to see in person.

Read Next: The Average Indian Trip Cost & The Best & Worst Times to Visit India

6. Las Vegas Strip, Nevada, United States

Low-exposure shot of the strip in Las Vegas, pictured as one of the best places to visit in the world

LAS VEGAS – AUG 06 : View of the strip on August 06 , 2013 in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately 4.2-mile (6.8 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada/Kobby Dagan/Shutterstock

Dazzling lights and dancing water fountains, the sounds of music and slot machines, and nonstop entertainment make the Las Vegas Strip one of the liveliest places on Earth. If you’re looking for a good time and memorable experiences (or ones that “stay in Vegas”), make a trip to Sin City! 

Casinos, restaurants, world-famous hotels, circuses, theaters, burlesque clubs, and half-sized replicas of the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, and Venice canals are just some of the highlights you’ll spot on the Strip.

It’s like taking a quick tour around the world with enough experiences to make it feel like an international vacation! Spanning 4 miles of Las Vegas Boulevard, walk the strip or take the free Las Vegas Deuce on the Strip bus that makes stops every quarter mile. There’s no place quite like it in the world. 

From car museums and roller coasters (Manhattan Express) to sky-high observation towers that lend 360-degree views of the city with thrilling free-fall rides to the bottom if you’re up for it, the Las Vegas Strip is worth visiting at least once.

Read Next: How Much a Trip to Vegas Costs & How Long Is a Flight to Las Vegas?

7. The Giza Plateau, Giza, Egypt

Photo of the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza pictured towering over the rubble below


In the deserts of Egypt lies the Giza Plateau, home to the tallest pyramid in the world. The Great Pyramid of Giza stands over 480 feet tall and is flanked by smaller pyramids, the Valley Temple, and the Great Sphinx of Giza. 

Everyone’s seen the pictures, but nothing compares to seeing these massive, ancient structures in person. The Great Pyramid of Giza was the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu and is the largest pyramid on the plateau. 

It gets all the credit, but you’re in for a treat with the surrounding (but smaller) Pyramid of Menkaure, Pyramid of Khafre, and Great Sphinx of Giza. Temples, graveyards, and a historic small village can be seen on the plateau. 

These tombs have been some of the world’s most popular tourist attractions since Roman times and see over 14 million visitors each year.

Go inside the 3 main pyramids with a guide, pose next to the Sphinx, or take a 1-hour camel ride in to see the pyramid complex for an adventurous twist!

Read Next: The Best Places to Visit in Egypt & Where to Stay in Egypt: Best Places

8. Niagara Falls, New York and Ontario, North America

Visitors in ponchos pictured on the red decking on the US side of Niagara Falls, one of the best places to visit in the world, with water pouring over the cliff

Lidiia Kozhevnikova/Shutterstock

If not the highest, Niagara Falls are among the world’s most famous waterfalls and straddle the U.S. (New York) and Canada (Ontario) to share their thundering cascades and rainbow-hued mists with visitors who come to marvel at this group of falls. 

Niagara Falls is bigger than you’d imagine, spanning 3 incredibly wide and powerful waterfalls. The largest and most powerful, Horseshoe Falls, is split into Bridal Veil Falls by Goat Island. On the other side, American Falls cascades over smooth rocks. 

If you’re visiting the falls from America and don’t have a passport to enter Canada, you’ll be able to get up-close and personal with American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls on the U.S. side. 

Hike up to the Skylon Tower observation deck for incredible views of the falls, take the Journey Behind the Falls through tunnels to get a unique perspective, ride the famous Maid of the Mist boat right up to the spray zone, or hike to stunning overlook points. 

Eat at the Top of the Falls restaurant with great views of Horseshoe Falls while you dine. A scenic trolley ride takes you to some of the best overlooks with historic facts about the falls. There’s even an aquarium to check out!

Read Next: Trip to Niagara Falls Cost & Best & Worst Times to Visit Niagara Falls

9. Machu Picchu, Peru

Llama on the cliffside of Machu Picchu, one of the best places to visit in the world, with the mountain towering up over the ruins of the ancient city

Pav-Pro Photography Ltd/Shutterstock

If you’ve ever dreamed of ascending high up into the Andes Mountains to see and explore the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, consider this your sign that it’s time to go. This ancient mountaintop village and fortress is remarkably preserved and one of the best places to visit in the world. 

You’ll take an adventurous ride along skinny mountain roads to get to Machu Picchu (sitting at nearly 8,000 feet high), which can be white-knuckle worthy at times. But it’s worth it for the amazing views and history you’ll get to witness once you reach your destination high in the Peruvian clouds. 

Machu Picchu was an Incan fortress and village that remains mysterious without written records from the civilization who built it. Historians believe this was home for Incan emperors and nobles. Today, temples, sanctuaries, homes, and baths still remain. 

From the clever terracing that harnessed all the rain water possible in this arid climate for farming to the stone ruins that dominate the mountain ridge, Machu Picchu is a truly fascinating place to visit.

Read Next: Average Trip to Machu Picchu Cost in 2024

10. The Maldives

A bunch of cozy cottages connected by a boardwalk on stilts above clear teal water on the Maldives, one of the best places to visit in the world


Educational trips around the world are fun, but sometimes, you just want to relax in complete bliss, surrounded by sunshine, turquoise waters, and luxury amenities. If that’s the case, the Maldives is one of the best destinations in the world. 

The Maldives are an archipelago laid out in two rows of atolls in the Indian Ocean. From busy, tourist-y islands to secluded isles that may house a single resort or vacation home (or nothing but sand and wildlife), you’ll find it all in the Maldives. 

The Maldives are a luxury travel destination where you can experience the finer things in life in a tropical setting with unmatched beauty and tranquil scenery. It’s a destination for romance, relaxation, and aquatic adventures.

Diving and snorkeling are excellent here with coral reefs that teem with colorful marine life. Boat rides, fishing, water sports, and lazy days lounging on the sand or in your overwater bungalow make any experience in the Maldives memorable for life.

Read Next: Trip to the Maldives Cost in 2024 & Best Islands in the Maldives

11. The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China pictured snaking right and left along a green countryside with clouds low overhead pictured for a piece on the best places to visit in the world


Another of the world’s most visit-worthy places is the long and winding Great Wall of China. Sections of the wall are over 3,000 years old and once served as an important defense for China’s dynasties and people. 

Spanning along the northern China border, the Great Wall rises and contrasts from the surrounding lush forests and mountains with its impressive stone, brick, and marble masonry. 

The Great Wall of China is over 13,170 miles long and intricate designs decorate portions of the wall while showing off the technical prowess and artistry of the time. The wall features a central path with horse tracks, defensive shelters, watch towers, and fortresses. 

Tourist areas and a cable car can make visiting the Great Wall simple and easily accessible for all ability levels. The Badaling, Gubeikou, and Jiankou sections are closest to Beijing and work nicely for a day trip. 

12. Northern Lights, Tromso, Norway

Green Northern Lights overhead in the dark sky above Lapland, one of the best places in the world to visit

Maurizio Caputo/Shutterstock

The northern lights can appear like opalescent flickers or dancing rays in the skies in the Earth’s higher latitude regions. Tromso, Norway features some of the most spectacular displays of the northern lights, or aurora borealis, on clear winter nights. 

Seeing these dancing lights is a bucket list item for many world travelers. While you can catch a glimpse from other areas, notably Canada, Iceland, and Greenland, Tromso in Norway is the best place to see this amazing display. 

Since the town is such a popular place to see the lights, there are dozens of tourist companies that arrange camping in clear-topped geodesic domes and “chasing” the lights in minibuses or buses to catch the best views on clear nights. 

It’s one thing to see still photos of these green, pink, and white-hued lights in the sky and another entirely to see them undulating and flickering across the sky like projections. If you’ve always wanted to see them, Tromso is where you should go!

Read Next: Is Norway Safe to Visit? & Average Trip to Norway Cost

13. Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

For a piece on the world's best places to visit, a photo of an orange sky above the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor with still water between the photographer and the subject

SYDNEY AUSTRALIA – 16 JUNE, 2013 : Opera House view with beautiful sky from ferry in evening on 16 June, 2013 in Sydney, Australia/Structuresxx/Shutterstock

The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia is one of the world’s most recognizable structures. Resembling stacked shark heads or a series of giant overturned boats, this iconic architectural wonder is stunning to see and tour in person. 

Sitting in the heart of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, Australia, this coastal wonder is a performance arts center that regularly hosts world-famous acts, orchestras, plays, festivals and events, and behind-the-scenes tours. 

You’ll find places to eat, workshops for kids, a range of tour options, and stunning views of the Sydney Harbour from the Opera House. Learn about its futuristic design and conception in the 1950s to appreciate this place on a new level. 

Come for a guided tour that takes you through the seven venues, dining halls, or backstage to see the magic and architectural design of this iconic building. While you’re in Sydney, you can also visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, take a ferry tour, and visit the beach.

Read Next: Is Sydney Safe to Visit & Where to Stay in Sydney in 2024

14. Venice, Italy

People and boats make their way down a small canal in Venice, one of the world's best places to see on a sunny day


Venice is one of the most-visited cities in Italy, seeing more than 20 million visitors annually who come in droves to see the canals, churches, and unique celebrations that make this city feel almost otherworldly. 

A mesmerizing network of canals instead of roads, fine art galleries, beautifully designed bridges and plazas, and amazing examples of Venetian Gothic architecture make Venice a wonderful place to visit.

There’s an elegance about this city of 100+ islands that you can see and feel in the local dress, building design, cuisine, appreciation of art, and reverence of tradition and Italian culture. Every traveler owes it to themselves to see Venice in springtime. 

Take a gondola ride down the Grand Canal, see the Byzantine-era mosaics at St. Mark’s Basilia and St. Mark’s Square, admire the beautiful Rialto Bridge (the oldest in Venice), and experience the masked-and-costumed Carnival festival if you’re here in January or February.

Read Next: Is Venice Safe to Visit in 2024? & Best & Worst Times to Visit Venice

15. The Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Photo of a herd of sea lions lying on a beach on Gardner Bay at one of the world's best places to visit, the Gapalagos Islands

Steve Allen/Shutterstock

Formed from thousands of years of volcanic activity, the unspoiled Galapagos Islands consist of lava plateaus and volcanic mountains that are known for their amazing biodiversity. It’s a must-visit place for nature lovers.  

Rare and colorful wildlife make their homes here, from marine iguanas and geckos to the borderline-silly blue-footed boobies and Galapagos penguins. Over 20% of the marine life around the islands is exclusive to the Galapagos and found nowhere else in the world.

Charles Darwin famously spawned his theory of evolution in the Galápagos Islands, located some 500 miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. You’ll find large colonies of reptiles, including Galapagos giant tortoises that can live 150 years, on the islands. 

While there are 127 islands in the archipelago, only 4 are inhabited and each of those has hotel and resort options that make a stay as ecologically immersive or luxurious as you want. To enter the wildest areas, you’ll need to go with a park-certified naturalist guide.

Read Next: The Best Time to Visit the Galapagos Islands in 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

Colorful street in France pictured as one of the best places in the world to visit


The world’s most incredible places can bring up lots of questions for curious travelers. Check out the most frequently asked questions below to learn more and start planning! 

What is the most visited tourist spot in the world?

Niagara Falls in North America is the most-visited tourist destination in the world, seeing over 30 million tourists each year who come to marvel at the 3 waterfalls and park attractions.

The Forbidden City palace complex in Beijing, China is the most-visited palace in the world, receiving more than 17 million visitors annually. The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt attracts over 14.7 million people each year.

Where should I go next on vacation?

If your options are wide-open for your next vacation, you should travel to one of the best places to visit in the world. Among the top destinations are Beijing's Forbidden City, the Colosseum in Rome, NYC's Times Square, the Louvre in Paris, and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.

Focusing your travels on the best places to visit around the world ensures a memorable trip that won't feel like a waste or disappointing use of your time.

Where is the most visited city in the world?

Hong Kong's City of Victoria is the most-visited city in the world. Hong Kong as a whole sees nearly 28 million international visitors each year with Bangkok, Thailand in a close second place (22.4 million).

People flock to Hong Kong because of its incredible culture and colorful festivals, culinary scene, elegant downtown district, and beautiful Pacific Ocean views.

What is the number 1 vacation spot?

Many consider France the number 1 vacation spot because it's so diverse, offering chic and sophisticated Parisian cultural and historic experiences, world-renowned cuisine and fashion, laid-back coastal towns, and old world villages in the countryside.

But some say Italy is the number 1 vacation spot. With excellent cuisine and wine, amazing art galleries and museums, ancient ruins, historic architecture, and villages lost in time, it's a fabulous place to vacation.

Where not to travel 2023?

Unfortunately, safety risks can make some places in the world less suitable for travel. In 2023, the U.S. Department of State has issued level 4 travel advisories for countries like Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Russia, South Sudan, Haiti, Venezuela, and more.

You should not travel to countries that have been issued a level 4 travel advisory, as these destinations can put you at risk with violence, terrorism, kidnappings, or nearby armed conflicts.

So, What Are the Best Places to Visit in the World?

For the trip of a lifetime, forego your usual haunts and instead, plan to head to one of the best places to visit in the world. These iconic destinations offer so much more than photos or simple summaries can impress. 

Whether you’re looking to feel like you’re time traveling with a trip to ruins, ancient cities, or historic landmarks or want to enjoy natural beauty and scenery on an island or under the northern lights, there are some truly incredible places to see on Earth. 

Keep your budget, transportation, preferred travel dates, itinerary plans, and accommodations top of mind as you start to plan your trip to the best places to visit in the world.

It’s sure to be memorable and open up your world view in a way that stirs the soul. Happy travels!