It's time to take a peek at some of the up-and-coming trending destinations around the world that will soon be catering towards all of your vacation wants and needs. Why not be brave and do something totally different by trekking out to a bolder travel hotspot this year? On your next trip, discover one of these terribly underrated but magnificently grand cities. Take an exciting trip, see some unforgettable sights, make even more fantastic memories, and (finally) cross something worthwhile off of that long bucket list of places to go to. We present for your reading pleasure, the top travel destinations worldwide. You’re welcome.
Hit These Trending Destinations On Your Travels
2016 is the year to visit this Brazilian hotspot, where citywide rejuvination efforts are already in high gear to prepare for the highly anticipated summer Olympic Games. Rio’s eclectic blend of neighborhoods have been further infused with newfound energy, with districts like the artsy Botofogo and the once-abandoned Lapa now staying up into the wee hours of every night with lively samba beats at local venues like Carioca da Gema. There are also those breathtaking midnight views of Sugarloaf Mountain to revel in, as well as an array of must-try dining options such as Iraja Gastro, which is run by renowned chef Pedro de Artagao. Plus, who can forget those amazing beaches? Heaven on Earth indeed.
Offering loads of both historical and contemporary “Down Under” charm, this Australian capital has long been a choice destination for travelers of all kinds. There’s the uniquely shaped Sydney Opera House floating peacefully on the harbor, or the numerous opportunities for you to wander through those narrow cobblestone streets at The Rocks—all while taking in some entertaining street performance on the Circular Quay. Art aficionados will adore the Museum of Contemporary Art, and it’s pretty safe to say that everybody will marvel at the epic panoramic views offered at the Sydney Tower Eye observatory where you can get a bird’s eye view of the entire city from one standstill spot.
This city begs to be explored. From the urban villages of Stockbridge and Cramond to the narrow vaults and lanes sprawling all across the Old Town, this Scottish hotspot is as tempting to visit as it is weird and kooky. At this quirky travelers’ favorite, each and every street corner is able to reveal something totally beautiful and unexpected-- such as sunlit hills, distant blue seas, or rust-red ridges and towering peaks.
There’s more to the city than just great sights and sounds though. Top shops, world-class restaurants, and a boatload of bars line the always party-filled streets. If you’re a night owl looking for some mad clubbing, pub-crawls, impromptu music sessions, and wandering aimlessly home through cobbled streets at dawn, this is the place for you. Plus, come every August, almost half of the entire world flocks to Edinburgh for one ginormous festival and fiesta—or should we say PARTAY!
Home of gleaming crown jewels, royal highnesses, and of course, those oh so serious guards stationed outside the infamous Buckingham Palace, London has been a perennial travel hotspot for centuries upon end. In the U.K., history collides perfectly with fashion, art, food, and of course, super good British ale. There’s also Camden Market to explore or cultural havens such as the Royal Opera House and Tate Modern to check out—and let’s not forget Abbey Road and the Sherlock Holmes Museum for all those music and book buffs out there. Fashionistas also have it made in this fine city with Oxford Street, which offers more than plenty of places to literally shop until you drop in just one small area. Now imagine the shopping options spread out all across town!
What’s more is that the food here is equally as brilliant as everything else. Be sure to sip on some cream tea at Harrod’s or munch on some crispy fish n’chips at various chippies dotted all across town.
With skylines you won’t be able to find anywhere else, rows of floating islands, and as much delicious dim sum to savor to your heart’s desire, this Chinese hotspot seamlessly blends the traditional with the modern to offer travelers a unique and surely unforgettable vacation experience. Gawk at historic Chinese architecture in Ngong Ping village, or take in unparalleled views of the city from the top of Victoria Peak by taking just a short tram ride. Drench yourself in peace, serenity, and some much needed ‘alone’ time at Nan Lian Garden, where sights of gentle hills and rocks are sure to bring out the inner Zen in everybody (the ample array of tasty teas offered at Stanley café’s all across town should also help relaxation and calm flow right on into those tired bones!). Become one with everything in H.K. Trust us, it’s worth the trip.
Looking to explore vibrant culture, intense parties, cutting-edge architectural designs, fantastic food, as well as some good old history? Set your sights on this German wonder where glamour and grit bind together seamlessly to mesmerize any wanderluster. Simply said, it’s a huge, not to mention ultra laid-back multicultural metropolis that still manages to hold onto some of that unpretentious village charm we all know and love.
“Live and let live” is the way of life for locals and there is no other spot in the world that puts a greater emphasis on personal freedom and a creative lifestyle than on material wealth and status symbols. So forget the Big Apple, because this one is truly the city that never sleeps. Parties rage on 24/7, cafes are packed at all hours, drinking is seen as a religious rite, and cultural experimentation is always on the high rise—thanks to the super cheap rent and vast amounts of open space. Size wise, the city may be pretty gigantic, but its key areas are all conveniently nearby, easy for those traveling on foot, by bike, or by using public transportation.
Welcome to explorer’s paradise—just ask the one and only Christopher Columbus who bumped against the island’s limestone landscapes in 1492, ultimately changing the course of history. There are over 700 islands and 2,400 cays to check out, as well as blood-pumping activities such as diving into the spooky blue holes of Andros, partying until dawn at the infamous Atlantis resort, kayaking the 365 Exuma Cays, lounging on the pink-sand beaches of Eleuthera, or relaxing and unwinding in Nassau. In the Bahamas, there’s an island out there for any sort of traveler. Plus, each are gorgeously framed by endless sun, sand, and sea-- so take your pick and thank us later.
8. Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
This small island just northwest of Tortola is truly the place to go to get off the grid and away from all the hustle and bustle. With mountains galore and miles of lush green pastures, this four-mile paradise—with fewer than 300 full-time residents—has only one tiny resort, some rental cottages and villas, a campground, a few dozen cars, and a single road. Yes, one road.
Life definitely slows down at this popular Caribbean anchorage where primary local resources include rainwater collected in basement-like cisterns and desalinized seawater. Plus, there are no banks or ATMs on the island, many shops accept only cash, and sometimes during the off-seasons (August to November), finding a restaurant open after 6pm can be rather difficult. The island was named after an early Dutch settler, Jost Van Dyke, and may seem at the surface, unable to keep up with modern times (electricity came to Jost in the 1990s!). Still, the town’s disproportionately large number of informal bars and restaurants has helped it maintain its reputation as the "party island" of the BVI.
A trip to the City of Love always combines leisure, luxury, and liveliness perfectly together with exquisite sites, delectable meals, and awe-inspiring sights unmatched by any other European capital. Stroll along the Seine or linger around icons like the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Notre Dame. Get a little frisky with a show at the famous Moulin Rouge and top it all off by downing a warm cup of café latte with some sweet buttery pain au chocolat at a nearby café. Those in the mood to do some wallet-friendly yet still rewarding city-exploring should also check out the multitude of hard-to-find-anywhere-else deals at the Marché aux Puces de Montreuil and the ever-so-unique goodies available at the Marché Biologique Raspail.
10. Vienna, Austria
Packed to the tee with imperial history, this new-old city boasts postmodernist and contemporary buildings that blend perfectly with the more monumental and historically designed ones—not to mention a music scene like no other in the world. It was, of course, the birthplace of a vast number of great composers such as Mozart, Haydn, Brahms, and Beethoven!
Venues for classical music sit side by side with plenty of great live rock and jazz spots, as well as a variety of Beisln (bistro clubs), notable restaurants, cozy living room-style coffee houses, innovative museums, and absurdly pompous sidewalk architecture. There’s also just a sheer quality of lovely life in this city, making it hard to imagine living anyplace else. It’s your everyday safe, efficient, and utterly easy-going dream metropolis.
Few cities can so easily meld historical culture with modern urban flair like this one. With 17th century buildings galore, Europe’s most picturesque capital is filled with bright colorful homes, convenient canals and bridges, as well as world-famous exhibits such as the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the world's only floating flower market. It’s also the perfect place to rent a bike or to take a long stroll for a nice day out on the town. You’ll be able to become a master at navigating the labyrinth style streets in just a simple day—on wheels or simply by foot. Take your pick.
It may be known as the world’s most northerly capital—perfect for easy viewing of the aurora borealis—but it also happens to be home to an array of colorful, eye-popping buildings, wild nightlife scenes, and some incredibly quirky, creative locals that further make traveling to this chilly city an always unpredictable experience. The tiny town is actually strikingly cosmopolitan for its size and is loaded with magnificent museums, gourmet culinary choices, funky bars, and some truly eye-catching art. Plus, the added backdrop of white snow-capped mountains and fierce gushing winds, as well as churning ocean waves and crystal-clear air will make visitors of all kinds fall hopelessly in love. What’s more is that the city is the ultimate place to embark on volcano hikes, glacier treks, and zodiac safaris. Sweet.
Glistening at the southernmost tip of the African continent, this picture perfect town has a nice mix of edgy boutiques, independent galleries, and forward-thinking restaurants to pair up with the unmatchable views offered at popular sites such as Blaauwberg Beach, The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, or Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. “The Mother City” truly has it all, especially for nature lovers hoping to do some wildlife watching, check out some rigorous hiking trails, or take in some sweeping sea vistas to get that adrenaline further pumping and flowing. There’s even an opportunity to pay tribute to the late and great Nelson Mandela by making a trip out to Robben Island, the prison where he was held for 27 years.
It’s safe to say that most of us have never seen a capital city quite like this one. With floating marketplaces, shiny golden palaces, porcelain-laid spires, and beyond awesome temples, it’s no wonder that this Thai hotspot continues to remain high on the list for travel searches. There’s also premium shopping at Pratunam or Siam Square, as well as stunning European-style gardens to unwind in at Dusit. You’ll even find yourself face to face with the Reclining Buddha himself at Wat Pho temple over in Phra Nakhon. Plus, savory snacks and treats such as mango sticky rice can always be found at the variety of food stalls planted all across the city.
This article was written by Pamela Chan.