33 Totally Awesome Places To Visit In 2018
Still haven’t finished making your travel plans for this year? It’s a pretty big world out there, so we have narrowed down the best places to visitfor you in 2018. From sparkling emerald waters to hypnotic ancient temples, here’s a list of the top and most beautiful destinations that should be in your travel plans and bucket list.
1. Barcelona, Spain
Eccentrics, art lovers and everybody in between will certainly appreciate everything that the city of Barcelona has to offer. The legendary architecture of Gaudi in places to visit like Guell Park gives Barcelona a whimsy feeling, while Las Ramblas and other buzzing areas appease travelers who are looking for an extra dose of local culture. And to get a delectable taste of local flavor, head off to the Boqueria market, and experience a tasty culinary adventure.
2. Mexico City, Mexico
A getaway in Mexico usually invokes dreams of drinks with small umbrellas in sun-drenched beaches. But, the landlocked city of Mexico is unlike the typical places to visit in Mexico. A cosmopolitan playground, the largest city in North America is filled with great art, culture and food. Moreover, both Rolling Stones and Adele are going to put up blazing performances in Mexico this year, and the NFL is likely to host a game in Aztec Stadium during the 2016 to 2017 season.
3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro, one of the world’s best places to visit in 2018, is often dubbed as the “marvelous city”, and for a good reason. Not only does it have gorgeous beaches, but it also has soothing emerald gardens, such as Jardmin Botanico and Grumari. Plus, it has stylish neighborhoods like Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon that are filled with decadent food, lively dancing and beautiful people. To top it all off, it is home to one of the world’s seven wonders – Christ the Redeemer.
4. Toronto, Canada
Toronto is reinventing itself as the premier city in Canada, slipping quietly out of the shadows of Vancouver and Montreal. In 2016, the Lake Ontario’s Queens Quay reopened, becoming a part of North America’s largest ongoing urban renaissance project. Today, it has new pedestrian and bike paths as well as brand-new streetcars linking promenades and green spaces that will be full of charming public art.
The Junction, known as a former industrial area, has wonderfully emerged as the most chic neighborhoods and places to visit in Toronto, thanks to its vibrant bars, coffee shops and live music. And to make things even better, the city is becoming incredibly easier to visit as well. As a matter of fact, a train can whisk travelers from the airport to the downtown area in just 25 minutes. Not to mention, Air Canada is offer amazing stopover programs for connecting passengers.
Toronto, often labeled as one of the best places to visit in Canada, has been long famed for its diverse culture, and continues to beckon major sporting and artistic events, including the Toronto International Film Festival and the 2016 NBA All-Star game – the first All-Star game in the league’s history to be held outside the United States.
5. Hangzhou, China
Hangzhou, China used to be well-known for its ancient painters and poets, making it one of the best places to visit in Asia for culture vultures and history buffs. Today, the city is home to the flourishing electronic commerce company Alibaba, and took a huge step in 2016 on the global stage as the first city in China to host the G20 summit. As a way to get ready for this premier forum, the city opened an artsy folk art museum and a myriad of new hotels, such as the 400-plus-room Shangri-La. Also, with travelers and tourists in mind, Hangzhou developed a travel app for English speakers to help foreigners find attractions, restaurants and hotels with ease.
6. Tamil Nadu, India
With its celebrated Moghul era forts and palaces, North India might be the most popular destination for tourists in India, but Tamil Nadu, on the southern side, has an undiscovered and equally rich history. The state is home to the major temple cultural complexes in India, and some of them are so big that they are deemed as mini-cities. In Madurai, there is Meenakshi Temple –a sprawling complex built to honor a mighty female deity. And there are hundreds of other great temples that dot the countryside, all teeming with art carvings that date as early as the 9thcentury.
But, make no mistake about it – the temples are not the only cultural hit in this part of India. In Chettinad, you’ll find over 45 villages speckled with striking 18th century mansions with carved and elaborate Burma teak. What’s more, it boasts a mouthwatering, spicy and aromatic cuisine that promise to titillate your taste buds and please your gastronomic urges.
7. Sydney, Australia
Sydney, home to national parks and beaches, is a metropolis that nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts can embrace. To further expand that kind of appeal, a couple of new developments have transformed the city’s industrial plots into eye-catching spots. The newly-opened Barangaroo reclaimed over 13 acres of land that was once piled with metallic garbage and shipping containers. Edged in beautiful sandstone features and inspired the pre-colonial landscape, the newly modeled headland features a stylish restaurant and an atmospheric shore-side promenade.
And by the way, did we mention that Sydney has a couple of bucket-list worthy landmarks – the Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House?
8. Vaud, Switzerland
Vaud – the gracious canton in Switzerland that hugs Lake Geneva – has been well-known for luring famous personalities who are seeking quiet likes, such as Charlie Chaplin and Audrey Hepburn. This spring, the highly-anticipated Chaplin’s World in Vevey will finally get things rolling on his former 35-acre wooded estate, with a film center, site for outdoor festival, and a Modern Times Museum filled with artifacts.
Launched in February 2016, the close-by Modern Times is offering shuttle rides to the museum. Last June, Alimentarium – the food museum operated by Nestle on the lakefront – reopened after more than eight months of remodeling to bewitch it guests with fabulous interactive exhibits. The Aquatic Swiss Aquarium and Water, a sprawling 60,000-square-foot complex, opened in fall last year near the capital of the canton – Lausanne.
Despite the recent terror attacks, Paris still remains on almost every traveler’s wish-list. With its amorous ambiance, distinguished architecture, superlative museums and marvelous cuisine, Paris is indeed one of the most sought-after places to visit in Europe in 2018. Iconic sites like Louvre, Notre-Dame Cathedral and Eiffel Tower should be at the top of your list of places to visit in Paris, but don’t be afraid to explore some of the city’s off the beaten paths. A lot of travelers who have been to the “City of Light” say that its understated charm can be found in its quaint cafes and cobblestone neighborhoods.
10. London, United Kingdom
No list of the best places to visit in 2018 is complete without the inclusion of the city of London. One of the favorite places to visit in the world for American travelers, London is a big, beautiful and electric hub that has it all. Praised for its pub culture, fashion and diverse neighborhoods, London brims with history as well. You can know all about the city’s history with a stopover to the free British Museum and other fascinating places to visit like the Imperial War Museum and Westminster Abbey. Before you make a stop for the obligatory afternoon tea, be sure to visit Buckingham Palace, and watch an interesting military spectacle – the palace’s ceremonial changing of the guard.
11. Lille, France
With preeminent museums, historic buildings and cobbled streets, Lille – just an hour away from the city of Paris – has all the trappings and makings of a charming tourist destination. And with the recent and exciting developments in art, fashion and dining, it is emerging as a cultural cradle and one of the top places to visit in France.
12. Ubud, Indonesia
Surrounded by verdant rice paddies and filled with stone temples, Ubud has been drawing backpackers as well as burned-out and weary careerists who are looking to unwind and re-calibrate. But, this arty Balinese town is emerging as one of the most sophisticated places to visit in Asia. In later parts of 2015, a handful of deluxe resorts opened in Ubud, including Mandapa (a Ritz-Carlton Reserve), Goya Boutique and Kayon.
A few more deluxe hotels were also launched in 2016, includin Solis Ubud, Aloft, and the Westin. Ubud’s dining scene is quickly evolving as well, with fashionable newcomers like Watercress, Spice by Cris Salans and Monsieur Spoon, which is a lovely haute bakery.
13. New York City, United States of America
The Big Apple, aptly labeled as the city that never sleeps, is an energetic destination that hardly needs an introduction. Lauded as one the best and most dynamic places to visit in America, NYC invites travel junkies from all corners of the world to soak up its vibrant and diverse culture. New York presents the brightest and biggest, no matter what your style is.
14. Cape Town, South Africa
There’s more to Cape Town than the breath-snatching views of the Table Mountain and its two stunning coastlines. Billed as one of the best places to visit in the world, Cape Town is a flourishing city with an eclectic dining and art scene that manages to wonderfully preserve its storied past as well, with its historic sites like the District Six Museum and Robben Island. Furthermore, it is surrounded by beautiful and lush destinations like the Blyde River Canyon.
Beyond its cinematic beaches and iconic mount backdrop, Cape Town has an excellent design and arts scene, and it’s going to get even better, when the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art launches in 2018 at the V&A Waterfront. Billed as South Africa’s answer to Tate Modern or the MoMa, the MOCAA will wow its visitors with its fascinating collections as well as its soaring building.
Looking for lovely and affordable places to visit in the Mediterranean Basin? Then, plan a trip to Malta in 2018! Malta is a super affordable Mediterranean playground that delights its visitors with its distinct crossroads culture, megalithic temples, surreal beaches and superb climate. As you visit Malta, make sure to swing by Valletta – a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage city that will appease you with its awe-inspiring limestone buildings. Likewise, spend a day at Gozo, a laid-back island with a dramatic coastline bursting with great diving spots.
16. Palawan, Philippines
Longing for a memorable tropical getaway in a not-so crowded destination? Palawan, one of the most wondrous islands and places to visit in the Philippines, is a picturesque paradise that will give you a slice of heaven of earth with its untouched tranquil beaches, stunning swimming hotels, crystal clear lagoons, and surreal ambiance. As an added plus, this striking island has sumptuous food that promise to delight any foodie.
17. Prague, Czech Republic
What once was a hidden Eastern European treasure is now one of the world’s thriving and most popular places to visit. The capital of Czech Republic touts scenic architectural landmarks and jewels – from the quirky places to visit like Dancing House and classics like the Prague Castle – all of which hold an important piece of Prague’s resilient history.
18. Rome, Italy
There’s really not a bad year to visit the “Eternal City”. With graceful fountains, ornate statues, opulent moments, grand romantics millennium-old basilicas and wonderful palaces, Rome flaunts a cosmopolitan atmosphere and an immensely rich historical heritage, making it one of the world’s most beautiful and influential places to visit.
19. San Francisco, United States
The City by the Bay, one of the coolest places to visit in America, attracts travelers worldwide with its iconic landmarks and diverse culture. It’s a compact city that offers remarkable sites like the scenic Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz – the infamous prison-turned-museum. But, San Francisco is also famed for its eclectic neighborhoods like the Union Square and Castro as well as outdoor diversions such as Twin Peaks.
20. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Easter Rising against the English regime with a fabulous string of ribbon cuttings in springtime. An exhibition center will be unveiled at Richmond Barracks, a place where leaders of the Rising were court-martialed. Kilmainham Gaol, the nearby dramatic-looking penitentiary, will also open its revamped courthouse.
21. Havana, Cuba
Cuba’s tourism, after the downfall of the US embargo, has swelled, giving travelers with an eye for adventure and luxury the opportunity to experience its capital in a rather exiting period of growth. Everyone knows that Cuban food is something to die for, but the city also offer gorgeous beaches and stellar nightlife scene.
22. Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei – the World Design Capital in 2016 – is a perfect and much cheaper alternative to the pricier Hong Kong and Tokyo. This futuristic Asian metropolis will be an absolute treat to the eyes in 2018, and will highlight the best of the city’s architecture throughout the year. Additionally, Taipei has an extraordinary café culture, playing host to a ton of quirky eateries that feature dogs and cats for guests to befriend.
23. Mozambique, Africa
Are you an LGBT traveler? A couple of years ago, Mozambique became of the places to visit and countries in Africa to decriminalize homosexuality, making it a more open-minded destination for LGBT travelers in Africa. Maputo – the energetic capital – is currently experiencing a burgeoning tolerance, while Lambda Moz and other advocacy groups continue to de-stigmatize homosexuality all over the country.
Of course, this African wonderland has a lot in store for all kinds of travelers. Mozambique, a forward-thinking leader in Africa, offers a terrific blend of beach and safari. The tranquil coast of Mozambique continues to lure travelers who are in search for post-safari surfing and snorkel options. Not to mention, it has a handful of interesting sites, like the historic town of Inhambane and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ilha de Mozambique.
24. Bora Bora
Bora Bora is truly a heavenly destination for folks who want to escape into a tropical paradise. Aptly nicknamed as the “Pearl of the Pacific”, Bora Bora is home to deluxe overwater bungalows, dormant volcanoes, and unspoiled lagoons. For the most part, travelers come to Bora Bora for total relaxation, and some are just content with lounging on Matira Beach and other man-made sands.
25. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Bypassed often by travelers in favor of the glittering and glitzy Dubai, Abu Dhabi is making great strides to rival the booming tourism industry of its emirate neighbor. For those who are craving for a luxurious escape with a sprinkle of adventure, the capital of UAE offers a high-end getaway with touches of its ancient history and culture woven through its gleaming urban landscape. A paradise for history buffs, the city also has a plethora of incredible mosques and outposts of some of the best museums in Europe, such as Guggenheim and Louvre.
Slowly and methodically, South America’s most underrated wonderland is becoming one of the world’s most desirable adventure destinations, and with good reason. With a whopping length of 2,650 miles, Chile is truly jam-packed with topographies, biodiversity, and ecosystems. As a matter of fact, it has dozens of national parks, and is home to some of the most extreme places to visit on earth, from subpolar islands and fjords to deserts.
27. Copenhagen, Denmark
Although Aarhus (Denmark’s second city) is 2017’s European Capital of Culture, it will definitely struggle to steal the spotlight from its capital city, Copenhagen. For years, Copenhagen has been luring travelers from all over the world with its mixed urban design, fairy-tale-like fee, world-class design and flashy modern architecture. And, did I mention that it has a burgeoning culinary scene?
Preserving the past, while embracing modernization, is no walk in the park. Yet, somehow, it is something that Oman – located on the Arabian Peninsula’s southeast corner – is doing fairly well. While its neighbor Dubai beckons travelers with eye-popping luxury and man-made marvels, the Sultanate remains a splendid mix of spectacular scenery, humble hospitality and ancient traditions, with fine infrastructures.
29. Marrakesh, Morocco
Marrakesh – Morocco’s cultural heart – is in the midst of a wondrous artistic renaissance. The upcoming launch of a renowned African art fair and YSL museum’s opening have added more artistic appeal to the hub’s top-notch gallery spaces, further increasing the city’s reputation as a haven for writers and artists.
Egypt’s tourism took a hit after its political revolution in 2011, with the amount of tourists to storied landmarks like the Great Sphinx of Giza and Pyramids declined. But, there’s a new landmark will totally draw tons of visitors in Egypt in 2018 – the Grand Egyptian Museum. In 2018, the museum will partially open, showcasing over 90,000 ancient artifacts from the legendary pharaohs of Egypt. The building is a work of art in itself and worth a visit, encapsulating around 600,000 square feet.
Although Iceland emerged as one of the best kept secrets in Europe in the past couple of year, 2018 may be the time to switch your attention to its neighbor. The hospitality industry of Greenland is pushing deep into its wintry tundras with the growth of eco-lodges, allowing visitors to relax and stay warm in between exciting outdoor adventures, whale-watching and exploring the untouched wilderness.
Everyone knows that Fiji is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world – rugged coastlines covered in greenery, crystalline waters with gorgeous reefs and palm-fringed powdery beaches. But, it is the archipelago’s new array of luxury hotels that’s going to make it a must-visit destination in 2018.
Slovenia is, hands down, a rising star and one of the top places to travel in 2018. Whether you’re taking a relaxing week-long getaway or a quick day trip, it’s a terrific destination with delicious food, majestic nature sights, friendly people as well as a home to a rich culture and history.
What are you waiting for? Plan your trip with Trekeffect now, and visit these spectacular destinations!