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World’s Top 25 Destinations in 2015

August 13, 2015

If someone offered you a vacation, a free trip right now, where would you go? Moscow, maybe, or Cape Horn? See the giants on Easter Island, or climb the Himalayas? There are so many beautiful destinations and places in the world to travel that it’s hard to narrow your dream trip to just one place. But if you don’t have a dream to work for and look forward to, you can lose focus on pinching pennies and taking those vacation days.

If you’re having trouble narrowing down your choices, or even just picking one, you’re in luck. Trip Advisor announced the 2015 Traveler’s Choice Awards for the top 25 destinations to visit this year. The best part is these destinations have been chosen by other travelers who appreciate the same things you do, not just by a panel of all inclusive tourists. Each on of these destinations is a great place to explore, travel, and enjoy this year.

So what are you waiting for? Pick one and go!

 

1Marrakesh, Morocco

Marrakesh has long been the setting of exotic adventure tales and mysteries, and still today is one of the most exotic and beautiful destinations to travel to. With some of the best food in the world, ancient mosques and tiny streets packed with open air markets, gardens, and street vendors, Marrakesh is a haven for those who are not afraid to ditch the tour guides and fulfill their wanderlust by roaming the city.

You can easily see lush and beautiful palaces, detailed mosques, and plenty of historical pieces of architecture to transport you back to another time. After a day of walking around the city, Marrakesh has some of the best places to satisfy your appetite with true Moroccan delicacies and dishes.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to go someplace exotic and romantic without too much danger

 

2Siem Reap, Cambodia

While the ruins at Angkor Wat are the main attraction in Siem Reap, and certainly not to be missed, they are not the only ruins you should visit during your visit. Bayon Temple  and Banteay Srei are both sites of ancient temples that are equally awe inspiring in their level of detail and aura of spirituality that still lingers in the air.  Ta Prohm has almost been entirely taken over by trees and undergrowth, and is a beautiful place to visit and see the allure of nature reclaiming civilization.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to see ancient ruins

 

3Istanbul, Turkey

Located in both Europe and Asia, Istanbul is a perfect blend of East meets West, where ancient and beautiful Turkish mosques are right around the corner from some of the trendiest nightlife venues. While there are plenty of places to explore on Istanbul’s streets, some of the best sights lie underneath the city; Istanbul has hundreds of underground cisterns where time has stood still and you can still experience the ancient beauty of Istanbul. The Basilica Cistern is one of the best, and occasionally still holds concerts in the ancient venue.

Of course no trip to Turkey is complete without experiencing the Turkish baths and a true Turkish Bazaar. The Kapali Caris, or the Grand Bazaar, is a literal maze of vibrant colors, thousands of shops, tiny winding streets, and packed full of people. After a day of sweaty shopping and pursuing the Bazaar, head over to the Cemberlitas Hamami, a historic hamam (Turkish Bath) where Turks have been bathing since the mid 1500s for relaxation in an authentic Istanbul setting.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You can’t decide between visiting Europe or Asia

 

4Hanoi, Vietnam

The capital of Vietnam is easily one of the most romantic cities in the world, and has enough old world charm and romance to easily compete with Western cities like Paris and Rome. Nearly everything you will pass by has a story or tale behind it, from the endangered soft shelled turtles in Lake of the Restored Sword to the hundreds of temples that dot the city landscape. Just by the lake lies the center of cultural activity in Hanoi at the Old Quarter, where simply wandering the streets can bring you right to the foot of ancient temples, mansions, and pagodas alongside tiny shops and art venues.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to go someplace romantic besides Paris

 

5Prague, Czech Republic

In the heart of Bohemian country lies this beautiful charming city that seems to spring to life straight out of a fairytale. The architecture is a perfect blend of centuries of influencing styles, from the dozens of bridges that cross the river to the beautiful Prague Castle. The Old Town area of Prague houses some of the best sightseeing opportunities and a chance to experience the heart of Prague, while other neighborhoods offer some quirky museums, fun nightlife, and some of the heartiest and cheapest food you’ll find in Europe.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to experience Europe without spending a fortune

 

6London, United Kingdom

London is a cosmopolitan city that offers a little something for everyone who visits. The city is steeped in historical venues that, thanks to Britain’s Imperial reign not too long ago, have influenced nearly every country in the world. You can experience Britain’s history at its hundreds of museum, visit the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, take a tour of Buckingham Palace, and of course the infamous Big Ben. Book lovers can enjoy Sherlock Holmes’s house on Baker Street, or try their luck at platform 9 ¾ to see if they are eligible for a ride on the Hogwart’s Express. Abbey Road, Kensington Palace,  St. Jame’s Park, fish and chips, etc; London has days of opportunities for travelers to explore.

Why you should travel here in 2015: Your bucket list is full of iconic places

 

7Rome, Italy

As the old saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” And when visiting Rome, this means feel free to stroll away at a relaxed pace, stuff yourself full of some of the best carbs the world has to offer, and soak in the centuries of time that have created the Rome that exists today. Rome truly teaches you to live in the moment, whether you are standing in the Colosseum or gazing up at the ceiling in St. Peter’s Basilica. Make one wish at Trevi Fountain after a day in Rome and all you’ll be wishing for is another chance to come back.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to enjoy a relaxing pace of travel

 

8Buenos Aires, Argentina

Be sure to pack your dancing shoes as well as your hiking shoes before you visit Buenos Aires; the city is best explored by foot by walking the streets in daylight and dancing your heart out at night where Tango first got its start. Some of the best shopping in South America is located in Buenos Aires, especially at the Flea Market Mercado de Pulgas, where you can find unique treasures and see some of the best urban art in the world. Buenos Aires is a good city to explore both sides of South America, the vibrant culture as well as the troubled past The Parque de la Memoria is a sobering place to visit and glimpse a better perspective into the violent history of Argentina’s dictatorship regimes.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to dance hard and party harder

 

9Paris, France

Paris is a city for lovers, but even those with single status will fall in love with the romance of this city. The best way to see the city is to walk it’s streets and discover the iconic city landmarks within the context of the city itself. The Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles, Notre Dame, and the Louvre all offer some of the best of French architecture from a variety of periods in history. But one of the best walks you can take is along the Canal Saint-Martin, where you can walk along the river with no agenda or schedule.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to be swept away in romance

 

10Cape Town Central, South Africa

Located at the far Southern tip of Africa, Cape Town is home to some of the best outdoor explorations a city has to offer for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike up to the top of Table Mountain for breathtaking vistas of the city and ocean, swim next to African penguins at Boulder Beach, and walk underneath the beautiful Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. For a more urban side of Cape Town, head to the Waterfront, where shops, museums, and markets line the wharf in a hub of South African culture.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You love being outside and are in the mood for something different

 

11New York City, USA

In the “City that Never Sleeps”, visitors can go weeks without sleeping and still not see everything New York has to offer for explorers. New York City houses a plethora of iconic American landmarks, from the Statue of Liberty  to the Empire State Building to Coney Island and Broadway. If the weather is cold, head inside to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and soak up hundreds of years of the world’s best artwork. Or spend the day soaking up the outdoors and walk around Central Park or Rockefeller Center. No matter what time of year you visit, New York City shines with plenty to see and experience.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to experience some quintessential Americana city life  

 

12Zermatt, Switzerland

As gorgeous as it is, Zermatt is home to more than just the Matterhorn. The city is a pedestrian’s dream, as it is car free and the windy, cobblestone streets are perfect for wandering by foot. Of course, it is also home to some of the best winter sports in the world, with plenty of runs for a variety of skill levels for both snowboarders and skiers. In the summer, the resorts are open for hiking, zip lines, mountain biking and even horseback riding, making it an adventure traveler’s paradise for year round adrenaline packed activities!  

Why you should travel here in 2015: You love to be athletically challenged

 

13Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a city teeming with vibrant colors,  and vivid architecture. Plus, it is home to some of the best Spanish dishes you’ve ever tasted. The city has it all, from parks and beaches to historical sights and castles. Amaze yourself and get lost in an actual maze at Parque del Laberinto de Horta, or ride a Ferris wheel while overlooking the best views of Barcelona at Tibidabo Mountain.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to explore Spain outside of a museum

 

14Goreme, Turkey

For those who wish to escape the crowds of Istanbul but still wishing for a real Turkish adventure, it doesn’t get much better than Goreme. The city lies in between and into giant rock formations, which makes for great backpacking as well as historical sightseeing, as some of the churches carved into the rocks date back to the 1400s. Hikers can easily enjoy the vistas and hike among the ancient relics at Uchisar Castle, or hike among the famous fairy chimneys at Monk’s Valley.

Why you should travel here in 2015: Some of the best hiking you’ve ever dreamed of.

 

15Ubud, Indonesia

Stressed out? Head to Ubud, Indonesia, home to some of the world’s happiest people and every kind of relaxing experience that will recharge you and reshape you. Hike in the fresh air at the nature reserve in Monkey Forest, or find your zen state by practicing yoga at Blue Lagoon Beach. Visit some of Bali’s temples to find spiritual peace at the Taman Ayun Temple or the Ulun Danu Bratan Temple. Enjoy Balinese style massages, acupressure, and aromatherapy from the experts at a fraction of the cost you’d pay elsewhere around the globe.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You need to seriously unwind without succumbing to all inclusive resorts

 

16Cusco, Peru

Who doesn’t having hiking the Inca trail through the Sacred Valley to gaze upon Machu Picchu on their bucket list? And that’s just the beginning of Cusco’s offerings for those who are up for lacing up their hiking boots and heading into some of Peru’s best landscapes and sights. The Temple of Ollantaytambo is on route to Machu Picchu and is a breathtaking place to hike among the ancient ruins. After hiking Peru’s ruins, you can hike Salinas de Maras for a firsthand look at the ancient Peru farming practice of harvesting salt.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You’re eager to break in your hiking boots

 

17St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg is a fairy tale city that boasts it all; incredible architecture, gorgeous palaces, beautiful outdoor urban parks and landscapes, and some of the best museums ready to be enjoyed. The Russian Museum houses an amazing collection of art, while the State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace hold a huge collection of art, books, and artifacts from around the world and throughout history. Climb to the top of the dome at St. Issac’s Cathedral for a breathtaking vista of the Russian city.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to visit new architecture and monuments

 

18Bangkok, Thailand

For a truly exotic getaway, you can’t ask for much better than Bangkok, Thailand. The Temple of Dawn is one of the best places to see the blend of old and new that have transformed Bangkok into an oasis of ancient wonder mixed with modern attractions. The Flower Market is the perfect early morning stroll, while Sky Bar is the perfect place to the end the day with live music and the best view of Bangkok’s city night lights.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to be exploring non stop from sunrise to sunset

 

19 Kathmandu, Nepal

There are a hundred different cultures that have formed Kathmandu, which gives you a city full of a variety of things to explore and see. For some of the best views of the city, walk up to Swayambhunath Temple, which sits on top of a hill and offers panoramic views of the city and mountains. Explore the neighborhoods around Freak Street and walk around the Old Palace Grounds at Durbar Square for a glimpse into Kathmandu’s past.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to see it all on a tight budget

 

20Athens, Greece

Even just a few days of exploration is worth it when visiting the pillar of Greek culture and history. Athens is the perfect destination for those who wish to visit some of the most important influences in the history of the world. Athens is brimming with historical sites, from the Acropolis to the Stiles, Theater of Dionysos, and Agora. Many of these ancient ruins are right within the city limits, giving you an intriguing glance into the history of Greece throughout the ages.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You are a history geek

 

21Budapest, Hungary

The Danube River splits up this city into two perfect halves, and each side has its own charm and host of places to explore. Budapest is known for its spas and baths, so grab your suit and head down to the Szechenyi Baths and Pools to play a game of chess while soaking in thermal waters. Walking around the city can lead to some of the best aspects of the city’s architecture, from the monuments at  Heroes’ Square to walking the cobblestone streets at Castle Hill.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to experience city life and culture in a beautiful setting

 

22Queenstown, New Zealand

Feeling adventurous? Then, Queenstown is the perfect city for you, with a haven of outdoor activities and adrenaline pumping sports waiting to be enjoyed. Go bungee jumping off Kawarau Bridge, whitewater raft the Kawarau River or Shotover River, and hike up Mt. Crichton.  After a long day of adventure, head over to Onsen Hot Pools to relax your aching muscles in the water while gazing at Shotover River Canyon.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You are in need of an adrenaline awakening

 

23Hong Kong

Hong Kong has some of the best authentic Asian experiences all within one bustling, vibrant city. Open air markets, museums, islands, and temples all reside around the city. People from all over the world pilgrimage to visit Big Buddha alone, while others visit simply for a chance to drink at the highest bar in the world located in the International Commerce Center. In the mood to see old Hong Kong as it was? Visit Tai O, a fishing village located right on the coast that is over 300 years old.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want a metropolitan Asian adventure

 

24Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Overflowing with high end luxury cars, expensive amenities, and parties that never end, Dubai literally overshadows other cities with it’s bountiful offerings of sights and sounds to be explored. The entire city reigns larger than life, with the world’s only 7 star hotel, the world’s tallest building, the world’s biggest natural flower garden, the largest dancing fountain in the world, and the globe’s largest artificial islands at Palm Island all located within Dubai’s impressive skyline. Dubai also offers much more than just city life, with some of the world’s best dune buggy desert spots, camel racing, open air markets, and other desert life adventures just outside city limits.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to live like a King

 

25Sydney, Australia

If you’re limited to visiting only one of Australia’s cities, then Sydney is the perfect getaway for you. The city has elements of everything that Australia has to offer, from picture perfect beaches with near perfect surf breaks and excellent swimming, the iconic Sydney Opera House, and one of the most beautiful harbors in the world.

While catching a ferry for a cruise around the harbor is a must, travelers can also simply take to the streets to see some of Sydney’s finest. Several of the city’s neighborhoods are best explored on foot, and are teaming with Australian culture, hole in the wall shops, and excellent people watching. Spend the day getting lost in Chinatown, The Rocks, or King’s Cross. Better yet, combine both water and land by venturing to Wolloomooloo Wharf, which is just as fun to visit as it is to pronounce.

Why you should travel here in 2015: You want to experience the best of Down Under culture in only a few days

Which destinations are you going to visit this year? Go to Trekeffect to plan this year’s biggest travel adventure yet!

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Bryn Wied
Bryn Wied is an outdoor enthusiast and serious travelaholic. She explores every inch of the globe in her Sanuk flip flops with her favorite travel buddy/hubby Matt. Matt and Bryn live in California where they blog, surf, snowboard and raise kids in between road trips and camping adventures.