Best Places to Visit in the World
In the larger scheme of things, sure our universe, our galaxy, our planet is but a small speck. However, for us, as individuals, the earth itself is a largely daunting place. With seven continents and two poles, five oceans and numerous seas; there is much to know about and see in this world. Avid travellers would point out that the best places to see are the ones largely unexplored, but that is not always true. There are some places in the world that are just as cliche and overrated, but worth a visit nonetheless. Keeping all of the above in mind, we have compiled a little guide for you, amalgamating the mainstream as well the off-the-beaten track ones that make the world even more beautiful. Well, we call them the best places to visit in the world!
Asia, the world’s largest continent, probably needs no introduction. Since it harbours the good ol’ China and India on its bosom, Asia also becomes the most populated region on this earth. Now there are probably a million and one places to visit up here, but we have compiled the most lucrative regions to make things easier.
The Indian Subcontinent can be defined as that region of Asia, which juts out as a peninsula into the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. With the country of India as the major portion of this subcontinent, you also have neighbouring countries that maybe a couple of hundred years ago were a part of the Indian kingdom, but today endure and celebrate their own nationality and culture. So if you want to vacation in the subcontinent, then be ready for the diverse colours, cultures, languages and foods of India, the tranquil peace and hilly monasteries of Bhutan, the Himalayan views and adventure of Nepal and the elephants, riverines and colonial trains of Sri Lanka. The island of Maldives off the Indian Ocean is also a great holiday spot in the region, known for its luxurious villas and resorts fringed by glittering white sands, palms and the crystal ocean.
South East Asia:
The other beautiful and touristy portion of Asia is the one that runs east of the Indian Subcontinent, seamlessly merging into the region called South East Asia. Most of the countries here are renowned for their tropical climate, islands, beaches, evergreens and a decided Buddhist influence on religious and cultural backdrops. Visit Thailand for its heavenly beaches, party paradises, massages and quaint rock islands, travel to Vietnam for the cheap tourism, paddy fields and vivid sunrises; and choose Cambodia if you are a sucker for mountains, coastlines, monasteries and monks. Indonesia is also a very charming paradise, Bali being a top beach haven, while Hong Kong is all modern infrastructure, snaking bridges and tall skyscrapers with loads and loads of shopping. The archipelagos of Malaysia also make a great bet, especially its untrodden islands.
Moving westward from Asia, the Middle East is still a part of the Asian continent, but forms its own unique little niche due to the stark difference in its landscape, climate, culture and religion. With some of the biggest Islamic countries of the world, the Middle East dominates oil and gas production, as well as forms a hub for shopping, royal tourism and the base for the greatest pilgrimage of Muslims.
The United Arab Emirates is a Union of seven states, a country in the west of Asia that has become famous for places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the last fifty years of so. Kissing the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula, the UAE is the perfect place to choose for those who are fond of deserts, sand dunes, desert islands and royal luxury. Why, Abu Dhabi is literally the synonym for all those things! And Dubai? Well, what can be said about it other than the fact that it is a shoppers’ paradise. Luxury fine dining, theme parks, safaris… you name it, UAE has it. In spades, mind you.
Known as the seat of the greatest Islamic pilgrimage, as well as its bottomless riches, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a thing of beauty. With the Arabian Peninsula fringing its coast, places like Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam beckon you into their desert heartland adorned with royal jewels. A high density of tourism in Saudi rises due to Mecca and Medina, and also because it is the birthplace of Islam.
Qatar is really a peninsula, making for a brilliant Arab country that is home to sand dunes and dry deserts just as much as it is to beaches and the shore of Persian Gulf. Doha, its capital is almost like a futuristic city; all splendid skyscrapers and glossy mirrors, uber cool buildings that compliment the preserved Islamic architecture. With its souks and museums, malls and deserts; Qatar is a highly coveted place in the Middle East.
Sketched on a canvas of desert is an ancient country of amphitheatres and ruined cities, castles and Roman homes. Jordan. It is a brilliant burst of an Arab-Roman history, famous for all the above in addition to the ancient city called Petra, that has been likened to the fabled Iram of Pillars, or the city of Atlanta. Most mainstream tourists don’t stretch as far as Jordan from the usual belt of UAE and Saudi, but those that do find unexpected rewards.
A small but significant island-country in the Gulf of Manama, Bahrain is known for one of the oldest Arab tribal dynasties in the region. Another major producer of oil, exporter of rich pearls and silks, Bahrain is today famous for its world heritage sights and the culture of its country that in spite of being Islamic, is open with wide arms for all cultures and religions of the world.
The continent of Africa is a beautiful paradox of deserts and savannahs, beach towns and evergreens, pyramids and diamond mines. If you think you have Africa figured out with a few names like Egypt and South Africa then you are mistaken, my friend. The continent is one too many beautiful places, adventure hubs and luxury tracts.
Renowned for its jungle safaris and Big 5 game of lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo, South Africa marks the southernmost tip of the continent. And of course there is a lot more to this country. There are beaches and waterfronts, vineyards and race courses, English churches in villages and French chateaus atop mountains. With cities like Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, you in for a delighted holiday.
And East African country that is also the ground for wide stretches of jungles and savannahs, Tanzania is known for its star tourist attraction - the Serengeti National Park, where along with the usual Big 5 game, you also get to see the Great Wildbeest migration. There is the Mt. Kilimanjaro here, with its volcanic peaks, along with exotic islands of Zanzibar and the Mafia Marine Park.
Morocco lies on the North African tip, kissing the seam where Atlantic meets the Mediterranean. The country has a very apparent Arabic culture but it is distinguished by the European and Berber cultures as well. Marrakesh is the most significant city here and makes for one of the most beautiful places to visit. Make sure to enjoy the souks, mosques, forts, desert camps and coffees when in Morocco.
The mummies that were once pharaohs here now rest in decadent crypts of pyramids. Egypt is a top tourism spot on the world map, not only South Africa. With its caravan serais and camels out in the desert, night camps on sand dunes and pyramids that take your breath away, Eqypt is a truly mesmerising place. And one that deserves a visit at least once in a lifetime.
More than a 100 islands in the midst of the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is all about beautiful beaches, luxury resorts, mountainous rainforests and national parks. Most people choose this island for a relaxing trip.
Down the African continent, Mauritius is another brilliant island that has much in store for you. From lagoons to rainforests, springs to waterfalls, beaches to black gorges and colourful landscapes - Mauritius offers it all.
Europe is an oxymoron, never old-never new. With some of the most beautiful places in the world sequestered here, Europe has, for the longest time been a one stop destination for lovers of art, music, culture, history, nature and travel. What can’t you get in Europe? From vineyards of France to the Roman delights of Italy, from the ships of Vikings to the tapas of Spain; travelling the length and breadth of Europe surely is an experience.
The region of West Europe is all stunning temperate landscapes, ancient castles and peaks. While countries like Italy and France are known for their food, wines, monuments and palaces, the United Kingdom, Scotland and Ireland have that patent vibe of stone houses, lochs, glens and beautiful ancient cities. Netherlands brings you a burst of sunshine in the canals of Amsterdam and windmills and tulip gardens, while Switzerland will give you luxury adventure goals with all the ice-capped peaks, lakes, quaint towns and chalets on hills. If you travel south towards Spain and Portugal, then you are in for more sunshine, more spicy food, loads of tango and a culture that makes you smile big and bright.
Central & East:
The heart of Europe is graced by countries like Austria, Hungary, Germany and Czech Republic. There is a tough but intricate web of World War history that weaves its way through most of these countries. But there are also stupefying rivers, amazing forests, and marvels of cities to make you gasp in wonder. Moving East, you would stumble upon the beautiful stretches of Kazakhstan with its mountainous towns, and Turkey with its Ottoman hangover of minarets and amazing modern cities. Then there is Georgia with its quaint charm, and Russia and Ukraine with all their glorious past folded into palaces, monuments and parks. This region of Europe has a lot of historic hangover, and serves those travellers better who are interested in new cultures with steeped history.
The Northern reaches of Europe can be considered as 'Scandinavia.' Or Nordic, for some. The countries that have some of the highest GDPs in the world, were once home to the fierce viking warriors and Danish warlords, and double up as winter wonderland in the months of Aurora Borealis. You will be in for a treat here, in both summers and winters. Countries like Finland are close to the Norm Pole and house the Santa Claus village, while Denmark and Norway come slightly down south. You can see volcanoes and glaciers, hot springs and frozen lakes all side by side in Iceland, while the glorious Northern Lights spread across the skies of all these countries in the winter half of the year.
North America is probably one of the most interesting continents of this world. Because it has not much in terms of size, or does not produce any unique resources for the most part, and yet houses some of the richest, most powerful (if we so dare say), and the most culturally hegemoned lot of this world. The Americans. Of course, there are other countries here as well, but most are offset by the shadow cast by the USA. Tourism wise though, you cannot be so certain, because each country has its own highlight.
The United States of America is a unique country, one of the strongest democracies and a world power that has dominated the globe for more than two centuries now. This nation covers more than 2/3rds of the continent and stretches from coast to coast, so if you want to travel in America, then be prepared for varied landscapes; from the coast of New York to the deserts of Nevada, from the glamorous town of Hollywood to the gambling hub of Las Vegas; from Washington DC’s spring blossoms to the Christmasy winters of Aspen. And this does not even cover a fiftieth of America!
America’s eskimo-ish cousin, Canada lies North of the States, and has a very chic vibe to its people. The Canadians are supposed to be the greatest pushovers of the world, but mind you, they are also some of the most warm, welcoming people. Most parts of Canada like the Banff National Park, Moraine Lake and Niagara Falls make for wonders of nature. Cities like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver add the extra zeal to a holiday. What more would you want?
Located south to the States, Mexico is a beautiful colourful country that is known for its food, dances, graffiti walls and the splendid Caribbean. The landscape of Mexico is all sweeping mountains and endless deserts, deep-bottom gorges and canyons as well as thick green rainforests. Here you will be able to rediscover the roots of Mayan Civilisation as well as enjoy the beaches of Tulum and Cancun.
Greenland may have it in the name, but it sure does not have much green on the ground. This piece of continent in North America is a very cold place, but just as hauntingly beautiful. With the Arctic on one side and Ocean of Atlantic on the other, Greenland forms the largest island of the world, falling under the territory of Kingdom of Denmark. The country is covered in the second-largest ice sheet in the world. You can take polar cruises here that are the strangest, most surreal, but stunning experiences.
A small island not far from USA’s east coast, Cuba has been known for the Communism crisis back in the day. Also for vintage cars, pastel coloured towns and the cigars. What you won’t see in here! Heritage buildings and retired old men playing board games out in the street, tourists shopping from flea markets and locals practising Latin dances in open garages. This is the vacation covering all bases - waterfronts, beaches, cute towns and amazing people.
The most stunning beach islands, Bahamas are all about plush beach holidays, scuba diving, snorkelling expeditions and coral reefs. It is a coveted honeymoon destination and welcomes people through the year.
Go to Costa Rica for evergreen rainforests, Caribbean azure seas, some of the best Mexican food and adventure you will never forget. From treks up dense jungle mountains to zip-lining and zorbing, from idle treks to bunny jumping, Costa Rica is it.
The continent of South America is home to a lot of evergreen stretches, some of the oldest advanced civilisations and Latin American population. With countries like Peru and Brazil, this region also attracts major chunk of world tourism.
The Federative Republic of Brazil is home to beaches, latinas, evergreen wilderness and the cutest colonial towns. With places like Rio di Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Salvador, Brazil impresses even the most jaded of travellers. You can enjoy the Amazonian rainforests, go exploring the beaches and waterfront pubs, and basically have a splendid time.
Inca Valley and Machu Pichu civilisation! If that doesn’t sell Peru to you then probably nothing could. This country is home to the old ruins of Machu Pichu, the fabled city that was destroyed. Trekkers and travellers just love the Inca trail. Other than that you can enjoy the city of Lima and the coastal sunsets of Pacific.
Argentina is a diverse landscape, with part desert-part ice-capped mountains (Re: Andes), some beaches and some glaciers. Buenos Aires is the capital, and one of the top tourists places; as are the towns of Mendoza, Salta and Cordoba. With its European feels and exotic dances, Argentina is a lovers’ paradise.
A narrow but long stretch of land bordering the Pacific coast in South America, Chile is home to palm trees and neoclassical cathedrals, tall peaks of Andes and the temperate forests bordering beaches. Cities like Santiago and Punta Arenas invite you into their warm folds, while the Pumalin Park and Torres del Paine show you some amazing natural sceneries.
The Pacific region of the world encompasses the Land down Under, i.e. the continent of Australia, along with the smaller fragments like New Zealand, Singapore and Japan. China is otherwise a part of Asia but can also peep into the Pacific Ocean region.
The land that was settled by the immigrants and the exiled from Europe, Australia is today among the booming economies of the world. The land of dreams, this rabbit-shaped island is amazing for a holiday. From the rolling vineyards to the long stretch of pristine Great Barrier Reef, from Sydney’s marvels to Melbourne’s artsy vibe and colonial touch, Australia is literally the Land Down Under that leaps to the top of fun.
A small island in the Pacific, New Zealand is a gem of a paradise. With its volcanoes and multi-coloured Lava, vivd hued lakes to hot springs, coastal glaciers to caves and coves, rainforests to rivers and fjords, it is a gift of nature to Earth. In the recent years, New Zealand has gained much eco-tourism, road tripping, luxury tourism and even adventure tourism.
An island country that is also the only city there, Singapore is known for its high GDP and business centres. Tourism has played a massive role in building this country’s economy. And why not? There is the Universal Studio and Night Jungle Safari, Marina Bay Sands and Sentosa Island here! shopping in Singapore is beyond great too.
The People's Republic of China is Asia’s largest country and also the most populated in the world. With its ancient history tracing back to the Mongols and Mings and Marco Polo, today China is one of the fastest growing economies. Tourism here pulls through its heritage towns and ancient villages, the Great Wall and the marvels of Beijing, the Yellow Sea and the Yangtze gorges.
The Japanese are considered to be some of the most industrious and genius people in the world. What with the nature and manmade disasters that have time and again destroyed Japan, the people of this nation have built it back up in no time. Tourism wise Japan is just as brilliant; with pagoda temples and quaint traditional gardens, the cherry blossom of Tokyo’s spring and the skyscrapers and malls that dot its city centre. The Philippine Sea and Mt. Fuji add that extra zing to Japan’s already unique image.