As humans we have an innate compulsion to want to see things, to want to know and learn things. For me one of the best and most rewarding way to do that is travel. A holiday enables you to step quickly into the life of a local for just a few days, seeing their culture, feeling their climate and taste their food. Travelling is the best way to feel alive, it stimulates something in your brain that just goes “This is new” and you retain it. I’m a huge believer of making as many memories as possible and travelling is an amazing way to make up that scrapbook of your life and that’s what I aim to do!
With this post, I had to think quite hard about what to include as for me this topic could go from being a blog post to a dissertation length quite easily. I am a massive travel junkie, and one of my main life goals is to see EVERYTHING! So in order to be concise I’m only mentioning 10 cities or countries or “spectacles” from each continent.
- France – So France because it’s only a hop, skip and a jump away from England isn’t regarded as particularly exciting for a traveller. However, for me out of every country I’m about to list it’s the culture I most relate to and long to experience. Paris is my dream to see, and I hope eventually to live there for a time, looking at the Eiffel tower, walking round the Louvre and sitting by the Seine. In Paris you’ve got Notre dame, the Moulin rouge (one of my favourite films btw) and the Arc de Triomphe as well as the breath-taking sky line. Paris isn’t the only draw to France, the idyllic vineyards and cafes are picturesque as well as the vast countryside and small villages. Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg, Montpellier, Annecy and Nice are all stunning regions of France which compliment Paris in terms of its sheer beauty and culture. This is the place I most want to visit in the world!
- Italy – Italy is a hub for language, food and art, and is the birth place of philosophy. Rome is the birthplace of legends and Lake Como is the view of dreams. I’d love to go shopping in Milan and see the Colosseum in Rome. But the regions of Italy I’m more interested in visiting are the romantic cities of Venice, Verona and Florence. In Venice I want to ride a gondola through the floating city, in Verona go to the house of Juliet Capulet and in Florence drink Tuscan wine and view Renaissance art.
- Greece – As well as the sensational beaches in Greece, the culture of ancient Greece centered in Athens is fascinating! The Acropolis of Athens, the Parthenon, Temple of Olympian Zeus and The Temple of Hephaestus are all incredible mythological and historical places to visit. Santorini is a little island off the coast of Greece, with white sandy beaches and the alleged birthplace of Zeus – it is spectacular.
- Sweden – The capital of Sweden, Stockholm, is a must place to visit on my travels. Stockholm is right by the Baltic Sea and is home to many stunning castles and interesting museums including arts, cultures and science!
- Denmark – Copenhagen is the capital city, rich in culture and home of the iconic little mermaid statue. Skagen is a beautiful city on the coast in Denmark and Odense is the romantic home of fairy-tale writer Han Christian Anderson who wrote the snow queen (the inspiration for frozen), the ugly duckling, the little mermaid and many more classics.
- Hungary – Budapest is incredible – I’d especially love to go if I got the opportunity to travel down the Danube. Budapest is an amazing city for nightlife, food and music.
- Czech Republic – Prague is a historic and architecturally superior city, with the magnificent Charles Bridge and stunning castle and cathedral. Shopping in Prague is also supposed to be amazing and when I’m filthy rich (fingers crossed for that one) I hope to be able to shop for an entirely new wardrobe in Prague just like Julia Roberts does in Pretty Women (Yes, I know that’s Rodeo Drive but you understand the sentiment).
- Germany – Who doesn’t want to go to Oktoberfest? It’s on my bucket list. Held in Munich in September, it’s a completely unique festival and it looks like so much fun! Aside from this, Germany is beautiful and seeing as it’s the only country that I have a mild grip on the language, I’ve probably got the highest chance of conversing (thank you German GCSE).
- Austria – Vienna lies to the east of the Danube river (I hope to work on a river cruise down the Danube). Vienna has an incredible intellectual legacy which was shaped by residents including Mozart, Beethoven and Freud. Schönbrunn Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in the world and one of my reasons for wanting to go to Vienna. Vienna, for me, is one of those cities which would be incredible just to walk round and visit wine taverns, restaurants and the old coffee shops.
- Netherlands – Amsterdam is a must see destination for any traveller, you can’t see Europe without seeing Amsterdam. For me I would love to go to the Anne Frank house while I was there but also just go sightseeing in the city. You can do bike tours around the city which look amazing.
As its America I’m going to have to list my 10 most want to visit states!
- New York – New York, is 100% self-explanatory, who doesn’t want to go the biggest and best city in the world?The thing with New York City is there is so much to do! Go to Rockefeller Centre, Statue of Liberty, the Empire State building (where I will be reenacting Sleepless in Seattle), Times Square, Broadway, Grand central terminal, Madison square guardian and the Brooklyn Bridge! New York is such an amazing place full of lights and colours! Personally my dream has always been to spend Christmas in New York, go ice skating in central park, go see the Rockefeller Christmas tree and see the snow.
- Las Vegas, Nevada – I’m not much of a gambler myself however, Las Vegas is probably my natural home as it is so flamboyant and over the top, I reckon I’d fit in quite well. With acts like Cher, Britney Spears and Mariah Carey lining the stages, no wonder I think it’s the perfect destination.
- California – With cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego no wonder California has a reputation for being one of the coolest states on the planet. One place I’d really love to visit is Napa Valley, as I’d love to look round the beautiful vineyards and go wine tasting and horse riding in the sun. Los Angeles is a city I especially want to see. Isn’t it everyone’s dream to get a picture in front of that famous Hollywood sign?
- Florida – Miami beaches are to die for! Out of all the cities on this list I’d say Miami is definitely one of the most glamorous. It’s a city full of influence, and wealth, and a lot of tanned people. Part of me wants to just drive around in a convertible underneath all the palm trees with massive shades and a lap dog in my purse (I know I watch too much Housewives of Orange County but it’s weirdly addictive!) Florida is also home to Disneyland (no explanation needed!) and Universal Orlando (because I’m still a child who wants to go to the Harry Potter, Wizarding World)!
- Hawaii – Aloha from me! Hawaii with breath-taking waterfalls, golden sandy beaches and a rich culture of traditions, is an amazing place to visit. So excuse me as I pick out a grass skirt and a lei while doing that weird shimmying Hawaiian dance (a lot).
- Washington – I have to go and see the Whitehouse!
- Chicago – Chicago Bulls Vs the Dallas Cowboys! Chicago seems like an awesome place to go to take in the NBA and college leagues basketball, as well as go and watch American football. Aside from sports, Chicago is also the home to the Field Museum of Natural History, which looks incredible.
- Atlanta – Atlanta, Georgia is one of the main cities to speak of in the move towards Civil Rights. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is dedicated to the African-American leader’s life and legacy.
- New Orleans- The city of Jazz, how can I not go to New Orleans? Go to the Jazz Clubs and eat good comfort southern cooking! New Orleans is a party city, with many troubles, but New Orleans makes Mardi Gras look like the biggest fiesta in the universe. In New Orleans I plan to dance and drink and try and attempt to let them allow me play a saxophone (the last one isn’t really plausible since I don’t play the saxophone)!
- Texas – Northern Texas, home to Dallas is the ideal place for a girl who’s partial to a bit of line dancing. With the cowboy origins and home life values, Texas seems like a good place for anyone who wants to get out in nature, ride a horse and grow up on a ranch. Can I get away with buying a cowgirl hat?
South America/ Caribbean
- Peru – Puru is a fascinating city especially with Iconic hilltop ruins of a large 15th-century Inca city called Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is probably one of the best places in the world to go hiking. The capital of Peru is Lima, an incredibly beautiful coastal city, with angelic monasteries, incredible water shows, creative art and thriving nightlife.
- Brazil – Rio de Janeiro is the city to party in! Carnival in Cococabana has to be the highlight on any trip. Brazil with its vibrancy and extravagant vibe draws me like a moth to a flame, all I’ve got to do is pack my feather bikini and get on my way!
- Barbados – Barbados is such a special one for me on this list since, being mixed race, my dad’s side of the family are Barbadian. Listening to stories of the island from my nan has given me such a longing to go there. Meet family, see where my nan grew up and generally learn about my roots and ethnic background.
- Argentina – Buenos Aires, the cosmopolitan capital of Latin America. I find Latin American culture so interesting and Argentina is an incredible country to go to, so I can experience that. The plaza de mayo looks incredibly stunning and who doesn’t want to do the argentine tango with some strong Argentinian guy?
- Bahamas – “Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama”, the Bahamas is a must-see destination for luxurious beaches and mass relaxation. Coral reefs for scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming, sun for tanning and lounging, and beaches for drinking and dancing. Is anywhere else in the world closer to paradise?
- St. Lucia – The palm trees of St. Lucia line the idyllic beaches, mountain ranges run along the coast. This island is said to be the most beautiful of them all, as the number one honeymoon destination.
- Bolivia – With a varied terrain spanning Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert and Amazon Basin rainforest. Bolivia is home to the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat and home to pink flamingo (How cool right?)
- British Virgin Islands – As a top yachting destination, the British Virgin Islands has beautiful beaches with amazing rock formations.
- Guadalupe – Guadalupe is a volcanic island off the coast of Mexico, an amazing reason to go to this destination is it is one of the best places in the world to spot the great white shark.
- Cuba – The old and historic capital city of Cuba is Havana. With its Spanish culture, brimming with churches, noble houses and cobbled streets, everywhere is beautiful.
- Japan – Japan is a country with so much to offer, with incredible sights such as mount Fiji and the bustling city of Tokyo, who does not want to go to Japan? Japan is home to beautiful old architecture like the Kinkaku-ji, Sensō-ji, Tōdai-ji, Itsukushima Shrine and Tokyo Imperial Palace. Some of the amazing things to do in Japan include meditation experiences in temples and shrines, tasting authentic foods, Japanese theatre and Japanese martial arts. One of the things I really want to see is the Japanese blossom trees; Odawara Castle Park is home to around 350 of these trees.
- China – Top of my bucket list is walking the Great Wall of China! China is such an interesting place, oriental and full of history. Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Guangzhous, Zhangjiajie and Kunming are all cultural hubs full of beauty, food and life. Obviously, apart from the the amazing culture, we gotta talk about the food, to eat authentic Chinese food in china as a chef is a dream come true.
- Hong Kong – Hong Kong is a beautiful place, in my opinion one of the world’s best sky lines, Victoria Peak is the best place to look out over the buildings with the telescope looking across the city. Tian Tan Buddha is also a massive attraction, a huge bronze statue at the top of 260 steps. If you know me at all, it’s that I love Asian inspired cooking, so I’ll happily eat my way all round Hong Kong!
- Singapore – Singapore is special to my family as my mother was born there, when her dad was away in the army and army wives traveled with them even when expecting. So as part of this as my mother’s history we both want to try and go there.
- Indonesia – Bali, the epicenter for meditation and yoga retreats – for the most relaxing trip on earth this is somewhere I’m dreaming to go. Bali is such a naturally beautiful place with idyllic beaches and waters, it’s somewhere I think of as luxurious and tranquil.
- United Arab Emirates – Dubai is the up and coming place to be. A booming metropolis with a modern skyline and luxurious hotels and malls. Dubai, for me, is one of those places I’d go to just for a few days but if I did I’d do it in absolute luxury, staying in the swankiest hotels, going to the best clubs and eating all the best food.
- India – Steeped in history and filled with culture, India is such an amazing place. No.1 on my list of things to see in India is the Taj Mahal, a modern wonder of the world, for me one of the 7 wonders (or now 12 as I’ve recently been told?… I think there’s still debate). Anyway for me it’s a must view place, with so many exciting cultural things like Bollywood. Also what sort of chef would I be if I hadn’t had a curry in India?
- Russia (I’m guessing it’s in Asia?) – Ok, as some of my family have pointed out, I seem to have a weird obsession with Russia. It must be something about the history, costume, language… or just everything. I tried to take Russian classes in Year 8, I love the film Anastasia, have dreamed of going to the Russian ballet for years, and on top of all that I am reading Anna Karenina at the moment. So in Russia I have a bigger to do list – obviously one of the first things is the Russian ballet which has been a childhood dream of mine (thanks to the book Ballet Shoes). For me, the most amazing place to see the ballet in would be the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, so iconic and intertwined with the identity of the countyry. St. Petersburg is a city I’ve always wanted to visit, especially to see the home of the Peterhof palace and Winter palace, which are both beautiful history filled buildings. Moscow, the capital city of Russia, is home to some of the most beautiful buildings like the Moscow Kremlin and the Red Square.
- Israel – Israel is one of those country’s I’d never actively say I wanted to go to however, I’ve known several people who’ve gone and said how incredible it is! For me seeing the Sea of Galilee or the dead sea or Mount Zion would be spectacular. Temple mount and the western wall are both huge sites of interest as well as each year hundreds and thousands of Christians make pilgrimage to these sacred sites.
- Maldives – The Maldives is just serene and like paradise, ideal for snorkelling, swimming, sunbathing and basically anything else that involves immersing yourself in water or immersing yourself in cocktails. In the Arabian sea, the Maldives is the ideal holiday of tropical paradise and, to be honest, writing this on 6th floor I could use a bit of tropical paradise right now.
…Ok, I do not have 10 for the last 2 continents so it’s gone down to 5!
- South Africa – South Africa is home to many ecosystems, safari and wildlife. Leopards, cheetahs and ‘the big five’ – lions, leopards, rhinoceros, African bush elephants and African buffalos – are all seen on the savannahs of Africa. I’ve always wanted to go in one of the tours through the safari park to see all the wildlife. Boulders Beach is also home to a colony of AFRICAN PENGUINS! I’m sorry, but who doesn’t want to see that?
- Morocco – Arabian and European influences are part of Moroccan culture. The main reason to go to morocco is the markets – places like Jemaa el-Fnaa which are filled with perfumes, jewels and food. Markets are synonymous with morocco and the Arabian feel of the cities. Morocco along with city life has beautiful natural spots like Ouzoud Falls, which is a stunning waterfall surrounded by olive trees and roaming monkeys.
- Madagascar – Wildlife is rare and stunning in Madagascar, home to the lemur which cannot be seen anywhere else. There are so many wildlife sites to see some of the native wildlife. Madagascar also has historic sites such as Rova of Antananarivo, the gorgeous royal palace.
- Cape Verde – Ok, so some people will only know where this is thanks to the last series of Celebs go dating but oh well. Cape Verde is a beach destination with summer highs of 30 degrees and plenty of space to lie around drinking mojito’s in the sun!
- Egypt – Filled with incredible ancient history, Egypt is a must stop on every travel junkies list! Of course, when going to Egypt the Great Sphinx of Giza, the Valley of the Kings, the Pyramid of Djoser and Ramesseum are all important historical sites to see. Cruising along the Nile and seeing Lake Nasser and Mount Sinai, Egypt has to be one of the gems of this earth.
- Australia – Surrounded by ocean, and bathed in sunlight, Australia seems to be every British migrant’s dream. In the country with Kangaroos, koalas and sharks, Australia has no end to the unique wildlife to be spotted in the outback. Obviously, I’ve got to have my picture taken outside Sydney opera house as well!
- New Zealand – New Zealand has to be one of the best examples of nature at its finest. Full of national parks, lakes and glaciers, I imagine New Zealand’s to be the best place to go live if you want to be a photographer or a painter. Some of the incredible places to visit include Waitomo Caves, Fox Glacier, Huka Falls and Milford Sound.
- Fiji – Clear lagoons, palm tree lined beaches and shimmering waters describe the tropical utopia that is Fiji. Fiji, like many tropical islands, is one of the best places to go dance, swim and drink!
- Palau – Again another tropical heaven on earth, Palau has incredible rock formations and the adventurous jellyfish lake (if you’re brave enough). Home to dolphins, sharks and turtles, if you want to swim with animals, it’s the perfect destination.
- French Polynesia – I don’t know why but Bora Bora has been somewhere I’ve always wanted to go ever since I saw photographs of this exquisite island destination. Some guest bungalows are even perched just above the turquoise waters. Beautiful and quiet, the perfect retreat.
So if you hadn’t guessed by now, I want to see the world. Like literally ALL of it! I hope this post gets you in the mood to maybe put on your sunnies and take a trip to sunny Cape Verde or wrap up warm for a trip to St. Petersburg. Tweet me at @UCBloggers if you’ve got any questions or think I’ve missed out any vital destinations or if you want to take me in your suitcase to any of these places!