We’re early planners, which means it's never too early to start planning trips for next year. So, what better way to prepare than to release our list of the destinations that will be on everyone’s list of the best places to travel in 2024. We’ve compiled the top places to visit in Asia, Europe, South America, and beyond. The best part about every location on the list? You can go guided with us and avoid the hassle of planning your trip yourself!
We know there are countless places in this great big world that are worth exploring, and it was a huge challenge to narrow it down to just 10. We’ve created a list that is full of interesting and trending destinations, places that are off the beaten path, and of course, a few places you likely won’t see on everyone else’s list.
So, if you’ve been thinking about making 2024 the year you venture to a new location, you may find yourself asking the question: What are the best destinations to visit in 2024? Look no further—here are our 10 best travel places to visit in the year ahead.
1. Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Recognized for stunning natural beauty
Guanacaste, a province located in northwestern Costa Rica, is a mecca for adventure travelers looking to surf, hike, and sail along the Pacific coast on our Costa Rica tours. With a stunning coastline providing endless opportunities to snorkel, swim, or just relax along the water’s edge, Guanacaste is one of the best travel places to wind down after an adventurous week.
On our A Week in Costa Rica: San José, Arenal & Guanacaste tour, you’ll visit a coffee plantation, spot wildlife on a hike through Arenal Volcano National Park and tour the capital city of San José. Costa Rica is the perfect nature lover’s paradise if you love spending time outdoors. During your visit, you’ll join a naturalist for a riverboat tour of the Palo Verde National Park wetlands, where you’ll look for crocodiles as you float down the Tempisque River and hear the call of Central America’s largest population of wading birds, before ending your week in the relaxing waters of the Guanacaste coast.
2. Cuzco, Peru
The ancient Incan capital
This ancient capital of the Inca Empire is one of the best cities in the world to visit in 2024 thanks to its thriving culinary scene, stunning architecture, and old-world charm. Cuzco is also a convenient base for exploring Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, making it the perfect starting point to the Andes Mountains portion of our Peru for Solo Travelers: Lima, Cuzco & Machu Picchu tour.
Located at over 10,000 feet above sea level, the city of Cuzco welcomes you with local artisans selling fresh fruits at the market and reels you in with ancient citadels, Spanish Renaissance cathedrals, and UNESCO-recognized historic sites. Spend free time strolling the narrow streets of the San Blas District, grabbing a coffee, and checking out the local clothing shops or restaurants during our Peru tours.
During your travels to Cuzco, one of the best cities to visit in 2024, you’ll spend a little time exploring the ruins of the Sacsayhuaman citadel with your guide, which was once completely covered in gold. Walking around the city is key to helping you acclimate to the elevation change, and the locals will tell you drinking a little coca tea can help with any altitude sickness. Most local hotels have coca leaves at the front desk so you can make yourself a little tea if needed.
3. Ko Samui, Thailand
A tranquil, seaside tropical paradise
No list of the best travel places to visit in 2024 would be complete without a tropical island. For us, that island is Ko Samui, a stunning tropical paradise in the Gulf of Thailand and the second-largest island in the nation. Lush rainforests lead down the mountain to beautiful beaches lined with palm trees and the clearest turquoise water you will ever see. You’ll spend two full days on the island on our Grand Tour of Southeast Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand.
Ko Samui isn’t all relaxation and rejuvenation, however. You’ll want to explore the Big Buddha temple while on the island, climbing the steps up to the nearly 40-foot-tall seated golden Buddha statue that looks out over the island. Nearby, a visit to the Wat Plai Laem Buddhist temple provides a beautiful example of Buddhist art and architecture that also happens to be an incredible photo spot at sunset. If temple hopping isn’t quite physical enough for you, get your heart pumping on a cruise to Ko Wua Ta Lap Island, where you can visit the Lotus Cave or swim in the tropical waters.
Beaches are clearly the draw for this small island, but the food scene is not to be missed on any of our Thailand tours. Whether you dig into pad thai and slurp up its salty-sweet rice noodles or enjoy a spicy papaya salad known as som tam, the culinary delights of Thailand are endless. Check out our full list of the 20 quintessential things to do in Thailand to further understand how this mix of food, fun, and sand puts Ko Samui solidly on our list of 10 best travel places to visit in 2024.
4. Fukuoka, Japan
The ancient home of ramen
If you’re looking for the best cities to visit in 2024 for travel, don’t miss Fukuoka, a Japanese city that has a little bit of everything. Located on Kyushu Island in southern Japan, Fukuoka is regularly touted as one of Japan’s most livable cities and has previously made our list of places to have on your travel radar across Asia. It is the second-largest port city in the country and has been a center for international trade since ancient times. The city is famous for its culinary delights, including a fresh seafood market and the famous outdoor food stalls known as yatai.
On our South Korea & Japan: Seoul to Tokyo tour, you’ll visit the eighth-century Kushida-jinja Shrine and walk along the Naka River on your way to the yatai with your guide. Try some Hakata ramen and yakitori (skewers of chicken grilled over a charcoal fire) before spending some free time exploring one of the best travel places for 2024 on our Japan tours.
If exploring the city is on the agenda, check out the Tenjin Underground Shopping Center, located directly under the city streets, or visit the Tochoji Temple, home to the largest indoor wooden Buddha in Japan. The beautiful mix of nature, historic architecture, and modern conveniences makes Fukuoka a must-visit, securing its spot on our list of best cities in the world to visit in 2024.
5. Luxor, Egypt
A living open-air museum
You might find it interesting that one of the best cities in the world to visit in 2024 is also one of the oldest cities in the world. Clocking in at around 4,200 years old, Luxor, Egypt has been described as a living, breathing open-air museum. During ancient Egyptian times it was the capital city, known as Thebes. Today, it’s home to some of Egypt’s most famous ancient ruins.
Located along the Nile River, Luxor is a stop on several of our Egypt tours. Visiting one of the best travel places for 2024 is made even better with the guidance of a certified Egyptologist, walking you through the Karnak Temple complex and Luxor Temple. You’ll pass walls of hieroglyphics, obelisks, statues, and the Abu Haggag Mosque along the way before having a little free time to explore the area.
No trip to Luxor would be complete without a visit to the Valley of the Kings, where King Tut’s tomb was discovered in 1922. Stop for a coffee along the East Bank or shop the market as you explore one of the oldest cities in the world. With its ancient history and flavorful food, it’s easy to see why Luxor has become one of the trending destinations for 2024 travel.
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6. Nungwi Village, Zanzibar
Recognized for pristine, white sand beaches
Nestled on the northern tip of Zanzibar, Nungwi Village is one of the most beautiful beaches in Zanzibar. Palm trees line the white sand beach and the crystal-clear water laps gently over a coral reef. Sunsets shimmer on the ocean in this postcard-worthy spot, which made our list of the best cities to visit in 2024. Nungwi Village is known throughout Zanzibar as the center of boat building, and locals have continued the practice of building traditional wooden sailboats, called dhow, which has made Nungwi the fishing center of the island, too. Visit this unique spot when you add the extension to our Tanzania Wildlife Safari. You’ll have the opportunity to sail in a dhow at sunset and experience the magic of Zanzibar for yourself.
White sand beaches, crystal-clear water, and local fishing boats aren’t the only reasons we awarded this destination a spot on our list of 10 best travel places for 2024, so you may be asking: What else does Nungwi Village offer? The deep seafaring tradition has led to an eclectic culinary mix on Zanzibar, pulling inspiration from Arab, Portuguese, Indian, British, and Chinese history, among others. The result? Delicious dishes like octopus coconut curry and Urojo soup, a Zanzibari mix of potatoes, beef skewers, fried cassava, and tamarind sauce. This combination of exceptional cuisine and beautiful beaches has piqued travelers’ curiosity in Zanzibar, and landed Nungwi a spot on our list of the best cities in the world to visit in 2024.
7. Menorca, Spain
A magical, relaxing Mediterranean locale
We couldn’t create a list of the 10 best travel places for 2024 without including an island in the Mediterranean—but we’re not talking about Santorini or Mykonos. We’re talking about the Balearic Islands, specifically Menorca.
This laid-back Balearic Island is known for its miles of unspoiled beaches, Bronze Age structures, and a UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve that protects the delicate and diverse flora and fauna of the island. You’ll tour the capital city of Mahón on our Spain’s Balearic Islands: Menorca & Mallorca tour. Situated on the top of a bluff, the capital city’s colorful architecture will greet you as you explore a local sandal shop and learn about the craftspeople who produce a variety of clothes, jewelry, pottery, and leather goods.
The relaxed atmosphere of the island is perfect for exploring on one of our Spain tours. Visit the Cape Cavalleria Lighthouse for beautiful views of the coast, dine on fresh seafood in the seaside town of Fornells, and sample the local wine as you settle onto a patio to enjoy some of the best sunsets in the Mediterranean. It’s easy to see why we tout Menorca as one of the 6 stunning islands you need to visit in Spain and Portugal. Filled with charming small cities to visit with fewer tourists than its sister island Mallorca, Menorca is one of the best travel places to visit in 2024.
8. São Miguel, Portugal
The place to experience the splendor of the Azores islands
What would you say if we told you that one of Europe’s trending destinations has been called “the Hawaii of Europe” and has been a hidden-gem vacation spot for years? You’d probably want to know where we’re talking about. Well, you’re in luck, because the next stop on this year’s list of the best travel places for 2024 is the island of São Miguel, in Portugal’s Azores islands chain.
Lush volcanic landscapes, black sand beaches, and endless hiking paths aren’t the only similarities to the Hawaiian Islands, however. On the extension of our Grand Tour of Portugal: From Porto to Lisbon, you’ll explore an Azorean pineapple plantation, where locals have been cultivating the fruit for more than 150 years.
The star of the island though, is Lagoa do Fogo. Whether you are exploring the hot springs of the caldera, taking a dip into the crater lakes high in the hills, or spending a day in the valley at a tropical tea plantation, the area around volcano is filled with adventure. So, firmly planted on our list of the best travel places for 2024 is a volcanic island where friendly locals will greet you with a “bom dia” and share their favorite sunset spots with you as you fall in love with the Azores and São Miguel on our Portugal tours!
9. Meteora, Greece
A city built in the clouds
Greece is filled with wish list-worthy sites, but Athens and the islands aren’t the only places worth visiting. To the north of Athens lies the Plain of Thessaly, near the Pindus Mountains, and this is where you’ll find one of the most stunning natural rock formations in the world. Perched atop the formations are a series of 14th-century monasteries, built by monks seeking isolation and spirituality. This is Meteora.
One of the most visited religious and cultural sites in Greece, Meteora is famous for its monasteries, which sit atop 1,000-foot-high pinnacle rocks and seem to float above the earth. A hike up the rocks is a can’t-miss adventure on all our Meteora tours. Above-ground offerings aren’t the only reason we’ve named Meteora to our list of the best places and the best cities in the world to visit in 2024, however. What happens below ground is equally as impressive, with the Theopetra Cave being a must-visit on your Greece trip. Archaeologists excavating the cave over the last 35 years have found evidence of human presence dating back nearly 50,000 years.
Whether you spend your time in the clouds or below the surface, you’ll want to settle in at a taverna to grab a glass of tsipouro, a local unaged brandy, and watch the sunset.For its stunning natural beauty, masterful architecture, and unparalleled historical value, it’s clear to see why Meteora secured a spot on our list of the best places in the world to visit in 2024.
10. Zadar, Croatia
A coastal, cultural gem on the Adriatic
Tucked right into the middle of Croatia’s Adriatic coastline is the city of Zadar. Ruled by the ancient Venetians, Hungarians, French, Austrians, and most recently Yugoslavians, the city’s history and location along the Dalmatian Coast has made it a melting pot for art, music, and culinary exploration. That’s why we say it’s one of the best cities to visit in 2024.
In the ancient center of Zadar, on an isthmus jutting into the Adriatic, you’ll find the largest Roman forum in the country, completed in the third century. Mere blocks away is perhaps the most well-known site in Zadar, the Sea Organ. This art installation harnesses the movement of the Adriatic. The waves push are into organs built in the waterfront promenade, which then play the sounds of the sea. It’s this mix of ancient and thoroughly modern that gives Zadar an incredible charm.
When you visit the Dalmatian Coast on any of our Zadar tours, you cannot leave without sampling the local cuisine. Try Škampi na buzaru, a simple dish of shrimp in olive oil and tomatoes, which pairs perfectly with a glass of local wine. The sights, sounds, and culture of Zadar have earned it a spot on our list of the best travel places for 2024 and make it a must-see on any of our Croatia tours.