28 Bucket List Destinations That Everyone Needs To Experience At Least Once

With so many places to see and visit across the globe, cultivating the perfect travel bucket list is no small feat. And, of course, what speaks to one traveler may not always speak to another. But there is no denying that quite a few spots on the map reign supreme and offer visitors a truly incredible experience from start to finish. From dreamy coastlines, pristine landscapes, and limitless adventure to phenomenal nightlife, rich history, and distinctive culture, there are more than a dozen places that tend to make most travelers' rosters. So, whether you are a newbie world traveler, a lifelong wanderluster, or a seasoned globetrotter, here are the top bucket list destinations everyone needs to experience at least once in their lifetime.

The Maldives

Located far away in the middle of the Indian Ocean, travelers will find the Maldives. This idyllic paradise, made of 1,192 individual islands, is known for its enchanting scenery, gorgeous secluded beaches, blue waters, iconic over-water accommodations, and relaxing vibes. Often a coveted honeymoon or couples adventure destination, the Maldives is bucket-list worthy for countless reasons, including an abundance of marine life, over-the-top luxury, ample watersports, and the unmatched opportunity to completely immerse oneself in the lively culture and traditions of the Maldives.

Amalfi Coast

Speaking of unbelievable views, the Amalfi Coast is another must on any traveler's list because it's just beautiful. The Amalfi Coast is a vibrant, beachy seaside wonderland situated south of Rome in the Campania region of Italy. With 500-foot-tall cliffs, quaint towns, fine dining in caves at the Grotta Palazzese Restaurant, must-see attractions, convenient access to the Island of Capri, and so much more, the Amalfi Coast is another bucket list gem. Plus, if you manage to tear yourself away from this legendary coastline, you have amazing cities like Naples, Pompeii, and Rome all within driving distance.

Santorini, Greece

This world-famous spot in Greece is just as breathtaking in real life as it is in photographs. With luxurious whitewashed houses, marvelous Aegean Sea views, life-changing sunsets, stunning points of interest, and an ancient volcano, Santorini will always be bucket list worthy. This is yet another romantic haven ideal for lovers and full of tradition, culture, delicious cuisine, and Mediterranean flare. A truly gorgeous locale, this Greek destination is also quite affordable, so there is no reason not to check out this island on your world tour.

Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands are teaming with adventure. There are several ways to explore this touristy hot spot, from trekking and kayaking to snorkeling and scuba diving. Made up of 19 separate islands, inlets, and rock formations, the Galápagos Islands is a nature lovers' paradise. Not only is there an abundance of wildlife, fascinating artifacts, unique history, and more here, but the Galápagos Islands are also located on both sides of the equator in both the northern and southern hemispheres — so being able to stand essentially in the middle of it all makes this destination truly unique.

New Zealand

 The small island country that is New Zealand is also brimming with excitement and adventure tourism. Known for its otherworldly scenery, New Zealand has remarkable wonders like the Fiordland National Park, breathtaking beaches, a larger-than-life volcano, and subtropical forests. In addition to the adrenaline rush style fun that awaits visitors here, they can also explore the unique native Māori Culture, peruse historical sites, and of course, "Lord of the Rings" fans have some fantastic filming and book location tours to embark on as well. With all this and more, New Zealand is definitely worth a trip at least once in your lifetime.

Ibiza, Spain

For travelers looking to experience legendary nightlife, partying to dawn, and ample beach and boating time, Ibiza is a must. This famous destination was made for thrills, fun, and celebrating life. So, if this sounds like your type of grand getaway, add this world-renowned party town to your to-do list. Besides the sensational nightlife and club scene, Ibiza has pristine beaches, crystal clear water, and delightful Mediterranean views. Ibiza is also known for its yoga retreats, history, world-class restaurants, and flourishing art scene.

Antibes, France

Part of the French Riviera, Antibes has incredible coastal views, castles, beaches, art, culture, plus cuisine, and is an all-around hipster paradise. Known for its more laid-back vibe and for being one of the crown jewels of the Riviera, Antibes is the perfect getaway spot for relaxation. Here, bucket list travelers can take it easy in lavish villas, partake in some world-renowned shopping, marvel at art galleries, explore 16th-century ruins, and live the good life while enjoying this fabulous French town's first-class marina and more.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Travelers bound for Peru should not pass up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Machu Picchu. Situated high in the stunning Andes Mountains in South America, adventurers will find the 15th-century Inca citadel in Peru. Here you can appreciate this wonderous site and tour a host of attractions like the Temple of the Sun and the Hut of the Caretaker of the Funerary Rock via a climb, hike, or on horseback. So history lovers, outdoorsy types, and really anyone looking to marvel at the extraordinary archaeological works of the Inca Empire should add this one to their list as well.

Bali, Indonesia

From stunning beaches, amenable weather, and majestic-looking landscapes to iconic temples and off-the-beaten-path exploration, Bali is definitely a bucket list destination. Bali offers visitors an exotic beach getaway that is peaceful and luxurious, all at a reasonable, budget-friendly price. Known for its relaxed culture and lively party scene, the Island of the Gods is a good time just waiting to happen. Plus, with its endless adventure (surfing, snorkeling, chasing waterfalls, unique attractions like the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, and more), Bali should definitely be on every traveler's list as there is something for everyone.

The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Of course, one cannot travel the globe and not see the Pyramids of Giza, so add this one to your list as well. One of the true world's wonders, the Pyramids of Giza, located in Cairo, Egypt, are undoubtedly impressive. The grand scale of the Pyramids' exterior, the adventure that awaits inside these ancient creations, and the Sphinx are definitely worth the travel time. And after you marvel at these monumental structures, several other points of interest and activities are available in the city of Cairo, such as The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, which is an expansive artifact treasure trove that you will not see anywhere else.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

There is nothing quite like the culture and lifestyle that makes up Dubai — with more ex-pats than natives calling this vibrant and lavish city home, Dubai practically speaks for itself. For visitors, the world-class shopping, year-round skiing, a wealth of theme parks, ample tourist attractions, lively nightlife scene, and the chance to experience this phenomenal city from atop the tallest building in the world — the Burj Khalifa —make Dubai just one more amazing destination that should be on your list.


This peaceful nation is an outdoorsy traveler's paradise with its black sand beaches, exceptional views of the Northern Lights, gorgeous and rugged outdoor spaces, untouched wilderness, ample opportunities for hiking, and geothermic swimming pools. Iceland also has quite the culinary scene, fascinating Viking history, rich folklore (elves, trolls, and more), friendly locals, a bustling nightlife, and iconic music. Besides all of this, Iceland is a safe destination that is not typically overrun with tourists. So you can absolutely have the time of your life here and check several musts off your adventure list.

Venice, Italy

This floating city is truly a gem. With its famous expansive canal systems and gondolas, Venice is brimming with culture and a history that dates all the way back to 421 A.D. In addition to its unique infrastructure and beautiful architecture, Venice is brimming with must-see attractions like the Ca' d'Oro, Palazzo Ducale, Museo Correr, and countless basilicas and churches. And for a city built atop 118 islands in a lagoon in the Veneto Region of Northeast Italy multiple millennia ago, this is downright impressive and makes Venice another destination that should be high up on your bucket list.

New York City

Undoubtedly one of the most popular U.S. cities, New York City is America's culture hub, fashion capital, major art scene, and culinary delight. So if you have not had the pleasure of experiencing the hustle and bustle of New York City before, then what are you waiting for? The Big Apple is full of things to do, incredible things to see, and there is so much ground to cover here that you will absolutely be back to keep enjoying all that this iconic bucket list destination has to offer.


Tokyo is another must because Japanese art, history, cuisine, and culture are simply divine, and this city is all about showcasing that and then some. With points of interest like the Sensō-ji Temple, Akihabara shopping area, the Ghibli Museum, the Meiji Jingu Shrine, Ueno Park, and Tokyo Disneyland — just to name a few, Tokyo is definitely a tour you will remember. Plus, with a fantastic day trip to Mount Fuji and other famous sights in Japan, Tokyo is a good home base for any explorer.


Tahiti is a breathtakingly beautiful destination in French Polynesia with once-in-a-lifetime tourist activities and adventure. With its spectacular beaches, including Lafayette Beach with its gorgeous black sand, stunning natural beauty, vast marine life, jungle tours, rich culture, gourmet French Polynesian cuisine, welcoming locals, and so much more, Tahiti is truly as captivating as it is entertaining. So make sure to add this destination to your to-do list— regardless of whether you are an avid solo wanderer or prefer to tackle this epic adventure with friends and family.


The entire city center of Rome is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so spending some time in this legendary destination is as bucket-list-worthy as they come. And once you are done marveling at all the architectural wonders and works of art, touring the remnants of the Roman Empire, exploring catacombs, and appreciating this amazing city in all its glory, then it is time to enjoy "la dolce vita" ("the sweet life"). With mouthwatering cuisine that will forever change how you look at Italian food not made in Rome and phenomenal wine pairings to boot, it is no wonder that all roads lead to Rome.

The Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

The Dalmatian Coast in Croatia is known for its crystal-clear waters, fantastic beaches, Mediterranean climate, and all-around beauty. That said, you can expect a healthy mix of outdoorsy fun, beach time, history, culture, and more. The Dalmatian Coast is littered with towns, including popular tourist spots Dubrovnik, Trogir, Hvar, Korcula, and Split. A definite well-rounded vacation that allows visitors a chance to choose their own adventure, the Dalmatian Coast is a great destination for any traveler.

New Orleans

New Orleans has all the makings of an amazing getaway and therefore is bucket-list-worthy, thanks to its vibrant culture, non-stop partying, history, the famed French Quarter, and the annual Mardi Gras festival. So whether you are a foodie, a history buff, a haunted history lover, an art enthusiast, or a fan of thrilling nightlife and live entertainment in all its forms, the Big Easy has something for you. And if one-of-a-kind adventuring is a must on your trip itinerary, then make sure to spend some time beyond the city limits and experience the legendary bayou.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney is truly a bucket list destination that is all its own — with its unique wildlife, incredible beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, fascinating history, magnificent architecture, the iconic Sydney Opera House, the Blue Mountains National Park, and a fantastic wine country just outside the city. Sydney is Australia's largest city, its capital, and is overflowing with things to see and experience. So as long as you do not mind a lengthy flight, then you should absolutely head to the Harbour City for a trip you will never forget.

Marrakech, Morocco

A vibrant desert oasis awaits travelers in Marrakesh, a city located at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and that is not even the half of it. The Red City offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in a diverse and rich way of life. From lavish accommodations and customary Moroccan steam baths to bustling city center areas like Medina, desert excursions, and flavorful cuisine, Marrakech is an enticing destination that should be on your roster, especially if you enjoy deep-diving into other cultures and traditions.

Cape Town, South Africa

There are so many reasons to visit Cape Town. Home to breathtakingly beautiful coastlines, Table Mountain, Table Bay, Cape Point, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, and the Victoria & Albert Waterfront, the Mother City is simply alluring and beyond bucket-list-worthy. With its beautiful scenery, rave-worthy beaches, abundant biodiversity, and lively culture, this city by the sea, or rather the ocean, is paradise. And when you factor in Cape Town's first-rate cuisine, incredible local wines, fabulous shopping, vibrant nightlife, and varied tourist activities, it is not hard to see why travelers looking for the trip of a lifetime should head to Cape Town.

Edinburgh, Scotland

With its castles, lore, enthralling history predating the Romans, the lush and culturally rich Highlands, picturesque landscapes, and phenomenal cuisine, Edinburgh is another hidden gem to add to your bucket list. Brimming with attractions, ample lochs, Michelin-star restaurants, whisky distilleries, pubs, Instagram-worthy architecture, and welcoming locals, one visit and you will see why Edinburgh is such a wonderful place. But that's not all — Edinburgh also knows how to put on quite the festival and party hard into the wee hours.

London, England

Also located in the UK, globetrotters will find London, England. This buzzing metropolis has no shortage of attractions, including favorites like the Tower of London, Big Ben, the British Museum, and the London Eye. There is also an abundance of activities, tours, theater productions, enticing events, and hidden wonders to discover here. London should be a bucket list stop on any traveler's agenda if you want to catch a glimpse of the royals, learn more about the city's fascinating history, revel in fun nightlife, enjoy countless afternoon tea experiences, get in some renowned shopping, or indulge in a truly amazing restaurant scene.


Tucked away in the Netherlands, the capital city of Amsterdam is a backpacking-across-Europe necessity for any wanderer. With iconic museums such as the Van Gogh Museum, a delightful ambiance, 60-plus miles of canals, lush parks and gardens, a robust café culture, and the famed Red Light District, the DAM is a travel destination that does not disappoint. Beyond the countless waterways and city center, Amsterdam is a bikeable place with lovely neighborhoods, a rave-worthy theater district, delicious cuisine, annual events, festivals, a multitude of touristy attractions, and picture-perfect outdoor spaces.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Said to be one of the happiest cities in the world, Copenhagen is both culturally rich and enchanting. In the City of Spires, bucket list travelers can marvel at all the unique artwork and architecture, appreciate its culinary landscape, peruse its many museums, and enjoy quite a few points of interest like the world's very first theme park. Copenhagen is committed to the Danish concept of "hygge" – a cozy and comfortable way of living, so visitors can expect to feel at home here.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is a coastal city in Portugal that is celebrated for its perfect blend of the old and new. One of the oldest capitals in Europe, Lisbon is just one more incredible spot on the map that is undoubtedly bucket list worthy. With its ornate architecture (landmarks, monuments, sculptures, and structures), robust culture, and energetic cityscape, the City of Seven Hills is a feast for the eyes. And when you add in this destination's phenomenal cuisine, full-bodied wines, lovely weather, awe-inspiring views, great beaches, and lively nightlife scene — all at an affordable price, you cannot deny that this actual city by the sea deserves a visit.

Budapest, Hungary

Last but not least, the Spa Capital of the World, also known as Budapest, is definitely bucket-list material because even die-hard adventurers need a little pampering, rest, and relaxation — especially if it is in any of Budapest's natural mineral springs, thermal pools, or the Szechenyi Baths. Of course, this grand European city has much more to offer, including medieval ruins, sightseeing galore, boat cruises on the Danube River, plus an impressive blend of cultures and styles. So, whether you choose to pamper yourself like never before in this wellness and history-rich destination or opt to make your way down the entire list, the world and all its bucket-list-worthy wonders await.