Considering how most of us have spent the past few years confined to the walls of our homes, there’s no better time to make the resolution to travel when it’s possible, with a bucket list of the most beautiful spots to check out. Here’s our pick of the 22 most beautiful locations around the world that you should check out in 2022. By Eshita Srinivas

The anticipation of a new year and the promise of new beginnings can inject even the most homebody of people with the travel bug. With the hope for all travel restrictions being lifted soon and things to go back to being as they were before COVID-19 hit the world, we’ve curated a list of the 22 best places you should add to your travel bucket list for 2022.

22 stunning spots worthy of being in your 2022 travel bucket list

1
Edinburgh, Scotland

With a 12th century castle right in the center of a bustling city, walking through the streets of Edinburgh feels like stepping into a historical romance novel. For the nature enthusiast, there’s no dearth of things to see from an extinct volcano, numerous waterways, large meadows, and mountains and a beach just a drive away from the main city. With numerous galleries, historical sites, and a thriving music scene, you’ll never get bored in the city. Let’s not forget, it’s also home to the largest arts festival, Fringe.

Best time to visit: June-August

2
Bali, Indonesia

Soft white sands, limestone cliffs, lush rice fields, secret canyons, and stunning waterfalls underscore every traveller’s time in Bali Indonesia. The island has a rich cultural heritage, which is evident through its music, dance, and architecture. Many traditional ceremonies are held every month and tourists are often encouraged to join in. There’s also no dearth of water sports on the island with opportunities to go surfing, snorkelling, or diving. And when you’re tired of engaging in all of the above, you could head to one of its many restaurants to get a taste of unique Balinese food.

Best time to visit: April-October

3
Yasawa Islands, Fiji

Breathtaking clear turquoise waters, lush forests, and white sand characterise Fiji. Yasawa Islands lie to the Northwest of the main island Viti Levu and promise every visitor an adventurous and scenic beach vacation. The place is devoid of banks or shops but offers the opportunity to swim with manta rays, explore underwater coral gardens, or visit spectacular caves. It’s no surprise that the region has been featured in several Hollywood movies and reality TV shows.

Best time to visit: October-November

4
Rome, Italy

Home to the most historical monuments, art, and architecture, Rome’s cultural game is so strong that the entire city is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s a small city, making it easy to explore on foot and enjoys mild, pleasant weather year-round. Head here to see Michelangelo’s stunning artwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or throw a coin into one of its many fountains to make your wish come true. 

Best time to visit: April-June, September-October

5
Leh, India

Nestled in the majestic Himalayas with the lush Kashmir Valley to its West and serene Tibetan valley to its East, the beauty of Leh, Ladakh is hard to put into words. Popularly known as the desert of the Himalayas, the region is home to numerous trekking points, traditional monasteries, and a stunning lake. Leh makes you work for a look at its landscaped vistas and travellers need to get acclimatized to the high altitude of the region while also staying physically fit. Thankfully, at the end of a long day of exploration, you can savour some warm, comforting Tibetan food at a local restaurant.

Best time to visit: April-June

6
Zurich, Switzerland

For pictures that look so beautiful they could be photoshopped, you’ve got to head to Switzerland’s largest city Zurich. This city is based on the foot of the Alps and is popular for delicious chocolates, extravagant shopping experiences, and numerous museums. You could hire a paddle boat to go across lake Zurich, sample traditional Swiss food at one of its many restaurants, or walk through the doors of one of its many bars and nightclubs for a drink. We recommend taking a walk through the Altstadt district, a beautiful area with streets that are lined with shops, homes from medieval times, and bustling cafes and restaurants.

Best time to visit: June-August

7
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

A UNESCO world heritage site, Ha Long Bay in the Quang Ninh Province consists of 1600 islands and islets, most of them uninhabited. The name “Ha Long” translates to the “Bay of Descending Dragons” and befits the mystical allure of the region’s emerald sea and limestone monoliths. You could go kayaking and scuba diving or visit one of its stalactite-laden caves. If there’s one place you shouldn’t miss out on when you’re in Southeast Asia, it’s this picturesque region.

Best time to visit: October-December

8
Barcelona, Spain

There’s no better place than Barcelona to witness incredible Gothic architecture, eat delicious tapas, and browse through works of eminent artists like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. The city also has a bustling live-music scene and several underground bars you can head to once you’ve shopped at the Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona’s most popular shopping neighborhood that houses brands like Gucci and Chanel. If you’re here at the right time, you might catch a game at Camp Nou, the stadium that’s home to the Barcelona Football Club.

Best time to visit: April-June

9
Jeju Island, South Korea

Known as South Korea’s Hawaii, Jeju Island has pristine emerald waters, stunning waterfalls, and sandy beaches. Locals and tourists alike flock to this region to scale the Hallasan Mountain, the country’s highest mountain which also happens to be a dormant volcano. On a cloudless day, the view from above is breathtaking and overlooks the entire island. Jeju is also known for its orange harvest and if you head there in the months of November-February, you could head to a farm to pick oranges and make some jam. Add this to your bucket list for the views and the experiences.

Best time to visit: November-May

10
Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto offers serene shrines, mystical samurai castles, a vibrant maiko and geisha culture, lush gardens, and multi-course kaiseki ryori meals. The cultural and historical base of Japan, you could spend days in the city just exploring and getting acquainted with the Shinto way of life. There are plenty of matcha-flavoured goodies like ice cream, cakes, cookies, and cream puffs that you can sample and when you’re back to your hotel after a long day, kick back with some traditional Japanese sake.

Best time to visit: March-May

11
Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand’s largest, most diverse city is an adventure-seeker’s paradise. Bungee jumpers frequently jump off the Sky Tower and the Harbour Bridge while hikers tend to head to the West Coast. Other heart-thumping activities that are popular in the city include sea kayaking, canyoning, and mountain biking. But that’s not all the city has to offer. It’s also home to several parks, beaches, dormant volcanoes, and nature reserves. Culture buffs can make their way to the numerous museums and art galleries in the region. A laid back day here would involve watching ships of several shapes and sizes from the harbour and then heading to a night market for a bite of some delicious food.

Best time to visit: March-May, September-November

12
Sydney, Australia

The crown jewel of the land down under, Sydney makes it possible for you to experience the excitement of a city and the serenity of a lazy day at the beach. All that, in just one day. What’s more is that the city is so diverse, travelling within it might leave you feeling like you’re in a different place every single time. You could be having an Aussie afternoon sun bathing at the Bondi beach one minute and walking down London-like streets of Paddington the next. You could explore the inner city parks and the world-renowned restaurants when you’re there. We recommend heading to the harbour which houses the world-famous Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

Best time to visit: September-November, March-May

13
Cairo, Egypt

If you haven’t already experienced all that Egypt, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, has to offer, then you’re missing out. Apart from the Pyramids of Giza, the only remaining ancient wonder, the region boasts of numerous tombs, the longest river in the world, and pristine beaches. Both the pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza are a drive away from Cairo and when you’re back from exploring these marvels, you could head to a restaurant to enjoy delicious local fare and be treated to some warm Egyptian hospitality.

Best time to visit: October-April

14
Thimpu, Bhutan

The Himalayan country that consistently ranks high in the World Happiness Report by the United Nations, there’s a magic to Bhutan that every person should experience at least once in their lives. A visit to the capital city of Thimpu is the best way to do it. It perfectly encapsulates the traditional and modern aspects of the country. For a taste of the former, you could visit the Tashicho Dzong, a 350-year-old monastery or the Simtokha Dzong, Thimphu’s oldest fortress. There are also museums you can head to, to better understand Bhutanese culture. Adventure enthusiasts can also go trekking in the mountains and cycle along several scenic routes. That’s not all, Thimphu also has a bustling nightlife.

Best time to visit: March-May, September-November

15
Salzburg, Austria

Birthplace of the famous composer Mozart, Salzburg is constantly alight with the tunes of street violinists and harpists rehearsing in the city’s historical squares. That, along with the fact that the city is surrounded by snow-capped mountains is reason enough for it to be added to every possible bucket list. A short vacation here would involve listening to live music, walking through streets filled with Baroque and medieval-style architecture, and visiting historical monuments including a monastery that dates back to the 5th century. If you’re here during Christmas, you could pop by the beautiful and bustling Christmas markets that Salzburg is popular for.

Best time to visit: September-December

16
Istanbul, Turkey

Turkey’s largest metropolis, Istanbul spans both Europe and Asia. It’s surrounded by the black sea and the sea of Marmara and was once home to the Ottoman, Byzantine, and Roman Empire. This makes the region diverse and culturally rich and Istanbul is filled with beautiful mosques, colourful palaces, several with mosaics and frescoes unlike any other culture. The people in this region are inviting and warm and the food scene is incredible with several restaurants and cafes offering local delights such as simit (sesame-encrusted bagel), doner meat wraps, or baklava. We recommend heading to a Turkish ice cream vendor for some fun tricks and delicious Dondurma, Turkish mastic ice cream.

Best time to visit: March-May, September-November

17
New York City, United States Of America

One of the best cities in the world to experience art, food, fashion, and the amalgamation of diverse cultures, New York City is worth a spot on every travel bucket list. You could spend an entire day browsing some of the best galleries in the world, take in a show at Broadway, or just take in the hustle and bustle of Times Square while blaring The Empire State of Mind by Alicia Keys and Jay Z through your airpods. We recommend grabbing a slice of the classic New York-style pizza at Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village.

Best time to visit: April-June, September-November

18
Alberta, Canada

The topography of Alberta is breathtaking, with the majestic Rocky mountains, beautiful wide prairies, pristine lakes, and beautiful waterfalls. The city is home to six UNESCO world heritage sites, more than any other spot in Canada. You could spend a day hiking and exploring the region’s natural beauty or learn about the rich Indegenous culture at sites used by Blackfoot hunters for at least 5,700 years. The region’s most popular event is the Stampede, which involves dressing up as a cowboy and watching the rodeo while eating bizarre street food like pizza on a stick, taco in a bag, and deep-fried butter.

Best time to visit: June-September

19
Kampot, Cambodia

A small town in Southern Cambodia at the base of the Green Elephant Mountains, Kampot has a laid back, sleepy vibe. It’s usually a stopover for travellers on the way to the Bokor National Park, an abandoned city with a casino, church, houses and ruins. However, the town has something to offer to travel-weary visitors who can head to one of its lovely riverfront bars or restaurants and enjoy a cocktail as the sun sets over the mountains and the Kampong Bay river. Days can be spent lazily walking through the villages, plantations, and paddy fields or exploring the surrounding caves. We recommend grabbing some fresh black, red, and white pepper from one of the town’s plantations.

Best time to visit: October-January

20
Amsterdam, Netherlands

The city of canals, bicycles, and beautiful art museums, no bucket list is complete without Amsterdam. The capital city of the Netherlands has some of the most beautiful traditional Renaissance structures and a host of things for visitors to do. You could visit the Van Gogh museum and stroll through the sunflower garden right outside, eat delicious stroopwafel from a cafe, and take in Anne Frank’s experience with a visit to the Anne Frank House, a museum telling the story of the Jewish diarist. At night, you could head to one of its many pubs for some beer and live music.

Best time to visit: April-May, September-November

21
Prague, Czech Republic

Home to the largest castle complex in the world, Prague is an architectural marvel. The Prague Castle consists of several buildings, including the gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, museums, churches, and the presidential palace. Once you’re done admiring the city’s architecture, you could pay your respects to writer Franz Kafka at the New Jewish Cemetery, visit beer gardens, or attend a music festival. You’re bound to have a packed itinerary when it comes to Prague.

Best time to visit: June-September

22
Mykonos, Greece

Great weather, pristine waters, golden sands, and pretty white windmills, a vacation in Mykonos will leave you with postcard-like pictures. You could spend days walking along the seafront in Little Venice while observing bougainvilleas pour out from balconies, eat your way through traditional Cycladian cuisine, shop for handmade bags and dresses at Amnesia, or go for a swim at Panormos beach. This popular tourist spot will not disappoint you.

So, which of these places is at the top of your bucket list? 

 

Related: Future Travels: 12 Bucket List Destinations For Solo Travel

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