You’ve probably heard of the term ‘kicking the bucket’? Pretty morbid, but it does make you think: what are some of the things you’d love to do before you kick the bucket.
Bucket lists feature adventures that seem as though they’re just too good to be true. Sometimes people only think of bucket list ideas as a dream.
Life is filled with all kinds of marvellous things, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be seeking out adventure, no matter where you are in life. It’s just standard human behavior.
Finding inspiration is the easy part; you just need the courage to take the step. This ultimate bucket list includes all kinds of adventures designed for those who simply want to add a little excitement to their familiar routines. As well as activities that take the meaning of a bucket list to new extremes.
Here are 170 bucket list ideas for those who love to travel.
170 Bucket List Ideas for Travelers
Table of Contents
- 170 Bucket List Ideas for Travelers
- 1. Dive At the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
- 2. Learn a Foreign Language
- 3. Cycle Over the Golden Gate Bridge
- 4. Go Skiing somewhere glamourous
- 5. Visit Lady Liberty
- 6. Experience the Northern Lights in Iceland
- 7. Drink at an Italian Wine Bar in Montepulciano
- 8. Fly Over the Grand Canyon
- 9. Go on an African Safari
- 10. Swim with Pink Pigs in Exuma, Bahamas
- 11. Walk along the Great Wall of China
- 12. Look over Seattle from the top of the Space Needle
- 14. Climb the UK’s Highest Mountain, Ben Nevis in Scotland
- 15. Marvel at the Hoover Dam
- 16. Visit Chichen Itza in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula
- 17. Visit the ancient city of Petra in Jordan
- 18. Machu Picchu in Cuzco Peru
- 19. Look over Rio from the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil
- 20. See the Colosseum in Rome
- 21. Sit on the Diana bench at the Taj Mahal in India
- 22. See Niagara Falls from either side
- 23. Meet Someone You Love at the top of the Empire State Building
- 24. The Amalfi Coast in Italy
- 25. See the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
- 26. Watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- 27. Drive the A87 and B roads around the top east side of The Isle of Skye in Scotland
- 28. Discover an Underground Cenote in Tulum
- 29. Plan a Great American Road Trip
- 30. Island Hop in Indonesia
- 31. Watch Whales in Hermanus South Africa
- 32. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride over Cappadocia Turkey
- 33. See the Garden of the Future in Singapore
- 34. The Mosaics of Ravenna, Italy
- 35. Wonder how Stonehenge was created
- 36. Look up at the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
- 37. Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain in Rome
- 38. Take the Southwest Coastal Drive 300 Route in Scotland
- 39. Fly over the Grand Canyon
- 40. Take a boat trip in Iceland’s Iceberg Lagoon
- 41. See the Sydney Opera House in Australia
- 42. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia
- 43. Visit the World’s Oldest Republic, San Marino
- 44. Walk Around Uluru in Australia
- 44. Climb up Gaudi’s Unfinished Masterpiece in Spain
- 45. Visit the World’s most famous palace – Buckingham Palace in England
- 46. Hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa
- 47. Go for a swim at Bondi Beach in Australia
- 48. Look out over Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower
- 49. Hear Big Ben Chime
- 50. Eat in Bologna Italy
- 51. See the The Twelve Apostles in Australia
- 52. Sail through Halong Bay in Vietnam
- 53. Go to the Opera in Verona, Italy
- 54. See the end of the Pilgrimage in Santiago de Compostela, Spain
- 55. Get Naked in a Sap in Baden Baden, Germany
- 56. See Mostar Bridge in Bosnia
- 57. Visit all things Gaudi in Barcelona Spain
- 58. Climb Mount Fuji in Japan
- 59. Watch the sunset over NYC from the Brooklyn Bridge
- 60. Watch the sunrise in Paris
- 61. Watch Tower Bridge open up over the Thames River in London
- 62. Watch the sunset in Santorini, Greece
- 63. See the limestone cliffs of Kotor in Montenegro
- 64. Experience Hopewell Rocks in Canada at low and high tide
- 65. See the Mona Lisa smile at The Louvre in Paris
- 64. Visit the Rainbow River in Colombia
- 65. Stay in a Thai Spa
- 66. Dress up in a kimono or as a warrior in Japan
- 67. Look at the view over London from the top of St Paul’s Cathedral
- 68. Watch the sunset from Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
- 69. Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan
- 70. Visit Banff National Park in Canada
- 71. Visit the World’s Oldest Buddhist Temple in Myanmar
- 72. Visit Everest Base Camp from Nepal or China
- 73. See the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty at Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
- 74. Visit Edinburgh Castle in Scotland
- 75. See where Dracula was imprisoned at Corvin Castle in Romania
- 76. See one of the best located castles in the world, Lake Bled Castle in Slovenia
- 77. Visit the Acropolis in Athens Greece
- 78. Smell the Lavender Fields of Provence France
- 79. Walk through the Gates of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, Japan
- 80. Stand under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
- 81. Look out from the Highest Building in the world in Dubai
- 82. Visit the Korean Demilitarised Zone
- 83. Visit the Parthenon in Athens, Greece
- 84. Travel Solo
- 85. See the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles in France
- 86. See the Monasteries of Meteora in Greece
- 87. Walk the streets of Venice in Italy
- 88. Spend the night at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
- 89. See where East Meets West in Istanbul, Turkey
- 90. Go Ice Skating on The Rideau Canal in Ottawa
- 91. Visit St Petersburg in Russia
- 92. See the Alhambra in Spain
- 93. Spend at least a weekend in Las Vegas
- 94. Drink the US’s best Cabernet in Livermore California
- 95. Visit Yosemite National Park in California
- 96. Go on The Sound of Music Tour in Austria
- 97. Take the Golden Circle Tour in Iceland
- 98. Watch the sunset in Ibiza Spain
- 99. See the Feria de las Flores in Medellin Colombia
- 100. Have a singing bowl treatment in the Himalayas
- 101. Eat one of the world’s cheapest Michelin star meals in Hong Kong
- 102. Have a massage in Ubud, Bali
- 103. See the world’s second-biggest canyon in Namibia
- 104. Climb Dune 45 in Sossusvlei Namibia
- 105. Drink wine in Stellenbosch South Africa
- 106. Fly Business Class
- 107. Stay in a resort in Samoa
- 108. Take a Melbourne Tram in Australia
- 109. Go on a Borough Market Food Tour in London
- 110. Get a selfie with a Quokka on Rottnest Island in Australia
- 111. Watch the Ads in Picadilly Circus England
- 112. Marvel at Pompeii Italy
- 113. See The Angel of the North England
- 114. Cross the Rialto Bridge Venice
- 115. Feel like an excited kid at Miniatur Wonderland Germany
- 116. Walk the Glassdome at the Reichstag Berlin Germany
- 117. Walk up the Spanish Steps Italy
- 118. Visit Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) Germany
- 119. Look out through the lattice window at The Bridge of Sighs Italy
- 120. Have an extremely expensive coffee on Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square) Italy
- 121. Return to Ancient Times at The Roman Forum Italy
- 122. Tell a lie with your hand in the Bocca Della Verita (Mouth of Truth) Italy
- 123. Have a Big Night Out in New Orleans, Louisiana
- 124. See Strasbourg Cathedral France
- 125. See the Magna Carta at the British Museum England
- 126. Spend the night at the World’s Largest Log Cabin
- 127. See the Piazza Navona Fountains Italy
- 128. Drive on Water on the Seven Mile Bridge in Florida
- 129. See the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore Italy
- 130. Visit the Berlin Wall Germany
- 131. Watch water go backward at Saint John’s Reversing Falls
- 132. Ride The London Eye England
- 133. Have a beer at Eagle’s Nest Germany
- 134. Take Vaporetto 1 along the Canalazzo (The Grand Canal) Italy
- 135. See where the Normandy Landings happened in France
- 136. See The Hollywood Sign, The United States
- 137. See Berlin from its TV Tower, Germany
- 138. See the Terracotta Army
- 139. Walk down Las Rambla, Spain
- 140. See inside the Forbidden City, China
- 141. Attend mass at St Peter’s Basilica, Italy
- 142. Take in the natural beauty of the Cliffs of Moher
- 143. Drink Guinness in Dublin
- 144. See a Football Match at Wembley Stadium, England
- 145. Marvel at the Bungle Bungle Range, Australia
- 146. Go to a concert at The O2, England
- 147. See the Giant’s Causeway, Ireland
- 148. Kiss Blarney Stone, Ireland
- 149. Take a road trip along the Ring of Kerry, Ireland
- 150. See where The Titantic was Built, Ireland
- 151. Visit The Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain
- 152. Visit the Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil
- 153. Take a Cable Car up Sugar Loaf Mountain, Brazil
- 154. Sunbake on Copacabana Beach, Brazil
- 155. Fly Over Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe & Zambia
- 156. Take a hot air balloon over Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
- 157. See the Great Migration Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya (or the Serengeti, Tanzania)
- 158. See or Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
- 159. Climb or Cable Car to the top of Table Mountain, South Africa
- 160. Walk The Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
- 161. Visit Tuttenkhaman’s Tomb at The Valley of the Kings, Egypt
- 162. Go on a camel trek in the Sahara Desert, North Africa
- 163. Ride along the Nile River on a Feluca, Egypt
- 164. Take a boat trip in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
- 165. See the Big 5 in the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
- 166. Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
- 167. Visit Timbuktu, Mali
- 168. Go shopping in the Marrakech Medina, Morocco
- 169. Do a Cognac Tasting in a Cognac House in, of course, Cognac
- 170. Drink Wine at the Cite Du Vin in Bordeaux, France
- What Are You Waiting For?
Instead of just putting a thought on hold, get your ideas on paper and make your dreams a reality. If you have the opportunity to do at least one of these activities, don’t think twice about it. Add it to your bucket list and get your adventure started!
1. Dive At the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
There are many fantastic reasons why you should dive into the world’s largest reef, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, starting with the superb opportunity to swim alongside tropical fish.
The coral reefs are home to 1,500 different fish species but don’t be surprised if you encounter green sea turtles, jellyfish, and the white-tipped reef shark along the way.
This Australian landmark boasts incredible diving and snorkelling opportunities, with various tour operators taking care of all your equipment needs. Choose how you explore the reef based on your personality and preferences.
If exploring underwater isn’t your kind of adventure, the coast of Australia is teeming with catamarans and yachts. See the views from above water and catch seabirds soaring above the ocean.
2. Learn a Foreign Language
You probably haven’t had enough time to learn a new language while exploring a new country. Apps like Duolingo allow you to learn a new language from the comfort of your couch.
And while it’s never easy learning a new language, it can be so rewarding when travelling to a foreign destination.
3. Cycle Over the Golden Gate Bridge
Possibly one of the most iconic bridges in America, this spectacular red bridge is picture perfect and fittingly used as the backdrop for many San Francisco postcards.
It stretches over nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) over the narrow strait connecting San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. And once you’ve arrived, be sure to check out these restaurants in San Francisco.
The bridge was completed in 1937 and was considered an engineering marvel at the time. There are many interesting facts about the Golden Gate Bridge. One of the most fascinating is that the bridge can bend.
A bridge walk marked the 50th anniversary of the bridge, and the weight of 300 000 people caused the bridge to sag 7 feet under and flatten the arch.
⇒ Interested in heading to California? Check out my posts on Unique Restaurants in San Francisco, Things to do in Calistoga review of the great Solage Spa, visiting Yosemite in One Day, 10 Stunning Sunsets in California and in Yosemite in October and my guide to a Livermore Wine Tasting.
4. Go Skiing somewhere glamourous
For those of you living in Europe and Canada, skiing might seem like an everyday activity. But for those living in a warmer climate, the magic of snow is ever-present.
Whether it’s the idea of skiing along dreamy slopes or hiding away in a snowy cabin, a winter wonderland vacation is a must.
There’s no need to worry about being a beginner either. Almost all resorts offer ski lessons to teach you the ways of the trails.
Top ski resorts for an icy vacation:
- Whistler Blackcomb, North America
- Courchevel, France
- Zermatt, Switzerland
- Aspen Snowmass, Colorado
- Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy
- Niseko, Japan
5. Visit Lady Liberty
Arguably, the Statue of Liberty is the most iconic landmark in North America. Lady Liberty has her own island within New York City. This copper statue was originally a gift to the United States from France.
The statue’s metal framework was designed by Gustave Eiffel, also responsible for one of the most famous landmarks in France the Eiffel Tower.
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886 but holds a tablet inscribed with the date of US independence, July 4 1776. A broken shackle and chains lie at her feet, a symbol of the recent abolition of slavery in the United States.
The statue became a symbol of freedom, particularly as it was often the first sight of the USA seen by incoming immigrants.
Today, at least 4 million people a year visit the Statue of Liberty. There is no charge for entrance to the monument but there is a cost to take the ferry from Manhattan to Liberty Island. The ferry also stops at Ellis Island.
If you wish to climb up to the crown, paid tickets must be booked in advance.
Book your Statue of Liberty tickets here – including Skip the Queue Options.
6. Experience the Northern Lights in Iceland
Instead of setting your mind on seeing the Northern Lights, think of the travelling experience as an Aurora hunt. For seeing the Northern Lights, you’ll need long nights and quite a bit of luck. But it’s all made fun with snowmobiles and minibuses trailing through snowy forests in search of the colourful lights.
One of the best ways to give yourself the best chance of seeing the lights is to choose your accommodation wisely. I spent one week in Iceland and saw the Northern Lights twice at my hotels so check out my post on the best hotels in Iceland to see the Northern Lights.
7. Drink at an Italian Wine Bar in Montepulciano
Montepulciano is quite frankly heaven for wine lovers. This stunning hilltop Tuscan town is ridiculously beautiful and it is just filled with wine. Wineries, red wine, white wine, wine cellars, oak casks, wine shops, wine bars – it really is just wine-tastic! There are so many wineries in Montepulciano.
In addition to all that wine, Montepulciano is also a beautiful hilltop town. It is pedestrianised and full of small steep streets oozing with atmosphere – and some amazing restaurants and wine bars.
The main square of Montepulciano sits right at the top of the town and has a beautiful church and tower.
Read more in my post on the best 12 Best Wineries in Montepulciano and 7 Romantic Tuscany Boutique Hotels.
8. Fly Over the Grand Canyon
Massive expanses of gorges, intricate rock formations, and all kinds of ridges leave even the grandest of travellers blown away by the Grand Canyon. Walk to the edges of the formations and experience otherworldly views.
The Grand Canyon is divided into two regions. Visitors can choose to visit the South or North Rim, with the journey between them lasting around 4.5 hours. The Trans Canyon Shuttle runs daily. As well as lookout points, the Grand Canyon is a beloved hiking destination, comprising some of the country’s top trails.
Top Tip: Camping trips, rapid rafting, or spending the night at Phantom Ranch require you to have the necessary permits. During the summer season, these permits can be hard to come by. Once you’ve added the Canyons to your bucket list, it’ll be time to get the plan rolling.
9. Go on an African Safari
Escaping into the wilderness is something you have to do at least once in your lifetime. It’s a chance to sleep under a blanket of stars while listening to the sounds of nature. Sunrise game drives set the scene for catching the wildlife’s morning ventures, while sunset drives reveal hunting lions and grazing rhinos.
But you’ll also come across tented camps that allow you to live off the grid. While these tents are simple, they’re as close to wildlife as it gets.
Whether you’ve set yourself up for seeing the Big 5, hot-air ballooning over the savannah, or witnessing the Great Migration, a safari never disappoints. I highly recommend starting your safari experiences in South Africa. It is perfect for honeymooners or those looking for a safari spa experience.
10. Swim with Pink Pigs in Exuma, Bahamas
Because how often do you get the chance to swim in crystal clear waters with adorable swimming pigs? No one knows how these pigs made their way to the island, but some think that sailors brought these animals on board decades ago.
There are now around 20 of them wandering along the shores and snacking on treats left by islanders. Embark on a boat trip through to the Exuma Cays, where the piggies greet you.
There’s so much more to Exuma than swimming pigs. Discover secret sand bars, feast on seafood at Eddie’s Edgewater Grill or dance the night away at Chat’n Chill.
11. Walk along the Great Wall of China
The ‘Seven Wonders’ were originally deemed the wonders of the ancient world. Today, a new and updated set of wonders have been created. More than 100 million votes have been cast to determine what should make it onto the list.
This ancient series of walls and fortifications were built around 500 years ago in Northern China. Estimates of its length vary greatly from 1,500 kilometres to more than 15,000 kilometres.
There is actually more than one Great Wall of China. The walls are often in bits and not necessarily as magnificent as the photos we often see. There is a huge variety in the state of sections of the wall from the well maintained to very wild portions which have been taken over by nature.
The sections of the wall around Bejing have ancient precedents, some of which are underneath the wall.
Spring and Fall are generally the best times to visit the Great Wall of China. The wall crosses nine provinces and the four most recommended sections to visit are around Bejing.
Do check the section that you are planning to visit as there can be large variations in fitness levels needed to visit and walk different sections of the Great Wall of China.
12. Look over Seattle from the top of the Space Needle
This Seattle icon was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair. The futuristic design was inspired by Space Age aspirations. The Seattle Space Needle is located at Seattle Centre and provides 360 degree views of some of Seattle’s most scenic sights such as Mount Rainier and Puget Sound.
Today the Seattle Space Needle offers an all-glass floor and an open-air deck. The floor to ceiling glass also offers an outdoor observation deck with open air glass walls and glass benches.
The Oculus is a steel, wood, and glass staircase that connects the all-glass upper deck with a rotating glass floor. This glass floor offers a unique downward view of the Seattle Space Needle.
There are several different options for tickets. The Seattle City Pass includes the Space Needle. Or pre-book a skip the line ticket.
14. Climb the UK’s Highest Mountain, Ben Nevis in Scotland
Sure Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK. But it’s up and back in the day. And I’ve done Kilimanjaro. I’d climbed Snowdon the year before and whilst it was a big day it was manageable.
I really didn’t think climbing Ben Nevis would be that big a deal. I was very wrong.
Fort William is the outdoor capital of the United Kingdom. There is rock climbing, ice climbing in the winter, trekking, canoeing, kayaking – you name it and Fort William probably offers it.
The reason that Fort William has become the outdoor capital of the United Kingdom is that it is home to Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis.
I have written a separate blog post on climbing Ben Nevis which I highly recommend you read if you’re interested in taking on the mountain.
The key things to remember are that the weather can change unbelievably fast, it is quite a challenging climb and I highly recommend you go with a guide or in a group.
15. Marvel at the Hoover Dam
This concrete dam is on the border between Nevada and Arizona. The Hoover Dam was constructed during the great depression in the early 1930s.
Named after then President Hebert Hoover, it was opened by President Franklin Roosevelt.
In the early 1930s an entire city was built to home the 5000 workers on the dam, Boulder City.
The Hoover Dam created the largest reservoir in the US, Lake Mead. Today, Lake Mead not only supplies water to 3 states and Mexico it is also a popular tourist site. Today, nearly one million people visit the Hoover Dam each year.
The Hoover Dam structure is very art deco and cool – even the toilets! The highlight of visiting the dam is heading down 600 feet and seeing the turbines and learning about how they used water to cool the concrete so it would set faster and a whole bunch of ingenious and amazing things that were done to make this dam work.
The Hoover Dam is a half-day trip from Las Vegas. It takes about one hour to get to Hoover Dam and the total trip is 4 ½ hours.
⇒ Book your Hoover Dam Tour
16. Visit Chichen Itza in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula
Chichén Itzá is a Mayan city that once thrived in the 9th and 10th centuries. Now visitors can marvel at the ruins and get a feel for the ancient city life. Within the same area, visit sinking cenotes, temples, and pyramids.
17. Visit the ancient city of Petra in Jordan
Visit the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, once populated by 3,000 civilians, that is nestled along mountains and cliffs. The first view of The Treasury in this pink hidden city is unforgettable as is the view from the top of The Monastery.
18. Machu Picchu in Cuzco Peru
Explore the mysterious Incan citadel and experience sensational views from atop the hill. As a UNESCO heritage site and one of the most awe-inspiring destinations globally, travelling to Machu Picchu isn’t cheap nor simple, but it’s more than worth it; after all, it is a bucket list destination.
19. Look over Rio from the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil
This vast statue of Jesus stands atop Mount Corcovado, dating back to just after World War 1. With 6 million tiles making up the colossal statue, Christ the Redeemer has an aura of uniqueness. And as it’s in a city as popular as Rio, it’s not an activity that’ll require much planning.
20. See the Colosseum in Rome
Damaged by the natural elements, the Colosseum is the largest structure surviving from ancient Rome. A visit to the Colosseum is another item that must be ticked off your bucket list. You’ll also be in one of the most historically rich cities in the world and a foodies paradise.
21. Sit on the Diana bench at the Taj Mahal in India
Widely considered to be the most beautiful building every made, the Taj Mahal is located in Agra in India. Legend has it that Shah Jahan’s favourite wife made him promise on her death bed to create the most beautiful mausoleum ever imagined.
The Taj Mahal was built between 1631 and 1648. Stone masons and artists came from all over India and from as far as Iraq to create the marble building. In addition to the beauty of the white marble the Taj Mahal there are many semi precious stones, carvings and other beautiful details throughout the mausoleum.
The domes of the Taj Mahal are framed by four minarets. Two red sandstone buildings are also located on either side of the building.
All of these buildings are located in the lovely gardens of the Taj Mahal as well as the stunning reflecting pool.
It is possible to visit the Taj Mahal on a day trip from Delhi. It opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes before sunset. It is closed on Fridays.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online. Choose your date on line and either a morning or afternoon entry.
22. See Niagara Falls from either side
Famed for its grand allure, Niagara Falls is one of Canada’s most visited landmarks. The land that encompasses the falls is split between Canada and the state of New York, in the United States. It features three waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.
Horseshoe Falls is the only one of the three that resides in Canada. It’s also the largest. It drops roughly 57 metres down and is an impressive 790 metres wide.
As you can imagine, this famous Canadian landmark is an incredible place to witness the true beauty and power of nature first hand.
⇒ Book a ticket for the observation deck of Niagara Falls.
23. Meet Someone You Love at the top of the Empire State Building
This 102 story Art Deco building in midtown Manhattan was built over 1930 and 1931. The name comes from the nickname for the state of New York – the Empire State.
The Empire State Building stands 443 metres tall including its antenna. For many years it was the world’s tallest building. Today it has slipped down the list to be the 48th tallest building in the world and is only the 7th tallest building in New York City.
Many of the landmarks in this post have had major Hollywood careers but perhaps none more so than the Empire State Building. From King Kong to An Affair to Remember to Sleepless in Seattle, this North America landmark is a true star.
It is possible to visit the Empire State Building and head up to its famous decks with amazing views over Manhattan and the outer boroughs. Choose whether to head to the 82nd floor or all the way to the 102nd floor.
24. The Amalfi Coast in Italy
The idyllic weather, charming streets and natural beauty have been drawing people from all parts of the globe to the Amalfi Coast. The mountainous coast is dotted with magical vacation homes, hotels and restaurants.
Travelling to the coast between May and October provides you with vibey streets, fantastic weather, cultural events and warm waters. Naturally, the streets and beaches are buzzing with tourists, which means that booking accommodation and transportation is absolutely essential.
The coast is the perfect place for spending an extended trip. The area is made up of 13 different municipalities, each deemed a UNESCO heritage site. Exploring each area reveals new towns with different traditions and aesthetics.
25. See the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The pyramids are one of the most recognizable structures in the world. As well as being a site worth seeing, the history behind them is just as important. They pay a huge tribute to Egypt‘s Pharaonic rulers and symbolize how strong of a civilization Egypt must have been.
Iconic pyramids to visit are the Great Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Menkaure, Pyramid of Khafre and the Sphinx. Surrounding these structures are cemeteries that hold the tombs of queens and a daughter of the Pharaoh.
Booking yourself a tour is crucial to visit the pyramids. You’ll need a tour guide to share Egypt’s history, the incredible facts, and the construction of the last of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Ancient World’.
26. Watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat, Cambodia
This enormous Buddhist temple is located in the north of Cambodia. As it is spread over 400 acres it is said to be the largest religious monument in the world. It was first built in the 12th century as a Hindu temple.
Over the coming centuries Angkor Wat became used less commonly as a place of worship and fell into disrepair. In the 18th century it was rediscovered by a French explorer, Henri Mouhot.
Angkor Wat was built from sandstones and its 15 foot walls protect over 200 acres within the temple. Plus it has a very photogenic moat.
Angkor Wat became a UNESCO listed site in 1992 and today receives more than 500,000 visitors a year. The nearest town is Siem Reap, which was pretty much built to support visitors to Angkor Wat.
The key time of day to visit Angkor Wat is sunrise. However, you will find that the site is extremely busy at this time of day. Most of the tourist buses will pull away as soon as the sun has risen so that visitors can return to breakfast at their hotels. This is the time to stay at Angkor Wat as it becomes quite still and rather magical.
27. Drive the A87 and B roads around the top east side of The Isle of Skye in Scotland
The scenery in this area of the Isle of Skye was absolutely majestic – although of course, it was constantly changing with the weather.
Depending on the weather your first stop can be Quiraing – a very scenic rock formation. There is a walk to the prison but the weather was not on my side so we didn’t risk it.
The Old Man of Storr is also great for photos and is perhaps the most famous walk on the Isle of Skye as well as its icon. The Isle of Skye is one of the highlights of this Scotland Itinerary 7 Days.
Driving along the coast and you’ll then hit the stunning and windy Kilt Rock – so named as it does resemble a tartan print. Then head inland to the picturesque Fairy Glen.
Movies have been filmed here and it does have a genuinely magical feel – and a lot of sheep.
28. Discover an Underground Cenote in Tulum
Cenotes are sinkholes that have been naturally created when a cave collapses in on itself. While that may sound like a disaster, it leaves crystal clear waters and limestone formations exposed. You can hop into these cenotes and explore underwater caves that are soaked in beauty.
Tulum is well-renowned for its cenotes, some of which are open and can be seen above ground, while others are hidden underground.
Adventures to the caves allow travellers with all levels of experience to explore the waters, with expert divers able to travel deep into the caves. Those new to snorkelling can explore the cenotes with experienced guides.
Top tip: Your time in Tulum means you can tick two bucket list items off your list. From Tulum, Chichén Itzá is only a two-hour drive.
29. Plan a Great American Road Trip
If you’ve ever dreamed about exploring a country by car, there’s no better place to start than America. While it might sound like it’s an adventure for hippies, luxury RV rentals provide you with all the creature comforts for a trip around the states.
Diverse routes take you through National Parks, alongside the Mississippi River, the Florida Keys and funky towns. Each of these routes hold their own unique attractions and spots for sightseeing.
Apart from finding the perfect RV rental, you’ll need to be on the lookout for stopover spots. Various national parks, campsites and RV stopovers allow you to park overnight, where you can enjoy breathtaking views and a safe spot to spend the night.
30. Island Hop in Indonesia
Indonesia and the neighbouring islands attract water babies for all kinds of reasons. Surfers have the opportunity to surf in a world-class destination, while snorkelers couldn’t find a better location for a vacation spent exploring the waters.
With around 17,000 islands, you’re spoilt for choice when creating your island-inspired bucket list. Many islanders choose to rent houseboats and spend some time on the water. Others prefer the idea of chartering a boat to explore a number of islands.
Monkey Forest, rice paddy fields, swings in the forest, and volcano hiking trails await back on land. You’ll find that you’re not spending as much money as you would on other vacations. Indonesia can be an affordable destination if you plan on keeping it relatively simple.
31. Watch Whales in Hermanus South Africa
Hermanus is a lovely coastal area of South Africa about a 90-minute drive from Cape Town. It is the home of the Southern Right Whales from June to December which is the best time for whale watching in Hermanus South Africa.
The whales migrate from the Antarctic around June for mating and breeding. The area has been recognised by the World Wildlife Fund and Whale Watching Hermanus is one of the 12 best places whale watching destinations in the world.
This region of South africa is also ridiculously beautiful! And there are more animals to see besides whales – African Penguins – and some jawdropping walks and drives.
32. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride over Cappadocia Turkey
Stunning Cappadocia is a national park in the middle of Turkey. It is famous for its beautiful landscapes and its fairy chimneys. Much of Cappadocia looks like another world.
The best way to experience Cappadocia is in a hot air balloon as the sun rises. Not only will you have stunning views of the valleys of Cappadocia, but you will also see the beautiful sight of many hot air balloons dotting the sky.
33. See the Garden of the Future in Singapore
Gardens by the Bay was my Singapore highlight and is perhaps my favourite landmark in Asia. Sure it is a massive tourist attraction but it is fantastic. I particularly loved the sci-fi trees.
Gardens by the Bay is such a mix of garden meets futuristic design. Most importantly it provides many photo opportunities.
First up at Gardens by the Bay was the Flower Dome. The domes are the same type of thing you find at the Eden Project in Cornwall. The Flower Dome Singapore is focused of course on flowers and plant life. It is pretty but this one is definitely more of a thrill if you have a green thumb.
One thing I didn’t do which would have been great was to visit Pollen. This is a Jason Atherton restaurant in the middle of the Flower Dome. I love his restaurants and it would have been great to have a meal in the middle of the Flower Dome – next time.
Singapore does a great job of putting fab restaurants in its major tourist sights (see the National Orchid Park).
I far preferred the Cloud Forest Dome at Gardens by the Bay. The Cloud Forest houses a mountain of sorts and features the highest indoor waterfall in the world.
The path essentially takes you to the top of the mountain and you then head down some fantastic stairways to “climb” down the mountain (not a good one if you have a fear of heights as it is very open).
Next up was a walk down to the Supertrees. The Gardens by the Bay Supertrees were my favourites in terms of photography. The key was trying to get the right angle and as always the right light.
The Supertrees look best with a very blue sky behind them. I paid the $8 to do the OCBC Skyway and this was well worth it. This is basically an outdoor bridge between the supertrees and was the best way to get some great shots.
Gardens by the Bay is one site that you definitely want to book ahead as the queues can be massive! This skip the queue ticket covers entry to the Sky Garden, the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest Dome, and the OCBC Skyway.
⇒ Skip the Queue tickets for Gardens by the Bay
⇒ If you’re planning a trip to Singapore check out my post on how to spend One Day in Singapore: Hidden Gems and Classics.
34. The Mosaics of Ravenna, Italy
Lovely Ravenna was the capital of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until 476. As such it has some stunning architecture which has been very well preserved and is home to several UNESCO sites.
But best of all Ravenna has mosaics. I had heard about the mosaics of Ravenna and in all honesty I had never been particularly excited about them. Until I visited Ravenna.
The Basilica di San Vitale, the Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo and the Galla Placidia Mausoleum all feature what can only be described as jaw droppingly beautiful mosaics over very large areas.
Plus Ravenna is a charming city with lots to explore and some wonderful restaurants.
35. Wonder how Stonehenge was created
Built over 5,000 years ago, the stone circle for which Stonehenge is best known was erected around 2,500 BC. Each stone is about 4 metres high, just over 2 metres wide and weighs about 25 tons.
Stonehenge is owned by the Crown but managed by English Heritage and became a UNESCO site in 1986. Today nearly 1 million visitors head to Stonehenge each year and crowds flock to see the Winter and Summer solstices set in each year.
It is possible to visit Stonehenge for free but alas you will struggle to capture a good photo from that distance. The standard tour of Stonehenge involves a 2.6 mile one way circular path with a handset filling you in on the history of Stonehenge.
The tour does bring visitors quite close to Stonehenge so it is possible to get some great photos. As always queues at Stonehenge can be lengthy so you may want to book a skip the line ticket for Stonehenge.
36. Look up at the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in Vatican City. The chapel was restored between 1473 and 1481. However, it was between 1508 and 1512 that Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the chapel in what is regarded as one of the most significant artistic accomplishments of all time.
Today the Sistine Chapel is where the papal enclave is held. This is the process by which a new pope is selected.
It is not possible to visit The Sistine Chapel on its own – you must have a ticket for the Vatican Museums. The Sistine Chapel is actually free to visit once you have a ticket for the Vatican.
⇒ Book your skip the line ticket for the Vatican.
37. Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain in Rome
The Trevi Fountain is located at a junction of three roads and was one of the original sources of water in Ancient Rome. A competition was held in the 1700s by Pope Clement XII for a new design for the fountain. Nicola Salvi was awarded the prize.
The Trevi Fountain was finished in 1762, 11 years after Salvi died. Work on the fountain was completed by four other sculptors. More recently restorations have been conducted in 1988, 1998 and 2013.
Legend has it that if you throw one coin into the Trevi Fountain you will return to Rome. Two coins mean that you will return to Rome and you will fall in love. Three coins mean you will return to Rome, find love and marry.
The coin is supposed to be thrown by the right hand over the left shoulder for maximum results. In 2016 about USD$1.5 million was thrown into the Trevi Fountain. The money goes to the needy of Rome.
The Trevi Fountain is free to visit and gets very busy. The hours between midday and 7 pm tend to be the busiest so do try to avoid them. The fountain lights up once the sun goes down which can make for some lovely photos.
38. Take the Southwest Coastal Drive 300 Route in Scotland
Any stories about driving around Scotland normally focus on the justifiably wonderful North Coast 500 road which runs through the jaw-droppingly beautiful Scottish Highlands
The Southwest Coast Drive 300 Scotland route is considerably less well known – but in many ways just as beautiful.
The route is just over 300 miles and is circular so you can start it in many different spots. A good place to start the South West Coast Drive 300 is Lockerbie.
The South West Scotland 300 can then be followed to Dumfries and then all along the coast to the Mull of Galloway and back up through Girvan.
Read more about Scotland’s least visited region in my post on 11 Things to do in Dumfries and Galloway.
39. Fly over the Grand Canyon
Both the largest and the longest canyon in the world, the Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 6,000 feet deep and 18 miles wide. Carved by the Colorado River, the canyon is located in Arizona.
The Grand Canyon has built up over nearly two billion years. Scientists believe that that the Colorado River established a path through the canyon about 5 to 6 million years ago (give or take a few hundred thousand years).
As the Grand Canyon is so large there are many ways to visit. It is located within a national park and a digital pass for entrance to the park can be purchased online.
The key regions of the park are the South Rim and the North Rim. There is both lodging and camping in the park and options for trekking as well as driving. The majority of the park’s 5.5 million visitors each year head to the South Rim. (The South Rim is open all year round but the North Rim is only open mid-May to Mid-October).
A car is quite important to get around such a large park. There are loads of different options and itineraries as well as different levels of difficulty for treks etc etc – the Grand Canyon park website is a great source of information.
Or do what I did and take a helicopter ride from Las Vegas for a day trip to the Grand Canyon including a visit to the Skywalk (not for those with a fear of heights) and a flight down the Las Vegas strip on the way back.
40. Take a boat trip in Iceland’s Iceberg Lagoon
Iceland’s glacier lagoon Jokulsarlon is jaw droppingly beautiful and quite unlike anything that I had ever seen before. It makes total sense that scenes from James Bond movies have been shot here.
Huge blocks of ice break off from the nearby glacier and end up floating in the lagoon. The lagoon isn’t very wide but it is the deepest lake in Iceland at 250 metres.
The best way to see Jokulsarlon is from one of the zodiac boat cruises which run regularly.
41. See the Sydney Opera House in Australia
One of the most famous buildings in the world, the iconic Sydney Opera House does not disappoint. One of the 20th century’s most iconic buildings it first opened in 1973 and is a must for any Sydney Itinerary.
This is a live, working building with performances day and night. I highly recommend taking a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House to find out all the backstories and to be able to explore the building.
A second great way to visit the Opera house is to attend an opera. Yet again, this is a ticket to book far in advance as tickets for actual opera at the Sydney Opera House tend to sell out fast.
The third way to experience the Opera House is through food and wine. The Opera House is home to one of Australia’s top restaurants, Bennelong.
If you are looking for something more casual there is no better way to finish off any day exploring Sydney than with a glass of wine at the Opera Bar. Like the fish markets, the Opera Bar is loved by locals and tourists alike.
The views from the Opera Bar Sydney are fabulous and the outdoor seating area is massive so no matter how busy it is you should be able to get some kind of seat. The wine list is long and there are lots of food options.
⇒ Heading to Sydney? Check out my posts on the best Barangaroo Restaurants, the perfect Sydney Itinerary, a day trip to Watsons Bay Sydney and the best weekend getaways from Sydney.
42. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia
This famous steel bridge first opened in 1932. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is nicknamed the coathanger due to its distinctive shape. Today the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a busy day and night with cars and pedestrians and a critical link between central Sydney and the northern suburbs.
There are several ways to experience Sydney Harbour Bridge. You’ll see it from many view points in Sydney, you can easily drive over it or walk both over it or under it.
But the best way to experience Sydney Harbour Bridge is to climb it. Yes, it is expensive. And you can’t take your camera which really hurts. But The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is fantastic.
I wouldn’t recommend it if you are scared of heights though – it is extremely safe and you are clipped in the whole time but it would be tough if you suffered from any type of vertigo.
There are three different options for tickets. The standard is the summit ticket which involves going to the top of the bridge (134m) and then back down in 3 1/2 hours. This involves 1390 stairs.
The express ticket does the same in 2 1/2 hours and is 1000 steps. The sampler ticket is 1 1/2 hours and only includes climbing a small portion of the bridge.
The cost may then vary depending on the time of day. Tickets are booked in one-hour slots. Twilight and night are more expensive. I would highly recommend taking the twilight option as the sunsets in Sydney can be amazing.
43. Visit the World’s Oldest Republic, San Marino
San Marino is the oldest republic in the world and it has never been taken over by anyone. This small country of just 61 square kilometres sits on top of a hill and overlooks the Italian countryside.
San Marino is home to just 30,000 people but has its own police, its own schools and it doesn’t belong to the European Union. So it isn’t actually Italy strictly speaking but I decided it was okay to put it in this post as it is kind of in Italy.
A hilltop town in Italy is always going to be at least a base level of photogenic. San Marino then has multiple sculptures, is mostly pedestrianized with lovely paved streets, excellent use of flowers throughout the country and amazing views everywhere.
The highlight of San Marino is walking to the very top of the country and its famous three towers which date back to the 11th century.
Another way to get some fantastic views of the Italian countryside is to take the compact San Marino funicular. The funicular will bring you up into the main square of San Marino.
Find out more about San Marino in my post on things to do in Rimini and nearby.
44. Walk Around Uluru in Australia
Uluru or Ayers Rock is one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks. This large sandstone rock is located kind of in the middle of Australia in the southern end of the Northern Territory. It is 335kms south west of the nearest bit town, Alice Springs.
Uluru is one of the most important indigenous sites in Australia and is sacred to the Aboriginal people. It is also a World Heritage site.
The rock was christened Ayers Rock in 1873 by the surveyor William Gosse. In 2002 and the preferred name of the rock was changed to Uluru.
Uluru is 348 metres high and has a circumference of 9.4kms. Climbing of the rock is no longer permitted. However, there are still several ways to enjoy this famous Australian landmark.
One of the most common ways to experience Uluru is to walk around it on a tour – or if you’re a runner many like to run around it during their stay. It is possible to fly over the rock. Best of all is to plan your day around seeing the rock as different times. As the sun changes position in the sky Uluru appears to take on different colours.
Whilst Ayers Rock can be visited in a serious day trip from Alice Springs an icon of this magnitude deserves at least one sleep over. All types of accommodation is available near Uluru.
44. Climb up Gaudi’s Unfinished Masterpiece in Spain
La Sagrada Familia is probably one of the first Spanish landmarks you think of when you picture the country. This iconic basilica is truly one of a kind. Designed by the imaginative architect Antonio Gaudi, his signature creative style is on full display.
The construction for the church started in 1882 and still isn’t finished. It’s an ongoing process that isn’t expected to be completed until 2026. The building blends religious elements with natural symbols in an artistic way that will leave you completely mesmerised.
Sagrada Familia receives approximately 4.5 million visitors every year. The number of tickets for sale as well as the entry times is limited. This is definitely a European landmark you want to book a skip the line ticket ahead of your visit.
Tickets can be purchased up to 2 months in advance and are available in 15 minute slots. Once you have entered Sagrada Familia you may stay for as long as you like. Entrance to the towers costs extra.
45. Visit the World’s most famous palace – Buckingham Palace in England
Home to the Queen of England, Buckingham Palace is perhaps the most well-known palace in the world. The palace was originally known as Buckingham House and was purchased for the queen by King George III in 1761.
It became the London residence of the British monarchy when Queen Victoria took the throne in 1837. Today Buckingham Palace is home to Queen Elizabeth.
The highlight of many special occasions in the United Kingdom is seeing the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family gather on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to greet the crowds.
⇒ Buckingham Palace is only open to the public between July and October. Visitors can see the State Rooms and the gardens. If you are visiting at other times of the year the closest you can get is outside the gates (which still allows for some good photos), seeing the free changing of the guard, or visiting the Royal Mews.
⇒ Heading to London? Check out my posts on 13 Unusual Experiences in London, the best London Food Tours, my virtual London Travel Blog, some great Earlsfield restaurants, 14 Things to do in Notting Hill, restaurants near Clapham Junction and Victoria Station restaurants, 16 Famous Landmarks in Europe, a mad hatter afternoon tea party and a day trip to Brighton, 18 Landmarks of London from a local, 15 Places to see Sunsets in London, 9 Places to watch the Sunrise in London, 10 Bridges in London Not to Miss and Cotswolds tour from London options.
46. Hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa
This freestanding bell tower is not just a famous monument but possibly one of the most famous buildings in the world. The “lean” is nearly four degrees and is because the foundation of the building is unstable.
The tower began to lean during its construction in the 12th century and unfortunately got worse up to its official completion in the 14th century. By 1990 the lean was 5.5 degrees. Repairs work took place during 1993 and 2001 that corrected the lean-to just under 4 degrees.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is not particularly tall at just over 55 metres – I remember being quite surprised at how small it was when I visited. The tower is located in Pisa’s Cathedral Square and also includes Pisa Cathedral and Pisa Baptistry.
If you’d like to go inside the tower and climb up to the top paid entry is required. It is possible to book a skip the line ticket for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Otherwise there is no charge to see the building from the exterior and to take the famous photo where it looks as if you are holding up the tower!
47. Go for a swim at Bondi Beach in Australia
Bondi Beach is synonymous with Australia. Australia has many beautiful beaches but this is the one that has become the most famous. It is a beautiful big white sand beach. However, it is also only a few kilometres away from the centre of Sydney making it easily accessible.
It is very easy to visit Bondi Beach. Put on your bathers or cossie (Australia has many words for swimsuits), grab your towel and sunscreen and just head on down. It is as simple as that!
But do promise me that you will swim between the lines and listen to the life guards. Yes this is a very popular beach but like most Australian beaches the tides are strong and there can be animal visitors.
Bondi Beach is as popular with locals as it is with tourists so you’ll be surrounded by both. It is also home to some of the most expensive real estate in Sydney so there are also quite a few good restaurants and bars. For the quintessential Australian brunch don’t miss Harry’s.
48. Look out over Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is undeniably the most iconic structure in France and the by far, the most photographed, the Eiffel Tower. Standing in sheer wonder, the incredible edifice nestled in Champ de Mars’s centre is the tallest structure in Paris. It stands 324 meters (1,063 ft) tall.
Kicking off the top French landmarks list is undeniably the most iconic structure in France and the by far, the most photographed, the Eiffel Tower. Standing in sheer wonder, the incredible edifice nestled in Champ de Mars’s centre is the tallest structure in Paris. It stands 324 meters (1,063 ft) tall.
Built between 1887 and 1889 by French engineer Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is made of iron rather than steel. It was built to be one of the main attractions at the Paris World’s Fair in 1889.
Parisians quickly fell in love with The Eiffel Tower and more than 2 million visited in the first year that it was open. The tower symbolised French know-how and industrial genius.
Today nearly seven million people visit The Eiffel Tower every year. The top of the Eiffel Tower which can be visited is at 276 metres. The other key viewpoint is on what is called the second floor which is at 116 metres.
I highly suggest you take an Eiffel Tower summit tour and climb to the very top; there, you’ll be welcomed with panoramic views of the capital. Though the tower is impressive at any time, it becomes magical at night as its lights twinkle and oozes with romance.
49. Hear Big Ben Chime
As the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, Big Ben is to London. Big Ben is actually a nickname that stuck. The name refers to both the clock and the clock tower that sits at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London.
The tower was completed in 1859. At that time it was the largest and most accurate clock in the world. Big Ben became a UNESCO listed site in 1987.
In August of 2017 Big Ben was silenced. This market the beginning of a four year project to fully repair and restore bot the clock and the clocktower. They also plan to install a lift which should make life much easier for those charged with keeping Big Ben in good condition ongoing.
The exceptions to the silencing are New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Day. There are no public tours available during the restoration period. However, one clock face can still be seen through the scaffolding.
50. Eat in Bologna Italy
Bologna, Italy is popular as a holiday destination for a variety of reasons. The city has historical appeal, housing the oldest university in the western world.
It also features charming architecture, with over 20 towers dotted throughout the area. As well as numerous grand churches and cathedrals. And some of these historic buildings are home to the loveliest boutique hotels in Bologna.
Although Bologna has a well-preserved historical centre, it still exudes a trendy cosmopolitan character owing to its large student population. Its trendy atmosphere is perfectly complemented by its culinary reputation.
As the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, it forms part of a region with a food history just as old as its celebrated university.
Find out where to stay in my post on Bologna Boutique Hotels.
51. See the The Twelve Apostles in Australia
These 12 iconic limestone stacks rise from the Southern Ocean along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. They were originally formed by erosion (they were once cliffs) over 10 million years ago and now stand up to 50 metres high. Unfortunately in 2005, the 12 Apostles became 11 when one collapsed but the name has stuck.
It will take over 4 hours driving from Melbourne to reach the 12 Apostles. However, it is one of the most scenic drives in the world along the justifiably famous Great Ocean Road. The closest town to this Australian landmark is Port Campbell.
There are several ways to enjoy this beautiful natural phenomenon. Take a scenic helicopter flight. Or hike along the Great Ocean Walk which ends at the 12 Apostles. Climb down Gibson Steps (there are 86) to the beach to see them from underneath (check the tides timetable).
52. Sail through Halong Bay in Vietnam
Halong Bay includes 1600 islands islets which form a range of limestone pillars. Most of the islands are uninhabited and quite untouched by humans. The Bay covers over 43,000 hectares.
The name Halong means descending dragon. Legend has it that dragons where sent to the bay by the gods to protect the Vietnamese from invaders. It is estimated that the limestone in the bay has been forming in different conditions for 500 million years.
It is possible to visit Halong Bay as a day trip from Vietnam‘s capital Hanoi. However, this can be a long and stressful day where you will spend most of your time on the busiest stretches of the Bay.
There are many options for cruises around Halong Bay including overnight cruises. It is also possible to take a kayak to explore Halong Bay although of course that isn’t an option for overnight.
⇒ If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam don’t miss my post on what to do in Vietnam’s tastiest city Hoi An.
53. Go to the Opera in Verona, Italy
Home of Opera and Romeo and Juliet lovely Verona also has bags of Italian charm. It is a very walkable city and easy to get around.
The Arena di Verona is a highlight of any trip to this beautiful city in Italy. Visit during the day to get some great photos. I highly encourage you to book opera tickets before you head to Verona.
I am not the biggest opera fan but attending the opera in Verona in this beautiful amphitheater was a very memorable experience.
Climb to the top of Torre dei Lamberti for some fantastic views over Verona and enjoy the square where it is located, Piazza Delle Erbe.
Casa di Giulietta is Juliet’s house. The courtyard area is free to visit but you’ll need to pay if you want to step onto the balcony. Sure it’s a bit cheesy but seeing Juliet’s balcony is a must do in Verona.
54. See the end of the Pilgrimage in Santiago de Compostela, Spain
For centuries, thousands of pilgrims have travelled on St. James’ Way every year, finally reaching the capital of Galicia and entering the iconic Cathedral. According to tradition, this is the burial place of the relics of James the Apostle, discovered in the 9th century.
But Santiago de Compostela is very much a living city, with other attractions for travellers, pilgrim or not: countless restaurants and bars where you can enjoy the delicious seafood of Galicia, a UNESCO World Heritage old town centre, daring contemporary art… There’s plenty to do in this city which combines history with a younger modern side.
Enjoy the amazing local octopus and other seafood delights, head to the Sunday mass which pays special tribute to the pilgrims every week and you can even walk the last couple of kilometres of the Santiago de Compostela.
55. Get Naked in a Sap in Baden Baden, Germany
This gorgeous 2000-year-old town lies at the foothills of the wonderfully named Black Forest. Baden Baden Germany has a fantastic location for exploring the region as well as everything from, of course, spas to shopping to a palatial casino within Baden-Baden itself.
Before you head to Baden-Baden Germany do check what is on. The city is well known for the three international horse races it runs each year – as it is for its Christmas markets.
But this German town is most famous for its spas. Indeed, Baden Baden Germany has 12 hot springs and has been welcoming those seeking to relax and reconnect for centuries.
Today Baden Baden has managed to keep all of those wonderful historical elements but added in more modern spa facilities, fantastic food, modern art and much more.
Find out more about this beautiful German town in my Baden Baden Spa Guide and the best Baden Baden Tours.
56. See Mostar Bridge in Bosnia
Lovely Mostar is most famous for its beautiful old bridge, Stari Most, a UNESCO listed site. Mostar is located in Bosnia Herzegovina (it’s the largest city in Herzegovina) but can also be visited as a day trip from Croatia.
The city’s famous bridge was originally built in the 16th century and reaches over the Neretva River. However, the bridge was destroyed during the civil war in the area in 1993. It was rebuilt and declared a UNESCO site in 2005.
This town of light coloured stones is heavily Ottoman influenced and full of market stalls, shops and restaurants.
57. Visit all things Gaudi in Barcelona Spain
Casa Batlló is a big and beautiful building in the heart of Barcelona. Designed in 1904 by famed Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, it’s considered one of his most famous works of art.
The unique layout of the building is truly mesmerising. It showcases Modern architecture, Expressionist architecture, and Modernisme.
It features unusual tracery, mismatched oval and rectangle windows, protruding balconies, and colourful ceramic tiles. The arched roof has a scaly appearance and has been compared to that of a dragon or a dinosaur. It’s one of the most bizarre and wonderful landmarks of Spain.
The interior is just as fascinating. It’s worth booking a tour to explore the full package.
58. Climb Mount Fuji in Japan
Standing at over 3,700 metres, Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan. The mountain is located on Honshu Island and is the seventh-highest peak of a mountain on an island in the world.
Fuji is an active stratovolcano that last erupted from 1707 to 1708. It is about 100kms from Tokyo, where it can be seen on a clear day. However, clouds and poor visibility tend to block the view. Visitors are most likely to get a good view in the colder months of the year, early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
For five months of the year it has a picturesque snowed top. Mount Fuji is officially open for climbing from early July to mid September. It is not seen as a difficult mountain to climb but is still a strenuous exercise. Climbing the mountain is popular with both locals and tourists.
Mount Fuji has ten different stations. There are paved roads up to the 5th station. There are four different trails to the summit which vary by ascent and descent times. At a minimum most people will be looking at an 8 hour return climb. If possible it is recommended not to ascend and descend in one journey due to the altitude.
Many climbers try to match their summit time for sunrise. This is normally achieved by spending the night at the 7th or 8th station and then starting out very early. In the summer sunrise can take place as early as 430am.
However, an early start may be preferable to summiting in the middle of the day and finding the mountain covered with clouds and poor visibility.
It takes about one hour to explore the summit crater of Mount Fuji. However, the mountain has very little shelter so it can be both cold and mean a high risk of sunburn.
⇒ Beautiful Japan is one of my favourite countries to visit. Check out my posts on One Day in Tokyo, 2 Day Itinerary Kyoto, 10 Day Japan Itinerary, 9 Beautiful Japan Famous Landmarks, the best things to do in Kanazawa and what to expect on the Nakasendo Trail.
59. Watch the sunset over NYC from the Brooklyn Bridge
One simply cannot go to New York without visiting the Brooklyn Bridge. The suspension bridge that spans over the East River connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan is a stunning feature of the New York skyline.
Completed in 1833, the magnificent bridge has inspired poets, artists, directors, and songwriters since then. With Frank Sinatra producing the beautiful song, The Brooklyn Bridge, for the film – It Happened in Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn Bridge really is something to look at. Gothic towers with double arches and crisscross steel cables stretch across the bridge. The best way to experience this beauty is with a walking tour over the bridge and don’t forget to explore Lower Manhattan while you’re there.
Book a guided walking tour here
60. Watch the sunrise in Paris
We all know that Paris is the city of love and I can’t think of a more magical place to watch the sunrise. Whether you are on the hunt for the perfect sunrise photo, want to spend a romantic morning with a loved one, or you’re just up for an early morning adventure, Paris is the place.
The best part about sunrise in Paris is that it’s often the only time you will have the city (almost) all to yourself. Famous landmarks are generally buzzing with excited tourists during the day, which adds to the character of the city.
But during these glorious early morning sunrises, you’ll feel the stillness of the city just before it comes alive.
61. Watch Tower Bridge open up over the Thames River in London
Completed in 1894, Tower Bridge is perhaps the most iconic of all of London’s bridges. Let’s start with the fact that it is often confused with London Bridge, best known from children’s nursery rhymes.
Tower Bridge is quite beautiful whereas London Bridge is a bit more of a plain Jane. So London Bridge has the brand name fame but Tower Bridge is the supermodel in real life.
The bridge was originally painted in chocolate brown but in 1977 it was repainted in blue, white, and red for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. It looked so fantastic that those colours have remained.
Tower Bridge is also famous for the fact that it is both a suspension and a drawbridge – and that it continues to lift every day. The bridge is 244 metres long and is 42 metres above the Thames. It is both a road and a footbridge and 40,000 people cross it every day.
Unsurprisingly, the bridge takes its name its neighbour the Tower of London.
Take a look behind the scenes at the famous bridge and discover areas such as the machinery room, which houses the hydraulic system that allows the bridge to rise for river traffic.
Plan Your Visit to Tower Bridge to see if you can watch the bridge lift – check the website to find out the dates and times for scheduled bridge lifts.
Entry to Tower Bridge gets you into the engine room, up to some amazing views, and best of all access to the glass floor if you don’t suffer from vertigo. I highly recommend visiting the bridge for the views and that glass floor. NB: It’s handy to combine visiting Tower Bridge with the nearby Tower of London.
62. Watch the sunset in Santorini, Greece
Santorini is one of those idyllic travel destinations people dream about for years. This Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea is a top contender for your travel bucket list, boasting clear blue waters, impeccable beaches, and dramatic views.
When it comes to watching the sun go down, Santorini sunsets are arguably the ones to beat. The lava pebbles scattered along the beach glisten under the Grecian sun, and you can bask in the warm sunlight from one of the many cliffside spots on the island.
I’ve written an entire post on the best spots to see Santorini Sunsets.
63. See the limestone cliffs of Kotor in Montenegro
Kotor is a coastal town in Montenegro that is situated between the majestic limestone cliffs of Mt Lovcen and the Adriatic coast. It is extremely scenic – from its location to its small streets to the wonderful views over the city as you hike up the cliff.
The old city is a UNESCO world heritage site and was built between the 12th and 14th centuries and its city walls have protected the 4 kms of Kotor since that time.
Wander through the old town, check out the many cats that call Kotor home, climb up to the castle of San Giovanni or take a tour of the bay of Kotor.
64. Experience Hopewell Rocks in Canada at low and high tide
The Hopewell Rocks are a series of rock formations that have been uniquely shaped by tidal erosion. Located in New Brunswicks’ stunning Bay of Fundy, they stand between 12 to 21 metres tall and visiting these iconic rocks is one of the best things to do in New Brunswick.
The bases of the rocks are submerged in water twice a day during high tide. The time span between low and high tide is just over 6 hours. For the full perspective, it’s recommended to visit during both high tide and low tide.
Hopewell Rocks are visited by millions each year and are one of the best places to visit in New Brunswick. The park is open from Mid May to the middle of October. There is a lot to do – and multiple visits required to really experience Hopewell Rocks.
I highly recommend visiting Hopewell Rocks New Brunswick at both high tides and at low tide for photos. Both will result in very different shots.
The easiest way to experience Hopewell Rocks at low tide is to head to the park and walk down the staircase. Once the low tide has been reached it is possible to walk between the rocks and get some nice shots. The appearance of Hopewell Rocks is most dramatic when low tide is at its peak.
⇒ Beat the queue and Book your Hopewell Rocks ticket here
65. See the Mona Lisa smile at The Louvre in Paris
When you’re in Paris, you’ll certainly not want to miss attending the most visited museum in the world: The Louvre Museum. It first opened in 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, and today, it houses around 38,000 historic objects.
This iconic structure is the world’s largest art museum and is famously known for housing Mona Lisa. The original of this famous painting hangs in the Louvre today and has been since 1804.
Apart from Leonardo Da Vinci’s jaw-dropping painting, you’ll find plenty of other interesting antiques in this mega museum and symbol of Paris.
From Oriental, Egyptian, Roman & Etruscan antiques to the Greek antique section. Aside from antiques and famous paintings, the museum also houses impressive sculptures like the ‘Venus de Milo’.
IM Pei’s iconic glass pyramid was completed in 1989, adding another element to this Parisian landmark.
The Louvre Museum receives over 15,000 visitors per day, so I highly suggest booking a skip the line tour to get your spot in this iconic space. Tickets purchased online ahead of time are slightly more expensive than those purchased at the museum. However, you will be given a timed entry ticket and will not have to queue which I think is worth the extra.
64. Visit the Rainbow River in Colombia
Cano Cristales is the name of a river located in a national park in the Meta province of Colombia. The area was off-limits to tourists for many years as it was controlled by Guerillas.
The army has managed to take back control of much of this region and it is now safe for tourists to travel in this region. What makes Cano Cristales Colombia special is its unique flora in the river.
The river appears to turn a rainbow colour during the months of July to November. This phenomenon is at its height in August and September and is absolutely stunning – and unlike anything else I have ever seen.
The Rainbow River can only be visited on a tour. Flights to La Macarena take about one hour from Bogota.
65. Stay in a Thai Spa
Thailand is famous for spas and massage. There are a huge variety of spa options in Thailand from day spas to simple spas to very decadent options.
My personal favourite spa in Thailand – and in the world – is the amazing Kamalaya on the Thai island of Koh Samui. I like it so much that I have been there three times and will be returning again (I have always covered all of the costs of my stay).
Kamalaya to me is a slice of heaven. From its stunning location to its delightful staff to the amazing food to the phenomenal spa to the private beach to the pools to the gorgeous rooms – I could go. Well, I did – I have written an entire post about how much I love Kamalaya.
66. Dress up in a kimono or as a warrior in Japan
Kanazawa in Japan is home to 3 tea houses or traditional districts and they are all top Kanazawa attractions. The largest is Higashi Chaya District or the Geisha Village.
Apparently, you can dress up in a kimono all over japan – and when I say dressing up this means hair, flowers, and the whole bit. I had my experience in lovely Kanazawa.
Once you have chosen your fabrics, sash, handbag, hair accessories and shoes an expert will dress you. Then it is time for hair to finish off the look.
Now that you’re dressed up it is time to find a photogenic traditional Japanese background for photos.
67. Look at the view over London from the top of St Paul’s Cathedral
For over 1400 years St Paul’s Cathedral has stood at the highest point of the City of London on Ludgate Hill. Do remember the actual City of London is a very small part – more like a suburb – of what the rest of the world thinks of as London so this still holds true.
St Paul’s has dominated the London skyline for over 300 years with its famous dome. It is 111 metres high and was the highest building in London until 1963. It is still the highest dome in the world.
St Paul’s has been home to some of the most historic religious events in English history from the funeral of Winston Churchill to the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
The highlight of a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral London is climbing the 560 steps to the top of the Dome and the Whispering Gallery. This circular enclosure provides fantastic views of the inside of the Cathedral. The outdoor viewing platform offers fantastic views of London.
If you’re visiting on a weekday try to time your trip for 5pm when a choral evensong takes place. The church bell’s at St Pauls are rung on Sundays.
Book your ticket for St Paul’s Cathedral online before you go to save time spent in the queue and for a small discount.
68. Watch the sunset from Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
While there are numerous places to watch the sunset in LA, Griffith Observatory is by far one of the best sunsets in California. This is because this sunset spot won’t only give you a gorgeous view of the sunset over the pacific ocean, but also the Hollywood sign, the city of Los Angeles and the impressive Griffith Observatory.
This certainly makes for a romantic setting – so be sure to bring someone special along with you.
69. Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan
Around the world, Hiroshima is eponymous with World War II and atomic destruction. Today, the city strives to promote a message of peace. This is best seen in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
The park is situated at the epicentre of the atomic bomb which was the world’s first nuclear attack. The area was once the heart of the city. You can learn more about what happened on that day in 1945 at the Peace Memorial Museum.
The skeletal remains of the Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall serve as a Hiroshima Peace Memorial. It’s a poignant sight listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The park is a 15-minute tram drive from Hiroshima Station. It’s open year-round, except for the last two days of December, and has a small admission fee.
70. Visit Banff National Park in Canada
Banff National Park is a place where you’ll feel an instant connection to nature. Located in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, the region is characterized by mountainous terrain full of dense trees, turquoise lakes, glaciers and icefields. It’s a scene that will truly take your breath away.
Lake Louise is one of the most popular points of interest in the park. It features plenty of outdoor activities, like swimming, fishing, and nature strolls and hikes. In winter, the lake freezes over and the landscape transforms into a winter wonderland. It becomes one of the country’s most visited ski destinations.
⇒ Book a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus tour of Banff National Park and explore the highlights.
71. Visit the World’s Oldest Buddhist Temple in Myanmar
This jaw droppingly beautiful Pagoda sits on top of Singuttara Hill in Myanmar’s capital Yangon. The Pagoda itself is 112 metres high and it stands 170 metres above sea level. Yangon building regulations cap building heights at 127 metres above sea level so Shwedagon Pagoda towers over Yangon.
I was genuinely blown away when I visited Shwedagon Pagoda. It is hard to describe the impact of seeing this massive golden pagoda. It is believed that the pagoda is more than 2500 years old and that it is the oldest Buddhist temple in the world.
Shwedagon Pagoda is also said to contain relics of four previous Buddhas. The stupa is covered with 8688 sheets of gold and is studded with more than 7000 precious gems. It genuinely glows in the sun during the day and is even more impressive at night.
The pagoda is open from 6am to 10pm. It can be enjoyed at all times of the day. One of the things that I enjoyed most about Shwedagon Pagoda is that it is clearly a living temple. In the couple of hours that I spent there, I saw numerous little ceremonies and events going on. It appeared that there were far more locals than tourists.
There are four entrances to the pagoda. These require visitors to head up the hill. Each of the climbs up the hill is flanked by many vendors. In hindsight, I wished that I had gone with a guide. There was so much to see and appreciate at the actual pagoda. It would have been fantastic to have someone on hand to explain more.
72. Visit Everest Base Camp from Nepal or China
Where to begin with the world’s highest mountain? Mount Everest can be approached either from Nepal or China. Most of us won’t climb to the actual summit of Mount Everest but it is very much possible to trek to Everest Base Camp.
I trekked to Everest Base Camp in 2016 and it was quite an experience. I realised a little too late that I was a bit too old to be sleeping in freezing cold tea houses and dealing with a travel low point in terms of shared drop toilets.
You can read all about my Everest Base Camp experiences in my day by day EBC trek guide, what Nepal Tea Houses are really like (big hint: they aren’t as cute as they sound), the EBC itinerary which I should have done as well as my Everest Base Camp packing list.
If you don’t want to trek all the way to Everest Base Camp there are quite a few high-cost options such as taking a helicopter to base camp (seriously bad headaches) or taking a helicopter to the Everest View Hotel.
Most travellers base themselves in Kathmandu if they’re interested in Mount Everest. So if you would like to get a feel for the world’s highest mountain without the risk of severe headaches then why not take a scenic helicopter flight of the Himalayas from Kathmandu?
For all my complaining, seeing the Himalayas from the air (as well as some of the extraordinary views I saw on the way to base camp) is definitely an experience that you will be delighted you had.
Finally, for a luxury experience in the Himalayas check out the beautiful Dhulikhel Resort where you can have breakfast above the clouds in the Himalayas and try singing bowl treatments and more. And don’t miss their brilliant sister hotel in Kathmandu, Dwarika’s, one of my favourite boutique hotels in the world.
⇒ Interested in Nepal? Check out my posts on the Nepal tea house, a full Everest Base Camp packing list, an Everest Base Camp trek itinerary and a day by day Everest base camp trek blog And for post-trek the fantastic boutique hotel Dwarika Hotel Kathmandu, the Dhulikhel Resort and the best places to visit in Kathmandu.
73. See the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty at Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
This 19th-century castle sits above the village of Hohenschwangau in the southwest Bavarian area of Germany. This German castle is perhaps best known as being the inspiration for the castle in Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
King Ludwig II commissioned Neuschwanstein castle as a retreat and in honour of the German musician Richard Wagner. The King personally funded the castle and intended for it to be his home. The town of Hohenschwangau was his childhood home.
I am not sure exactly what it was that Wagner got out of the deal!
Ludwig commissioned a stage designer rather than an architect to bring to life his vision. Alas, Ludwig only spent 11 nights in the castle before he died and the castle was opened to the public just seven weeks after his death.
Today Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany receives over 1.3 million visitors per annum. It is open virtually every day of the year (exceptions are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day) with changes in opening hours depending on the season.
As always I highly recommend booking your ticket online before you go and receiving a confirmed time slot for your visit.
Would you get naked at a spa? Check out my posts on Naked or Clothed – Baden Baden Spa Guide, the best Baden Baden Tour options and One Day in Hamburg – all in Germany.
74. Visit Edinburgh Castle in Scotland
There can be few castles in the world as magnificent as Edinburgh castle! It perches literally on the top of Edinburgh on Castle Rock. Don’t leave Edinburgh without visiting Edinburgh castle.
Human occupation of Castle Rock in Edinburgh Scotland can be traced back to the Iron Age. A royal castle first appeared in the 12th century and by the 17th century, this Scottish castle had become a military barracks.
Today Edinburgh Castle is the most popular paid tourist attraction in Scotland and the second most popular paid attraction in the United Kingdom with over 2.2 million visitors.
Highlights of a trip to Edinburgh Castle are seeing the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Royal Apartments and the gorgeous little St Margaret’s Chapel. Edinburgh Castle also provides stunning views over Edinburgh.
And at 1pm every day Mons Meg, the cannon at Edinburgh Castle, takes fire.
⇒ Heading to Scotland? Check out my Scotland Itinerary 10 Days, Scotland Itinerary 7 Days, Glasgow Tours, Edinburgh vaults tour, things to do in Dumfries and Galloway, things to do in Ayrshire, my guide to Climbing Ben Nevis, 18 Beautiful Places in Scotland and 9 great Spa Breaks Scotland.
75. See where Dracula was imprisoned at Corvin Castle in Romania
Dracula was said to have been imprisoned in this beautiful castle in Romania. One of the largest European castles, Corvin Castle was built on a hill in the 15th century.
The current castle has been somewhat “updated” to what modern architects think of when it comes to 15th-century gothic castles. This Romanian castle has featured in several movies and tv shows and is associated with several legends, mostly concerning Dracula or Vlad the Impaler.
Corvin Castle is located in Transylvania which is a 6-hour drive from the Romanian capital of Bucharest. The castle is open most days of the year although on Mondays only in the afternoon. Tickets can be purchased on arrival.
76. See one of the best located castles in the world, Lake Bled Castle in Slovenia
There are few castles in Europe that can beat Bled Castle in Slovenia when it comes to both location and view. This medieval castle in Slovenia sits on a hill top above the town of Bled and the beautiful Lake Bled.
The first mention of the castle was 1011. The towers came in the Middle Ages and the chapel in the 16th century. It is the oldest castle in Slovenia.
Grab a skip the line ticket for Bled Castle to beat the queues. Your ticket will grant you access to the castle and the top tower and its stunning views.
77. Visit the Acropolis in Athens Greece
At the centre of this history and allure is the vibrant city of Athens. The Acropolis, one of the most famous landmarks in Europe, shines like a beacon atop a rocky outcrop above the city.
The Acropolis Greece was built in the second half of the 5th-century B.C as a home for Athena, the patron goddess of the city. Today, it is a reminder of a rich cultural heritage and is a major attraction.
If you want to avoid the crowds then it’s better to arrive at the Acropolis in Athens early (the site opens to the public at 8 am in both summer and winter).
The Meditteranean sun can also reach uncomfortable temperatures so make sure that you pack water, sunscreen and a hat.
⇒ Book your Acropolis skip-the-line entry ticket and explore the landmark of western civilization.
78. Smell the Lavender Fields of Provence France
Lavender fields are to France what cherry blossoms are to Japan – and they have become even more important in the age of social media. I think we have all seen photos of influencers like myself hanging out in lavender fields, often from behind and wearing a hat!
The most famous area of France for lavender is Provence. Lavender begins to bloom at the end of June and tends to be at its peak mid July. This is also when harvesting starts and the fields will be empty by the middle of August so time your visit carefully.
There are several lavender farms in Provence which offer tours during the peak season. Some of the best places to visit are the Valensole Plateau, Salut, Notre-Dame de Semanque and Drome.
79. Walk through the Gates of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, Japan
Fushimi Inari is a Shito Shrine in Kyoto. It is best known for its instagram friendly torii gates – there are thousands of them on a network of trails behind its main buildings. These trails lead into the forest of Mount Inari.
Inari was the Shinto god of rice and Fushimi is the most important of the several thousand shrines dedicated to him. This shrine is said to have been in place even before Kyoto was capital in 794.
The Shrine itself has several structures to see from the Romon Gate to the main hall to the entrance to its famous hiking trail the Senbon Torii. All of the torii gates along the path have been donated by companies and individuals. The donor’s names and dates and inscribed on the gates.
In case you are tempted to purchase the ultimate souvenir, costs for a small sized gate start at 400,000 yen or USD$3,777.00 as I write this post.
It takes about 2-3 hours to walk to the summit of Mount Inari. Fushimi Inari-taisha is always open and there is no entry fee.
80. Stand under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
The Arc de Triomphe sits at the western end of the Champs-Elysee in Place Charles de Gaulle and in the middle of one of the scariest roundabouts in the world.
This famous European landmark is a tribute to those who died fighting for France in the Napoleonic and Revolutionary Wars. The names of all French victories, as well as the generals, are inscribed on the arc. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War 1 lies underneath the Arc de Triomphe.
The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon. However, it was not completed until 1836. By this time Napoleon had been banished to Elba. He was never able to see the Arc de Triomphe but his remains passed through it on the way to Les Invalides.
Every year the Bastille Day parade on July 14 starts at this triumphal Arch and the Tour de France also finishes here.
81. Look out from the Highest Building in the world in Dubai
Burj Khalifa is Dubai’s famous skyscraper. Standing 828 metres high, it’s currently the world’s tallest building. It opened in 2010 and has since become an iconic symbol of the city.
The two observation decks of the Burj Khalifa are a must-see. As you can imagine, they offer spectacular views. One is located on the 124th and 125th floors of the building. The second one sits on the 148th floor. With an altitude of 555 metres, it’s the world’s highest observation deck.
I visited both levels. As you may expect the cost is higher to visit the 148th floor. To be honest, I didn’t find much of a difference between the two floor choices – I guess it is more about having bragging rights to say that you have visited the top of the tallest building in the world!
Both the floors have indoor and outdoor areas. The viewing deck on 125 is enclosed so it is necessary to go down to the 124th floor to get outside. The 124th floor has a large open air area.
If you do choose to visit the highest point of Burj Khalifa you will also get coffee and snacks included in your visit. And on the 125th floor selfie wings have been painted on the wall for photos.
The whole area is done very well and there are lots of opportunities to purchase souvenirs, get a photo of yourself by a professional etc etc.
82. Visit the Korean Demilitarised Zone
Korea has a fascinating war history, and any visitor to the country should definitely look into it. Full or half day tours are offered from Seoul to explore the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which lies on the border between North and South Korea.
Any visiting of this area outside a tour is not allowed. Visiting the DMZ is one of the most popular day trips in Korea.
Through this unique experience, you will get to learn all about Korean war history. You will also get to see some sites of major interest, such as the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, the Dora Observatory, and the Korean War Memorial. These day trips out of Seoul are completely safe and include transport.
It is essential to book your DMZ Korea tour ahead of your visit as they sell out. This one day trip from Seoul is normally an early start with quite a bit of paperwork.
For me, the highlight of the tour was being able to go to the actual border between North and South Korea. The tension in the air is almost visible at the border of the Demilitarized Zone Korea. Soldiers from each side guard the border and are only steps away from each other.
I actually thought the South Korean border guard was a statue as he was so still! Until I saw the perspiration coming down the side of his face.
There are small huts along the border between North and South Korea. These huts were assembled so that meetings could be held with both sides without either side leaving their country.
Inside the huts are standard meeting tables – and this is your one opportunity to stand in North Korea and have your photo taken!
There are some terrific names in Demilitarized Zone of Korea. The Bridge of No Return was named as such because once you chose which side of the bridge you were going to there was no option to return.
There are so many interesting things to see on this Seoul day trip. The stunning and modern Dorasan train station was created for a border opening and is now virtually never used.
The Freedom House was built for reunions of families from each side – which never took place. The Fake North Korean village with the doors and windows painted on.
⇒ Check out my posts on the best Seoul Day Trips, 8 fantastic Things to do in Incheon, 13 things to do in Myeongdong, my Seoul Itinerary 5 Days, 7 FantasticSeoul Boutique Hotels and the best things to do in Gangnam.
This was the best thing that I did in Korea – Don’t miss it!
⇒ Do make sure you book the DMZ Tour ahead – this Korea tour sells out fast.
83. Visit the Parthenon in Athens, Greece
Anyone who visits the Acropolis will also have access to the adjacent Parthenon in Athens with a combination ticket. The archaeological site was originally at the heart of religion while Greece was a powerful empire.
Although the Parthenon is in ruins, it was a large and lavish building that told of Greek wealth.
The temple was built between 447 and 432 B.C when the Greek Empire was at its height of influence. Over the years, the bold structure stood against earthquakes, wars, looting and fire.
While it no longer stands complete, the Parthenon is a powerful symbol of ancient Greek culture.
⇒ Book your private Athens full-day sightseeing tour.
84. Travel Solo
I believe that everyone should travel on their own at least once. The notion of travelling solo can be intimidating, but I don’t know of anyone who has regretted it. There is the most wonderful pleasure that comes from only having to answer to your own needs when on the road.
Plus, I always find that when I travel on my own I meet far more people than I would have if I was with a partner or a group. I also have much longer conversations with waiters, tour guides etc and end up learning far more about a destination.
85. See the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles in France
What once was the official residence of France’s royals – before the French Revolution – is now a jewel of French Baroque architecture and is by far one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe. The Palace of Versailles contains 2,300 rooms of many kinds and is spread over 63,154 m2.
Feast your eyes on dazzling chandeliers and the painted ceiling in the Hall of Mirrors; it’s truly remarkable. The palace is surrounded by stunning French gardens designed by the famous landscape designer, André Le Notre. You’ll find sculptures, fountains, and water features dotted throughout the area.
With nearly 10 million visitors every year, I highly recommend you book a tour to discover Versailles Palace and Gardens to learn more about this incredible French landmark.
86. See the Monasteries of Meteora in Greece
There are six operating monasteries in Meteora, a place where time and culture seem frozen in time. Made up of a striking rock formation, Meteora is located in central Greece and is home to a beautifully located group of monasteries.
The sight of clustered religious homes on top of the steep rocks is spellbinding. Although the Monasteries of Meteora Greece look tricky to get to, it is surprisingly accessible. It requires visitors to drive to a parking lot and then hike the trail to the monastery that they wish to visit.
Take the time to soak up the incredible panoramic views from the top and bask in the ambient energy of the spiritual sites.
To enjoy this Greek tourist attraction at your own pace, try to plan your route in advance to avoid the crowds and reduce the amount of energy you expend.
⇒ Book a tour of the ancient Meteora Holy Monasteries.
87. Walk the streets of Venice in Italy
Canals, waterways and bridges are a bit like good bone structure when it comes to making a city beautiful. And Venice has a lot of all three of those. Venice is actually 117 different islands that are linked by 150 canals and about 400 bridges or pieces of pavement.
Venice is literally built on water. The base of its buildings go deep into the ground. As the soil is so water logged there is no oxygen in it and thus no decay.
Venice and its delights are best explored on foot or by water. The Piazza San Marco is the centre of Venice and home to the magnificent Basilica San Marco – which also has some fantastic views of Venice (it is where I took the photo below).
Don’t miss the Rialto Bridge, the many Venetian Palaces, the Accademia Gallery and the Bridge of Sighs. Or a trip to the home of beautiful coloured glass Murano.
My personal favourite way to experience Venice is on Vaporetto Line 1. This water bus allows anyone to see Venice from the water (where it is often at its most beautiful), mingle with the locals, and really experience one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
88. Spend the night at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City is a 5-star château-style hotel. The large, castle-like building dominates the skyline and towers over the Saint Lawrence River down below.
It was built in the late nineteenth century by the directors of the railway society. They wanted to encourage luxury tourism, or more specifically, influence wealthy travellers to frequent their trains.
This historic hotel still operates for its original purpose. If you’re feeling frivolous, book a room and enjoy the full scale of this lavish landmark. Guests have access to the fine dining restaurant, wine bar, bistro, spa, indoor pool, and more.
Having personally stayed at this hotel I highly recommend visiting. It literally does feel like you are sleeping in a Canada landmark. The hotel inside is beautiful and bustling and the rooms are excellent.
⇒ Book a guided visit of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.
89. See where East Meets West in Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul in Turkey is literally where east meets west. This beautiful city is the perfect place to get your feet wet so to speak if you’re keen to explore the Middle East or Africa. This atmospheric city has all the magic of the Middle East and North Africa with a slightly more European feel.
The Blue Mosque is possibly Istanbul’s most famous attraction. The mosque has six minarets or towers and several domes. It isn’t actually blue – it was named the Blue Mosque because of its beautiful interior tiles – but it is absolutely stunning.
Two of top places to visit in Istanbul – The Blue Mosque and Hagia or Aya Sofya – are located on the same main square in the Istanbul neighborhood of Sultanahmet. Very convenient.
Hagia Sofya has had several lives. It began as an Orthodox Cathedral and was turned into a mosque. In 1935, Ataturk proclaimed it a museum – although it is still considered by many to be the second biggest cathedral in the world.
Topkapi Palace is one of my favourite Istanbul tourist attractions. This palace was used between the 15th and 19th centuries and apparently was a hot place to go during the Ottoman Empire.
The Grand Bazaar or Kapali Carsi is the largest covered market in Turkey with over 4,000 shops. This market contains everything you could ever imagine needing.
90. Go Ice Skating on The Rideau Canal in Ottawa
The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO world heritage site and North America’s oldest continuously operating canal. Most famously, in the winter the Rideau Canal freezes over sufficiently to allow for ice skating and it becomes the world’s largest naturally frozen ice skating rink.
These plus beaver tail stands make ice skating on the Rideau Canal one of the top things to do in Ottawa winter. However, visiting the Rideau Canal is one of the must things to do in Ottawa all year round.
I visited Ottawa in the summer. The canal was filled with boats and the 202km canal is a favourite spot for runners and cyclists. The canal winds through downtown Ottawa before connecting with the Ottawa river.
I took a cruise on the Rideau Canal. Most Rideau Canal Cruises start at the lochs near Parliament Hill. It is a very pleasant trip and a guide will provide information about the history and use of the canal.
I found the canal to be most photogenic where it intersects with Ottawa River and there is a nice bridge with locks that works well as a shot with Chateau Fairmont Laurier in the background.
⇒ Book your Rideau Canal Cruise
The cycling path along the canal is fantastic. I went on a cycling/food tour and we cycled along the canal. It is very flat so nice and easy (Ottawa has over 800kms of cycling paths).
Where it is necessary to dismount those clever Canadians always have a ramp for your bike for the minimum hassle.
⇒ Book your Ottawa Highlights 3 Hour Bike Tour And there is even a luxury boat option for the Rideau Canal. Hire Le Boat to get the boat all to yourself!
91. Visit St Petersburg in Russia
Like Venice, St Petersburg is spread across a mix of big and small islands, setting it up for being one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city itself also has several fairytale like ornate buildings and it is also considered the cultural capital of Russia.
Perhaps the attraction for which St Petersburg is best known is the Hermitage Museum. Not only does the Hermitage contain 3 million works of art, but it is also in a beautiful confection of a building and filled with stunning rooms, arches, staircases and more architectural features.
The beautiful cathedral at the Peter and Paul fortress would also look happily at home on the top of an elaborate cake. However, this cathedral almost looks plain next to the amazing onion-domed Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (also a great name – Alexander 11 was assassinated on this spot).
The lovely River Neva and a series of canals are at the heart of St Petersburg and some of its most beautiful features. Stroll along the waterfronts as the sun sets and see this beautiful city from the water on a cruise.
92. See the Alhambra in Spain
The Alhambra in Granada is one of the most famous landmarks in Europe. Its timeline traces back to 889 CE when it was constructed as a small fortress. Then in the 13th century, it was rebuilt to serve as the palace and fortress for the Nasrid dynasty.
The lavish Moorish architectural style is on full display throughout the complex. The interior is decorated head to toe with ceramic tiles, ancient calligraphy, ornamented windows, and other intricate detailing. It’s truly a marvel of Islamic architecture and culture.
The expansive grounds comprise numerous sites, including the Nasrid Palace, Charle V’s Palace, the Alcazaba, and the gorgeous Generalife Gardens.
The best way to explore the different areas is by booking a skip the line ticket for the Alhambra.
93. Spend at least a weekend in Las Vegas
When I first went to Las Vegas I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy it. I am not much of a gambler. However, I quickly found out that Las Vegas is tremendous fun even if you don’t gamble.
From amazing hotels at good prices to outstanding restaurants to world leading live entertainment, there is so much on the famous Las Vegas strip to keep you entertained. Then add in Old Las Vegas with Fremont Street, the Mob museum, the Neon Musuem and more and you can easily stay more than a weekend.
Plus it is easy to take day trips to the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam and the Valley of Fire.
94. Drink the US’s best Cabernet in Livermore California
When it comes to California wine, most people know the Napa Valley. However, many have not heard of the actual home of California chardonnay, and current home to some of the best Cabernet in the United States, Livermore.
Just 36 miles from San Francisco, Livermore has some outstanding wineries and very cute towns ready to be explored. Hop on the Livermore Wine Trolley to safely taste some of the best wines in the area and then head to the First Street Wine Company liquor store and tasting bar to enjoy some more.
95. Visit Yosemite National Park in California
Yosemite Park is located in Eastern california in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This national park in California is a 4-hour drive from San Francisco and a 6-hour drive from Los Angeles.
The beautiful Yosemite Valley is the heartland of Yosemite Park. It is essentially an 8-mile loop full of stunning deciduous trees (particularly beautiful in the autumn) and home to some of the key sights of Yosemite Park including the Half Dome and El Capitan rocks.
Depending on the time of year of your visit, Yosemite’s famous waterfalls may be in full flow or not. And don’t miss seeing the famous Mariposa trees.
96. Go on The Sound of Music Tour in Austria
Beautiful Salzburg and its surrounding areas in Austria is where the famous movie The Sound of Music was filmed – as well as where some of the real-life events took place.
The major scenes for the movie were shot in the city centre, just outside and then further afield. In the city centre is the Palace of Mirabell where the Do-Re-Mi scene was shot and St Peter’s Cemetery was where the tension-filled shots towards the end of the Sound of Music were filmed.
Nonnberg Abbey is not only the oldest female convent north of the Alps it was home to the real Maria AND where the movie was filmed.
There are then 3 more locations in the city centre, 3 close by and 4 locations further afield. The best way to see it all is definitely a tour.
This will also provide far more context with stories about the filming itself and insider gossip. Plus when you join the bus trips they tend to play the movie so time to sing.
As you might expect there are quite a few options when it comes to Sound of Music Salzburg tours.
97. Take the Golden Circle Tour in Iceland
The Golden Circle tour is Iceland’s most popular day trip. This is generally a full day tour that departs from Reykjavik around 8am and returns at 5pm. If your flight is arriving a bit later you can opt for an afternoon tour around the Golden Circle.
The core of the Golden Circle tour is the following 3 activities. The first is Thingvellir Park. The park is a UNESCO world heritage site and holds historical significance – it’s the location where Iceland’s first parliament was held.
Thingvellir National Park is located 40-minutes from Reykjavik and has several attractions. It’s geologically unique, where you can see a continental divide between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
After exploring the park, it’ll be a 40-minute drive to the Geysir thermal area. “Geysir” is a geyser in the geothermal area along the Golden Circle. Get your cameras ready to snap pictures of bubbling mud pots, springs shooting up boiling water and steaming air from the earth.
Just a quick 10-minute drive from Geysir is one of Iceland’s most iconic falls found in the Hvítá glacial river. Gullfoss is a wide, two-tiered waterfall that cascades down a 32-meter drop. For me, this was the most stunning waterfall in Iceland.
98. Watch the sunset in Ibiza Spain
Ibiza is known as the party island of Europe and is famous for its beach clubs, night clubs and music scene. But it is also home to some amazing sunsets.
Whether you want to be larging it up on the famous Sunset Strip or sipping cocktails in a beach bar, watching sunsets in Ibiza is a serene moment. It’s the perfect time to wind down, just before the island gets pumped up and brims with partygoers.
99. See the Feria de las Flores in Medellin Colombia
Did you know that Colombia is one of the biggest producers of flowers in the world? They supply more than 60% of the flowers sold in the US.
The prime source of these Colombian flowers is the area around Medellin – a benefit that comes with a climate that has given Medellin the nickname of the City of Eternal Spring.
Colombia and Medellin’s passion for all things floral comes to a head for one magic week in August each year known as Feria de las Flores Medellin.
The main way the flowers are displayed during this flowers festival is on Silleteros. These wooden contraptions used to be strapped to the backs of the workers. Flower growers and workers often had to carry their masters up steep hills.
The Silleteros are now used to make jaw-dropping floral displays and floral arrangements that are judged in the competition that is the peak of this flower festival in Colombia.
100. Have a singing bowl treatment in the Himalayas
I had never heard of a singing bowl treatment before I went to Nepal but it was on the spa menu at the beautiful Dwarika’s Dhulikhel where I was staying and even had its own special hut. Plus, the singing bowl expert had to come from Kathmandu so surely it had to be good.
The singing bowl treatment started with a chat about blockage areas. He then moved the bowl around my body and then proceeded to use it to massage my back whilst it was ringing.
It was unusual to have these sound currents whizzing through my body but in an enjoyable way and it made sure I was very in the moment. He finished the singing bowl treatment by putting a large bowl upside down on my head and then banging it.
A unique and memorable experience.
101. Eat one of the world’s cheapest Michelin star meals in Hong Kong
Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong holds a Michelin star for its amazing dim sum. There are several branches in Hong Kong but I personally visited the location at the Olympic Shopping Centre.
Make sure you arrive early as there will almost inevitably be a queue. Once seated you will receive a sheet of paper and a pencil – no dim sum trolleys here.
The food is fast, cheap, plentiful and absolutely delicious. The highlights for me were the BBQ pork buns and the vermicelli rolls.
102. Have a massage in Ubud, Bali
Ubud is an absolutely gorgeous town in Bali Indonesia. It’s known for its arts and crafts, and as an adventurous hub for those who want to see more than Bali’s beloved boutiques and massage parlours (though it has plenty of those too).
Ubud is made for yoga and there are loads of yoga studios in town. Combine your workout with some raw food, an area of expertise for Ubud.
Once you’re done with your yoga head to one of the many places in Ubud offering massages. You will struggle to find a bad massage in Ubud.
103. See the world’s second-biggest canyon in Namibia
Namibia is a country of jaw-dropping beauty – I was particularly blown away by its extraordinary colours and by its size. This African country reminded me very much of my home country, Australia.
Fish River Canyon in Namibia is the second biggest canyon in the world – second to the Grand Canyon of course. But its visitor numbers are a lot lower as it takes some effort to get there – and not many people have heard of this stunning canyon.
It is located in the south of Namibia. In addition to being the largest canyon in Africa, it also has a 100 mile long ravine that is up to 27 km wide in some places.
There are many hiking trails and walks through Fish River Canyon. It is possible to camp. Or take a small plane over the canyon to really get a sense of its size.
104. Climb Dune 45 in Sossusvlei Namibia
Sossusvlei Namibia is one of the most extraordinary places I have ever been to. It is like being on another planet. Sand dunes for as far as the eye can see.
The colours of Sossusvlei are extraordinary at any time of the day and out of control amazing at sunrise and sunset. This area is a salt and clay pan that is surrounded by high red dunes.
The most famous Dune in Sossusvlei is Dune 45. Its name comes from the fact that it is at the 45km mark on the road that connects one of the gates and Sossusvlei.
Apparently, it contains 5 million-year-old sand blown in from the Kalahari. Dune 45 Sossusvlei is probably the most photographed of all the dunes as its star shape has one half disappearing at both sunrise and sun.
This is also the most popular Dune to climb. Try to get to Dune 45 Namibia early in the morning to take it on and avoid the crowds.
105. Drink wine in Stellenbosch South Africa
South African wine is world-renowned. The majority of its wine production and of its wine farms are near Cape Town.
There are four main wine areas in South Africa: Constantia, Paarl, Worcester, and lovely Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is just 50km East of Cape Town. It is located at the bottom of the Stellenbosch mountains and has a Mediterranean climate – dry and warm summers and mild and wet winters.
This is a beautiful region with rolling gentle hills and big skies. The town of Stellenbosch South africa is full of character with its Dutch-style buildings and lots of cute boutiques and coffee shops/cafes. And Stellenbosch is the closest wine region to Cape Town.
But of course, it is all about the wine. And Stellenbosch wine is just fabulous. I am Australian so I love a big rich new world wine thus Stellenbosch wines suited me down to the ground.
106. Fly Business Class
Once you turn left, it is very hard to turn right. I am afraid that this saying is quite true, particularly when it comes to long-distance flights. Business-class turns the bus-like experience that is most flights these days into something to look forward to ahead of your trip.
Business Class doesn’t always cost a fortune. It is amazing how cheap some upgrades can be so do check out all the options when booking a flight. Also, most airlines now offer passengers a chance to use points as well as money.
For me, the best time to book a business class flight is when travelling long haul. It can turn a horrible experience into something lovely and as you are on the plane for a long time you’ll be able to get your money’s worth.
107. Stay in a resort in Samoa
A small Polynesian country in the Pacific Ocean, about halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, Samoa has traditionally been the best-kept secret in the Pacific.
Though with ten islands all intensely packed with untamed natural beauty, the secret is definitely getting out about this beautiful archipelago nation.
You won’t find mega-resorts or theme parks here, what you’ll find instead are towering waterfalls, postcard-worthy beaches, lava fields, rainforest, lagoons where you can swim with turtles, and an ancient culture – Samoa remains one of the most authentic Pacific societies left in the world today.
108. Take a Melbourne Tram in Australia
Melbourne, Australia often tops the list when it comes to the world’s most liveable cities. And I should know as I was born there and lived in Melbourne for over 25 years.
One of the most iconic images of Melbourne is the green and yellow of the Melbourne Tram. The Melbourne tram system is the largest urban tram network in the world.
Trams have operated continuously in Melbourne since 1885. Trams run thoughout Melbourne’s city centre where they are the easiest way to get around. And the heart of the city is a free tram zone so you can hop on and off without charge.
109. Go on a Borough Market Food Tour in London
Borough Market is one of the oldest and largest food markets in the United Kingdom. Markets have been held on this location since the 12th century.
However, there is nothing old-fashioned about Borough Market today. Borough Market has a strict policy about the vendors it allows into the market, ensuring all suppliers are of the highest quality. Many of London’s top restaurants source their ingredients at Borough Market at places like the Ginger Pig.
The area is also home to some of London’s best restaurants like Roast, El Pastor and Padella. As Borough Market is so large, going on a food tour is a great way to experience the market in a short time frame – and to make sure that you get lots of good samples.
110. Get a selfie with a Quokka on Rottnest Island in Australia
Visiting Rottnest Island in Perth is the most popular day trip in Australia for good reason. It takes less than one hour to get to this beautiful island from Fremantle in Perth.
Once you arrive on this mostly car-free island head to the Rottnest Bakery and stock up on treats for the day. Then hire a bicycle and spend the day exploring some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
However, don’t leave without getting a selfie with Rottnest’s most famous inhabitants – the Quokkas. These little furry guys are like small kangaroos and are native to Rottnest Island. They have never known anything but friendly people with food so they will flock to tourists and allow a selfie to be captured.
111. Watch the Ads in Picadilly Circus England
Picadilly Circus is located in the heart of London and perhaps best known for its bright neon advertising display. The circus is also home to the Eros fountain. It is very easy to find as exiting Picadilly Circus tube station will bring visitors into the heart of Picadilly Circus.
Picadilly Circus is located very close to several well known parts of London. On one side is Regent Street, filled with some of the most prestigious shopping in London and famed for its beautiful architecture. Shaftesbury Avenue takes visitors into the heart of Soho and Chinatown. And Leicester Square is only a five minute walk away.
112. Marvel at Pompeii Italy
This ancient town near Naples is one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions, with around 2.5 million visitors annually. Pompeii was once a lively city until Mount Versuvius erupted – covering everything in larvae and turning the city into an archaeological site.
Top attractions to see in Pompeii include the Thermal Baths, Great Theater of Pompeii and Temples. You’ll also get to see preserved artworks and mosaics.
Taking a guided tour here is highly recommended, as you’ll not only learn about Pompeii’s history but also get to skip most of the queues. If you’d like to discover the ruins on your own, you can easily catch a train from Naples or Rome.
113. See The Angel of the North England
This sculpture which stands over the city of Newcastle is probably the most famous piece of art in England. Created by Anthony Gormley, the statue was erected in 1998 in Gateshead. The Angel of the North is 20 metres high and 54 metres wide and thought to be the largest sculpture of an angel of anywhere in the world.
114. Cross the Rialto Bridge Venice
The Rialto Bridge is the first one built along the canal in Venice. It began as a wooden drawbridge that permitted sailing ships to travel between St Marks basin and the Piazzale Roma area. In 1588 the Rialto Bridge was re-built in white marble and until 1854 it was the only bridge that crossed the Grand Canal.
This Venetian bridge is 48 metres long, 22 metres wide and 7.5 metres high. It has three parallel staircases and several small arcades. This area is also well known for the Rialto Market which is open every day apart from Sundays. The market runs from the San Polo area to Rialto Bridge.
115. Feel like an excited kid at Miniatur Wonderland Germany
Miniatur Wonderland isn’t really a landmark – well it is but it is enclosed and made up of tiny elements. Miniatur Wonderland is the second most popular paid attraction in all of Germany – after the famous Sleeping Beauty Castle Neuschwanstein. This is the largest model railway exhibition in the world.
I appreciate that this doesn’t sound terribly exciting – I thought the same thing. But trust me – you do not want to miss Miniatur Wonderland.
The model railway was started by twin brothers Gerrit and Frederik Braun in 2004. Even the local tourism board thought that they were both mad.
But they now run one of Germany’s most loved tourist attractions which receive over 18 million visitors every year.
There are more than 15kms of train tracks, 389,000 lights and 263,000 figures in the model railway. Day and night simulations run every 15 minutes.
The most extraordinary thing about this Hamburg museum is the level of detail. Check out the apartment buildings in Hamburg. Every little room will have a different person or person doing different everyday activities.
The entire thing is just extraordinary and so interesting – particularly the airport.
116. Walk the Glassdome at the Reichstag Berlin Germany
The Reichstag is the home of the German Parliament. The building was originally designed by Paul Wallot and was modelled after Memorial Hall in Philadelphia. It was completed in 1894. The building was badly damaged in 1933 by fire, an event that marked the end of the Weimar Republic.
After the war, West Germany’s parliament moved to Bonn and the building fell to ruin. Restorations began in 1961 and were completed in 1964. In 1990 the building was the site of the official reunification ceremony and in 1991 it was decided that German Parliament would return to the Reichstag.
Between 1995 and 1999 Norman Foster oversaw renovations to the building and construction of the stunning glass cupola. This mirrored cone directs light into the building. The dome itself can be visited via two large steel ramps that take the form of a double helix.
117. Walk up the Spanish Steps Italy
The Spanish Steps date back to 1723. This steep set of steps run between the Piazza di Spagna at the base to Piazza Trinita dei Monti at the top at the eastern end of the old city centre.
The staircase was designed by Francesco De Sanctis and was originally built to link the Bourbon Spanish Embassy and the Trinita dei Monti church to the Holy See and Spanish square. There are 138 steps and they are a mix of curves, straight flights and terraces. Azaleas adorn the Spanish steps from April through to the end of May each year.
As of 2019, tourists were no longer able to sit on the Spanish steps and there are major fines. This new law was brought in to protect the marble of the stairs.
118. Visit Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) Germany
The Cologne Cathedral, also known as Kölner Dom, is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe and began construction in the 1200s. The Classical Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Mary is located on the banks of the Rhine and is an astonishing masterpiece of High Gothic architecture.
The cathedral took over six centuries to build and reaches an impressive height of 157 meters. It’s the tallest twin-helical church in the world and is one of Germany’s most visited landmarks.
To see some panoramic vistas over the city and river, climb the 533 steps to the viewing platform (in the south Tower). Alternatively, book a tour to discover more of Germany’s most iconic landmarks. The cathedral is open every day from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.
119. Look out through the lattice window at The Bridge of Sighs Italy
This iconic Venetian bridge was built in 1600 to connect the Doge’s Palace to the prison across the canal. The bridge was constructed to take prisoners who had been sentenced at Doge’s Palace to their cells in the prison. The Bridge of Sighs has a small window. Legend has it that prisoners would sigh deeply when they saw this last glimpse of the outside world and thus the Bridge of Sighs became the name of this bridge in Venice.
The bridge is made from white limestone and was designed by Antonio Contino, the nephew and apprentice of Antonio Da Ponte, designer of the Rialto Bridge. The bridge is virtually enclosed apart from the two small windows with lattice screens. A stone wall divides the interior of the Bridge of Sighs so that prisoners coming and going would never pass each other.
It is tradition to kiss your loved one on a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs.
120. Have an extremely expensive coffee on Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square) Italy
St Mark’s Square is Venice’s main square and the only one with the title of Piazza (most of the rest are referred to as Campi or fields). Without question this is one of the most magnificent squares in the world. Yes, a coffee at St Mark’s Square will cost almost as much as your dinner in Venice but it is worth it to sit and sip in one of the world’s most beautiful places.
At the eastern end of the square is St Mark’s Basilica. On the north side of St Mark’s Basilica are two marble lion statues in a small area known as Piazzetta San Giovanni XXIII. Just past the lions is St Mark’s Clocktower which was was completed in 1499.
A long arcade runs along the north of St Mark’s Square with buildings known as the Procuratie Vecchie or the old procuracies. Today this arcade is filled with shops and restaurants. It is home to one of the two most well-known cafes on the square, Caffe Quadri.
The south side of Piazza San Marco is known as the Procuratie Nuove. This side is also home to shops and restaurants and the second most well known cafe, Caffe Florian.
121. Return to Ancient Times at The Roman Forum Italy
The Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill are located in the same archaeological area and it is possible to walk freely between the two. When visiting these Rome monuments you may well feel that you have returned to ancient Rome.
The Romans drained this area (it was marshland) to turn it into a city. The Forum was the marketplace of Rome and later a site for criminal trials, gladiator matches and processions.
Today the site is in ruins but at the time it was home to the most important buildings in the ancient city. The oldest monuments within the Roman Forum date back to the first kings of Rome in the sixth century BC.
The Forum was abandoned in the Middle Ages. It was not until 1898 that excavations began and this archaeological site was discovered.
122. Tell a lie with your hand in the Bocca Della Verita (Mouth of Truth) Italy
Have you seen the classic Audrey Hepburn movie Roman Holiday? I adore it – and one of my favourite moments in the film is when Gregory Peck shows her character the Mouth of Truth. There are many theories about when the Bocca Della Verita was created. The Mouth of Truth dates back to the first century AD.
This statue is a tall stone disc with a human face carved into it with hollow holes for eyes and a gaping mouth. The belief around the statues is that if you were to stick your hand into the gaping mouth of the Bocca Della Verita and tell a lie it would bite off your hand.
123. Have a Big Night Out in New Orleans, Louisiana
There is nowhere else quite like New Orleans. Known for parties, jazz, creole, drinking in the streets, an atmospheric downtown, beautiful big houses and much more. I would also like to thank them for beignets.
The French Quarter is where most visitors start their stay in New Orleans. Some of the beautiful French style buildings date back 300 years. Bourbon Street is the most famous street in the French Quarter but also check out Royal Street and Frenchmen Street for jazz.
Jackson Square is in the centre of the French Quarter and flanked by the impressive St Louis Cathedral. The square is often frequented by artists and there are shops and restaurants nearby.
The lovely Garden District is home to some of the most stunning houses in New Orleans. Take a guided tour or explore the area on foot. Don’t miss First street, Camp street and Prytania street.
Then why not take a cruise on a paddle steamer on the Mississippi River? Cruises tend to run for two hours and are a great way to experience river life and offer some terrific views.
124. See Strasbourg Cathedral France
This magnificent Catholic Cathedral is considered to be one of the best examples of Rayonnant Gothic architecture. It is over 1000 years old and sits on what was the site of a Roman temple.
The building of Strasbourg Cathedral took the entire 13th century – something to keep in mind if you are building or renovating yourself! Today it is the sixth tallest church in the world. This is quite incredible considering that the highest structure of the church was built in the Middle Ages.
One of this gothic church’s most famous elements is its astronomical clock. The mechanics of the clock date back to 1842. At half-past 12 every day the movements of the clock’s characters attract the crowds.
125. See the Magna Carta at the British Museum England
Founded in 1753, the British Museum was the first public museum in the world. The museum covers all fields of human knowledge and entry remains free of charge.
When it opened in 1759 it was intended by Parliament that it would open its doors for “all studious and curious persons”. Today, the British Museum receives over 6 million visitors a year.
The museum is located in the heart of Bloomsbury in London. It has four wings and 43 columns inspired by Greek temples. It was intended to emulate Greek architecture.
Highlights of any visit to the British Museum include visiting the Reading Room which was completed in 1857 and the considerably newer Great Court, which opened in 2000.
The Great Court is certainly my favourite area of the British Museum. It is a two-acre space enclosed by a beautiful glass room and the Reading Room sits in the middle.
The magnificent glass roof is made up of 3,312 individual panels, and no two panels are the same shape. The roof is just over 26 metres above floor level at its highest point, giving a fantastic feeling of space to the area.
The museum is divided into different galleries which are organised by periods of time or locations. As you would expect, the British Museum gets very busy.
Tickets must be booked online whether they are for the general free admission or for paid exhibitions.
126. Spend the night at the World’s Largest Log Cabin
Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello is the world’s largest log building. It is a star-shaped structure and was built in the depression of the 1930s in just 90 days. The reason for the urgency was that the developer wanted to open the hotel for Canada day, which is still July 1.
The chateau was once an exclusive private club but is now part of the wonderful Fairmont group of hotels. This is the third Fairmont Hotel in this post and I must admit I am a bit crazy about them.
The logs are red cedar and all 10,000 of them were brought in from British colombia by train. I learned that red cedar is also the wood used for totem poles. This is because it is soft and long-lasting – and because red cedars are huge.
There are 211 rooms at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello. The hotel is halfway through renovating all the rooms – particularly the bathrooms. I was lucky enough to have a freshly renovated room and it was lovely.
There is so much to do at Montebello. Indoor and outdoor activities, a spa, a marina, a golf course – it is impossible to be bored. I used one of the free bikes available and cycled around the entire property which was lovely.