Countries Bucket List
Pyramids, pharaohs, sphinxes, ancient curses, buried tombs, and thousands of years of history – why wouldn’t you want to experience the mysteries of Egypt?
North Africa’s Morocco is a melting pot of African, Arab, Andalusian and European influences, and these come through in the architecture, the food, and the culture. The range of colourful spices that line the market places will ensnare all the senses – Morocco is truly intoxicating.
Whether you visit the teeming metropolis that is Bangkok, or head out to one of the many perfect islands off the coast, one thing is for sure – you will be blown away by how beautiful, welcoming, and gentle Thai people are. Thailand offers culture, relaxation, nightlife – whatever you are looking for, you’ll find here.
A true melting pot of cultural diversity, Singapore is home to some of the most incredible food, shopping and architecture in all of Asia. While some may write it off as being too expensive and clean, the Singapore Zoo and Marina Bay Sands alone are worth the visit.
There is no culture quite like Japan. From the food to the temples, the anime to the cherry blossoms, Harajuku to Mt Fuji – there is something for everyone, and yet nothing is anything like what you’ll experience elsewhere. Japan is completely its own.
If you think Bali is the only place worth visiting in Indonesia, think again (though obviously Bali is well worth a visit too). See some Komodo Dragons, go scuba diving through magnificent coral reefs, and taste some nasi goreng and a cup of fresh coffee.
A cacophony of sounds, smells, colours, and tastes, India is an overwhelming place to visit – which is probably why so many people head there to “find themselves”. If you can adventure through India, you can adventure through pretty much anywhere. Plus the people are beautiful and the culture is rich and colorful.
Turkish cuisine is worth the price of admission into Turkey just by itself, but there’s more this beautiful country than kebabs and kofte. From the mountain ranges to the gorgeous beaches, Turkey is full of history, culture, and incredible scenery.
A country rich in history and culture, China is much more than just the Great Wall. Shanghai is one of the busiest, most futuristic cities on earth, with some of the tallest skyscrapers sitting next to old shanty towns, and local eats alongside trendy new bars. And if you venture outside the cities, the landscape is also incredibly diverse. There’s truly something for everyone.
Often forgotten by tourists in the rush to visit the more well-known beaches of Thailand and Bali, Cambodia is a true authentic paradise. Check out Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, or the pristine beaches of one of the many islands. Home to the ancient temples of the Khmer Empire and jungles featuring orangutans, Cambodia is a true hidden gem.
Jerusalem is the holiest city in the world for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, so it’s worth visiting for the history of that alone. Israel is also home to Tel Aviv, which has some incredible nightlife and is a real 24hour city, and the Dead Sea, which is the lowest place on Earth.
Vietnam is already well-known for the food; Vietnamese cuisine is popular all over the world, but it’s worth tasting it the way it should be tasted – from a little old lady at tiny stall in an alleyway. Grab some pho, a papaya salad and some Vietnamese coffee then wander through the busy streets, checking out the mix of historical monuments and the French influence from the occupation. The people are beautiful and friendly, and your money will go a long way here.
The city of Kuala Lumpur is a fantastic beginning point when exploring Malaysia – home to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, once the tallest building in the world and now connected with a skybridge. Once you get out of the city, you can explore dense tropical jungles, hike through cave systems, and relax on gorgeous clear beaches.
We don’t need to tell you why you should go to France, but here are some reasons anyway: The Eiffel Tower. Croissants. Baguettes. Cheese. All the foods, basically. Wine. The Louvre. The history. The culture. The rolling hills. Did we mention the food?
While the UK may be in a bit of turmoil at the moment, that doesn’t mean it’s not still worth a visit. If you’re a fan of the Royals there’s Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and the Tower of London. If you’re not, there’s the pubs, the shopping, the shows, the London Eye, the Natural History Museum, the Tate… you definitely won’t get bored or run out of things to do.
Visit the country that invented pizza, pasta, and vespa scooters. Whether you’re gazing up at the Colosseum in Rome, shopping in Milan, paddling through Venice, or scooting down the Amalfi Coast, you will love the beauty, simplicity, and passion of Italian living.
Spain has it all – gorgeous beaches, an amazing nightlife, food to die for and rich history dating back to it’s time as the world superpower during the Golden Age. Take a trip out to one of the beautiful Spanish islands, join in the running of the bulls, take a cheeky siesta, then do it all again!
While Amsterdam has it’s obvious attractions, the Netherlands don’t begin and end there. Get a bike and cycle through the vast tulip fields, dotted with iconic windmills. Check out the gigantic sea-walls that prevent the country from sinking into the ocean. Take a boat down one of the canals in many Dutch cities. And of course, check out the incredible art history – the country is home to Rembrandt, Bosch, and Van Gogh, after all.
A perfect spot to see the Northern Lights, Iceland is on many peoples bucket list – and with good reason. The people are warm and welcoming, the landscape is icy and rugged as well as green and inviting, and the history is full of myths and legends. If you head there during summer you can experience the Midnight Sun, where the sun never sets.
Whether you spend your days hopping around the Greek Islands, checking out the history of Athens, or sipping wine in Santorini, you’re guaranteed a good time in Greece. From delicious tzatziki and souvlaki to mouth-watering wines, Greeks love to host and are very good at it. Perfect weather all year round means that it’s always a good time to visit!
An enchanting mix of legend and ancient history makes Ireland a fascinating place to visit. Head to a local Irish pub for a pint of Guinness and a hearty beef pie, then venture out into the rugged countryside for one of Ireland’s world-renowned hikes across beautiful hills and windswept cliffs.
Stroll around Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and check out the magnificent plazas, cobbled alleyways, and beautiful architecture while munching on a Portuguese tart. Then head out to Monsanto, the village that was built into enormous granite boulders like the town that time forgot. Between the food, the beaches, and the history, if Portugal isn’t on your bucket list, perhaps it should be.
North America (23)
The US is a melting pot of different cultures, histories and stories. From the music and cuisine of New Orleans to the tacky glitz of Las Vegas, from the craggy mountain ranges of Colorado to the constant buzz of New York, and the dusty glamour of LA to the larger than life Texas – if you can’t find something for you in America, you’re just not looking hard enough.
Canada is well known for its outdoor activities – with a landscape this picturesque, you’ll want to spend all your time outdoors. Whether you head there in winter for some of the worlds best skiing, or the warmer months when you can camp, hike, river raft and climb. The cities are also known for their multicultural and friendly vibe, so when you’re ready to head back into civilisation you can expect a good time there too.
Mexico is vibrant, colourful, and full of culture. Experience an authentic Mexican taco, sip tequila with the locals, and fiesta like the best of them. The music scene is off the chart, and the traditional music is amazing to see live. Mexico is also a pretty affordable destination, which means your money will go pretty far here. And of course, if you want to venture outside the cities, there are numerous world-class archaelogical sites like the circular pyramids of Guachimontones in Jalisco.
Australia is a huge country with a range of things to see. From the vast red plains of the desert to the Great Barrier Reef, the natural wonders are endless. Once you head into the cities, there’s still plenty to do – head to Melbourne for hidden rooftop bars and graffiti lined laneways, or Sydney for some of the most amazing beaches in the world.
Home to some of the most incredible landscapes in the world, there’s a reason New Zealand has been chosen as the location for many a film shoot (Lord of the Rings, anyone?). Head here for some adrenaline-pumping adventure sports, delicious wineries, and hospitality of the indigenous Maori people.
There’s a concept the locals call ‘Fiji time’ which you’ll experience as soon as you arrive – basically that there’s no such thing as “late”. Things just happen when they happen. Luckily, with beaches like these, there’s no where else you’ll need to be. Get ready for a very relaxing time.
South America (12)
Providing a diverse landscape for exploring, Argentina serves up glaciers, mountains, deserts, jungle, sea coast and volcanoes for you to explore. Culturally, it is a vibrant and dynamic place with delicious food and wine in abundance – think empanadas and Malbec, fresh seafood and pastas, and slow cooked meat dishes. It’s great to visit all year round!
Everybody visits Brazil for the beaches – and rightfully so, with more than 2,000 beaches stretched along the nation’s shoreline, and some of them more famous than the country they’re in. But there’s more – Brazil is home to incredible rainforests with wildlife you won’t see anywhere else, a diverse culture and festivals like nothing you’ve seen before.
There’s Chilean wine, of course. That’s always a good reason. The Patagonia region of southern Chile is a land of mountains, fjords, lakes and forests, while the cities are bustling metropolis’ full of delicious food, incredible architecture and intriguing street art.
While a visit to Colombia may not have been well-advised 20 years ago, an effort to clean up the drug cartels and create a safer atmosphere has made the capital Bogota a must-visit. New restaurants and craft breweries are springing up as the economy booms, and tours around the city will show you the darker side without diving right into any murder hotspots.
Other regions (8)
The craggy hills of the Scottish highlands boast whisky trails, beautiful lochs (keep an eye out for the Loch Ness Monster), historical castles and incredible views. Head into the cities for a feast of culture – in August the Edinburgh Fringe Festival sees the city become an epicentre of arts of all genres. This is a country where culture isn’t just for the history books, but is alive and well in every corner just waiting to be discovered.
Hong Kong is a place where the east truly meets west in a melting pot of culture. A dynamic, fast-paced city, it was once a British colony but is now an autonomous Chinese territory. From towering skyscrapers to street merchants, food to die for (including the worlds cheapest Michelin-starred meal) and luxury shopping malls next to sprawling markets, Hong Kong truly has something for everyone.
A gorgeous mix of mountainous greenery and arid desert leading into the Dead Sea makes Palestine a beautiful yet harsh juxtaposition. The country is home to countless holy sites of value to Islam, Judaism and Christianity, so it is well worth a visit for both religious and historical reasons. For a place that is locked in constant struggle with its neighbours, visiting and seeing for yourself how people live here is important and will open your eyes to how complex these situations really are.
If you’re considering a visit to the land of song, the hearty food, friendly people, gorgeous scenery and fascinating traditions are probably high on your list of reasons. So named for it’s sing-song-sounding local language, Welsh is spoken across the land and contributes to some of the longest place names you’re ever likely to see. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is worth a visit, if only for the size of the sign as you enter the town.
Northern Ireland is home to the Titanic Museum – an attraction that has seen it win “Europe’s Leading Tourist Attraction” and “World’s Leading Tourist Attraction”. That alone is a big deal! It also has natural beauty for days, with a spectacular coastal landscape that’s featured in Game of Thrones. It’s an easy place to visit – you can drive from one side of the country to the other in two and a half hours!
Offering pristine waters for snorkelling and diving, an expansive national park full of walking trails, and untouched beaches, Norfolk Island is a spectacular destination for anyone wanting to explore a safe yet pristine natural environment. While an expensive place to visit due to its isolation in the middle of the South Pacific, it’s worth the trek.
One of the last truly untouched natural wildernesses on earth, Antarctica is full of wildlife – think whales, penguins, seals, and birds, just out there doing their thing. As global warming affects this majestic continent, it might be one to tick off the bucket list sooner rather than later.
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