Chosen by millions of travelers, TripAdvisor's 2016 list of best travel destinations spans the globe from reveled global cities to up and coming hotspots. Take a look and see if you agree with their picks.
1. London, UK
Great Britain's capitol is a collision of history, art, fashion, and commerce. Museums dot the city among opera houses, theaters and haute department stores. If you’re looking for good food near Harrod’s, stop for some cream tea or crispy fish from a proper chippy. Visit Big Ben, Westminster Abbey or the numerous other iconic landmarks throughout London proper – a city with history that dates back to the Roman Era. Music lovers should check out the legendary Abbey Road while book buffs might stop by the Sherlock Holmes museum on 221B Baker St.
2. Istanbul, Turkey
One of the most important points along the ancient Silk Road, Istanbul oversaw the massive exchange of goods, culture and knowledge through much of history. Wander the bazaars, haggle with merchants and taste the exotic flavors you’ll find there. Relax in Turkish baths and visit the mosques that perfuse this Turkish city. Take a walk across the beautiful Galata Bridge, and stop by the Miniaturk Park to see its miniature artifacts in this colorful hub of East-meets-West.
3. Marrakech, Morocco
Morocco is ablaze of markets, mosques, palaces, and gardens scattered throughout wielding alleys and gorgeous courtyards. Exploring the “Red City” can be time consuming – and once you start wandering, your attention could get grabbed by any number of street vendors selling spices or trinkets or the imposing architecture surrounding you.
4. Paris, France
The crossroads of leisure and culture, Paris has a vibrant energy and pulse that simply must be experienced Wander lazily amongst the city’s cafés, lunch along the Seine, and gaze upon iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Check out the Louvre before catching an exquisite dinner and be sure to take a walk along the river to see the booksellers. If you like nightlife, Moulin Rouge is one of the most famous risqué parlors in the world, while the red light district is full of hopping clubs, bars, and pubs to keep you entertained.
5. Siem Reap, Cambodia
One of the most spiritual regions in Southeast Asia, Buddhist temples are everywhere that range in size, shape and intricacy. Thick jungle surrounds Siem Reap, along with one of the largest religious complexes in the world and the 12th century Ankgor Thom royal city. Visit the night market to experience a wild barrage of sights and sounds that Asian street markets are so famous for.
6. Prague, Czech Republic
The allure of this bohemian metropolis is almost mystical. The Prague Castle is one of the most amazing architectural features of the city, along with the John Lennon Wall, Old Town square and the Astronomical Clock. The best bars are often in cellars, and set the perfect pub-style-scene for a night out in this fairytale city.
7. Rome, Italy
No list of the world’s top destinations would be complete without the timeless and classic city of Rome. Walking the streets and lanes is like walking through history, as told by the architecture, murals, churches, fountains, ruins, and paintings. Take in the famous pantheon and the colosseum between espressos at charming cafés, pizza nibbles and shopping in the open-air markets and piazzas. The romantic essence is enchanting, and will capture your attention like no other place on Earth.
8. Hanoi, Vietnam
The capitol of Vietnam has been central to the development of the country and the amount of history that can be seen and explored within the city attests to that. Dine on authentic Vietnamese food, and walk along lakes and through parks. Most of the city is highly accessible by taxi or motorbike.
9. New York City, USA
The Big Apple is a melting pot of cultures and lifestyles that can be both startling and overwhelming. But it is an amazing place that everyone simply must experience. The fast pace of the city matches the noise and the energy of cabs, busses, subways and boats zipping in every direction. Lights and LED’s flicker and illuminate the skyscrapers, offering an imposing cityscape unmatched anywhere else in the world. No one can see, taste, and hear all that New York City has to offer in a single trip. But the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are some great places to start. Try the fine dining in the Upper West Side or taste the global cuisine offered by vendors in Grand Central Station’s market.
10. Ubud, Indonesia
The spiritual hub of Bali, Indonesia is where you will find temples, ashrams, acupressure, reflexology, yoga, and enough aromatherapy to provide a soothing life refresh. The region is dominated by large volcanoes that can be climbed for amazing views of the island, and surrounded by picturesque stepped rice patties. Ubud is also the home of Bali’s art scene, where visitors can meet working artists and view more traditional pieces in museums and galleries.
11. Barcelona, Spain
Often described as surreal thanks to its colorful artwork and unique architecture, what Gaudi has created in Barcelona is nothing short of incredible. The Church the Sacred Family is one of the most visited gothic structures, while Park Guell is just as bizarre and amazing, and can make for a very interesting visit. Taste sangria in cafés along Las Ramblas, and watch the eclectic talent of Barcelona’s street performers.
12. Lisbon, Protugal
From art museums and statues, to monuments and architecture - the capitol of Portugal offers everything a tourist might desire. Take a guided walk through the city to gain a deep respect for the fabulous stone architecture the city is so famous for. You'll want to stop often to snack because this seaside paradise offers some of the freshest seafood around.
13. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
A cosmopolitan oasis that looks to have been transported straight out of the future, Dubai can be intimidating. Huge, brightly lit skyscrapers tower over the Arabian desert making you feel small in comparison. It is a city of superlatives and luxury, but you get what you pay for: witness the worlds largest dancing fountain, some of the tallest buildings on Earth, artificial island resorts and beaches, 7-star hotels, and the largest natural flower garden on the planet. Rent a dune buggy and caravan off into the desert with some adventurous friends, or bet on races at the Camel Racetrack.
14. St. Petersburg, Russia
If you really want to get into the cultural heart of Russia, then you should plan a trip to St. Petersburg. You'll find wonderfully crafted buildings like the Winter Palace and the Kazan Cathedral, and you can wander amongst the internationally acclaimed art collection at the Hermitage. The city straddles the Neva River delta, and is so full of nightlife, fine dining, cultural monuments, and historic sites that visitors can return year after year and still find new things to do and see.
15. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is so big and sprawling that no one could ever dream of exploring the vast city in its entirety. The amount of temples within the city limits is enough to keep anyone occupied for weeks, not to mention the street markets, food, gardens, parks, tailors, and gilded palaces. An excellent basecamp for travelers planning on venturing north into the mountains or south to the beaches, no matter whether you plan to make it out of the city or not, Bangkok is surely a rollercoaster of sights, smells and sounds for the inquisitive traveler.
16. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Visiting Amsterdam is like walking into a city straight out of a storybook. Vibrant colored buildings are intersected by lazy canals and beautiful bridges. Here you can see the Anne Frank house, where she famously hid from the Nazi’s and wrote her diary, or visit the Van Gogh museum and gaze upon the work of one of the greatest impressionist artists of all time. Rent a bike and travel the town with thousands of locals, zipping and zigzagging through the maze of this enchanting circular city.
17. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is the perfect example of where European influence collided with new world – flavors are more powerful, colors are brighter, the music is sexier, and the art is wild and passionate. The old neighborhoods are full of romantic restaurants and thriving nightlife. Check out the city’s oldest bar, Café Toroni established 1858, or hang out in some of the more modern venues that feature thumping Latin music and energetic dancing patrons. If you are looking for the perfect balance between party, pleasure, leisure and culture, then Buenos Aires is the place for you.
18. Hong Kong, China
One of the largest, busiest, and most frenzied cities in the world, Hong Kong isn't for the faint of heart. But if you choose to explore, you will be blessed with delectable dim sum, floating islands and traditional Chinese architecture (like Ngong Ping village). If you are looking for fantastic views of the city, hike up to the top of Victoria Peak for an epic photo shoot, or wander serene Buddhist complexes like Chi Lin Nunnery to find meditative peace among the stony hills of Nan Lian Garden.
19. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Relax, release and revive yourself along the coast of the Caribbean. Playa del Carmen is one of Mexico’s most pristine beaches, offering amazing sunrises, beautiful sunsets, scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, paddle boarding, and just about any other water activity you can dream up. The hipper, modern incarnation of a simple fishing village they started out as, wander the thick jungles and hang out with the spider monkeys in the lush rain forests. Venture into the wild and explore genuine Mayan villages before retreating for a nice meal with a view.
20. Cape Town Central, South Africa
Cape Town was the fulcrum point for seafaring traders, destined for India, and as such, it became a thriving settlement. Since those days, it has evolved into a laid-back city full of coastal-dwelling-English-speakers who know what’s up when it comes to surfing and folk music. Just outside town you’ll find the stunning Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, great ocean vistas, and hiking trails that weave and wend through the magnificent landscape of southern Africa.
21. Tokyo, Japan
The lights and energy of New York’s sister city are every bit as exciting and wild as its western counterpart. Tokyo has a long history that can be seen in the city temples, East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, and within the halls of Edo-Tokyo museum. Dine on authentic sushi, or get more adventurous and try octopus balls or the allusive blowfish. There's magic in the cherry blossom trees that line the Sumida River, in the strange themed bars and restaurants, in the ancient Japanese architecture and in the thumping, driving nightlife.
22. Cusco, Peru
You won’t find a high tech metropolis here. In Cusco, you will walk amongst old Spanish churches like the Santo Domingo, across the Plaza de Armas, through stone streets, and beside palaces like Qorikancha. It is a place where the Incan culture exists side-by-side with the European settlers that arrived in the 15th century. Delve into the native lands by visiting ruins and monuments, or exploring the Spanish history of the area. The food is delicious, as Peru is the home of quinoa, that's full of flavorful spices. Visitors should be sure to try their famously cooked guinea pigs, which provide the country with 50% of its protein.
23. Kathmandu, Nepal
The capitol of Nepal is a spiritual place to be with the massive, jagged peaks of the Himalayas surrounding to make you feel small. Monks wander the streets with prayer beads in hand, while incense burns and spills from windows. Locals hang prayer flags and spin prayer wheels, while bells chime delicately in the distant wind. Meet some animal friends in Durbar Square’s monuments, or greet adventurous humans in the busy Thamal District where trekkers and climbers often congregate. Kathmandu is an amazing place to explore, but many who travel here use it as a launching pad for adventures in the Himalayas.
24. Sydney, Australia
Sydney thrives from sunrise to sunset year-round, but summer is when it really comes alive. Sail out on the beautiful waters, snorkel or scuba, surf or paddle board, or maybe just relax and work on that tan -- it is the Aussie way. Check out the iconic opera house (famously shaped like a sailboat), and take a trip to the Museum of Contemporary art. Or wander down the cobblestone streets of The Rocks, and let the surplus of talented street performers wow you. Party well into the night and through the morning at any of the city’s hundreds of nightclubs and bars. There is always a concert to see, or a DJ to dance to so come ready to leave more tired than you arrive.
25. Budapest, Hungary
Affectionately called the “Queen of the Danube,” Budapest is a regal city known for its vast array of pools, hot springs and bath houses. Roughly 15 million gallons of water gurgle up into the city’s 118 springs and boreholes, feeding their pools and baths with natural water. But there is more to the city of spas than just its wet leisure, it's also heavy with history and culture. Roman ruins stand proudly and defiantly against time, like those of the Aquincum Museum, Hero’s Square and Statue Park. And a trip to Budapest wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the stunning, 300-foot dome of St. Stephen’s Basilica, one of the most important architectural landmarks in the city.