The Worlds 25 Best Travel Destinations

July 7, 2015 - Comment

  TRAVELERS’ CHOICE™ WORLD DESTINATIONS 2015   Travelers’ Choice Destination #1: Marrakesh, Morocco The new Travelers’ Choice #1 Destination in the world, Marrakesh is a magical place, brimming with markets, gardens, palaces, and mosques. Exploring the intimate courtyards and snaking alleyways of the historic Medina can easily eat up a day. Find inner peace at

 

TRAVELERS’ CHOICE™ WORLD DESTINATIONS 2015

 

Marrakesh photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #1: Marrakesh, Morocco

The new Travelers’ Choice #1 Destination in the world, Marrakesh is a magical place, brimming with markets, gardens, palaces, and mosques. Exploring the intimate courtyards and snaking alleyways of the historic Medina can easily eat up a day. Find inner peace at the serene Jardin Majorelle or take in the beauty of one of the city’s historic mosques (taking note that you may only step inside if you are Muslim).
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3 Days in Marrakesh  View the Guide >
Shopping Guide for Marrakesh  View the Guide >

Siem Reap photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #2: Siem Reap – Angkor Wat

When the morning light washes over the overgrown temples and ruins of Angkor Wat, a simple Siem Reap sunrise becomes a profound event. The ancient structures are contained within one of the largest religious complexes in the world. The complex and the 12th century Angkor Thom royal city are considered the main reasons to visit Siem Reap, the #2 Travelers’ Choice Destination in the world for 2015. Get a lesson in national history at the Cambodian Cultural Village, and a lesson in bargaining at the Angkor Night Market, a bonanza of shopping stalls, food vendors, and bars.
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3 Days in Siem Reap  View the Guide >
Guide to Siem Reap for Families    View the Guide >

 Istanbul photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #3: Istanbul

Europe and Asia meet in Istanbul, this year’s #3 Travelers’ Choice Destination in the World, where breathtaking ancient architecture coexists with modern restaurants and nightlife. The city’s mosques, bazaars, and hammams (Turkish baths) could keep you happily occupied for your entire trip. Start with the awe-inspiring Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque), visible from many points of the city. Stroll the Galata Bridge and stop by the Miniaturk Park to see its tiny artifacts. The Grand Bazaar has thousands of shops to browse, while the Egyptian Bazaar is a fragrant trove of spices and fruits.

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3 Days in Istanbul  View the Guide >
Shopping Guide for Istanbul  View the Guide >

 Hanoi photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #4: Hanoi

Hanoi is #4 in the world in this year’s Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards. The charming Vietnamese capital has aged well, preserving the Old Quarter, monuments and colonial architecture, while making room for modern developments alongside. Once called Thang Long, or “ascending dragon,” this centuries-old city hasn’t forgotten its past, as attested by sites such as Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Hoa Lo Prison. Lakes, parks, shady boulevards, and more than 600 temples and pagodas add to the appeal of this city, which is easily explored by taxi.
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Romantic Guide to Hanoi  View the Guide >
One Day in Hanoi  View the Guide >

Prague photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #5: Prague

The bohemian allure and fairytale features of Prague, #5 in the World in this year’s Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards, make it a perfect destination for beach-weary vacationers who want to immerse themselves in culture. Spend a full day exploring Prazsky hrad (Prague Castle), then refuel over a hearty dinner at a classic Czech tavern. Spend some time wandering the Old Town Square before heading over to gape at The Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock. Prague’s best bars are found in cellars, where historic pubs set the scene for a night of traditional tippling.
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Romantic Guide to Prague  View the Guide >
Prague Off the Beaten Path  View the Guide >

London photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #6: London

The crown jewels, Buckingham Palace, Camden Market…in London, a perennial Travelers’ Choice Award winner, history collides with art, fashion, food, and good British ale. A perfect day is different for everyone: culture aficionados shouldn’t miss the Tate Modern and the Royal Opera House. If you love fashion, Oxford Street has shopping galore. For foodies, cream tea at Harrod’s or crispy fish from a proper chippy offers classic London flavor. Music and book buffs will love seeing Abbey Road and the Sherlock Holmes Museum (at 221B Baker Street, of course).
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London by Foot and Tube  View the Guide >
Museum Guide for London  View the Guide >

Rome photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #7: Rome

The Travelers’ Choice #7 Destination in the World for 2015, Rome wasn’t built in a day–and you’ll need much more than a day to take in this timeless city. The city is a real-life collage of piazzas, open-air markets, and astonishing historic sites. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, contemplate the Colosseum and the Pantheon, and sample a perfect espresso or gelato before spending an afternoon shopping at the Campo de’Fiori or Via Veneto. Enjoy some of the most memorable meals of your life here, too, from fresh pasta to succulent fried artichokes or a tender oxtail stew.
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3 Days in Rome  View the Guide >
Best Food in Rome  View the Guide >

Buenos Aires photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #8: Buenos Aires

The birthplace of the tango is, like the dance itself, captivating, seductive and bustling with excited energy. Atmospheric old neighborhoods are rife with romantic restaurants and thumping nightlife, and Buenos Aires’ European heritage is evident in its architecture, boulevards and parks. Cafe Tortoni, the city’s oldest bar, will transport you back to 1858, and the spectacular Teatro Colon impresses just as it did in 1908. The Travelers’ Choice #8 Destination in the World this year, Latin America’s shopping capital offers the promise of premium retail therapy along its grand, wide boulevards.
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Buenos Aires Off the Beaten Path  View the Guide >
3 Days in Buenos Aires  View the Guide >

Paris photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #9: Paris

Lingering over pain au chocolat in a sidewalk café, relaxing after a day of strolling along the Seine and marveling at icons like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe… the perfect Paris experience combines leisure and liveliness with enough time to savor both an exquisite meal and exhibits at the Louvre. Get to know this romantic, rewarding Travelers’ Choice Destination: awaken your spirit at Notre Dame, bargain hunt at the Marché aux Puces de Montreuil or for goodies at the Marché Biologique Raspail, then cap it all off with a risqué show at the Moulin Rouge.
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Romantic Guide to Paris  View the Guide >
Shopping Guide for Paris  View the Guide >

Cape Town photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #10: Cape Town Central

Cape Town, #9 on the list of Travelers’ Choice Destination World Winners, glistens at the southern tip of the African continent. Picture-perfect views at Blaauwberg Beach and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are within easy driving distance of “The Mother City.” The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve provides sweeping sea vistas, hiking trails and wildlife encounters. On a more somber note, travelers can visit Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years.
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3 Days in Cape Town  View the Guide >
Guide to Cape Town Outdoors  View the Guide >

New York City photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #11: New York City

You know New York City from film, TV and song. But visit this Travelers’ Choice Destination in person—for a weekend or a month—and you’ll find a restless, energetic city with culture, sports, history, restaurants and shopping in abundance. Once you’ve visited well-loved landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can step off the beaten path in thousands of directions: the medieval Cloisters museum in upper Manhattan, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, a tour of pizzerias in Brooklyn… just to name a few.
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3 Days in New York City  View the Guide >
shhh – The NYC guide to its secret side  View the Guide >

Zermatt photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #12: Zermatt, Switzerland

When most people think of Zermatt, they think of one thing: The Matterhorn. This ultimate Swiss icon looms over Zermatt, first drawing visitors here in the 1860s. The village of Zermatt, a Travelers’ Choice Destination, is lovely and car-free, with old-fashioned brown chalets and winding alleys. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk everywhere —there are electric vehicles and horse-drawn cabs.) Skiing in the region often lasts through early summer, but when the weather’s warmer, it’s a great time to hike.
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Guide to Zermatt for Families  View the Guide >
Best Food in Zermatt  View the Guide >

Barcelona photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #13: Barcelona

Barcelona feels a bit surreal – appropriate, since Salvador Dali spent time here and Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí designed several of the city’s buildings. Stepping into Gaudí’s Church of the Sacred Family is a bit like falling through the looking glass – a journey that you can continue with a visit to Park Güell. Sip sangria at a sidewalk café in Las Ramblas while watching flamboyant street performers, then create your own moveable feast in this Travelers’ Choice Destination by floating from tapas bar to tapas bar.
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Best Food in Barcelona  View the Guide >
Guide to Barcelona for Families  View the Guide >

Goreme photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #14: Goreme, Turkey

A town literally carved into the volcanic rock, Goreme is the gateway to the Goreme National Park, a vast UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses spectacular 10th- and 11th-century cave churches. The park itself is known for its chimney rock formations and is very popular with backpackers. This Travelers’ Choice Destination is also a great area to sample Turkish cuisine and wine.
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3 Days in Goreme  View the Guide >
Guide to Goreme Outdoors  View the Guide >

Ubud photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #15: Ubud, Indonesia – Bali

The village cluster of Ubud, a Travelers’ Choice Destination, is the ideal place to try a famed Balinese massage and soak up the ambiance of one of Asia’s top spa destinations. Acupressure, reflexology, stretching and aromatherapy star in the island’s distinctively firm massage treatments. Ubud is also the vivacious center of Bali’s arts scene, home to a small treasure trove of museums and galleries. Monkey around at nearby nature reserve Monkey Forest Park, home to hundreds of mischievous long-tailed macaques. Don’t miss the valley of tomb cloisters at Gunung Kawi.
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Romantic Guide to Bali  View the Guide >
3 Days in Bali  View the Guide >

Cusco photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #16: Cusco, Peru – Machu Picchu

Incan majesty and Andean baroque exist side-by-side in Cusco’s stone streets, epitomized by the Qoriacancha palace and the church of Santo Domingo flanking the Plaza de Armas. In this Travelers’ Choice Destination, a high-altitude melting pot of Amerindian and mestizo culture, you’ll find extraordinary textiles, lively summer festivals and archeological wonders.
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Guide to Cusco Outdoors  View the Guide >
Guide to Cusco for Families  View the Guide >

Petersburg photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #17: St. Petersburg

The second largest city in Russia and a Travelers’ Choice Destination for 2015, St. Petersburg is the country’s cultural heart. View splendid architectural gems like the Winter Palace and the Kazan Cathedral, and give yourself plenty of time to browse the world-renowned art collection of the Hermitage. Sprawling across the Neva River delta, St. Petersburg offers enough art, nightlife, fine dining and cultural destinations for many repeat visits.
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One Day in St. Petersburg  View the Guide >
Museum Guide for St. Petersburg  View the Guide >

jim thompson house photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #18: Bangkok

Golden palaces, floating markets, majestic porcelain-laid spires…you’ve never seen a capital city quite like Bangkok, a Travelers’ Choice Destination for 2015. Visit Pratunam or Siam Square for premium shopping, then unwind in the European-style gardens of Dusit. Thon Buri is home to the awesome Wat Arun temple, and over in Phra Nakhon, you’ll find the Wat Pho temple of the Reclining Buddha. Savor mango sticky rice at a food stall before taking in the gilded splendor of the Grand Palace.

Best Food in Bangkok  View the Guide >
3 Days in Bangkok  View the Guide >

Kathmandu photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #19: Kathmandu

Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital and a Travelers’ Choice Destination, is surrounded by a valley full of historic sites, ancient temples, shrines, and fascinating villages. Mingle with locals and animals amid Durbar Square’s monuments, or join mountain trekkers in the bustling Thamel District. Explore shops for exquisite work by local artisans—carpets and paper prints are specialties.
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Guide to Kathmandu Outdoors  View the Guide >
One Day in Kathmandu  View the Guide >

Athens photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #20: Athens

Thanks to fortunes brought by the 2004 Summer Olympics, Athens has become a city reformed. Spotless parks and streets, an ultra-modern subway, new freeways, an accessible airport and clear signage make the city easily negotiable. Meriting more than a stopover en route to the islands, sophisticated sites in this Travelers’ Choice Destination include many pillars of Western history, from the Acropolis to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, as well as treasures in the National Archaeological Museum.

3 Days in Athens  View the Guide >
Shopping Guide for Athens  View the Guide >

Budapest photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #21: Budapest

Over 15 million gallons of water bubble daily into Budapest’s 118 springs and boreholes. The city of spas offers an astounding array of baths, from the sparkling Gellert Baths to the vast 1913 neo-baroque Szechenyi Spa to Rudas Spa, a dramatic 16th-century Turkish pool with original Ottoman architecture. This Travelers’ Choice Destination, called the “Queen of the Danube,” is also steeped in history, culture and natural beauty. Get your camera ready for the Roman ruins of the Aquincum Museum, Heroes’ Square and Statue Park, and the 300-foot dome of St. Stephen’s Basilica.
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One Day in Budapest  View the Guide >
Best Food in Budapest  View the Guide >

Queenstown photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #22: Queenstown, New Zealand

Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Queenstown for heart-pumping sports: kayaking, bungee jumping, jetboating, white-water rafting, hiking and skiing. More mild-mannered adventurers can take a quiet cruise through nearby Milford Sound, part of the Fjordland National Park World Heritage area, or sample South Island pinot noir from one of the region’s 75 wineries. But for many, the biggest attraction of this Travelers’ Choice Award-winning resort town is its role in cinema history: much of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy was filmed in the area.
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Queenstown off the Beaten Path  View the Guide >
3 Days in Queenstown  View the Guide >

Hong Kong photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #23: Hong Kong

Delectable dim sum, floating islands, and a one-of-a-kind skyline are just some unique features of Hong Kong, a 2015 Travelers’ Choice Destination. Get an eyeful of traditional Chinese architecture in Ngong Ping village, or take the tram to the tippity-top of Victoria Peak for unparalleled views. The rocks and gentle hills of Nan Lian Garden will bring you inner peace, as will a calming cup of tea in a Stanley café. Become one with everything at the Chi Lin Nunnery, a serene Buddhist complex.
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Best Food in Hong Kong  View the Guide >
3 Days in Hong Kong  View the Guide >

Dubai photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #24: Dubai

Dubai is a cosmopolitan oasis, a futuristic cityscape that towers over the Arabian Desert. This Travelers’ Choice Destination is a city of superlatives, home to the world’s largest dancing fountain; tallest building (Burj Khalifa); only 7-star hotel (the Burj al-Arab); largest artificial islands (the Palm Islands); and largest natural flower garden (the Miracle Garden). Rent a dune buggy for a desert adventure, bargain at the open-air market, or cheer on your favorite humped hoofer at the Camel Race Track.
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3 Days in Dubai  View the Guide >
Guide to Dubai Outdoors  View the Guide >

Sydney photoTravelers’ Choice Destination #25: Sydney

Sydney, a Travelers’ Choice Destination, offers plenty of historical and contemporary Australian flavor. The marvelous Sydney Opera House looks like a great origami sailboat, floating peacefully in a harbor. Wander the narrow cobblestone streets of The Rocks and then take in a street performance on the Circular Quay before heading into the Museum of Contemporary Art. The views from the Sydney Tower Eye observatory are epic – use this chance to get to know the layout of the city from high above.
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3 Days in Sydney  View the Guide >
Best Beaches Around Sydney  View the Guide >

Photo by D-Stanley Photo by fotopamas Photo by fotopamas Photo by MikeBehnken Photo by MikeBehnken Photo by superUbO Photo by superUbO Photo by yarra64 Photo by namho Photo by akarakoc Photo by clint.mason_sa Photo by Moyan_Brenn Photo by Arian Zwegers Photo by Geraint Rowland Photography Photo by David McKelvey Photo by ilkerender Photo by MikeBehnken Photo by Nathan O’Nions

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