After more than 45 years of traveling the globe, we have finally put together a list of our favorite travel destinations of a lifetime. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, as we can think of additional wonderful places which could be considered for such a listing. We have to draw the line somewhere and so we selected twelve of our favorites.
After reading several similar lists available on the internet, from well known publications as well as from other bloggers, we felt that we should throw our hat in the ring and let you know what, in our opinion, are the top destinations every traveler should visit during his/her lifetime. We don’t think that you have to climb Mount Everest, or travel to Bhutan, or take an expedition to Antarctica, or go bungee jumping in Australia, as exotic and fascinating as these experiences may be. But we do think that the following destinations should be at the top of your bucket list :
1. Paris France
If you are going to travel to only one destination in your life, the City of Lights is our choice for you (unless you are so lucky as to already reside in or near Paris). There is romance in the air just about everywhere you are likely to go in Paris, and the city will make you fall in love, with perhaps more than merely the beauty of its attractions, its streets, its cafes, its “joie de vivre”. If you have not been to Paris yet, hurry up and put it on your list!
The official website of the Paris tourism office can be found here: Paris Tourism
2. New York City USA
The City That Never Sleeps will overwhelm you with its pace of life and the richness and vibrancy of its offerings. New York City has it all, and the experience of sharing the life of the New Yorkers for a few days should not be missed by anyone interested in the meaning of freedom.
The official New York City tourism website can be found here: New York City USA
Have a look at one or more of the many BonVoyageurs postings about New York City: BonVoyageurs’ New York City
3. London England
There are many good reasons why London is the most visited city in the world with more than 19 million visitors a year. The sun may have set on the British Empire, but London still provides tourists with the feel of a royal, if not imperial, city steeped in long rooted traditions and customs. Isn’t London where they wrote the book on how to act like a gentleman or a lady?
The official website of the London tourist office can be found here: London Tourism
Read some of the BonVoyageurs postings about London: BonVoyageurs’ London
4. Hong Kong China
All of the exoticism of the Orient can be found in Hong Kong, which will amaze you with its wonders and its successful blending of the best of Eastern and Western cultures.
The official website of the Hong Kong tourist office can be found here: Hong Kong Tourism
Read some of the BonVoyageurs postings about Hong Kong: BonVoyageurs’ Hong Kong
5. Israel and the Holy Land
Israel and the Holy Land should be on everyone’s bucket list. Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is the birthplace of the three great religions of the world, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All travelers will find a visit to Israel a rich and rewarding foray into thousands of years and many layers of history.
The official website of the Israel Tourism office can be found here: Israel Tourism
6. Santorini and other Greek Isles
After many years of cruising the oceans of the world, BonVoyageurs still regards a cruise to the Greek Isles the best first and most essential cruise for first time travelers. If you are going to take only one cruise in your lifetime, make it a cruise from Athens to Venice through the Greek Islands!
The official website of the Greece Tourism office can be found here: Greece Tourism
7. African Safari
Whether in Kenya/Tanzania or in southern Africa, an African safari is nothing short of a life changing experience. Coming in close proximity to thousands of wild animals in their native environment will make you want to come back for more!
Read some of the BonVoyageurs’ postings about an African Safari here: African Safari
8. Florence and Tuscany
There is something uniquely special about Florence and Tuscany in Italy. The capital of the Renaissance is full of beautiful art and architecture and surrounded by one of the best food and wine growing regions in the world. The art of good living may well have been invented here!
The official website of the Tuscany tourism office may be found here: Tuscany Tourism
Read some of the BonVoyageurs postings about Florence and Tuscany here: Florence and Tuscany
9. Nice and the Cote d’Azur in France
The sun and the blue waters of the Cote d’Azur in France have attracted artists, royalty and tourists alike to these beautiful shores on the Mediterranean. Nice and the Cote d’Azur have been a favorite vacation destination of ours for many years because, in addition to its awesome coastal towns and cities, the Cote d’Azur offers countless gastronomic and cultural treasures.
The official website of the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur tourism office can be found here: Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur Tourisme
Read some of the BonVoyageurs postings about Nice and the French Riviera: Nice and French Riviera
10. Napoli and the Amalfi coast
When it comes to our favorite landscapes in the world or our favorite scenic drives, the Bay of Napoli and the Amalfi Coast, including the Isle of Capri, offer what we consider the most beautiful and romantic coastline in the world. It should not be missed.
The official website of the Campania Region tourism office can be found here: Napoli and the Amalfi Coast Tourism
11. Venice (Venise, Venezia) Italy
Venice Italy has symbolized romance for generations of lovers the world over, but unfortunately its days are numbered as the city is slowly sinking into the waters of the Adriatic Sea. So don’t wait too long before booking your trip!
The official website of the Venice Tourism office can be found here: Venice Tourism
12. Montreal and Quebec City Canada
French culture and joie de vivre are nowhere better experienced than in French Canada and the cities of Montreal and Quebec City. Both in winter and in summer, from the Jazz Festival to the Winter Carnival, Montreal and Quebec City offer experiences of a lifetime!
The official website of the Quebec Tourism office can be found here: Quebec Tourism
How many of the above twelve destinations of a lifetime have you been to? Before you make your next travel plans, ask yourself whether any of these fabulous destinations should not become your next vacation! And if you think that we should add another destination to our list, let us know!
Stay tuned to BonVoyageurs.com for more Countries of the World as we share our joie de vivre from around the world. Luxury escapes, cruises and city breaks to Quebec City, New York, Washington, Buenos Aires. In Europe, places like Paris France, Nice France, Provence and the Cote d’Azur (French Riviera), Tuscany and Florence in Italy, Rome, Napoli and the Amalfi Coast. In Asia, countries like China, India, Nepal and so much more!
Your top three cities are mine too! But would also add Barcelona, Vancouver and San Fran to the list.
Lyn aka TheTravellingLindfields says
I can tick them all off except two and one of those we have planned for next year. That only leaves Israel.
[email protected] says
That’s a very interesting list! Some of your favourite cities are my favourites as well though Istanbul would be included in the top 3. It’s interesting that you include Nice and the Cote d’Azur and Quebec and Montreal on your list…nice cities but for me not a must see! I think you should consider visiting Turkey and Australia where there is so much more to see and do than bungee jumping!
I’ve been to 11 of your 12 chosen best travel destinations, so I guess I’ll have to go visit Napoli and the Amalfi Coast next! I would add somewhere in the Caribbean: Guadeloupe, for example.
Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru says
Lists like these provide a great glimpse into the list-maker, too. Everyone will have an opinion as to what you included or didn’t. It’s a big world and hopefully this will inspire other potential travelers.
Paula McInerney says
Amazing cities, all of them. We are about to add Quebec and Montreal to these cities. Now where is Sydney? 🙂
Yasha Langford says
It’s an interesting list and you are certainly an inspiration to others to get out there and see the world. Italy features strongly and I can understand why!
I’d like to also suggest a visit to Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and other parts of Australia – but that’s expected from us Aussies!!!
Well these are also many of my favorite places visited and I could go back again in a heart beat. Hope you can share it for our linkup today on Travel Photo Mondays
Sand In My Suitcase says
For us, an African safari was the trip of a lifetime (actually, we got to experience two, one in Zambia, and one in South Africa). To see wild elephants up close – how magnificent they are! And you can never get too much of Venice :-). We’d add Luxor in Egypt and the Valleys of the Kings and Queens to your list. There are so many amazing tombs and temples there that are absolutely mind-blowing. How the ancient Egyptians carved these monuments is a testament to man’s ingenuity. (Though you’d have to check for safety advisories before visiting Egypt.)
Irene S. Levine says
What a great list. I don’t think it will garner any controversy:-)
Kay Dougherty says
You have a lot of good places on your list but of course I would change some! But you got me thinking about it. I usually recommend Barcelona to people really enjoyed Singapore but everyone has their different perspectives which makes it interesting!
karen escalera says
I’d add Tuscany it’s the total package — scenery, historic monuments, art, fabulous food, fashion.
Tuscany is there, Karen. Destination no. 8 : Florence and TUSCANY! Delighted you enjoy that region!
Carole Terwilliger Meyers says
Great choices all for your favorite travel destinations of a lifetime list, but I would reorder the top three: London, NYC, Paris. I’m just back from what birthday visit to NYC and I do love that city. I’m actually not sure how many times I’ve been there or to London.
Great destination list! We have Israel, the Amalfi coast, and an African safari still to experience, and they are all high on our list. Others I would include: Vancouver, Madrid, and Tokyo.
Napoli, Florence, Israel and a Safari is missing, but we made a tour on our own through Kruger National Park.
But what about Madrid and Amsterdam?
Suze The Luxury Columnist says
It must have been hard to choose! I’ve been to quite a few of these and can’t wait to visit the Amalfi Coast in September
Suze | LuxuryColumnist
Hi Denis and Lynn,
Like some of the other commenters, I’d add Sydney and Barcelona. There’s a lot to see out there — the list could be a mile long!
Karen Warren says
I’m lucky enough to have been to all of those places apart from Quebec (and that’s on my bucket list!). I love them all, especially London which I’ve been visiting regularly all my life for work and pleasure (even lived there on a couple of occasions) but I still find new things each time I go there.
I wrote about my trip to Santorini, Athens and Mykonos this year: https://musthaveflowers.wordpress.com/travel-blog/greece/
would love to visit more of these destinations.
Steve Tierney says
Our last year’s trip to Istanbul and Greece
Iva Vincalek says
What a great article! I’ve been only to a few destinations from your list but hope to visit more in future.
All done, Except for Napoli and Montreal..
Great list. I have to say my two favorite cities are the same as your top two. Paris and New York. It’s funny but they sort of have same vibe and I love it. We just got back from NY a couple of weeks ago and I want to go back already 🙁 SO much in fact, that we have plans to go there next May 🙂 We have been to a few others on your list, but have a few others on our bucket list. Thanks again for sharing.
It must have been difficult to decide, after seeing so many amazing places around the world.
I love Singapore. With regards to transportation, trishaws WERE popular 20 years ago. Right now you can go anywhere in Singapore by train (MRT) or bus. Furthermore, if you take cabs/taxis, they charge a flat/non-negotiable rate since they are all metered. The downside is that they have a surcharge.
Linda Aksomitis says
Thanks for posting this list – I loved New York city and London too. I’[email protected] add some of these to my bucket list.
This post is really amazing and informative for me.. Author write about London, England is exactly true. Voted up for this post.
Heather Lindstrom says
Excellent list!! Having just returned from Paris, Amalfi Coast, Florence and Tuscany I totally agree. I’m also partial to San Francisco as a California girl! Santorini is on my short list!
Liz @ poulet s’il vous plaît says
This is a great list! I’m lucky to have been to many of these places, but still quite a few left to explore. Hopefully I’ll get to see them all.
Liz | Poulet s’il vous plaît
Great list, and inspirational too! We’re hoping to do an African Safari this year, as that’s still on our bucket list
Tamason Gamble says
So a great list of places. I would love to visit Israel one day, it’s a place that has, for a long time now, captured my attention but I think I need to still work on my husband. I would also love to return to Paris, we travelled there a few years ago and have both said we would like to return. As a bibliophile, this is one city that really does cater for bookworms and I am especially interested to return to Shakespeare and Co now that they have added a cafe, plus the small, unimposing restaurant next door does the more wonderful food.
Feeling excited, heading to tuscany, venice and paris soon 🙂 What are some other beautiful destinations in rest of the world that you would suggest? There are a lot of suggestions here from Europe.
Enjoyed reading your list. I live in London and South of France so definitely agree with those two! I would add Venice and St Petersburg.
Agness of eTramping says
I’ve already visited some of these places and the others are on my bucket list. Great destinations, Denis!
Cacinda Maloney says
That is quite a list you have there!