Top 15 Places To Visit Before You Die: Our world is vast and diverse, and deserves to be explored from head to toe. Both natural and man-made sites can prove to be awe-inspiring, and although most places are amazing in their own way, a few should truly not be missed.
If you have the luck and privilege of being able to travel, at least once, make sure to check out one of the places in this list; you won’t regret it. From towns and cities, to natural wonders, you will find all of these sites worthy of being added to your bucket list.
Needless to say, the places listed here are just a few of the hundreds of astonishing ones that the Earth has to offer us. You could certainly think of many other locations that could be rightfully added to this list. In fact, each of these places would deserve a list of its own. However, I tried to mix it up a bit and bring to you some of the best examples of each “thing” that our planet has to offer – similar to what I did with my 13 Best Cities to Visit in South America list. Let’s then take a look at 15 places to visit before you die.
Nr. 1. Cambodia
Although Cambodia is much more than just the Angkor Wat, this “City Temple” is the star. Watching the sunrise at this UNESCO World Heritage site is a unique experience.
Angkor Wat was built over the course of thirty years, in the 1100’s, as an after-death home for King Suryavarman II, but remained undiscovered by Westerners until France colonized Cambodia in the mid-1800’s.
Nr. 2. Myanmar (Formerly Burma)
Myanmar is a relatively “unexplored” (at least by tourism) country. Mysterious, millenary, diverse, this country is really something else. Once again, one site takes most of the attention: Bagan. This “temple city” spreads across 42 square kilometers and contains more than 2,000 temples and stupas.
Yangon, the country’s capital, is also not to be missed.
Nr. 3. French Polynesia
More than 110 islands make up the French Polynesia, so there’s a lot to see beyond Bora Bora. Any of the islands will take your breath away; crystal clear water, plenty of underwater life, astounding sunsets…. This place just leaks romance!
Some other islands you might want to check out are: Moorea, Rurutu, Maupiti, Huahine, Rangiroa, Taha’a, Nuku Hiva, Manihi and Mangareva.
Nr. 4. Turkey
Another surprising place; Turkey is eclectic, it’s old, it’s new, it’s just crazy! Startling cities, architecture and natural sites make Turkey a prime travel destination. Beyond its famed beaches and an obviously mandatory stop at Istanbul, any traveler has to check out Cappadocia, a region known for its unusual landscape. Rock formations there resemble chimneys, mushrooms and…well, male sexual organs, so to say. It might be a cliché by now, but flying in an aerostatic balloon over this site will be an experience you will never (ever) forget; or stop talking about.
Nr. 5. Egypt
Egypt? Giza Pyramids, of course. But, what else? Certainly: a cruise down the Nile River.
Other great things to see in Egypt are the Siwa Oasis (a mud fortress), Cairo (the crazy capital), and the Dahshur necropolis.
Keep reading to find out which places complete our list of the 15 places to visit before you die.
Nr. 6. Greek Islands – Croatian Islands
Another trip back in time. It is not just Santorini or Mykonos that are worth seeing; the Mediterranean has a lot to offer. Milos, in Greece, has, in my opinion, some of the nicest beaches in the area. Meanwhile, the not-so-famous Croatian Islands will certainly surprise you. From Vis to Hvar, these isles feature astonishing medieval towns or cities over the most beautiful, calm, warm sea.
Also, while in Croatia, make sure not to miss the Plitvice Lakes Park; a place that just looks different, like out of a movie; maybe Avatar.
Nr. 7. Vietnam
From Ho Chi Minh City to the Mekong Delta, being in Vietnam feels like being in a motion picture. However, most travelers would agree on the fact that the most special place to visit is Halong Bay, a green-water bay speckled with more than 2,000 jungle-covered islands,providing for plenty of caves and grottoes to explore.
Nr. 8. Japan
Not for budget travelers, this country stands out for its sense of order, its rich cultural heritage and its sometimes-overwhelming technological advancement. However, Japan is not only made out of cities. Its rural areas are just incredible, and remind of an older, simpler time.
A must-see is Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki. This flower-park will make you forget all about the tulip fields in the Netherlands, believe me.
Nr. 9. Argentina
One of the most incredible and unexpected places in Latin America, Argentina stands out for its wideness, and therefore, the variety of landscapes it offers. Mountains, deserts, salt lakes, sea, waterfalls, glaciers, lakes, forests, jungles….
A few things must be seen in the most-southern of the American countries: Buenos Aires (the capital city, which is an eclectic mixture; a little bit of Paris, a little bit of Rome, a little bit of New York, a little bit of Latin feel), the Perito Moreno Glacier (you can actually walk on this huge ice mass), and the Iguazu Falls, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World .
Nr. 10. Brazil
Being so big and diverse, picking out a few places to visit in Brazil is almost an impossible task. There is, however, one place (not Rio de Janeiro) that deserves to be in your bucket list, and it is not that well known: Lençóis Maranhenses. This park, located in northeastern Brazil, features huge sand dunes with blue and green lagoons in between them, which reach their fullest between July and September.
Nr. 11. Peru
One of those places to see before you die is Machu Picchu, one of the best preserved Inca cities. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is another must-see. For those willing to make a little effort and climb the Wayna Picchu, a great reward awaits at the top: the most breathtaking view of the ruins you’ll find.
Other places you cannot miss in Peru are Cusco, and its capital, Lima.
Nr. 12. Jordan
An unusual destination in Asia, Jordan is still quite unexplored. I have only had the luck to visit Petra, an archeological jewel comprised amongst the New 7 Wonders of the World (along with Machu Picchu and the Iguazu Falls).
Make sure not to miss the Dead Sea, an oily water mass where you will float with no effort, and Jerusalem, in neighboring Israel.
Nr. 13. China
China has probably one of the longest lists of places to see. It is so big, populated and old, that you can find examples of practically everything. Beyond its crowded cities and the famous Wall, the Zhangye Danxia landform in Gansu will make you drop your jaw. Mountains with hundreds of colors are just some of the other amazing views you will find.
Nr. 14. Bolivia
In addition to the Lake Titicaca and the mining city of Potosi, one startling site that you need to visit while in Bolivia is the Uyuni Salt Lake, the largest salt lake (and mirror) in the world. Make sure to take a tour that includes a sleepover at the Salt Hotel (yes, a hotel made entirely out of salt, including walls, ceilings and beds).
Nr. 15. Italy
A very popular and common destination, Italy is still magical. Rome’s antique buildings and archeological sites, Milano’s trendy streets, Firenze’s awe-inspiring churches and, of course, Venice, the aquatic-city; a romantic, weird, one-of-a-kind place you certainly need to see before you die.
Please let us know in the comments section if you would have included other places in this top 15 places to visit before you die list. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the places you couldn’t have lived without seeing.