From the epic glaciers of South America to the fascinating mosques of the Middle East, our world is filled with dream destinations waiting to be uncovered. Here are 30+ dream places to visit at least once in your lifetime — some of them are classics, while others are countries you might have never even considered traveling to before. Regardless, out of all the countries I’ve been to, these were the ones that inspired and impressed me the most.
In this article, you’ll find out what makes these places the best dream holiday destinations to visit as well as useful travel tips such as when to visit each location. You’ll also find tons of beautiful photos to fuel your wanderlust!
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💎 The Most Underrated Dream Destinations
Believe me when I say Uzbekistan is hands down the most underrated country on earth. I can never recommend it enough as no words can do this country justice — it’s one of those places whose beauty will leave you absolutely speechless, and whose people will leave a lasting impression on your heart.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Uzbekistan is the incredible architecture there. You’ll see countless madrasahs (Islamic schools), mosques, and minarets that display patterns so stunning and intricate — you won’t even believe your eyes. In addition, this Central Asian country is also a great place to learn about the history of the Silk Road.
Spend 10 days in Uzbekistan to have an ample amount of time to soak in its beauty. The three main places to stop by are the trade hub cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. You’ll be glad to know that Uzbekistan is not only incredibly safe, it also has a very developed railway system, making it really easy to get around on your own.
Most importantly, Uzbek people are hands down the kindest, most sincere, and most welcoming locals you can meet. They go out of their way to make you feel comfortable in their country, and their incredible hospitality will make it very hard to not fall in love with Uzbekistan.
☀️ Best time to visit Uzbekistan: April, May, September & October (for ideal weather)
🖼 If you enjoy my Uzbekistan photos, you can purchase some of them from my print store!
Oman is definitely one of Middle East‘s best-kept secrets — it’s one of the most versatile dream countries to visit in the world. In fact, this stunning peninsula truly has something for every kind of traveler and any type of holiday. Whether you’re into relaxing on the beach, trekking, or exploring ancient monuments, Oman has got you covered.
From stunning wadi pools, hiking trails, and lush waterfalls to ancient forts, majestic mosques, and desert dunes, this country will largely impress you with the diversity of its landscape and the variety of activities it has to offer. It’s also a very safe country to visit, even for solo female travelers!
The best way to see Oman is to rent a car and drive around the country for 10 days (although 2-3 weeks is ideal). Be sure to stop by Muscat, Wadi Shab, Bimmah Sinkhole, Sur, Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, Wahiba Sands Desert, Wadi Bani Khalid, Nizwa, and Jebel Akhdar. This itinerary will take you through some stunning mosques, forts, and deserts. You’d also be watching turtles nest on a beach and swimming in wadis and sinkholes before cooling down in the mountains!
🏡 Where to stay: Al Bustan Palace is one of the best hotels in Muscat; it has an incredible pool overlooking the sea and is filled with tropical vibes (see picture on the bottom right). In Wahiba Sands Desert, I recommend the magical Desert Nights Camp for the ultimate glamping experience.
☀️ Best time to visit Oman: October to April (for the best weather)
32. Slovakia — One of the Best Secret Dream Places to Visit
Sprinkled with quaint medieval towns, fairytale castles, and majestic mountain ranges, Slovakia is undoubtedly one of Eastern Europe’s best-kept secrets. Most people wouldn’t think of this country as a dream place to travel to, which makes it one of the most peaceful and uncrowded destinations in Europe (except during the holidays when domestic tourism soars).
The most important thing to keep in mind about traveling in Slovakia is: get out of Bratislava! Don’t get me wrong, Bratislava is great. But there are so many other incredible cities, castles, and natural wonders in this country that simply seeing Bratislava doesn’t even begin to do it justice.
There’s a wide range of things to do in Slovakia. This country has the most castles per capita in the world, so be sure to stop by the most interesting ones: Orava Castle, Bojnice Castle, Spiš Castle, and Šášov Castle (a true hidden gem). A visit to Slovakia would be incomplete without a hike or two in the High Tatras mountains, which is also an amazing skiing destination in the winter. Be sure to bring good hiking gear and get ready to be blown away by the spectacular views up there!
There’s no shortage of charming towns and villages to visit in Slovakia either. Be sure to stroll the cobblestone streets of Košice, Bardejov, and Banská Štiavnica, where each building is more colorful than the next. Head over to Čičmany to see what a traditional Slovak village looks like, and to Špania Dolina to learn about ancient mining towns in Slovakia!
☀️ Best time to visit Slovakia: Mid-June to September for warm weather / December to March for skiing and winter activities
31. Iran — A True Dream Country to Visit
You might not have thought of Iran as a dream place to visit, but hear me out on this. Incredibly misrepresented by the media, Iran is definitely one of the most remarkable cultural and historical destinations in the world. So much history is wrapped inside the intricate details of the architecture there, which by the way, will leave you completely speechless.
Contrary to what many might think, Iran is also incredibly safe. The truth is I felt much safer walking alone in Iran than I did in many Western countries. Iranian people are also known for their friendliness and hospitality, and you will be blown away by how welcoming they are towards foreigners (and Americans are no exceptions!).
Some of the key stops on the perfect trip to Iran are Shiraz, Esfahan, Yazd, Kashan, Kerman, and Tehran. Getting around in Iran on your own is very easy: you can easily travel from one city to the next via local buses, which are very comfortable, clean, and come in VIP class as well. Your trip wouldn’t just be filled with majestic mosques and breathtaking shrines, but also ancient Zoroastrian sites in the desert and captivating archeological ruins such as Persepolis!
☀️ Best time to visit Iran: April, May & September to November (most ideal weather)
30. Riga, Latvia
Riga, the stunning capital of Latvia, might not be at the top of your Europe bucket list, but its unique charm and lively, artsy vibes are bound to captivate your heart. For example, did you know that this city has the highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture in the world? In fact, roughly one-third of all the buildings in Riga’s city center are in the style of Art Nouveau.
Wandering around the cobblestone streets of Riga, you’ll also find lots of colorful buildings and street musicians putting a smile on your face. The cheerful vibes of this town doesn’t stop at night either — even if you’re out and about at 1:30 am, the city center would still be beaming with energy, music, and life!
Riga is also home to a lot of cool restaurants and bars. One of my favorites is Rozengrāls, a medieval restaurant set in an underground cellar — their impressive decor and (delicious) old-fashioned dishes really take you back in time! To experience a glimpse of local life, head over to Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs, an authentic pub with awesome live music and a very upbeat atmosphere.
I recommend staying in the Old Town, where most of the action takes place. My top recommendation is Metropole Hotel by Semarah — it’s cozy, stylish, and very decently priced!
☀️ Best time to visit Riga: June to August (most ideal weather)
29. Lahore, Pakistan
Lahore, the cultural and foodie heart of Pakistan, is definitely one of the best hidden treasures of Southern Asia. Brimming with life, action, and colors, it’s a remarkable dream place to go to if you’re looking for an authentic and non-touristy travel experience.
In fact, international tourism isn’t really developed in this city yet, so the best way to get around is to hire a local guide. But the locals are incredibly warm and welcoming, the food is exquisite, and the architecture will blow your mind. From breathtaking mosques to bustling bazaars, there are plenty of attractions in this city to keep you busy for 3-4 days.
You can see a lot of monuments dating back to the Mughal Empire (1526-1857) in Lahore, such as the majestic Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort, and Tomb of Jahangir. Be sure to also soak up the peaceful vibes in the beautiful Masjid Wazir Khan and to take a stroll in the Shalimar Bagh garden.
Lahore is bustling with markets and bazaars, where you can get an insightful glimpse into local life. Two of the best ones are the Delhi Gate Market and the Anarkali Bazaar. Given that this city is the foodie capital of Pakistan, you cannot leave without grabbing a meal at Fort Road Food Street or trying the karahi dish at Butt Karahi, a local favorite.
☀️ Best time to visit Lahore: March, October & November (best weather)
28. Baku, Azerbaijan
If you’re intrigued by places where the old meets the new or where the East meets the West, then Baku — the dynamic capital of Azerbaijan — is the perfect dream travel destination for you. This fascinating city really has it all; it’s a place where futuristic skyscrapers and ancient monuments stand side by side, creating a melting pot of styles and cultures that truly complement each other.
Take a stroll on the Baku Boulevard to catch some seaside views, get an amazing view of the Flame Towers from Highland Park, taste the fantastic local food, and visit the historic Icherisheher (the Old City) — the list of amazing things to do in Baku goes on and on!
In addition, did you know that half of the world’s mud volcanoes are in Azerbaijan? That’s right, around 400 of the 1,000+ mud volcanoes on earth are in Gobustan, which is only an hour away from Baku. In fact, you can take an easy day trip from Baku to Gobustan to see these mud volcanoes as well as some fascinating prehistoric rock carvings, and it’s an experience not to be missed!
I recommend staying at Four Seasons Hotel Baku to get an incredibly dreamy view of the iconic Flame Towers from the terraces there. If you’re a solo female traveler, you’d also be happy to know that Baku is incredibly safe!
☀️ Best time to visit Baku: May, June, September, October (most ideal weather)
🙏🏼 The Best Cultural Dream Holiday Destinations
Visiting Myanmar is one of the most humbling travel experiences I’ve had. Most locals there live very modest lives, yet they seem to be a lot more content and appreciative of what they have than most people in the West — myself included. While a quarter of Myanmar’s population lives in poverty, its spiritual wealth is incredibly high. Majestic golden temples and stupas are scattered everywhere across the country, and many of them are built entirely on locals’ donations.
Seeing these magnificent structures with your own eyes is not only a breathtaking experience but also one that will make you look at life from a different perspective. If you’re looking for a cultural and educational holiday, then definitely don’t miss out on Myanmar.
You can spend weeks backpacking in Myanmar and not get bored. Aside from exploring the golden temples of Yangon and Mandalay, pay a visit to the scenic Inle Lake, where you can discover the unique leg-rowing techniques used by the native lake dwellers there.
One of the highlights of the country is the ancient city of Bagan, where you can go temple-hopping with an e-bike and channel your inner Indiana Jones. If you visit between October and April, you can also watch hot air balloons soar over the temples at sunrise! Lastly, if you don’t feel like a holiday is complete without some seaside relaxation, Myanmar’s answer for you is Ngapali Beach.
☀️ Best time to visit Myanmar: November to February (for ideal weather)
It’s hard to talk about dream places to travel to without mentioning Turkey, a breathtaking country whose magic is hard to sum up into words. There’s something to do in Turkey for every kind of traveler, whether you’re looking for a relaxing holiday, an epic adventure, or a history lesson.
On an epic Turkey road trip, you can explore the spectacular mosques in Istanbul and enjoy some delicious Turkish desserts; visit the captivating ruins of Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; ride a camel through the enchanting rock formations of Cappadocia; discover the majestic waterfalls of Antalya, or simply relax in the thermal pools of Pamukkale. There are also plenty of amazing things to do in Izmir!
One experience you can’t miss during a trip to Turkey is watching hot air balloons rise over Cappadocia during sunrise. You can also ride one if you don’t mind the steep prices (usually ~$160 USD per person for 1 hour).
One of the best places to watch the balloons rise is from cave hotels around Cappadocia. There are two of them in particular that I highly recommend: Koza Cave Hotel and Museum Hotel. The first one has a terrace with an unbelievable view (see picture on the top left) and fewer crowds compared to the more popular cave hotels in Göreme. The latter one allows you to enjoy the view of the balloons from a dreamy pool!
☀️ Best time to visit Turkey: May, June, September & October (for best weather, less crowds and best chance of seeing and riding the hot air balloons)
Japan ruined travel for me. After spending 4 months there, no matter where I traveled to afterwards, I would simply miss the Japanese way of things. This country is definitely one of the cleanest and most orderly places you can visit. Everything is punctual to the dot, the people are extremely polite, the streets are spotless (and even void of trash cans), and even the subway seats are heated.
If you want to get to know one of the most beautiful and peaceful cultures in the world, then definitely head to Japan. You’ll be touched by locals going out of their way to help you out and also fascinated by all the quirky and unique things you will find there, such as wasabi-flavored Kit Kat and ramen noodle baths.
It also goes without saying that Japanese food will take you straight to heaven. While the sushi and sashimi in Japan are obviously as fresh as could be, there are also so many other delicious local specialties to try. Some of my favorites are okonomiyaki (a savory pancake), yakitori (meat in skewers), and takoyaki (octopus dumplings).
Some of the best dream places to go on holiday in Japan are Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka, and Nara. If you adore monkeys, you can also visit the Jigokudani Monkey Park to see snow monkeys bathe in a natural hot spring!
☀️ Best time to visit Japan: March to May & September to November for the best weather | March to April for cherry blossoms (it depends on the weather conditions of the year though)
24. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Music, culture, beaches, and heavenly views — these are just a few highlights of the magic of Rio. In fact, this incredible city is a dream tourist destination for many; it’s the perfect place for both a relaxing and a cultural holiday. From the colorful steps of Escadaria Selaron to the stunning sunset views of Sugarloaf Mountain, the vibrance of this city will leave you longing for more.
Whether you want to soak up the sun on a secluded beach, admire a fantastic bird’s-eye view of the city, or watch a delightful samba performance in the evening, one thing is for sure: Rio will be hard to leave!
There are some things you absolutely can’t miss during your time in Rio, such as climbing up to Christ the Redeemer to get a jaw-dropping view of the city and the bay (see picture above). Although Copacabana is the most iconic beach in town, there are also plenty of other beautiful beaches around that aren’t as crowded, such as Praia Vermelha.
To discover Rio’s nightlife, head over to Rio Scenarium, the most famous club in town, and dance away to the beat of Brazilian music! Lastly, don’t leave Rio without taking a favela walking tour to learn more about the history and culture of many of the locals in the city. Please consider a sustainable tour such as Favela Experience, where the fees you pay go towards helping the local communities.
🏡 Where to stay: Rio has lots of hotels that offer gorgeous views of the sea and mountains. The two I recommend the most are Rio Panoramic and Miramar by Windsor because in addition to the beautiful views they offer, they’re also decently priced!
☀️ Best time to visit Rio de Janeiro: December to March for best weather, February for Carnival festivities
23. South Korea
South Korea will surprise you as there’s more to it than meets the eye. While it’s mostly known for the bustling capital of Seoul, this country is also home to plenty of dramatic hiking trails, historical towns, and delightful beaches. Moreover, there are tons of cultural activities to undertake, from exploring traditional folk villages to staying at Buddhist temples.
Start your trip in Seoul and be sure to stop by the picturesque Starfield Library there, which has plenty of space to sit down for a coffee. During your time in the capital, don’t miss the Jogyesa Temple — the heart of Korean Buddhism. There, you’ll see a stunning display of hundreds of colorful lanterns put up to celebrate Buddha’s birthday, which is a national holiday in South Korea.
If you enjoy dramatic landscapes, be sure to make your way over to Jeju Island. There, you’ll find magical white sand beaches, lava caves, volcanic craters, and more. The Gongnyong Ridge is another epic place to discover Korea’s natural wonders and do some beautiful hikes. For something more relaxing, though, take a stroll in Geoje’s Oedo Botania, which is brimming with flowers, shrubs, and cacti.
To immerse yourself in Korean culture and traditions, don’t miss the Korean Folk Village in Gyeonggi. There, you can watch traditional wedding ceremonies and taste traditional food at the street market. This village is a great place to learn about what life was like in Korea during the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897).
☀️ Best time to visit South Korea: Either between March and June or between September and November. During these seasons, the days are typically dry and temperatures are mild.
22. Paris, France
Few people can argue that Paris is one of the most sought-after dream destinations in the world. A hotspot for those who love food, culture, history, and architecture, there’s definitely no shortage of things to do in the 20 arrondissements of this city to keep you busy for a whole week.
Aside from the classic attractions, though, there are also plenty of beautiful hidden gems in Paris to explore. One of my personal favorites is Tour Montparnasse, the tallest building in the city, from which you can get a magnificent bird’s-eye view of Paris. This view is even better than the one from the Eiffel Tower because it actually has the Eiffel Tower in it!
During your time in Paris, don’t forget to take a stroll in the Latin Quarter at night, visit Rue Crémieux if you’re into colorful houses, explore the stunningly hidden Montmartre Vineyard (Vignes du Clos Montmartre), and enjoy the very underrated neighborhood of Belleville. Don’t forget to grab brunch at Sunday in Soho, a delicious meal at La Boîte aux Lettres, and some mouthwatering dessert at Le Loir dans la Théière.
🏡 Where to stay: Maison Albar Hotels Le Pont-Neuf (⭐️ 9.0) if you want to treat yourself to a luxury stay, Hotel d’Angleterre (⭐️ 8.4) for a comfort stay, and Le Village Montmartre by Hiphophostels (⭐️ 8.4) for an amazing budget experience.
☀️ Best time to visit Paris: April to June or October to November for fewer crowds and decently good weather / December to February for the cheapest prices
One cannot talk about the best dream vacation places on earth without mentioning Egypt’s archeological wonders and stunning deserts. Being one of the oldest ancient civilizations on earth, Ancient Egypt is any archeology lover’s delight.
Today, you can get a captivating glimpse into it by visiting the many ancient monuments scattered across the country, such as the iconic Great Pyramids of Giza, the majestic Luxor Temple, and the captivating Abu Simbel. A trip to Egypt is more than just an exciting history lesson, though. There are also tons of unique landscapes and adventurous activities to seek in this country!
Aside from exploring the archeological landmarks of Egypt, some of the coolest things to do in this country include diving in the Red Sea and parasailing in Hurghada. For a unique excursion, don’t forget to visit the astonishing underwater ruins of Heracleion, a 12-century city that sank 10 meters deep off the coast of Alexandria.
One of the most underrated places in Egypt is undoubtedly the White Desert — with chalk mountains and white boulders scattered everywhere, the landscapes there are absolutely surreal. Seeing what looks like a winter wonderland in the middle of arid sand is definitely an unforgettable sight. Before you leave this country, be sure to pick up some amazing Egyptian souvenirs!
☀️ Best time to visit Egypt: October to May (to avoid the summer heat)
Imagine a seaside getaway with delicious food, jaw-dropping sunsets, and atmospheric old towns… If you visit Croatia, you get all of that and a lot more! This country is hands down one of most charming dream places to go to in Europe.
You may know the gorgeous town of Dubrovnik for its Game of Thrones landmarks, but did you know that its historic Old Town is also one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in the world? You can easily get lost wandering around the cobblestone streets and ancient buildings there. Paired with a magnificent view of the sea, every corner of this city is simply ravishing.
Definitely don’t spend all your time in Dubrovnik though. From there, you can easily hop on a bus and get to Split in 2 hours to indulge in more waterfront fun.
Other places I recommend visiting in Croatia are Zagreb, Rovinj, Hvar, Istria, Vis, Krk, Plitvice Lakes National Park, and Krka National Park. You’ll be welcomed by vibrant beaches, soothing waterfalls, ancient ruins, and the most relaxing vibes. What more could you ask for?
🏡 Where to stay: Apartments La Bohème — this amazing place is located right by the Old Town, has private pools, and offers beautiful sea views. It’s also very decently priced given its wide range of amenities!
☀️ Best time to visit Croatia: May, June, September & October (for ideal weather and less crowds compared to the summer months)
19. Peru — A True Dream Place to Visit
It’s impossible to create a list of top dream destinations without mentioning Peru. Home to some of the kindest and friendliest people on earth, this country should definitely be on your bucket list if you’re looking for a scenic, cultural, and historical vacation.
In fact, Peru has an endless amount of breathtaking nature, ancient wonders, and cultural attractions to explore. Whether it’s hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, shopping at the local markets in Cusco, discovering the Amazon rainforest, tasting the freshest ceviche, or white water rafting in Arequipa, you’re bound to have an unforgettable time in this country!
One thing you absolutely shouldn’t miss during your time in Peru is visiting the 120 man-made Uros floating islands of Lake Titicaca. The locals living on these islands have their own set of cultures and traditions, which was incredibly interesting to learn about.
For instance, they will show you how they build their own homes from scratch on top of these floating islands and tell you about how they “cut” and move their island when they don’t get along with their neighbors. You can also stay overnight with a local family near the islands. This usually also includes a welcome dance party in the evening, where the locals will teach you their traditional dances.
☀️ Best time to visit Peru: May to September (the dry season)
18. Petra, Jordan
Hidden in the desert mountains of southern Jordan, the lost city of Petra will captivate the heart of any archeology buff. As the capital and trading hub of the Nabataean Empire (400 BC – 106 AD), Petra was once home to 30,000 people. This desert city’s ruins remained undiscovered for centuries before a Swiss explorer unveiled them in 1812.
You don’t need to be a history fan to appreciate the sheer beauty and majesty of Petra. Its rose-red desert stone architecture is simply mesmerizing — one can spend hours admiring its details. Today, Petra is one of the 7 New Wonders of the World and a dream destination sight for anyone seeking adventures à la Indiana Jones.
So much of Petra will fascinate you — from its intricate sandstone carvings to all the natural rock formations around it. A great way to explore this place is by joining the Petra in a Day: Private Tour from Amman so that a friendly and professional local guide can help you better understand the history behind the monuments you’ll see. You can also visit Petra on a joint Petra, Wadi Rum, Red Sea & Dead Sea 2-Day Camp Tour.
Don’t miss out on the Petra by Night experience either, where the city is lit up by 1,500 candles, creating a uniquely calm and peaceful atmosphere. Spend at least one week in Jordan and be sure to stop by this marvelous world wonder!
🏡 Where to stay: Petra Guest House Hotel is located right at the entrance of Petra and has an amazing historical atmosphere; part of it is set in a 1st-century Nabatean house. It has a charming garden and offers rooms with spectacular mountain views too!
☀️ Best time to visit Petra: March to May & September to October for best weather | Learn more: when to visit Jordan
🏯 The Best Dream Travel Destinations for Architecture
17. Moscow, Russia
Filled with art, history, and splendid architecture, Moscow is definitely one of the best places to visit in Russia. The capital city’s unique Orthodox churches and cathedrals are totally worth seeing at least once in your lifetime. The famous Red Square, which houses the Kremlin, is an incredible place to learn about the history of the country while admiring fairytale-style buildings.
If you enjoy art, simply take the metro — Moscow’s home to some of the most ornate metro stations in the world! Built during the Soviet times, their extravagant decors are truly a fascinating sight.
During your time here, I also recommend visiting Bunker-42, a secret Soviet bunker used during the Cold War. Today, it’s a Cold War Museum that showcases equipment used in the past and serves as a great reminder for us to not take peace for granted.
Another place I recommend stopping by is Izmaylovo Kremlin, a colorful complex with lots of museums, souvenir markets, restaurants, and buildings inspired by drawings of old Russian fairytales.
🏡 Where to stay: Four Seasons Moscow — a stunning luxury hotel located right next to the Red Square. The view of Manezhnaya Square that you get from the room terraces there is simply jaw-dropping (see picture on the far left).
☀️ Best time to visit Moscow: April & May for good temperatures and more affordable hotel prices (as opposed to the high season of summer) / December for the magical Christmas decorations (worth the freezing temperatures)!
16. Seville, Spain
Did you know that Seville, the capital of the Andalusia region in Spain, is the sunniest city in Europe? That’s right, this city is in fact the perfect dream place to be in if you’re looking for a destination that’s warm and bright all-year-round!
Seville is also deemed by many as the birthplace of both tapas and flamenco, making it a very culturally-rich vacation spot. By the time you leave, you’ll also have gained a greater understanding of the Moorish influence on Spain, since much of the beautiful architecture in this city date back to that time.
Spend at least 3 days in Seville to discover the nooks and crannies of this city. Explore the photogenic Plaza de España, walk down the colorful streets of Barrio Santa Cruz, admire the azulejos in Casa de Pilatos, and climb up the Giralda for a panoramic view. Of course, no trip to Seville would be complete without a visit to the Royal Alcázar, the oldest royal palace that’s still in use in Europe. Before you leave, make sure to watch a flamenco show and go on a tapas food tour!
🏡 Where to stay: EME Catedral Hotel offers one of the most epic views of the Giralda Tower from its terrace pool, and it’s the perfect hotel for spa and relaxation. Another amazing option is Hotel Ateneo Sevilla, which has unique vintage decorations and a traditional vibe.
☀️ Best time to visit Seville: September to November for great weather and fewer crowds / March to June for great weather and local festivities
If you’re looking for dream vacation ideas in Europe, Portugal should definitely be at the top of your list. This country will especially impress you if you enjoy hiking, surfing, history, and artsy vibes.
Whether it’s exploring the castles and palaces of Sintra, hiking in the islands of Madeira, surfing on the beaches of Algarve, or admiring the gorgeous traditional ceramic tiles (azulejos) of Porto — Portugal has something to offer to everyone. A trip in this country takes you right into the most colorful chapters of a history book and to the most thrilling pages of an outdoor magazine!
While the tourist hotspots of Lisbon, Porto, Sintra, and Algarve are definitely worth visiting, there are tons of hidden gems in this country too. Some of the best secret dream travel places to see in Portugal are the historic city of Guimarães (the birthplace of Portugal), the vibrant town of Óbidos, the beaches of Ericeira, the coastal town of Cascais, and the wineries of the Douro Valley.
Another top thing to do in Portugal is to go whale watching in Azores, which is nicknamed “the Hawaii of the Atlantic”. Traveling in Portugal is quite easy with the railway system, and this country is decently budget-friendly as well!
☀️ Best time to visit Portugal: July & August for beaches / April, May, June & September for cities in general
14. Warsaw, Poland
Among the many dreamy places to visit in Europe, Warsaw might not be an obvious contender but it definitely deserves your attention. The vibrant capital of Poland is brimming with artsy vibes, historical significance, and delicious food. It’s an amazing place to visit if you’re a fan of pastel-colored buildings, arty cafés, and wild cocktail bars.
One of the best places to see in Warsaw is the Old Town, one of Poland’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Behind its colorful beauty lies a haunting past, though: during WWII, more than 85% of the monuments there were destroyed. They were rebuilt afterward based on paintings from the 17th & 18th centuries!
Start your trip by exploring Warsaw with a free walking tour to learn more about the history of the city, the losses it’s endured, and how it beautifully rose up from the ashes. Then, make sure to climb up the Observation Terrace to get one of the best views of the Old Town! Don’t leave without taking a stroll in the charming Lazienki Park, visiting the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising, or tasting the best chocolate in the country in Wedel Factory.
🏡 Where to stay: I recommend Apple Inn, a cozy homestay located in the center of the city. From there, it’s very easy to get to the Old Town via metro, bus, or tram. The rooms are super classy and the staff is also really friendly!
☀️ Best time to visit Warsaw: May to September (best weather + festivals & events in the summer)
13. Stockholm, Sweden
Nicknamed the ‘Venice of the North’, Stockholm is one of those cities that never loses its charm no matter the season. Whether you visit during the summer or winter, you’ll be mesmerized by its captivating waterfront beauty, with icy winter wonderland vibes welcoming you in the colder months.
Stockholm is made up of 14 islands connected by 57 bridges over Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. Rising from the waters, this city’s remarkable island cityscape is filled with medieval architecture, scenic lookouts, and artsy gems — a true dream destination. Places to see here range from historical museums to subway stations, which are an attraction of their own!
A visit to Stockholm would not be complete without a walk up to the scenic viewpoint of Monteliusvägen in Södermalm, where you can see Lake Mälaren adorned with broken ice sheets in the winter. This view is equally beautiful in the warmer months; it just looks like a complete different place.
Of course, the main highlight of Stockholm is the colorful Gamla Stan, the well-preserved medieval Old Town. I recommend joining the guided Old Town, Djurgården Island & Vasa Museum Tour to make the most of your time there!
Most importantly, don’t leave Stockholm without exploring the brilliant subway art in this city. There are over 90 ornate subway stations in this city covered in gorgeous paintings, mosaics, and installations. The most spectacular ones are T-Centralen, Solna Centrum, Stadion, Tekniska Högskolan, Mörby Centrum, and Kungsträdgården.
☀️ Best time to visit Stockholm: May to August for warm weather / December to March for winter wonderland vibes
12. Prague, Czech Republic
If you’re looking for dream countries in Europe, Czech Republic definitely shouldn’t be left out. There’s a reason its medieval capital of Prague is one of the most popular dream holiday locations in Europe. Filled with fairytale vibes, historic bridges and castles, colorful buildings, and cheap high-quality beer — Prague has almost everything you need in a relaxing and romantic getaway.
Aside from exploring the must-see places in Prague such as Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, and Old Town Square, also be sure to grab a drink at Vytopna Railway Restaurant. There, you’ll get the fun and unique experience of having your beer arrive on a little train that stops next to your table.
You can also enjoy an absolutely spectacular view of the Old Town from Terasa U Prince, which definitely takes the meal-with-a-view concept seriously. As you can imagine, this restaurant is very popular, so be sure to reserve your table in advance!
☀️ Best time to visit Prague: April, May, June & September (for best weather and for avoiding the peak summer season) or during Christmas for amazing festive vibes!
11. London, United Kingdom
London is definitely one of the most famous dream places to visit in the world, but it has so much more to offer than just the iconic tourist spots of Big Ben, Tower Bridge, or London Eye. Tucked in the corners of this city are enchanting hidden gems such as mystic gardens, jaw-dropping roof terraces, colorful mews (historic rows of houses), and captivating art galleries.
London is also one of the few cities on earth where you can find just about any kind of quirky activity to do, such as joining a hip hop painting party or singing your lungs out at a Massaoke! If you’re looking for a fun and unexpected holiday, then London should definitely be on your bucket list.
During your time in London, don’t forget to stop by Hampstead Pergola & Hill Garden for a relaxing stroll among vines and blossoms; Notting Hill for the most photogenic streets; Belgravia for the artsiest cafes, and Sky Garden for a stunning 360° view of the whole city. For the best food in town, head over to Shoreditch and Soho to taste the variety of international cuisines London has to offer. The Palomar is a must-try!
🏡 Where to stay: The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel is in the perfect location (right next to the King’s Cross railway station) and has the most stunning rooms and interior decorations (see top left picture). Its famous staircase is also where the Spice Girls filmed Wannabe!
☀️ Best time to visit London: May to September for the best weather / December for the magical Christmas decorations and festive vibes!
🌿 The Best Dream Places To Visit For Nature
10. Patagonia, Chile
Patagonia, Chile is definitely one of the best dream travel destinations for those of you who enjoy outdoor activities and are a big fan of nature. One of the highlights of this region is undoubtedly the magnificent Torres del Paine National Park, which you can explore via the breathtaking W Trek.
Patagonia’s beauty is truly hard to put into words — this place will take your breath away. Every corner you turn, there’s a majestic backdrop of mountains in the distance, and it always looks too good to be real.
Some of the various things you can do in Patagonia include trekking, glacier hiking (and tasting fresh spring water), horseback riding, rafting, and kayaking. You can also relax at the dreamy Río Serrano Hotel + Spa, where you can get an incredible view of the mountains right from your room. If you have ample time, you should definitely visit Argentinian Patagonia as well.
☀️ Best time to visit Patagonia, Chile: November to early March (best weather for hiking and exploring as it's summertime there)
Growing more popular with tourists every year, Slovenia is another beautiful dream place to visit dotted with picture-perfect lakes, dramatic castles, mystic caves, and charming seaside towns. It’s also one of the greenest countries on earth as half of its total area is covered in forests. A visit to this environmental-friendly country is the perfect escape from the busy city life.
Slovenia is also a great destination for adrenaline junkies; rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping, and ziplining are all popular things to do here. While you can easily spend weeks discovering all the attractions and hidden gems of this country, a 7-day road trip is generally a good place to start.
The most famous place in Slovenia is undoubtedly the picturesque Lake Bled, which definitely lives up to its hype. Climbing up Mala Osojnica to get the iconic panoramic view of this lake and the surrounding mountains is definitely one of the best dream holiday ideas.
Be sure to also stop by the charming capital of Ljubljana and the more hidden Lake Bohinj, which can be done on a day trip from either Lake Bled or Ljubljana. Other must-see attractions in this country are Tolmin Gorge, Triglav National Park, the coastal cities of Piran and Koper, the enchanting Predjama Castle, and the magnificent Savica Waterfall.
☀️ Best time to visit Slovenia: May to September for the most ideal weather
If you’re looking for the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime holiday, then look no further than Norway. The dramatic landscapes of this country are so surreal and astonishing that no picture can do them justice. The marvelous fjords, waterfalls, snowy mountains, and hiking trails of this country are truly what make it one of the most dreamy destinations on earth.
As you can imagine, Norway is an absolute paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and photography lovers. A road trip around this country will have your eyes glued to the window the entire time because every corner of Norway is simply magic. Of course, you can even catch the Northern Lights in Tromsø if you’re lucky!
There are tons of spectacular hiking trails in Norway, with the most famous ones being Pulpit Rock, Trolltunga, and Kjeragbolten. The scenic views that accompany you during these hikes will make every sore step worth it.
Another remarkable landmark in Norway is the picturesque fishing village of Hamnøy in Lofoten, which is without a doubt one of the dreamiest places in the world. Don’t forget to also drive through the gorgeous Atlanterhavsveien (Atlantic Road), walk the colorful streets of Bergen, and admire the incredible Vøringsfossen and Langfoss waterfalls.
If you visit in the winter, there are also plenty of fun activities to do in Tromsø such as reindeer sledding, whale watching, dog sledding, and catching the Northern Lights from a jacuzzi on a cruise! How much dreamier does it get?
☀️ Best time to visit Norway: May to September for sunshine / December to February for Northern Lights and winter activities
7. Komodo Island, Indonesia
Indonesia is definitely a dream country to visit if turquoise waters, pink beaches, and swimming with sea creatures sound appealing to you. You can see and do all of those things and more on the amazing Komodo Island, which is famous for the Komodo dragon.
To start off with, I recommend booking a boat tour to Komodo from Labuan Bajo. You can spend several nights on the boat as it takes you to all the most important sights on the island, allowing you to snorkel in some of the clearest waters and hike up to incredible viewpoints.
Some of the key spots in Komodo Island are: the Pink Beach (which got its color from microscopic animals that produce a red pigment on coral reefs), Padar Island (which offers the best sunrise viewpoint over the entire Komodo National Park), Taka Makassar (a white sand beach perfect for snorkeling and drone photography), and Manta Point (where you can swim with marvelous manta rays!).
Visiting Komodo Island is an experience you won’t forget; this place is definitely one of Indonesia’s best treasures. To make your trip to Indonesia even better, you can also go diving in Raja Ampat or on a yoga retreat in Bali!
☀️ Best time to visit Komodo Island: April to December (best weather and calm seas)
6. New Zealand
The extremely picturesque New Zealand is definitely one of the best dream destinations for outdoor activities such as hiking, skydiving, and kayaking. It’s also one of the best countries to live and work in. As seen in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, New Zealand’s diverse landscapes are some of the most breathtaking ones in the world and provide the perfect escape from city life.
Spend 2 weeks in New Zealand to explore both the scenic South Island and the unique North Island — an experience filled with jaw-dropping nature and cultural discoveries. In the South, you’ll find stunning mountain ranges, forests, and glaciers, while in the North, you’ll be greeted with geothermal treasures, glowworm caves, and indigenous cultural villages.
One of the best ways to explore New Zealand is to hire a car or a campervan and drive around both the South and North islands. Make sure to stop by Wanaka, where you can hike up to Roys Peak to get an amazing panoramic view, and Rotorua, a unique town known for its intriguing collection of geysers, geothermal pools, and volcanoes.
Be sure to not miss Kaikoura, where you can swim with dolphins; the Tamaki Māori Village, where you can learn about the culture of the indigenous Polynesians who’ve inhabited the country since the 1320s, and other natural wonders such as Mirror Lake, Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo, Franz Josef Glacier, and the famous Milford Sound fjord!
☀️ Best time to visit New Zealand: November to April for summer fun / June to August for winter fun
5. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a fantastic dream holiday destination for nature lovers looking for a relaxing and adventurous getaway. Some of the coolest things to do there range from hiking and paragliding to spotting penguins on the beach.
One of the highlights of Cape Town is undoubtedly the hike up to Lion’s Head. If you time things right, you’ll be greeted with an unbelievable view of the sun setting over the city’s coastline once you reach the top. To make things even better, you’ll see paragliders flying by and can spend a good hour or so simply watching them swing into the horizon (or try it for yourself!). It’s truly a magical sight.
There are so many other things to do in Cape Town. To start off with, book a safari tour to see the big five and check out the splendid beaches of the city, several of which are good for surfing too!
You can also learn history at the UNESCO site of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years during the apartheid. The tour guides there are all former political prisoners of the island themselves, which makes it a very personal and insightful experience.
Some other must-see spots in the city are Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope, and Boulders Beach for magnificent sightings of penguins! Last but not least, the seafood in Cape Town is out of this world, so don’t forget to try that if you’re a fan.
☀️ Best time to visit Cape Town: March to May / September to November (good weather, lower prices and fewer crowds)
It goes without saying that Iceland is one of the best dream locations on earth for dramatic landscapes, outdoor activities, and even epic girls’ trips. From geothermally heated pools to mesmerizing ice caves, this country’s natural wonders are bound to leave you in awe. It’s also one of the best dream places in the world to go hiking and glacier hiking!
Among the most unmissable things to do on a first trip to Iceland are driving the Golden Circle, going on a whale watching tour, visiting the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and exploring the countless gorgeous waterfalls in the country such as Kirkjufellsfoss, Skógafoss, and Seljalandsfoss. If you visit during Christmas time like I did, you’ll also see cities like Reykjavík adorned with stunning festive lights!
No trip to Iceland would be complete without at least trying to catch sightings of the magnificent Northern Lights during your time there. You can do this on a self-drive, by boat, or with a guided tour if you prefer being accompanied by an expert who knows where to go.
I recommend the last method because catching the Northern Lights requires not only luck but also strategy, which can be hard to find on your own. From Reykjavík, you can join a Northern Lights bus tour or even a Northern Lights luxury yacht tour! There are also many ways you can explore Iceland on a budget.
🏡 Where to stay: In the town of Selfoss, I recommend staying in Country Dream – Langholt 2, a guesthouse that offers cozy cottages far from the city lights. You can catch the Northern Lights right there, and enjoy the hot tub and sauna that come with your stay!
☀️ Best time to visit Iceland: May to September for longer days and warmer weather / December to February for the icy winter wonderland experience / October to April for highest chance of seeing the Northern Lights
3. Bavaria, Germany
If you’re looking for a holiday with the ultimate fairytale vibes, then look no further than Bavaria. This stunning region of Germany is a true dream to visit; filled with castles, mountains, medieval old towns, and what look like gingerbread houses, its breathtaking sceneries are out of this world.
The best thing about this region is that it completely changes its facade with every season. For instance, the famous Neuschwanstein Castle (which inspired Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle) is surrounded by snow in the winter, orange leaves in the fall, and lush greeneries in the spring and summer. You can visit it again and again without getting bored!
Aside from stopping by Munich and the dreamy Neuschwanstein Castle, you can also do a wide range of activities in Zugspitze (the Bavarian Alps) like skiing, paragliding, and hiking. Don’t forget to visit the medieval walled town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which looks straight out of a fairytale book.
Some other unmissable places in Bavaria are the Königssee and Eibsee lakes, the picturesque Hohenschwangau Castle, and for something a bit different — the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial (somber but important). Bavaria is quite budget-friendly; you can find very good accommodations for around €40 a night.
☀️ Best time to visit Bavaria: June to September for festivals and water sports / November to February for winter wonderland vibes
2. Cinque Terre, Italy
Italy has an endless amount of dream cities to visit, but one of the most spectacular landmarks in this country is Cinque Terre — a string of colorful seaside villages that offer stunning hiking trails, romantic lookouts, and the most scenic sunsets.
The five villages of Cinque Terre are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare. Each one of them is worth exploring in detail, and you can easily hike from one to another (or take a train if you want to relax more). Some of the highlights of a trip to Cinque Terre include relaxing by the pebbly beaches, exploring the colorful alleys of the villages, and of course — hiking the several trails connecting the villages.
I highly recommend hiking the entire scenic route between the five villages rather than taking the train because you’ll have marvelous coastal views and rows of colorful houses accompanying you the whole trail.
The trail is around 12 km (7.5 mi) in total and without breaks, it would take you roughly 5 to 6 hours to hike the entirety of it. However, I strongly suggest breaking up your route and spreading it across multiple days so that you’ll be able to spend more time in each village and truly soak in the beauty of Cinque Terre.
☀️ Best time to visit Cinque Terre: September & October (shoulder season - good weather and fewer tourists)
Australia is a paradise for nature lovers looking for an adventurous and relaxing getaway. From mystical gorges and white beaches to the world’s largest coral reef, the fantastic landscapes of this country are infinite. There are plenty of dream trip places in Australia, from the cosmopolitan Sydney and artsy Melbourne to the surfers’ paradise of the Gold Coast.
There’s also a wide range of activities to do in this country, from diving and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef to dining under the stars in Uluru. You can also hop on a luxury train that takes you on a 4-day tour through some of the coolest spots in Australia!
Given the vast amount of dream holiday places to see in Australia, you won’t be able to cover this whole country unless you have 3-4 weeks of time. Before your trip, figure out what kind of activities you’d want to do.
If you’d like a beach holiday, then head over to the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, or Kangaroo Island. For a relaxing tropical atmosphere, spend a few days in the rainforests and lagoons of Cairns. For the best hikes in Australia, don’t miss out on the Blue Mountains or Karijini National Park.
To enjoy beautiful seaside landscapes, visit the Twelve Apostles of the Great Ocean Road and Loch Ard Gorge. Last but not least, the Pinnacles Desert and Uluru rock are two of the most spectacular landmarks of Australia.
☀️ Best time to visit Australia: March to May & September to November (good weather and not as busy as the summer season)
🗺️ Planning Your Trip to These Dream Locations
- ✈️ Find the best flights to these dream destinations with Skyscanner or Kiwi.com
- 📑 Get your visa through iVisa if you don’t want to fill out the forms yourself
- 💸 Get reliable travel insurance from World Nomads
- 🚖 Book your private transfer from the airport with Expedia or Get Your Guide
- 🏨 Find the best accommodations on Booking.com, Expedia, or Airbnb
- 🧔🏻 Get the best tour guides via Get Your Guide, Tiqets, or Viator
- 🚗 To rent a car for road trips, get great deals on Rentalcars.com
- 🎒 Pack an anti-theft backpack, a universal adapter, and a power bank
Recommended Further Reading:
📸 My Dream Destinations Photography Gear
All the photos in this article were taken with the following photography gear. You can also read my guide on the best cameras for bloggers for more options other than the ones listed below.
- Cameras: Nikon D610 + Sony A6400 (check out the best Sony lenses)
- Main lens: Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8
- Wide-angle lens: Tokina AF 16-28mm f/2.8
- Prime lens: Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G
- Tripod: Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod (Ball Head)