If travelling more is on your bucket list in 2018, then do I have a list of destinations for you! I’ve asked several other travel bloggers, plus put in two recommendations of my own to gather an ultimate travel bucket list for the year!
1. Abu Dhabi, UAE – For the cultured
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Why Abu Dhabi should be on your ultimate travel bucket list
While most people flock to Dubai, Abu Dhabi is emerging to be the cultural capital of the UAE. Just head on to Saadiyat Cultural district and you will just be amazed at the gorgeous Louvre. It’s beautifully curated and one for every history buff. Saadiyat Island also has the beautiful St. Regis resort. Abu Dhabi also has plenty of fine dining restaurants that will capture your attention, including the famous Japanese restaurant Zuma. The Emirates Palace is no doubt, beautiful and as opulent as it gets. Abu Dhabi is really interesting as it’s actually made up of multiple islands, and each island is has a specialty. The Yas Island is home to the F1 races as well as the Ferrari world and Aquaventure theme parks, whereas Sir Baniyas island besides its sandy beaches has a gorgeous wildlife themed resort, complete with animals!
2. Osaka, Japan for the family trip
Why Osaka should be on your ultimate travel bucket list this year
3. Bali, Indonesia for the budget traveller
Why Bali should be on your ultimate travel bucket list in 2018
4. Queenstown, New Zealand for the adrenaline seekers
Why Queenstown, New Zealand deserves to be on your bucket list in 2018
Tom Stevenson of The Travelling Tom blog recommends Queenstown, New Zealand as a destination for the adventurous this year.”Queenstown in New Zealand is one of my favourite destinations. Despite being a small town, there is plenty to do here! Queenstown is known as the adrenaline capital of New Zealand, due to the high number of heart racing activities you can do in the area. You can go bungy jumping, sky diving and jet-boating within easy reach of Queenstown. During the winter, you can also head to The Remarkables ski field and tackle the beautiful slopes! If you want a slower pace during your travels, Queenstown has a number of great hikes you can do. Or, you could simply wander around the town, and take in the amazing views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. Queenstown is somewhere that should be on everyone’s bucket list for 2018!”
You can follow Tom’s amazing adventures on Instagram
5. Jersey, Channel Islands for the obscure
Why Jersey, Channel islands is on the list
6. Kotor, Montenegro for those seeking the next “IT” destination
Why Kotor, Montenegro deserves a place on this bucket list
Kiara Gallop of Gallop around the world thinks Kotor is the next big destination. “Kotor managed to remain largely off most traveller’s radars until a few years ago when budget airlines Ryanair and Easyjet began running flights to Podgorica (Montenegro’s capital) and Tivat (the closest airport to Kotor, approximately 10 kilometres away). Now it is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination, so you NEED to discover it before everyone else does!
Kotor is located in a secluded corner of the deepest natural fjord-like bay in the Mediterranean Sea. Its Old Town has earned itself UNESCO World Heritage status, and I guarantee it will totally charm your socks off. Remember Dubrovnik before it became overrun with tourists?
Kotor is somewhere that successfully manages to pull out all the stops: it’s got everything you’d expect from a city – historic sights, delicious food, and a vast array of nightlife options, but with the feel of a quaint little town that’s surrounded by the kind of mountains you’d expect to find in a remote rural location.
Two things you absolutely must do in Kotor is climb the 1350 steps up to its fortress for incredible panoramic views across Kotor Bay, and take a boat trip around the bay itself for an entirely different – but equally stunning – perspective.”
Follow Kiara’s journey on Instagram.
7. Split, Croatia for those who enjoy charming old towns
Why Split and not Dubrovnik?
“If you want to experience Croatia at its finest, look no further than the city of Split. Split’s idyllic setting offers a backdrop consisting of dramatic mountain ranges along with a coastline of crystal clear blue waters. The main “city” of Split is also referred to as Old Town as it represents the original town of Split within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace. Old town is charming and captivating. While the architecture maintains a representation of its history, the narrow stone roads are lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops that give the city a modern pulse. Also, the stunning beaches within walking distance of Old Town are not to be missed. Never have I ever seen water so clear and so blue!
While many tourists often flock to the competing city of Dubrovnik, I would have to argue that Split is the more unique and authentic version of the two. With less tourists and more locals, you can experience Croatia at its best.” – Jennifer Kanikula from The Sofull Traveler. Follow her on Twitter.
8. Paris, France for those who love a full agenda
Why Paris should be on your ultimate travel bucket list
Before you roll your eyes at this classically romantic city, which is already on most people’s bucket lists, Lena from Four on a World Trip explains why this year is especially good to go there.
“Paris is bustling with life. No matter if you are into art and exhibitions, concerts and shows, or if sports are more your thing – you can be sure to find a related event every other day. 2018 comes with a full agenda and a lot of must-attend events for every culture or sport enthusiast. A highlight comes along as soon as February – an exhibition called “Dutch artists in Paris, Van Gogh – Van Dongen – Mondrian” which takes place in the beautiful Petit Palais. Just a few weeks later in April, the “Art Paris Art Fair” celebrates it’s 20th anniversary with more than 140 Art Galleries gathering in the equally stunning Grand Palais.
9. Eger, Hungary for those who seek off-the-beaten track
“Eger is a small historic town in Hungary that’s very well known for three things: it is the home of the main wine region in the country, its castle was the last to fall to the Turks, and some incredible baths.
Together with my husband, we share a passion for visiting historical cities and castles in particular. So for one of our wedding anniversaries, we worked out a two-day itinerary in Eger.
Of course, our first goal was to visit the castle, where we ended up spending a lot of time. There are some videos being shown at regular intervals and while they are very interesting; you would only understand a bit if you don’t speak Hungarian (there aren’t any subtitles). But the exhibitions do have English translations.
Whether you enjoy drinking wine or not, the “Town under the town” tour, which visits the old church cellars, is a must. It is in Hungarian, but you can request booklets in English (and other languages). The text follows the Hungarian presentation.
Eger is a lovely addition to your trip to Hungary and it can easily be reached by train, bus or car from Budapest.” – Cris from LooknWalk. Follow her on Facebook & Twitter.
10. Svaneti, Georgia for those who love to head for the hills
Why Svaneti should be on your travel bucket list
“Accessible only via a single winding road over steep cliffs, the mountainous region of Svaneti is perhaps one of the most enchanted places on the planet. Svaneti, Georgia is home to the Svan people, who for centuries managed to fend off some of the world’s most famous invaders (including the Ottomans and Mongols), and whose reputation as a fierce warrior culture is still unbesmirched today.
11. Coron, Philippines to island hop
Katherine from Tara Lets Anywhere thinks that Coron is the perfect destination for those who love to explore new islands.
“There is no better time to visit Coron in the Philippines than this 2018. This first-class municipality in Palawan is one of the most beautiful places in Southeast Asia, and it’s relatively less touristy compared to other island destinations.
The top activity to do in Coron is to island hop. It has numerous beaches with white sand, turquoise water. It has clear lagoons in varying shades of blue and green. It also has several lakes, the most famous of which is Kayangan Lake, also dubbed as the cleanest in Asia. As for the snorkeling and diving, you can see various species such as giant clams and diverse marine ecosystems and explore Japanese shipwrecks dating from WW2. In fact, Forbes’ traveler magazine has included Coron in its list of top 10 scuba diving sites.
If you’re looking for other activities, you can trek in Mount Tapyas and relax in Maquinit hot springs. A short land travel will also bring you to Calauit Safari, where you can see various wildlife such as giraffes.”
12. Skellig Michael, Ireland for the Star Wars fans
Why Skellig Michael should be on your bucket list this year
There is a good reason that Ireland is a star of the screen – from romantic castles to the mysterious beauty of the landscape, the island has a cinematic sense of style. Step into the stunning Atlantic island of Skellig Michael off the coast of County Kerry, which featured as Luke Skywalker’s hide-out in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This place is secluded, features monks that have been living there for over a millennium.
13. Bucharest, Romania for the budget traveller
Why Bucharest should be on your ultimate travel bucket list this year
It’s also a rather cheap destination (it ranked among the cheapest ones in some tops), especially when compared to some of the other European capitals. I could go on and on about Bucharest, but I think I will do something even better: invite you here to discover it for yourself!”
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14. Central Australia for the roadtrippers
Why Central Australia?
“Tell a few people that you’re planning on visiting Central Australia, and I guarantee you’ll get ‘you do know that it’s just a big rock there, don’t you?’ in response.” says Claire from Claire’s Footsteps.
“The rock in question is the almighty Uluru, and yes, it’s a big rock that’s in Central Australia. But the world’s largest monolith is well worth an expensive flight or long road trip – seeing it is an experience like no other. It’s been a place of Aboriginal significance for millenniums and I can guarantee that it will capture your spirit as well.
However, Uluru is just not it. Alice Springs is known as the ‘Capital of the Outback’, and is home to amazing artists, spectacular surrounding beauty and unique attractions such as the Desert Park and the School of the Air. Just out of Alice Springs are the breath-taking West McDonnell Ranges, which are full of gorges, mountains and greenery that you never thought you’d find in the outback. If you want to get more off the beaten track, you could visit the spectacular Rainbow Valley for sunset, or venture to the less visited East McDonnell Ranges. There are four wheel drive tracks and scenic lookouts over the red dirt landscape all over the region.
There’s definitely more than a big rock in Central Australia, but my advice? Beat the crowds and get there in 2018 before the secret gets out.”
15. Cape Town, South Africa from those who like a bit of everything when they travel
Why Cape Town?
16. Istanbul, Turkey for those seeking tourist bliss with a twist
Why Istanbul should be on your ultimate travel bucket list
“Everyone should see the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, and while you’re at it; the Spice and/or Grand Bazaar. These can be all done on the same day, leaving the rest of your time in the city to pursue attractions and activities that suit your interests.
17. Orkney Islands, Scotland for the history buffs
Why Orkney Islands should be on your ultimate travel bucket list
Helena from From an Aussie’s Eyes highly recommends the Orkney Islands. “The Orkney Islands are an archipelago north of mainland Scotland. Although these islands may be small, they are a history buff’s haven. These islands hold numerous Neolithic sites including the famous Skara Brae; the best preserved group of prehistoric houses. The mystery of why this Neolithic settlement just disappeared is also a good source of wonderment.
Standing in the middle of the ‘Heart of Neolithic Orkney’ you can see the Ring of Brodgar, a Neolithic henge and stone circle, the Ness of Brodgar, an archaeological site that could predate Skara Brae, the Standing Stones of Stenness, a Neolithic monument and the famous Maeshowe, a Neolithic chambered cairn with Viking graffiti.
If you prefer more modern history, than you should check out the Italian Chapel that is a highly ornate Catholic chapel that was built during World War II by Italian prisoners of war. This is just down the road from Scapa Flow. Scapa Flow is a body of water that was used during both World Wars. You can still see the blocker ships that were purposely sunk to keep the German subs out. If you want to visit a different and historically interesting location for 2018, than the Orkney Islands are for you.”
Follow Helena on Instagram
18. Taghazout, Morocco for the surfers
Why Taghazout should be on your ultimate travel bucket list
“On my 3 weeks Morocco trip itinerary, Taghazout was one of the places that I loved the most. ” says Bilyana from Owl over the world. “Taghazout is a laidback fisherman’s village close to Agadir. The place is very relaxed, pretty and calm. It’s well known by surfers and it’s a great place to surf. It’s a very small village and there are not many things to do there. You can surf, enjoy the beach, or just relax for a while away from the big and crazy cities in Morocco, like Marrakech for example.Oh, did I mentioned the beautiful Moroccan sunsets? In Taghazout, you can enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Atlantic Ocean from the terrace where you’re staying. I recommend everyone visiting Morocco and who wants to go off the beaten track to make a stop in Taghazout.”
19. Porto, Portugal for Instagrammers
Why Porto should be on your list
James from Worldwide Shopping Guide highly recommends Porto. “Portugal’s second city Porto may not feature on travel itineraries as capital city Lisbon, and that’s definitely a mistake. Although smaller, Porto has plenty to offer and is a fantastic option for a short break.
20. Berlin, Germany for the hipsters
Why Berlin should be on your list
Caddy from Lazy Gal Travels says, “A city shrouded in history from monarchs, world wars, spies and scandals, Berlin is the type of city that invites all visitors to dig a little deeper into its past. During the daytime explore the underground bunkers, walk along the Berlin Wall at Bernauer Straße and catch the best view of the city from the top of Reichstag. But it is often said Berlin shines brighter at night. Some of the world’s best bars, clubs and speakeasies call Berlin home, and home they are for some of the wildest nights you’ll ever encounter.
A city for night owls, Berlin’s nightlife establishments rarely close before 6 am, and even after that, there is always another place to go. In the summer outdoor clubs such as Griessmuehle and Kater Blau boom techno all night (and day) long. When the weather gets a little colder, snuggle up in candlelit bars such as Villa Neukölln.
If you just want to chill out, pick up a few beers and head to Tempelhof Feld, an old and historic airport located in the south of the city. Or rent a bike and explores the city’s extensive Tiergarten park, which also has its own zoo. No matter what you’re into, Berlin has something to cater to every taste.”
Follow Caddy on Facebook.
21. Sardinia, Italy for the foodies
Allison from Up and At Em Travel suggests Sardinia as a great place for foodies. “Travelers with a love for beaches, Italian cuisine and la dolce vita will adore a trip to Sardinia. If you have missed out on this special island destination in the Tyrrhenian Sea, delay no longer. The Italian island, known as Sardegna by locals, offers a truly lovely destination to unwind.
Visitors can even stay in La Maddalena, an archipelago just off the coast of Sardinia, a short ferry ride away from Palau. The colorful town old town of La Maddalena is a beautiful place to wander around, sampling various flavors of gelato. La Maddalena has a relaxed feel, and the most popular activities here are swimming, boating and fishing. Many boat operators offer island tours that allow you to explore more secluded beaches, and they feed you fresh seafood pasta on board at lunchtime.
For a dash of European history, head over to Alghero, which houses several archaeological sites. Outside of the town center, you can see the Anghelu Ruju necropolis, the Villa Romana of Santa Imbenia and ancient nuraghe structures, constructed between 1900 and 730 BC. Whether you prefer to sunbathe, hike, feast or learn about past civilizations, Sardinia has something for everyone.”
22. Fulidhoo, Maldives for those that seek luxury for less
Chris from Backpacker Banter says, “In the thoughts of most travellers the Maldives is a honeymoon destination – but did you know its possible to visit Maldives on a budget?
Wowwww – that’s a pretty amazing list 😀 Don’t know if I’ll have that much time in 2018, but I would love to visit every spot!
Ah if only I had the money to travel.. 🙂 I actually just went to Queenstown, NZ and would love to go back – it’s absolutely amazing! Thank you for the tips, I’ve pinned this for later.
There’s so many places and not enough time in 2018! I really love the idea of island hopping in Coron, that looks really beautiful- definitely one for the bucket list!
wow what an awesome list! The ONLY place on this list Ive been to is Paris! And I thought I had been to alot of places! I def have my eye on surfing in Morocco -Ive recently been learning to surf, and would love to get out there!
wow thats great list! I can cross Paris, Berlin and Bali from it but I am dreaming to visit Queenstown, Cape Town and Maldives. There is so many places I would love to see, world is just too big haha
I love Abu Dhabi or AD for most of us the grew up in the UAE. Its a city I first moved to as a kid.
Porto, as well as an amazing city and the locals, are soo nice, I enjoyed my time there especially for new years.
Awesome choice! I visited only 7 places listed above. Would love to go to Japan and Philippines. 🙂
Most of those are on my bucket list – especially Japan and Montenegro ! I already ticked off Paris as I live here hehe.
We have just booked to go to Uluru! Totally agree about Split it’s a fabulous place to visit! Also Montenegro is great and I have been reading a lot more posts about it recently / time to revamp mine I think!