The world is full of wonder and if you’re anything like me, you want to go out and explore! Check out my ultimate travel bucket list – 100 unmissable places to visit before you die. How many can you tick off?
By Julianna Barnaby and Sophie Ritchie
There are so many incredible places to see on this planet… but sometimes a bit of extra inspiration doesn’t hurt.
From incredible landscapes that make your eyes pop and your jaws drop, to incredible architecture – here is the ultimate travel bucket list. 100 places to see before you die.
After all, nothing says it better than this cool travel quote from Ray Bradbury.
“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
The Ultimate Travel Bucket List: Natural Wonders
1. Grand Canyon, USA
They don’t call it Grand for nothing. The Grand Canyon is a huge, steep canyon, located in Arizona, carved by the Colorado River.
Let’s talk measurements for a second so you can get an idea of the scale of this natural wonder. 446km long and 29km wide.
I’m guessing that it’s already on your list of things to see before you die. If you’re up for the challenge, you can go and hike the whole thing… or simply see the scale of its beauty from one of the many lookouts.
These are especially beautiful to watch the sunrise and sunset from, so make sure you check the times before you go!
2. Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are one of nature’s most incredible wonders.
A series of dancing lights that charge the night sky in pinks, greens, yellows and purples – seeing the Aurora Borealis is the ultimate travel bucket list item.
Cool northern lights-spotting destinations include Iceland, Norway, Alaska and northern Canada.
Read more: How to See the Northern Lights in Iceland
3. Giant’s Causeway, United Ki ngdom
The Giant’s Causeway is a stone formation made up of 40,000 basalt columns, located just off the coast of Antrim in Northern Ireland.
While scientists say that the formations were the result of a volcanic eruption, legend has it that the columns were a causeway built by a giant so that Scottish and Irish giants could meet and fight. I’m going to go with the latter – much more believable.
4. Bryce Canyon, USA
One of the US’s best-known national parks, Bryce Canyon is a collection of giant natural amphitheatres in southern Utah and one of the most beautiful natural landmarks I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.
Designated a National Park in 1928, Bryce Canyon now receives nearly 2.5 million annual visitors to marvel at its red, orange and white rock formations.
5. Antelope Canyon, USA
Walking through the weird curved formations of Antelope Canyon, it’s difficult to believe that it’s not man made.
It’s not. Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon, located in Page, Arizona. Formed by the erosion of sandstone from the flash floods that occur in the area, it’s a must for your list of 100 places to visit before you die.
Photographers come from far and wide to get a glimpse of this beautiful orange, red and yellow canyon and the magical light filtered through the canyon’s shaped walls.
6. Reynisdrangar Basalt Columns, Iceland
The striking Reynisdrangar basalt columns on the world-famous Reynisfjara black sand beach are one of Iceland’s most impressive natural wonders (they have tough competition).
The columns were formed by volcanic activity – the same kind that created the Giant’s Causeway mentioned above.
Legend has it that they are three trolls, frozen in time by the sun’s rays. Sound familiar? That’s because Tolkien used the legend in his world-famous story The Hobbit.
7. Yosemite National Park, USA
Yosemite National Park is just incredible. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the northeast of California it’s well-known as one of America’s most beautiful travel destinations.
Want to know where to travel before you die? Start with Yosemite.
Granite cliffs, clear streams, waterfalls, mountains and glaciers – it’s no wonder that the famous photographer Ansel Adams loved it – and I bet you will too.
Read more: The Ultimate West Coast Road Trip Itinerary (With a Detour to Yosemite)
8. The Dead Sea, Israel / West Bank / Jordan
We all know that you can float on The Dead Sea. This curious natural wonder is 9.6 times saltier than the ocean.
It’s not actually a sea, despite its name, it’s a lake on the borders of Israel, the West Bank and Jordan.
The banks of the Dead Sea are over 400m below sea level, making them the lowest point in the world on dry land.
The easiest way to visit The Dead Sea is by taking a shortish bus journey from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, alternatively you can rent a car and drive, though booking onto a tour makes things even easier.
9. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay is no secret. Another bucket list travel idea that’s arguably being loved to death, it’s enduringly beautiful.
The bay, which is located in Northeast Vietnam, stretches over 1500 square kilometres and is scattered with over 1600 islands and islets.
Ha Long Bay is known for its emerald waters and rainforest-topped islands and a favourite among beauty-seekers.
Read more: The Best Places to See in Vietnam
10. Jeita Grotto, Lebanon
When it comes to bucket list places to visit, The Jeita Grotto is often forgotten about. It’s a set of two separate but interconnected limestone caves, located in the Nahr al-Kalb Valley in Lebanon.
It can only be entered by boat as it channels an underground river, but once inside, visitors can see the incredible rock formations, and beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.
Travel Bucket List Ideas: Ancient Sites
11. Acropolis, Greece
The Acropolis in Athens is an ancient citadel located on the top of a hill in Athens, which contains many ancient (and remains of) buildings, such as the Parthenon, the Propylaea and the Temple of Athena Nike.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, the Acropolis is a greatly important symbol of Greek history, architecture and spirit and visiting it should have a prime spot on your travel bucket list.
12. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Take whatever you’ve heard about Angkor Wat, times it by 100 and yet it will still blow you away. Sunrise at Angkor Wat is just one of those things to see before you die.
Angkor Wat is a mystical complex of temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, Angkor Wat also happens to be the largest religious monument in the world at 400 square kilometres – it’s made up of hundreds of incredible and awe inspiring temples and ruins.
If you need any more reason to believe you need to visit this special place, it even features on the country’s flag!
Read more: Cool Southeast Asia Travel Itineraries
13. Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Chichén Itzá is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Sounds like something that deserves a place on your collection of travel bucket list ideas right? Right.
But what exactly is Chichen Itza? Well only the biggest archaeological city of the pre-Columbian Mayan civilisation, located in the Yucatán State, Mexico.
Its huge pyramid, El Castillo, is the centre of the ancient city. Both were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1988.
14. Machu Picchu, Peru
Sure, everybody raves about it… but you know what? That’s because it is incredible. Machu Picchu is the old Inca City, located on top of a 2500m mountain in the Cusco region of Peru, just above the Sacred Valley.
Forgotten by the Western world for centuries, it was rediscovered by intrepid explorer Hiram Bingham.
Machu Picchu was crowned as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (of course).
IMHO Machu Picchu is the best archaeological site in the South American continent, and definitely deserves to be at the top of your South America bucket list.
15. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Who hasn’t dreamt of jetting off to see the mysterious Pyramids of Giza?
The Pyramids of Giza are located on the outskirts of Cairo Egypt. The complex contains 3 pyramids, a Great Sphinx Sculpture and several cemeteries.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, Egypt’s world-famous pyramids were built as a tomb for the pharaohs and their queens.
Now they’re one of the most recognisable (and photographed) structures in the world – I fell head over heels for them after a recent visit to the country.
16. Stonehenge, United Kingdom
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument, located in Wiltshire, England. I’ll be completely honest, I’ve never really got why everyone goes so nuts about them… but I can never resist a cheeky detour when I’m on my way to Glastonbury Festival.
The 4 metre high collection of stones were constructed over time between 2500 and 5000 years ago, and are now one of the seven Wonders of the World. Druids and Pagans still use the site to celebrate important occasions such as the summer solstice.
17. The Colosseum, Italy
How about adding the largest amphitheatre ever built to your list of 100 places to see before you die? Yep, thought so.
The Colosseum is an old amphitheatre in the middle of Rome – it was built to hold up to 80,000 spectators.
Although over the years it has been partially ruined by earthquakes, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Rome, recognisable from around the world.
Read more: The Ultimate Europe Bucket List
18. Bagan, Myanmar
Catapulted from a place very few people had heard of to one of the recent year’s travel hotspots, Bagan is a beautiful place. The ancient city in Myanmar is nicknamed the temple town, as it is home to 2,229 remaining temples and pagodas.
Most of these have been restored or preserved by UNESCO, and many contain incredible statues and carvings of Buddha – worth a visit in themselves.
Head to the site early in the morning in the evening – you’ll see the most incredible Bagan sunrises and sunsets – preferably by hot air balloon.
19. Taj Mahal, India
Is it the most photographed building in the world? It’s certainly the best-known mausoleum.
The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum, built in 1648 at the command of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, to remember his late wife.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, the ornate Taj Mahal is a beautiful symbol of India and needs to be on any bucket list 100.
20. The Great Wall of China, China
China’s most famous landmark, The Great Wall of China is testament to the incredible building skills of civilisations past.
The “Great Wall” is actually a number of walls that run along the historical Northern borders of China, that were built to protect the Chinese against invasions from Eurasia.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, it is the longest wall in the world – it’s even visible from space.
Bucket List Travel Ideas: Must-Visit Cities
21. London, United Kingdom
London needs no introduction. This cosmopolitan capital is crammed with cool things to do and places to see and deserves a spot on your travel bucket list.
Dating back to Roman times, London is now home to a whopping nearly 9 million people… including the Royal Family.
Head here to see some of the world’s most famed attractions – Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and so many other pretty places to see in London, not to mention some of the most striking street art in the world and a plethora of brilliant restaurants.
Aside from tourist hot spots, London is filled with cool neighbourhoods well worth taking the time to explore – take Hackney, Shoreditch, Croydon, and Clapham, for example.
Read more: 55 Quirky Things to do in London
22. Paris, France
The city of Love – there’s a lot more to Paris than snuggling up for a cosy tete a tete with your other half.
Famed for its culture, art, cuisine and fashion, Paris has something for everyone – explains why it’s on pretty much every bucket list 100 out there.
Whizz around between beautiful spots like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe. Treat yourself to some fancy accommodation and enjoy one of Europe’s most opulent cities.
23. Florence, Italy
Another one of Europe’s cultural hotspots, Florence is well-known for being the birthplace of beautiful Renaissance art and architecture.
Art lovers will rejoice in Florence, with magnificent works by Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci on display at the Uffizi Gallery.
But that’s not all there is to this dreamy Italian spot – the food is impeccable, the city is filled with family-run trattorias and gelato hotspots. Prepare to spend half your time eating, and the other half snapping photos.
Planning a trip? Check out the many world-famous Italian landmarks Florence boasts, such as Ponte Vecchio, Florence Cathedral and its ‘Duomo’, the Palazzo Vecchio, and Boboli Gardens. Then hop in a car to discover the rest of Tuscany on a road trip.
Read more: Fabulous Places to See in Italy
24. Rome, Italy
Ahh Rome, what a city. Every time you think you have seen it all, Rome comes up with something else to surprise you.
Full of architecture, art and ancient ruins, it’s known worldwide for its fashion and designer boutiques. Head to the Colosseum for some history, the Vatican for some culture and the Trevi Fountain to make a wish.
Don’t even get me started on the sheer number of brilliant eateries in Rome.
25. Vienna, Austria
The capital of Austria, Vienna is a dream. This gorgeous city is known across Europe for its baroque art and architecture, and its musical and intellectual legacy.
Some of Vienna’s most well known attractions are the Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg, a complex of palaces.
Viennese cafe culture is also one of the best in Europe, so much so that UNESCO popped it on their intangible cultural heritage list. Head into one of Vienna’s very many cafes for a Viennese coffee and a slice of schokotorte.
26. Oxford, United Kingdom
Oxford is one of the UK’s most famous cities, thanks to its prestigious university (I studied there and it was just as incredible as you would imagine).
With the university dating back to the 11th century, Oxford is full of so many things to do – old architecture, beautiful scenery and tasty cuisine.
Head to Oxford to see the Museum of Natural History, the Oxford Botanic Gardens, and of course its prestigious university and its colleges.
27. Havana, Cuba
Cuba’s evocative capital is an unforgettable experience – there’s no way I’d leave it out of my pick of top 100 bucket list destinations. It’s been a while since I’ve visited but the sights and sounds of the city will always stay with me.
Gorgeous 16th-century architecture and vintage American cars, music and dance – not forgetting the delicious cuisine and daiquiris!
When you’re here, head to the Revolution Museum, Morro Castle and Old Havana, to see the best bits. It’s no wonder that Hemingway loved it – pop into El Floridita, his favourite bar.
Read more: Unmissable Things to do in Havana
28. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro may NOT be Brazil’s capital but it makes up for it with culture, looks and fun.
The first time I visited Rio, I was fresh-faced and 18 – several (and I mean several) years later, I’m just as in love with Rio as when I first clapped eyes on it.
This vibrant capital city is best known for its architecture, forest topped mountains and golden beaches. Some of Rio’s best sights are the Christ the Redeemer statue, Copacabana and Sugar Loaf Mountain.
Read more: Spectacular Landmarks in Brazil You Need to See
29. Venice, Italy
Venice might be sinking but we still love it. In truth, it’s difficult to leave Venice out of my ultimate travel bucket list trips but it is suffering from serious overtourism, so you might want to skip it in favour of somewhere quieter.
Full of Renaissance and Gothic architecture, there are very few roads in Venice, mostly canals, with boats and gondolas to transport people. The best places to see are the Piazza San Marco, Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Rialto Bridge – just magical!
30. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is more than relaxed marijuana laws and chilled out coffee shops. Home to an impressive array of world-class museums, beautiful canals, gorgeous architecture and history.
Start by visiting the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, walk along the canals and spend some time exploring the city by bike.
Dutch food might not be much to write home about, but they sure know a thing or two about sweet things – make it your mission to scoff as many poffertjes and stroopwafel as possible. A bucket list travel must.
Top 100 Bucket List Destinations: Waterfalls
31. Iguazu Falls, Brazil
The Iguazu Falls are waterfalls on the Iguazu River that border Misiones, the Argentinian province, Paraná, the Brazilian state and Paraguay. At 82 metres high and the chain of falls nearly 3km long, they are the largest waterfalls system in the world.
Think the view can’t be better? Wait until you hear their astoundingly loud roar – sight and sound – they are definitely worth a spot on your bucket list.
32. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe / Zambia
The Victoria Falls is a waterfall located on the Zambezi River on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, in southern Africa.
Described by CNN as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the water at the Victoria Falls drops a staggering 108m, and is the largest curtain of water in the world.
The easiest way to visit is to fly to Livingstone, the nearest airport – from there it’s around 11km to the falls via a taxi.
Or, if you would really like to treat yourself (I approve), view the falls from above during a helicopter flight over the natural landmark. Truly a once in a lifetime experience.
33. Niagara Falls, Canada / USA
The Niagara Falls are a set of three impressive waterfalls that border Ontario, Canada, and New York State in the US. The three waterfalls, the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls, all fall at the southern end of the Niagara gorge, and have a total height of 51m.
As the most famous falls in the world, Niagara is something that you’ve got to see. If you’re feeling brave, jump on one of the boat tours which take you up close and personal to the falls.
34. Ban Gioc-Detian Falls, China / Vietnam
The Ban Gioc–Detian Falls are a set of two waterfalls on the Quây Sơn River, on the border of China and Vietnam.
The main waterfall is the Detian waterfall, and the other waterfall is the Ban Gioc Waterfall, with the cumulative drop being a whopping 60m.
You can hop on a boat, which will take you on a river tour close to the falls for an extra-special experience.
35. Palouse Falls, USA
The Palouse Falls is a waterfall on the Palouse River, 6km up from the meeting with the Snake River, in southeast Washington in the United States.
The falls consist of an upper falls and a lower falls, which are drops of 6.1m and 60m respectively. Bring your hiking boots and set off on one of the numerous trails around the top and the bottom of the falls.
36. Shoshone Falls, USA
The Shoshone Falls is a waterfall on the Snake River in Southern Idaho. Known as the ‘Niagara of the West’, the falls are 65m high (which is actually higher than Niagara) and flow over a 300m wide rim.
Formed over 14,000 years ago, the Shoshone Falls attract up to 300,000 vehicles per year, and are definitely worth a spot on your ultimate bucket list. Bring a picnic and grab a spot in one of the designated areas for a fabulous day out.
37. Blue Nile Falls, Ethiopia
The Blue Nile Falls is a waterfall on the Blue Nile River, located in the north of Ethiopia. Known as ’Tis Abay’ in Amharic, meaning ‘great smoke’, the Falls are approximately 40 metres high, consisting of four streams.
This beautiful waterfall is one of Ethiopia’s top tourist attractions – just get ready for a hike to get the best views of the falls.
38. Gullfoss, Iceland
It’s hard to pick one waterfall from Iceland for our list of 100 things to do before you die, but Gullfoss can’t be missed. Gullfoss, meaning ‘Golden Waterfall’ is a waterfall located in the Olfusa River canyon, in Southwest Iceland.
The name comes from the golden colour of the waterfall in certain light – the result of sediment in the water.
The total height of Gullfoss is 32 metres and the longest drop is 21 metres. The beautiful waterfall offers brilliant views and we recommend going to see it on a sunny day, as there’s a big chance of seeing a rainbow shimmering over the falls.
Otherwise it’s a spectacular place to see the Northern Lights in the winter.
Read More: Visiting Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland
39. McWay Falls, USA
The McWay Falls are a waterfall that flows from McWay Creek in picture-perfect Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park onto a beach in Big Sur on the west coast of California.
The image of the 24km McWay Falls cascading onto the beach is one of Big Sur’s most iconic and something you can’t miss. The hike to the falls is rather easy and boasts some of Big Sur’s best views.
The Ultimate Travel Bucket List: Islands and Beaches
40. The Maldives
The Maldives are a set of South Asian islands, located in the Indian ocean. Made up of of 26 atolls, ring shaped coral reefs together containing over 1000 coral islands.
People come from far and wide for The Maldives’ beautiful islands, luxury accommodation, azure waters, and colourful marine life.
If you love beaches, watersports or simply soaking up the views of one of the most beautiful places on this planet, the Maldives should be on your list of 100 things to do before you die.
Read More: The best resorts in the Maldives.
41. Vava’u Islands
The Vava’u islands are a set of islands, one large and 40 small, located in Tonga in the South Pacific. Neiafu, the capital of these islands, is a gorgeous destination well worth exploring – make sure to visit the striking St Joseph’s Cathedral.
Looking for spectacular things to do before you die?
This tropical paradise has crystal clear waters, white sand beaches and beautiful sea life, including tropical fish, sea turtles, spinner dolphins and Humpback whales – a wildlife lover’s paradise!
42. Santorini, Greece
Santorini is a Greek Island in the Southern Aegean Sea.
Known as the ‘supermodel’ of the Greek Islands, it is instantly recognisable by its whitewashed buildings with blue roofs, multicoloured cliffs, beautiful sunsets and dazzlingly sapphire coloured waters.
There’s so much to do in Santorini including exploring Akrotiri’s ruins and chilling on Kamari’s black sand beach. You might have to battle the crowds, but it’s totally worth it.
43. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora is a small island in the South Pacific, Northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia.
Being Tahiti’s most famous island, it is popular with the luxury crowd thanks to its fabulous hotels.
Bora Bora is surrounded by a turquoise lagoon protected by a coral reef, which is fabulous for swimming, snorkelling and diving.
44. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is an island and province of Indonesia, popular among backpackers travelling Southeast Asia but also with a luxury side, full of beautiful beaches, incredible food, culture scenery and wildlife.
Known for its surfing, yoga, diving and great resorts, the ‘essence of Bali’, and its traditions have stolen the hearts of many visitors.
Read more: 2 Weeks in Bali, A Step by Step Itinerary
45. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
An archipelago in Brazil, Fernando de Noronha is known as both a beach lover’s shangri-la and an eco-wonderland. Built on volcanic rock, the coastline is as ragged as it is beautiful.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, this paradise is full of pristine beaches, beautiful landscapes and stunning wildlife. Apparently, even the sharks are friendly.
Read more: Must-See Destinations in Brazil
46. Maui, USA
Maui is an island which is part of the state of Hawaii, known for its natural beauty. It is Hawaii’s second-largest island, at 1,883 square kilometres.
Known as the ‘Valley Isle’, Maui is famed for its world-famous beaches, the Iao Valley, humpback whales, and the marvellous sunset and sunrise from Haleakala.
There are so many things to do in Maui with kids, as there are for a couple travelling alone.
47. Big Sur, USA
Big Sur is a stretch of California’s central coast. Forever linked with beat writers such as Jack Kerouac, Big Sur tops the list of many literary lovers’ travel bucket lists – but there’s more to its appeal than that.
Driving through Big Sur on a Highway 1 road trip is very popular, with beautiful places to stop and look out, such as Bixby Bridge and the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, where the picturesque McWay Falls (see our pick of top 10 waterfalls for your bucket list) meets the sandy shore and drifts into the Ocean.
48. Ko Samui, Thailand
Ko Samui is Thailand’s second largest island, located off the East Coast in the Gulf of Thailand.
Ko Samui is home to lush rainforest, coconut palms and some of the most spectacular beaches in Thailand, such as Bang Por, Choeng Mon and Taling Nam, which is incredible for watching the sunset on.
49. Krabi, Thailand
Krabi is a province of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. It is home to some of the best beaches and islands in Southeast Asia, such as Railay Beach, with incredible rock formations making it a climbers paradise, and the Phi Phi Islands, where Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘The Beach’ was filmed.
With white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and stunning coral reefs, it’s no wonder that Krabi is at the top of most visitors’ lists of things to see when they’re in Thailand.
Read more: 50 Incredible Things to do and Places to See in Thailand
Travel Bucket List Ideas: Beautiful Landscapes
50. Atacama Desert, Chile
The Atacama Desert is a desert located in Chile, South America and is one of the most surreal places on the planet.
The desert covers a 1000 square km area of land and is one of the driest places on Earth. Mars-like valleys, brightly coloured lakes, swarms of flamingos and the Southern hemisphere’s largest geyser field – if you’re heading the the Atacama desert, you’d better prepare to have your mind blown.
Check out my guide to road-tripping in the Atacama Desert.
51. Bolivia Salt Flats
The Bolivia Salt Flats (Salar de Uyuni) are located in the Potosí province in the southwest of Bolivia – not far from the Atacama Desert.
At 10,582 square km and placed 3,656m above sea level, they are the largest salt flats in the world. This incredible natural wonder was originally caused by the transformations of several prehistoric lakes, which are now covered by a few metres of salt crust.
Read more: visiting the Bolivia Salt Flats.
52. Torres del Paine, Chile
The Torres del Paine National Park is located in Patagonia, Chile. It is known for its beautiful mountains, blue icebergs and glaciers, and lush vegetation.
If you’re fit enough to take on the challenge, hiking the five day W trail should be on your list of things to do before you die – feeling even more adventurous? The 8-day O trek is for you.
The stunning Torres, after which the park is named is the main attraction of the park, and over 250,000 visitors come to marvel at them every year. It’s honestly one of the most incredible places I’ve visited and well worth the hype.
53. Lake District, UK
The Lake District is a mountainous area in Cumbria, in the north west of England, whose mountains, lakes and forests stretch over a huge 2,362 square km.
Boasting plenty of hikes and ways to reconnect with nature, this is a popular holiday destination for British tourists.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beautiful scenery, the Lake District is also home to Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, and also the deepest and longest bodies of water in England – most definitely worth a trip.
Read more: Walking in the Lake District
54. Mù Cang Chả, Vietnam
Mù Cang Chả is a rural district located at the bottom of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range in the northwest of Vietnam, in the Yên Bái Province.
It is home to incredible landscapes and perfectly-landscaped rice paddies – the Mù Cang Chả Rice Terrace has been recognised as one of the most unique landscapes in Vietnam, stretching across 22 square km of the mountainside.
Seeing the bright green paddies in real life is guaranteed to be one of the highlights of any trip to Vietnam.
55. Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
The Namib-Naukluft National Park is located in Namibia, and encompasses part of the Namib Desert.
The Namib Desert is the world’s oldest desert, and Namib-Naukluft is the fourth-largest game park in the world. Wonderful creatures such as snakes, hyenas and geckos reside in the stunning signature red and orange sand.
56. Paro Valley, Bhutan
The Paro Valley is a lush valley located in western Bhutan. The historic town is full of culture, history and sacred sites, and the wide and richly vegetated Valley is one of Bhutan’s must-see sights.
If you’re visiting the valley, you have to make a stop at Paro Taktsang which is tucked into the side of a cliff. It’s nicknamed the Tiger’s Nest Buddhist Temple and known one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan.
57. Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany is a region in central Italy. Full of beautiful old Italian villas, farms, wineries and lush vegetation, it’s a beautiful location to visit. I’ve already mentioned, Florence, the capital of the region, is filled with so many things for art-lovers to do.
Though it’s the gently rolling hills and green vineyards that make up a stunning landscape worthy of a postcard and a spot on your bucket list.
Read More: Travels Through Tuscany – the Ultimate Road Trip
59. Uluru, Australia
Uluru (also known as Ayer’s Rock) is a large sandstone rock formation, located in the north central region of Australia, that rises 350 metres up away from its surrounding land.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, Ayers Rock is home to beautiful waterholes, springs and rock caves.
One of Australia’s indigenous tribes most sacred sites, you can no longer hike onto the rock itself, but can still soak up its spiritual presence from up close.
60. Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre is a string of five seaside villages, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza, Manarola, and Monterosso, located in the region of Liguria in Italy. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, the area is full of colourful houses and vineyards and a beautiful blue harbour.
I’m betting it’s one of the most photographed places in Italy, but once you go, you can easily see why. Gorgeous views, even better wine, and a chilled-out pace of life – what’s not to love?
Places to Travel Before You Die: Famous Landmarks
61. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the free-standing bell tower of Italy’s Pisa Cathedral. Built in 1372 at 56 metres tall, the tower is famed for its unintended tilt – the result of the soft ground on which it was built.
Head to the tower, take the obligatory selfie (or three – don’t miss the one where you pretend to push it over!) but don’t forget to explore the rest of this charming city, which is surprisingly quiet once you get away from the big sights.
62. Golden Gate Bridge, USA
The Golden Gate Bridge is a 1,280m suspension bridge that links San Francisco with Marin County in Western California. Built in 1937 for a huge $35 million, since opening it has become an icon of San Francisco and the most photographed bridge in the world.
Hike through the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge Park to the bottom of the bridge for a different view of this iconic bridge.
Read More: 2 Days in San Francisco
63. Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower, located on the Champ de Mars, in Paris, France. The engineer Gustave Eiffel, designed the tower and then his company built it in 1889.
With a total height of 324m, the instantly recognisable Eiffel Tower is synonymous with the city of love. Head up to the top for amazing views out over the city.
Read More: Where to Stay in Paris, An Area Guide
64. Christ the Redeemer
The Christ the Redeemer Statue is located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Built in 1931 by four men, Landowski, da Silva Costa, Caquor and Leonida, the 30 metre symbol of Rio sits atop of the Corcovado Mountain, looking over the city.
You can access the statue via a tough hike through the Tijuca rainforest, or via a tram or collectivo.
Whichever way you get there, the view of the city spread out below and of the statue itself is one of Rio’s real highlights.
65. The Palm Jumeirah, United Arab Emirates
The Palm Jumeirah is an artificial group of islands in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, located on the Jumeirah coast. It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about things to do before you die, but it’s well worth the trip.
Taking 5 years to build from 2001 to 2006, the Palm is now full of luxury hotels, restaurants and residences. In keeping with Dubai’s reputation for glitz and glamour, a trip to The Palm Jumeirah is one for the luxury-lovers among you.
The island is also home to arguably the best water park in Dubai – spend a day cooling off and seeking thrills at the Atlantis Aquaventure.
Read More: 24 Hours in Dubai
66. St Basil’s Cathedral, Russia
St Basil’s Cathedral is located in Red Square, Moscow, Russia. Built in 1561, this world-famous and colourful landmark was inspired by the flame from a bonfire rising into the sky.
Officially called ‘The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat’, this 48m high building is a totally bonkers but beautiful creation that’s guaranteed to make a lasting impression.
67. Sydney Opera House, Australia
The Sydney Opera House is an arts venue, located at Bennelong Point in the middle of the Sydney Harbour, Australia. Built in 1973, the Opera House became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
The picturesque sail design of the house with the Sydney Harbour Bridge behind it is the iconic image of Sydney and a must-do on your Australia bucket list.
68. Statue of Liberty, USA
The Statue of Liberty is a sculpture of ‘Lady Liberty’, located on Liberty Island in the harbour in New York City.
The statue shows Lady Liberty to be holding a torch and a book with roman numerals of the date of the US Declaration of Independence.
Designed by Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel, the statue was dedicated to the US people from France in 1886.
The statue used to be the first sight of New York for those sailing into the city in days gone by, the boat trip to see the statue is no less striking today.
There is so much to enjoy in New York with various attractions, shopping and rooftop restaurants in New York.
69. Big Ben, United Kingdom
Big Ben (a nickname for the clock on the Elizabeth Tower), is a tower at the end of the Palace of Westminster in London, England.
Ever since it was built in 1859, it has been a British cultural icon, and is the most prominent symbol of London and the United Kingdom.
Big Ben is currently undergoing renovation works, but you can still take a peek at the Houses of Parliament below.
Want an extra-special view? Take one of the numerous boat cruises that float down the Thames for picture opps without the crowds.
Read More: Two Days in London Itinerary
70. Empire State Building, USA
The Empire State Building is a skyscraper, located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York City (between West 33rd and 34th streets to be precise).
The 102 storey building is not only a work office, but also has a viewing deck at the top where visitors can see the whole of the city.
The Empire State Building is a symbol of New York City, and was designated the status of a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Book your ticket and get whisked up to the top for spectacular views out over the city.
Things to See Before You Die: Mountains
71. Mount Everest, China / Nepal
Mount Everest, located in the Mahanlangur range of the Himalayas, is the highest mountain on Earth at 8,848 m, with the border between China and Nepal running across its summit.
Since it was first climbed in 1953, Mount Everest has attracted keen climbers from all over, with two main climbing routes, one starting in southeast Nepal and the other in the north of Tibet in China – do you dare to rise to the challenge?
Read More: Just how tough is it to climb Mount Everest?
72. Vinicunca (Rainbow Mountain), Peru
Mount Vinicunca, also known as Rainbow Mountain, is a mountain in the Andes in Cusco, Peru.
With its highest peak at 5,200m, Vinicunca is full of desert landscapes, snow-capped peaks and lots of alpacas!
Though South America isn’t short on a hike or two, this one comes with close-up views of the multi-coloured mountains and its picturesque surrounds.
Read More: The South America Travel Bucket List – 100 Places to Visit in South America
73. Matterhorn, Switzerland
The Matterhorn is located in the Swiss Alps. At 4,478 m, it is one of the largest mountains in Europe and the Alps. Surrounded by glaciers, the Matterhorn is an incredibly beautiful site, with an almost symmetrical peak.
Skilled mountaineers can climb to the top of the mountain, but even if that’s not you, we pretty much guarantee you’ll be blown away by views of the mountain up close.
74. Fitz Roy, Argentina / Chile
Mount Fitz Roy is a mountain in Patagonia, located in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field near El Chaltén on the border of Argentina and Chile.
First climbed in 1952, today it still remains one of the most challenging climbs on Earth with its highest point at 3,405 m.
Not quite up to the challenge? You can hike to the base of the mountain from El Chalten without too much difficulty.
75. K2, China / Pakistan
K2, also known as Mount Godwin Austen, is the second highest mountain in the world, at 8611 metres high, located on the border between China and Pakistan.
Not many dare to climb K2 as it is so dangerous. K2 is sometimes called the ‘Savage Mountain’, with a terrifying one out of four climbers never making it back.
76. Table Mountain, South Africa
Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain overlooking Cape Town in South Africa. The mountain is just over 1,085 metres tall and 3km from either side.
Visitors either hike up to the top or get the cable-car up (hint: do the hike, it’s awesome). Once at the top, the sweeping views of the city are incredible.
Cape Town is often chosen as one of the most spectacular cities in the world, and the views from Table Mountain give you a good idea why.
Read more: The Best Things to do in Cape Town
77. Banff National Park, Canada
Banff National Park is Canada’s national playground. Forming part of the Rockies National Park, Canada’s first national park, Banff’s highest peak is Bonnet Peak at 3,235 m.
The beautiful snow capped mountains surrounded by lush green forests and charming lakes are too tempting not to explore – doing so should be on your list of things to do before you die.
78. Mount Huangshan, China
Mount Huangshan is a mountain range is the Anhui Province in Eastern China, with its top height reaching 1,864 metres. Mount Huangshan and its surrounding area is well known for its scenery, sunsets, lush vegetation and incredible views.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990, Mount Huangshan is known as ‘the loveliest mountain in China’. Even more reason to see it with your own eyes.
79. Atlas Mountains, Morocco
The Atlas Mountains are a mountain range in north west Africa. Their highest peak is Jebel Toubkal at 4,167 metres high and located in Morocco.
Its lush valleys, snow-capped peaks and traditional Berber villages make trekking in the Atlas Mountains a fantastic experience.
The Atlas Mountains are a relatively short trip from Marrakech and well deserving of a detour from the charming city.
80. Mont Blanc, France
Mont Blanc (meaning ‘White Mountain) is located in the Graian Alps, which run between France and Italy.
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and in Europe at 4,808m, and is very popular for hiking, mountaineering, snowboarding and skiing.
Seasoned skiers and snowboarders can hike up and ski or board down in the summer months – beware, the hike up is pretty tough.
Top 100 Bucket List Destinations: Volcanoes
81. Yellowstone Super Volcano, USA
Yellowstone Super Volcano is located in the ethereal Yellowstone National Park, in the northwest of Wyoming, US.
Known for its super-volcanos, crazily coloured lakes and ever-faithful geysers, Yellowstone might well be the US national park highest on your list of things to do before you die (though maybe Yosemite beats it to the first spot).
82. Popocatépetl Volcano, Mexico
Popocatépetl Volcano is an active volcano located in the Mexico, Puebla and Morelos states in Central Mexico.
At 5,426m high, it is the second-tallest peak in Mexico. You can visit the park surrounding the volcano from Mexico City – bear in mind that it is an active volcano, so you should check before you set out.
83. Mount Vesuvius, Italy
Mount Vesuvius is a volcano located in Naples, in Campania, Italy. The 1,280m volcano is best known for its eruption in 79AD that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, and being the most densely populated volcanic region in the world.
However, despite the risk, the sight of the beautiful volcano standing tall over the city of Naples is truly amazing. You can undertake the hike to the top independently, or go on a guided hike to take advantage of the local knowledge.
84. Mount Etna, Italy
Mount Etna is a volcano between Messina and Cantania, in Sicily, Italy. At 3,330m high, it is Europe’s tallest active volcano, and Italy’s highest peak south of the Alps. Although it is one of the world’s most active volcano sites, in 2013 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beauty.
It’s a tough trek to the top, but the views once you get there are worth the sweat.
85. Mount Fuji, Japan
Mount Fuji is an active volcano located on Honshu Island, in the Southwest of Japan. At 3,770 metres tall, it is the highest mountain in Japan.
The mountain is one of Japan’s sacred sites – it’s not unusual for people to make a pilgrimage trek to the top.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, UNESCO has also recognised 25 locations within the Mount Fuji locality to be sites of cultural interest – meaning there’s plenty for you to do when you tick this one off your bucket list.
86. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano with three volcanic cones, located in the Kilimanjaro National Park in East Tanzania, Africa.
At 5,895 metres above sea level, it is the highest mountain in Africa. Kilimanjaro is one of Africa’s best-known adventure spots and the hike to the top is a once in a lifetime experience.
Read More: Travelling in Tanzania and Zanzibar
87. Mauna Loa, USA
Mauna Loa is an active volcano located in Hawaii, United States. It’s considered to be the Earth’s largest volcano with an impressive 75,000 cubed km volume.
Although Mauna Loa has been erupting for at least 700,000 years and still erupts today, the eruptions are very fluid and tend to be non-explosive, so it is a very safe area to visit.
It’s a tough hike, even by Hawaiian standards, but when else will you get to climb the world’s largest volcano?
88. Mount Bromo, Indonesia
Mount Bromo is an active volcano located in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in East Java, Indonesia, and is part of the Tengger massif, a volcano complex.
Sitting in the middle of a plain of sand, the beautiful 2300m volcano provides visitors with unparalleled views, which can be reached by taking a 2 hour walk to the top. Head up at night to catch sunrise at the top – an unforgettable experience.
89. Thrihnukagigur Volcano, Iceland
Thrihnukagigur Volcano is a dormant volcano near Reykjavík, Iceland, that covers 3,270 square metres and is 213m deep.
Opening to tourists in 2012, it is the only volcano in the world where you can take a lift down into the magma chamber. Such an incredible sight is totally deserving of a spot on your bucket list.
90. Mount Helen, USA
Mount Helen is an active volcano located in Skamania County in Washington State, United States – less than 100 miles away from Seattle. Mount St Helens is well known for its ash explosions and flows of gas and volcanic matter, especially during the notorious 1980 eruption.
The huge volcano is located in the Cascade Range which is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a group of 452 active volcanoes dotted around the rim of the Pacific, all prone to eruption.
There are more than 200 miles of trails in the surrounding area – allowing you to see a different side of the volcano on two feet.
Bucket List Travel Hotspots: Animal Habitats
91. Masai Mara, Kenya
The Masai Mara National Reserve is a game reserve in Narok County in Kenya, Africa, that neighbours the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
It is famous for its wonderful animals and wildlife, including African leopards and Kenyan cheetahs, Masai lions, zebra, wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelle and over 470 species of bird. It is perfect for the animal lover.
Heading on a safari into the Masai Mara is one of the most popular travel bucket list ideas – when are you going to tick it off yours? Read some books about Kenya to get some more ideas.
92. Amazon Rainforest, South America
The Amazon Rainforest is a rainforest that expands over Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana, in South America.
The whole thing encompasses a huge 7 million square kilometres, and is home to 16,000 species of 390 billion trees, 2.5 million insect species and 2,000 mammal and bird species.
Eco-friendly luxury lodges, steamer boat cruises, incredible hikes – the only problem you’ll have when it comes to planning your trip to the Amazon is how much you can fit into the time you have.
Looking for more travel inspiration? Here are five South America travel routes for your trip.
93. The Serengeti, Tanzania / Kenya
The Serengeti is a region in Africa, expanding over northern Tanzania and in the south of Kenya, over 30,000 square kilometres.
The Serengeti is renowned for its large lion population, including 70 large mammal species, such as buffalos and gazelles, and 500 bird species, as well as a range of surroundings with everything from swamps to grasslands.
Book a safari for an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience.
94. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of islands located in the Pacific Ocean over the Equator, such that the islands are in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.
The islands are well known for their wildlife that are unique to just them, including giant tortoises, Galapagos finches and penguins, Galapagos hawks, fur seals and blue-footed boobies.
Walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and see the islands in their full glory on a several-day boat tour.
95. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, located in the Coral Sea, just off the coast in Queensland, Australia.
The reef system, which stretches over a nearly 350,000 square kilometre area, comprises over 2900 individual reefs and 900 islands.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982, this colourful place is home to millions of creatures, including dolphins, whales, fish, turtles and birds.
On a sourer note, the Great Barrier Reef is being destroyed due to climate change, so who knows how much longer it will be around for? This beautiful place deserves a top spot on your list of things to do before you die.
96. Komodo Island, Indonesia
Komodo Island is a 390 square kilometre island, located in the middle of the Flores Sea and part of the Republic of Indonesia.
Named as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, this beautiful island is home to many species, including Javan deer, water buffalo and the 3km long Komodo dragon, the largest lizard on Earth.
Komodo Dragons are notoriously dangerous but spying them in their natural habitat is a memorable experience.
97. Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa
Addo Elephant National Park might not be South Africa’s best-known safari destination (that title has to go to Kruger), but it’s the one I loved the most.
Tucked away in the beautiful Addo region in the Eastern Cape, the Elephant National Park is the only place in the world where you can see the Big Seven (the big five plus Southern Whales and Great White Sharks) thanks to its ocean territory.
Read more: Safari in Addo Elephant National Park
98. The Danum Valley, Malaysia
The Danum Valley is located in Sabah Forest, Borneo, Malaysia. The 438 square kilometre Conservation Area is known for its Bornean orangutans, gibbons, 270 species of bird and the rare East Sumatran rhinos.
People come from all over to see these special creatures, and it is definitely worth a spot on your bucket list.
99. Kangaroo Island, Australia
Kangaroo Island is an island off the coast of South Australia. The island is home to hundreds of species of wildlife including the Kangaroo Island Kangaroo, the Tammar Wallaby and Rosenberg’s Sand Goanna, which are all native to the island, as well as non-native creatures such as sea lions and koalas.
Visit the island to experience its wild and rugged beauty and wildlife spotting opportunities galore.
100. Kalahari Desert
The Kalahari Desert is a savanna in Southern Africa that extends for over 900,000 square kilometres over Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
The Kalahari Desert is home to hundreds of exotic species of animals including brown hyenas, meerkats, the Kalahari lion, and many species of reptiles and birds.
A trip to the Kalahari is like stepping into another universe – one that will provide you will snaps (and memories) you’ll never forget.
There we are, 100 places for your travel bucket list. How many have you ticked off?
Monday 13th of January 2020
Colosseum is in Italy, not Greece (number 19), though it does mention Rome.
Monday 20th of January 2020
Great spot - obviously a typo slipped in there. Clearly meant to say Italy as I reference Rome 4 times in the para.
Wednesday 22nd of November 2017
I alway love these kinds of lists. But "100" is an arbitrary number. Better to list the top things and get a list as long or short as it turns out to be. A few conspicuous omissions from the list: Antarctica; Madagascar's Spiny Forest; slave forts of Ghana; underground stone-carved churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia; the palace complex and surrounds in Bangkok; and maybe the floating islands on Lake Titicaca. List should include a section on tribal people and unique cultures such as the tribes of the Omo Valley in SE Ethiopia and the Inuit of Canada, etc.; famous scenic train trips; best rivers & fjords to navigate. Nevertheless, a fun list! Have seen 61 of these, plan to see 15 still on my list. 23 others are nice but I don't plan to see. 4 of them I have no interest in. (Been to a number of the countries the items are in, but not to see the listed items.)
Friday 24th of November 2017
Thanks for the suggestions - some really interesting ones there - if we update the piece, we'll be sure to take your additions on board.