The 11 Best Places to Travel in 2024

The 11 Best Places to Travel in 2024

As 2024 unfolds, the world eagerly awaits the opportunity to explore new horizons, immerse in diverse cultures, and create unforgettable memories. Whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or an aspiring adventurer, the allure of discovering the best destinations this year is irresistible. From hidden gems off the beaten path to iconic landmarks steeped in history, the possibilities are endless. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the 11 best places to travel in 2024, each offering a unique blend of excitement, tranquility, and discovery that promises to captivate every traveler’s heart and soul.

1. Budapest, Hungary

Famed for its diverse architectural styles, Budapest, the capital of Hungary, boasts a captivating blend of art nouveau, neoclassical, gothic, and baroque buildings, all tied together by the graceful flow of the Blue Danube. Its thermal baths, adorned with intricate designs, are infused with mineral-rich waters, offering a unique relaxation experience. The city pulses with creativity, evident in its lively nightlife scene, exemplified by the vibrant ruin bars district, born from the resilience of its people in the aftermath of Communist rule. In November 2023, Budapest celebrates 150 years since the unification of Buda, Pest, and Obuda, marked by a series of cultural festivities. Recent additions such as the striking House of Music Hungary and the National Athletics Centre, constructed for the 2023 World Athletics Championships, reflect the city’s optimistic outlook for the future. Notably, the newly opened W Budapest, situated on a UNESCO World Heritage-listed street opposite the Hungarian State Opera, adds a touch of art deco elegance to the cityscape.

2. The Cyclades, Greece

Is there a hotter destination right now than the Greek Islands? Last summer, the Cyclades stole the spotlight on social media, boasting stunning blue and white vistas, buzzing beach clubs and nightlife, and unbeatable shopping scenes. And with even more stylish accommodations popping up in 2024, next summer is the perfect time to plan your Cyclades getaway. Thanks to new flight routes from Etihad, British Airways, and Saudia in 2023, along with the debut of Cycladic, the first inter-island airline in 2022, reaching these dreamy islands has never been easier. The hospitality scene is flourishing too. Santo Pure in Oia, Santorini, has recently unveiled 20 new suites, and it will soon be joined by its sister property, Santo Mine, a lavish 37-suite resort. Meanwhile, the chic boutique hotel Kalesma on Mykonos is set to open its spa for the 2024 season, complete with a hammam and cryotherapy area.

3. French Polynesia

This year, all eyes are on Tahiti as Teahupo’o, a village known for hosting one of the world’s most dangerous waves, prepares to host the surfing competition for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Spectators can catch the action on large screens set up at various celebration sites across the island, including Jardin de Paofai, Papara Beach Break, and Marina of Punui. Meanwhile, the rest of French Polynesia, with its stunning expanse of 118 islands, remains steadfast in its commitment to sustainable tourism over mass appeal. Coral Gardeners, an organization dedicated to ocean conservation, is on a mission to plant one million heat-resistant corals worldwide by 2025, including efforts to restore coral reefs on Ahe, an atoll northeast of Tahiti, by repurposing abandoned pearl farms. Hotels throughout the archipelago are also undergoing rejuvenation, with upgrades beginning in Bora Bora. In January 2024, the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora will introduce a botanical tour showcasing its meticulously preserved native flora and fauna, followed by the reopening of Le Meridien as Westin Bora Bora in mid-2024.

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4. Grenada

Grenada, often overshadowed by destinations like St. Barts or Turks and Caicos, has emerged as a top choice, particularly for East Coast travelers. Thanks to JetBlue’s new direct service from Boston starting in November 2023, alongside existing nonstop flights from JFK, reaching Grenada is now more convenient than ever. Air Canada has also increased its service, offering up to four flights per week between Toronto and Grenada. Exciting developments await visitors, with new hotels and resorts on the horizon. Six Senses has selected Grenada for its inaugural Caribbean resort, La Sagesse, slated to open in early 2024 across 38 acres of oceanfront terrain, offering a myriad of adventures from shipwreck dives to waterfall trails. In January 2024, Beach House by Silversands will unveil 28 beachfront and cliffside villas and suites, complementing the existing Silversands Resort, known for its 100-meter infinity pool, the Caribbean’s longest. Looking ahead, IHG has initiated the construction of a 150-room resort with 30 private suites, adjacent to Six Senses, expected to welcome guests in 2025. Grenada is indeed poised to captivate travelers with its allure and hospitality.

5. Guatemala

In January 2024, when National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions introduce their latest Belize to Tikal journey, travelers might be tempted to linger on Belize’s idyllic beaches. Yet, Guatemala, home to the mystical Mayan ruins of Tikal, begs exploration. With its blend of indigenous heritage and colonial past, Guatemala boasts breathtaking landscapes and a growing tourism infrastructure. This year presents an ideal opportunity to delve into Guatemala’s charms. In the picturesque city of Antigua, the newly opened MUNAG (National Museum of Art Guatemala) offers a contemporary perspective on 3,000 years of heritage, with more unveilings on the horizon. Luna Zorro studio, renowned for its fusion of traditional craftsmanship and modern design, is transforming a historic site into La Valiente—a hub featuring a boutique, coffee-wine bar, and a cozy rental casita, slated to open in October 2024. Meanwhile, Café No Sé, a beloved spot in the old city, continues to celebrate its “20-ish” years with lively events and mezcal-fueled evenings. Guatemala City buzzes with fresh art spaces like Aura Galerías and innovative dining experiences, marking the nation’s evolution as a cultural hotspot.

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6. The Kimberley, Australia

Western Australia’s remote Kimberley stands as one of Earth’s last untamed frontiers, renowned for its pristine wilderness of towering ochre cliffs, azure waters, and ancient Aboriginal rock-art sites. Until now, exploring this rugged paradise has been a challenge. However, 2024 heralds a new era, as the region prepares to welcome an array of cruise lines eager to navigate its secluded waterways. Seabourn will introduce Seabourn Pursuit to Kimberley’s shores for the first time, while Ponant’s Le Jacques-Cartier joins Le Lapérouse in May 2024. Silversea plans to enhance capacity by replacing Silver Explorer with Silver Cloud from June 2024. Not to be outshined, Scenic’s Scenic Eclipse II, equipped with two helicopters for aerial excursions, will embark on its inaugural Kimberley voyage in May, offering unprecedented access to this rugged beauty.

7. Kobe, Japan

Nestled between towering mountains and shimmering waters in the southwest of Japan, lies the bustling port city of Kobe, where a newfound focus on design is taking root. Leading this charge is Vague Kobe, a fresh creative hub crafted by Teruhiro Yanagihara Studio (TYS). Housed within the historic walls of a 1930s bank, this multi-level space hosts a gallery, bookstore, café, wine bar, flower shop, and design studio. Blending contemporary Japanese aesthetics with nods to Kobe’s maritime legacy, the renovated interiors feature traditional plasterwork alongside sleek minimalist elements, accented by expansive windows, stone floors, and intricate tile designs.

8. Kosovo

Although Kosovo may lack the glamorous beaches of Albania and the luxury resorts of Montenegro, this tiny European nation boasts soaring peaks, picturesque countryside, and a warmth of hospitality that’s hard to find elsewhere. Perfect for extended hiking and biking excursions, Kosovo offers a blend of natural beauty and cultural charm waiting to be discovered. As 2024 marks the 25th anniversary since the end of the Kosovo war, there’s a renewed sense of exploration in the region. Following the footsteps of renowned cross-border trails like the Peaks of the Balkans and High Scardus, the Trans Dinarica cycling route will debut in 2024. This exciting route winds past the iconic minarets of Prizren, through the quaint Ottoman town of Gjakova, and onward to Peja, nestled on the edge of the Rugova Gorge. Serving as a hub for outdoor adventures, Peja offers opportunities for via ferratas, spelunking, and more.

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9. Madagascar

Nestled within the rugged and remote Indian Ocean island of Madagascar lies a realm of unparalleled natural wonders waiting to be explored. With its vast biodiversity and surreal landscapes, Madagascar has long enticed adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. Fortunately, access to this captivating island is becoming more convenient, thanks to the efforts of conservation-minded pioneers. Among them, the Namoroka Tsingy Exploration Camp stands out, set to open its doors in mid-2024 within the untouched Namoroka National Park. Here, amid the stunning backdrop of baobab trees and towering limestone formations known as tsingy, guests can immerse themselves in luxury safari tents. As they venture into this pristine wilderness, they’ll encounter lemurs and other unique species unaccustomed to human presence, offering an unforgettable experience unlike any other.

10. Magdalena River, Colombia

Immortalized in Gabriel García Márquez’s renowned novel, “Love in the Time of Cholera,” the Magdalena River stands as Colombia’s largest and most vital waterway. Stretching 930 miles from the towering Andes through fertile valleys to the azure Caribbean, it serves as the economic and cultural lifeline of the nation. Despite its significance, the mighty Magdalena has remained largely undiscovered by many travelers. However, thanks to the luxury river-cruise company AmaWaterways, two upcoming voyages promise to change that. Setting sail aboard AmyMagdalena in November 2024 and AmaMelodia in January 2025, both ships will navigate the captivating Magic of Colombia and Wonders of Colombia itineraries. These journeys will lead passengers upstream to the UNESCO-designated gem of Mompox, founded in 1540, where enchanting riverfront plazas and exquisite churches await in this timeless pueblo magico.

11. Mauritius

In the 1980s, Mauritius was synonymous with striped umbrellas, sun-kissed celebrities like Stéphanie de Monaco gliding on water skis, and Europe’s elite flocking to its exclusive hotels. But today, this Indian Ocean gem has evolved beyond its glamorous past. With a burgeoning cultural scene and a fresh wave of hospitality, Mauritius is reclaiming its place on travelers’ bucket lists. In the capital, Port Louis, the Intercontinental Slavery Museum, housed in a meticulously restored 18th-century military hospital, opened its doors in September 2023, marking a significant milestone in the nation’s efforts to reckon with its colonial legacy. Nearby, the newly inaugurated House of Digital Art (HODA) is drawing culture enthusiasts with its blend of historic charm and cutting-edge contemporary art installations.