Top 10 Places to Visit in the World
Whether you're a seasoned road warrior or avid armchair traveler, the world beckons with exciting places to discover (once you get the stress of airports and highways out of the way!). From sophisticated cities to amazing wilds, the list of must-see spots is large, but we've handpicked ten for you here to keep your imagination in high gear.
For centuries it existed as an independent republic, and it's been floating on water for even longer: no matter where you go in the world, there will only ever be one Venice. From the majestic ribbon of the Grand Canal to the majesty of St. Mark's Square, Venice seems to have been designed to take your breath away. August and September tend to the busiest months, but even in the high season there are ways to dodge the crowds.
Hong Kong, China
From the top of Hong Kong's Victoria Peak you can gaze down on the skyscrapers of the Central District and across Victoria Harbor to the lights of bustling Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Peninsula: this is a city that reaches for the stars and sparkles every step of the way. Its name means "Fragrant Harbor" in Chinese and Hong Kong was famously a British Crown Colony until 1997, but it still exudes energy and excitement.
Grand Canyon, USA
The American West holds some of the most spectacular desert scenery in the world, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona is the jewel in the crown. Chiseled by the Colorado River over millions of years, the steep-sided canyon plunges up to a mile deep. The Skywalk, a recent manmade addition to the natural splendor, lets you see the Grand Canyon from a dizzying 4,000 feet above the Colorado River
Machu Picchu, Peru
One of the most iconic archaeological sites in the world, Machu Picchu is also one of the trickiest to access, but that doesn't stop travelers from making the journey. It's a 15th-century Inca site situation nearly 8,000 feet above sea level in Peru's Cuzco region. The Incas abandoned Machu Picchu around the time of the Spanish Conquest, but the American Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911. The site's remoteness helps it retain a spiritual atmosphere.
Wonders of Ancient Egypt
They may be a cliche, but the first time you see the Pyramids of Giza outside Cairo, your heart skips a beat: they are bigger than you imagined. The Pyramid of Khufu, or Cheops, is the largest and oldest, having been completed in 2560 BC. The pyramids and the Sphinx are the opening chapters of Egypt's spectacularly rich history. Further south along the River Nile, antiquity comes alive at the temples of Karnak and Luxor, along with the Valley of the Kings.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
If there were a global beauty contest for cities, it's very likely that Brazil's Rio de Janeiro would grab the crown. With its white sand beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema and the warm spirit of the Cariocas, as the locals are called, this tropical metropolis will certainly grab your heart. Take in the view from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain or Corcovado, and indulge in a caipirinha cocktail by the beach during Carnaval - or anytime.
New York City, USA
You can travel all over the world and find a city prettier and friendlier, but nothing could ever replace the energy and excitement of New York. The Big Apple is the very definition of The Big City, and from culture and history to food, shopping and sports, this one has it all. You could spend a lifetime exploring Manhattan and the other districts of this sprawling metropolis and still have more to discover. New York: noisy, crowded, expensive and worth every penny.
Before there was a Paris, London or even Rome, there was Athens: the cradle of democracy and the foundation stone of Western civilization. Walk to the top of the Acropolis and contemplate the majesty of the Parthenon, standing proud since 432BC. From there the views of the teeming city and Mediterranean Sea are simply stunning. Athens is home famous historical museums as well as great restaurants and nightlife.
Diving the Red Sea
Did you know that the Red Sea is the world's northernmost tropical sea? Surrounded on all sides by desert, it contains some of the most spectacular coral reefs in the world. Whether you explore these undersea riches from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula coast or Israel's Eilat, you are sure to see creatures and colors you never imagined. As an added attaction, the water's warm enough for swimming most months of the year.
London, United Kingdom
No other city combines old world charm with modern verve and creativity like London. It has iconic landmarks like Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament by the River Thames and posh neighborhoods like Knightsbridge and Mayfair, plus daring new towers like The Gherkin and The Shard. You can spend an entire vacation in London just visiting cultural venues like the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, and then there is the theatre, the nightlife, shopping, restaurants...London is the best of many worlds in one city.