most beautiful places in the world - Hallstatt, Austria

Travel Wish List: 16 of the Most Beautiful Places in the World

With the wide range of stunning and awe-inspiring locations that span the planet, it is no surprise that many of us have bucket lists devoted to exploring some of the most beautiful places in the world.

Even though there is no definitive definition of what makes a place truly beautiful, these sites around the globe always seem to captivate, take one’s breath away, and make for an unforgettable experience. From ocean breezes and majestic mountain ranges to ancient city ruins and lush forests, each place has its own unique beauty that makes it stand out from all the rest.

A Few of the Most Beautiful Places in the World

Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam

most beautiful places in the world - Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Photo credit: xuanduongvan87

Hạ Long Bay is located in the northeast of Vietnam and an hour away from Hanoi; this majestic destination consists of thousands of jagged limestone islands emerging out of a bright emerald sea, forming a stunning landscape like no other. It’s not difficult to see why it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994, as its breathtaking beauty never fails to leave you mesmerized and longing for more.

Whether you participate in exciting activities such as island cruising and kayaking or explore it from afar by visiting any of the numerous viewpoints on the surrounding mountains, Hạ Long Bay is most definitely worth a visit.

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

most beautiful places in the world - Plitvice Lakes
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia. Photo credit: upr8

Plitvice Lakes National Park is located in the heart of Croatia. The park has 16 interconnected lakes along pathways and bridges featuring cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush vegetation. Whether you take a stroll through the park’s trails or opt for an exciting adventure touring its unique caves and lucent turquoise waters, you’ll be left with warm memories that will last a lifetime.

Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

most beautiful places - Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe. Photo credit: fietzfotos

Victoria Falls, located on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border, has thrilled visitors for centuries. At nearly twice the height of Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the world. It is also home to numerous adventure activities and gorgeous views, making it an ideal destination for thrill seekers and photographers. From bungee jumping off a bridge over the Zambezi River to white water rafting through Batoka Gorge, adventurers are sure to find something that piques their interest.

Zhangjiajie National Forest, China

world's most beautiful places - Zhangjiajie Mountains, China
Zhangjiajie National Forest, China. Photo credit: Aurel Serban

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China is one of the world’s most beautiful natural places to explore. Its stunning scenery takes on a mystical quality with its stacked rocks, deep ravines, and lush forests. With its 4,000 pillar-like mountain peaks reaching 3,000 feet above sea level, these gorgeous views have become popular among tourists after being featured in the movie Avatar.

Kenai Fjords, Alaska, US

most beautiful places in the world - Kenai Fjords
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Photo credit: ArtTower

In the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, Kenai Fjords National Park is a mountainous terrain with deep fjords situated 120 miles south of Anchorage. During a visit to Kenai Fjords, you can explore serene settings teeming with wildlife like humpback whales, sea lions, seals, and more than 29 species of birds. From hikes through nature trails and majestic snow-capped peaks to kayaking crystal blue waters filled with native wildlife, there is no shortage of amazing sights and activities in this stunning landscape.

Seychelles, East Africa

most beautiful places in the world - Seychelles, East Africa
Seychelles, East Africa. Photo credit: marliese

Often considered one of the most beautiful places in the world, Seychelles is formed out of 115 islands, providing a genuinely captivating underwater oasis. Its breathtaking shorelines and sugar-white sands offer a relaxing, natural retreat; while fishing boats remind of the archipelago’s diverse culture. With its year-round warm climate, snorkeling, lovely beach resorts, and luxury hotels, it’s easy to see why Seychelles continues to be named one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Hallstatt, Austria

most beautiful places - Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria. Photo credit: Hieu Pham

Hallstatt, a picturesque Austrian village wedged between two lakes and surrounded by the Austrian Alps, is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Every corner of its cobblestone streets and ancient buildings painted in bright pastel colors seem to speak of its centuries-old history. Surrounded by crystal clear lakes and breathtaking Alpine vistas, the tiny fairytale village charms visitors from around the world with its traditional wooden cottages, Baroque-style architecture, and cobblestone paths.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

world's most beautiful places - Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. Photo credit: Mick Haupt

Located on the west coast of Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher are an impressive sight to behold, stretching 5 miles and reaching a staggering 700 feet high. The air is sea-scented, the green hills stunningly contrasted by a deep blue sea, with creamy seabirds soaring above. Looking out to sea from the top of the steep rocks offers breathtaking views as far as Galway Bay and the Aran Islands in one direction and even towards Northern Ireland on clear days.

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

most beautiful places in the world - Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar. Photo credit: gemmmm

The Avenue of the Baobabs in Madagascar is a one-of-a-kind sight. Standing vertically against the horizon, this set of baobab trees has been estimated to tower at around 80 feet, with ages of possibly 800 years. Most are fat and smooth as if they had seen a lifetime’s worth of stories.

Their branches stretch out from their trunks and reach high into the sky, creating an unforgettable experience for anyone who passes by. Long regarded as a sacred site for Madagascar’s people, it goes without saying that any visit to this legendary site will be unlike any other.

Machu Picchu, Peru

most beautiful places in the world - Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo credit: doit_viaggi

Nestled high in the Peruvian Andes, Machu Picchu is a stunning sight. It was constructed by the Inca civilization around 1450 AD as an underground city and remained an exciting mystery to this day. You can explore its terraces, temples, and complexes that reveal an intriguing past. From the ancient citadel’s renowned Sun Gate, you can take in stunning views of mist-shrouded mountains and lush green valleys. Machu Picchu is truly a remarkable place to visit.

Pamukkale, Turkey

most beautiful places in the world - Pamukkale, Turkey
Pamukkale, Turkey. Photo credit: LoggaWiggler

Located in southwestern Turkey, Pamukkale is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. This stunning landscape is known for its cascading white terraces created by mineral-rich natural springs. The terraced basins filled with thermal water have formed over time, creating an excellent site called the “Cotton Castle” due to its similarity to a small fortress made of cotton billowing in the wind.

You can relax in the thermal waters or explore an ancient Roman spa at Hierapolis, built alongside Pamukkale thousands of years ago. Those looking for adventure can hike up the mountains and soak in breathtaking views over the entire basin. For many travelers, a visit to Pamukkale is an unforgettable experience that will stay with them forever.

Patagonia, Argentina/Chile

most beautiful places in the world - Patagonia
Patagonia, Argentina/Chile. Photo credit: 12019

Patagonia is an increasingly popular travel destination for those seeking opportunities for adventure and exploration. Located primarily in Argentina and Chile, Patagonia features some of the most unique landscapes on the planet. From glacier-capped mountains to ancient forests, you can find all kinds of incredible sights in this rugged terrain.

Popular activities include trekking, horseback riding, boat tours, fishing, and much more. Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Patagonia promises to deliver an unforgettable journey, unlike any other place on earth.

Banff National Park, Canada

most beautiful places - Banff National Park
Banff National Park, Canada. Photo credit: Jacky Huang

Banff National Park, located in Alberta, Canada, offers stunning scenery and diverse wildlife experiences, making it a popular destination for nature lovers, hikers, and photographers. Surrounded by majestic mountains, lush valleys, tranquil lakes, and thundering waterfalls, Banff National Park offers hiking trails that take you through its most incredible landscapes.

There are endless activities, from backcountry skiing to fishing and mountaineering. If you’re looking for an exciting Canadian adventure – take a trip to Banff National Park – where you can genuinely experience Mother Nature at its very finest!

Amalfi Coast, Italy

most beautiful places in the world - Amalfi Coast
Amalfi Coast, Italy. Photo credit: Tom Podmore

The Amalfi Coast, in southern Italy, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the world. With its towering cliffs dotted with colorful villas, pristine beaches, lush vineyards, and picturesque fishing towns, it’s hard not to be swept away by its beauty and charm.

From savoring the fresh seafood on a terrace overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea or taking in breathtaking views from atop the hillsides, there are plenty of unforgettable experiences on the Amalfi Coast. No wonder travelers have been descending upon this coastal gem for centuries; once you set foot on its cobblestone streets, you can’t help but be mesmerized!

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

clown fish on coral reef
Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Photo credit: Giorgia Doglioni

The Great Barrier Reef, located along the coast of Australia, is truly a sight to behold. Often seen as one of the most beautiful places in the world, this natural wonder offers many breathtaking views. From lush coral gardens, richly-colored sea life, and warm tropical waters, the sweeping beauty of the Great Barrier Reef is an experience unique to Australia that stretches over 1,400 miles.

Whether you are looking to take up scuba diving and embark on a tremendous maritime journey or prefer just exploring its islands from afar with a luxurious boat ride, there is much to be experienced at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Santorini, Greece

white and blue concrete building near green mountain under white clouds during daytime
Santorini, Greece. Photo credit: Yang Yang

Santorini, Greece, is a stunning popular bucket list destination with its white and blue Cycladic buildings, sparkling crystal-clear waters, black sandy beaches, and dynamic volcanic landscape. Its romantic sunset views from Oia village will take your breath away with its panoramic ocean backdrop. This Greek island can be explored by boat during an unforgettable adventure through hidden bays and nearby islands.

Visiting the Most Beautiful Places in the World

Visiting the most beautiful places in the world can be both a captivating and enlightening experience. Exploring these enchanting locations beyond simply taking pictures can expand one’s cultural understanding and appreciation for other communities and ways of life. Not only do they offer visual splendor, but they also provide tangible takeaways to make us more knowledgeable, creative, and appreciative people.

This article originally appeared on Wander with Alex.

Featured image credit: Joss Woodhead

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Scott And Julie McConkey

After 30 years, Scott and Julie McConkey left the corporate world for a life of travel and adventure. What started as a gap year became a second act, and they are now full-time travel bloggers!