The world is filled with amazing places waiting to be discovered. From the breathtaking mountains of the Andes to the crystal-clear beaches in the Caribbean; from the rice fields in rural Vietnam to the humongous New York City’s skyscrapers, the world is filled with interesting landmarks for all tastes. But in this list, we’re gonna show you 30 destinations that are a bit less mainstream but just as fascinating.
#30. Alberta, Canada
Canada is best known for the Niagara Falls, one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. But the country is filled with fascinating sites, and this is particularly the case of the state of Alberta. If you’re a nature fan, then Alberta is the place to go, since it is home to the Canadian Rockies, a mountain range filled with snow-topped mountains ideal for both hiking and skiing.
Photo: Courtesy of Kananaskis Nordic Spa
Alberta’s Rockies include famous tourist destinations such as the Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. These two mountainous parks are connected by a scenic highway called Icefields Parkway. But this is not all! If you ever pay a visit to these parks, then don’t miss the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, the first of its kind in the province. This spa opened this year, and it boasts a collection of hydrotherapy pools, salt exfoliation cabins, and eucalyptus steam rooms… and it’s located right in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. What else can you ask for?
#29. Cambridge, England
Most people that visit England just go to the capital city of London and then head to the next country on their list. But England has much more to offer. If you ask me, I’d suggest you pay a visit to the ancient city of Cambridge, which has an amazing cultural heritage behind it! From its medieval streets to its Gothic buildings, walking through this city is pretty much like traveling through time.
Photo: Courtesy of University Arms
Cambridge is full of interesting museums, such as the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Fitzwilliam Museum. And if you like to stay in posh places, then don’t miss the recently inaugurated University of Arms, an enormous hotel built with a neoclassical style that features book-filled suites.
#28. Helsinki, Finland
For those of you interested in art in all of its forms, then Finland’s capital city of Helsinki will definitely suit you. In fact, in December 2018, the Helsinki Central Library Oodi was opened. You’re probably asking yourself what’s so special about a library. Well, Oodi is a unique cloudlike structure that not only has reading rooms, but also a cinema, recording studios, and craft rooms.
Photo: Courtesy of Experimenta
But this library isn’t the only landmark that has opened during the last months. Also during the second semester of 2018, an underground museum of contemporary art called Amos Rex was inaugurated. As you can observe in the picture above, the museum features several modern dome-shaped exhibitions that bulge upwards into a beautiful urban square. So as you can see, 2019 is just the right time to visit Helsinki!
#27. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is mostly known for harboring two of the most modern cities in the world: Dubai and Abu Dhabi. But little do people know that the town of Sharjah is equally fascinating. In fact, it is slowly becoming the UAE’s main arts destination. Just a 20-minute drive from the capital city of Abu Dhabi, it has a rich cultural heritage that makes it worth visiting.
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
This city filled with some of the best-preserved heritage buildings in the country, such as the Quran Roundabout and the Al Noor Mosque. Apart from this, it is also home to several museums, such as the modern Sharjah Art Foundation. And if you come any time this year, don’t miss the 14th edition of the Sharjah Biennial, as well as the first Sharjah Architecture Triennial.
Let’s see what else Asia has to offer. But now we’ve left the Middle East, and have gone all the way to Southeast Asia. The city/country of Singapore has several architectural wonders definitely worth visiting. Among its main iconic landmarks, you have the Helix Bridge, the longest pedestrian bridge whose form is modeled after the double helix DNA; and the Marina Bay Sands, a 55-story luxury hotel that is shaped like a boat.
Photo: Courtesy of Agoda
However, this 2019 will witness the reopening of the famous and historic Raffles Hotel, which had been closed as a result of a complex renovation. This is a colonial-style luxury hotel built in 1887, and even though its rooms are tremendously expensive, it’s so beautiful that it’s definitely worth visiting, even if it is just to take a selfie from the outside.
#25. Hudson Yards, USA
New York City is one of the world’s most visited places in the world. As a matter of fact, up to 33 million tourists come to visit each year! However, the city is home to several cool sites that are not as well-known. Such is the case of Hudson Yards, an area located in Manhattan’s far west side, that has just recently begun to grow. But what does Hudson Yards have to offer?
Photo: Courtesy of House Beautiful
During these past years, tons of shops, restaurants and cultural attractions have opened. One of this area’s main landmarks is Vessel, a 150 million climbable sculpture created by British designer Thomas Heatherwick, which can be seen in the picture above. Just a couple of meters away you have the Public Square & Gardens, a five-acre park which houses 28,000 plants. Finally, for those of you interested in art an eight-story performance and exhibition space named The Shed has opened just now in April 2019. So now is the time to go!
#24. Jackson Hole – USA
But New York City isn’t the only American site on our list. If you’re really into nature, then Wyoming is the state you wanna visit. As many of you know, Wyoming is home to the Yellowstone National Park, one of the most beautiful places in North America. But it is also home to Jackson Hole, a way less popular destination, but equally beautiful.
Photo: Courtesy of Caldera House
Jackson Hole is home to the ski resort of Teton Village, which has one of the country’s most famous and challenging ski-runs, Corbet’s Couloir. During the last year, several hotels have been inaugurated, ranging from the five-star Caldera House to the budget-price Anvil. But no matter the price, there’s something that all of these new hotels have in common: they offer a breathtaking view of the Rocky Mountains’ Teton Range.
#23. Northern Territory, Australia
Australia is full of amazing places to visit, but the remote region of Northern Territory isn’t the most popular of all. But there are plenty of reasons why to pick this particular site. On the first place, it is home to numerous hiking and biking trails. If you’re really into bike tours, then the place you wanna go is Ayers Rock in Uluru, which is a famous sandstone monolith which is revered by the local Aboriginal people.
Photo: Courtesy of Canon Australia
Precisely in Ayers Rock, in 2019 an art installation named Field of Light has been inaugurated, and it consists of 50,000 spindles of light which surround the limestone formation. This work of art, created by Bruce Munro, will be displayed until December 2020. But this is not the only thing that the Northern Territory has to offer. There is a very interesting National Aboriginal Art Gallery, whose aim is to recuperate the cultures of the local tribes.
#22. South Island, New Zealand
Even though neighboring Australia receives more visitors, New Zealand should not be overlooked. This year, direct flights from Chicago and the capital city of Auckland have been launched, so you have no excuse for not visiting this unique country! But we recommend you visit the South Island, which is less developed and touristic but equally beautiful compared to the northern one.
Photo: Courtesy of Miss Tourist
South Island offers plenty of adventures, such as bungee jumping and skydiving. For those into trekking, six of the country’s ten Great Walks – which are a network of trekking routes – are located in South Island, and a new track in the Paparoa Range will open in 2019. If you’re into wildlife, then Kaikoura is the place to go: in the city’s coast, you can swim with one of the world’s biggest pods of dolphins. If you’re lucky, up to 1,000 dolphins can show up at once!
#21. Toronto, Canada
We’re back to Canada! But for those art lovers, a great complement to Alberta’s Rocky Mountains is the city of Toronto, Canada’s main cultural hub. 2019 is a great year to visit the city since the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto has reopened after undergoing a three-year restoration. This year the museum will also feature the Toronto Biennial of Art.
Photo: Courtesy of Live & Learn
But this doesn’t end here: you can also visit Toronto in September and attend the Nuit Blanche Toronto arts festival, where different art exhibitions are carried out in different public spaces during one whole night. Even some of the city’s hotels are filled with art: such is the case of Kimpton Saint George, which displays over 700 works made by Canadian artists. But if you want to catch some fresh air, then go to Winter Stations, an art exhibition that is organized right next to the public beaches located in Lake Ontario.
#20. Alsace, France
Receiving over 80 million tourists each ear, France is the most visited country in the world. But most people only travel to its capital city, Paris. Although this city has a unique cultural heritage, France has much more to offer. Among its many landmarks, we personally suggest visiting the historical region of Alsace, located in the northeast of the country.
Photo: Courtesy of Belmond
The region of Alsace is located on the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. Not only is it a great place for hiking fans, but also for wine fans, because this region produces some of the finest wines on the globe. In fact, you have the chance of visiting some of the world’s finest wineries, like Domaine Weinbach and Maison Trimbach, where you can try some exclusive products such as Rieslings and Gewürztraminers.
Seychelles is an island located nearly a thousand miles off the African East coast, and it is one of the smallest countries in the world. Not only is it filled with idyllic beaches with white sands and crystal-clear waters, but it is also a great spot for coral reef diving. This year, new airways – such as British Airways – have begun flying to this remote island, so now is the time to visit!
Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Did you know that a third of the country’s marine area has been designated protected territory? If you’re wondering which of the country’s islands to go to, we personally suggest Desroches Island. It features 8.7 miles of beaches and 933 acres of jungle, plus 14 top-notch diving sites. It is also a great site for spotting the rare Aldabra giant tortoises. What else can you ask for?
#18. Panama City, Panama
Panama City features a unique cultural heritage. As a matter of fact, its colonial center, known as Casco Viejo, has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Its streets are filled with Spanish-style houses, cobblestone streets, as well as a couple of archaeological sites located in an area known as Panamá Viejo.
Photo: Courtesy of Dave Lauridsen
However, there are several day-trips that can be taken from Panama City. If you’re a beach lover, then Punta Chame is the place to go: only 90 km away, this narrow peninsula features amazing beaches and is also surrounded by hills and lakes. In Panama City, you’ve really got it all!
#17. Antigua, Guatemala
Even though it is not as popular as its neighboring Mexico, Guatemala is an extremely magical country. It offers a mixture of mountains and jungles, ancient Mayan ruins and incredible beaches. Even though the eruption of the Fuego Volcano last June put a halt to tourism, it is now completely safe to visit the country, and many hotels have opened this 2019. But what’s so special about the city of Antigua?
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
Antigua is one of the most beautiful towns in Guatemala, especially due to its amazing cultural heritage. Little do people know that it was once the most important seat of the Spanish Colonial government in Central America. As a matter of fact, there are several ruins of religious structures scattered through the city’s historical center, which is called “Ciudad Vieja“, which translates to “Old City”. But not only this: overlooking the city are a series of towering volcanos, which are ideal for hiking.
#16. Los Cabos, Mexico
Lots of North American sites have been included on this list, but this is the first one belonging to Mexico. This site is generally visited by wealthy American families, but it actually offers a wide range of tours and accommodation for all type of budget. In fact, tons of new hotels have opened throughout 2018 and 2019, including Solaz, Zadún, and Nobu Hotel Los Cabos. But what’s so special about Los Cabos?
Photo: Courtesy of BCS Noticias
Los Cabos enjoys a Mediterranean-like climate, but it has beaches that are even more beautiful than those found in the Mediterranean Sea. Apart from its beaches, there is a popular dive spot that features an underwater sand waterfall, where the sand drops onto a 1,200-foot canyon. Another famous landmark is the rock formation known as El Finisterra, which can be appreciated in the photo above. This geological phenomenon is surrounded by water, right in the point where the Sea of Cortes meets the Pacific Ocean. Incredible, right?
#15. Berlin, Germany
Out of all the places mentioned in this list, Berlin is probably one of the most mainstream of all. However, this city has several hidden gems that can’t be missed. Among these, you can’t miss the Spandau Citadel, a beautiful fortress that is also one of the best-preserved European military structures from the Renaissance. And is there a better time to visit, than on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall?
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
But here’s something that you probably didn’t know about Berlin: it’s one of the most veggie-friendly places in all Europe. In fact, the city is home to more vegetarian restaurants than any other European capital. Moreover, the Vevolution is held one a year, a celebration that specializes in vegan and vegetarian cuisine. So, animal lovers, you can’t miss this festival!
All of you are probably familiar with Denmark’s capital city of Copenhagen, but the seaside village of Tisvildeleje is not too popular. During ancient times, this site was quite scared, as it was dedicated to honoring the god Tyr. Besides, its springs attracted pilgrims from all over the nation, since it was believed that its waters had healing properties.
Photo: Courtesy of Helenekilde Badehotel
But nowadays, people mostly visit this village due to its rustic rural charm. For those who wish to escape from the bustling life of the cities, there are many hotels and beach houses located on the shores of the Kattegat Sea. Besides, this town is very near to the Danish Riviera, which is home to some of Scandinavia’s most beautiful beaches.
#13. Elqui Valley, Chile
The Andes mountain range is full of surprises. If you enjoy hiking, trekking or skiing, then it’s literally one of the best sites in the world you can visit. But despite its beauty, the Chilean site of Elqui Valley is one of the least known landmarks of this mountain range. This valley is so remote that it lacks artificial light, and is therefore considered to be one of the best places in the world for stargazing and for spotting eclipses.
Photo: Courtesy of Jessy Kraft/Alamy
Home to over a dozen observatories, Elqui Valley has been designated as the world’s first International Dark Sky Sanctuary. Besides, scientists from all over the world will be traveling here in July, because on the second day of the month an eclipse will take place, and this is one of the best places to see it. But this is not all: Elqui Valley also offers numerous nature trails through the mountains as well as one of the best wines in the world.
#12. The Grenadines, St. Vincent
There is no doubt of the fact that the Caribbean Sea harbors some of the world’s most incredible beaches. But even though most tourists choose to go to the beaches in Cuba, Mexico, The Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic, there are actually tons of other islands that are also worth a visit. Among these, we have The Grenadines, a chain of dozens of islands belonging to the country of St. Vincent.
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
This year, there is one particular island called Bequia which is definitely worth visiting, mainly due to the fact that plenty of hotels have opened this last summer. The island of Bequia is home to some of the best diving spots on the island, not to mention its beautiful sandy beaches, green hillsides, and enchanting little villages. Not many tourists come here, so if you go to a beach and more than 10 people are already there, then it can already be considered a crowd.
#11. Eytek, Hungary
As we have said before, the world offers a wide variety of places that can meet all type of tastes. While some people would rather travel to the world’s tallest mountains or most incredible beaches, others may prefer to opt for more low-key destinations. So for those of you who enjoy the peace and serenity of rural life, then the Hungarian town of Eytek is definitely the place to go.
Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock
Eytek is an old town just 18 miles outside the capital city of Budapest, and it’s particularly famous for its vineyards. In fact, this site is home to one of the world’s finest Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. This town is also ideal for foodies: the older part of the town features a charming cobblestone street which is filled with restaurants and limestone cellars. In 2019, the town will organize four major gastronomic weekends (January 19, April 6-7, June 1-2, and September 7-8), where local wines, cheeses, and other regional specialties will be served.
#10. Hoi An, Vietnam
Vietnam is widely known for being home to Ha Long Bay, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. But not many people know about the historical city of Hoi An. This place is home to a historical town – called “Ancient Town” – which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What’s so special about it is that it combines French colonial architecture with traditional Japanese architecture. But this is not all.
Photo: Courtesy of Katherine Wolkoff
Hoi An is also home to some beautiful beaches such as An Bang Beach, which are only a couple of miles away. But if you don’t feel like moving, then you’ll be happy to hear that the Ancient Town is crossed by the beautiful Thu Bon River, the one that is seen in the picture above. We suggest you take a night cruise, which takes you all around the city’s historical center. What else can you ask for?
#9. San Cristobal De Las Casas, Mexico
Mexico is widely known for its breathtaking beaches and its Mayan and Aztec ruins, but there is actually much more to this country. We personally suggest visiting the beautiful state of Chiapas, and particularly, the city of San Cristobal de las Casas. This historical site is located along a mountain valley and is one of the most picturesque colonial cities of North America.
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
But if you’re not too interested in colonial architecture, then don’t you worry, because San Cristobal has plenty of appealing things to offer. For instance, you can visit the lakes of the Lagunas de Montebello National Park, which are also home to several waterfalls. If not, you can rent a car and visit the Mayan ruins of Palenque, which are among the largest ones in the country. What else can you ask for?
#8. Langkawi, Malaysia
Langkawi is not an island, but an archipelago of 99 islands, which all together form one of the world’s most striking beach paradises. But the amazing beaches are not the only island’s hot spot. In fact, the 1.4-mile-long Langkawi Cable Car is one of Langkawi’s major attractions. This Cable Car takes you all the way up to the peak of Gunung Machinchang, a mountain that offers a view of all of the main island. Check out the picture below: isn’t it magical?
Photo: Courtesy of
But Langkawi is also full of nature. For instance, the island harbors several limestone and mangrove forests, which you can visit by taking a kayak tour. The Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls are also worth visiting. This site is also known as the Seven Wells waterfall since on the way to the waterfall there are seven natural pools.
#7. Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica
There is no doubt that Costa Rica is home to some of the world’s most fantastic beaches. But did you know that over 50% of the country is made up of rainforests? So if you’re a nature or an animal lover, then this is the place you wanna go on your next vacation. But what’s so special about the Province of Guanacaste?
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
Guanacaste is home to amazing beaches – such as the Frijolar Beach and Coco Beach – but also to jungles with mountainous landscapes. In fact, it is considered to be one of the best places in the world to practice ecotourism, and plenty of eco-lodges have opened on these last months. If you’re one of those tourists who is always looking for new adventures, then you should know that Guanacaste is home to Rincón de la Vieja, one of the largest and most active volcanoes of Central America, which holds at least nine craters.
#6. Matera, Italy
Located in the extreme south of the country, Matera is known for its white Sassi structures which have been carved into its limestone hills. Not only is this site a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but apart from that, Matera has been named the 2019 European Capital of Culture. The combination of these two elements has resulted in the opening of a great number of hotels and restaurants.
Photo: Courtesy of Aquatio
If you’re into history, then don’t miss Museum Casa Noha, where a multimedia exhibition sheds light on the city’s fascinating past. But if you’re more into nature, then don’t miss the Murgia National Park, which offers several trekking trails. And here’s a fun fact: did you know that the films The Passion of Christ and Ben Hur were filmed here?
#5. The Andaman Islands
Most people in the world are familiar with the breathtaking beaches of Brazil as well as those of the Caribbean Sea. But what about the Andaman Islands? Do any of you know where they are? Well, if you ever dreamed of visiting remote islands in the middle of the ocean, then the Andaman Islands is the place to go. This is a chain of more than 300 islands located in between India and Thailand, amid the Pacific Ocean.
Photo: Courtesy of Lonely Planet
Many of its beaches are totally unspoiled, and not only do they have crystal-clear blue water but are also covered by coconut trees and mangrove forests. If you’re the type of tourist that likes to avoid huge crowds, then Havelock Island is the place to go: from snorkeling through the coral reefs to kayaking in the mangroves, from hiking in the forest to relaxing on the white-sanded beach, this island offers tons of activities that can meet all tastes.
#4. Turquoise Coast, Turkey
Turkey is becoming more and more popular as the years go by. However, the country’s Turquoise Coast doesn’t receive as many tourists as Istanbul or the Capadoccia. Also konwn as the Turkish Riviera, this coastline borders both the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, and harbors several unspoiled beach resorts like Datça, Kaş, and Çıralı.
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
This coastline is also home to important historical cities with amazing archaeological sites. Such is the case of Side, a city with a great number of Greco-Roman ruins. The city of Knidos, on the other hand, is an ancient Greek city, where Greek temples, amphitheaters, and Byzantine-era churches can be found.
#3. Ischia, Italy
Take a look at the picture below: doesn’t it look like paradise? This magical place happens to be the volcanic island of Ischia, which is just one hour from the city of Naples, Italy. This island is home to one of the country’s best thermal spas, to incredible beaches, as well as interesting historical sites and ruins. What else can you ask for?
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
If you want more specific suggestions, then don’t miss Maronti Beach, which despite its beauty, not many people go to. Also, the medieval castle Castello Aragonese is a must. This castle – which can be spotted in the picture above – is located right in the middle of a tiny island, and is surrounded by the blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. So even if you’re not into history, how can you dare miss such a magical landscape?
#2. Madeira, Portugal
Lots of beach destinations have been included on this list, but I just couldn’t help from including Madeira on the top of our list. This Portuguese archipelago is famous for its world-class wine, terraced vineyards, white-sanded beaches, and scenic fishing villages. Its natural heritage includes black lava pools to laurel forests and beaches.
Photo: Courtesy of Atraveo
But Madeira is not all about nature. In fact, the island’s capital city of Funchal has a very interesting colonial architecture as well as a couple of interesting museums. Apart from this, the island’s 500-mile network of levadas, or irrigation channels, offers a perfect blend of Madeira’s cultural and natural heritage: while the irrigation channels constitute one very fine pieces of architecture, they also serve as hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Can you guess what are number 1 is?
#1. Uttarakhand, India
Often called the Land of Gods, the Indian state of Uttarakhand offers a unique combination of natural and cultural heritage, just as many of the sites that have been included on this list. On the one hand, it is filled with ancient temples, including some of Hinduism’s holiest cities. Among these, there is the city of Rishikesh, which happens to be the yoga capital of the world.
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images
On the other hand, it is also worth mentioning that 86% of the state’s area is covered by mountains, while 65% of it is covered by forests. So you do the maths: no matter where you travel to, you’ll always be surrounded by nature. That’s why it’s such a big trekking destination. As if this weren’t enough, these mountains are home to several archaeological sites, where several Paleolithic tools have been found.