Here’s a look at the top travel destinations you should be visiting in 2018 and why.
The first month of 2018 is almost at its end and before we know it, spring will be in bloom. It seems evident that there is no better time to start planning where we would love to jet off to for our next getaway. Below is a list of our top travel destinations for 2018 and why they should be yours too.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Known as the second biggest city in Ireland, Belfast falls along the Causeway Coastal Route and was voted one of the top five road trip routes in the world. Equally as enjoyable are the sights, culture, and food.
If you follow the Causeway Coastal Route for a short trip northbound you can visit The Giant’s Causeway for some natural, breathtaking sights. Believed to have been created by the Irish giant Finn McCool, the beautiful site is filled with unique hexagonal rocks that were formed by a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Along the route you can also enjoy seeing some Game of Thrones filming locations up close, including the iconic Dark Hedges.
For the thrill seeking sightseers, there’s also the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge which dates back to 1755. It has been updated since then, but remains a historic landmark rich with astonishing views.
The city of Belfast offers historic landmarks abound, many of which blend with the day-to-day life of its citizens and visitors alike. The Belfast Castle, built in 1870, is now open to the public for private events— and the Titanic Visitor Center—the actual site where the infamous ship was built, is now a museum. The Crown Bar—a watering hole that remains one of the most visited in the country and inspired a documentary was built in built around 1855. Finally, St. George’s Market—which was built in the late 1800s remains open to this day as a central place to exhibit the city’s food and craft.
Belfast is also divided into quarters, and each one boasts charm and character of its own. The most popular is The Cathedral Quarter—also known as the cultural quarter in that it’s centered around a cathedral. The quarter is mainly comprised of bars, pubs, and restaurants lining the picturesque narrow cobbled streets. This is also the best area to go for a night out in the town.
Belfast offers much more in culture, sights, history, nightlife, adventure, and cuisine and is undoubtedly one of our top travel destinations of 2018.
This island boasts such an abundance of culture, art, sights, history, and cuisine that there was no way it couldn’t be among our top travel destinations for 2018.
The greatest allure for many is the architecture, which is heavily influenced by cultural traditions brought by migrants from all over Asia. Because of the city-state’s economic prosperity, Singapore has achieved some of the most cutting-edge architectural designs in the world, leading to an ultramodern cityscape. The architecture is so breathtaking that there are tours specifically centered on them; lists have been made for those interested in self-guided explorations as well. From the Marina Bay Sands Resort to the National Gallery Singapore, this cosmopolitan city is sure to take your breath away.
Despite its modernization, there are many areas that remain historic. In fact, most of Singapore’s oldest buildings remain intact but have been repurposed, like a former British Army headquarter now being used as a hotel. Places like the Thian Hock Keng Temple—a Hokkien temple built in 1839—offer a firsthand look at the history of the land and the cultures that have come to influence the city’s identity.
There is no shortage of luxurious living in Singapore. The city has become a favorite spot for those looking to be pampered while enjoying some delicious cuisine. Due to the increase of tourism, some of the world’s finest luxury brands have continued to heavily invest in the area. This has led to the development of the hotels along Marina Bay and Orchard Road where one will find the five-star, luxurious accommodations the city has to offer.
The streets are lined with stores from and lead to Singapore’s burgeoning restaurant scene. And did we mention their underground mall? That alone is an adventure that would take a day’s worth of exploration, at the very least. If you have not considered it before, Singapore is definitely a versatile top travel destination that offers everything from family-friendly activities to exciting nightlife adventures.
Among our top travel destinations, Dubai might be the most ambitious. In the span of 20 years, the city has undergone such an astonishing transformation that it’s almost unrecognizable.
Similar to Singapore, Dubai has one of the most breathtaking skylines in the world. You will never be short of amazing views, whether it’s their residential buildings—of which Dubai houses four of the five tallest in the world—or the Burj Khalifa, which is another feat in its own as it is considered the tallest manmade structure in the world.
Diversity is something commonly seen in cities like New York, however Dubai offers it at an unprecedented level in that 85 percent of its populace consists of non-natives. Because of this, the culture in Dubai is at unique point of its evolution with the majority of people are first-generation non-natives. Due to the vast diversity, the city boasts an impressive range of cuisine such as Arab, Persian, Indian, Pakistani, Filipino, French, Japanese, Chinese, British, and American restaurants. Food festivals take place year-round.
Dubai used to be nothing but coastal desert, and while the city has become largely cosmopolitan, it has no shortage of sunny beach days. The weather allows for nearly an entire year of sunshine and plenty of time to enjoy the beachfront experience. One of them being Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest artificial island that was built between 2001 and 2006, which houses five-star hotels and multi-million dollar mansions alike.
Apart from enjoying the beach, one cannot visit Dubai without going on a desert safari for some dune exploring and camel riding. While on the safari, it’s also recommended to eat a traditional Arabic barbecue and watch belly dancing to get the full local experience.
As far as top travel destinations go, Greece is another place that offers a great travel experience. This country offers equal parts exploration and enjoyment with its rich history, astonishing landscapes, vibrant nightlife, and exquisite coastline.
As far as historical landmarks go, seeing the Acropolis—a stunning fifth century BC temple in Athens—is a must for better appreciation of the country and its ties to the world. From the Parthenon, Erechtheion, and Propylaea to the Temple of Athena Nike, Old Temple of Athena, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the country has a plethora of historical sites for anyone looking to appreciate ancient ruins in all their beauty.
Santorini is another must-see, considering this small island with its white houses and bright blue sea has become iconic and symbolic of Greece. The sight, along with many others in Greece, has been used as a backdrop for movies, and with such breathtaking picturesque views it’s no wonder why. The country’s exquisite beaches with surreal, crystal clear waters, lakes situated next to beautifully lush forests, green valleys, and rugged mountains are all more than enough reason to make Greece your favorite travel spot.
In regards to food and drink, Greece boasts a vast array of Greek wines, local liquors, and world-known dishes. From the island dish specialties to the hearty dishes of the mountain villages, experiencing authentic Greek cuisine is a feast one does not want to pass up.
The country is also not short on activities, whether it’s surfing in Trinos, rock climbing in Meteora, parachuting in Zakynthos, or diving and exploring the secluded coves and underwater caves, Greece has plenty of adventure to fill one’s day with adventure.
The nightlife is also not short on options. Thessaloniki and Athens offer vibrant party scenes, and even islands like Mykonos, Zakynthos, and Los offer their share of nightlife fun. For those looking for a more romantic setting once the sun sets, experiencing a typical panegyri—a local feast—will make for a memorable night out.
England is one of the most eclectic countries one could possibly visit, making it a must on our top travel destinations list for 2018. From its breathtaking coastlines along Northumberland and Cornwall’s beaches and its beautiful countryside with rolling hills that go for miles to its astonishing lakes in Lake District National Park, it’s impossible not to get swept up in the natural beauty this country offers.
It’s always a benefit to be able to experience such a variety of landscapes within such a short distance. No matter where you go in England, you are always no more than two hours away from the beach. The best part is that the country displays each season incredibly well.
The range in difference between the villages that span the country and the cities is fascinating. It only adds to the playful nature of England. The picturesque villages with their stone cottages, thatched roofs, and cobbled streets exude beauty. Cotswolds, Norfolk, and North Yorkshire, are an essential part of one’s visit to the English countryside
As for the cities, some of the best ones in the world are found in England. From Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford and York, to the capital city of London, all of England’s big cities have their own charm and character.
For an island country, England is abound with iconic landmarks including ancient castles, Stonehenge, and the Victorian village of Saltaire. Every piece of history in England has been shaped by the multiple waves of conquerors and migrants. The architecture across the country is just as iconic. Big Ben in London—a clock tower that houses parliament and serves as a reminder of the country’s continuing function of British government.
Apart from nature and history, England offers plenty of events and are known to throw street parties for the Queen’s birthday. Another event, the Glastonbury, is considered the world’s best music festival. As if that wasn’t enough, England is known as the epicenter for celebrations such as the Edinburgh Festivals, the Brighton Festivals, and the Henley Regatta.
With such a long list of reasons to visit England, there is no question—it should be among your top travel destinations for 2018.
The Matterhorn has become an iconic symbol of Switzerland, and for good reason. Visiting the mountain in person has been described as truly breathtaking. Standing at a staggering 14,692 feet, it is a challenge for any mountain climber. Switzerland, however, has so much more to offer, making it a necessary addition to our top travel destinations for 2018.
Regardless of the season, the Swiss mountains flourish in all their beauty. During the winter, it’s the skiing that attracts tourists and is considered one of the top places in the world for skiing. The mountains can be explored even when they aren’t draped in snow, as many of the country’s peaks are accessible via cable car or cog railway for those who are not interested in trekking up the mountain. For those who are interested in hiking, the Swiss Alpine Club runs a wide range of retreats for hikers all across the Swiss Alps.
Aside from the mountains, there is a whole lot of scenery to take in. The beautiful lakes and breathtaking waterfalls are contrasted by their otherworldly castles. Visiting the castles has been compared to traveling through time. Waterfalls—such as the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen, which is also the largest plain waterfall in Europe—can be found all throughout Switzerland.
For those visiting in the summertime, there is the Geneva Festival, which takes place in July and highlights music of all genres. The event combines music with local food and fireworks to make for a can’t-miss event.
For the luxurious traveler, there is the Pfafers Hot Springs in Tamina Gorge—which has been known since 1535. The old spa in the romantic gorge is open to all visitors, but those looking to experience the ultimate therapeutic mineral springs can stay in a luxurious surrounding hotel.
The country may be known primarily for its outdoor adventures, but that does not mean it does not boast a vibrant nightlife of its own. The vast array of bars, clubs, and cafes is a pleasant surprise for anyone looking to add some nightlife fun to their vacation.