10 Best Places to Visit Outside the U.S.
Looking for the best places to visit around the world? In this article we’ve put together a list of the most popular tourist destinations around the world to help you get an idea of where to plan your next dream vacation. Each of the places we’ve listed have their own unique charms and with a few exceptions are a perfect trip for any sort of traveler, including solo travelers, families, couples, and friends.
If you want to stay in the U.S., make sure to check out our Travel Guide for the Top 12 Travel Destinations in the U.S. by clicking here.
Why You Should Visit Bangkok: Thailand is famously the tourist capital of the world, with the most beautiful beaches on earth and all the things to do and see that you can imagine. Every inch is photogenic and filled with world-class luxury.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in Bangkok: The capital of Thailand boasts many attractions tourists return to repeatedly. The many temples and palaces are one of the beloved attractions; visit the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha), and more. Other popular attractions include: the Giant Swing, National Museum & Wang Na Palace, Chatuchak Market, Damnoen Sandusky Floating Market, and visit Lumpini Park.
Safety Visiting Bangkok: Thailand ranks 103rd on the Global Peace Index* with a score of 2.098 and is the safest country in Southeast Asia. Civil unrest does occur from time to time, but almost never in the tourist provinces.
*For comparison, The Global Peace index ranks the United States at 129th with a score of 2.44. Scores are between 1 and 5, lower being more peaceful and safer)
Yearly Visitors to Bangkok: 25.8 million international visitors (2019)
Best Time to Visit Bangkok: The recommended time of year to travel to Thailand is from November to February because the heat cools down to the manageable 80’s and the precipitation is much lower than the rest of the year. Avoiding the monsoon season as well as the stifling heat comes at the cost of visiting during the tourist season, however, the hotel and flight deals should be available during this time of year.
Make sure to check out more of MySittiVacations for deals and discounts on hotels, flights, restaurants, and things to do.
Why You Should Visit Paris: The City of Love and Light is by far one of the most romantic and scenic destinations you can visit, with plenty to do whether traveling alone, with friends, family, or your significant other. It’s a beautiful place with excellent food and history.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in Paris: The typical tourist rounds include visiting the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Arc de Triomphe, and the Palace of Versailles. While these sights are definitely worth your time, other great attractions include Luxembourg Gardens, Catacombs of Paris, Disneyland Paris, Montmartre, and Moulin Rouge.
Safety in Paris: Paris is safe for tourists, though you should watch out for scams. The crime rates are three times lower than in the U.S. Furthermore, France ranks 65th on the Global Peace Index with a score of 1.9.
Yearly Visitors to Paris: 38 million (2019)
Best Time to Visit Paris: Most travel websites recommend traveling to Paris between October and April if you are wanting to avoid crowds, although, if fellow tourists don’t bother you, then May to September brings warm weather and vibrant festivals. February is typically the cheapest month to travel to Paris.
Take a look at our Paris Travel Guide here for more travel tips, deals, and inspiration on things to do during your trip.
Why You Should Visit London: It is difficult to beat the experience of visiting London, a place which holds so much world history, cultural development, and known as one of the world’s largest cosmopolitan cities. Fill your time browsing museums full of world wonders, explore the vast array of shops, and interesting nightlife.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in London: Big Ben, the Tower of London, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace are just a few of the most famous landmarks on Earth that you can visit while in London. The British Museum, Highgate Cemetery, Westminster Abbey, Borough Market, Natural History Museum and Kensington Palace are all worth a special trip.
Safety in London: London is the 14th safest city in the world. The United Kingdom ranks 34th on the Global Peace Index, with a score of 1.667.
Yearly Visitors to London: 21.7 million (2019)
Best Time to Visit London: Spring and Autumn tend to have the mildest weather in London, so visiting between March and April and September through November are the most desirable times to visit the bustling city. While summer has the most ideal weather with the warmth, the crowds are not worth the hassle.
Make sure to check out our London Travel Guide here for more things to do, places to stay, and ways to get the most from your trip.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Why You Should Visit Dubai: Home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and one of the most modern cities in the world, Dubai boasts record-breaking architecture, unforgettable sightseeing, and a shopping experience like no other.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in Dubai: Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, The Dubai Mall, Ski Dubai, Aquaventure Waterpark, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, and Jumeirah Beach are some of the most famous places tourists like to pass time while exploring Dubai.
Safety in Dubai: Dubai is very safe for tourists (even solo female travelers) with strict laws and low crime rates. The United Arab Emirates ranks 60th on the Global Peace Index, with a score of 1.865.
Yearly Visitors to Dubai: 16.73 million (2019)
Best Time to Visit Dubai: The best time to travel to Dubai is between November and February. Weather is cooler and festivals and food are plentiful this time of year. It’s still pretty hot during this time, so pack for lots of sun.
Check out our Las Vegas Travel Guide as well as the Top Things to do for Free in las Vegas
Why You Should Visit Singapore: Singapore is a global wonder when it comes to architectural feats as well as culinary mastery with its stunning buildings, endless food markets, and vibrant culture. The city is also renowned for being one of the greenest cities in the world in foliage and eco-friendly business.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in Singapore: Supertree Grove is one of the most recognizable landmarks with its towering man-made trees that are over 50 meters tall and host a lively light show with music during dusk. Other great attractions are architectural or by the coast: Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Gardens by the Bay, Universal Studios Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, ArtScience Museum, National Gallery Singapore, and Jurong Bird Park.
Safety in Singapore: Singapore ranks 9th on the Global Peace Index with a score of 1.326. Singapore is incredibly safe, ranked the second safest city in the world, right after Tokyo.
Yearly Visitors to Singapore: 19.12 million (2019)
Best Time to Visit Singapore: Singapore is great all year-round, but the best months are December to June, when humidity is lower. Temperatures are consistent year-round in the mid-seventies to high eighties.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Why You Should Visit Kuala Lumpur: If you are visiting Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur is a must-stop for any tourist
Top Attractions and Things to Do in Kuala Lumpur: Petronas Twin Towers, Batu Caves, Menara Kula Lumpur, KLCC Park, Petaling Street, Merdeka Square, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, the National Museum, Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park (the largest butterfly park in the world), and Central Market.
Safety in Kuala Lumpur: Kuala Lumpur is safe to visit. Malaysia ranks 18th on the Global Peace Index, with a score of 1.471. There are petty crimes like theft and pickpocketing. Be careful at night, but otherwise, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Yearly Visitors to Kuala Lumpur: 14.07 million (2019)
Best Time to Visit Kuala Lumpur: The best times to visit Kual Lumpur are December through January, and June to August. There are many festivals during this time which makes it more popular for tourists. Weather is consistent year-round, with highs around 90°F and lows around 74°F
Why You Should Visit Istanbul: Istanbul is most famous for its domed skyline, Middle Eastern cuisine, and most importantly, the various religious communities. Mosques here are stunning and provide a unique cultural insight that you can’t get anywhere else. Istanbul is also known as the meeting point of the Eastern and the Western worlds, which provides for a rich history and charming architecture.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in Istanbul: Dolmabahce Palace, Hagia Sophia Mosque, Sultanahmet District, Suleymaniye Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Bosphorus Strait, Gulhane Park, Galata Tower, and Rahmi M. Koc Museum.
Safety in Istanbul: Risk while visiting Istanbul is medium-high. Turkey has elevated risk of terrorism, but tourist attractions are safe. If you visit, stay in well-known areas. Turkey ranks 145th on the Global Peace Index, with a score of 2.785. Istanbul is one of the most popular destinations for Europeans, though it doesn’t see many American visitors.
Yearly Visitors to Istanbul: 14.72 million (2019)
Best Time to Visit Istanbul: The most popular times to visit Istanbul are April to June and September and October. Weather is milder these times of year and the city is livelier.
For more information on safety and attractions, check out our Chicago Travel Guide.
Why You Should Visit Tokyo: Japan offers a unique cultural experience, with lots of modern innovation mixed with tradition. Expect amazing food, beautiful shrines, and photogenic cherry trees.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in Tokyo: Tokyo Skytree, teamLab Planets, Senso-ji, Yayoi Kusama Museum, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Kappabashi Street, and Yoyogi Park.
Safety in Tokyo: Tokyo is consistently ranked the safest city in the world. Japan ranks 10th on the Global Peace index with a score of 1.336.
Yearly Visitors to Tokyo: 10.44 million (2019)
Best Time to Visit Tokyo: Most say the best time to visit Tokyo is between March and April when the cherry blossoms bloom, or between November and December when the leaves change for fall.
For more travel inspiration to Tokyo, you can check out our Tokyo Travel Guide here.
Why You Should Visit Barcelona: What Paris has in romance, Barcelona has in culture. It’s rated one of the most “social” cities and also has an amazing reputation for its art, architecture, and beaches.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in Barcelona : Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, the Barcelona Cathedral, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, La Rambla, and the Picasso Museum.
Safety in Barcelona: Barcelona is a very safe city though there are lots of pickpockets. Scams are common, but if you know how to spot them, you shouldn’t have any problems. Spain ranks 29th on the Global Peace Index, with a score of 1.603.
Yearly Visitors to Barcelona: 20 million (2019)
Top Beaches in Barcelona: The most popular beaches in Barcelona are Barceloneta, Llevant Beach, Saint Sebastia Beach, mar Bella Beach, Bogatell Beach, Nova Icaria Beach, and Zona de Banys del Forum.
Best Time to Visit Barcelona: The most popular time to visit Barcelona is in the summer. There are plenty of events and festivals giving you plenty to do and see on your trip.
Make sure to check our Barcelona Travel Guide here for more places to visit, areas to stay, and things to do.
Why You Should Visit Cancun: Cancun is full of gorgeous beaches, ruins, and top-tier amusement and water parks. There’s lots of Caribbean green and awesome weather to match.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in Cancun: All of Cancun is an attraction. Besides the beaches and the Carat parks, you should consider checking out the cenotes or ruins like Tulum and Chichen Itza.
Safety in Cancun: Cancun is very safe for travelers with high security and strict law enforcement. That means you won’t have to worry much about safety while in Cancun, but it’s best to avoid traveling around the rest of the country. Stay near tourist attractions. Mexico ranks 137th on the Global Peace Index, with a score of 2.612.
Yearly Visitors to Cancun: 6.15 million (2019)
Top Beaches in Cancun: Cancun’s top beaches are Playa Delfines, Costa Mujeres, Playa Norte, Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Playa Chac Mool, Playa Maroma, Playa Paraiso, and Playa Akumal.
Best Time to Visit Cancun: Cancun is popular during the summer, with plenty of water parks and beaches to cool down. May through October is seaweed season, so while prices are low these months, beaches are stinky.
For more help planning a trip to Cancun, check out our travel guide here.
Things to Know for International Travel
When traveling anywhere, safety should be your first priority. Make sure to check out local news and official travel advisories about the places you’re visiting before you leave. The U.S. Travel Advisory page is found at https://travel.state.gov
Before you leave, you’ll want to know embassy phone numbers. You’ll also want to check about specific laws about prohibited items, as well as learning about customs and some basic phrases of local languages.