When you’re young, it’s easy to drop everything and jet off to explore the world, and if you’re studying, there’s no better use for your (long) holidays. When every continent is home to so many breathtaking and exciting places to visit, deciding where to go can be tricky. To help you decide where to head to next, we compiled – with some difficulty – a list of ten destinations that you simply HAVE to visit before you turn 30 and you know… get old. Go and add them to your bucket list. Now.
1. London, England
The London Eye, Big Ben, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Oxford Street, Notting Hill, Brick Lane… From the touristy to the super hip, London is the perfect city to visit if you want to binge on all things amazing. Tick off all the tourist spots at a fast pace that only a 20-year old can keep up with. Then, once you’ve seen the sights and taken some fresh snaps with a Queen’s Guard for Instagram, treat yourself to some world class shopping on Oxford Street (and nearby Regent Street) and amazing food and cool bars in East London (Brick Lane, Hoxton Square, Shoreditch etc.)
2. Paris, France
The City of Love isn’t just for couples to saunter along the banks of the River Seine, though it certainly is a city of indulgence. Eat your body weight in delicious cheeses, fresh baguettes and colorful macarons while soaking up the gorgeous architecture and art that characterizes the city. From standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower to exploring the galleries of the Louvre and the beautiful backstreets of Marais, Paris always manages to offer up something fresh, exciting and yes, delicious. So, indulge while you can and eat yourself silly in Paris; the day that your doctor says that you have to start cutting down on the cheese will come soon enough after 30.
3. Tokyo, Japan
Why? Because there’s nowhere else in the world quite as crazy as Tokyo. Japan’s capital city is the only place that pulls off the bizarre combination of cherry blossom trees, Harajuku girls and robot cafes on the same street with such style and charm. Tokyo is definitely one to visit before all your friends start to have babies and become sensible.
4. New York, USA
New York is THE place for shopaholics; empty your bank account dashing between Macy’s Department Store and the designer shops on 5th Avenue. Who cares about rent or a mortgage? You’re not thirty yet! Then catch a show on Broadway and tick off two of the best views of the city; from above at the top of the Empire State Building and from below when Times Square shines bright at night. And did we mention that the food is awesome and bars are plentiful (as if you needed another reason to go….)?
5. San Diego, USA
But you also have to relax and enjoy your 20’s before they turn into 30’s and responsibilities start to pile up, right? Where better to take it easy than the home of laid-back life, San Diego? Relax on the beach or in the water: try surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, or just sun-worshiping while reading your favorite book or listening to party tunes on Spotify. When hunger hits, head over to one of the city’s world-famous food trucks and eat your body weight in fresh fish tacos.
6. Cape Town, South Africa
From Table Mountain standing tall over the bustling V&A Waterfront, to the penguins at Boulders Beach and whales and great whites offshore, Cape Town easily secures its place on this list as simply all-round awesome. It’s also a short flight from some of Africa’s greatest safari destinations, so stay a few extra days and search for lion and elephant in the bush. Safari holidays give memories that last a lifetime so the sooner you go, the longer you can enjoy them for! Surely that’s good enough logic.
7. Vancouver, Canada
King of the outdoors, Vancouver has almost too much choice when it comes to epic activities. Ski world-class runs in Whistler, watch whales on a trip out to sea, mountain bike and hike through the stunning mountains around the city – just slow things down and finally spend some quality time with Mother Nature. You could (and should) spend a few months in Vancouver, and that’s far easier and more fun to do when you’re young, strong and just a little reckless (you know, just enough to do that bungee jump you know you won’t do when you’ve hit 30).
8. Dublin, Ireland
Hop over to the Emerald Isle in search of the good old Irish ‘Craic’ – humor as dry as the famous Guinness that is still brewed in the city’s original distillery. Here, bars are filled with Dublin’s iconic beer, merry music and probably some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Dublin is the perfect choice for a cheeky carefree weekend with friends.
9. Rome, Italy
Rome combines gorgeous Italian weather with cultural and historical experiences; oh, and some of the best food in the world. Don the sunglasses and hop on a scooter and journey through time by zipping around the city, hitting up The Colosseum, the Vatican and the Pantheon. And then make a beeline for the pizza. Spend your evenings in the Eternal City indulging in pizza, pasta, tiramisu and gelato, and remember, it’s best to tick this food-filled trip off your bucket list while you still have the kind of youthful metabolism that can handle only eating pizza for days.
10. Rio, Brazil
Rio is full of icons that deserve a visit, from Copacabana Beach and Sugarloaf Mountain to Christ the Redeemer keeping watch from above, but the real draw in Rio? It’s the vibe and the people; the music and the dancing. This is the place to forget about sensible bedtimes and just party until the sun rises. Visit during carnival season to experience one of the world’s greatest (and most colorful) parties.