What makes a place worth visiting right now? That’s what we at Travel + Leisure ask ourselves when compiling our annual list of the 50 best places to travel.
The result is a list of must-visit vacation destinations, and with something to suit every interest — food, shopping, culture, history, and nature — one is bound to spark your wanderlust. We’ve got traveler favorites like Costa Rica and Austria, which are making waves in the months ahead. There are vacation spots still flying under the radar, like a tiny coastal surf town in Denmark, or Guyana, a South American idyll that has a fraction of the crowds of its neighbors. There are even places in your own backyard worth a closer look — who would’ve guessed just a few years ago that Oklahoma City would become this red-hot?
So, we ask you: where will your travels take you this year? On a wine-soaked river cruise through Portugal? To a ryokan-style luxury hotel in a serene corner of Kyoto? To a chic cabin in Maine for a feast of oysters plucked fresh from the sea?
Ahead, Travel + Leisure’s 50 best places to travel in , listed in alphabetical order.
Not long ago, Austria was viewed as the meringue of the Germanic world: beautiful to look at, yet somewhat dry when one actually bit in. But the country has reinvented itself, pouring resources into cutting-edge arts institutions while lovingly elevating the cultural jewels that made it so beloved in days gone by. In Vienna, a wave of new hotels is catering to a younger, hipper crowd. None is more emblematic of the changing capital than the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere, part of a more than $240 million development project surrounding the city’s central train station, which was completely rebuilt in, Across the street, one of Vienna’s preeminent venues for contemporary art has been rechristened the Belvedere 21, and the nearby Belvedere palaces, two Baroque buildings filled with classical art, have been beautifully renovated.
This 166-square-mile island on the eastern edge of the Caribbean is largely famous for its powder-white beaches, British-colonial roots, manifold rum shops, and native daughter Rihanna. Recently, the country’s first female prime minister, Mia Mottley, sent out a rallying cry for anyone with Bajan roots to return to the island in to partake in a year-long calendar of events celebrating Bajan heritage and culture. The 52-week festival, dubbed “We Gatherin’,” will launch in January and travel to all 11 parishes before culminating in a country-wide blowout in December. Visitors can expect lively street parades, traditional eats like flying fish and cou-cou, live soca music, and must-see jamborees such as the carnivalesque Crop Over Festival, Food & Rum Festival, and Oistins Fish Festival.