Dreaming of places to travel? Us too. To put your stir craziness at ease and transport your mind somewhere other than your couch (AKA the place you’ve spent the last few months), we’ve thrown together a list of 20 places to travel when COVID-19 is over, and you’re going to want to check them out.
Oh, and we also made sure each place began with a different letter of the alphabet — you know, for fun. And maybe to make sure you remember your ABCs too. No judging here!
First off, we have Aveyron, France.
Life in this French Revolution-born department is visibly reminiscent of its 18th century establishment, but ‘modern’ has become a more familiar term in Aveyron’s medieval village-packed locality. Life moves slow, the rolling hill terrain enchants, and you can guarantee the food is farm-to-table. And it must be a place worth considering travel to if featured on Condé Nast Traveler, right? If you’re itching for a charming stroll through cobblestone-lined streets and constant sight of picture-perfect landscape, Aveyron might just be your next trip.
Does this even qualify as a travel guide if Bali is not mentioned? The answer is no. Bali is the serendipitous crossroads at which serenity, nature, and a perfect island getaway intersect. The island is decorated with artisan markets, white sand beaches, active volcanoes, remarkably reserved temples, and so much more. And no need to fret if you’re not into the spiritual scene — the beaches are reason enough for a visit. Needless to say, a trip to Bali would be nothing short of extraordinary. You may even be greeted by one of the island’s most favored locals: an orangutan.
They say that travel to Copenhagen is the best medicine. Or, wait, maybe it’s laughter. Regardless, a trip to Copenhagen, fittingly known as the happiest city in the world, is sure to shake your COVID blues away. The fashion and art scene is as modern as the day is long; and the architecture is as colorful as nordic cuisine is delicious. Multi-layered sweet pastries filled with jams and cheeses are just a small fraction of traditional Danish eats. Drooling yet? Book a trip here for bike rides along the canal and an impressive amount of Michelin star restaurants.
Alphabet refresher: D and E are next. Again, no judgment here!
Picture this: You’re sipping from a coconut as a breeze drifts by and waves crash at your feet. Chances are, you’re in Fiji. Home to over 330 islands, this archipelagic state is a guaranteed Instagram feed booster. Vibrant blues, abounding palm trees and breathtaking beaches are the formula for the perfect photo op, and Fiji is the place to find it. Whether you’re snorkeling over some of the world’s most colorful coral reefs, sunbathing on the beach, or indulging in the best food in all of the South Pacific, a trip to Fiji is the ultimate getaway.
Alexa, play “Galway Girl” by Ed Sheeran. Known as the heart of Ireland, this hip city is famous for its food, music, festivals and traditional Irish scene. With local breweries on every corner, colorful flags hanging between buildings and street musicians flaunting their latest sets, you’ll want to be practicing your Irish jig down the streets. This city is one steeped in Irish tradition, but can’t help but attract people from across the globe. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a brew and learn your Irish jig!
Hallstatt is arguably the most picturesque village in the world. While it has been traditionally known for its salt mines and 7,000+ year history, the village is most frequented for its unimaginable beauty. Built on Lake Hallstatt at the base of the Salzkammergut mountains and adorned with 16th century architecture, this surprisingly small village seems to be straight out of a fairytale. If you’re not lost gazing at the stillness of the lake, you might find yourself at one of the city’s cafes located at the corner of cobblestone streets and decorated with flowers of every color.
Yup, just Italy — because can you really ever go wrong with a trip to this beautiful country? Whether you’re booking a flight into MXP to splurge on Italian fashion, sipping a glass of chianti in Tuscany, or slowing it down with a trip to the whitewashed town of Puglia, we can assure you that a trip to Italy is a trip well taken. It’s no secret that Italy is renowned for its unbelievable food and wine scene, but what is often overlooked is the fascinating history upon which it was built. So, be sure to explore it all. Here’s a daily itinerary in case you need some assistance: caffe, pizza, gelato, wine, repeat. Now that’s what we like to call un bel giorno!
Alphabet refresher: J comes next!
We know what you’re thinking. ‘Japan? For vacation?’ Yes! Located on the western side of the country, Kyoto is just as fascinating as Tokyo — without all of the fast-paced hustle and bustle. In a city as rooted in tradition as this one, every inch of life mirrors the culture. Between the wooden tea houses, Zen Buddhist culture and plethora of peaceful zen gardens, it’s no secret that life in Kyoto is slow-paced. And the locals wouldn’t have it any other way. So, take a shot of sake and book your flight! Kyoto is not a place to miss.
La Jolla, California.
Fittingly named “the jewel” in Spanish, this Californian gem is home to rugged coastline, beach cliffs and sea caves — each of which are accessorized with unique legends. This seaside town, where surfers revel in the surfing conditions and sea lions graze aimlessly in La Jolla Cove, has grown to become one of Southern California’s most popular and affluent neighborhoods. If the upscale lifestyle, dramatic scenery and plethora of outdoor activities aren’t reason enough for your convincing, we don’t know what is.
Let’s just say, traveling to this Southeast Asian nation is a MUST. Imagine sunbathing beside your waterside villa, surrounded by crystal clear water and white sand beaches for miles on end, where the greatest of your worries is to decide which foreign tropical fruit you’re venturing to try next. Sounds like a dream, right? We think so too. Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect romantic getaway or itching to snorkel over coral reefs, this Arabian Sea hotspot is a place to consider. If you can look past the price tag, a trip here is well worth it.
New York City, New York.
Oh New York, how could we ever forget about you! If there’s any place we’re all missing most right now, it’s the city that never sleeps, and you can be sure it’s the first place we’re headed when COVID settles. What is there to love about New York besides everything? Whether you’re shopping on Fifth Ave., strolling across the highline, grazing the day away in Central Park, catching a skyline view, or sipping your favorite cocktail at a local bar, it is simply impossible for this city to disappoint. We will see you soon, NYC!
Oia, AKA Santorini’s most prized possession. This village, built into Grecian cliffs with pumice stone architecture doused entirely in white and topped with blue domes, is home to the world’s most beautiful sunset. Perched on the Aegean Sea, Oia offers a wide variety of luxury hotels, restaurants and spas. And we must not forget to mention the nightlife — you can be sure to find anything from romantic beach bars to noisy nightclubs. We’re dreaming of you, Oia!
Where else other than Paris could we have chosen for the letter P?! The city of lights is one that promises an enchanting visit. While most tourists make their way straight to the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum or the Cathedral of Notre Dame, some of the city’s most prized gems are those that are hidden. Quaint cafes oozing with the scent of fresh pastries, glamorous boutiques and charming B&Bs take Paris to a whole new level. If you’re into the fashion scene, a trip in the fall to witness PFW wouldn’t be a bad idea. And if you’re going for the food and drink, anytime is a good time for coq au vin and a glass of champagne. À bientôt, Paris.
The city of Quebec is North America’s small scale rendition of France, where the locals speak French and the drinking age is 18. The city’s quainter parts are lined with cobblestone streets and adorned with French bistros and inviting cafes. Historic landmarks are reminiscent of the city’s 1600 establishment, and tours visiting them seem to be offered on every corner. The food, drink and nightlife scene is truly commendable, and the opportunities for outdoor exploration exist in abundance. Pro tip: heavy jackets are never a bad idea! Be sure to check out Quebec if you’re craving an across-the-pond experience without actually crossing it.
Dreaming of seeing the Northern Lights? Dream no longer. Reykjavik is the place to go. The capital of Iceland, Reykjavik is located on Iceland’s farmland-lined western coast and overlooks the Northern Atlantic. Breathtaking terrain, waterfalls and glaciers are best seen in daylight, but the less common natural wonders are visible by night. Being the Northern Lights sighting hotspot that it is, Reykjavik attracts people from across the globe. Travelers also enjoy natural hot springs, a lively cultural scene, fresh seafood, and occasionally whale watching. Again, packing a heavy coat wouldn’t be the worst decision — even in warmer months.
Notoriously known for its constant rain, Seattle is home to profound national landmarks including the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and Chihuly Gardens. Whether you’re in the mood to bar hop, indulge in the ubiquitous art scene, affix your chewed gum to the infamous gum wall, or simply enjoy a hike through the vibrantly green forests surrounding the metropolis, Seattle seems like the perfect place for an all-encompassing experience. Not to mention, this city is home to the first Starbucks. Coincidence? We think not.
While the more famous parts of Thailand are typically Bangkok and Phuket, this country attracts tourists to all of its parts. This Southeast Asian country is home to stunning beaches, impressively constructed Buddhist temples, delicious Thai food (duh!) and supposedly the world’s most delicious mango. The days are consistently warm, which makes the clear water even more desirable. Between markets, food vendors, and bars that line city streets, it’s safe to say that the best social scene in all of Southeast Asia can be found here.
Simply put, this Dutch city gives Amsterdam a run for its money. Utrecht offers the traditional Dutch experience without the inundation of tourists obvious in Amsterdam. The architecture reminds visitors of medieval times, while the shops and businesses that inhabit it offer a more contemporary vibe. With the Dom Tower, an 18th century bell tower from the top of which a view of the entire country is offered, located in the city’s center and visible from every corner, you’ll feel free to roam without fear of getting lost.
Valencia is Spain’s all-inclusive city experience. Between the renowned nightlife, magically consistent sunny weather, exquisite Spanish cuisine and music scene, there’s no question that Valencia has it all. Music is a pillar of the culture in Valencia, and a handful of indie, electronic, punk rock, reggae festivals bring in tourists from all over. But if you’re not jamming to your favorite live band, you might find yourself on the beach or exploring older parts of the city. Similar to nearly every other European city, Valencia’s architecture does not disappoint.
Alphabet refresher: W, X and Y are next!
Last, but most certainly not least, is Zürich. This city offers a lifestyle chock full of luxury and affluence. Streets are lined with upscale shops and tourists eager to splurge during the day and younger crowds out and about visiting their favorite underground clubs or enjoy drinks on Lake Zürich at night. This lively city glistens with history as well, with churches and towers as old as the 8th century still standing. Though this city has plenty to offer, we’d take a trip solely for the sake of authentic Swiss chocolate. For whatever reason you go, you’re guaranteed a good time in Zürich.