The 101 Most Beautiful Places on Earth We're pretty sure none of you has seen all of the most gorgeous spots on the planet, but we'd love to hear how many you've made it to so far! Budget Travel Wednesday, Oct 8, 2014, 12:00 PM The Maldives are a worth-it splurge if you're pining for a romantic island getaway. (Courtesy Greg Knapp/Flickr) Budget Travel LLC, 2016
 

VACATION IDEAS

The 101 Most Beautiful Places on Earth

We're pretty sure none of you has seen all of the most gorgeous spots on the planet, but we'd love to hear how many you've made it to so far!

The Maldives are a worth-it splurge if you're pining for a romantic island getaway.

(Courtesy Greg Knapp/Flickr)

A herd of elephants with Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance? Yep, that's Tanzania.

(Courtesy CarhireTanzania/myBudgetTravel)

Iguazu Falls in Brazil and Argentina can be explored on special boat tours inside Iguazu Falls National Park.

(Maxsaf/Dreamstime )

St. Basil's in Moscow is an unforgettable sight and a major item to check off your must-see list.

(Courtesy marmat1711/myBudgetTravel)

The Northern Lights in Iceland. Need we say more?

(Courtesy Coolcameragirl/myBudgetTravel)

Arches National Park is one of FIVE major national parks in Utah—they make for a great family road trip!

(Courtesy millerbd/myBudgetTravel)

Vernazza, in Italy's beautiful Cinque Terre region, is one of Budget Travel readers' favorite vacation spots.

(Courtesy biglannie/myBudgetTravel)

Sure, Machu Picchu gets lots of deserved attention, but Peru's 26-mile Inca Trail, which allows you to walk to the "Lost City" is a destination in its own right—with llamas!

(Courtesy hmgoldilocks/myBudgetTravel)

Buenos Aires blends European culture with South American energy and flair—as embodied by the city's tango tradition.

(Courtesy paulhurd/myBudgetTravel)

Yellowstone National Park offers trails, hot springs, gorgeous forests, and much more. It's also the only place in the world where bison have lived without interruption since prehistoric times.

(Courtesy gregw66/Flickr)

How can one little city pack so much Renaissance art into its winding streets? It helps that Michelangelo and the Medici called Florence home.

(Charlotte Leaper/Dreamstime.com)

New Zealand—the real-life setting for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy—is a mind-blowingly beautiful getaway (and you can even combine a New Zealand trip with a stop in Tahiti!).

(Courtesy klmousseau/myBudgetTravel)

The Hermitage in Saint Petersburg is one of the world's most beautiful and comprehensive art museums. 

(Iakov Filimonov / Dreamstime.com)

Sydney is near the top of many Budget Travelers' lists of the world's most gorgeous and fun cities to visit. 

(Courtesy vivalarock/myBudgetTravel)

Perhaps nothing embodies a stylish vacation quite like the words "South of France."

(Courtesy shadam/myBudgetTravel)

Quito, Ecuador, may not be a famous name, but it's one of South America's most beautiful cities, surrounded by natural wonders.

(Courtesy themurfs/myBudgetTravel)

The colorful rooftops of Nice will captivate you, and the engaging cafe culture and perfect water will make you want to put down roots!

(Courtesy SteveRose/myBudgetTravel)

Jasper National Park, in Alberta, Canada, offers you a flawless Rocky Mountain canvas on which to paint your vacation dreams.

(Courtesy rekissel/myBudgetTravel)

Get ready to be enchanted by Barcelona! It's been happening to visitors for centuries, and never more so now that the city rolls out fairy-tale architecture, a vibrant pace, and plenty to keep the whole family happy.

(Georgiy Pashin/Dreamstime.com)

The reward for hiking to the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park, Montana, is catching a glimpse of the elusive mountain goat (actually a species of antelope), which lives on the rugged slopes of the mountains here.

(NPS Photos)

Acadia National Park, Maine, is one of the only places on the East Coast that gives you mountains and beaches—not to mention one of America's most beautiful historic lighthouses—all at the same time.

(Courtesy cmiller29/myBudgetTravel)

The Whitsunday Islands are a budget-friendly—and unrelentingly beautiful!—base of operations for snorkeling Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

(Richard L'Anson/LPI)

A cruise up Alaska's Inside Passage gets you up close and personal with glaciers, often with the opportunity to see one dramatically break apart before your eyes.

(Courtesy jfenson/myBudgetTravel)

The amazing Tiger's Nest Temple, in Bhutan, gives the word "precarious" new meaning.

(Courtesy Thomas Wanhoff/Wikimedia Commons)

Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas" is one of the most enchanting places on earth. Arriving on a beautiful day to explore this mysterious, long-hidden treasure, is a must.

(Courtesy conniehum/myBudgetTravel)

Ritzy Dubai is another worth-it splurge, with mind-bending architecture and stylish hotels that'll make you feel like a queen (or king) for a day (or more).

(Courtesy Parksfamily/myBudgetTravel)

The Eiffel Tower (now with a brand-new renovated 1st-floor see-through platform!) is just one of the things that make Paris the most romantic city on earth.

(Whitney Tressel)

Belize is a budget-friendly paradise that provides ample opportunities for getting out on the water and exploring the perfect blue Caribbean.

(Courtesy cloud2013/Flickr)

Curaçao is rightfully hailed as one of the most colorful Caribbean islands, thanks to its unique Dutch-inspired architecture. It's also something of a foodie mecca among the islands.

(Angelo Cavalli/SuperStock)

Like Randy Newman sang, we LOVE L.A., one of America's most diverse, creative, and ever-evolving cities—right on the Pacific Ocean. What's not to love?

(Sean Pavone/Dreamstime.com)

Once considered nearly synonymous with "way off the beaten path," the Galápagos Islands now welcome visitors curious to see its unique wildlife, including the Blue Footed Boobie.

(Courtesy possumpick/myBudgetTravel)

Ah, Venice! You've GOT to treat yourself to this unique city of canals—and don't miss an iconic gondola ride! You'll find surprising hotel bargains amid the glitz, by the way, especially if you travel in fall, when crowds of Americans have headed home.

(Javarman/Dreamstime)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited of America's national parks, offering meandering scenic drives, lovely green forests, and, of course, the occasional encounter with an adorable (from afar!) local.

(SuperStock/Alamy )

It sure is difficult for Americans to get into Iran these days, but no list of the world's most gorgeous getaways would be complete without this extraordinarily beautiful, cosmopolitan, and vibrant nation.

(Catherine de Torquat/SuperStock)

Of course you associate South Africa with a vibrant musical tradition, the Big Five safari mammals, and stylish hotels and restaurants. But did you also know that Cape Town has penguins on its beaches?

(Photosky/Dreamstime)

There's a reason the Grand Canyon is near the top of almost everybody's must-see list: As lovely as this photo is, there's nothing like seeing this one-of-a-kind natural wonder in person.

(Courtesy Purple/Wikimedia Commons)

The city that never sleeps is waiting for you to book a flight and a room. Yes, New York City is fast, loud, and at times pricey, but Budget Travel calls it home and we'd love for you to see it!

(Ken Griffith/Dreamstime.com)

Aruba is one of the Caribbean's most stylish steals—and as an added bonus, it's one of the ABC Islands, which are not in the path of hurricanes!

(Courtesy eppyvox/myBudgetTravel)

Some of us have been putting off that trip to Israel because of political turmoil, but Jerusalem, a holy city for three of the world's major religions, always surprises Westerners with its beauty, energy, and friendly spirit.

(Courtesy snapalot/myBudgetTravel)

The Golden Gate Bridge is only the most famous icon associated with San Francisco—but you'll find enchantment on every corner of this city between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay.

(Chee-onn Leong/Dreamstime.com)

While it takes some finagling for Americans to book a tour of Havana, those who make it there appreciate the vibrant musical scene and friendly atmosphere.

(Courtesy kellysteveadventures/myBudgetTravel)

Students of history, those who appreciate beauty, and those who just want to say "been there" can all agree that the Great Pyramid and Sphinx at Luxor are worth the trip.

(Courtesy Citypeek/Wikimedia Commons)

The South Pacific is not as far away as you think—at least not financially speaking! Book a package tour to Tahiti, or stop on your way to New Zealand, for a romantic paradise.

(Courtesy jonrawlinson/Flickr)

Kenya is one of the most exciting and safest places to experience an African safari. Bring your telephoto lens, as the Kind of the Jungle won't likely let you get this close!

(Courtesy jamesmvoss/myBudgetTravel)

Washington, D.C., is beautiful all year long, not just in cherry blossom season. And the most beautiful thing of all may be that most major attractions are free!

(Dasharosato/Dreamstime.com)

The Greek island of Santorini looks about as luxurious as it gets, but there are surprising bargains here, and the opportunity to stay in a swank cave hotel!

(Courtesy alliesun98/myBudgetTravel )

While Ireland's cities like Dublin and Galway get the lion's share of visitors, it is totally worth walking on the island's wild side as well!

(Patryk Kosmider/Dreamstime)

We love Porto, Portugal, for its affordability and amazing wine (and not just its namesake, port).

(Ashok Sinha)

Easter Island is remote, mysterious, and downright beautiful.

(Courtesy awc007/myBudgetTravel)

When visiting Rome, there are so many knockout visuals you'll bring home, but perhaps the most staggering is in Vatican City, inside Saint Peter's basilica, designed by Michelangelo.

(Courtesy marjen/myBudgetTravel)

Snap a pic of the Elephant Cave in Bali and you've got yourself a truly bragworthy photo to Instagram back home!

(Courtesy Richard Griswold/myBudgetTravel)

No passport necessary! St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, is the easternmost point in the United States!

(Courtesy Margate/myBudgetTravel)

The Grand Tetons, in Wyoming, are uniquely jagged and beautiful, drawing new and return visitors for skiing in winter and hiking in summer.

(Courtesy kennethdiluigi/myBudgetTravel)

Seattle, the unofficial capital of the Pacific Northwest is rooted in its seafaring heritage, with amazing public markets and visually stunning scenery at every turn.

(Juliengrondin/Dreamstime.com)

Jackson, Wyoming, nestled in the Rockies, is the Platonic ideal of a mountain town.

(Philip Bobrow/Dreamstime.com)

Philadelphia is ready to take its place among the very top American travel destinations, with major museums, a cutting-edge food scene, and history that encompasses not only the famous events of the American Revolution but also the movement to abolish slavery in the 19th century.

(Jorge Villalba/Dreamstime)

Sure, the Himalayas are quite a trek, but for travelers who are up for a worth-it adventure at the top of the world, there's no substitute!

(Noamfein / Dreamstime.com)

There's not mistaking Amsterdam, with its charming buildings and gentle canals.

(Courtesy broughtonr/myBudgetTravel)

Boston packs more history into its narrow streets than some entire nations. Whether you want to trace the roots of the American Revolution, grab some awesome chow-dah, or root for America's team, the Boston Red Sox, Boston will leave you wanting to come back for more.

(Mary Katherine Wynn/Dreamstime.com)

London continues to reinvent itself as a world capital, now boasting innovative cuisine, the finest theater in the world, and of course the hair-raising London Eye!

(Courtesy teachertraveler/myBudgetTravel)

Savannah is a manageable mid-size city just perfect for exploring hand-in-hand along its charming streets.

(Wiktor Wojtas/Dreamstime.com)

Krakow, seen here in a moody moment, is a gorgeous, friendly Polish city that makes Americans feel welcome.

(Courtesy lprice/myBudgetTravel)

Cutting-edge skyscrapers, a fantastic boardwalk right in the middle of town, and the world-class Art Institute museum all make Chicago second to none.

(Grigor Atanasov/Dreamstime.com)

Northern California is home of one of nature's perfect cathedrals: Muir Woods National Monument.

(Courtesy daveynin/Flickr)

There's a good reason why we associate old-world charm with Vienna. Stroll the streets, take in its traditional Austrian fare, and enjoy!

(Courtesy charley1965/flickr)

When Budget Travel set out to find the most beautiful beach in America, Siesta Key, Florida, topped our list!

(Courtesy Visit Sarasota County)

Birmingham, U.K., gave the world both J.R.R. Tolkien and Ozzy Osbourne. These days, it's raising eyebrows with a sumptuous foodie movement.

(Angie Smith)

Charleston is home to one of America's hottest food scenes. Try the Coca-Cola cake!

(Cvandyke/Dreamstime.com)

Prague, with its lovely Charles Bridge, is a major European capital with a thriving arts scene that holds its own when compared with better-known cities across the continent.

(Courtesy BethanieKay/myBudgetTravel)

Ok, can we all just agree that Yosemite National Park is the loveliest place on earth? Visit in fall or winter for an especially mellow, crowd-free vibe.

(Courtesy woobiecat1/myBudgetTravel)

Seville, Spain, has been charming visitors for centuries, thanks to beautiful public spaces and decorative art.

(Courtesy nancyb926/myBudgetTravel)

Berlin, a forbidding icon of the Cold War just a generation ago, is now welcoming couples, families, and art lovers. Rent a bicycle and see it for yourself!

(Courtesy MPayne13/myBudgetTravel)

Southern Germany gets lots of fanfare in October for its beer celebrations, but Munich delivers fun, beauty, and a Disney-worthy castle year-round.

(Noppasinw/Dreamstime.com)

Castles! They bring out the kid in every traveler, and Edinburgh offers more than its share of these medieval masterpieces.

(Courtesy pjrichard1016/myBudgetTravel)

Big Sur, California, is as much a state of mind as an actual place, but Pfeiffer Beach, with its colorful sand, could be the epicenter of the region's haunting beauty.

(Mariusz Jurgielewicz/Dreamstime)

For a taste of Spain's nightlife and extraordinary art and culture, there's no place like Madrid.

(Courtesy Rentz/myBudgetTravel)

Monuments to the painful 20th-century history of Warsaw are a reminder of how recently this amazingly beautiful, historic city were under seige by totalitarian neighbors.

(Danielc1998/Dreamstime)

Budapest is a gorgeous gem that's popular on river cruises as well as land tours.

(Courtesy cspaid/myBudgetTravel)

Laos, in Southeast Asia, provides an other-wordly backdrop for your vacation.

(Courtesy joe8211943/myBudgetTravel)

We love Los Cabos, Mexico, and the Budget Travel reader who captured this beautiful shot a few years back!

(Courtesy cflippen/myBudgetTravel)

Istanbul is where east literally meets west, straddling two continents. Hagia Sophia mosque emodies the cultural crossroads, having once been a Christian church.

(Courtesy patfax/myBudgetTravel)

Smack dab in the middle of the Mediterranean, beautiful Sicily has been a cultural crossroads for centuries. Palermo is its major city, bearing the influence of Greek, Roman, North African, and contemporary Italian cultures, among others.

(Courtesy nancyb926/myBudgetTravel)

Something is beautiful in the state of Denmark—the fun, friendly city of Copenhagen!

(Courtesy katierathkey/myBudgetTravel)

When in Turkey, get outside the major urban areas to explore the wild side, such as the jagged mountains and amazing towns of Cappadocia.

(Courtesy fnjp/myBudgetTravel)

Dublin boasts more literary cred than many cities twice its size, but it also allows you to blend the literary with libations at Temple Bar, one of the settings in James Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses.

(Courtesy Rosemary Debiak/myBudgetTravel)

For perfect beaches, stylish lodgings, and cool summer temps, there's no place like Nantucket.

(Marianne Campolongo/Dreamstime.com)

Sure, we associate Vietnam with French-Asian cuisine, winding rivers, and vibrant cities. But did you know it's also home to Nha Trang beach, one of the most ideal stretches of surf and sand on earth?

(age fotostock / SuperStock)

Hamburg may be Europe's greenest city, with many forward-thinking projects in progress and a vast amount of parkland. The Beatles got their first taste of international fame here, and Germany's "second city" is definitely worth a stop.

(Tomtsya/Dreamstime)

Oahu lets you veer from big-city chic in Honolulu to surfing, sun worshipping, and sampling fresh shrimp at oceanside food trucks. Oh, and did we mention the sunsets?

(Koichi Harada / Dreamstime.com)

Split, the second-largest city in Croatia, has an amazing beach scene, charming old town, and some of the finest Roman ruins in Europe.

(Tupungato/Dreamstime)

Lisbon is a getaway we guarantee will have the folks back home talking—it's just off the radar of many American travelers yet delivers a lovely, energizing experience for visitors.

(Courtesy billnorman/myBudgetTravel)

Spanish Colonial architecture, gorgeous beachside resorts, tantalizing cuisine, and salsa dancing! Does anywhere in the United States offer more decadent indulgences than Puerto Rico?

(George Oze Photography / SuperStock)

Costa Rica is the affordable adventure you've been hearing so much about! Is this the year you'll make it to see Arenal Volcano, the rainforest, and the incredible beaches?

(Courtesy sandayle13/myBudgetTravel)

A stop in Reykjavik, Iceland, is unexpectedly colorful—the far-north city has a playful pallette amid all that ice!

(Courtesy SusanHalay/myBudgetTravel)

Hong Kong is the world's fastest-growing city—and we can understand why. Is there anywhere else that offers such a blend of European and Asian aesthetics, food, and sheer star power?

(Courtesy BereniceKimura/myBudgetTravel)

When you're ready to have many of your cultural and spiritual assumptions shaken up, and be dazzled by the sheer beauty of a destination, it's time to visit India.

(Courtesy travelfury/myBudgetTravel)

When youj're ready to let the good times roll, New Orleans is the place to be. But in addition to its great food and music scenes, the Crescent City is also home to gorgeous homes and public space.

(Silverfly/Dreamstime.com)

Riviera Maya, on Mexico's Caribbean coast, blends mind-bending Mayan ruins with all-inclusive resorts on the beach—a vacation with something for everyone.

(Courtesy Carolyn Coles/Flickr)

When in Cambodia, don't miss the spectacular temples at Angkor Wat.

(Danilo Mongiello / Dreamstime.com)

Tokyo lights up the night!

(Courtesy joe8211943/myBudgetTravel)

San Antonio has always been a culturally diverse, vibrant city. Its Riverwalk now links many neighborhoods via outstanding, beautiful public spaces.

(Valentin Armianu/Dreamstime.com)
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