The 55 Most Beautiful Places in the World

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The world has a whole lot of jaw-dropping places but sometimes, it’s easy to get stuck in our own bubbles. With stunning fall foliage in New York, dazzling Florida beaches, plentiful swimming holes in northern California and charming small towns near Chicago, it’s not like you *need* too look up too often, right? We digress. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the 55 most beautiful places in the world. Icelandic waterfalls, Venetian canals, American national parks and the tropical climate of a Vietnamese mountain town all included. Banff? On here. The Bolivian salt flats? You bet. From Chile to Nambia, you should be warned: You’re about to be hit with an onslaught of wanderlust.

Feel Stuck? Astrocartography (aka Astrology of Place) Can Tell You Where in the World You’ll Thrive

1. Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

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One of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland’s south region, Seljalandsfoss is a must-visit stop on any drive along the ring road.

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2. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

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Pro tip: Visit this protected land in the Patagonia region during Chile’s summer, which peaks from November to February. The sun doesn’t set on the soaring granite pillars until after 10 p.m.

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3. Li River, China

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Take a river cruise down the Li, which runs 85 kilometers (53 miles) through the region of Guangxi in southern China, for some of the country’s most incredible scenery.

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4. Manarola, Italy

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One of the quaint fishing villages that make up the colorful Cinque Terre, Manarola is rife with grapevines, lemon groves and medieval walls. You can only imagine the views from here.

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5. Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

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This national park and nature reserve occupies part of the Namib Desert. Wild game like mountain zebras, ostriches and kudus roam over the red sand dunes.

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6. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, California

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Possibly the most scenic stop along Big Sur, the McWay Falls plunge 80 feet over a gorgeous sandy shore and into the Pacific Ocean.

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7. Na Pali Coast State Park, Hawaii

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This state park comprises 17 miles of rugged Kauai coastline. Hikers can walk along the cliffs and valleys, while taking in panoramic views of the Pacific.

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8. Pamukkale, Turkey

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Pamukkale, which means “cotton castle,” is a stack of white travertine mineral pools in southwest Turkey. The UNESCO World Heritage Site looks over the Byzantine-Roman city of Denizli.

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9. Antelope Canyon, Arizona

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Visit in the early morning before the crowds pile in and you’ll see light beams gliding in and out of the slot canyon, making it seem like the walls are on fire.

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10. Lake Louise, Canada

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Set inside Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise is a year-round resort destination. On a sunny day, the impossibly blue lake reflects the surrounding snowcapped mountains.

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11. Krabi, Thailand

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If we ever want to go off the grid, you’ll find us in this tropical Thai paradise. We don’t need much more in life than these mangrove forests and majestic blue waters framed by limestone cliffs.

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12. Lake Lugano, Switzerland

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This picture-perfect glacial lake is the Swiss equivalent of Italy’s Lake Como. Around it, the city of Lugano is a melting pot of Swiss and Mediterranean culture.

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13. Table Mountain, South Africa

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The most iconic landscape in South Africa, Table Mountain looks over Cape Town. You can see its flat peak from almost anywhere in the city, often surrounded by clouds.

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14. Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

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The result of a prehistoric lake that dried up, this area in southwest Bolivia is now covered by bright-white salt formations that give the illusion of walking in the clouds.

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15. Milford Sound, New Zealand

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Within Fiordland National Park you’ll find Milford Sound, the poster for New Zealand’s South Island. (You might recognize the landscape from The Lord of the Rings.)

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16. Zhangjiajie National Forest, China

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This national park in China’s Hunan province—featuring dozens of pillar-like mountains—was used as a model for the setting of the movie Avatar.

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17. Douro Valley, Portugal

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You’ve never seen a wine country like this before. Hundreds of vineyards—called quintas—grow grapes on the steep, undulating hills surrounding the Douro River.

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18. Mount Fuji, Japan

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This active volcano southwest of Tokyo is revered in Japanese culture, as it is believed to be the country’s holiest mountain. During springtime, cherry blossoms light up the five lakes surrounding it.

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19. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

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Visit Grand Teton National Park during any season and it will punch you in the gut (in the best way). The park includes the Teton mountain range and Jackson Hole valley—a fabulous ski paradise in the winter.

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20. Bagan, Myanmar

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This archeological area encompasses more than 2,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monuments that date back to the kingdom of Pagan in the ninth century.

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21. Zhangye National Geopark, China

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These gorgeous mountains are made up of layers of different-colored sandstone and minerals that have been pressed together for over 24 million years.

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22. Reine, Norway

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This fishing village sits above the Arctic Circle in Norway’s Lofoten Islands and has a population of about 300. Just imagine the northern lights from here.

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23. Twelve Apostles, Australia

We’d drive the 150-mile Great Ocean Road in Victoria just for a glimpse of these dreamy limestone stacks.

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24. Iguazu Falls, Argentina

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One of the seven new natural wonders of the world, these incredible waterfalls frame the Argentina-Brazil border. Together they make up the largest system of waterfalls in the world.

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25. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

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These famous cliffs in County Clare have made several big-screen appearances in movies like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and The Princess Bride.

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26. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Japan

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On the outskirts of Kyoto, this giant bamboo grove is filled with thick, green towering stalks that sway and creek to the rhythm of the wind.

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27. Socotra, Yemen

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Often described as the most alien-looking place on earth, this small island in the Arabian Sea is known for its unique dragon blood trees.

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28. Palawan Island, Philippines

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Remote and sparsely populated, Palawan just might be the most beautiful island in the world. It’s basically a long sliver of villages surrounded by crystal-clear water, lagoons and lush forest.

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29. Chefchaouen, Morocco

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Nicknamed the blue city, this locale in northern Morocco’s Rif Mountains is known for its blue-washed walls, serpentine cobblestone streets and Moorish architecture.

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30. Ipanema Beach, Brazil

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There’s a reason Rio de Janeiro’s famous coastline is one of the most photographed landscapes in the world. It’s always summer on the endless stretch of sand framed by the Two Brothers Mountain.

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31. Champs Élysées, France

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Sure, gazing from the top of the Arc de Triomphe onto Paris’ main avenue is basically looking at a concrete jungle. But it’s the prettiest damn concrete jungle in the world.

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32. Ronda, Spain

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This Andalucían city stands atop El Tajo gorge, which the Guadalevín River flows through. A jaw-dropping bridge connects the 15th-century “new” town from the old city that dates back to Moorish rule.

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33. Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

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Iceland could basically be on another planet. Just look at this black sand beach framed by basalt columns near the village of Vik on the country’s south coast.

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34. Oia, Greece

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Santorini might be a cliché, but it’s a cliché for good reason. The island’s most famous village is Oia, where narrow, hilly streets lined with whitewashed houses and pink bougainvillea lead to the cobalt Aegean Sea.

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35. Monteverde, Costa Rica

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Haven’t you always wanted to walk on the canopy of the rain forest? Well, in this Costa Rican mountain town, suspension bridges span thick cloud forests, coffee plantations and volcano peaks.

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36. The Maroon Bells, Colorado

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The most photographed spot in Colorado, the Maroon Bells are twin peaks in Aspen’s Elk Mountains, separated by a glacial lake and surrounded by national forest. Swoon.

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37. White Desert, Egypt

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Sahra al-Beida (called the “White Desert” in English) is a barren stretch of white rock spires and chalk towers. It’s located in Farafra, an area inhabited mostly by bedouins, who are nomadic animal herders.

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38. The Pitons, Saint Lucia

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Sure, there are plenty of stunning Caribbean destinations, but the view of the Piton Mountains overlooking the colorful town of Soufrière is something you must see for yourself.

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39. Cliffs of Êtretat, France

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They were stunning enough for Monet to paint…so that’s reason enough for us. (Plus, the hit Netflix show, Lupin, films a harrowing scene in this stunning town.)

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40. Tea Plantations of Munnar, India

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This town in India’s Kerala state sits at the intersection of three mountain streams. It’s best known for its sweeping hills covered in tea plantations and verdant forests.

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41. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

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There’s a reason Croatia is such a hotbed for tourism these days. This national park is complete with cascading waterfalls, cerulean lakes, hiking trails and limestone canyons.

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42. Nuuk, Greenland

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Humpback whales! Icebergs! The northern lights! Those are just a few of the things you’ll find in Greenland’s tiny capital city.

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43. The Storr, Scotland

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Isle of Skye is pretty much a dream world. But no landscape is more iconic here than the Storr cliffs, a series of rocky pinnacles set before a backdrop of rolling green hills and coastline.

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44. Skeleton Coast, Namibia

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Dotted with shipwrecks and whale bones, Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is a graveyard of sorts. But the barren stretch of land, where green sea meets sand dunes, is so stark it’s an eerie type of beautiful.

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45. Varanasi, India

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Considered to be the spiritual capital of India, this colorful city on the banks of the Ganges River dates back to the 11th century B.C.

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46. Machu Picchu, Peru

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Stand at the top of this 15th-century Incan citadel (almost 8,000 feet above sea level) and look at the river valley beneath you. You’re basically walking in the clouds.

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47. Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

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Taktsang Palphug Monastery, nicknamed Tiger’s Nest, is a Buddhist temple and the most sacred site in Bhutan. It’s built into a steep cliff 3,000 feet above a valley in the Himalayas.

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48. Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming

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Of all of nature’s incredible work, this rainbow-ringed natural hot spring in Yellowstone National Park still manages to blow our minds.

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49. Keukenhof Park, The Netherlands

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Located in Lisse in South Holland, Keukenhof is one of the world's largest flower gardens, featuring millions of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths.

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50. Sa Pa, Vietnam

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This stunning mountain town sits just below the Chinese border. And the view? Those are the vertical rice terraces of the Muong Hoa Valley.

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51. Venice, Italy

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The best way to explore this floating Italian city is to hop on a gondola and glide along the series of canals. There is a ton of Renaissance art, architecture and history to be found here.

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52. St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia

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Moscow has lots of beautiful must-see attractions, but St. Basil’s stands out from everything else with its intricate multi-colored facade and complex architecture.

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53. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

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They don’t call this national park grand for nothing. This jaw-dropping natural beauty feels both familiar and otherworldly, evoking both Westerns and Martian vibes.

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54. Jodhpur, India

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There's a lot to explore in Jodhpur, including many palaces, temples, and of course, the winding paths of blue buildings set within the Thar Desert.

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55. Barcelona, Spain

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Head to glorious Barcelona where you’ll find Dalí-esque buildings, tons of intricate mosaics and the best of architect Gaudí’s work, like the yet-unfinished Sagrada Família.

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