When it comes to picking the destinations we love the most, we tend to gravitate towards large cities with a rich history like London and Rome or those with unique attractions such as Sydney’s city beaches and the infectious hedonism of Las Vegas. Some of our favorites are not even cities but countries or entire regions. By gosh, we’ve even tagged a Rock…
So grab your passport and get excited as you read our Top 50 Travel Destinations for 2012!
50. Cape Town
Visit Cape Town & Table Mountain in 2012!
Dramatic beaches, vineyards and a rainbow nation are watched over by the rugged and magnificent Table Mountain. The handsome city of Cape Town is definitely one to watch in 2012.
Forget the stereotypes! Singapore may be Southeast Asia’s cleanest city but its cuisine is downright delicious to boot. When you’ve had your fill of hawker food, kick back at the bastion of colonial grandeur, Raffles Hotel.
Wild and wonderful Alaska offers adventure on a grand scale. If it weren’t so costly and so far away we’d all want to be there… For the sake of preserving its pristine wilderness, thank goodness we’re not.
We aren’t suprised that beautiful green Bali made it on the list
Bali’s friendly locals, rice paddies and unique art and culture are almost as big a draw as its heavenly beaches and wicked surf.
With over 7000 tropical islands to choose from, the Philippines offer a treasure trove of white-sand beaches and some of the world’s best diving and snorkeling.
45. Costa Rica
Famous for its colorful wildlife, dense jungles and incredible beaches, Costa Rica is a paradise with a flourishing ecotourism industry.
The hills are alive with the Sound of Music in Salzburg!
Nestled snugly at the foot of the Bavarian Alps, it’s easy to see why Mozart was so inspired growing up in this city. It may be number 44 on our list but Salzburg continues to be number one for avid fans of The Sound of Music!
There’s more to Brisbane than the Sunshine Coast. Always good for fun in the sun, this laid-back party town has discovered its inner hipster and a taste for fine food, coffee and art galleries.
From the white facades of its medieval buildings to the snow-capped mountains of the Swiss Alps,Zurich remains Switzerland’s destination of choice.
Oh Milan! This city simply oozes glamor, history and culture. Fill your (Italian leather) boots with art, architecture and fabulous food in a city that never goes out of fashion.
Set sail in Auckland!
The ‘City of Sails’, also known as Auckland, is also New Zealand’s multicultural melting pot with a strong artistic streak and a penchant for extreme sports.
Take a bunch of different nationalities, throw in a quart of culture and a large pinch of French and occasionally sprinkle with snow and you’ve got the recipe for Montreal, Canada’s most intriguing city.
We love Munich’s medieval center, its green spaces and beer gardens. (And we’re already gearing up for Oktoberfest 2012!)
37. Ayers Rock
Ayers Rock at sunset is a must-see in 2012!
This blazing red rock in the desert is one of Australia’s biggest tourist attractions and a place of great spiritual significance. If you are lucky enough to see Ayers Rock at sunset, you will understand why.
36. Costa del sol
Welcome to Spain’s sunniest region! Andalucia’s international coastal playground includes the ever-popular seaside towns of Marbella, Malaga, Gibraltar and Nerja.
35. Kuala Lumpur
Exciting cuisine, modern shopping malls, gleaming skyscrapers and a fascinating history; Malaysia’s modern metropolis of Kuala Lumpur never fails to excite us.
So picturesque, so gentile, so Nice! This city is our favorite base for exploring the French Riviera and its art-deco facades, museums and famous promenade continue to draw the crowds.
This is Italy at its most dark, surprising and intoxicating. When you need to come up for air, the delights of the exquisite Amalfi Coast await just a short ride from Naples.
Boston is at the top of everyone’s US must-see list!
Grand, literary, artistic and historic, Boston continues to draw us to its bookstores, art galleries and architecture.
Tropical Cairns may be a one-horse town but it boasts the Great Barrier Reef, the Atherton Tablelands and all the attractions of Far North Queensland on its doorstep.
Scotland’s most cosmopolitan city is also one of Europe’s most beautiful. Compact, historic and legendary, Edinburgh will most definitely steal your heart.
If Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Johann Strauss don’t excite you, then Vienna’s palaces, coffee houses and stunning countryside will.
Don’t miss the modern & ancient sights of Athens in 2012!
Survey the sprawling megacity of Athens from the incredible Parthenon on the Acropolis and wonder what Socrates would have made of it all.
This historical and gregarious city is used to doing it tough but, as they say, ‘you can’t keep a good man down’. We think Dublin will continue to feature strongly on our travel wishlist in 2012.
Madrid, Spain’s capital, may not be as sexy as its Catalan cousin, but it has Picasso and Goya and Velázquez and some of the world’s best art galleries. And did we mention the nightlife?
Melbourne, Australia’s most European city, displays its heritage and multiculturalism with pride while still enjoying a carefree, Aussie lifestyle.
Everyone loves Oahu!
Want a relaxing beach holiday with plenty of attractions thrown in? Oahu, Hawaii’s third largest island ticks all the boxes.
Young, vibrant and unabashedly hedonistic, Cancun, Mexico’s most popular resort, continues to draw the carefree and curious to its golden shores.
Surrounded by mountains and embracing the sparkling sea, Vancouver is, quite literally, a breath of fresh air.
Life’s a beach in Miami. We love its mild tropical climate, the Everglades, the Keys and its Latin American vibe.
20. Washington DC
Of course DC is so much more than its museums, monuments and political prominence, and that is the main reason why we love it so.
There’s lots to see and do in and around Dubai!
While you may be tempted to max out your credit card, Dubai is not all gold souks, world-class hotels and shopping malls. We’re hoping more visitors will uncover Dubai’s authentic side in 2012.
We’re expecting great things from the historic city of Ottoman mosques in 2012. Istanbul‘s once uninspiring restaurants and nightlife scene are undergoing a renaissance on a grand scale.
Consistently voted one of the world’s most romantic islands, Maui’s lush tropical forests, gorgeous beaches and fresh cuisine see it featured strongly on a list dominated by big cities.
Get acqainted with Tokyo & Japanese culture in 2012
Futuristic yet historic, conservative yet outrageous, Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, continues to astonish and delight us.
15. Los Angeles
Los Angeles–the city of dreamers, celebrities and wannabes–continues to fascinate and attract stargazers the world over.
We can’t go past Amsterdam’s historic canals, museums and cute coffee shops. It’s also one of the world’s best cities for cycling.
Synonymous with Disney, lets not kid ourselves why people love this town. While it’s a bit light on historical attractions, the theme parks and sunshine are plentiful in Orlando.
Hot, sweaty and addictive, Bangkok buzzes with activity day and night while still remaining distinctly and majestically Thai.
Once the center of the Italian Renaissance, we continue to be captivated by Florence, one of Italy’s most beautiful cities.
10. Rio de Janeiro
It’s not hard to see why Rio de Janeiro is high on the list!
Go for zesty caipirinhas, samba and city beaches and stay for the world’s biggest party when in Rio de Janeiro.
9. San Francisco
It’s hard to say what we love most about San Francisco: the Golden Gate Bridge? Alcatraz? Its hilly streets or its laidback west coast vibe? We love it all.
The floating city of Venice has been attracting world travelers for centuries and we continue to be drawn to its waterways, festivals and remarkable architecture.
Young, vibrant and dripping in Gothic architecture, we can’t get enough of Barcelona and its famous son, architect Antoni Gaudi.
Have fun in the sun in Sydney!
Nowhere inspires city envy as much as sun-loving Sydney. Just as well, if it weren’t so far away from the northern hemisphere we’d all want to live there.
Bustling, sexy, and dramatic. Rome, old and new, has long captured the hearts and minds of travelers the world over.
4. Las Vegas
Join the stream of hopefuls, honeymooners and lovers of bling as they get caught in the headlights of Las Vegas, America’s glitziest city.
And in third place… one of the most stylish and romantic cities in the world! Perennially popularParis continues to seduce and summon lovers of food, fashion, architecture and all things French.
Snapping at the heels of NYC is London, one of the world’s best-loved destinations. Okay, the sun only makes an occasional appearance, but we’re more interested in Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, the Tower of London and a host of other cool Britannia attractions.
1. New York City
NYC is #1!
Start spreading the news… New York City was our top travel destination in 2011 and we predict that it’ll top the charts again next year! From Times Square and Central Park to the Empire State Building and The Met, NYC is one of the world’s most exciting places to visit.
So there you have it. Inspiring, gratifying and no doubt controversial, this list represents the biggest travel wants in 2012 as chosen by our Facebook fans. Do you agree? If you missed out on the voting we’d love to hear what you think and where you’d most like to travel in 2012.