Bike through lavender fields in Provence from 101 Things Every American Should Do Abroad Before They Die

101 Things Every American Should Do Abroad Before They Die

Editor
americans abroad

iStock

iStock

Most avid travelers have a bucket list of places they want to go or things they want to do within their lifetime. This list often consists of island destinations, countries, cities or regions, but a more precise list will include specific activities, foods, and festivals that one may want to experience. When going outside of one’s own country, however, it can be hard to figure out just which experiences are worth it. Some may seem clichéd while others you may have never even heard of. Certain festivals or holidays are best experienced in certain parts of the world, and certain cities have iconic activities or landmarks that shouldn’t be missed.

Traveling the globe and experiencing all that you can from its many different nations and cultures can open you up to life-changing moments as well as some of the best times of your life. If you’re looking to have the ultimate experience as a world traveler, here are 101 things you should do in your lifetime while abroad.

Bike through lavender fields in Provence

Bike through lavender fields in Provence

Shutterstock

The stunning lavender fields of Provence, France, come to life between mid-June and July, and you can experience them by bike or by attending one of the many lavender festivals in the region throughout July and August.

Go bungee jumping in New Zealand

Go bungee jumping in New Zealand

PomInOz/istockphoto.com

Adrenaline junkies will find quite a bit to do in New Zealand, and bungee jumping is especially fun, as it was popularized here in the 1980s.

Attend Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

Attend Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

iStock

There are plenty of colorful Carnival celebrations around the world, but no one does it like Rio de Janeiro, where the tradition dates back to 1723; approximately 2 million people attend each day of Rio’s celebration.

View the cherry blossoms in Japan

View the cherry blossoms in Japan

Sean Pavone/istockphoto.com

Cherry blossoms bloom from late March to early May all over Japan, but the most acclaimed cherry blossom festivals are in Hirosaki, Osaka, Tokyo, and Yokohama.

Spend Christmas perusing markets in Germany

Spend Christmas perusing markets in Germany

FooTToo/istockphoto.com

There are plenty of great Christmas markets in the U.S. but they just don’t compare to those in Germany, where the concept of the Christkindlmarkt (as it’s called in German) was born.

Cruise down the Nile River in Egypt

Cruise down the Nile River in Egypt

iStock

Egypt is a top winter cruise destination, as the weather is pleasantly mild, making it particularly enjoyable to cruise past the beautiful scenery of the Nile Valley and iconic ancient Egyptian landmarks such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.

Celebrate Día de Muertos in Mexico

Celebrate Día de Muertos in Mexico

loeskieboom/istockphoto.com

Held from October 31 to November 2, Día de Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is when Mexicans gather together to remember and celebrate the lives of their friends and family who have passed away with heartfelt altars and colorful parades.

Explore the Amazon in South America

Explore the Amazon in South America

iStock

The extremely biodiverse Amazon rainforest is full of an impressive number of exotic plants and animals for you to encounter via an adventurous hike or while on a comfortable cruise.

Learn flamenco in Andalusia

Learn flamenco in Andalusia

iStock

Like many other iconic parts of Spanish culture such as bullfighting and Moorish architecture, flamenco music and dance originates in the southern region of Andalusia. Seville in particular is where you want to be, as that’s where you’ll find the finest flamenco shows as well as the Flamenco Dance Museum where you can take lessons as well as learn the genre’s history.

Hire a gondola in Venice

Hire a gondola in Venice

bpperry/istockphoto.com

There’s no better way to experience this romantic city than to negotiate with a gondolier for a ride through the city’s famous canals.

Hike to Machu Picchu in Peru

Hike to Machu Picchu in Peru

powapa3336/istockphoto.com

The famed and picturesque site of Machu Picchu has over a million visitors every year; there would be more if not for the fact that the Peruvian government and UNESCO have set a limit of 2,500 visitors per day to protect the fragile site.

Ride a hot air balloon in Cappadocia

Ride a hot air balloon in Cappadocia

iStock

The surreal landscape of the Cappadocia region in Turkey is like something out of a fairy tale, and taking a hot air balloon is not only the best way to experience it in all its vastness, but it’ll also present gorgeous views of beautiful orchards and vineyards, amazing rock formations, and unique architectures such as houses carved into rock and cave churches.

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain in Rome

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain in Rome

iStock

Rome’s iconic Trevi Fountain is not only a breathtaking 18th-century baroque work of art, but it’s also the site of a famous tradition. Toss a coin into the fountain using your right hand over the left shoulder, and it’s said you’re guaranteed to return to Rome. Even better, approximately 3,000 euros get thrown in every day, all of which then go towards subsidizing a supermarket for the poor.

Visit the Louvre in Paris

Visit the Louvre in Paris

orpheus26/istockphoto.com

The largest art museum in the world, the renowned Louvre Museum is home to iconic works of art including Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People,” and works by masters such as Raphael, van Dyck, Caravaggio, Vermeer, Velázquez, and Michelangelo.

See the northern lights in Norway

See the northern lights in Norway

iStock

There are plenty of great places to witness the stunning northern lights, but the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is the only place on Earth where you can see the aurora borealis during the day.

Drink and eat at Oktoberfest in Munich

Drink and eat at Oktoberfest in Munich

golero/istockphoto.com

More than 6 million people attend Munich’s Oktoberfest, which occurs from the third weekend of September through the first weekend of October. Millions of liters of beer are served, of course, but the festival also includes fantastic German food, games, rides, and a great parade as well as multiple shows.

Party in Ibiza

Party in Ibiza

NeonJellyfish/istockphoto.com

There’s a reason you hear Ibiza mentioned in so many pop songs; this Spanish island is the ultimate party destination, attracting celebrities as well as famous DJs who are known to use the island as a venue for trying out some of their latest beats.

Peruse the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Peruse the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

iStock

One of the oldest and largest markets in the world, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar consists of more than 4,000 stalls laid out among over 60 covered streets, filled with spices, carpets, jewelry, antiques, and more, as well as food stands with delicious Turkish cuisine.

Bar hop for pintxos in San Sebastián

Bar hop for pintxos in San Sebastián

iStock

Northern Spain’s version of tapas is known as pintxos, and the city of San Sebastián has earned a name for excelling in these delicious snacks, which are often served for free with drinks. Local tradition is to go from bar to bar to enjoy these snacks, which typically consist of some type of meat or seafood fastened to a piece of bread with a toothpick.

Watch the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona

Watch the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona

mmeee/istockphoto.com

We don’t recommend you actually take part in this extreme race, which is held during the festival of Sanfermines in July. It’s best to avoid injury by waiting along the sidelines or grabbing a spot at a café where you can witness hundreds of people running down the narrow streets of Pamplona in front of six bulls and six steers.

Go on a safari in Zambia

Go on a safari in Zambia

iStock

There are quite a few countries with excellent safari experiences in Africa, but Zambia is unique in that it’s the birthplace of the walking safari, in which you can get a bit closer with the African wilderness with a guided tour company or through a safari lodge.

Take a tour of the Vatican Museums in Vatican City

Take a tour of the Vatican Museums in Vatican City

holgs/istockphoto.com

You don’t have to be Catholic or even an art lover to appreciate the vast and historically important collection of the Vatican Museums, which consists of 54 galleries containing some of the greatest works of Western art in the world by legends such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Da Vinci, and Raphael. A guided tour is best so that you don’t miss the most famous works and their significance, and most will end with the breathtaking Sistine Chapel.

Snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

iStock

Located off the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world and made up of over 2,900 reefs and 900 islands. Go scuba diving or snorkeling here so that you can see the reef up close and swim among fish, turtles, and dolphins. The sooner you can go, the better — scientists fear that global warming and carbon pollution will result in the reef being severely damaged alarmingly soon.

Celebrate the summer solstice at Stonehenge

Celebrate the summer solstice at Stonehenge

1000 Words/Shutterstock.com

Celebrated throughout the world, the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, and every year on this day, thousands of people arrive at England’s Stonehenge to see the sunrise. Festivities begin once the sun passes directly above the formation’s “Heel Stone” and include singing, dancing, and general merrymaking all day.

Watch the sunset in Santorini

Watch the sunset in Santorini

iStock

Cameras love Santorini, and for good reason. The only thing that makes the blue domes and white buildings of the town of Oia even more beautiful is when the sun sets on them.

Eat sushi in Tokyo

Eat sushi in Tokyo

Shutterstock

Tokyo is a thrilling yet safe destination, and it’s a great place to experiment with all different types of foods and snacks. One thing you can’t leave the city without trying, however, is its sushi, of course. If you’re on a budget, go for some kaitensushi (conveyor belt sushi) or try some at Tsukiji Fish Market. If you can afford something fancier, there are plenty of acclaimed restaurants that boast the best sushi in the world as well.

Dance the tango in Buenos Aires

Dance the tango in Buenos Aires

holgs/istockphoto.com

Buenos Aires is a top South American destination, but you won’t truly enjoy the city if you don’t enjoy some beautiful Argentine tango. Go for a stroll in La Boca, a neighborhood where you'll find some extremely talented tango dancers in the streets, or Boedo, home to many tango houses. Take some tango classes if you’d like to try it out yourself and get some practice at one of the city’s many tango clubs.

Catch a show in the West End in London

Catch a show in the West End in London

J2R/istockphoto.com

Second only to Broadway and located in the West End of London, Theatreland is home to some of the world’s best performances starring top talent from around the world, but especially from the U.K.

Get into a tomato fight in Buñol

Get into a tomato fight in Buñol

JackF/istockphoto.com

Located in the Valencia province of Spain, the town of Buñol hosts a festival called La Tomatina on the last Wednesday of every year. About 20,000 people gather in the town square to throw tomatoes at each other for an hour, and by the end of it, the square is a sight to see.

Stand at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Stand at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

iStock

While the Paris skyline’s most iconic feature is the Eiffel Tower, this world-famous landmark is a great place from which to observe the rest of the city too.

Take a train ride in Scotland

Take a train ride in Scotland

iStock

The Scottish countryside, particularly in the Highlands, is absolutely stunning, and a fantastic way to appreciate it in all its glory is by train. Spend anywhere from two nights to an entire week journeying through wonderfully quaint towns on trains such as the 90-minute West Highland Line, which takes you over the Glenfinnan Viaduct seen in the Harry Potter films, or the Royal Scotsman, one of the best train rides in all of Europe.

Explore the Great Wall in China

Explore the Great Wall in China

iStock

The longest wall in the world, the Great Wall of China was built over 2,300 years ago and provides breathtaking views as well as some pretty good hiking.

Taste different wines in Italy

Taste different wines in Italy

iStock

Italian wine is world-famous, and with countless wine regions throughout the country, the sommelier in you will be happy no matter where you go. Enjoy it casually as you travel or go on wine tours and visit vineyards for some of the world’s best.

Go gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Go gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Shutterstock

With approximately just 700 mountain gorillas left in the world, there are only 10 groups in Rwanda that trekkers can meet after going through the bush of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Trekking groups tend to be small, which means you’ll be able to get pretty close to these beautiful and endangered animals.

Follow the Jordan Trail in Jordan

Follow the Jordan Trail in Jordan

RobertHoetink/istockphoto.com

Established in 2015, the Jordan Trail is 400 miles long, running through the country from north to south. Taking about 40 days to complete, it is said that both Jesus and Muhammad walked this trail, which takes you through famous sites such as Wadi Rum and the ancient city of Petra.

Stand on the equator in Ecuador

Stand on the equator in Ecuador

Fotos592/Shutterstock.com

The South American country of Ecuador is literally named for its location straddling the equator. Visit Mitad del Mundo — Spanish for “middle of the world” — just outside Quito where there’s a monument to the equator as well as a yellow line painted on the ground to designate it. Come here on the fall or spring equinox, and you can see your shadow completely disappear for three minutes.

Visit the Taj Mahal in Agra

Visit the Taj Mahal in Agra

iStock

This monument of love was built in the 17th century by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for the tomb of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. This iconic Indian landmark sits on 42 acres and also consists of a mosque, guest house, and gardens.

Zip line in Costa Rica

Zip line in Costa Rica

iStock

Because of the country’s incredible biodiversity, there’s a lot of natural beauty to explore in Costa Rica. Get a unique perspective of its parks and forests by ziplining your way through the landscape.

Explore the pyramids in Egypt

Explore the pyramids in Egypt

iStock

There are over 100 pyramids in Egypt, and many are open to tourists who wish to see exactly what these architectural marvels look like from the inside. If you’re claustrophobic, however, photos from the outside will look great for your Instagram feed.

Explore Angkor Wat in Cambodia

Explore Angkor Wat in Cambodia

iStock

One of the largest religious monuments in the world, Angkor Wat is a temple complex that was originally built as a Hindu temple in the first half of the 12th century, though it was soon converted for Buddhist use. Its extremely complex architecture has stood the test of time and continues to awe visitors from around the world.

Discover unique species in the Galápagos Islands

Discover unique species in the Galápagos Islands

Shutterstock

The stunning natural environs of the Galápagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are sure to take your breath away, and the array of plant and wildlife species here is not only vast but extremely unique.

Witness the great migration in Tanzania

Witness the great migration in Tanzania

iStock

Visit Serengeti National Park, Tanzania’s oldest, between December and March, and you’ll witness 260,000 zebra migrating towards Kenya, followed by 1.7 million wildebeest and 470,000 gazelles among hundreds of thousands of other animals.

Swim in cenotes in Cancún and the Riviera Maya

Swim in cenotes in Cancún and the Riviera Maya

iStock

In and around Cancún, you’ll find stunningly beautiful cenotes, or natural freshwater wells, within which you can find amazing caves or caverns to explore.

Kayak in Hạ Long Bay

Kayak in Hạ Long Bay

iStock

Vietnam’s Hạ Long Bay is characterized by stunning islands made of limestone along with other rugged rock formations and low caves. See them up close as you kayak your way through the bay.

Wade into bioluminescent waters in the Maldives

Wade into bioluminescent waters in the Maldives

Shutterstock

On Vadhoo Island in the Maldives, you’ll find an extremely strange natural phenomenon on the beach. Known as the “sea of stars,” the water has glowing specks of blue as a result of bioluminescence, a chemical reaction caused by marine microbes known as phytoplankton.

Swim with pigs in the Bahamas

Swim with pigs in the Bahamas

iStock

One of the best beaches in the world, Exuma’s Big Major Cay is also known as Pig Beach on account of the island being populated by feral pigs that are impressively good swimmers. Quite friendly, the pigs enjoy being fed by both locals and tourists.

Cross the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

Cross the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

iStock

The largest salt flat in the world, the Salar de Uyuni is a surreal landscape. It seems to go on forever, and after it rains, the land is so flat that the water is completely calm, turning it into a gigantic mirror.

Relax with a natural spa in Pamukkale

Relax with a natural spa in Pamukkale

Shutterstock

The thermal waters of Pamukkale in southwestern Turkey are a sight to behold, serving as a spa since the Romans built the ancient city of Hierapolis around a sacred warm-water spring. Hot water filled with calcium flows over picturesque cliffs, cooling down into the travertines that form the pools.

Climb ancient ruins in Belize

Climb ancient ruins in Belize

iStock

If you haven’t considered a trip to Belize yet, you definitely should. In addition to gorgeous beaches and great cuisine, this Central American country is full of ancient Mayan ruins that, unlike most, can be explored by foot and even climbed.

Go for a scenic drive in Iceland

Go for a scenic drive in Iceland

iStock

Running along the edges of the island and connecting most of inhabited Iceland, Route 1 — or the Ring Road, as it’s popularly called — is a national road that’s over 800 miles long. Take the full trip in about a week or go for a coastal drive in the areas you’re staying.

Sleep under the stars in Namibia

Sleep under the stars in Namibia

iStock

Namibia is already one of the least densely populated countries in the world, which means its skies in general are pretty clear and a sight to see. The NamibRand Nature Reserve, however, is one of the few gold-certified Dark Sky Reserves in the world, which means stargazing here is otherwordly.

Ride in a classic car in Havana

Ride in a classic car in Havana

iStock

Discover Havana’s colorful culture and fascinating history with a drive around the city in a classic vintage car. While you can’t rent one to drive yourself, there are plenty of guided tours available.

Spend the night in an igloo in Finland

Spend the night in an igloo in Finland

iStock

Located in the northern Finnish village of Saariselkä, Kakslauttanen Hotel and Igloo Village has glass igloos that are designed specifically as a means of enjoying the northern lights, but just sleeping here is in itself a wonderful getaway.

Watch the changing of the guard in London

Watch the changing of the guard in London

peterspiro/istockphoto.com

Buckingham Palace is a top London attraction by itself on account of it being the queen’s main residence, but if you’re there at the right time, you can catch the changing of the Queen’s Guard in all its pomp and ceremony. The changing of the guard occurs every day at 11:00 a.m. every day during the summer and only four times a week in the winter.

Shop at the floating markets in Bangkok

Shop at the floating markets in Bangkok

iStock

There’s a lot to do in Thailand, particularly in its capital, but Bangkok’s floating markets are an experience like no other. Vendors take to the rivers in their boats selling produce, crafts, clothes, jewelry, and more, and the best way to experience it is by getting on a boat yourself.

See the ‘big five’ in South Africa

See the ‘big five’ in South Africa

iStock

One of the largest game reserves in the world, Kruger National Park is located in northeastern South Africa and covers more than 7,500 square miles of land. Home to all kinds of wildlife and more species of large mammals than any other game reserve in Africa, Kruger is notable for being the one place you can catch a glimpse of the “big five” game animals: Cape buffalos, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinoceroses.

Experience fine dining in Lyon

Experience fine dining in Lyon

iStock

Considered the gastronomic capital of the world by food writers with a preference for the more high-end, Lyon has quite a bit of significance as a food destination. Lyonnaise cuisine, developed by renowned French chefs Eugénie Brazier and Marie Bourgeois in the early 20th century, has grealy influenced French cuisine as a whole and, subsequently, fine dining around the world.

Marvel at the Terracotta Army in Xi’an

Marvel at the Terracotta Army in Xi’an

iStock

Accidentally discovered in 1974, the Terracotta Army is a collection of thousands of life-size terracotta sculptures of warriors, infantrymen, horses, and chariots that were buried with Emperor Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of a unified China, in the third century B.C.

Slide down volcanoes in Nicaragua

Slide down volcanoes in Nicaragua

iStock

In western Nicaragua, you’ll find that volcano boarding sounds odd at first but ends up being quite a bit of fun. Cerro Negro, the most popular volcano slope for this purpose, often has plenty of people making the hike up to slide down sitting or standing on a thin plywood or metal board.

Get a geothermal spa treatment in Iceland

Get a geothermal spa treatment in Iceland

iStock

The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s top attractions, with spa-like water that stays between 94 and 104 degrees. Rich in algae and minerals like silica and sulfur, the water reputedly exfoliates and reduces inflammation in the skin.

Light a floating lantern in Chiang Mai

Light a floating lantern in Chiang Mai

iStock

Taking place on the night of the full moon in the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar, the Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai is held in honor of Buddha, and includes a tradition of launching sky lanterns into the air, which symbolizes ending one’s misfortune.

Learn about the ancient Mayans at Chichen Itza

Learn about the ancient Mayans at Chichen Itza

iStock

Located on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, the ruins of the ancient city of Chichen Itza are world-famous. Check out the iconic El Castillo, also known as the Pyramid of Kukulkan, and the other surrounding temples for a look into the culture and history of this impressive civilization.

Stroll through the villages of Cinque Terre

Stroll through the villages of Cinque Terre

iStock

Located on the Italian Riviera in the northwest of the country, Cinque Terre (literally “five lands”) is a gorgeous area made up of five quaint villages: Corniglia, Manarola, Monterosso al Mare, Riomaggiore, and Vernazza. You can’t use a car to between the villages; you’ll have to walk, take a train, or go by boat in order to explore the beautiful architecture of these villages as well as their fantastic cuisine — Cinque Terre is known for pesto, olive oil, lemons and seafood, particularly their calamari and anchovies.

Walk through the ruins of Pompeii

Walk through the ruins of Pompeii

iStock

The ancient city of Pompeii was buried under 13 to 20 feet of ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. and its ruins weren’t discovered until the 18th century. Located near modern-day Naples, Italy, the site of the ruins is open to tourists who can see the remains of homes, roads, temples, and even a brothel, as well as the plaster casts of victims.

Discover the opulence of French imperialism in Versailles

Discover the opulence of French imperialism in Versailles

Birute/istockphoto.com

The Palace of Versailles, located about 10 miles from Paris’ city center, was the royal residence of the kings of France for more than 100 years until the French Revolution deposed the royal family in 1789. The impressively built palace, which has 700 rooms, 67 staircases, and 1,250 fireplaces, contains the royal apartments, a museum, beautiful gardens, a chapel, and opera, and the famous Hall of Mirrors.

Appreciate the Alhambra in Granada

Appreciate the Alhambra in Granada

iStock

A testament to the cultural and architectural legacy left by the Arab Muslim rulers of Spain, the Alhambra is a mid-13th century palace and fortress complex. About 6,000 visitors visit every day to appreciate the best of arabesque and Islamic art and architecture, and tickets sell out very fast.

Drive through the Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland

Drive through the Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland

iStock

Planted by the Stuart family in the late 18th century between the Northern Irish villages of Armoy and Stranocum, the Dark Hedges is an avenue of beech trees made famous after being featured in Game of Thrones.

Enjoy anticuchos in Peru

Enjoy anticuchos in Peru

iStock

Peru is worth visiting for many reasons, especially its food. On its streets, you’ll find anticuchos, skewers of any kind of meat — but most popularly beef heart that’s been marinated in vinegar and spices —  served with a traditional sauce made of lemon juice, beer, vinegar, garlic, cilantro, and onion.

Have some banana cue in the Philippines

Have some banana cue in the Philippines

junpinzon/istockphoto.com

A popular street food in the Philippines, banana cue — a play on the word barbecue — is made with skewered local saba bananas deep fried and coated with caramelized brown sugar.

Eat a bánh mì in Vietnam

Eat a bánh mì in Vietnam

iStock

Vietnam is a destination that’s all too overlooked, not least of all because of its delicious cuisine. An absolute must-try for anyone who enjoys good food is the iconic bánh mì, a sandwich made with one or more meats such as grilled chicken, pork belly, Vietnamese sausage, pork liver pâté, or canned sardines in tomato sauce on a Vietnamese baguette with vegetables and your choice of condiments such as spicy chili sauce or mayonnaise.

Carbo-load in Italy

Carbo-load in Italy

iStock

Carbohydrates are essential, and Italy is the best place to indulge, thanks to Italian cuisine being carb-heavy in almost every part of the country. Get some focaccia or a calzone off the street and try all kinds of pastas, impressively creative risottos, and of course, pizza.

Taste some currywurst in Germany

Taste some currywurst in Germany

iStock

When in Germany, you’ll find that their sausages can put American hot dogs to shame. A popular street food, currywurst is found throughout the country with some variations, but generally it’s made of sliced pork sausage that’s been steamed, fried, and topped with curry ketchup and curry powder.

Eat doubles in Trinidad and Tobago

Eat doubles in Trinidad and Tobago

iStock

Trinidad and Tobago has amazing street food, but one of the most common is doubles. A testament to the deep influence of the twin islands’ large ethnically Indian population, doubles consist of two baras — a flat fried bread that’s actually a variation of the Indian vada — that are filled with curried chickpeas and can be topped with all sorts of things such as cucumber, mango, pepper sauce, and tamarind.

Have some fish and chips in England

Have some fish and chips in England

iStock

You can actually find some pretty good fish and chips in the States, but it’s still not the same as across the pond. Made with battered and fried fish — most commonly cod or haddock — that's then sprinkled with salt and vinegar and served with french fries, you can get all kinds of dips on the side, such as ketchup, curry sauce, or tartar sauce.

Eat a gyro in Greece

Eat a gyro in Greece

iStock

Enjoy fantastic weather and Mediterranean cuisine in Greece, home of the gyro. Made with sliced rotisserie meat — traditionally lamb, chicken, or pork — that’s been spiced heavily, gyros are served in a wrap of flatbread and filled with tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce.

Try the poutine in Quebec

Try the poutine in Quebec

iStock

Poutine is so ubiquitous in Canada that you’ll even find it on the menu at chain fast-food restaurants. The best poutine, however, can be found where it originated: Quebec. Consisting of french fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy, you can also sometimes find it with chicken, bacon, sausage, or Montreal-style smoked meat.

Get some street tacos in Mexico

Get some street tacos in Mexico

iStock

Almost everyone loves tacos, but having them in Mexico is another experience entirely. Get them from a street vendor, as they tend to have tacos that are not only cheap but amazingly delicious and fresh.

Hit the slopes in Whistler

Hit the slopes in Whistler

iStock

The Canadian mountaintop town of Whistler is home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America and a top destination for winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, tobagganing, and snowshoeing. Even if you’re not into winter sports, it’s a great place to enjoy the scenery and maybe take part in other activities such as hiking, axe throwing, or just eating or relaxing at local spas.

Get a bird’s eye view in Florence

Get a bird’s eye view in Florence

iStock

Officially called the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, the duomo (cathedral) of Florence is an iconic landmark of Tuscany and worth appreciating from the outside and inside. A city filled with some of the Western world’s best art and architecture, Florence can be appreciated even more if you climb the 463 steps to the top of Brunelleschi’s dome where the view will take away any breath you have left.

Visit the DMZ in Korea

Visit the DMZ in Korea

georgeclerk/istockphoto.com

The Korean Demilitarized Zone, known as the DMZ, is a physical representation of the tense relationship between North and South Korea. If you’re ever visiting South Korea, you can go on a tour that will take you to this buffer zone between the two states; the USO DMZ Tour will even take you into the ‘Blue Room’ where you can be in both countries at once.

Have a blast at Europa-Park in Germany

Have a blast at Europa-Park in Germany

Luke. Travel/Shutterstock.com

The second most popular theme park in Europe after Disneyland Paris and the largest in Germany, Europa-Park is home to 72 rides, 13 of which are roller coasters, including the extremely thrilling Blue Fire.

Find happiness at Lotte World in Seoul

Find happiness at Lotte World in Seoul

Wikimedia Commons/Ziggymaster

One of the happiest places on Earth is Lotte World, located in the South Korean capital of Seoul. It’s home to the world’s largest indoor theme park, as well as an outdoor amusement park, luxury hotel, shopping malls, movie theaters, sports facilities, a luxury hotel, and an artificial island that’s accessible by monorail.

Visit Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

Visit Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

klug-photo/istockphoto.com

An iconic Copenhagen attraction, Tivoli Gardens is a pleasure garden as well as the second oldest amusement park in the world. You'll find plenty of rides, attractions, food vendors and shows to entertain you, as well as carnivals and events throughout the year — though it’s especially magical at Christmastime

Hit the beach in Mykonos

Hit the beach in Mykonos

iStock

One of the most popular of the Greek Islands, Mykonos is known for its nightlife and its beaches — especially since the beaches themselves are great for partying.

Sing karaoke in Tokyo

Sing karaoke in Tokyo

iStock

While there are some top-notch karaoke bars in America, karaoke in Japan is on another level. Thanks to how high-tech Tokyo is all-around, karaoke bars here have excellent equipment and you’ll find super well-developed soundproofing in karaoke boxes.

Catch a sumo match in Japan

Catch a sumo match in Japan

J. Henning Buchholz/Shutterstock.com

Sumo wrestling is only a professional sport in Japan, where it originated and serves as the national sport too. Wrestlers are highly disciplined and impressively strong, which makes for an entertaining match.

Hope for peace in Hiroshima

Hope for peace in Hiroshima

leodaphne/istockphoto.com

Dedicated to the 70,000 people instantly killed and the additional 70,000 who died as a result of radiation injuries, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial is meant to help people comprehend the full horror of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The museum heavily promotes peace with videos and tours, as its mission is to prevent such an event from ever happening again.

Remember the Holocaust in Poland

Remember the Holocaust in Poland

gatsi/istockphoto.com

A visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is a grim reminder of just how far people can go when they forget the humanity of others. A tour of concentration camps and hearing stories of what happened in them during the Nazi Holocaust in World War II definitely provokes some thought and conversation about how politics and social issues can affect peoples’ lives and the world at large.

Indulge with chocolate in Switzerland

Indulge with chocolate in Switzerland

iStock

Swiss chocolate is world-renowned, and the nation’s reputation for producing high-quality milk chocolate means you definitely have to try some.

Stroll through a futuristic nature park in Singapore

Stroll through a futuristic nature park in Singapore

Nikada/istockphoto.com

Explore 250 acres of reclaimed land at Gardens by the Bay, a nature park that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. Part of a green initiative by the city-state, it’s characterized by its iconic Supertrees (which are really vertical gardens) and biodomes consisting of multiple gardens with more than 800 species of plants.

Shop ‘til you drop in Dubai

Shop ‘til you drop in Dubai

iStock

A shopaholic’s paradise, Dubai is a great place to buy textiles, gold, and electronics, the latter of which is especially much cheaper here. Visit the Gold Souk, a market filled with gold and fine jewelry, and the Dubai Mall — the largest mall in the world, with over 1,200 stores, 120 restaurants, an aquarium, a theme park, ice skating rink, and a luxury hotel. Come sometime in January or February and you can even attend the Dubai Shopping Festival.

Float in the Dead Sea

Float in the Dead Sea

iStock

Actually a lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west, the Dead Sea is so called because of its high salt content, which results in uninhabitable conditions for fish. Because it’s so salty, the water is very dense, which makes it easy to float and relax in.

Dance to reggae in Jamaica

Dance to reggae in Jamaica

peeterv/istockphoto.com

Jamaica can be a fun-filled and affordable destination, and in addition to great weather, beautiful beaches, and great Caribbean cuisine, the music here is hard not to dance to. Jamaica is clearly the perfect place to catch a reggae concert, as the island nation is the birthplace of this unique genre.

Stay at a riad in Marrakech

Stay at a riad in Marrakech

Jon Chica/Shutterstock.com

A riad is a traditional Moroccan home characterized by a central garden or courtyard. Many throughout the country have been converted into hotels that provide a stay that’s both authentic and luxurious. You’ll find the best riads in Marrakech, with awe-inspiring architecture and fantastic views for alfresco dining or simply relaxing in the sun.

Learn how to roll a cigar in Cuba

Learn how to roll a cigar in Cuba

iStock

Cuba is known for its cigars and its torcedores, or workers who hand-roll cigars, are highly respected professionals there. Visit a cigar factory in the Viñales Valley, which is particularly known for growing tobacco, and learn all about tobacco farming and production, as well as how to roll a traditional Cuban cigar.

Stroll through Red Square in Moscow

Stroll through Red Square in Moscow

iStock

The main city square of Moscow, Red Square is picturesque by itself and is also surrounded by top attractions such as the mausoleum of Vladimir Lenin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral

Learn to surf in Australia

Learn to surf in Australia

iStock

Australia is home to some of the world’s best beaches, so it’s really no wonder that there’s such a strong surfing culture here. Learn the ropes if you’re a newbie or hone your skills if you’ve hit the waves before.

Go on a candy binge in Sweden

Go on a candy binge in Sweden

Martin Stoychev/Shutterstock.com

The Swedes love their candy so much that the whole nation eats as much candy as they can once a week. As a result, you’ll find that corner stores and supermarkets have bins filled with mixed Swedish candies for you to choose from every Saturday.

Get in touch with nature in Patagonia

Get in touch with nature in Patagonia

iStock

The Patagonia region is on the southern end of South America, spanning across both Argentina and Chile, and it’s an outdoor adventurer’s dream. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, sailing, and birdwatching are just some of the many activities you can take part in out here.

Unwind in Hong Kong

Unwind in Hong Kong

JoeyCheung/istockphoto.com

Hong Kong is a city full of expats, and all those expats flock to Lan Kwai Fong. Popular for its restaurants and nightlife, it’s a lively and fun spot that gets even crazier on Halloween and New Year’s Eve.

Travel the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan

Travel the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan

Aranya 22/Shutterstock.com

Part of the historic Silk Road, the Karakoram Highway in northern Pakistan is one of the highest paved roads in the world. Karakoram will take you past historic attractions, calm rivers, and through beautiful mountain towns such as Gilgit, Abbottabad, and Skardu, as well as the picturesque Hunza Valley. Eventually crossing into China at its northern end, the highway is a popular tourist attraction and a main reason why Pakistan has become a bucket list destination.

More From The Active Times:

The World’s Most Spectacular Hotels

25 Places to See Before You Die

Once-Popular Island Vacations That Need to Make a Comeback

Savvy Tip and Tricks for Saving on Hotel Rooms

How to Afford Your Dream Vacation