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TripAdvisor's Top 25 Destinations of 2019 & 5 Notable Absentees

Published 1 year ago on April 1, 2019
By Hugo

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? When pondering this exciting question, the chances are you took to the Internet to help you in this search, and one of those websites was most likely TripAdvisor. The online travel behemoth serves millions of travelers around the world and has become one of the world's most visited sites, which is why TripAdvisor's annual Travellers’ Choice awards are so reliable.

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They give us a detailed insight into the most popular parts of the world from a unique algorithm that examines the reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions from millions of their users the previous year. So without further ado, here are the destinations that made the top 25. We've also included 5 notable absentees.

25. Tel Aviv

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Israel may not be top of most people's list when choosing a city getaway, but Tel Aviv is perfect for sun lovers. And with ample joggers, cool surfers and countless dog walkers decorating the sands and promenades, the Israeli city can often feel more like a Californian coastal town than a significant Middle Eastern City.

Gordon-Frishman is arguably the most popular beach with tourists, but there is also the less spoiled Tel Baruch and Hof Hadatiyim, the latter of which has separate bathing spots for men and women. 

24. Sydney 

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Sydney is often compared to Melbourne when it comes to debating Australia's best city, and it usually comes out trumps for the simple reason that it has better beaches. Its urban buzz may not be as youthful and febrile as it's rival, but make no mistake; Sydney is a city that knows how to have fun.

The famous five-mile walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach is a must for beach lovers wishing to soak in Sydney's expansive coastline. There, you will find many charming beach bars, restaurants, and cute walkways.

23. Cusco

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The ancient Peruvian city of Cusco has an array of ancient ruins from the Inca years and is just a 3-hour train journey from the South American country's most popular attraction: Machu Picchu.

Once considered the capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco may now play second fiddle to Lima in the capital stakes, but it proves far more popular with tourists thanks to its impressive archaeological remains and cultural attractions that melt together in a delightful hotpot within the central square of Plaza de Armas.

22. Hong Kong

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A cultural crossroads where East meets West, Hong Kong has a varied and diverse multi-cultural feel and a fast-paced and active lifestyle that suits both visitors and expats.

The cost of living can be expensive, but schooling is highly rated as is its advanced healthcare system, making it one of the most desirable places to live in the Western world.

21. Hurghada

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A popular beach resort spanning some 40km along Egypt’s scintillating Red Sea coast, Hurghada draws tourists not only for the sun and sea but the numerous scuba diving shops that dotted along the coastline.

There are also countless high-end hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs whilst those looking for a more authentic slice of Egypt can make the short journey to El Dahar, where many Egyptian coffee shops and souks are located.

20. Jaipur

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India is a country filled with ancient culture and various religions living side by side. But as long as there has been religion, there have been monuments and temples, and Jaipur certainly has no shortage of these. Take a look around anywhere in the sub-continent, and you'll find one on almost every street.

From the City and Amber Palaces to the crimson sandstones of Hawa Mahal, Jaipur is yet another mystical jewel in India's fabled empire.

19. Kathmandu

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Long attracting the more intrepid adventurer, the country was hit by earthquakes in 2015 and travelers have since been reluctant to return. However, the capital has seen a welcome spike in tourists. 

While getting lost in the natural landscape of the mountainous regions is proving less popular, adventure trails are still advertised and run through the country for mountaineers and trekkers alike while ancient Buddhist temples crop up in the towns, cities and remote rural areas of this tiny nation.

18. Lisbon 

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The Mediterranean climate of Lisbon makes it sunnier and milder than many other places at this time of year so you can amble amongst the city's charming and historic streets and parklands quite comfortably but now with the added bonus of it being chestnut season where the street vendors sell them roasted by the bag as a great walking snack.

A hilly, coastal capital, there is plenty to see and do outdoors for those looking at getting some leg work in.

17. Playa del Carmen

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With sand as white as powder and sea water bluer than Brad Pitt's eyes, this stretch of Caribbean shoreline is something special. The state of Quintana Roo is also a hotbed of febrile, feel-good activity, decorated with palm-lined beaches and coral reefs.

Once you've finished topping up your tan, you can spend your nights in the various restaurants and bars that line the stunning shoreline.

16. Tokyo

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The capital of Japan arose from a period when the country was divided between warlords and so when it was united, Tokyo rose to prominence and this history can be seen throughout the prefecture with its temples, shrines, and monuments.

Also with a passion for modernity, technology is infused with buildings throughout the city to make it a forward-thinking city that attracts millions of wide-eyed admirers year on year.

15. Hanoi

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The capital of Vietnam is rich in ancient architecture from Southeast Asian to Chinese and French influences. The rip-roaring bustle of the Old Quarter houses many vendors and merchants while there are also many charming cafes and restaurants close by.

However, if the Old Quarter proves too busy, tourists are advised to visit the capital's impressive plethora of temples and idyllic Hoàn Kiếm Lake.

14. Jamaica

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Jamaica is very much synonymous with good vibes, sunshine and plenty of smiles, so it's little wonder people seek all these things and more by booking a stay in one of the Carribean island's many seafront hotels.

There are also many hidden delights, one of which is Pelican Bar on St Elizabeth Island. Just a short boat journey from mainland Jamaica brings you to St Elizabeth Island, where you'll find the floating Pelican Bar. Once a resting place for local fisherman, the bar has since been transformed into one of Jamaica's foremost attractions. A refreshing beer and their signature lobster curry is a must.

13. New York City

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The most populous city in the United States of America, New York is renowned for its entertainment and financial focus and thus is a cultural hub of America and is one of the most important financial centers in the world. Home to many international organizations such as the United Nations it also is known for its many skyscrapers in various styles such as the art deco Chrysler building.

An icon of Americana, New York has long been one of the cities that is projected to the rest of the world as the idyll of American life and thus is a major attraction to global visitors for its theater, arts, entertainment, and food.

12. Siem Reap

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Northwestern Cambodia's popular and ancient resort town Siem Reap gives you the fabled key to the fascinating ruins of Angkor, the official seat of the Khmer kingdom from the 9th–15th centuries.

Angkor’s extensive system of elaborate stone buildings incorporates many well-preserved structures including Angkor Wat and Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom which has many amazing and unusual faces scribbled on the structures.

11. Prague 

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Cheap, well-brewed beer and great company are what the Czech Republic is renowned for and its capital is hardly short of either of these as the low angle of the sun bathes it in a warm golden light. Many public parks and walks make for beautiful scenery, but a short trip out to the Kunratice Forest will see a conglomeration of mushroom pickers making the most of the seasons foraging.

Fantastic native dishes filled with cabbage, pork and potato also contribute to the feeling of warmth and hospitality at chillier times.

10. Dubai

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The oil boom was king to the United Arab Emirates and Dubai benefitted massively from being a small desert town to then becoming a booming city of luxury and expense. With oil companies and money funding the building of infrastructure, the Emirates government were wise in investing an economic shift towards tourism.

This has meant that the vast sums of oil money that came into the country funded luxury developments in hotels, office buildings, marinas and golf clubs to turn what was a sandy desert into a lush, green paradise if you can afford it.

9. Marrakech

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The Western Moroccan city of Marrakesh is a popular destination among European travelers owing to its proximity to the continent. And with a variety of unconventional, spiritual attractions, from famous bazaars to mosques, palaces and sprawling, verdant gardens, the medieval city remains one of the world's most popular attractions.

Dating back as far as the Berber Empire, the delightful labryinth-like alleys are lined with charming souks that sell everything imaginable, from intricate textiles to the finest handcrafted jewellery.

8. Istanbul, Turkey

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A transcontinental city that straddles the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul is seen as the bridge between Europe and Asia and has long been used by military empires to further their grip on two different worlds. As such, its history is vast and vibrant and has long been a stop on the historic trade route known as the Silk Road.

Trade through Istanbul remains today making it a city of many faces, from its markets and bazaars to its towering minarets and mosques, its wonder and majesty are awe-inspiring.

7. Barcelona

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Because of its hugely successful soccer team, sandy white beaches and artsy cathedrals and galleries, Barcelona is ridiculously popular in Summer and has a bit of a theme park feel to it with all the gawping crowds and screaming children. Head to there when it's cooler, and you get a calmer, more sophisticated vibe as festivals and events are more prominent.

Go during the fall, and the sea mists from the coast make everything a little bit more mystical.

6. Phuket

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The razzle and dazzle of Thailand's Phuket is unrivaled anywhere else in the country. And whether it's a six-star hotel with a room overlooking the shimmering waters of the Andaman sea or a dining experience at one of the many celebrity-chef owned restaurants, Phuket has it all.

Of course, the busiest island in Thailand isn't as serene as others and after a wave of tourism, thanks in part to the international airport, Phuket isn't everyone's cup of tea. But overlook the sleaze of Patong and the mass hordes of package holidaymakers, and you'll see a coruscatingly beautiful island.

5. Bali

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Bali is a wonderous getaway with verdant, bucolic forests and mountainous regions that will transport you into a mystical age of enlightened wanderlust. The Indonesian island itself is home to some of the best beaches and coral reefs in the world.

But for those who are looking for more than just sea and sand, Bali's numerous religious sites house a stunning array of temples, including the cliffside Uluwatu Temple. Kuta is great for those seeking a lively night scene while yoga and meditation retreats are scattered across the island.

4. Crete

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Greece's largest island comprises of endless stretches of pale white sand and magical blue waters. There are also countless caves such as the Ideon Cave, which according to Greek mythology, was the birthplace of Zeus.

For those in search of culture as well as a tan, visitors should head to the capital Heraklion which has the amazing Heraklion Archaeological Museum that exhibits many awesome artefacts from the ancient Greek period.

3. Rome

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Italy's capital is known for its history spanning right back to the origins of the Roman Empire and beforehand with many of the ruins and buildings of bygone ages still in place. Also, a capital for culture and cuisine, the arts and theatre crowds are matched by foodies and coffee drinkers looking for the best of the best.

The Italian Renaissance had a heavy influence on Rome's style, and the baroque architecture it inspired is still largely in place. Galleries and museums are a massive draw as is its proximity to the Vatican, the center of the Holy Roman Empire.

2. Paris

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The city of romance has long been a place of many people's dreams due to its high-end culture and cuisine, fashion and art and sites of historic importance. Known for their love of luxury, Parisiennes are surrounded by the finest things in life such as fine, wine, fine music and fine arts and travelers all swan in to try and get a piece of the action.

With the world's most visited museum in The Louvre art gallery, culture is clearly high on the list of reasons why many want to see Paris.

1. London
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The capital of Great Britain and center of the British Empire, the vast cultural influx of objects and people into London from across the globe makes it one of the most cosmopolitan metropolises in the world with fine art, culture, cuisine and sights to die for as well as being, arguably, the most important financial center of the world.

Millions of people put London on their list of places to go due to its wide array of things to see and do as it mixes old with new in architectural styles as well as forward-thinking ideas to push the city forward.

However, while London may be the number one travel destination in the world, there are a few notable absences on TripAdvisor's latest list that are well worth checking out. Read on below as we list 5 of them.

Bangkok

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The backpacker's destination of choice, Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and is known for catering to party people looking to not spend too much money whilst still trying to dive headfirst into a different culture. Being close to Australia and other Asian countries, its price and focus on tourism bring in big crowds from across the globe.

Ancient temples and stunning natural scenery are juxtaposed with a wild nightlife scene and cheap and cheerful street vendors that make Bangkok one of the most visited destinations in the world so quite why it didn't make Trip Advisor's top 25 is exceptionally baffling!

Berlin

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Think of typical German fare (sausage, stews, soups etc.) and you'll realize that it is perfect for the colder months as you fuel up on delicious dishes and head out into the city that contains the stunning  Zoologischer Garten that will be in a period of transition, aflame with gold and reds of the leaves that are falling to the floor as well as full of exotic and wonderful animals.

In October, famous landmarks, such as Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Cathedral, are lit up in a festival of lights that illuminates some of the capital's most gorgeous and historical monuments.

Los Angeles

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America's second city is the entertainment capital of the world and employs people in various facets of the business, from set runners and agents to actors and hotshot producers. There's also a thriving education sector and a strong gig economy, making Los Angeles a relatively easy place to find work.

Of course, the Hollywood glamor of Los Angeles is a tad fabricated from the image it likes to project. But while you may not be sipping cocktails with the stars at the Chateau Marmont anytime soon, you can still bask in a glittering array of sun-soaked beaches once your day at work is over. 

From Venice Beach to the lesser known spots of Hermosa Beach and Cabrillo Beach, Los Angeles' multifaceted qualities make it one of the most loved cities in the world. Just be prepared to drive everywhere. Public transport in L.A. is notoriously bad. 

Shanghai

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The most populous city in China, Shanghai is a global financial center and thus attracts a lot of business travelers to its reaches. Outside of this, though, it blends ancient tradition with ultra-modern technology and design as it grew from a shipping and trade center in the 19th century due to its advantageous position on the Yangtze river delta.

With a grand imperial history, it is now a showcase city of China's booming economy that receives large swathes of investment to maintain it at the peak of global trade.

Seoul

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The world's most wired city is South Korea's capital as it pushes forward as an ultra-modern city growing up around its ancient, dynastic origins with several UNESCO world heritage sites within the city limits. With an incredibly high quality of life, the city is often praised for the way it prizes both the old and new as it keeps moving forward while treasuring its history.

Manufacturing, finance, and commercial giants also have headquarters in Seoul attracting business travelers and investors in search of greater fortune.

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