Vacation Bucket lists are great, as long as their purpose is not just writing the fantasies down, but making them real eventually. Dream big, they say. It’s a lovely saying, but there’s something missing – dream big and realistic sounds better. That’s why here’s a list of 6 destinations that are both gorgeous and affordable.
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Prague, Czech Republic
With its impressive cathedrals, gold-tipped towers, and spectacular bridges, Prague is marvelous at first sight. Then, as you discover it further, you realize that’s not everything yet. The more you wander, the more you get surprised. Cobbled lanes, hidden cafés, old-style bars only locals know of (until you unexpectedly come across them) and lovely gardens make Prague a fascinating maze ready to astonish all curious travelers. There are many gems that history-lovers will find especially captivating. Prague is an old city; it was funded in the 9th century and served as the seat of Bohemian kings. Monuments older than one thousand years still proudly stand in its center. Prague was almost undamaged during the World War II, so historic sites have remained well-preserved. Besides of the history, there’s all the new Prague has to offer: vibrant night-life, plentiful events, rich cultural life and a variety of people always coming and going.
Top things to do: After a day of sight-seeing, don’t go to sleep. Walk around the Old Town, it’s beautifully lit and charmingly romantic at night. Stroll about for a while and then have a beer in a local pub. The Czech Republic is famous for its beers – not without reason, the country produces some of the world’s finest brands. That’s why a trip to Prague without trying a local brew can’t be considered full. There are lots of great pubs and clubs, so you can either wander around the city on your own and look for them or join an organized Pub Crawl (here you can find details about the tour: http://www.pubcrawl.cz/en/). If you decide to explore by yourself, one of the places you can go to is a legendary pub U Buldoka. You’ll not only get a beer there but also a delicious Czech lunch for a low price (starting from 4 Euros). Whatever you do, make sure to have a sip of Staropramen, it’s a fantastic beer brewed in Prague.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is alluring. It’s the kind of place that gets into your mind and under your skin to stay there for a long time. Be aware: once you go there, you might want to stay. Why? Because of its rich history and magnificent colonial architecture that makes every walk an experience in itself. You’ll find delicious cuisine with world’s best steaks, and the dazzling nightlife happening in vibrant clubs or atmospheric bars with live music of all genres. Besides of the travelers who came to Buenos Aires and loved it so much they couldn’t leave, there are also those who were born there. Even though it’s a big city and the residents of the major cities tend to rush and hide, the locals of Buenos Aires are friendly. They’re also passionate and compelling. Just sit in a café in the city center and observe as they move along the busy avenues, you won’t even notice when the afternoon will pass. Buenos Aires isn’t the cheapest city in South America, but it’s not madly expensive either, especially if you watch your budget. Considering how captivating it is, Buenos Aires is worth being included in a vacation bucket list.
Top things to do: One of the most valuable treasures of Argentinian culture is tango, the sensual dance people all over the world are fascinated with. During your stay in Buenos Aires, you should visit a milonga (a place where tango shows are being held). The events take place every day in different spots around the city, some begin in the early afternoon and last until the evening, while others start in the evening and finish in the morning. It’s a chance not only to see the dance but try it as well; some locals will surely be willing to show you the steps. If you get hooked, you may take real lessons, but remember: it’s addictive. Among other things mentioned above, Tango is also a reason why so many travelers want to stay in Buenos Aires.
Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia
Those exotic islands situated off the coast of Cambodia are both beautiful and natural. The wildlife out there is incredibly diverse. Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloeum are a home for many species of birds and other animals, some of them endemic. The beaches are unspoiled and gorgeous. Imagine it: white sand, turquoise water and wonderful sunshine, the tranquility and seclusion on the pristine stretches of sand, no crowd, no noise. Beach bars where you can dance under the moonlight with the seawater sparkling in front of you more intensely and charmingly than any disco lights. It’s a piece of paradise on Earth. Plus, you can rent a private bungalow for $20 USD. The islands are only accessible by boats and can be reached from Sihanoukville.
Top things to do: The most popular activities of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloeum are very simple: walking on the warm sand, sunbathing, swimming and enjoying the beauty of the surroundings. Laziness is acceptable. For those who can’t sit still for too long, the islands offer fabulous diving and snorkeling opportunities. Water sports enthusiasts won’t get bored there. Besides, on Koh Rong, you can see the wondrous phosphorescent water that sparkles and twinkles like the sky on a cloudless night. This phenomenon is a masterpiece of the phosphorescent plankton living its dazzling life in the waters of Koh Rong.
Located in the very south of Italy, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. A place where Europe says hello to Africa and the West meets the East; Sicily is a delightful mixture of cultures, stories, colors, and flavors. Through the history, the island was ruled by various countries, each one of them has left a footprint there, and be it a dish, a monument, a word or piece of music. The cuisine is insanely delicious. The food is Mediterranean and based mainly on seafood. Additions of Arabic and Spanish flavors make it spicy and even more enjoyable. Wine is just as good as the dishes, so make sure to try it. Besides of being a foodie’s paradise, Sicily is also a top destination for nature-lovers. Mountains, sea, and volcano – the sceneries are breathtaking. It’s one of the most stunning European destinations, a great point to add to a vacation bucket list. Besides, it’s quite affordable, especially comparing to other parts of Italy and European tourist destinations.
Top things to do: Sicily offers plentiful activities of various kinds, its culture, nature, and cuisine are an endless source of inspiration. For discovering the first, go to Noto on the South Coast, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site with stunning baroque architecture. Erice is enchanting too; it’s a historic town located on the top of Mount Erice. Nature-lovers will enjoy trekking around the island. Sicilian mountains are wild and spectacular, undoubtedly worth exploring. To enjoy walks in a beautiful setting, visit the Zingaro Reserve on the West Coast, that’s where you’ll find some gorgeous beaches and unusual plants. As for the cuisine, wherever you go, you’ll find excellent restaurants. The best examples of good and affordable eateries: Caseificio Borderiin in Syracuse, Paninoteca La Focaccia dal 1990 in Sciacca and Chef & Panino in Palermo.
Almost 9 million people live in Bogota. The city is incredibly vibrant and has everything one might expect from a capital. There are both the old and the new: charming plazas, houses built centuries ago, picturesque churches and narrow streets remind of the past, while sizzling shopping centers, modern nightclubs, and impressively high skyscrapers speak of the presence. Most of the traveler’s first head to La Candelaria, the historic downtown where most of Bogota’s treasures have been safely kept for hundreds of years. Lots of the old buildings now house hotels, restaurants, and bars, so you can live inside of the history. Unfortunately, Bogota is famous not only for its wonders but also the crime that is indeed a large problem. Nevertheless, it’s a fascinating city, and there are enough of reasons why it should be on your vacation bucket list. Just stay cautious, avoid the areas commonly considered as dangerous and enjoy its best sides.
Top things to do: Walking around the enchanting downtown of Bogota is a beautiful thing to do. The number of museums will keep you busy for days. Visit the Gold Museum with an amazing collection of gold and pre-Colombian artifacts. If art is your thing, don’t miss the Museum of Colonial Art and the Banco de la Republica Art Collection. To learn about Bogota’s contemporary art, go to the Museum of Modern Art of Bogota. Emerald Museum is a unique site where you can see the sum of Colombia’s most exquisite emeralds and watch the artists while they create the jewelry.
Situated in the South of Morocco, Agadir is a modern resort town with excellent beaches, golf courses, hotels, and spas. If what you’re looking for is the sunshine, golden sand and relaxing, that’s your spot. Even though tourism now plays a major role in Agadir’s economy, it’s still a busy port. The port’s and marina’s surroundings are the places to go if you want to have a glimpse of Moroccan daily life. Otherwise, Agadir offers rather on the “fun in the sun” sort of experience than a cultural adventure. The sun is great, though, the fun too, so for beach enthusiasts, Agadir’s just perfect. It’s an ideal destination for families and vacationers who simply want to rest in a beautiful resort, sunbath and get rid of all the stress. Enjoy the weather and beach during the day and in the evening take a walk around the cornice or the lovely beach-front promenade. Both locals and tourists like to go out there and spend time in the restaurants or bars with live music.
Top things to do: Since Agadir is, first of all, resort, the activities it offers are in the resort-style. Allow yourself to do almost nothing. Swim, sunbathe and make your days as relaxing as they may be. In case it’s not enough, golf awaits. The top-notch golf courses Agadir’s known for beat nearly all golf facilities offered by cities across the world. Surfing is fabulous too. Experienced surfers probably already have Agadir on their vacation bucket list, but even if you haven’t tried this sport yet, holidays in Agadir will be the right time to try. The city has many schools ready to train the beginners.