These are the most exciting travel destinations for 2024, according to National Geographic

In Asia

In November, National Geographic published its “The Cool List for 2024,” a collection of 30 destinations worldwide that are the most exciting places to visit next year.

Europe dominated the list, with 13 locations, including traveling the entire continent by train. Six places in North America were named on the list, with three in the United States.

As travelers continue to look for cheaper alternatives or “dupe travel,” places that are close to but not the tried-and-true tourist hotspots are rising in popularity.

Internet searches in the U.S. for travel dupes spiked throughout 2023, according to Google Trends data.

The most exciting travel destinations for 2024


  • Albanian Alps, Albania
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • Europe by train
  • Galloway and Southern Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Nordland, Norway
  • North Yorkshire, England
  • Pompeii, Italy
  • Saimaa, Finland
  • Tartu, Estonia
  • The Euros, Germany
  • Valletta, Malta
  • Wales
  • Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

A standout location in Europe is Tartu, Estonia. According to Nat Geo, Estonians consider the city to be the “country’s cultural and intellectual heart.” Tartu is 110 miles from Tallinn, Estonia’s capital city.

Tartu is home to the country’s oldest university, a designated UNESCO City of Literature, and was selected as one of the European Capitals of Culture for 2024.

National Geographic named Tartu, Estonia as one of the most exciting destinations in 2024.

Fotogablitz | Istock | Getty Images

The Americas

  • Atacama Desert, Chile
  • Lima, Peru
  • New York, U.S.
  • Miami, Florida, U.S.
  • Dominica
  • Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Texas, U.S.
  • Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
  • Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

Three places in the U.S. ranked as the most exciting destinations in 2024. Texas stands out among the list because, in 2024, people in central Texas will be able to see the total solar eclipse set for April 8.

Forth Worth, San Antonio and Austin are expected to offer the best views of the astronomical event.

National Geographic named Texas, U.S. as one of the most exciting destinations in 2024.

Simonkr | E+ | Getty Images

Austin, Texas, continues to be a city to watch. A SmartAsset study showed that home values have soared 354% in the city over the past 25 years.

A Henley and Partner’s 2023 wealth report named Austin the fastest-growing U.S. city for millionaires. According to the report, the Texas city saw a millionaire growth rate of 102% from 2012 to 2022.


  • Akagera, Rwanda
  • Andrefana Dry Forests, Madagascar
  • Sierra Leone

According to Nat Geo, Sierra Leone is a country to watch in 2024. The international airport in Freetown got a major renovation in 2023 and many roads are also being upgraded.

The report mentions that tourism is blossoming in West Africa. Sierra Leone’s first Hilton is set to open its doors next year. Other properties will also expand their portfolios in the country next year.

National Geographic named Sierra Leone as one of the most exciting destinations in 2024.

Shah Jaman / 500Px | 500Px | Getty Images


  • Sikkim, India
  • Tainan, Taiwan
  • Xi’an, China

Sikkim, India, is one of the smallest states in the country.

The area offers visitors the opportunity to go trekking and see mountain monasteries. Over a quarter of Sikkim, India, is covered by Khangchendzonga National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

National Geographic named Victoria, Australia as one of the most exciting destinations in 2024.

Prasit Photo | Moment | Getty Images


Although Australia is known for its beaches, Victoria has a rich history of mineral-rich hot springs. The report highlights the Great Victoria Bathing Trail, which links thermal springs and sea baths across a 560-mile road trip that passes through the major city of Melbourne.

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