Best of the World: Destinations on the Rise for 2021

25 amazing places to inspire future journeys and remind us why we love to travel.  
Best of the World
Travel dreams for 2021 can be as audacious as standing under the swirling aurora borealis in Yellowknife, Canada. Photo by: Ken Phung/Shutterstock

The joy of travel comes from the unexpected. While the pandemic has brought our journeys to a standstill, it has not quieted our curiosity. Ahead of a new year—with the promise of a return to travel—we are eager to share these 25 timely tales of timeless places that will define our future itineraries. Reported by the global editors of National Geographic Traveler and framed by five inclusive categories (Nature, Adventure, Culture, Sustainability, and Family), these superlative destinations speak of resilient communities, smart sustainability efforts, and unforgettable experiences for post-pandemic explorations. The world is full of wonders—even when they’re hard to reach. Now is the time to dream of your next journey, and lay the foundation for your next expedition. We hope our list of the New Year’s most important places will inspire you. We look forward to seeing you out in the world soon!

Written by the global editors of National Geographic Traveler with additional reporting by Maryellen Kennedy Duckett. 


‘Best of the World’ is a comprehensive list of 25 destinations on the rise in 2021, and has been reported by the global editors of National Geographic Traveler. Read all the entries on our digital forum or new National Geographic Traveller India app here.

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