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

From places with prehistoric stories to hot spring havens, this list is sure to provide you with some fresh ideas

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

With 2024 just around the corner, travel publications are releasing list after list on where to travel next year. We've covered the most budget-friendly, most underrated and top trending destinations – but what about the world’s most exciting places to visit in 2024?

Well, the travel gurus at National Geographic have the answer, as they’ve just released The Cool List for 2024. 30 destinations dotted all over the world have made the list, from the Albanian Alps to the Andrefana Dry Forests in Madagascar. 

Europe dominates almost half of the list with 13 entries, including Malta’s capital Valletta and Pompeii in Italy. Many destinations are now more reachable thanks to the vast improvements happening on railways. Perhaps most intriguingly, National Geographic predicts that Wales is going to be a hit travel destination in 2024. 

According to The Cool List, Wales has a centuries-old Whisky tradition that’s often overshadowed by that of Ireland and Scotland. Welsh whisky has undergone something of a renaissance; Cardigan Bay and Penryn are home to two of the nation's four ‘geographical indication-sanctioned’ distilleries, which means you sample the whisky right at its source. 

The Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico is another destination highlighted to be one of the most exciting for travel next year, and it’s no surprise, given that Mérida, the state’s largest city, also made the list of trending destinations according to The Yucatán landscape has a fascinating history: the meteor that wiped out dinosaurs landed here, forming extremely flat lands and the area’s famous cenotes, which were formed by the meteor’s fallout. 

Sierra Leone also makes Nat Geo’s list. The country has recently become significantly more accessible thanks to the opening of a new airport. Nature is what most travellers venture here for, and there’s plenty to marvel at with its beaches, mountains, and native chimpanzees. 

Other destinations include Sikkim in India, which boasts bountiful views of the Himalayas, and Victoria in Australia, thanks to a new road trip that visits the area's thermal hot springs. 

Here are the most exciting destinations to visit in 2024, according to National Geographic


The Americas


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


South Pacific

  • Victoria, Australia

Where to travel in 2024

At Time Out Travel, we keep you updated on all the best places to travel to right now. Check out our recent ranking of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods, or head to our Travel hub and up-to-date travel guides page for some travel inspo for 2024 – plus all the best things to do, eat and drink around the world. 

Did you see that these are the countries to visit in 2024, according to Lonely Planet?

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