Reddit Speaks: These Amazing Vacation Spots Live Up to the Hype

We’re getting to that time of year again. After the holidays, everyone starts itching to get away. With winter vacation packages galore and ads for exotic locales all over the internet, how do you choose your perfect getaway? Reddit to the rescue! These redditors get real about the destinations that actually turned out as awesome as they looked. Read on to find your personal paradise.

15. Norway for natural beauty

mountains and water in norway

Tourists visit the rock “Trolltunga” in the western part of Norway. | Tore Meek//AFP/Getty Images

Reddit user Klogavis gave Norway a 9/10 for its “endless nature, giant pretty mountains, drinkable see-through water, so many rocks to jump on, very few people in sight.” Eclaireur added that the fjords “are the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen full stop. Not to mention the fact that the people are absolutely gorgeous.” It wins high marks from the pros as well, with Lonely Planet calling it “one of the most beautiful countries on earth.” While the names of its bucolic destinations will give your spellchecker a run for its money, experts and average travelers alike place this northern country high on the list.

Next: This mountain offers stunning views.

14. Table Mountain in Cape Town for breathtaking views

table mountain overlooking cape town, south africa

Table Mountain and central Cape Town, in South Africa. | Saul Loeb/AFP/GettyImages

Part of the Table Mountain National Park, this naturally flat land mass overlooks Cape Town, South Africa. Visitors can access it by foot or a cable car, and redditors suggest making it a trip priority. Reddit user Pogothecat advises hitting Table Mountain early, for weather reasons. “The weather can change radically very quickly and, if it does, the cable car stops working. So, don’t wait until your last day there to do it.”

Next: Speaking of views, check out this destination. 

13. Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland, for a hearty hike

mist surrounding arthur's seat and edinburgh

Mist shrouds Arthur’s Seat and the Edinburgh skyline. | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

While Scotland gets high marks in general, multiple redditors recommended Arthur’s Seat specifically. “I learned just how out of shape I was climbing up there, but I made it just as the sun was setting. It was so windy that it blew my bus ticket out of my pocket and I had to walk back to my hotel,” said Plaidavenger. “Totally worth it!” Rising 251 meters above sea level, it offers beautiful views of nearby Edinburgh, and also features a well-preserved fort.

Next: Whatever type of scenery you prefer, this next destination likely has it. 

12. Iceland for its geographic diversity

the northern lights above a waterfall at night in iceland

The Northern Lights represent just one of the attractions in Iceland. | Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images

Reykjavik is having a trendy moment right now, but the whole country offers something special. Reddit user Foxssg emphasized the incredible range of attractions. “There are lots of different landscapes really close to others,” they said. “If you think in a country you surely will think ‘yeah, this place with X thing that makes it special,’ but Iceland is the places with all those things. Volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, caves, mountains, rivers, pools, and the best, aurora borealis … So if you want to see as much as you can, go to Iceland, within a week and not much kilometers you will feel like that you have been in three different countries.” Well, we’re sold.

Next: Reddit users loved this Eastern European option.

11. Get off the beaten path in Austria

christmas lights in vienna, austria

Tourists and locals visit the Christmas market in front of Vienna’s City Hall. | Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Reddit users agree: Austria is postcard-pretty, with friendly locals and reasonable lodging. Users loved Salzburg, Vienna, Abtenau, and Loeben. One user suggested hitting the off-season for cheaper prices. Michaelisnotaginger compared Vienna to most people’s concept of Paris. “Incredible, architecture, art, food, and history. To have just one of their art galleries would be incredible, to have as many as they do … is just cheating,” they said. “The city is unbelievably clean, the public transport is great, and I could eat schnitzel every day.” U.S. News and World Report ranked Vienna the No. 2 place to visit in October, and gathered a handy list of hot tips.

Next: This country features a range of landscapes.

10. Check out the varied landscapes in New Zealand

the coast of new zealand from above

New Zealand offers a wealth of natural beauty. | Phil Walter/Getty Images

While a bit of a haul for many of us, redditors raved over New Zealand. User Thatjazzypenguin said the views are breathtaking. “The whole landscape is just so scenic and tranquil, sometimes I would just stop somewhere off the side of the endless quiet roads just to breathe in the air and look at the horizon and mountains,” they said. The Reddit traveler specifically recommended Mount Cook National Park.

Local Redbarchetta1 added, “The scenery in [New Zealand] is just unbelievable, and is so varied for a such a small country — from classic South Pacific tropical island beaches in the north, to the geological wonders of Rotorua, to Lord of the Rings-style mountain ranges, Norwegian-style fjords, and Antarctic rain forests … in the south.”

Next: Raise a pint to the range of great attractions in this country. 

9. Ireland for friendly people and cozy pubs

temple bar in dublin ireland

Temple Bar marks one of the most famous pub districts in Dublin, Ireland. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Reddit user Dumbname2 put it best when saying, “Some trips end with, ‘That was fun. Where do we go next?’ but Ireland ended with, ‘When can we come back?’” Users praised Ireland for its scenery, history, and of course, pub life. “As an Irish person, it’s nice to know people enjoy themselves whilst they are here,” said user bull-p, who works in hospitality and medicine. “I personally do my best to have a chat with every tourist I come across whilst at work.” That attitude points to why travelers love Ireland — and the beautiful scenery and history just add to its appeal.

Next: Gamers flock to this area for a good reason. 

8. Tokyo for video game fanatics

a busy Tokyo street at night

For fans of electronics and video games, this Tokyo district looks like paradise. | Chris McGrath/Getty Images

For gamers who love to travel, Japan can’t be beat. Redditor Freshbert recommended Akihabara, the video game district. They called it an “entire city district dedicated to gaming and nerd culture. There are other similar areas, such as streets in Ikebukuro,” they added. The area has undergone extensive renovations recently, and has become even more of a gamer mecca.

Next: Explore this city without breaking the bank. 

7. Poland provides affordable fun

a basilica in the street in poland with a horse-drawn carriage

The Mariacka Basilica in Krakow, Poland. | Jan Kucharzyk/Getty Images

For those who want a European vacation without breaking the bank, Reddit suggests heading to Poland. Milazzo called it “a fairy tale come to life,” and others extolled the virtues of cheap food and beer, friendly locals, and prevalent English speakers. TripSavvy also recommends the underrated country. “From Warsaw’s urban pulse to Krakow’s historic pride, to Wroclaw’s whimsy, to Gdansk’s stately maritime heritage, Poland’s cities distinguish themselves from one another easily,” the travel site said. “Any tour of Poland should include several cities, as well as towns and villages in between. You will be hard-pressed to determine which is your favorite!”

Next: This American park offers gorgeous natural wonders.

6. Yellowstone National Park for breathtaking scenery

yellowstone national park waterfall with mountains and an eagle

The Lower Falls at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone National Park | Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

Reddit user Gingersnapandabrew summed up the American national park in a few words. “Yellowstone blew my mind; beautiful place, fantastic tours with park rangers, incredible wildlife, and a massive range of scenery. From the colors of grand prism, the power of old faithful, the grassy buffalo habitats, to the rocks and mountain goats. Breathtaking.” When most people think of Yellowstone, they think of the Old Faithful geyser, but the park features so much more. Its official website offers tips for all seasons, as well as a comprehensive guide to the natural wonderland.

Next: Get a good look at the stars in this natural site. 

5. Wadi Rum, Jordan, for stargazing

a jockey and his horse in wadi rum

This protected desert offers an unspoiled view of natural wonders. | Awad Awad/AFP/Getty Images

Jordan may not rank high on most travelers’ lists, but Reddit users suggest it take a spot. User Iammandalore recommended Wadi Rum, a protected desert area in the South of Jordan. “My wife and I visited Jordan this summer and spent the night in Wadi Rum with a Bedouin guide and his son,” they said. “It was a fantastic experience and I highly recommend it. Never in my life have I seen so many stars or such a beautiful sunset.”

Next: This destination ranks high on many lists.

4. Get a taste of adventure at Mount Everest base camp

mount everest with mist and climbers

Not a climber? You can still check out Mount Everest base camp. | Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

Mount Everest lives on a lot of adventurer’s bucket lists, and for good reason. User Andromeda321 said they worried the mountain might not live up to the hype. “In actuality [the mountain] was majestic and I had great weather, and seeing all the expeditions preparing was a life highlight for me. Got tears in my eyes because Everest seemed like the moon — a place I dreamed about in my childhood but you don’t really go to.” Not a climber? No worries: USA Today offers these tips for visiting the mountain without actually climbing it.

Next: If you crave beauty, this is your spot.

3. Khao Sok, Thailand, for sheer beauty

a beach in thailand with long boats and mountains

Thailand offers a natural beauty that travelers rarely see elsewhere. | Stephen Shaver/AFP/Getty Images

Michaelnearaday advised that the Thailand location can give travelers serious FOMO. “Don’t search it in Google images if you don’t want to get depressed with your current location,” they said. Fair point. Khao Sok National Park features dense virgin jungle, towering limestone formations and the man-made Cheow Lan Lake. Tigers, gibbons, exotic birds, and more round out the fauna. Visit via elephant-back safari, hiking trails, and rafts, canoes or kayaks via the Sok river.

Next: Love monkeys? Check this out. 

2. Costa Rica for spotting wildlife

a beach in costa rica

This Costa Rica beach feels as idyllic as it looks. | Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

Multiple Reddit users recommended Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica, especially for animal lovers. NfiniteNsight said, “Go into the park itself. Hit up all of the beaches and trails; they all offer something different.” They noted the three different types of monkeys in the parks, as well as sloths and iguanas. While several users said guided tours made seeing animals easier, others did just fine without.

Next: This city does not rank on many lists, but it should. 

1. Budapest gets European travelers off the beaten path

a cathedral in budapest seen through the trees

With the Danube River running right through it, Budapest provides two cities for the price of one. | Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

For an unusual European destination, give Budapest a try. Reddit user ivy_green said “Budapest is my favorite city on Earth.” The Danube River bisects the Buda and Pest sides of the city, which ivy_green noted costs less to visit than many parts of Western Europe. “Pest has an amazing night life and I’ve had one of the best nights of my life there,” they said. The vibe feels like New York City, and ruin pubs mark a must-see.

“The Buda side is absolutely beautiful, full of incredible buildings and sculptures everywhere you go,” the Reddit traveler noted. Don’t miss the bathhouses, for a relaxing soak. Feeling overwhelmed? Let TripAdvisor help, with its comprehensive guide to the city.

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