2017 wrap up: The most popular international travel destinations of 2017

Travel destinations on your bucket list often feature delectable cuisine, historic sites, fabulous recreation areas or world-class attractions, making them places visitors need to experience. Most of these standout cities are not new to any must-see list or shy of accolades. Instead, they are reliable favorites that have visitors returning time and again.

Most popular travel spots in 2017
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Most popular travel spots in 2017

15. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Flight: $368
Hotel: $200

The New York Times called it "Manhattan with mountains," and Vancouver's quiet sophistication keeps it one of North America's most underrated tourist destinations.

The heart of downtown is just 30 minutes from the ski slopes, while beaches and seaside promenades are also right outside your door, striking that perfect balance that's so hard to find. A true four-season destination, activities and good eats are never in short supply.

14. Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

Flight: $1,052
Hotel: $91

One of the most vibrant beach cities in the world, the New York Times dubbed Tel Aviv, the "Mediterranean Capital of Cool." Known for its nightlife, markets and street food, Israel is definitely not what you would expect from seeing it on the news.

Want to sample a variety of restaurants? The city has about 4,500 places to eat.

13. San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico

Flight: $451
Hotel: $278

An upscale Mexican resort town, Los Cabos is an easy getaway from the United States. At the tip of the southern Baja California Peninsula, Los Cabos has everything from beaches to deserts to mountains and is a place to fall off the grid without going too far.

Jacques Cousteau called the area the "Aquarium of the World," and here water lovers can take part in surfing, sport fishing, diving and snorkeling. For the landlubbers, fine dining and a burgeoning arts scene await.

12. Dublin

Flight: $750
Hotel: $168

People come to Ireland for castles and cathedrals as much as pubs and whiskey. Tip one back at the Guinness Factory before setting off to explore the architecture, museums and endless fields of green. Road trips through the countryside are popular, and Dublin is a great jumping-off point for such adventures.

11. Mexico City

Flight: $366
Hotel: $126

The New York Times called Mexico City "the metropolis that has it all," and it does indeed have a bit of everything from temples to museums to pulsating clubs. It's a melting pot of cultures, which shines through in the innovative cuisine, mishmash of architecture and unique entertainment venues. If you're interested in Mexico's heritage and history, it's a place you'll want to add to your bucket list.

10. Barcelona, Spain

Flight: $921
Hotel: $155

A popular European getaway, Barcelona is one of Spain's most buzzing destinations. Tour unique works by architect Antoni Gaudí, marvel at the street performers on Las Ramblas, and indulge in tapas and sangria to your heart's content. The nearby beaches ensure a laid-back atmosphere that's perfect for relaxing with a spot of culture. Bonus? You usually can find a flight deal.

9. Toronto

Flight: $366
Hotel: $171

One of Canada's most cosmopolitan cities, Toronto is a great place for a long weekend, especially during the holidays.

There's something for everyone from world-class museums and aquariums to professional sports teams and culinary delights. If you don't mind heights, the dizzying, hands-free EdgeWalk around the exterior of the 1,815-foot CN Tower boasts the best view of the skyline. You just might not want to look down.

8. Rome

Flight: $896
Hotel: $135

The center of culture and cuisine in Italy, you could easily spend weeks eating your way around the city and still not be sick of pizza or pasta. When you need to work off the carbs, though, take a break to check out the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. You also will want to make a pilgrimage to Vatican City, which technically is an independent state, if you're keen on counting countries.

7. Bangkok

Flight: $829
Hotel: $101

Easily one of the best travel destinations in the world, the capital of Thailand is famous for its opulent temples, amazing architecture, street markets and thriving nightlife. It's a great starting point to get to the green mountains in the north or the blue beaches in the south. The city is cut by the Chao Phraya River, which makes touring by boat an appealing way to see the sights.

6. Manila, Philippines

Flight: $759
Hotel: $71

Manila might seem like an outlier on this list, but the Philippines has been steadily been growing in popularity the past few years. While most tourists come for the 7,000 islands, the capital is the heartbeat of the country and the hub of performing arts in Asia.

5. Tokyo

Flight: $942
Hotel: $189

With nearly 38 million residents, Tokyo is on sensory overload in all the right ways. It's easy to get around via an extensive subway network, and you are virtually guaranteed to eat well. The city is broken into neighborhoods, each with its own unique vibe and must-see attractions.

4. San Juan, Puerto Rico

Flight: $388
Hotel: $188

Walking the cobblestone streets of old San Juan, the city is colorful, vibrant and full of nightlife. Spanish history abounds as the walled city and stoic fortresses transport you back to the days of the Spanish empire. The best part? You don't even need to pack a passport.

Did Puerto Rico Make the List? Caribbean Destinations That Are Open for Business

3. Paris

Flight: $765
Hotel: $153

J'adore Paris. Synonymous with romance, Paris is never a bad idea. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe and Louvre are musts for first-time visitors. But, you could just as easily spend a week ambling along the Champs-Elysees, taking in the café culture, visiting gorgeous boutiques and watching all the people.

2. Cancun, Mexico

Flight: $449
Hotel: $262

One of the most accessible international beaches from the U.S., Mexico is a favorite spot for Americans. Beyond the sun and fun, watersports and margaritas, other draws are the Mayan culture, the star being Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the Worldand a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There's also world-class golf, water sports, spas for days and spectacular seafood.

1. London

Flight: $784
Hotel: $180

London always has dominated lists of top travel destinations, but it's become even more popular recently since the falling pound has made costs accessible to more international visitors. Top attractions include the Coca-Cola London Eye, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and the newest draw: the behind-the-scenes Harry Potter studio tour. Be sure to practice your royal wave just in case you encounter a member of the royal family.

Up Next: The Best Affordable Cities for Winter Travel

All destinations were sourced from Hipmunk's "Most Popular Destinations of 2017" report.


While international travel was a bit down this year, Americans still enjoy spreading their wings. Hipmunk's list of best travel destinations 2017 spans the globe, covering everywhere from cities to beaches. Click through to see the best travel destinations of the year.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Most Popular International Travel Destinations of 2017.

Related: Spots we had no idea about

23 travel destinations you didn't know existed
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23 travel destinations you didn't know existed

Tucked away under the surface, the Marieta Islands' "Hidden Beach" is a secret beach with crystal-clear waters that travelers can access either by swimming or kayaking through a long water tunnel.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Marieta Islands Hidden Beach

Huacachina is a desert oasis located five hours south of Lima, Peru. The watering hole was once a popular getaway for the upper class escaping from nearby Ica, but now it has become a stop for backpackers who come here to enjoy activities like sand boarding and dune buggy rides.

Photo Credit: Getty 

Those who visit Blagaj, a village in Bosnia and Herzegovina, are often in awe at the majestic sight of the Blagaj Tekke — a monastery built for the Dervish cults. Visitors are welcome to enjoy its wooden interiors or have a cold drink while overlooking the striking Buna river.

Photo credit: Getty 

Australia's Lake Hillier maintains its vibrant pink color year-round. The cause of the color remains a mystery, though some say it could be the result of its high salt content combined with the presence of a pink bacteria species.

Photo Credit: Getty 

The Silfra fissure, located within Iceland's Thingvellir National Park, is one of the only places in the world where visitors can swim between two continents. Not only is it home to some of the world's clearest waters, but in some instances, the spaces are so narrow that swimmers can actually touch the continental plates of both North America and Europe.

Photo Credit: Getty 

In the 1600s, Isola Bella was transformed from what was once a barren rock in the middle of Lake Maggiore, Italy, to a blossoming garden and palace. Besides the palace, the area is also known for its stunning baroque gardens.

(Photo by Olaf Protze/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Malta's Popeye Village was originally created as a film set for the 1980 film "Popeye" before being repurposed into a theme park. The set was created using tree trunks brought in from Holland and around 2,000 gallons of paint. Today, visitors can enjoy boat rides, a winery, and water trampolines.

Photo Credit: Getty 

The Dongchuan Red Land is located in the town of Xintian in China and is known for its striking red hue. The soil in the area contains oxidized iron and minerals that produce the color, and blooming plants throughout the year add to the colorful sight.

Photo Credit: Getty 

The Door to Hell, located in Derweze, Turkmenistan, is a giant hole of fire that was created when geologists accidentally tapped into a cavern teeming with natural gas. They burned off the hole, hoping that the fire would use all of the fuel that leaked and inevitably burn out, but it has continued burning to this day.

Photo Credit: Getty 

The island of Flores, located in the westernmost point of the Azores Archipelago off the coast of Portugal, gets its name from the bountiful wildflowers that surround the area. It also has natural hot springs and lagoons that make for a relaxing swim.

Photo Credit: Getty

Giola is a natural pool located within the Astris region of Greece. Visitors will need to walk a trail to reach it, but once they do, they can enjoy a water reservoir with stunningly clear waters.

Photo Credit: Getty 

Admire the stunning neo-Gothic architecture of Las Lajas Sanctuary, which crosses a gorge on the border between Colombia and Ecuador. Marvel at its landscape, set 150 feet above the river in between lush cliffs and waterfalls, before seeing its gorgeous interiors.

 (Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)

During its rainy season, the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Maranhão, Brazil, is an unforgettable sight. Thanks to the nearly 47 inches of rain it gets each year, pools form between its massive dunes, creating thousands of clear lagoons. The best time to visit is between July and September, when the pools are at their most full.

(Photo by Ricardo Siqueira/Brazil Photos/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Guatemala's Semuc Champey is a paradise for those in search of turquoise waters hidden amidst a lush landscape. Though the ride there can be bumpy, once you arrive, you'll find a limestone bridge with a series of natural pools that provide cool waters ideal for swimming.


Soak your feet in the hot springs of Rotorua, a New Zealand city known for its geysers, thermal springs, and bubbling mud pools. It's nicknamed the "Sulphur City," and visitors can also partake in water sports in the region's many lakes.

Photo Credit: Getty 

Setenil de las Bodegas grew out of a network of caves located in the cliffs above the Rio Trejo in Spain. Today, its white houses have been built within this network, and some even have rock roofs. The area is also home to bars, restaurants, and spectacular food.

 (Photo by: Geography Photos/UIG via Getty Images)

Journey to Namaqualand, an arid region that stretches over some 600 miles in Namibia and South Africa. Every spring, the barren area suddenly fills with orange and white daisies, creating one of the most surreal landscapes in the world.

Photo Credit: Getty 

Discovered in 1836 by a hunter, France's Grotte de St Marcel d'Ardèche is home to almost 200,000 feet of known passageways. Here, travelers will find an underground network of water basins and breathtaking rock formations.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Grotte de Saint Marcel d'Ardèche

Discovered in 1836 by a hunter, France's Grotte de St Marcel d'Ardèche is home to almost 200,000 feet of known passageways. Here, travelers will find an underground network of water basins and breathtaking rock formations.

Photo Credit: Getty 

The small town of Castellucio di Norcia sits near Norcia in Umbria, Italy. The town is famous for its brilliant display of flowers that bloom from late May to early July.

Photo Credit: Getty 

A small fishing village located about 200 miles west of Fortaleza in Brazil, Jericoacoara is the kind of place where the streets are paved with sand and beaches stretch for miles in every direction. The sleepy beach town attracts kite-surfers and windsurfers from around the world.

Photo Credit: Getty 

The Marble Caves, which are located on a peninsula bordering Lake General Carrera in Chile, are a breathtaking cave network where thousands of years of waves washing up against calcium carbonate have formed swirling marble patterns on cavern walls.

Photo Credit: Getty 

Pangong Tso is a lake that stretches over 60 miles from India to China, making it one of the largest lakes in Asia. With clear waters that reflect its mountainous surroundings beautifully, the lake is a striking sight for visitors to enjoy.

Photo Credit: Getty 


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