20 Awe-Inspiring Locations to Add to Your Bucket List

“Awe: An emotion variously combining veneration and wonder,that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime”

Sometimes when you travel, you arrive at a new place and can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. You might even feel guilty for feeling that way- you’re in a new place.  Isn’t everything supposed to be exciting and new and wonderful when you travel?

Sometimes, unfortunately, that feeling is inevitable. Maybe something you built up in your mind ends up being disappointing. It happens to every traveler. However, some places in this world are so fantastic that it is nearly impossible for them to be a letdown. Here is a list of 20 places that will definitely not disappoint!

Compiled from my personal travels, these are the places that made me truly feel the sensation of AWEAlso- all of these photos were taken by yours truly! 

In no particular order… 

1. Arriving at the top of Machu Picchu, Peru covered in clouds

Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes, Cuzco, Peru

2. The view of Mount Vesuvius and surrounding Sorrento, Italy Positano, Italy, Sorrento

3. The island and centuries old Hindu temples of Bali, Indonesia

Hindu Temples, Bali, Indonesia

4. The Salt Flats of the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salt Flats, Uyuni, Bolivia

5. The still-active Arenal and Poas Volcanoes in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, Poas, Arenal, Volcanoes

6. The view of the Alps from the top of Mount Rigi in Switzerland

mount rigi, rigi kulm, switzerland, alps

7. The “Eagles Nest” in Berchtesgaden, Germany

eagle's nest, berchtesgaden, germany, alps

8. The gaping interiors of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, USA

mammoth cave, kentucky

9. The Blue Grotto near the island of Capri, Italy

Blue Grotto, Capri, Italy, Amalfi

10. The Hagia Sofia Mosque/Museum in Istanbul, Turkey

hagia sofia, istanbul, mosque, turkey

11. The isolated ruins of Banteay Top near Sisophon, Cambodia

Banteay Top, Khmer, Cambodia, Temple

12. The wild Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

ngorongoro crater, serengeti, tanzania, safari

13. Gazing out over the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

cliffs of moher, munster, ireland

14. Standing alone on a portion of the Great Wall of China at Mu Tian Yu

great wall, china, beijing, mu tian yu

15. The hoodoo rock formations of Zion National Park in Utah, USA

Zion, Hoodoos, Utah, USA, Mighty Five

16. The colorful cliff-sides on the Greek Island of Santorini

Santorini, Greece, Oia

17. The majestic Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall in Iceland

18. The Great Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt

19. The walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia, Unesco

 20. The Arabic style palace-fortress of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Alhambra, Granada, Spain, Andalusia

To join in on the fun, now I’m asking you: “what is the most beautiful or awe inspiring place you’ve traveled to?” :

Pin it for Later!


  • Reply Peter August 17, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Great list! I’ve only been to one of these places and I’m coming up on 50 countries visited! Thanks for giving me even more wanderlust!

    • Reply Michelle W. August 17, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      That’s surprising actually! Which one have you been to? Glad to give you even more fuel to travel haha

  • Reply stephanie August 17, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Great list! I have seen a few in RL and hope I can tick off some more in the next few years 🙂
    You have been to all? Which one was the most ‘awe’? 😛

    • Reply Michelle W. August 17, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Stephanie! Yes, these are all my photos! I think the most impressive one to me is either Machu Picchu or the Serengeti 🙂

  • Reply Lara Dunning October 15, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    This is a great list and I have even been to a few! There are so many places I’d love to see on this list like the salt flats, Eagles Nest, and the Alps.

  • Reply Mike October 17, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    This is such a great list! Truly awe-inspiring. I’ve already got Machu Picchu and the Salar de Uyuni at the top of my Bucketlist but thanks to you I’ve added Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall in Iceland and a few more. My #1 bucketlist place that I’ve been is Son Doong and that could be a great addition to the list!

  • Reply Christine October 18, 2017 at 7:51 am

    I absolutely love getting that feeling of awe on my travels! ? What a great list if amazing places. I think seeing Machu Picchu and the Salt flats in Bolivia would definitely give anyone that feeling!

  • Reply Elisa October 18, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    You have cool proposals and it is nice to see how super touristy destinations like Machu Pichu still inspire “awe moments” despite the crowds. To join your “game” I would add Meteora in Greece and some landscapes in Albania, my last “awe moments”

  • Reply Sandy N Vyjay October 19, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Many times when you arrive at a place you do feel that the place has been over hyped and it is not at all like the glossy pictures that you have seen on Instagram. But at the same time, there are so many places which will make you think that no picture that you have seen does just to it. Your list of 20 are awesome and definitely fall into the second category.

  • Reply Carmen Edelson October 19, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    SO much travel inspiration in one post! I’d absolutely love to visit Switzerland and Iceland.

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