top of page

10 Places You Need to Visit When the World Goes Back to Normal

By Haylee Thorson

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, travel probably isn’t at the top of your priority list. But that doesn’t mean you can’t daydream about it! Even though life is difficult at the moment, there is so much adventure out there just waiting to be experienced. So to get you started, here’s a list of 10 places you need to visit after the pandemic.

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Canals, tulips, windmills, oh my! Amsterdam is one of my absolute favorite European cities for all of these reasons and more. Brimming with eccentric architecture, museums, and restaurants, you’ll never run out of things to do in this fairytale of a city. While you’re there, be sure to:

  • Book a bike tour

  • Visit the Anne Frank House

  • Stroll through Museumplein

  • Embark on a canal cruise

  • Enter the Red Light District (if you dare!)

2. Prague, Czech Republic

If heaven were a place on Earth, it would be in Prague. Whether you visit for the ethereal Astronomical Clock, historic Old Town, or golden brown chimney cakes, this city will grow on you in ways you never expected. If you ever get the chance to go, you must:

  • Walk across Charles Bridge

  • Marvel at the St. Vitus Cathedral

  • Drink your weight in the famous Czech beer

  • Witness the changing of the guard

  • Check out the seasonal Christmas market

3. Venice, Italy

While any Italian city is bound to tickle your fancy, Venice is a must-see. Sparkling canals, incredible architecture, and endless shops characterize this floating city. Visit at the beginning of the year to experience the legendary Venice Carnival and cross these things off your list:

  • Purchase an intricate Venetian mask

  • Ride in a Gondola (touristy, but worth it)

  • Wander through St. Mark’s Square

  • Wine and dine by the water

  • Hunt for the Libreria Acqua Alta bookstore

4. Mykonos, Greece

If you’re looking for a good time, Mykonos is the place to go. With countless bars and clubs, stunning beaches, and divine cuisine, this tiny Greek island is the perfect getaway. Blessed with over 300 days of sun a year, head over during the off season and make sure to:

  • Locate the iconic Mykonos windmills

  • Explore Little Venice

  • Bask in the sun at Elia Beach

  • Dance all night at Paradise Club Mykonos (post-COVID, of course)

  • Stuff your face with some mouthwatering Moussaka

5. Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech is unlike any place I’ve ever been to. Sweltering sand dunes, mint tea and bustling markets are just a few of the things that make this place so special. No matter what type of activities you enjoy, Marrakesh is bound to have it. While you’re there, you have to:

  • Ride camels through the desert

  • Explore the ancient medina

  • Dig into a steaming pot of tagine

  • Get lost in Jardin Majorelle

  • Wind down in a relaxing riad

6. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is criminally underrated and I’ve never understood why. Chock full of cool pubs, ornate buildings, and thermal spas, Budapest is one of the hippest cities in Eastern Europe. Whether you’re staying on the Buda side or the Pest side, make an effort to:

  • Soak in the iconic Szechenyi Baths

  • Have a drink at one of the surreal ruin bars

  • Take a ride on the Buda Castle Hill Funicular

  • Scope out the extraordinary Gothic Parliament Building

  • Book a river cruise down the Danube

7. Vienna, Austria

Visiting Vienna during Christmas time is like stepping into a winter wonderland. Boasting one of the most renowned Christmas markets in the world, you’ll be blown away by the dazzling decorations, mulled wine, and sweet treats. If you’re able to go, you absolutely must:

  • Experience a show at the Vienna State Opera

  • Devour crispy wiener schnitzel and Austrian potato salad

  • Tour the perfectly symmetrical Schönbrunn Palace

  • Buy handmade decorations at the Christmas market

  • Walk through the Vienna Natural History Museum

8. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Truly one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever experienced, Dubrovnik is the gem of the Adriatic. Best known for its baroque buildings, sapphire waters, and the enchanting Old Town, there is no shortage of things to see in this ancient city. To make the most of your time there, try to:

  • Stop for a bite to eat in the historic old town

  • Embark on a Game of Thrones tour

  • Take a day trip to Lokrum Island

  • Stroll along the medieval Dubrovnik walls

  • Make a wine tasting reservation

9. Nice, France

Sipping a glass of champagne in the middle of the French Riviera will have you feeling unstoppable. While Paris is great for tourism, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the laid back vibe of this southern French town. Relatively close Monaco, here are some things to do during your stay:

  • Gamble at the Monte Carlo Casino

  • Jog along Promenade des Anglais

  • Rent out a sun lounger on the beach

  • Book a room at the famous hotel Negresco

  • Bask in the beauty of the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral

10. Barcelona, Spain

If the “Cheetah Girls 2” soundtrack doesn’t play in your head as you strut through the streets of Barcelona, you’re doing it wrong. This beautiful Spanish city is known for its transcendental basilicas, fragrant paella, and massive markets. If you ever venture to this city, make an effort to:

  • Catch a football game at Camp Nou

  • Spend hours wandering through Sagrada Família

  • Have tapas and sangria by the beach

  • Roam through the gorgeous Park Güell

  • Head to the Boqueria market to pick up some produce

Haylee Thorson is an editorial writer who specializes in beauty, culture, and travel. Follow her on Instagram.

bottom of page