Booking.com Unveils the World’s Most Welcoming Cities for 2024
Booking.com’s travel predictions for 2024 highlight how travel isn’t just an escape, but a catalyst for people to experience their best lives. In fact, more than three quarters (78%1) of survey respondents revealed that they feel more alive than ever when they are on vacation and exploring new places. In line with the twelfth edition of the Traveller Review Awards, Booking.com is unveiling the 10 Most Welcoming Cities on Earth for 20242 with a corresponding guide on how to best experience the magic of these destinations. As evidenced by more than 309 million verified Booking.com customer reviews, the accommodations profiled have also all been recognized for their consistent delivery of first-class hospitality and service.
Arraial d'Ajuda is a charming town situated south from Porto Seguro, known as one of the best beach destinations in Brazil. Where Porto Seguro can be quite crowded, Arraial d'Ajuda is the opposite. Known for its calm and serene atmosphere, and incredible beaches, it’s a perfect destination for the two thirds (67%)3 of travelers who want to rest and recharge when traveling in 2024. Travelers can enjoy beautiful architecture, with colorful houses scattered throughout the village and surrounding the historic church named 'Nossa Senhora d'Ajuda’, one of the oldest Catholic churches in Brazil. Head to Mucugê Street, which is known for its boutiques, restaurants and bars, where travelers can enjoy the local Brazilian cuisine, visit craft shops or simply absorb the lively atmosphere.
Where to stay: Manacá Pousada Parque is a beautiful inn located just outside the heart of Arraial d'Ajuda and a short walk from the beach. Surrounded by coconut trees and a beautiful garden with an infinity pool with ocean views, it’s a perfect tropical escape for a relaxing vacation. For those guests also looking for some adventure, with a Arraial d'Ajuda Eco Parque Ticket they can visit the Arraial d´Ajuda Eco Park, an adventure park with many attractions, including, water slides and various water sports, or for the real daredevils, hit the parkour trail set in a forest, giving visitors the opportunity to admire the area’s rich biodiversity while getting an adrenaline rush.
Ermoupoli is the stunning capital of Syros, a Greek island in the Cyclades, in the Aegean Sea. What makes Ermoupoli unique compared to other Cycladic towns is its Venetian heart and exceptional neoclassical architecture painted in attractive pastel hues, making this hillside town an eyecatcher on its own. Travelers can wander around the tiny streets and twisting alleylanes, while enjoying some beautiful sights, including Miaouli Square, a historic marble square in the heart of Ermoupoli, and the city’s town hall with its 15 meter staircase leading up to the building's main entrance. Explore more of Syros by renting a car, and discover some of the island's incredible beaches, and quaint villages with many tavernas to enjoy traditional Greek cuisine.
Where to stay: Located in the heart of Ermoupoli, Syros Soul Luxury Suites is a modern bed and breakfast that offers incredible views of the city and the sea. This property is a perfect stay for guests to explore the city, with sights including Miaouli Square and the Saint Nicholas Church just a few steps away. And with many restaurants and bars in the nearby area, guests can easily indulge themselves into the Greek culture and ambiance.
Nestled in northern Portugal and just under an hour drive from Porto International Airport, the enchanting coastal town of Viana do Castelo blends architectural grandeur, noteworthy religious sites, and a vibrant culture into one destination. The picturesque city is renowned for its maritime heritage to this day, reflected in attractions such as the Shipyard Museum and the Gil Eannes, a former hospital ship turned museum. Viana do Castelo’s prime location on the Atlantic Ocean has made it a mecca for surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing with Praia do Cabedelo receiving water sports lovers from all around the world. Off the sand, the town is filled with palaces, churches and monasteries of various historical periods ranging from Renaissance to Baroque to Art Deco. Check out the iconic Santa Luiza Sanctuary which offers panoramic views and an impressive basilica.
Where to stay: Pousada de Viana do Castelo is set high on the Monte de Santa Luiza and overlooks the entire town. Guests can visit the Viana do Castelo’s historical center by using the Panoramic Lift of Santa Luiza. Visitors can rent a car to explore more of the region’s highlights, including Braga, famous for the Bom Jesus do Monte which has a neoclassical church at the end of an elaborate 17-flight stairway.
The idyllic town of Daylesford, located in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range of Victoria and less than 70 miles from Melbourne, is known for its natural mineral springs, vibrant arts scene and world-class spa offering. The area’s landscape, made up of serene lakes and lush forests, makes it the perfect destination for those seeking rest and relaxation. The Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, perched on the summit of an extinct volcano, is the perfect place for any nature lover. Boutique shops, art galleries and cozy cafes line both sides of Daylesford’s charming main street and embrace the town’s laid-back charm. This region of Australia is also well renowned for its local culinary scene and farm-to-table dining.
Where to stay: Lake Orchard Villas is strategically located only a one minute walk from Lake Daylesford and five from the town’s main street where visitors will find endless cafes and shops. All villas at the property also boast a 2-person spa bath. Guests can also consider taking a scenic two-mile drive to Hepburn Springs.
Grindelwald is situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps at over 3,300 feet above sea level. Surrounded by iconic peaks like the Eiger and Jungfrau, the mountain retreat is a year round haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. During the winter, Grindelwald transforms into a snow-covered wonderland, offering world-class skiing and snowboard opportunities. The cogwheel train journey to Jungfraujoch, the “Top of Europe”, is a must for anyone seeking breathtaking views of glaciers and towering peaks. In the warmer months, visitors have endless hiking trails to choose from through the area’s mesmerizing alpine landscapes. Overall, the town of Grindelwald itself exudes a charming village atmosphere filled with chalet-style architecture and cozy cafes.
Where to stay: Boutique Hotel Glacier, dates back to 1864 and is one of the oldest hotels in the region. Now a boutique style accommodation with a modern twist, the hotel’s design pays tribute to Grindelwald’s ice workers, history and tourism heritage. After an adventurous day in the mountains, guests can unwind at the hotel’s spa which includes a heated outdoor whirlpool with views of the Eiger. For those looking to visit nearby Interlaken, a Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide allows travelers to discover the area’s hidden gems and local hang-outs.
Situated in southeastern Utah, Moab is a true outdoor enthusiast's paradise and the perfect place to discover a variety of landscapes that are among the most beautiful in the United States, with thousands of square kilometers of amazing red rock formations, natural sandstone arches and mesas in the nearby area. Travelers can purchase the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks Self-Driving Bundle Tour, two of the biggest national parks near Moab, and go on unforgettable hikes while discovering nature in its most unexpected form. The nearby Colorado River gives travelers the opportunity to discover the area by kayaking or paddleboarding, or for the more adrenaline seekers, raft their way through the waters. After an adventurous day outdoors, travelers can relax and enjoy the charming town of Moab by visiting one of the many boutique shops, or choose from one of the many dining options: from taco trucks and bakeries, to breweries and fine dining. Travelers should end the day looking up to the sky, as this region has some of the darkest skies in the United States. Perfect for stargazing!
Where to stay: Red Cliffs Lodge is situated along the Colorado River and gives guests a true outdoors experience. The property offers tranquility and beautiful scenery of the red rock formations, while still being close to the center of Moab. It’s a perfect place to stay to visit the nearby national parks that can be reached by car. Guests can also participate in a number of activities that are organized by local guides, including mountain biking and horseback riding in the surrounding area. After an active day, guests can sit back and relax, and enjoy the scenic river views while enjoying dinner at the property’s restaurant The Cowboy Grill or have a drink at the Wild Horse Bar, and end the evening under the desert night sky.
Bienvenue à Uzès, a picture perfect town in the center of the Provence region in southern France. Characterized by its medieval style, cobblestone streets and historic charm, the village exudes elegance and a rich cultural heritage. Some of Uzès most well known attractions include the iconic Duchy Palace, the main cathedral and the Place aux Herbes, a vibrant town square surrounded by cafes and market stalls. To experience Uzès means to get lost through its narrow alleys and discover the many artisan shops and art galleries. The town also serves as the gateway to the beautiful landscapes of the Gard region, recognized for its vineyards and olive groves. Travelers thinking about visiting during the month of July will enjoy Les Nuits Musicales d’Uzès, a well known music festival with venues across the town’s historical sites.
Where to stay: For those looking to stay right in the Uzès’ historic center, the Boutique Hôtel Entraigues is the perfect option. Once a former 15th-century mansion, and now a luxury boutique hotel, the property is right near the Pont du Gard. Guests can enjoy a panoramic terrace with a perfect view of the Fenestrelle Tower and enjoy an outdoor pool open between April and October. For those with a car, a visit to the Musée de la Romanité in nearby Nimes is the perfect way to learn more about when the region was ruled by the Romans.
Just across the Gulf of California from Cabo, Mazatlán is a perfect beach destination for travelers that want to escape from the crowds, while still enjoying Mexican traditions, including good food, nice atmosphere, friendly locals, and incredible beaches. Mazatlán is rich with history and heritage with 19th-century colonial architecture coated in vibrant colors throughout the city. The main promenade, also known as a malecón, is one of the city’s highlights and is one of the longest in the world, with a length of approximately 21 kilometers (13 miles) along the Pacific coast, with high cliffs, monuments, historical buildings, and hotels scattered along the way. When it comes to food, travelers won’t be disappointed. As one of the main harbor cities of Mexico, fresh seafood is served here on a daily basis. Expect some of the best ceviche in the country! To explore more of the city’s street food delicacies, travelers can join the Mercado Food Tour and visit the city’s market to explore some of the city’s top eateries and discover the local culture through food.
Where to stay: For a relaxing beach vacation, stay at the Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan Beach Resort. This all-inclusive resort is situated in the Golden Zone, which is known for its swimming beaches. This property offers rooms with gorgeous ocean views, a spa with a variety of treatments, and three restaurants serving local delicacies all day. With two large pools, including a swim-up bar, and water sports available, there’s enough for guests to enjoy while taking a well deserved vacation.
Known as the “Golden City”, because of the yellow sand and the yellow sandstone used in every architecture of the city, Jaisalmer is a rustic destination in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, in the heart of the Thar Desert. The city's most iconic landmark is the Jaisalmer Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with seven temples inside the fort, and one of the very few forts in the world where some of the city's population still resides. It looks like a giant sand castle that seems to emerge from the desert, making it a spectacular sight to visit. Travelers can explore more of the city and its vibrant culture during a Cultural & Heritage Trails of Jaisalmer guided walking tour and explore some of the city’s hidden places.
Where to stay: Jaisalmer is also known for its desert, and for an unforgettable experience travelers should consider sleeping in the actual desert while visiting Jaisalmer. Nestled in the golden dunes of Jaisalmer, Helsinki Desert Camp is a comfortable campground where guests can sleep in luxurious tents under the stars and the infinite sky. Guests can enjoy a variety of desert adventures and safaris during the day, and come back to the campground to enjoy an incredible sunset while sitting around the campfire and gorge on authentic Indian delicacies.
Situated at the base of the iconic Mount Fuji and renowned for its stunning views, Fujikawaguchiko offers the perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. The town serves as a gateway to the Fuji Five Lakes region and offers travelers easy access to Lake Kawaguchi, the Yoshida Trail and the area’s many hot springs. For photography lovers, the Kachi Kachi Ropeway brings visitors to Mount Tenjo’s observation deck for unparalleled views of Mount Fuji. Back in town, the Kubota Itchiku Art Museum displays the artist’s work who revived the art of silk dyeing to decorate elaborate kimonos during the Muromachi Period. Music aficionados can check out the Kawaguchiko Music Forest, a thematic museum celebrating mechanical musical instruments with beautifully landscaped gardens.
Where to stay: The Fuji Onsenji Yumedono allows travelers to have a luxurious ryokan experience in a peaceful oasis built using traditional Japanese construction techniques. The property, which is located just over 1,000 feet from Lake Kawaguchiko, features the area’s local cuisine and offers guests suites with in-room hot springs.
1,3Travel Predictions 2024 research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total, 27,730 respondents across 33 countries and territories were polled (including 1008 from Argentina, 1012 from Australia, 505 from Austria, 1001 from Belgium, 1002 from Brazil, 1009 from Canada, 1009 from China, 1002 from Colombia, 508 from Croatia, 504 from Denmark, 1011 from France, 1011 from Germany, 1016 from Hong Kong, 1004 from India, 510 from Ireland, 504 from Israel, 1014 from Italy, 1004 from Japan, 1009 from Mexico, 1014 from The Netherlands, 1015 from New Zealand, 500 from Portugal, 502 from Singapore, 1010 from South Korea, 1009 from Spain, 502 from Sweden, 507 from Switzerland, 504 from Taiwan, 1003 from Thailand, 502 from the UAE, 1007 from the UK, 1005 from the US and 1007 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in July 2023.
2 Destinations were sorted by the total share of Traveller Review Award 2024 recipients when compared to the total amount of eligible properties in that city (accommodation only). Destinations also had to have an above-average amount of winners to be included on this list (200 award recipients or higher for cities) and were curated for geographic spread.