2019 Bucket List: 10 Incredible Destinations Every Muslim Traveller Should Visit


Nasreen Nasir •  Oct 29, 2018

Dreaming of your next escapade already? You’re 2 months away from hitting 2019 and you already have just about enough wanderlust to fill the universe that you’re itching to expand your horizons and travel the unknown.

Credit: Giphy

But one thing’s in the way: where do you go? Don’t worry, we’ve put together a list that will help you decide your next travel destination in 2019. Whether you’re a city person or more of a nature enthusiast, one of these top travel destinations around the world might offer you the best vacation you’ve ever wanted!

First things first, booking a holiday means sorting out your flight tickets! If you don’t get it as early as possible, chances are the prices will go up and trust us, you don’t want to end up paying more than you should.

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With Expedia’s Add-On, you’ll find some of the best deals in town! All you have to do is book your flight or package on Expedia and you can unlock up to 58% off selected hotels. And the best part? You can take all the time you need to browse through the shortlisted hotels until the day of your trip. Just be sure to look for the yellow Add-on badge!

Courtesy of Expedia

Disclaimer: Price information for the hotel deals below are based on our search in March 2019. But with the Add-On, you’ll be able to enjoy more discounts!

1. Venice, Italy

The city best known for art and architecture is indeed as elegant as it sounds. But even so, word has it that it is currently in danger of sinking (oh dear!), which is why we think that every traveller MUST visit Venice as soon as possible! Best time to visit? Consider late spring or early summer to enjoy beautiful warm days.

When in Venice, a gondola ride across the Grand Canal is a must. Embark on a shared or private ride and enjoy a live serenade by a gondolier – definitely a one-of-a-kind experience! If you’re looking for an alternative, spend your day just strolling the canals and admire the beautiful squares and buildings around.

#HHWT Tip: While gondolas are widely available along the canals, it is important to deal with licensed gondoliers who don the iconic attire of black pants, striped shirt and dark shoes.

Credit: Sergey Galyonkin on Flickr

If you are around Venice between January 26 and February 12, be sure to catch the Carnival of Venice - one of Italy’s most significant annual festivals that’s famous for its elaborate masks.

Although it’s not necessary for visitors to rent a costume or a mask, they can still be part of this occasion at the San Piazza Marco, a traditional place for celebrations in Venice. This two-week event sees the historical city bedazzled with a colourful parade of costumed people and performers!

Credit: @hotelcarltonvenice on Instagram

Looking for the perfect place to stay? Hotel Carlton On Grand Canal’s got your back. Facing the famous Grand Canal, this hotel is situated in a restored 18th-century palazzo, and it still retains most of its architectural elements. Stay for a night or two and watch the canals light up at night while you sit at your balcony.

Address: Sestiere Di Santa Croce 578 Venice VE 30135

Rates from: From *RM629

#HHWT Tip: If you’re planning a multi-city vacation, say from Venice to Amsterdam, you can definitely enjoy the benefit of Expedia’s Add-On! Why? Because you get to book an inbound flight to Venice and an outbound flight from Amsterdam and can unlock up to 58% off selected hotels in both cities until the day of your trip! So that means you’ll have plenty of time finding your ideal hotel. Sounds like a good deal to us.

2. Busan, South Korea

Mention South Korea, and images of the cosmopolitan Seoul and K-pop culture conjure up. But what if we tell you that there’s more than just the city life and the entertainment scene? Travel a little southeast, and you’ll end up in a somewhat cool and quiet city - Busan.

Though touted as South Korea’s city of tomorrow, this little gem is still underrated by many. Don’t miss out Gamcheon Cultural Village, an area that slightly resembles that of Albayzin, a district in Granada but minus the colours. Lose yourself in the twisting alleys and find yourself amongst the brightly painted houses that have been restored and enhanced as of late.

#HHWT Tip: Look out for some local street art that is perfect for your Instagram feed!

Credit: Cecil Lee on Flickr

Satisfy your seafood cravings at Jagalchi Market, a famous market that truly represents the Busan way of life. While it’s renowned for the sales of live and fried fish, visitors can still expect plenty of other seafood options like king crab, lobster, prawns and many more. Instead of take-outs, you can actually eat the seafood right at the market. Just choose any and let the vendors cook it for you - that’s how the locals usually do!

Credit: Justin De La Ornellas on Flickr

Don’t forget to visit Haeundae Beach, one of Korea’s famous beaches! During summer time, you can find various cultural events and festivals around while the weather is usually warm but at a comfortable level. Be sure to engage in water sports like the banana boat, jet ski and kayak!

#HHWT Tip: To maximise your Korean experience, visit both Seoul and Busan during your trip! With the hi-speed KTX rail, you can get to both cities within 3 hours – and better yet, Expedia’s Add-On can be used in full force. How? You can book an inbound flight ticket to Busan and at outbound ticket from Seoul, and you’ll still enjoy up to 58% off selected hotels in both cities. The good thing about this feature is that the discounted rates will be around until the day of your trip, so you won’t have to rush into booking one right away.

3. Cappadocia, Turkey

Ah, Cappadocia! Who isn’t familiar with this beautiful place? Google the name, and you’ll come across whimsical fairy-tale-like photos - it’ll only take a few of them for you to completely fall head over heels for this place. We know how much you love our Turkey content and this is why we think you should already start planning your trip!

Known for its fantastical landscape, the best way to explore the region is from the air - none other than the hot air balloon. Majestic and colourful, you’ll find yourself soaring above the valleys and dramatic rock formations while peeking into pigeon holes and caves. It’s a favourite activity even amongst honeymooners!

If that’s not enough, the Göreme valley and its surroundings provide a unique experience to every visitor who will be able to witness the evidence of Byzantine art. Mysterious and extraordinary, this natural beauty is one of the most visited areas in Cappadocia. For an avid photographer, this is the ultimate paradise. Don’t hesitate to snap some incredible shots around.

Credit: My Turkiye on Facebook

It is not a Turkish trip if you don’t get your hands on the famous Turkish tea. Besides taking in the magnificent views of Cappadocia, take a break at any cafe and sip a cup of tea. Called cay in Turkish, your tea is served in a small tulip shaped glass on a round saucer.

#HHWT Tip: To drink like the locals, don’t add milk but do insist on at least one or two cubes of sugar and the general rule is - sip it slowly to enjoy the flavour!

Credit: @museumhotel on Instagram

You can’t possibly leave Cappadocia without spending a night there. After all, this region is stunning at night too. For a romantic stay, consider the ever so famous Museum Hotel. Perched on the slopes of Uchisar Castle, this cave hotel is adorned with a five-star luxury, offering magnificent views to marvel at, like the hot air balloon show. This exclusive hotel is often fully booked, so it’s best to plan ahead of your trip.

Address: Tekeli Mah No:1 Nevsehir Nevsehir 50240

Rates: From *RM1,179

4. Bintan Island

Of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and blue lagoon, Bintan Island lies in the Riau archipelago of Indonesia, and we dare say that it’s one of their underrated islands. You’ll be surprised that the photo opportunities around the island are endless!

Credit: @dimsprabs on Instagram

Here, you can expect a perfect harmony of Indonesia’s raw natural beauty, like the Gurun Pasir Busung. Formerly a mining site, it was abandoned for the longest time until the government decided to transform it into an Arabian desert. A dreamy Insta-worthy spot, be in awe of the picturesque hilly sand dunes!

Credit: @fakhrulllraziii on Instagram

For a slightly eccentric affair, Rumah Imaji is your best bet. Loosely translated as the Imagination House, you’ll find yourself in an alternate realm where you interact with over 50 different 3D and inverted settings done by talented local artists. Bring your creativity game to the next level and recreate memorable photographs with your very own style!

Credit: @puan22 on Instagram

Got a couple of minutes to spare on your trip? Head over to Danau Biru (right next to Gurun Pasir Busung!) where a surreal lagoon awaits you. Surrounded by white sand dunes, the brilliant hue of the natural oasis will leave you mesmerised. You’ll be surprised to know that the mystical blue colour is said to be the result of mining activity in the region. It’s worth a visit even for a short while!

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5. Reykjavik, Iceland

Where in this world can you witness stunning waterfalls, the northern lights and icebergs all in one place? Iceland! It’s not too long ago that this Nordic island nation just happened to pop up on every traveller’s radar and we’d understand why. Thanks to its unique geography, you can enjoy the pleasure of taking a dip in the natural hot springs or geothermal pool.

While travellers flock to Iceland for its pools and waterfalls that provide an endless thrill, the main appeal is none other than the northern lights. It’s a phenomenal thing for avid photographers, but we think it’s great for everyone else too. Just grab your cameras and chase away!

As Iceland is also known as ‘The Land of Waterfalls’, you’ll find an abundance of them in every corner so the best way to complete your Icelandic adventure is to hunt for some of the best and most stunning waterfalls in the country.

#HHWT Tip: Tempted to fly right this instant? Consider booking your flight on Expedia because once you secure one, you’ll be able to enjoy up to 58% off selected hotels! And that’s not all - you won’t need to rush into booking one as the shortlisted hotels will be available up until the day of your trip. Don’t forget to look for the Add-on badge!

6. Hua Hin, Thailand

Credit: Seven World Tours on Facebook

Who knew you could actually witness a spitting image of Santorini right in Thailand? If you didn’t already know, Hua Hin brings you a slice of the picture-perfect Greek island right in Cha-Am.

Stroll around the park and be amazed by the accurate details of whitewashed buildings, colourfully painted windows and stone-paved paths - makes you forget that you’re in Thailand for a split second.

#HHWT Tip: While you can find quirky stores around the park, the real fun starts at the Amusement Park that encompasses five zones with various rides and games, so don’t forget to bring out the kid in you and have a blast!

Credit: Pimonpan Sungkitboon on Facebook

Turns out that Hua Hin isn’t just home to a Greek-inspired town, but also houses two other themed towns and a sheep farm - Venezia (inspired by Venice), Camel Republic (inspired by Morocco) and Swiss Sheep Farm (inspired by Switzerland). At Venezia, you can ride a gondola boat along the canal with a gondolier and witness the unique replica of Burano, a colourful fishermen’s village in Venice!

Credit: Zyra Janjira JJ on Facebook

A few kilometres away from Venezia is the Camel Republic - a place where you and your little ones can ride camels and admire the Moroccan elements. End your trip at the Swiss Sheep Farm where you can get up close and personal with sheep and alpacas!

Credit: @sheratonhuahin on Instagram

Interested in spending the night in Cha-Am? Check in to Sheraton Hua Hin. Nestled right next to the beach, this resort is also within a bunch of night markets for you to visit – Plearnwan Market and Hua Hin Night Market!

Address: 573 Petchkasem Road Cha-am Phetchaburi

Rates: From *RM625

#HHWT Tip: But with Expedia’s Add-On, you’ll find some of the best deals in town! All you have to do is book your flight or package on Expedia and you can unlock up to 58% off selected hotels. Take all the time you need to find a suitable hotel until the day of your trip.

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7. Nice, France

While Paris is still hot on the list, there’s another destination in France that’s worth discovering: Nice. Pronounced as (/niːs/), this Mediterranean coastline of southeast France has a lot to offer beyond its pretty beaches, from beautiful architecture to shopping markets that can be found spread across the city.

Credit: tps58 on Flickr

Wander around the Old Town of Nice (Vieux Nice as the locals call it) that’s surrounded by the main port. Marvel at the vast amount of historical sites like Cathedrale Sainte Réparate and Palais Lascaris, both ornamented in the delicate Baroque style.

Once you’re done taking in the sights and sounds of Vieux Nice, time to make your way to the renowned Promenade des Anglais. This famous beach in Nice stretches for about 4km with pebble blue chairs around for visitors to chill and soak up the sun. To get a good view of the deep blue sea, climb up the Castle Hill, and you’ll be greeted with a panoramic view of the promenade.

Credit: @kristelletms on Instagram

Tummy growling? On Mondays, you can expect a flea market of food and flowers at Cours Saleya where you can spoil yourself to a decent meal. The French take great pride in their culinary reputation, so it’s important to experience it for real.

From colourful flowers to fruits and vegetables, get your hands on the olives - a favourite snack amongst the locals. Since this is a market, make sure you have small bills as the vendors don’t accept large bills and credit cards!

8. Athens, Greece

A seamless blend of modernity and ancient history, Athens is often dubbed as a paradise to many holidaymakers. Plus, some low carrier airlines fly there too so you can definitely explore Athens on a budget! With historical ruins and a bustling city, it’s also the best place to start your Greek expedition!

Step back in time and be in awe of the most important ancient site in the Western World, the Parthenon! An interesting fact about this monument is that it used to be a temple during the Mycenaean era and then it briefly became a mosque during the Ottoman era!

Other iconic sites that are worth a visit include the Odeon of Herodes, Acropolis, Temple of Hephaestus and more. To put in plain and simple - a trip to Athens is incomplete without visiting the ancient Greek architecture that has indeed stood the test of time.

Credit: The Athenian Site on Facebook

But your Greek adventure doesn’t stop there. Time to drop by Plaka, the oldest district in Athens with stunning scenery. The moment you walk on its narrow-paved lanes, you’ll instantly feel like you’re travelling back in time. Get ready to fall in love with every corner of the street that’s filled with blossoms and neoclassical buildings.

Credit: Namaste Indian Restaurant on Facebook

#HHWT Tip: Fuel up with some good Indian food at the halal-certified Namaste Indian Restaurant.

Address: Lempesi 12, Athina 117 42, Greece

Opening Hours: Monday - Sunday, 1:00pm - 12:00am.

Phone Number: +30 21 0923 3999

Credit: @dolceatticariviera on Instagram

Looking for the best accommodation in Athens? How about a hotel with a sea view? From *RM399/night, there’s so much to love about this stylish hotel that is imbued with a serene atmosphere. Ideally located near many attractions, the room comes with a balcony that lets you watch the sunrise and sunset. Can’t get any better than that!

Address: Vravronos Avenue Markopoulo Mesogaias Attica

Rates: From *RM399

#HHWT Tip: With Expedia’s Add-On, you’ll find some of the best hotel deals! Just book your flight or package on Expedia and unlock up to 58% off selected hotels, how neat is that? That’s not all – you’ll be given plenty of time to find the perfect hotel up until the day of your trip, so no rush.

9. Jungfrau, Switzerland

Of course, we can’t leave Switzerland behind. It’s no secret that travellers often come to witness the majestic Swiss Alps because there’s nothing quite like winter in a place like this natural beauty. The HHWT team had the opportunity to travel there quite recently and it was one of our best decisions ever made, and it should be yours too!

Without a doubt, one of the best places to see the beauty of Switzerland is on top of Jungfraujoch. The icy wilderness that unfolds is so stunning that you’d want to sit there for hours just admiring the scenery.

While you’re there, you can’t miss the Titlis Cliff Walk! Known as the highest elevation suspension bridge in all of Europe, pump up your adrenaline rush by crossing the bridge. Plus, it’s free so why not use the opportunity to cross that off your bucket list?

Once you spend enough time on the mountains, time to go back to the city. Like every other European city, Switzerland also houses its own old towns. Right in the heart of Zurich, you’ll find the charming town of Alstadts. From pastel-coloured historic buildings to beautiful murals, you’ll find this town extremely endearing.

*Bonus: Alpine Slide

If you’re ever looking for an adventurous activity other than skiing and snowboarding, slide down the Swiss Alps via Alpine Slide in Oeschinensee!

Credit: Elizabeth Budiselich on Facebook

For the young and old, this slide offers a new thrilling experience one cannot miss. A mix between a slide and a roller coaster, this attraction lets visitors enjoy the view while sliding down the side of the alps.

Credit: Hotel Caprice on Facebook

When in Switzerland, the best place to stay is the one that overlooks the magnificent scenery. Just imagine waking up to the sights of snow-blanketed landscapes outside your window - that’s precisely what Hotel Caprice offers. From *RM 1,228, this cosy hotel offers free Wi-Fi, and is family-friendly.

Address: Wengen Wengen BE 3823

Rates: From *RM1,228

10. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo may be a popular destination for many travellers, but it’s a place one wouldn’t mind visiting countless times. And because of that, it’s one of the most-visited cities in the world in 2018! There’s just so much to discover in one place that keeps you coming back for more.

Credit: Tokyo Disneysea on Facebook

Been to Disneyland? Time to change it up and visit its sibling - Disneysea. Inspired by ocean tales and legends, this one-of-a-kind theme park offers a wide range of rides that suit all ages!

Catch the parade and interact with your favourite characters from Mickey Mouse to Donald Duck and the good ol’ Goofy! It’s the perfect time to sit with your loved ones and enjoy the magical street show.

But of course, Tokyo isn’t just exclusive to theme parks: it has its fair share of shopping districts as well. Take Shibuya as an example, this busy area offers countless shopping experiences from MUJI to Uniqlo and other local brands.

Credit: prelude2000 on Flickr

But if you’re more of a techie, the Akihabara district is a must. From the latest gadgets to accessories and even souvenirs, Yodobashi Akihabara has it all. This huge Japanese retail chain will not disappoint as you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Fancy city-hopping? Get ahold of the JR pass, a special pass valid for unlimited travel on any Japan Railways(JR) transportation. Travel from Tokyo to Osaka to get the best of both worlds and with the Shinkansen (bullet train!), it only takes about 3 hours to reach the latter.

#HHWT Tip: And with Expedia’s Add-on feature, it makes it easier for you to plan your trip by booking your flight or a travel package and unlock up to 58% off selected hotels. And the best part - you’ll be given plenty of time to book your hotels until the day of your trip. Tempting isn’t it? Just look for those with the Add-on badge, and you’ll be able to enjoy the discount!

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So, there you have it - 10 destinations that deserve to be on your 2019 bucket list! Sure, we won’t deny that finding the perfect destination that is tailored to your preferences is not easy but with a little research and a committed team (like us! ?) to help, you’ll find yourself booking your next flight! Get your passports ready and let’s see where 2019 will take us.

*Prices as of 7am, 29th Oct, 2018. This promotion has limited inventory and is subject to changes.

This article is brought to you by Expedia.