5 must-visit destinations to get your passport stamped in 2024

A traveller looking at the world map considering where her next adventure should be. Picture: Pexels

A traveller looking at the world map considering where her next adventure should be. Picture: Pexels

Published Nov 2, 2023


As 2023 comes to a close and we look forward to 2024, there are plenty of destinations waiting to be explored.

According to MarketSplash statistics, Bangkok stole the show as the most visited city in 2023 and is expected to have drawn in approximately 22 million visitors by the year’s end.

France, which hosted the Rugby World Cup, emerged as the most visited country, welcoming around 95 million guests.

Cape Town was also highlighted as SA’s best city to visit.

When it comes to planning for travel in 2024, now is the right time to start planning for your adventures.

According to Flight Centre South Africa’s General Manager, Antoinette Turner, it’s wise to book flights and accommodation at least 6 months in advance when travelling internationally.

So in the spirit of planning, here are some top picks on where to go in 2024.


So why should Dubai be on your travel bucket list? According to Turner, beyond its opulent skyscrapers, the city is home to the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa and also boasts a rich culture, desert landscapes, and adventure sports.

It’s also a family-friendly destination and the kids will love running wild at LEGOLAND Dubai and KidZania.

“Experience old Dubai by visiting the Gold and Spice Souks – offering a closer look at both the city’s rich past and gleaming present,” said Turner.


Turkey is a bucket-list worthy destination as it straddles two continents, spilling over with Asian and European influences, historic sites including those of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, and stunning landscapes.

Turner said that it’s also an affordable destination for South Africans where travellers can enjoy a magical hot air balloon ride over the surreal landscapes of Cappadocia at sunrise.

“Don’t miss the grandeur of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the chance to shop for souvenirs and strike a bargain at the local bazaars,” said Turner.


Known as the ‘Venice of the North’, Turner said that Amsterdam is famous for its enchanting canals, historic houses, and vibrant arts scene where you can admire iconic works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Vermeer.

She said you can also cycle along the canals and visit the Anne Frank House, a poignant piece of WWII history.

“Spring, in April and May, is the best time to visit Amsterdam. This is the time of year when the tulip fields are in full bloom. The colours are truly mesmerising,” she said.


According to Turner, Bali is a tropical paradise perfect for barefoot luxury and it also boasts verdant terraced rice paddies and a deeply spiritual culture.

She said travellers will enjoy exploring the ancient Uluwatu Temple, perched high on a clifftop overlooking the Indian Ocean.

“Visit Ubud, the island’s cultural heart, and take a traditional cooking class to dive deep into Balinese cuisine,” she recommended.


And finally, Turner said that London is a worthy bucket list destination, as it a global city steeped in history with a pulsating contemporary arts and music scene.

“It’s full of diverse neighbourhoods for every type of traveller, from Shoreditch’s hipster hangout vibes to the historic charm of Notting Hill,” she said.

The travel expert also said that an unforgettable highlight to your trip could be watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, followed by a leisurely cruise on the River Thames.

“Take advantage of great public transport connectivity across the city, and consider staying at a hotel or guesthouse on London’s outskirts to stretch your rands further,” Turned shared.