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Sometimes, when the travel bug strikes, the only cure is to pack your bags and go. But where to? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite spots from across the globe. Our list includes the most popular places and we’re adding new destinations all the time, so don’t worry if your favorite spot didn’t make the cut. Check back soon to see if your dream vacation makes the list.

#1 – PARIS

Why go: Year after year, the magnetic City of Lights draws new travelers to its Eiffel Tower,Louvre and Notre Dame — but Paris also keeps experienced travelers coming back for more. See, there’s always a new Michelin-rated restaurant to try, a new exhibit to see at the Centre Pompidou or a new shop in which to swipe your credit card. And we can’t discount Paris’ je ne sais quoi charm that’s unexplainable but also unmistakeable.


Why go: Lonely Planet says, “Spain’s Mediterranean jewel sparkles with its Gaudí and gourmet delights, a buzzing waterfront scene and 2000 years of history.” And we agree. Barcelona is one of those unique places that has most everything, from an engaging culture of siestas, Spanish guitar and tapas to an outrageous nightlife scene. Oh, and on top of that, Barcelona offers vibrant shopping (Las Ramblas) and even some shoreline to relax on after an unreal night of partying.


Why go: Just as New York is the bright star of the States, so London is to the United Kingdom. Bursting with a multiplicity of things to do — touring the Tower of London, circling ‘round in the London Eye, curtseying to the Queen outside Buckingham Palace, visiting theTate Modern or scarfing down some fish’n’chips — London appeals to a variety of travelers, including couples, families and backpackers. Visitors can finish off the day with a raucous night at a popular club or a refined evening at the theater — and start all over again in the morning. (London’s myriad attractions fill more than a week of vacation).


Why go: Often cited as the most European city in the U.S., San Francisco definitely has a different feel from most American towns. Fun and relaxed, while at the same time, progressive and innovative, the city exudes an air of confidence and possibility. There are limitless ways to spend your time here, from lounging in cafes in North Beach to barhopping in the Mission.


Why go: There really is no place like New York City. As says, it has “diversity, energy, and attitude — available 24 hours a day.” You’ll never be bored here. This is an international fashion capital with the hottest dining scene in the country and some of the best theater options you could ever find. Plus, nearly the entire city is covered in some of the most recognizable icons in the country, including the lights of Times Squareand the unmistakable Empire State Building.


Why go: Maui is one of the most visited islands in the Hawaiian chain. And for good reason. As Rough Guides says, the beautiful patch of land in the Pacific is “the best equipped of all the islands for activity holidays — whale-watching, windsurfing, diving, sailing, snorkeling, and cycling.”


Why go: As National Geographic Traveler puts it, “Like a stripper working on a doctorate in philosophy, [Montreal’s] forever letting slip her unexpected qualities.” With hundreds of shopping venues both above and below ground, a massive park ideal for games of hide and seek and a buzzing restaurant and nightlife scene, fringed by the wrought iron street lamps of the historic district, this bilingual city is a feast for pretty much every type of vacationer.


Why go: While it may not be as grand asNew York City or as historic as Montreal, why Vancouver caught the attention of the International Olympic Committee is no mystery. This coastal Canadian city boasts a vast amount of outdoor activities that beckon to adrenaline hounds. Kayak in English Bay or test gravity on the Capilano Suspension Bridge before enjoying a scrumptious meal in the second-largest Chinatown in North America.


Why go: In the summer you might swim the crisp, clean waters of Lake Zurich and in the winter you might ski the nearby Alps, but throughout the year, travelers find delight in the city of Zurich itself. Gorgeous pastry shops abound, as do museums, historic churches, and shopping along the upscaleBahnofstrasse or the cheaper Niederdorf. For fun, locals and travelers alike hit up the bars and clubs of edgy Zurich West.


Why go: Renowned for its now world-famous Edinburgh Festival in August, this Scottish city also rates high on our lists during the rest of the year, too. Nestled in an awe-inspiring setting of green hills, the small city of Edinburgh is dotted with medieval buildings, an expansive park, a handful of museums and more than enough pubs and bed and breakfasts (run by friendly Scots) to give visitors an authentic Edinburgh experience.


Why go: Pick a vacation experience you’re looking for, and Puerto Rico can oblige. An old town with historic architecture and cobblestone streets? Look no further than Old San Juan. A beachside getaway with stunning vistas and miles of soft, white sand? Consider the bioluminescent bays of Culebra and Vieques. A cosmopolitan destination with high-end shopping and exciting nightlife? Head to the Isla Verde or Santurce neighborhoods of San Juan.


Why go: The U.S. Virgin Islands offers a taste of home (non-roaming cell phones, U.S. dollars, and no language barrier), as well as a varied international vacation (lively Carnivalseason, reggae music  and clear Caribbean waters). For the best deals and weather, consider visiting in late spring or early summer.


Why go: One of the most visited cities in the U.S., the country’s capital is filled with a huge number of postcard-worthy monuments and buildings. The White House and the Lincoln Memorial are here, as well as a variety of eclectic and walkable neighborhoods. Those on a budget will especially enjoy themselves here since the noteworthy Smithsonian museums are free.

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