Bucket List Experiences

"Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy."

1. Tour the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

For centuries the Roman Colosseum has been one of the world's most famous and recognisable monuments. For this bucket list item, the experience of walking around the historical Roman amphitheatre far outweighs the hoards of tourists you'll have to face to get inside.

2. Winter Solstice at Stonehenge


See Stonehenge on the day that is as mysterious and mystifying as the monument itself. Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, brings together Druids and curious revellers from all over the world to experience the astronomical occasion in the shadow of the stones themselves. Watching the sunrise over Stonehenge, in your best Solstice duds, is an unforgettable way to cross the site off your list.

3. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Dublin

St. Patrick's Day in Dublin

If you love a good pint of Guinness on Ireland's most famous holiday, joining the St. Patrick's Day festivities in Dublin should be on your list. Dublin's biggest party of the year features a fascinating parade route through the city, followed by copious amounts of fun and drink at traditional Irish pubs around town.

4. Hit the Casino in Monte Carlo

Casino in Monte Carlo

Ever wish you could just buy your way into a room filled with the world's most wealthy and famous? If there is one place on Earth to make it happen, it is undoubtedly the Monte Carlo Casino. A modest admission fee gets you in the door, what happens next is up to you - and a little luck.

5. Gaze at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City

Sistine Chapel in Vatican City

Nestled in Vatican City, the world's smallest independent state, is the Papal residence and some of history's most celebrated works of art. You'll need to look up to catch the famous works of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, extra points for spotting the iconic "Creation of Adam" within the hundreds of frescoes on the ceiling.

6. Take a Gondola in Venice

Gondola in Venice

Hire a gondola, complete with gondolier, for a day of sightseeing in Venice. Undoubtedly the best (and possibly most expensive) way to get around the 177 iconic Venetian canals is in the city's most celebrated form of transportation.

7. Throw Tomatoes at the Tomatina Festival in Buñol, Spain

La Tomatina Festival

How is your throwing arm? It may come in handy if you head to the world's biggest food fight in Buñol, Spain. Armed with squashed tomatoes, participants make the La Tomatina Festival worthy of its name as they cover each other head to toe in the fruit. This festival is all about fun, prepare to get messy and red!

8. Stand in Red Square, Moscow

Red Square, Moscow

Standing in Moscow's iconic Red Square is one of the most iconic experiences for visitors in Russia. Explore the nation's history, past and present, by visiting the colourful St. Basil's Cathedral and Lenin's mausoleum before watching the square illuminate under the evening lights.

9. Take a Walk Through the Ancient City of Petra

Petra- Jordan

Found along the Jordanian basin in 1813, the ancient city of Petra and its rock cut architecture have mesmerised the world ever since. This UNESCO World Heritage Site will amaze you with its inconceivable size and mysterious fall into obscurity.

10. Ride an Elevator to the Top of Dubai's Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa, UAE

For an experience of true human ingenuity, step onto the lift at Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper. Views from the top overlook Dubai and the surrounding desert landscape, a memorable visit to the clouds that you'll never forget. If history is anything to learn from, the Burj Khalifa won't be on top forever - so plan a visit before it becomes just another tall building.

11. Bargain in the Souks of Marrakech

Bazaar Marrakech

When most people think of Marrakech they probably imagine the famous souks, a colourful marketplace of exotic goods and bargaining. The largest traditional marketplace in Morocco is well worth exploring, its maze of alleyways reward visitors in every turn with scrumptious street food, gorgeous textiles, and mouth-watering spices that will revolutionise dinners back home.

12. Float in the Dead Sea

Float in Dead Sea

The buoyant waters of the Dead Sea offer a unique experience to float along the world's largest salt lake with next to no effort. Lay back, crack open a waterproof novel, and soak in the sun and healing waters for a fun and relaxing day the whole family will enjoy.

13. Visit the Pyramids at Giza

Pyramids- Egypt

For approximately 12,000 years, the Pyramids of Giza have inspired visitors with their sheer scale and unbelievable construction. The oldest, and last remaining, of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, this Egyptian marvel should be seen by every traveller in their lifetime.

14. See the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer Statue

Rio's Christ the Redeemer monument is considered a masterpiece of art-deco design. The statue which stands on the peak of Corcovado Mountain, overlooking Rio de Janeiro and its people, has become an icon of not only the city but of Brazil itself. Views from the statue are extraordinary, so don't pass this one up.

15. Play with Penguins on the Falkland Islands

Penguins on the Falkland Islands

The Falklands often come up in conversations of dispute, but in reality they are remote, diverse, and indescribably beautiful. Wildlife on the islands is varied, and as the human population is low, the lands are still pristine and relatively untouched. Get up close to some of the world's most amazing animals, including the local penguin population.

16. Go Wine Tasting in California's Napa Valley

Napa Valley

Wine tasting in California's Napa Valley isn't just about the world-renowned locally produced wines. (Although this is undoubtedly a perk.) The vineyards set amongst the rolling hills of the valley are breathtakingly beautiful and a wine themed road trip is simply the perfect excuse to explore.

17. Pay Homage to the Dead at the Dia de Los Muertos Festival in Mexico City

Day of the Dead

Every October, the people of Mexico City come together for one giant celebration in honour of the dead. For El Dia de los Muertos local families feast, visit the graves of loved ones, and celebrate life. This festival will challenge the way you feel about death, and maybe even teach you something about living in the process.

18. Drink Mojitos in Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba

Drinking a mojito in its birthplace of Havana, Cuba is less about the drink and more about the experience. Havana is a city trapped in time, with old cars still driving the roads and infrastructure decades behind the rest of the Western world. As Cuba opens up its doors to neighbouring America, the time machine appeal will undoubtedly fade away as Cubans have more access to technology and goods, so act fast and book a flight for a mojito in the past.

19. Take a Helicopter Ride Over the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of America's most iconic landmarks, and one of the most recognisable natural wonders in the world. The immense size of this spectacular landscape is hard to imagine without seeing it in person, and looking down from a helicopter will undoubtedly give you a sense of just how incredibly lucky we are to live on this planet.

20. See the Taj Mahal in Agra, India

Taj Mahal

A monument to love, the Taj Mahal in Agra was commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan after the death of his beloved wife. The iconic white marble facade is even more beautiful in person, and a photo in front of India's most famous landmark is a must for any visit to the country.

21. Climb the Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Covering 5,500 miles, the Great Wall of China is still one of the world's most incredible engineering achievements. Climb to the top, or take a lift in one of the more touristy areas, and experience this magnificent feat of man for yourself. Extra points for running or walking the whole thing.

22. Take a Photo of Mt. Fuji, the Most Photographed Mountain in the World

Mt. Fuji

Every Spring tourists from around the world flock to the base of Mt. Fuji to see the spectacular flowering cherry blossoms framing the perfect symmetrical shape of Mt. Fuji. Said to be the most photographed mountain in the world, the only way to make this experience more gratifying is by climbing the peak itself. Get your camera ready!

23. Get Colourful at the Holi Festival in India

holi Festival

Immerse yourself in a world of colour in India's Holi Festival. A celebration of love, the crowds flinging coloured powder through the air will have a smile on your face and create memorable pictures you'll look back on with joy for years to come.

24. Explore the Forbidden City in Beijing, China

Forbidden City

Once entirely closed off to the outside world, the Forbidden City is an amazingly intact imperial palace complex that was home to the Chinese emperors and their families for almost half a millennium. Explore the museums, temples, and former homes in this 13th century World Heritage Site and imagine what life must have been like for those shut off from the surrounding city inside its gates.

25. Go Snorkelling at Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

One of the most important ecosystems on the planet, Australia's Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of aquatic species and is absolutely stunning to see in person. Grab your snorkelling gear and gaze into the waters and experience the varied and miraculous nature of our oceans.

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Written by Jessica Zijlstra, editor of the Holiday Extras Blog and author of the travel blog The Fly Away American. Catch up with her on Twitter.

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