8 Most Expensive Vacation Destinations to Visit

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Luxurious vacations don’t come cheap. Some destinations cater specifically to wealthy tourists who want an extravagant and indulgent getaway, no matter the cost. These lavish locales offer opulent accommodations, elite services, and exclusive experiences that can run hundreds or even thousands of dollars per day.

In this article, we will explore some of the most expensive vacation spots around the world. From private islands to glittering cities, these eight destinations promise an unforgettable time but with astronomical price tags to match. Read on for an inside look at some of the priciest places to vacation on the planet.

8. New York City, USA

Average Cost (5-Day Vacation): $1,779
Iconic Attractions: Statue of Liberty, Times Square, The Brooklyn Bridge
Annual Tourist Visits: 63.3 million (2023)

New York City, USAImage source: Insight Guides

New York City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, receiving over 63 million visitors annually as of 2023. Nicknamed the “Big Apple,” this iconic metropolis is home to world-famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Beyond its brilliant architecture and landmark attractions, New York also dazzles with its arts, culture, dining, and entertainment scenes. Visitors can dine at Michelin-star restaurants, take in Broadway productions, marvel at modern art museums, or bar hop through trendy neighborhoods.

With such a diverse array of sights, sounds, and experiences, it’s no wonder New York City tempts travelers from across the globe. Though certainly not a budget destination, with average vacation costs exceeding $1,700 for 5 days, New York promises unmatched energy and one-of-a-kind ambiance.

Did You Know?

New York City is home to the first pizzeria in America.

7. San Francisco, USA

Average Cost (5-Day Vacation): $1,885
Iconic Attractions: Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island
Annual Tourist Visits: 21.9 million (2022)

San Francisco, USAImage source: Travel

San Francisco is another popular yet expensive destination for tourists. The iconic destination lures over 21 million visitors yearly with its postcard landmarks and colorful neighborhoods. Marvel at the Golden Gate Bridge stretching across the Bay, wander the notorious Alcatraz prison and photograph the Painted Ladies Victorian homes.

Beyond sights, tantalize tastebuds with San Francisco’s fusion cuisine and café culture. At night, experience vibrant street fairs, avant-garde theater, and the city’s pulsing music scene. Though prices average $1,885 for 5 days, San Francisco promises boundless sights, tastes, and sounds for travelers.

Did You Know?

The Mediterranean climate also beckons outdoor adventurers to hike the Bay’s rolling hills, cycle across the Golden Gate, or kayak along the Pacific coastline.

6. Honolulu, USA

Average Cost (5-Day Vacation): $1,914
Iconic Attractions: Diamond Head State Monument, Aloha Tower Market
Annual Tourist Visits: 9.2 million (2022)

Honolulu, USAImage source: Tourlane

Honolulu captivates over 9 million vacationers yearly with idyllic beaches, lush rainforests, and rich Hawaiian heritage as the Aloha State’s capital. This Pacific paradise tempts with activities from surfing powerful waves at world-famous Waikiki Beach to gazing at sea turtles while snorkeling tranquil Hanauma Bay.

Beyond beaches, discover Hawaii’s wartime history at Pearl Harbor’s USS Arizona Memorial or hike up the Koko Head trail to glimpse Honolulu’s glittering skyline from Diamond Head crater.

Though costing approximately $1,900 for a 5-day getaway, Honolulu offers countless opportunities to embrace Hawaiian hospitality whether unwinding on pristine shores, tasting flavorful fusion cuisine, or learning the islands’ mythic and royal past.

Did You Know?

The city also hosts the Polynesian Cultural Center showcases hula dances, authentic luaus, and Pacific Island villages.

5. Bora Bora

Average Cost (5-Day Vacation): $1,918
Iconic Attractions: Mt. Otemanu, Waikiki Beach, Lagoonarium
Annual Tourist Visits: 280,000 (2022)

Bora BoraImage source: USA Today

With over 280,000 annual visitors, Bora Bora is renowned for postcard-perfect beaches, luminous turquoise lagoons, and intimate overwater bungalow resorts. This secluded French Polynesian island seduces honeymooners and romantics with its stinting natural beauty and endless opportunities for relaxation.

Spend days sunbathing on pearly white sands or gazing at Mt. Otemanu’s sculpted peak before cooling off while snorkeling vibrant coral gardens, scuba diving shipwrecks, or paddleboarding the glass-like waters.

When not admiring palm-lined shores, immerse in rich Tahitian culture through dance shows, boutique shop visits, and savoring French-influenced Polynesian cuisine.

Did You Know?

Bora Bora began forming 3 to 4 million years ago from the caldera of an extinct volcano.

4. Reykjavik, Iceland

Average Cost (5-Day Vacation): $1,919
Iconic Attractions: Hallgrimskirkja, Sun Voyager, Perlan
Annual Tourist Visits: 1.7 million (2022)

Reykjavik, IcelandImage source: Iceland Travel

Reykjavik captivates over 1.7 million tourists yearly as Iceland’s colorful capital city, known for its vibrant music and arts scene alongside stunning natural landscapes. This walkable capital showcases striking architecture like the concrete Hallgrimskirkja church and Sun Voyager sculpture.

Despite its remote northern location and steep average vacation costs exceeding $1,900 for 5 days, Reykjavik tempts travelers with its extraterrestrial scenery, hip café culture, rich Viking history, and endless displays of locals’ creative spirit.

Did You Know?

Visitors can also venture outside the city to behold magnificent phenomena like thundering waterfalls on the Golden Circle route or simmering geothermal springs illuminating the Blue Lagoon.

3. Gstaad, Switzerland

Average Cost (5-Day Vacation): $2,065
Iconic Attractions: Lauenensee Loop Trail, Sportzentrum Gstaad AG, Wispile
Annual Tourist Visits: 2,347 (2023)

Gstaad, SwitzerlandImage source: Tracy Kaler

Though merely an average-sized Swiss village, Gstaad enjoys a global reputation as a jet-set winter playground and alpine paradise, luring affluent skiers, socialites, and celebrities.

Nestled in the Bernese Oberland mountains a two-hour drive from Geneva or Zurich, Gstaad charms visitors with its quaint car-free stone chalets and pedestrian-friendly streets. By winter, the village transforms with 60 ski lifts whisking elite crowds to downhill slopes suiting all abilities.

With its pedestrian village mixing chic amenities, designer boutiques, and five-star hotels alongside expansive mountain vistas, Gstaad promises exclusive Alpine experiences whether negotiating expert runs or relaxing aprés-ski with champagne in an outdoor hot tub.

Did You Know?

In summer, Gstaad hosts world-class music and tennis festivals alongside bounties of hiking trails.

2. St. Barts

Average Cost (5-Day Vacation): $2,181
Iconic Attractions: Gustavia, Shell Beach, Saline Beach
Annual Tourist Visits: 19,527 (2023)

St. BartsImage source: Vogue

The Caribbean island of St. Barts blends European sophistication with a tropical, beach-centric atmosphere for an exclusive luxury getaway. An overseas collectivity of France located in the Leeward Islands, this island paradise boasts 32 kilometers of glittering Atlantic and Caribbean coastline framed by 14 immaculate white sand beaches.

During the day, visitors can charter private yachts, get pampered at beach clubs, browse designer duty-free shops, or simply relax on the ritzy shores. At night, upscale restaurants serve refined French cuisine by candlelight before guests retire to lavish private villas with price tags averaging $800 per night.

Did You Know?

Though French is the official language as an overseas collectivity, English is commonly spoken across St. Barts for tourists’ convenience.

1. Monaco

Average Cost (5-Day Vacation): $2,258
Iconic Attractions: Palais Princier de Monaco, Musée Océanographique de Monaco
Annual Tourist Visits: 218,400 (2021)

MonacoImage source: iExplore

Monaco is considered the most expensive vacation destination in the world. This iconic destination magnetizes jet-setters to its two glittering square kilometers along the French Riviera through elegant accommodations, extravagant shopping, prestigious dining, and no income tax.

This principality tantalizes with Mediterranean panoramas from Monte-Carlo’s iconic seaside casino and the exotic botanical riches of the Jardin Exotique. Monaco also captivates couples and families alike through its romantic palace setting which once hosted American actress-turned-royalty Grace Kelly.

Did You Know?

Beyond the glitz, the city-state also boasts a tricultural soul blending French refinement, Italian warmth, and Monegasque heritage.


Head of Content at Rarest.org


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