The World Cup begins TODAY(!) and features 32 countries that will compete for the top prize in all of football. More so than any sporting competition besides the Olympics, the World Cup is a source of nationalism and pride for billions of fans who will be united together over the next few weeks to cheer on their favorite athletes and home countries. Along with fans and players alike, avid travelers who are planning to take their next big trip should also draw plenty of inspiration from this year’s field of teams in the tournament. With that in mind, we have highlighted a great destination for each one of the participating countries to consider when planning your next vacation.
**Click on the country/location to see the available properties in the area listed on FlipKey**
Algeria - Algiers
Located on the Mediterranean Sea, Algiers is the capital city of Algeria and is the largest city in the country. Algiers is steeped in history from its rule under previous empires, and has several different types of architecture and monuments located throughout the city.
Normally, you would not associate Argentina with a glacier, but Los Glaciares National Park in El Calafate features one of the world’s largest ice caps which is an amazing sight to behold.
Also known as “Surfer’s Paradise”,” it is easy to see where the Gold Coast earned its nickname. Located southeast of Brisbane in Queensland, this city features one of Australia’s most impressive skylines and offers excellent tourist attractions for all visitors.
Set in the heart of Belgium, this capital city is one of Europe’s most influential centers and has been shaped by hundreds of years of both French and Dutch influence.
Mostar is one of the most well-known cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and features outstanding scenery. Ideal for both summer and winter travelers to visit, this landmark is the Old Bridge and is the highlight of the city.
Rio de Janeiro is the host city for the 2014 World Cup, and its unique landscape is one of South America’s most distinctive features. The most well-known landmark is the Cristo Redentor, which features a statue of Jesus Christ with his arms outstretched that overlooks the city.
Kribi is a town that is located on the southwestern coast of Cameroon and features some of the country’s nicest beaches. The soft sand, crystal clear water, and isolated location make this an ideal spot for travelers who are looking for a relaxing trip.
Torres Del Paine is one of Chile’s most recognizable national parks to visit. This view certainly stretches the imagination with the incredible scenery and gravity-defying mountain peaks in the background.
Located on the northern edge of South America and extremely close to the equator, San Andres Island is an ideal vacation spot year-round for travelers looking to venture to a tropical destination. The average temperature here is also at least 80 degrees every month.
If you feel the urge to visit one of the world’s most active volcanoes on your next vacation, then La Fortuna is the spot for you. With numerous attractions that are Ideal for outdoor travelers, this small city is overlooked by the Arenal Volcano.
Dubrovnik is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations and is a walled city located on the Adriatic Sea. Serving as an outstanding example of medieval architecture, this city should be on any traveler’s bucket list to visit.
Qutio is Ecuador’s capital city and is located in the Andes Mountain range very close to the equator. Several active volcanoes are close to the city, with the El Panecillo hill rising above the city here.
Easily one of the world’s most popular cities to visit, London perfectly blends hundreds of historic landmarks and museums with an urban scene that is prominent in culture, entertainment, and sports against the backdrop of the famous Thames River.
While Paris is an incredible location, nowhere captures the flavor of the Mediterranean quite like Nice. Situated in the southeastern corner of the country and close to both the Italian border and Monaco, Nice is a versatile destination for travelers and families to explore.
Bavaria is a state located in southeastern Germany that provides a real glimpse into one of Europe’s prettiest countries. Bavaria includes large cities such as Munich, but also features incredible examples of natural beauty and architecture, such as Neuschwanstein Castle as seen above.
Some of the best beaches in both Ghana and Africa are located in the Western Region of the country which is perfect for recreation. Some of the most notable spots here include Busia Pleasure Beach and Sports Club Beach.
While many travelers (myself included) will tend to associate Greece with Athens, Santorini is a fascinating island that is located on top of a collapsed volcanic caldera in the Aegean Sea from an ancient eruption. The architecture here is visually stunning as well.
Not only are the beaches here amazing, but Roatan is located very close to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which is the world’s second largest barrier reef.
Iran - Shiraz
Shiraz is a beautiful city in the Middle East that is renowned for its variety of gardens and Islamic architecture. Shiraz is also one of the oldest cities in the Middle East and is a center today for Iranian literature and culture.
Choosing one area in Italy was always going to be a tough task, but Tuscany’s history and influence on the modern world as the make it a must-see region to visit. The most well-known locations here include Florence (“The Birthplace of the Renaissance”) and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but Tuscany’s rural landscapes steal the scene and make the area truly unforgettable.
Ivory Coast - Abidjan
Abidjan is the largest city in the Ivory Coast and is a sprawling urban center that is a hub for sports, music, entertainment, and nightlife. Abidjan also features notable monuments and museums throughout the city, including St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Moving over to the Far East, Osaka is one of Japan’s largest cities after Tokyo. The urban section of the city is illuminated 24/7 as seen here, while major attractions include a wide selection of parks and monuments to explore, such as Osaka Castle.
Busan is one of Korea’s largest urban cities and is a major center of recreation, parks, beaches, museums, temples, and shopping. Busan’s mark on international sports has also been felt, as it waspreviously a co-host of the 2002 World Cup and is currently bidding for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Located on the southern tip of Baja California, Cabo San Lucas is one of Mexico’s most heavily visited tourist destinations with ideal beaches and nightlife. The most famous feature in this area is the El Arco de Cabo San Lucas which has incredible natural rock formations.
Amsterdam is steeped in history, and it shows to this day. The city features several historic canals which are some of the best vacation experiences that Europe offers. The canals were built in the 17th century and offer a front-row seat to experience the beauty of Dutch architecture.
One of Nigeria’s most popular destinations is the Agbokim Waterfalls. Ideal for travelers who enjoy safaris and wildlife, the waterfalls are situated deep within the rainforest. Close by is Zuma Rock, which is an equally breathtaking sight.
Algarve is perfect for summer travelers and is Portugal’s southernmost region. Marinha Beach is a must-see spot to visit, as it’s natural cliffs and crystal water make it one of the most beautiful spots to visit in the country.
If you are feeling very ambitious, then be sure to check out Russia’s Lake Baikal, which is located in the heart of Siberia. Hockey season may be winding down right now, but this looks like an unbelievable sheet of ice to play a game of pond hockey no matter how cold the temperature might be.
Barcelona is an obvious choice as the Catalonian city simply has it all. Whether you plan to watch a football match at the Camp Nou, explore the city’s variety of architecture and monuments, or relax on some of the world’s best beaches, there is something for all travelers here.
Zermatt is a beautiful ski resort town that is located in the heart of the Alps. The Matterhorn can be seen off in the distance here, and is one of the most popular peaks in Europe.
Every state in the U.S. has amazing vacation spots to visit, but San Francisco gets the nod here with its relaxing climate, famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, and prominence in Northern California.
Rounding out our list is Punta del Este in Uruguay, as this beach resort town is a great summer escape for vacationers. One must-see attraction on Brava Beach is the “Mano de Punta del Este.”