Travel Destinations Worth the Double Tap

Cliché shots of the Eiffel Tower aside, here’s a list of places that look good online and even better in real life

by Margarita Buenaventura

In the last few years, there’s been a spike in the use of smartphones as the travelers’ way of documenting their journeys—and with it, the growth of Instagram as a virtual journal. Cliché shots of the Eiffel Tower aside, here’s a list of places that look good online and even better in real life

 

 

1. The Maldives

#Maldives

1,323,530 hashtags

The Islamic Republic is made up of 1,200 mostly uninhabited islands. Overall, 90 percent of its territory is comprised of clear waters.

Double Tap

Standing in the center of white sand and cyan waters as far as the eye can see is brilliant in its simplicity. Between May and November, you can swim with manta rays at Manta Point.

Dodge

Dressing in provocative clothes at Malé, the capital. The largely Muslim community frowns upon skimpy outfits.

Photo by Mr. Hicks

 

2. Cappadocia, Turkey

#Cappadocia

267,286 hashtags

This semi-arid region is said to be brimming with otherworldly natural sites.

Double Tap

Unsurprisingly, the hot air balloons in the town of Göreme will rake in Instagram cred. Second runner-up is the fairy chimney, spires of volcanic rock.

Dodge

Tourist traps that overcharge for dysfunctional ATV rentals.

 

Photo by Stuart Pinfold

 

3. Bath, United Kingdom

#BathUK

7,000 hashtags

As its name suggests, Bath was the place to be for a refreshing soak at the height of the Roman Empire.

Double Tap

The Roman Baths, with its distinct look capable of transporting you to another century. Don’t skip out on the fan vaulting in Bath Abbey.

Dodge

Spending more than a weekend here. The city is small enough for you to hit all the important sights in a short amount of time.

 

Photo by Chris Ford

 

4. Chefchaouen, Morocco

#Chefchaouen

44,430 hashtags

Also known as The Blue Pearl, the homes and buildings of Chefchaouen are rinsed in blue paint.

Double Tap

The sheltered trove in Hassan 1 is a dream with its silverware, carpets, and spices. Alleyways in the old part of town are neatly tinted and easy on the eyes.

Dodge

Getting mixed up with shady locals. The city is the main producer of cannabis in Morocco, and hashish is sold all over.

 

Photo by Pistachoveloz

 

5. Córdoba, Spain

#CordobaEsp

25,778 hashtags

The Andalusian city is the largest urban area in the world declared a World Heritage by UNESCO.

Double Tap

Food shots at Ziryab, the city’s temple of tapas. To soak in local culture, the interiors of the Cathedral of Cordoba Mosque are spectacular.

Dodge

The Archeological Museum. It has a good collection of Roman artifacts, but no English signage.

 

Photo by Carolina Odman

 

6. Cape Town, South Africa

#CapeTown

2,128,079 hashtags

Natural beauty reigns in South Africa’s legislative capital: tranquil peaks, vibrant beaches, and a diverse array of wildlife.

Double Tap

Wake up early to hike up Cape Point or swim with great white sharks at nearby Gansbaai, then catch the view from the peak of Table Mountain.

Dodge

Partying hard. Cape Town’s nightlife simmers down by 2 A.M.

 

Photo by Andrey Wi

 

7. Saint Petersburg, Russia

#SaintPetersburg

1,030,055 hashtags

Russia’s northernmost city is considered the country’s cultural capital.

Double Tap

The onion domes that crown the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood seem almost unreal in their presence.

Dodge

Purchasing antiques or anything that could have “cultural value.” It may be difficult to get it past Russian customs.

 

Photo by Diana Nguyen

 

8. Marfa, United States

#Marfa

61,188 hashtags

The West Texas city is a major center for minimalist art.

Double Tap

Marfa’s art scene like the Chinati Foundation and the Prada Marfa sculpture. Look out for the city’s ghost lights, said to be a paranormal occurrence.

Dodge

Looking for cowboys. It’s just not that kind of place.

 

Photo by Tom Grydeland

 

9. Svaldbard, Norway

#Svalbard

53,031 hashtags

Situated between mainland Norway and the North Pole, the archipelago is largely covered in glaciers.

Double Tap

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, is definitely the central attraction. But while smartphone cameras are all well and good, the area’s low temperatures might require more resilient technology.

Dodge

Going in the dead of winter.

 

Photo by Toastbrot81

 

10. Positano, Italy

#Positano

225,000 hashtags

Positano used to be a poor fishing village until John Steinback wrote about it in Harper’s Bazaar in 1953.

Double Tap

Positano’s famous tipple: the L’Albertissimo, found at a tiny stall along the harbor. Then visit the Grotta della Smeraldo, or the Emerald Grotto.

Dodge

Checking into a fancy hotel. Rent out a furnished apartment instead.