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Embark on a journey into the world of “Destination Dupes,” an emerging travel trend capturing the imagination of globetrotters in 2024.

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10 Destination Alternatives You Can Add To Your Bucket List

Action and Adventure, Locations, Popular Attractions, Slow Travel, Tourism, Travel, Travel Hacks | 0 comments

Joy Delosa

Written by Joy Delosa

Experience the perfect blend of the familiar and the unfamiliar as we explore unique destinations that echo the essence of your favourite travel spots. This year, discover the allure of these destination duplicates, promising a distinctive and memorable travel experience. Join us in unveiling the magic that lies within these captivating locales, offering a fresh take on your wanderlust adventures. Get ready to make 2024 a year filled with new perspectives and extraordinary destinations that might just feel like déjà vu in the best possible way. Explore our curated list of 15 destination dupes, each promising a unique twist on the places you love.

1. Instead of Santorini, Visit Paros

Santorini

Santorini

Paros

Paros

Nestled in the heart of the Aegean Sea, Paros emerges as a captivating alternative to the iconic Santorini. While both islands share the breathtaking charm of Cycladic architecture, Paros distinguishes itself with a more laid-back and authentic atmosphere. The labyrinthine streets of Parikia, the island’s main town, are adorned with whitewashed buildings adorned with vibrant bougainvillea, offering a picturesque setting that rivals Santorini’s renowned beauty. Unlike the bustling crowds of Santorini, Paros offers a more serene escape, where visitors can explore tranquil beaches, such as Golden Beach and Kolymbithres, and experience the genuine warmth of the local hospitality.

Venturing beyond the beaten path, visitors to Paros will encounter a mosaic of traditional villages like Lefkes, perched atop a hill with panoramic views, or Naoussa, a charming fishing village with a vibrant harbour ambience. As a hidden gem, Paros beckons those seeking an authentic Greek experience, encouraging travellers to reconsider their Santorini aspirations and indulge in the unspoiled allure of this Cycladic gem.

2. Instead of Maldives, Visit Palawan

Maldives

Maldives

Palawan

Palawan

Palawan, often dubbed the “Last Frontier” of the Philippines, presents a compelling alternative to the luxurious allure of the Maldives. This paradisiacal archipelago boasts unparalleled natural beauty, featuring pristine beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush tropical landscapes that rival those of its more renowned counterpart. Nestled in the westernmost part of the Philippines, Palawan enchants travellers with its untouched charm, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of mainstream tourist destinations. From the enchanting limestone cliffs of El Nido to the remote islands of Coron, Palawan beckons adventurers and relaxation seekers alike to explore its diverse ecosystems and immerse themselves in its unspoiled natural splendour.

Beyond its idyllic beaches, Palawan boasts a rich cultural heritage and a wealth of adventurous activities. Visitors can embark on exhilarating snorkelling and diving expeditions to discover vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, or trek through the dense jungles of Puerto Princesa’s Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its enchanting blend of natural wonders and cultural treasures, Palawan invites travellers to swap their Maldives dreams for a truly authentic and unforgettable island experience in the heart of the Philippines.

3. Instead of London, Visit Liverpool

London

London

Liverpool

Liverpool

Liverpool, a vibrant city in the northwest of England, emerges as a distinctive alternative to the bustling streets of London. Steeped in history, Liverpool stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its iconic waterfront and architectural gems. The famous Albert Dock, housing museums, galleries, and trendy bars, showcases the city’s maritime legacy and cultural vibrancy. Beyond its historic charm, Liverpool has become a hub for music enthusiasts, being the birthplace of The Beatles. Immerse yourself in the rich musical heritage by exploring The Beatles Story Museum or attending a live performance at the renowned Cavern Club, where the legendary band first gained recognition.

While London exudes metropolitan grandeur, Liverpool offers a more intimate and welcoming atmosphere. Stroll through the eclectic neighbourhoods of the Baltic Triangle and Lark Lane, where street art, independent shops, and diverse dining options create a distinct local flavour. The city’s warm and friendly locals contribute to its unique charm, making Liverpool an inviting destination for those seeking an authentic English experience that stands apart from the cosmopolitan allure of the capital. Swap the bustling pace of London for the cultural richness and friendly spirit of Liverpool, and you’ll discover a city that captivates the heart and soul of every visitor.

4. Instead of Sydney, Visit Perth

Sydney

Sydney

Perth

Perth

Perth, the sun-kissed capital of Western Australia, beckons travellers to discover a different facet of Australia’s charm, providing a refreshing alternative to the vibrant energy of Sydney. Situated on the country’s western coast, Perth boasts a more relaxed pace of life, set against the backdrop of stunning beaches and the serene Swan River. While Sydney may dazzle with its iconic Opera House and bustling harbour, Perth offers a laid-back elegance and natural beauty that captivates visitors. Enjoy the clear blue skies at Cottesloe Beach, where the Indian Ocean meets golden sands, or take a stroll along the Elizabeth Quay waterfront to soak in the city’s modern architecture and waterfront views.

Perth’s cultural scene, while perhaps not as internationally acclaimed as Sydney’s, has its unique charm. Wander through the vibrant neighbourhoods of Northbridge and Leederville, where eclectic street art, independent boutiques, and diverse culinary offerings showcase the city’s creative spirit. With its expansive parks, such as Kings Park and the Botanic Garden, and a burgeoning food and wine scene, Perth invites travellers to trade the fast-paced glamour of Sydney for a more relaxed and immersive experience on the western shores of Australia. Discover the hidden gems of Perth, and you’ll find a city that embraces a tranquil elegance and natural allure that sets it apart from its bustling eastern counterpart.

5. Instead of Seoul, Visit Taipei

Seoul

Seoul

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei, the bustling capital of Taiwan, emerges as a captivating alternative to the vibrant streets of Seoul, South Korea. Nestled against a backdrop of lush mountains, Taipei seamlessly blends traditional and modern elements, creating a unique urban landscape. Swap the fast-paced energy of Seoul for the serenity of Taipei’s temples, such as Longshan Temple and the iconic Taipei 101, a symbol of the city’s economic prowess. The sprawling night markets, including Shilin and Raohe, showcase Taipei’s culinary prowess with an array of mouthwatering street food, inviting visitors to savour local delicacies and flavours.

While Seoul boasts a dynamic K-pop culture, Taipei offers its own artistic and cultural tapestry. Explore the hip neighbourhoods of Ximending and Da’an, where trendy boutiques, teahouses, and vibrant street art immerse visitors in Taipei’s creative spirit. The city’s efficient public transportation system makes it easy to explore cultural landmarks like the National Palace Museum and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. With its friendly locals and diverse array of experiences, Taipei invites travellers to veer off the well-trodden path of Seoul and discover a dynamic Asian metropolis with its distinct charm and allure.

6. Instead of Bali, Visit Langkawi

Bali

Bali

Langkawi

Langkawi

Langkawi, an archipelago of 99 islands off the coast of Malaysia, which stands as a tranquil alternative to the popular Indonesian destination of Bali. Known for its pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and stunning geological formations, Langkawi offers a serene escape for those seeking a laid-back tropical retreat. Swap the bustling beaches of Bali for the untouched beauty of Langkawi’s Tanjung Rhu Beach, where clear turquoise waters and golden sands create a peaceful haven. The island’s Langkawi Geopark, with its ancient rock formations and dense mangrove forests, provides a nature-rich backdrop for exploration, setting it apart from the more tourist-heavy attractions of Bali.

While Bali is famous for its vibrant nightlife and bustling markets, Langkawi invites visitors to a more relaxed and intimate setting. The island’s vibrant night markets, such as the one in Pantai Cenang, offer a taste of local flavours and handicrafts without the crowds found in Bali’s bustling marketplaces. Explore the Langkawi SkyBridge and take a cable car ride for panoramic views of the archipelago, showcasing Langkawi’s natural beauty and tranquillity. With its calm ambience, diverse ecosystems, and unspoiled landscapes, Langkawi promises a refreshing escape for travellers looking to trade the lively energy of Bali for a more peaceful and secluded tropical paradise.

7. Instead of Zermatt, Visit Sapporo

Zermatt

Zermatt

Sapporo

Sapporo

Sapporo, the capital of Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, emerges as a captivating alternative to the Alpine charm of Zermatt. Renowned for its winter wonderland, Sapporo is a haven for snow enthusiasts seeking a unique and less crowded experience. Swap the iconic Matterhorn views for the powdery slopes of Niseko, just a short drive from Sapporo, where world-class skiing and snowboarding await against the backdrop of stunning Japanese landscapes. The annual Sapporo Snow Festival transforms the city into a magical winter wonderland with gigantic ice sculptures, attracting visitors from around the world to witness the creativity and craftsmanship on display.

While Zermatt is celebrated for its luxurious mountain resorts, Sapporo offers a different kind of warmth in its vibrant food scene and lively atmosphere. Explore the historic Susukino district, known for its bustling nightlife and delicious Hokkaido specialties, including fresh seafood and renowned Sapporo beer. The city’s winter charm extends beyond skiing and culinary delights, as the Hokkaido Shrine and the Moerenuma Park offer serene settings to appreciate the beauty of winter in Japan. With its unique blend of winter festivities, cultural experiences, and picturesque landscapes, Sapporo invites travellers to trade the Swiss Alpine retreat for a distinctive and enchanting Japanese winter adventure.

8. Instead of Venice, Visit Ljubljana

Venice

Venice

Ljubljana

Ljubljana

Ljubljana, the charming capital of Slovenia, emerges as a delightful alternative to the romantic waterways of Venice. Nestled along the banks of the Ljubljanica River, this picturesque city offers a unique blend of medieval architecture, vibrant street life, and a relaxed atmosphere. Swap the crowded canals of Venice for a stroll across Ljubljana’s iconic Triple Bridge, leading to the enchanting Old Town. Here, visitors can explore the historic Ljubljana Castle, perched atop Castle Hill, providing panoramic views of the city’s charming skyline.

While Venice is renowned for its gondola rides, Ljubljana offers an equally enchanting experience with its scenic boat cruises along the Ljubljanica River. The city’s vibrant cultural scene, marked by numerous art galleries, museums, and outdoor cafes, creates a welcoming ambience for exploration. Preseren Square, adorned with the iconic pink Franciscan Church, serves as a lively hub for locals and tourists alike. With its distinct blend of historical charm, green spaces, and a lively cultural scene, Ljubljana invites travellers to reconsider their Venetian dreams and discover the magic of this lesser-known European gem.

9. Instead of Cancún, Visit Punta Cana

Cancún

Cancún

Punta Cana

Punta Cana

Punta Cana, nestled along the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, emerges as a captivating alternative to the sun-soaked beaches of Cancún. Known for its pristine white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and luxurious resorts, Punta Cana offers a tropical paradise with a distinct Caribbean charm. Swap the bustling atmosphere of Cancún’s Hotel Zone for the tranquillity of Punta Cana’s Bavaro Beach, where palm-fringed shores and crystal-clear waters create a serene haven for relaxation and water activities. The region is dotted with all-inclusive resorts, providing a perfect blend of comfort and indulgence.

While Cancún boasts a vibrant nightlife, Punta Cana invites visitors to a more laid-back and intimate setting. Explore the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve, a hidden gem offering lush landscapes, freshwater lagoons, and an opportunity to connect with nature. Golf enthusiasts can tee off at world-class courses, such as Punta Espada Golf Club, against a backdrop of stunning ocean views. With its idyllic beaches, diverse outdoor adventures, and welcoming Dominican culture, Punta Cana beckons travellers to trade the bustling Mexican coast for a more relaxed and rejuvenating Caribbean escape.

10. Instead of Phuket, Visit Da Nang

Phuket

Phuket

Da Nang

Da Nang

Nestled along the central coast of Vietnam, Da Nang emerges as a captivating alternative to the popular Thai destination of Phuket. Boasting a unique blend of cultural richness and natural beauty, Da Nang provides a more serene and authentic experience. Swap the bustling crowds of Phuket’s tourist hotspots for the pristine shores of My Khe Beach in Da Nang, where golden sands meet turquoise waters, creating an idyllic setting for relaxation and water activities.

While Phuket is known for its vibrant nightlife, Da Nang offers a more tranquil and culturally rich atmosphere. Explore the Marble Mountains, a cluster of five limestone hills adorned with pagodas and caves, providing panoramic views of the city and the coastline. The ancient town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site just a short drive away, offers a charming blend of well-preserved architecture, lantern-lit streets, and a vibrant culinary scene. With its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and slower-paced ambience, Da Nang invites travellers to veer off the beaten path and discover the hidden gems of Vietnam’s central coast.

Traveler taking photo on photo camera on hill

In the world of travel, the allure of familiar yet distinct destinations beckons adventurers to explore the charm of travel dupes. From the tranquil beaches of Paros echoing Santorini’s beauty to the serene elegance of Punta Cana as an alternative to Cancún’s lively shores, each dupe offers a unique blend of familiarity and novelty. Whether it’s the cultural richness of Ljubljana standing in for Venice or the tropical paradise of Da Nang as a serene counterpart to Phuket, these destinations captivate with their distinct magic.

As we navigate the landscapes of 2024, consider swapping the well-trodden paths for these enticing travel dupes, offering a fresh perspective and a chance to indulge in the best of both worlds. Embrace the serenity of Punta Cana, the cultural treasures of Ljubljana, or the untamed beauty of Da Nang, and discover that, sometimes, the most unforgettable adventures lie in the road less travelled. So, pack your bags and set forth on a journey to these destination dupes, where the echoes of familiarity meet the thrill of the unknown, creating memories that linger long after the journey ends.

Sources:

We would like to acknowledge our online sources in this section. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. The article above would not have been made possible without your valuable contributions:

https://www.cheapoair.com/miles-away/escape-the-crowds-combat-overtourism-with-these-destination-dupes/ 
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/overtourism-alternative-destinations-to-visit
https://www.flightcentre.ca/window-seat/alternatives-to-popular-travel-destinations#punta-cana-instead-of-cancun

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