Instagram-worthy landmarks, a variety of restaurants, and happy hour galore – most cities have everything you need for a great holiday with your besties. But Dubrovnik is our pick of the bunch. By day, this Croatian city is a maze of red rooftops, age-old churches and ancient palaces. Once the sun sets, though, Dubrovnik’s Old Town comes to life. Hop between sophisticated wine bars, low-lit cocktail lounges, and Irish pubs with live music. There’s a handful of nightclubs, too, if you want something a little livelier.
New York might be one of the most romantic places in the world, but it's also a fun option for friends. Whether you want to go for three nights, a week or longer, there’s plenty to keep you busy. Shop ‘til you drop in the designer stores on Fifth Avenue, or browse the markets and boutiques of Greenwich Village. Be dazzled by a show on Broadway, visit historical Ellis Island, and go up the Empire State Building, where you can look out over the world’s most famous skyline. And, of course, there’s the food. From the family-run restaurants of Little Italy to the hotdog stands in Times Square, New York serves up dishes for all tastes and budgets. Plus, you can walk off some of the calories with a stroll around Central Park – perfect.
If you prefer your sunshine to be served with a side of culture, Cyprus is the place to go. On the west coast, the Paphos region is packed with Blue Flag beaches and historical sights, so you’ll have the best of both worlds. According to legend, goddess Aphrodite came to this Mediterranean island, and you can visit the remains of her rugged temple in Paphos Town. The Tomb of Kings is another must-see. Carved into the hillside, these UNESCO-protected caverns date all the way back to the fourth century BC. While your tan might not last quite that long, you can certainly top it up on the beach after a day of exploring.
For something completely different, go further afield and head to Southeast Asia. With the perfect balance of culture, beaches and nightlife, Thailand is a great place to travel with friends. Discover Buddhist temples, tranquil national parks and palm-lined beaches in Krabi. Alternatively, head to lively Bangkok, where you can explore the Grand Palace, haggle for souvenirs in the floating markets, and buy freshly cooked Pad Thai from a street stall.
Sometimes all you need is sun, sea and sand. If that’s the case, Bulgaria should be on your list. It might not be as famous as some of its European cousins, but this Balkan beauty has plenty to offer. Thanks to its long list of Blue Flag beaches, Bulgaria has plenty of sunbathing spots. Sunny Beach is home to an eight-kilometre stretch of sand, while Obzor has a supersized beach backed by dramatic mountains.
If you and your mates are looking for a more luxurious beach retreat, check out Sardinia. With sugary sands and clear seas, this place could easily pass for a Caribbean island. Known as the Emerald Coast, Olbia is a popular hangout for celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio and Rihanna. Unsurprisingly, Porto Cervo Marina is packed with sleek yachts, and there are plenty of swanky beach clubs serving pizza and Prosecco. But you don’t have to splash the cash to get good quality grub – keep an eye out for back-street pizzerias, where lunch will set you back about €10.
Dance all night and sleep all day. If that sounds like your perfect holiday, check out Greece’s infamous party islands. Lively Laganas offers the best nightlife in Zante, with a mile-long strip of neon nightclubs, karaoke places and pulsing bars. On the island of Crete, meanwhile, it’s all about Malia. The clubs here offer fishbowls, fire shows and big-name DJs, while the beach pairs sunloungers with watersports.
But, if you really want to go all out with your mates, there’s only one place to go – Las Vegas. With round-the-clock casinos, glamorous pool parties and glittering rooftop bars, it’s easy to see why this place is called Sin City. Only here can you play roulette inside a pyramid, see a volcano erupt, watch jousting in a castle, and ride a rollercoaster – all in one day. After all that, you can watch unbelievable acrobatics courtesy of Cirque du Soleil, and hop between bars in places styled up like Paris, New York and Venice.
Decided where to go? Grab your friends and book your holiday now.
Plus, find out which destinations you need to tick off this year, get clued up on our packing hacks, and which free travel apps you need to download before you go.
Pssst. Head to the Discover homepage for our latest articles.
Author: Sarah Reeves
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