4 contemporary destinations South African travellers should explore

A young traveller looking at a city from a high vantage point. Picture: Unsplash

A young traveller looking at a city from a high vantage point. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jan 19, 2024


As the travel bug continues to spread its wings, South African globetrotters are eagerly scouting for the next hot spots to quench their wanderlust in 2024.

Every year, new and trendy destinations are added to the travel bucket lists of South Africans.

But you might want to recheck that as these destinations remain at the top of the list on many bucket lists.

They promise a blend of culture, adventure and relaxation and are perfect at any time of the year as there is always something you can learn or experience when visiting.

If you’re looking for a contemporary destination with a timeless feel, consider the list offered by travel experts at Air France:

Paris, France

A view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Picture: Unsplash

The travel experts say Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations around the world for good reason.

“In 2023, South Africans flocked to the French capital to witness the Springboks win the Rugby World Cup for the fourth time, and in 2024, it’s expected to continue being a popular destination for South African travellers.”

With its charming streets, cosy cafés, exclusive boutiques, world-renowned museums, exquisite cuisine, the beautiful Seine River and landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triumph, Paris offers something for everyone and is why the destination continues to captivate the hearts of travellers seeking a blend of sophistication and romance.

Stockholm, Sweden

Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden. Picture: Unsplash

“The Nordics have seen a major rise in popularity in tourists from around the world – and South Africans are certainly taking note.

“Sweden is set to be bustling this year as it prepares to host the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest and its capital is getting major attention from travellers,” the travel experts say.

Stockholm is a city built on islands and is rich with historic architecture.

“Gamla Stan, Stockholm's charming old town, remains a popular destination for tourists. Other must-visit attractions include the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral, and Stortorget, the oldest square in Stockholm.

“Djurgården Island is an oasis known for its green spaces, museums and recreational activities and is home to attractions like the ABBA Museum, Gröna Lund amusement park, Skansen, the world’s first open-air museum and zoo, and the Nordic Museum.”

Lisbon, Portugal

A view of Alfama, Lisbon. Picture: Unsplash

Third on the contemporary globetrotter’s list is Lisbon, Portugal. The Portuguese capital is fast becoming a popular European destination, thanks to its blend of history, culture, cuisine, vibrant atmosphere and incredible weather.

“Its architecture is certainly something to marvel at. The narrow cobblestone streets of the Alfama district and historic landmarks such as São Jorge Castle and the iconic Belém Tower are a treat for anyone visiting. Lisbon has also been called a city of hills, offering numerous panoramic viewpoints.”

The travel experts say visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the city, the Tagus River, and the city’s colourful rooftops from spots like Miradouro da Senhora do Monte and Miradouro da Graça.

“The food in Portugal is world-famous – and for good reason. Travellers are encouraged to indulge in popular traditional dishes like pastéis de nata (custard tarts), bacalhau à brás (salted cod), and feijoada (bean stew).”

Miami, US

An aerial view of Miami South Beach. Picture: Unsplash

Miami is famous for its sun-soaked beaches, vibrant culture and eclectic entertainment. While South Africans continue to flock to American cities like New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, the vibrant coastal city is quickly becoming a popular destination for travellers.

“Beyond the pristine shores and popular South Beach region, Miami's culinary scene is an odyssey, featuring Latin flavours, delicious seafood dishes, and innovative fusion cuisine.

“Miami's vibrant nightlife, pulsating with the beats of salsa and electronic music, has also helped make this city world-famous,”

The travel experts says that with its tropical climate, multicultural charm, and dynamic energy, Miami promises South African travellers a lively and multifaceted escape in the heart of the Sunshine State.

“With a focus on comfort, convenience, and an array of amenities, Air France continues to elevate the travel experience, making these four destinations an enticing prospect for South African globetrotters in the upcoming year and beyond.”