21 best places to go for a 21st birthday

Your 21st birthday should be one to remember. The perfect way to celebrate this milestone is by treating yourself with a 21st birthday trip. Now your teenager years are far behind you and you’re starting to have a budget for your travels, this is the moment to splurge on this special birthday. We teamed up with other travel bloggers to give you some inspiration for the best places to celebrate your 21st birthday. From bucket list festivals to off the beaten path city trips and from tropical beaches to must-visit islands, these are the best 21st birthday travel ideas.

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21 destinations to travel for your 21st birthday

#1 Macau

By Jin & De Wet from Museum of Wander

Macau is an exciting city, and if you’re looking for somewhere unique and exciting to celebrate your birthday, this tiny former Portuguese colony in southern China has it all. Visiting Macau is easy as almost everyone speaks English and most visitors don’t need a visa. Flights are often offered for a very competitive price.

Whether you’re planning to gamble in the luxurious casinos, explore its mix of European and Chinese culture, tuck into its exceptional cuisine, or party, Macau has an incredible variety of things to do.

Turning legal, there is no better place to try your hand and blackjack, poker, roulette, or slot machines than in the Las Vagas of the East. Macau’s casinos make more revenue than those in Vegas, and the Kotai Strip has all the big names such as The Venetian, MGM, Wynn Palace, City of Dreams, Studio City, and The Galaxy amongst the most famous.

All these casinos have entertainment venues, shows, concerts, bars, and clubs to keep you and your friends on cloud 9 until kingdom comes (or your money runs out).

Being a former Portuguese colony, Macau has fantastic European and Chinese sights to explore. When you need some cultural distractions, head over to Senado Square to see the Baroque churches and colonial architecture. Foodies and Instagrammers will want to stuff themselves with Macau’s famous egg tarts and other delicious street food in Taipa village.

Stay at the Holiday Inn Express Macau City Centre and save your money for fun things to do, rather than splurging on a casino hotel.

Spend at least 3 full days in Macau to enjoy it to the fullest. It’s also easy (and recommended) to combine a trip to Macau with Hong Kong where you should spend at least another 3 days. 

Macau China

#2 Savannah in Georgia, US

By Victoria from Southern Trippers

Savannah, Georgia is easily one of the best places to celebrate your 21st birthday! The city is so historic and cute and has a lot of European flair. It is a relaxed and refined city with tons of southern charm. Think Spanish moss dripping from trees, tons of little squares, dream homes lining streets, fountains everywhere, and a cute river walk!

Savannah is very compact and walkable, so if you want to drink for your 21’st birthday, you won’t have to worry about driving as most places are an easy walk from many hotels in the historic district. The food and drinks in Savannah are truly amazing and you won’t want to miss them! One of the best places to eat is Zunzi’s for sandwiches and bowls and it is vegan and vegetarian friendly too. If you go for lunch, make sure to reserve in advance so that you don’t have to wait in a long line. Don’t forget to stop at E Jones Street for some cute Instagram photos and to admire the gorgeous homes that run along with it. It is said to be the prettiest street in America!

Finally, end your night with a ghost tour, one of the best things to do in Savannah, especially if you love spooky things! Savannah is one of the most haunted cities in the USA and a ghost tour is a great way to learn about the history while you are visiting!

You can visit Savannah either by car or by plane.

Savannah Georgia US

#3 Barcelona in Spain

By Carley from Home to Havana

If you’re looking for a mix of both relaxing on the beach and enjoying all that a big city has to offer, look no further than Barcelona for the perfect 21st birthday destination. From most places, you can easily find cheap direct flights to Barcelona. Combining both the beauty and cosmopolitan energy of Europe’s great cities with its distinctly Mediterranean feel, you’ll never have to look far for the perfect way to celebrate with friends or family.

Looking for where to stay in Barcelona, it can be challenging especially as a first-time visitor to narrow down the city’s many unique neighbourhoods, but if you’re looking forward to visiting the beach definitely consider staying in the Barceloneta neighbourhood. Here you’ll find a distinctly seaside, even small-town feel, but with all the city amenities you could want, including paddleboard rental, surf lessons, and more.

Make sure to explore the nearby Gothic Quarter with all its beauty and history, as well as taking a self-guided tour through the neighbouring El Born neighbourhood of some of the city’s best tapas bars. This is the perfect way to explore both the culinary scene and enjoy a night out with friends, sampling the best local wines or cava at each bar. El Born favorites include La Plata, El Xampanyet, and Tapeo.

Plan on spending at least a long weekend, or up to four or five days, enjoying this incredible city and all it has to do – you won’t want to miss any of its beautiful sights and the incredible experiences visitors can have here.

Barcelona Spain

#4 Bali in Indonesia

By Victoria from Guide Your Travel

Bali might just be the best place to travel for your 21st birthday. It perfectly combines nightlife with plenty of things to do plus it’s super budget-friendly. Try to spend at least a week in Bali to see the main sights although longer is better of course. We found the best flight deals to Bali on Kiwi.com.

For the best nightlife experience stay somewhere close to Kuta which is the neighbourhood with the most clubs and cheap bars. Canggu is a lot more laidback although there are plenty of beach clubs and hip bars to explore.

A great way to celebrate your 21st birthday is to head to the nearby Gili Islands which are a lot smaller than Bali and located just a quick boat ride away. Gili Trawangan is especially lively with lots of beach bars and parties. Go on a boat ride and have a BBQ on the boat as you enjoy the sunset. There are also party boats available in Gili Trawangan with lots of drinks and other travellers whom you can get to know. Back in Bali make sure to take a day trip to Ubud to get back in touch with nature and get to know Bali’s fascinating culture. There are lots of rice fields and yoga retreats which are the perfect way to relax after a busy week.

Bali Indonesia

#5 Mardi Grass in New Orleans, US

By Kerry Hanson from VeggTravel

If you’re looking for somewhere to go for your 21st birthday celebration, then look no further than New Orleans (NOLA). Not only do you have a beautiful city, with stunning architecture, interesting history and lots to do, but you also have amazing nightlife.

If your 21st birthday falls during February, then Mardi Gras Carnival in NOLA would be the party of a lifetime. During the day, you can check out the spectacular parades and grab handfuls of colourful beads. But, at night head to Bourbon Street in the French Quarter to get the party started. 

There are several bars, clubs, restaurants, and takeouts in the area that will keep you entertained into the early hours. Try the infamous local cocktails, the Hurricane, and the Hand Grenade to start the celebrations. The whole street is one big party, with many revellers on the decorated balconies, throwing beads to passers-by. Whether you’re visiting during Mardi Gras or not, the French Quarter is the place to be and recommended area to stay.

However, a birthday trip to New Orleans isn’t complete without a trip to Frenchmen Street for the full jazz experience. Walking by you will hear the mesmerizing sounds of the talented singers and musicians that fill all the bars in this area. Several jazz events and festivals take place throughout the year, and you will undoubtedly see fantastic talent when you drop by.

If you want to visit NOLA, you can check flights price here. Just be sure to plan at least 3 nights for your trip.

Mardi Grass New Orleans US

#6 Napels in Italy

By Lineke from Lineke Travels

Italy is a dream destination! It has beautiful cities, inviting people and great weather. Not to mention delicious food… La Bella Italia has a lot to offer, but to me, Naples and the Amalfi Coast are a winning combination. Definitely a great place to celebrate your 21st birthday!

Why? Well, first of all because Naples shows you the real Italy. With working-class neighbourhoods where laundry blows proudly in the wind and where scooters buzz through narrow streets like bees. In addition, here you’ll eat the tastiest pizzas ever and everything is dirt cheap. I recommend spending at least 3 days on your Naples city trip and to stay in the old town.

Combine your visit to Naples with the beautiful Amalfi Coast. You can easily take the train from Naples to Sorrento or Salerno. In little over an hour, you can already drive your rented Vespa scooter over the famous Costiera Amalfitana. This is the coastal road that connects all the small towns. Take your Vespa and go on your own little road trip. Eat ice cream in every town you visit and enjoy the view over the glittering seawater along the coastline. My favourite place on the Amalfi Coast? Ravello! This place really is picture-perfect and a lovely town to spend the night. I found it to be the perfect jumping-off point to explore the entire Amalfi Coast.

If you’re short on time, you can take a day trip from Naples to the Amalfi Coast. But I’d rather spend the night there and take at least two days to enjoy la dolce vita! If you’re interested in this amazing trip, you can easily check out the best prices for flights to Naples and start planning!

Napels Italy

#7 Hanoi in Vietnam

By Trisha and Modi from Try Wandering More

Hanoi in Vietnam is a fantastic place to visit for your 21st birthday. It is lively, the culture is fascinating, the food is delicious, the architecture is mesmerizing, the lakes are serene, the nightlife is super fun and best of all – it is all very inexpensive.

It takes two to three days to see Hanoi’s best attractions (check what a ticket will cost you). Start your trip by exploring the Old Quarter. You could spend an entire evening or two here just walking aimlessly- sampling street food and soaking in the Hanoi vibe. Make sure you visit the Hoan Kiem Lake and enjoy the street art on Phung Hung Mural Street. Also, visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex, an imposing memorial; the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university; The Imperial Thang Long Citadel, a UNESCO world heritage site; and the Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hanoi’s oldest Pagoda. If you love nature and its wonders, you could stay an additional two days to take day trips to Ninh Binh and Halong Bay.

Read more:  Visit Calakmul ruins: biggest Mayan ruins in Mexico (+map)

Bring in your birthday at Bia Hoi Junction (Beer Junction) – the quintessential nightlife area in Hanoi. Think tons of beer (try Bia Hoi), food, hookah, and all kinds of music! Want something more mellow? Try the Binh Minh Jazz Club.

Stay in an apartment in the old quarter to be close to everything. Apartments are inexpensive and great for a group of friends. If not travelling in a group, you could also opt for a hotel, La Storia Ruby Hotel, or a hostel, Hanoi Amazing Hostel.

Continue reading: this is the perfect travel itinerary for Vietnam.

Hanoi Vietnam

#8 Melboure in Australia

By Bec from Wyld Travel Family

Melbourne voted the most livable city in the world numerous times would have to be one of the most epic places to celebrate your 21st birthday.

There are so many things to do in Melbourne on so many different levels that you will be struggling to fit it all in on any length holiday Down Under. If you like nightclubs, there is a plethora within the Melbourne CBD, all within easy walking distance.

If you prefer culture and history you can visit the NGV (National; Gallery of Victoria) or the Melbourne Museum to see the current and permanent displays that are on show there. you can see a top theatre show at Her Majesty’s Theatre and then dine at an amazing restaurant to really make sure you celebrate well. China Town and South Bank are both wonderful places to get some of the best food in Melbourne. 

You can visit the Melbourne Zoo to have a look at the amazing and very unique Aussie animals. Sometimes the Zoo also offers a Keeper for the day program which would be an epic way to celebrate your 21st birthday in Melbourne.

If thrills are for you then a short tram ride out to Luna Park should be top of your list. Walkthrough the big wide mouth of the park and channel our inner kids to have an amazing time at this brilliant old-time theme park.

Melbourne also has some of the best day trips that will also add to your amazing trip to Australia. You can spend the day touring the Yarra Valley to sample some of the best wines in Australia and some of the magnificent food. You can take a day trip to the world-famous 12 Apostles and see what else the Great Ocean Road has to offer. You can visit the untamed wilderness of Gippsland by visiting the gold rush town of Walhalla or going further to Raymond Island to see koalas in their natural habitat.

It doesn’t matter what you like Melbourne is the very best place in the world for you to spend your unforgettable 21st birthday. Tickets are often reasonably priced, you can find the best deals here.

Melbourne Australia

#9 Tulum in Yucatan, Mexico

By Cynthia & Alexander from Travel your Memories

If you’re looking for a great birthday trip idea, Mexico is a great country and tickets are often cheap. Here you will find beautiful beaches, fun parties, authentic villages, Maya buildings, and more. One of the best places to find all these things is Tulum!

Tulum is located in the popular province of Yucatan. All types of travellers can indulge themselves because Tulum has for everyone something to offer. Whether you’re looking for parties, beaches, or want to swim in cenotes, you’ll find it here.

What are the best things to do in Tulum? There is a lot to do in Tulum! There are several cenotes to discover of which the Grand Cenote and Choo-Cha are the best. You also have a Mayan ruin along the coast that is beautiful because of its location. It’s on a cliff. In Tulum you can enjoy typical Mexican beaches, Playa Paraiso is the best public beach to visit. You can do a lot of day trips from Tulum, such as visiting the world wonder Chichen Itza.

We recommend staying 4 nights in Tulum, so you have enough time to do the best things in and around Tulum.

Assuming that you don’t have a big budget before you turn 21, it is recommended to stay in the centre of Tulum instead of on the beach. Casa Almendro is a good option. It is just off the main street so you can do walk through everything. With a roof terrace, clean rooms and a good price, this accommodation is recommended.

Continue reading: these are the best travel tips, travel itinerary and places to go in Yucatán, Mexico.

Tulum Mexico

#10 London in the UK

By Dymphe from Dymabroad

One of the best places to visit for your 21st birthday is London, the capital city of the United Kingdom. There are many reasons why this is the perfect destination when you are turning 21. One of the reasons is because there are many cute places in the city for your birthday. For example, there are many pretty cafes in London. These cafes have beautiful decorations, are often pink, and serve cute food, such as cupcakes.

Besides that, London is amazing because of its nightlife. If you want to party for your 21st birthday, it is definitely an amazing place to be. You can find great pubs and clubs in the city Moreover, London is a large city with many famous sights. For example, you can find the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, and the London Eye in the city. It is very fun to see these sights, and this makes it even more fun to visit the city.

Also, it is very fun to go shopping in London for your 21st birthday. You find many places that are great for this. For example, Oxford Street, Regent Street, and Covent Garden are perfect for shopping. One of the best places to stay in London is the hotel Shangri-La in The Shard. From this hotel, you have an amazing view of the Tower Bridge. Moreover, the ideal number of days to stay in London is 4 days, as this allows you to do and see most of the things in the city. You can often fly directly and for a great price to one of London’s airports, or take the Eurostar train as we did.

London UK

#11 Queenstown in New Zealand

By Jennifer Parkes from Backyard Travel Family

Queenstown, New Zealand is an epic destination for a 21st birthday. While you might think ticket prices will be high, you can often find great deals. Whether you are looking for an adventure-filled holiday or a classy place to live it up, there are a plentiful amount of things to do in Queenstown. If you are up for an adventure-packed vacation that you will never forget, head to the sky. Start off your trip with a skydive over the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu. Incredible views mixed with adrenaline will have you literally floating on air. Or head indoors to I-Fly for an indoor flying experience. Then head to the water for one of the most unique experiences: a hydro attack shark boat. This shark-shaped boat will have you ducking and diving on this incredible waterfront. The Skyline Gondola has incredible views, but at the top, an epic group activity, the luge go-karts. For an even more memorable experience, try a spot of heli golf where your own helicopter will take you to the most picturesque holes you’ve ever played.

Those looking for a classy affair could try the incredible wine tasting in the Gibbston Valley and the magical hot pool experience at Onsen Hot Pools. Finish off your day with a fine dining experience at Rata or the Botswana Butchery.

Queenstown has a great range of accommodations ranging from budget to luxury. Big groups on a budget, looking for a great time will enjoy the Queenstown YHA in the centre of town. Nightlife is abundant and all within walking distance in this close-knit township. Millbrook Resort is a luxury option on a world-renown golf course that will give you the space to relax in style.

Queenstown New Zealand

#12 Hvar Island in Croatia

By PlacesofJuma

Hvar Island is a real travel highlight in Croatia, and a real insider tip to celebrate a 21st birthday! Often called the St. Tropez of Croatia, Hvar has become a real scene island. On a birthday vacation, you can expect a unique flair, countless dream beaches, romantic coastal towns and a wide range of activities. And of course not to forget the lively nightlife, which is just perfect for celebrating your life.

Hvar is located in Dalmatia and thanks to its central location, it is easy to reach by ferry from Split or from the neighbouring islands! Really worth seeing is the historic old town of Hvar, which inspires by its Dalmatian stone houses and the romantic cobblestone streets. Here you go on a kind of time travel and you enjoy an ambience like from a postcard. Really cool are also the many beach clubs which enchants with amazing flair!

But also the rest of the island with the small fishing villages and the beautiful landscapes is fantastic! A real highlight, however, are the countless dream beaches that invite you to spend unforgettable summer days by the sea. Croatia connoisseurs even count these among the most beautiful bathing bays in the country.

Lovely and worth seeing are also the small, romantic villages like Stari Grad, Vrboska and Jelsa in the north of the island. They are less touristy and therefore promise quiet flair. Here, by the way, you can try some delicious local wines, which are grown on this part of the island. Convinced? Check out what a ticket will cost you.

Hvar Island Croatia

#13 Sydney in Australia

By Cassie from Cassie The Hag

Sydney is one of the world’s most iconic spots to spend your 21st birthday. From world-famous beaches to a birthday drink overlooking the Sydney Opera House, make your 21st one to remember in this fantastic Australian city. Just like Melbourne, you will probably have to book a flight to get there.

In the morning, have brunch at the fabulously photogenic The Grounds or Cuppa Flower. For something more lowkey, head to one of the beachside cafes at Bondi. From here, you can stroll along the famous Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. This is a great way to enjoy Sydney’s famous white sand beaches with unbeatable views over the Pacific Ocean. 

In the afternoon, you can relax at one of the city’s many beaches or take on an adventurous activity. If you’re not afraid of heights, you can take on the BridgeClimb at Sydney Harbour Bridge. If ocean depths are more your thing, go snorkelling or scuba-diving, or take a dip in one of Sydney’s ocean pools such as the Bondi Icebergs. Finish your evening at one of the historic pubs in The Rocks, celebrate in style at The Opera Bar (right outside the Sydney Opera House itself!), or check out one of the city’s rooftop bars. 

If you have more time, why not celebrate your birthday over a weekend, and enjoy one of Sydney’s best day trips such as the Blue Mountains or Palm Beach? Or for an alternative itinerary, head to Sydney’s North Shore and enjoy Curl Curl Beach Pool, snorkelling at Shelly Beach, and dinner in Manly. Enjoy!

Sydney Australia

#14 Istanbul in Turkey

By Emily from Wander-Lush

The most beautiful place in Turkey and one of the world’s great cities, it’s hard to imagine a destination more apt for celebrating a 21st birthday than Istanbul. History, culture, nightlife, incredible food: Istanbul has everything you need to mark this milestone in an unforgettable fashion.

Istanbul’s history goes back to 660 BCE. This is the kind of city where places you’ve read about in novels and characters you’ve met during history class come to life before your very eyes. There’s nothing like a trip to Turkey’s capital to put world history into context. Must-see landmarks include The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower, and the Basilica Cistern.

Foodies will adore Istanbul’s culinary scene. Feast on a classic Turkish breakfast at Van Kahvalti Evi in Beyoglu, then gorge on Turkish delight, baklava and chewy Turkish ice cream at Hafiz Mustafa, one of the city’s oldest cafes. Take a boat trip on the Bosphorus to see the point where two worlds – Europe and Asia – collide, roam the colourful neighbourhood of Balat, climb the 5th century Walls of Constantinople for a city view, and don’t leave without partaking in a traditional hammam bath treatment.

Read more:  Koox Casona 3 Marias, our home away from home in Merida

After spending your days immersing yourself in history and culture, when night falls, it’s time to soak up Istanbul’s world-renowned nightlife scene. Go bar hopping on Istiqlal Street or head to Ortakoy. Anise-flavoured Raki is the drink of choice in Istanbul, so do what the locals do and order a cocktail made with the strong spirit.

Istanbul is a budget-friendly destination, which makes it perfect for young people. Flights are reasonably cheap and there’s a great hostel scene if you want to meet other travellers, and more than a few affordable boutique accommodations if you’d prefer to treat yourself. Social travellers will love Hostel Le Banc, conveniently located in bustling Taksim and with a gorgeous rooftop terrace. If your budget permits, a few nights at the heritage Ayramin Hotel is the perfect place to spend your birthday in luxury.

Speaking of treating yourself: Where better to go shopping for a birthday present than at Istanbul’s iconic Grand Bazaar. A traditional Turkish coffee set, a peshtemal towel, jewellery or spices all make for great souvenirs.

Istanbul Turkey

#15 Ibiza in Spain

By Nadine from Le Long Weekend

The most lively of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Ibiza is a destination that has it all for a 21st birthday celebration. Well known as a party island, you’ll have your pick of the best clubs to visit, with a stellar lineup of DJs to dance the night away. The world-famous superclubs such as Ushuaia and Hï Ibiza allow you to party until the sun comes up in their new open-air space, Palmarama. Or you can club hop your way around the island on the dedicated Discobus.

If superclubs aren’t your scene, there are plenty of quieter places to stay in Ibiza than the hedonistic capital (although you should spend at least a day exploring the old town – Dalt Vila – with its cobblestone lanes and hipster cafes). Instead, head along to Portinatx or Cala de Sant Vicent on the northeastern end of the island where you’ll find dreamy beaches and a more laid-back atmosphere. Spend your days visiting the famous hippy markets, eating succulent fresh food in seaside bistros, partaking in the many watersports on offer, or jumping on a sailboat cruise to Formentera. You’ll need at least 5 days in Ibiza to truly sample a little of everything the island has to offer, but a full week would be better. Take the boat from Spain, or book a cheap flight to get there.

#16 Milos in Greece

By Mal from Raw Mal Roams

The Cycladic Island of Milos is an excellent location to spend your 21st birthday. Milos is located off Greece’s mainland. You can either fly from Athens or get here by ferry from one of the ports of the Greek capital. Milos is an up and coming destination, and if you love nature and looking for something less pretentious than Vegas or Ibiza, look no further.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Milos for great nightlife, the island’s biggest town Adamas is the most lively location. Adamas is also the island’s port and the most convenient location for organizing various activities. Santa Maria Village Hotel comes with a pool and a beautiful view of the sea. One week would be the perfect time to explore Milos. 

Hire an ATV and go exploring because Milos has some unworldly landscapes you must see! The most famous beach in Milos is Serakiniko, with its iconic, moon-like scenery. Climb down the ladder to see the Tsigrado Beach or go on a boat trip to see the Kleftiko Beach and caves that are only accessible from the sea. 

In the evening, stroll along the Adamas’ promenade to find the perfect spot for the evening meal. Have a drink in one of the seafront bars and continue into the night in one of the Adamas’ nightclubs. 

Continue reading: these are the 12 best islands to visit in Greece.

Milos Greece

#17 Nashville, US

By Michelle from Moyer Memoirs

The best place to celebrate your 21st birthday is Nashville, Tennessee so that you can bar-hop along Broadway Avenue, Honky Tonk Highway, the main street in Nashville that is lined with the bright lights of the honky-tonk bars. These popular honky-tonk establishments play free live music all night long along with serving their fair share of alcohol to make the party even wilder. There are bars specializing in every genre of music, to please every sort of music-lover.

Did I mention that there is no cover charge? The bands only play for tips, so this means you can visit many honky-tonks in one evening without going broke paying a cover charge each time. The party can go on into the wee hours of the morning since the entertainment and bar service often lasts that long. 

Nashville is a perfect weekend trip since there are a lot of sites to see during the day too, including beautiful parks and gardens, artistic wall murals and galleries, and interesting museums like the Country Music Hall of Fame. It has a large supply of shopping destinations for boutique and antique shoppers. On your 21st birthday, you and your party friends can site-see during the day and then start the celebration on Honky Tonk Highway as the sun goes down.

If you’re planning a trip you can either drive there by car or check out prices for a cheap flight. The best place to stay in Nashville is within walking distance of Broadway so that you don’t need to worry about transportation. There are several downtown hotels to choose from to make your party special. If you don’t mind finding a short cab ride home, there are also nice areas outside of downtown.

Nashville US

#18 Cape Town, South Africa

By Katja from Wander Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa’s capital city, is a fantastically fun place to spend your 21st. There are so many adventurous activities in Cape Town, from paragliding and caving on the mountains to free-diving and surfing in the brisk ocean. 

A Cape Town-based 21st birthday with friends – or even solo – is sure to be filled with fun and adventure. It also sits among rich Winelands, so you could spend your birthday wine tasting at the foot of Table Mountain after a morning of surfing or hiking. Or follow up a kayaking experience with a bar-hopping exploration of the many different craft beers and craft gins South Africa has to offer. 

This is also a university city, known to have uncommonly friendly locals, so you’ll find many young people to chat to. If you get invited to follow up a long night of dancing with an early morning hike up Table Mountain, don’t be surprised! 

You will probably have to fly into Cape Town. Luckily flight tickets are often reasonably priced. It’s best to stay central in Cape Town, as the public transport isn’t top-notch. Sea Point, Green Point or the CBD are the best places to stay for safety and convenience. And while you could spend months exploring all the trails and beaches of the beautiful city, it’s best to stay between three days and a week. And then, if you have the time and budget, you can explore the iconically biodiverse Garden Route!

#19 Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

By LeAnna Brown

For Americans, their 21st Birthday means one thing: Booze. And what better place to go to drink than Oktoberfest! Visiting Munich is a memorable trip, no matter the age, but for a truly epic 21st birthday extravaganza, Oktoberfest is the perfect place to celebrate. One should allow for 3 days in Munich if you plan on doing Oktoberfest. You’ll want at least one day to see the main sights of the city, one day for Oktoberfest itself, and that leaves you with one day for either more Munich Sightseeing or great day trips, like seeing Neuschwanstein Castle. Munich has its own airport and tickets tend to be quite affordable.

Now, Oktoberfest is not to be taken lightly. You have to remember that German beers are much stronger than what other countries produce. And you aren’t just getting a bottle of beer. Oh no, you’ll be lifting up that heavy, 1 liter Maß…that’s over 33 oz of beer per mug! Just because you have thrown back some beers in college does not mean you are ready to down several Maß. So even though this is your 21st birthday, take it easy.

One way to help pace yourself is to make sure to eat all the delicious Bavarian food while at the fest. Things like steak semmel (sandwiches), kase spaetzle (cheese noodles), and of course, giant Brez’n are fantastic ways to sop up the alcohol in your stomach. Staying in Munich during Oktoberfest can get expensive, but luckily there are several hostels throughout the city that can help keep costs down. However, all accommodation, especially the cheaper options book out far in advance, so plan on nailing down a place 9-12 months before going. No matter your age, Oktoberfest is truly a bucket list item! 

#20 Prague in Czech Republic

By Charu Goyal from Travel with CG

Prague is another great destination to visit for your 21st birthday. Home to picturesque castles, cobblestone streets, medieval bridges, and a colourful Old Town; it is a city full of many interesting spots to see. Being an incredible walking city, it is also inexpensive to get around in.

Begin your trip with a walking tour of the Old town and visit the top of the Astronomical clock for a unique perspective. The nearby rooftop restaurant called Terasa U Prince also has gorgeous views of the city’s iconic orange-topped roofs and is a perfect place to raise a toast for your special day.

Now, continue onto Prague castle and spend a few hours exploring the castle complex at leisure. Next, treat yourself to a vintage car tour and then head to the famous Charles Bridge for sunset. Although the bridge itself is free to visit, you can also climb one of the towers for a small fee and get a special seat to see the sky change colours.

Prague is also a destination known for its happening nightlife, music scene, and cheap beer. The Letña beer garden situated in one of the most beautiful parks in Prague is ideal for those looking for a view. Live music is also popular in Prague, so you will probably come across artists performing at touristic sights like the John Lennon wall while there.
The most famous sights in Prague can be seen in a weekend or three days. The Radisson Blu Hotel located near Wenceslas Square is a beautiful property to stay in Prague. If you’re interested, check out the best flight deals to Prague.

Continue reading: these are the best places to go in the Czech Republic.

#21 Sabah in Malaysia

By Khushboo from Munni of all Trades

Sabah, Malaysia is the perfect destination for your 21st birthday. Admiring the majestic peaks, relaxing on the gorgeous beaches, cultural tours and savouring mouth-watering halal cuisine; there is definitely more to Sabah than meets the eye. There are several things to do in Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah. You can spend a day enjoying the local handicrafts market, visiting the famous City Mosque, take in the breathtaking views of the Signal Observatory and end your day at the Jesselton Waterfront enjoying live music and a lovely dinner with your friends!

Hiking Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site and also the highest mountain is perfect for those who love an adventure. On your hike, you’ll see pitcher plants which are common in the sub-tropical jungle of Kinabalu National Park.

I also recommend visiting the Mari Mari Cultural Village to learn about five different ethnic groups in Sabah: Dusun, Rungus, Lundayeh, Bajau, and Murut. Each group offers a different experience. For example, in the Dusun house, you can learn how to cook with bamboo, while in the Rungus house, you can learn how to make traditional crafts.

It is widely acknowledged that Sabah has one of the best sunsets in the world. So check out what a ticket will set you back and don’t forget to enjoy one on every day of your stay!