Best Places to Visit in Africa and The Middle East
Africa and the Middle East do not always register on the average traveler's radar. But those who visit have the chance to experience a duet of ancient and modern, of wild and urban, of East and West. To help you start your exploration, U.S. News' editors ranked the most popular places in Africa and the Middle East based on each destination's accessibility, affordability and variety of things to do, as well as user votes and expert opinions. Help us discover next year's top spots by voting for your favorite destinations below.
Why go: This playground of the Middle East beckons to those who prefer grand luxury. After all, the city hosts the world's tallest building, the world's largest shopping mall and a man-made set of islands shaped like a palm tree. You can hit the beach and the ski slopes without ever leaving the city. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Dubai
Why go: If you're enamored with the prospect of coming face to face with elephants, giraffes and lions, then a safari through Serengeti National Park is the adventure for you. The price will be steep, but a journey here affords an unforgettable experience. Read More»
Why go: Cairo houses one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — the Giza Pyramids. Take time to explore Cairo's other historic structures, including the pyramids of Dahshur and Saqqara. But stay vigilant: The atmosphere has remained tense since the 2011 political uprisings. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Cairo
Why go: Jerusalem's wonders are steeped in biblical history. This city houses some incredible pilgrimage spots: Jews visit to pray at the Western Wall; Christians flock to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Muslims pay homage to Muhammad at the Dome of the Rock. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Jerusalem
Why go: This city buzzes with life: Performers vie for your attention in the Djemaa el Fna marketplace, while vendors hawk aromatic spices along the alleyways. For a little peace and quiet, spend an evening at a hookah bar listening to the striking tones of the mosques' call to prayer. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Marrakech
Why go: Lions, tigers, bears… OK, no tigers or bears, but you'll certainly see lions in South Africa's massive game preserve, not to mention rhinos, elephants and giraffes. Plus, the park's network of paved roads make it easier to navigate than Serengeti, but its popularity means you're more likely to rub elbows with other visitors.