Rod’s Top 5 Travel Destinations in 2008

December 14, 2007 by

List Mania: Viator's Top Picks, Musings from Viator's Founder, Places to Go, Travel Advice & Inspiration

Editor’s note: We asked Viator’s founder, Rod Cuthbert, to make a list of his top 5 travel destinations for 2008. Favorite, that is, when he’s not surfing and people-watching on his local beach, Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Sometimes Rod, you do make us a little jealous.

top places to go, things to see do in 2008 - tasmania
Gordon River, Tasmania

1. Tasmania, Australia

And not just because I am from Tasmania! Hobart, the capital, enjoys that slightly more relaxed pace of life that isn’t something you see so much as experience. Tasmania as a whole has a wonderful blend of natural beauty — the World Heritage Area centered around the Gordon River is worth the trip in its own right — and modern lifestyle, with superb wine, cheese and seafood making it an ideal destination for anyone who enjoys life’s finer things.

More info: Tasmania tours & things to do
Photos: Tasmania on Viator’s Flickr site

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venice canal tours top 5 in 2008 travel destinations
Sunset on the canals of Venice

2. Venice, Italy

Before it sinks? No, that won’t be happening anytime soon. Anyway, I can’t possibly describe in words why you have to visit Venice. See it for yourself, but don’t go alone. Visit outside the high seasons, and don’t be afraid of the cold. Take a water taxi when you arrive (hang the expense); grab a red wine and some cheese, standing at the bar, in the mid afternoon; take photos at the Rialto as the sun is setting, and send them immediately to all the people you don’t like; take in a Vivaldi concert in one of the 150 churches around the city; and definitely buy pizza slices for lunch, to be eaten in the nearest square as you watch the world amble by. But don’t miss it, and don’t be scared by the fact that it’s all been done before.

More info: Venice tours & things to do
Photos: Venice on Viator’s Flickr site

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top places to go, things to see do in 2008 - london eye
The London Eye at Night, London

3. London, England

OK, so you’ve been to London a dozen times. Well, OK, but this is a big city, and there’s parts you haven’t seen. Stay in Mayfair (yes, you can find well-priced hotels in Mayfair!) and walk the streets made famous in a thousand novels. Try the bike tour of East London, and go back to Brick Lane later on for the best markets and Indian food you’ll find anywhere. Ride the London Eye at night. Take a day trip to Stonehenge or Bath. Here’s the thing: even people who live in London haven’t seen it all. You certainly haven’t!

More info: London tours & things to do
Photos: London on Viator’s Flickr site

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top places to go, things to see do in 2008 - barcelona
Miss Van is all over Barcelona

4. Barcelona, Spain

There must be a reason why so many people list Barcelona as one of their favourite cities. I certainly do, but — typically, for me — I’m not quite sure why. I just know the food is great, the shopping is superb, great art is everywhere — even spray-painted onto the walls, and the city is compact enough that you can walk most everywhere comfortably. If you’re anything like me you’ll feel good in Barcelona the moment you arrive. If not: well, the rest of Europe is right next door.

More info: Barcelona tours & things to do
Photos: Barcelona on Viator’s Flickr site

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top places to go, things to see do in 2008 - china
At the Forbidden City, with a fellow tourist from the provinces

5. Beijing, China

An Olympic year is always a good time to visit a host city: it’s all spruced up and everyone’s on their best behavior… at least that’s the theory. Beijing is one of those giant-scale destinations where everything is worth seeing: the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, the restaurants, the museums, the parks, the markets, the people, the dogs, the birds in cages that people take on a walk… Like it or not, China is going to take over as the world’s superpower any minute now, so it might be wise to discover just what makes this giant tick. You’ll enjoy the experience.

More info: Beijing tours & things to do
Photos: Beijing & the Great Wall on Viator’s Flickr site

Happy travels in 2008.

Rod Cuthbert

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3 Responses to “Rod’s Top 5 Travel Destinations in 2008”

  1. Australia Casino Vacation Says:

    Great article! I couldn’t agree more with your list. I think a lot of people overlook Tasmania as a tourist destination, but everyone who actually visits always comes back with rave reviews! There’s so much to see and do, definitely recommended!

  2. Francis Says:


    I am very impressed with the Article and Photos. The last time I really travelled was +- 30 years ago.
    Just reading this, my feet are starting to get itchy. Travel is really food for the Soul. To see this Beautiful
    Planet while we are alive is a Privilege.