Where are you going this year? We’ve scoured Couchsurfing and put together this list of amazing places to visit in 2017. Hang out with locals, learn about other cultures, and have an overall fantastic trip. Each of these cities has an active Couchsurfing community of hosts and a vibrant culture, making them the best places in the world to Couchsurf this year based on several different factors. Comment below to let us know what’s on your travel list this year.
16. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phnom Penh, once known as the “Pearl of Asia”, is home to picturesque temples, the National Museum of Cambodia, and 1500 Couchsurfing hosts. While you’re there, don’t miss the Couchsurfing Phnom Penh Weekly Meetup every Wednesday at 8pm to share travel stories and meet locals from the Phnom Penh Couchsurfing community.
15. Victoria, Canada
Looking to spend some quality time outdoors? Check out Victoria and explore stunning gardens, vineyards, and even the Victoria Bug Zoo! Don’t forget to visit Fol Epi, a bakery highly recommended by Couchsurfing’s Victoria community, for coffee and great bread.
14. Hanoi, Vietnam
After some strong mochas at a local joint, a few of us went to check out the absolutely stunning Tran Quoc Pagoda. It’s the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi, and is nearly 1,500 years old! Luckily everyone in our group was wearing pants today – if you’re wearing shorts, you’ll be turned away! 🙈 – Alli #couchsurfing #vietnam #buddhism
Hanoi always has numerous Couchsurfing events scheduled, from language exchanges to tours hosted by locals. Couchsurfing Staff member Alli recommends that you “get out of the touristy “Old District” and meet a local with Couchsurfing Hangouts to show you the local spots! Don’t forget to wear a helmet on your motorbike, and check out the Women’s Museum.”
13. Jaipur, India
— Oh Dark Thirty (@OhDarkThirtyUK) November 18, 2016
The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is famous for it’s pink avenues, painted in 1876 to welcome the Prince of Wales. Couchsurfing locals recommend that you check out Hawa Mahal and the Amber Palace, two picturesque palaces steeped in history and elegance.
12. Porto, Portugal
— SirPeter (@sirpeter) October 2, 2016
With weekly Couchsurfing meetings every Wednesday, and over 9,000 hosts, Porto has a vibrant Couchsurfing community that showcases Porto’s unique culture. Combine that with the beautiful weather, stunning architecture, port tasting, and tapas, and you have a trip you’ll never forget.
11. Marrakesh, Morocco
Riddled with snake charmers, bazaars, and exotic music, Marrakesh is a unique city that thrills many adventure-loving travelers. Be sure to ask your Couchsurfing host for the best restaurants and markets to find a delicious bite and souvenirs off the beaten path. Don’t forget to stroll through the Medina.
10. Auckland, New Zealand
— Alejandro (@AlexeRP) March 27, 2014
Grab a drink with locals and travelers at the weekly meeting every Wednesday. Visit the penguins at Hauraki Gulf. Find a hiking partner with Couchsurfing Hangouts and check out the 16 kilometer Coast-to-Coast trail. Over 2500 Couchsurfers visited Auckland hosts last year. Become one of them!
9. Honolulu, USA
Couchsurfing with Marissa and her family in Honolulu. First night: Brie and I helped make gnocchi. pic.twitter.com/rlaMYxpprc
— Justin Butner (@itinerantics) December 14, 2015
There’s much more to Honolulu than the beach – the culture is what makes it shine. Stay with a Honolulu local and immerse yourself in the Hawaiian way of life. Head early to Iyasume Musubi for a musubi, and don’t miss the chance to explore Waikīkī! If you need any more recommendations, don’t hesitate to ask a Couchsurfing host for advice.
8. New Orleans, USA
Famous for Jazz, jambalaya, and Mardi Gras festivities, there’s no where in the world quite like New Orleans. The people in New Orleans march to a different beat – you won’t be able to experience the true New Orleans vibe unless you stay with one of over 5500 Couchsurfing hosts. Thrillist named New Orleans the Best Food City in America – but don’t forget to ask your Couchsurfing host for recommendations to their favorite restaurant. Treat them to a meal to show your appreciation for hosting you in The Big Easy!
7. Christchurch, New Zealand
— Borders & Backpacks (@W1lsonWill) January 15, 2014
As a hub for travelers on New Zealand’s stunning South Island, Christchurch has the perfect mix of big-city amenities and small-town charm. For unforgettable views, head to Taylor’s Mistake Bay, and for a glimpse into Christchurch’s history, check out the local earthquake memorial and the Canterbury Museum. Read this story for more tips!
6. Santa Marta, Colombia
This cozy beachside city is the perfect place to wind down while exploring Colombia. Gaze out at the Caribbean Sea from the shore of Cristal Beach, and head to Tayrona National Park for incredible coastal views, jungle trekking and secluded beaches fringed by massive boulders.
5. Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Great evening in Las Vegas, with our couchsurfing host generously making us homemade enchiladas with local chiles
— Megan L Thomsen (@Viv_MegRoadtrip) June 13, 2014
Las Vegas is the dice-rolling, party capital of America, and there’s no other city that puts so much emphasis on having a good time. Balance that with a robust community of locals (including over 8,000 hosts), tons of unique weekly events, and you have the ingredients for a trip to remember!
4. Cancun, Mexico
Cancun, with its pristine beaches and impressive resorts, is the ultimate beach getaway. Swim in cenotes, explore Playa Delfines and road trip your way to Tulum for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Don’t forget to ask your Couchsurfing hosts for tips on the best places to eat!
3. Kashan, Iran
An archaeological gem, Kashan is a dream destination for people who enjoy off-the-beaten path adventures. This desert city is easily accessible from Tehran, and visitors will find plenty of unique mosques and markets to explore.
2. Arequipa, Peru
— Noah Van Loen (@noahv) October 21, 2012
Flanked by three volcanoes, Arequipa is known as the “white city” because of the scores of whitewashed buildings that line the streets. Spanish colonial architecture is also found throughout this culturally-rich place. See Arequipa’s most famous markets, religious sites and cultural attractions with help from your local Couchsurfing host.
1. Cusco, Peru
— Backpackways (@backpackways) October 18, 2016
Cusco is the main take off point for visiting Machu Picchu, Peru’s most famous tourist attraction. Situated at 11,000+ feet above sea level, travelers often find that it takes a bit of time to adjust to this lively city. However, once you’re up to exploring, you’ll find that it’s easy to fall in love with Cusco’s cobblestone streets, mountainside homes and colorful markets.