The sun rises and sets every day (in most places!), but there’s still something special about the colorful sky and brilliant scenery that it brings. You can catch amazing sunsets in faraway destinations all around the world or right in your backyard, but the landscapes that set the background in some places really can’t be beat.
Sunsets have the power to calm our minds, bring us peace, and make us stop and think about the beauty that surrounds us. So to inspire your sense of awe for what Mother Nature can do, these are a few of the travel destinations with the most beautiful sunsets.
The Serengeti, Tanzania (Hotel Prices & Photos)
With vast landscapes and perhaps even an elephant or rhinoceros creating a silhouette among sparse vegetation, sunsets don’t get much more wild than in the Serengeti. Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park spans over 5,700 square miles, so you won’t have to worry about tourist crowds pushing and shoving to catch the best view here. Plan to book a safari with a local guide so you can experience the beautiful sunrise, sunset, and everything else in between. You can also go for a sunset game drive to watch the animals from a distance while the sky is filled with red, orange, and pink colors.
Key West, Florida (Hotel Prices & Photos)
To celebrate the beautiful sunsets of Key West, go to Mallory Square to witness a nightly celebration of the setting sun. There’s a mini festival every night here where you can watch artists, acrobats, and fire breathers perform as the sun sets over the palm trees and ocean waters. Other than Mallory Square, you’ll also get stellar sunset views at Louie’s Backyard Restaurant, Latitudes Restaurant, and the Southernmost Beach Café. Some of the top resorts here, like the Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa and the Westin Key West Resort and Marina, offer lovely sunset views too. Rent a scooter in Key West to explore the cute town and take in the awesome views with the breeze flowing through your hair.
Grundarfjordur, Iceland (Hotel Prices & Photos)
To experience a sunset that makes you feel like you’ve just stepped foot into another planet, take a trip to Grundarfjordur, Iceland. This is a small mountain town that’s near a lava field, so you really have some diverse landscapes at work here. There is no sunshine between November and early February in this part of the world, so you’ll need to time your trip right to have this experience. But the summertime sunsets are nothing short of spectacular and well worth the wait. While you’re in this area, snap some photographs of the iconic Mt. Kirkjufell and surrounding mountains. This is a great place to watch whales and seals, go deep sea fishing and birdwatching, and take a dip in a hot tub after long days of adventure.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Rio is known for its fun party scene, dancing, and beaches, but it also has some of the most amazing sunsets in South America. Head to Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro to experience the setting sun behind the beautiful mountains. This is a very popular beach that’s both laid back and elegant at the same time. Other ways to see this beach from a different perspective include taking a bike tour of the area or hopping on a cable car up to Pao de Acucar.
Isle of Skye, Scotland (Hotel Prices & Photos)
One of the most photographed places in this area is known as Quiraing, which is a landslip on the isle that has an odd shape and is quite stunning at sunset. You can watch the light reflect off the cracks and crags of this natural structure as the sun sets and the water glistens. The Scottish Highlands are also an amazing place to catch a sunset while you’re in the area.
Santorini, Greece (Hotel Prices & Photos)
One of the most iconic places it the world to watch the sun go down is Santorini, Greece. This island has been photographed countless times for its stunning ocean views and towns built on the side of mountain cliffs. This is a volcanic island in the Aegean Sea, and some of the best sunset views are from the village of Oia.
Honolulu, Hawaii (Hotel Prices & Photos)
There are so many great places in Hawaii to watch the sun set that it’s hard to pick just one! Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach is a favorite sunset destination among tourists. Sunsets are stunning at Diamond Head State Monument and Summit, Duke’s Waikiki restaurant, and Nuʻuanu Pali Lookout as well. Another amazing place to catch a sunset in Hawaii is Mount Haleakala, which is a dormant volcano with dramatically steep slopes. Kauna’oa Bay on the Kohala Coast is also a perfect place for watching a sunset, especially if you’ve booked a stay at a hotel on the beachfront.
Agra, India (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The city of Agra in India is best known for the Taj Mahal, which is a huge tourist destination packed with lots of people. But when the sun sets, the Taj Mahal takes on a whole new look and feel. This is of the most impressive architectural wonders in the world, and the sunset brings out the colors in the marble dome, stucco walls, and garden. Other than the big attraction here, other places to see in Agra include Fatehpur Sikri, Sheesh Mahal, Agra Fort, and Jama Masjid. Agra is also a shopper’s paradise, so come here to stock up on leather shoes and jackets. Just practice your haggling skills before you arrive!
Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The canals of Amsterdam feel magical at all times of day, but especially as the sun starts to set over them and illuminate the water with sparkling light. There are more than 400 bridges that extend from one side of the canal to another, so take a romantic boat ride at sunset to take in the sights and sounds of bike bells ringing to alert pedestrians on the sidewalks. Before the sun starts go down in Amsterdam, make sure to spend some daylight hours in Vondelpark and rent a bicycle to travel like the locals do. Other top ways to spend your days in Amsterdam include the Anne Frank House, the Van Gough Museum, Rijksmuseum, and the Heineken Experience.
Grand Canyon, Arizona (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The Grand Canyon provides one of the most impressive landscapes in America, and the setting sun brings vibrant colors to these jagged rocks and dramatic cliffs. Millions of people visit Grand Canyon National Park every year, so plan your visit for the spring or fall to avoid some of the summertime crowds. Some of the best views are from the South Rim, but Yaki Point and Lipan Point are also amazing places to watch the sunset. With the vibrant orange colors, it looks like the whole canyon could be on fire. You can hike down into the canyon or ride a mule for an extra challenge, there are many unique ways to experience the grand canyon!
Koh Mak, Thailand (Hotel Prices & Photos)
If one sunset per day just isn’t enough for you, then head to Koh Mak, Thailand, which is known as the island with two sunsets! Here you can watch the sunset from two different viewpoints because of the island’s four-point start shape. Koh Mak is a tiny island that is in stark contrast to many other areas of Thailand – no luxury resorts, rowdy bars, or touristy bungalows. Instead, you’ll find local restaurants, dirt roads, and an authentic vibe. Other than catching the beautiful sunsets, make sure to try some of the local seafood dishes, walk along the rocky beaches, and go diving or snorkeling.
Svalbard, Norway (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Svalbard has an incredibly unique landscape that allows visitors to watch the sunset amidst the glaciers. Unlike many other areas with beautiful sunsets, this region has a blue-toned sunset that is in contrast to the bright oranges and reds you’re used to seeing. Instead you’ll witness cool hues of blue, purple, and pink as the sun goes down. Another great place in Norway to watch a sunset is Lofoten, which is an archipelago in the northern part of the country. Just don’t plan your visit between May and July if you love sunsets, because the sun never sets in the summer! Spring and fall are good times to plan a trip to Norway as a sunset destination, but of course the winter months bring the Northern Lights, which is quite the spectacle in itself.