Travel Recommendation Engine: A Quiz!

Sometimes you know that you gotta get out of here, but you don’t really know where to travel to. What is the best country, really? That is when you want to sit down your well-traveled friends and ask them which place is the best. The problem with your well-traveled friends (or at least with us) is that, to them, they are all the best! So now you can pretend we are sitting in your living room with you, having a cup of tea, and giving sage advice about which country you would really really love visiting. Sorry we can’t really be visiting with you, we are just really far away right now, and possibly getting farther on our wanderings. Just imagine the comforting sound of our voices in your head as you read these questions and travel recommendations.

For a dirty vagrant, money is often the biggest limit to your travels. So the first question we should ask is: how is your travel budget?
  • Small 2
  • Really small 3
  • What budget? 4
  • I just got an inheritance from a long-lost uncle or won a lot of money in a Japanese gameshow! 5
And with that pocket full of money, would you like to see some:

  • Amazing culture or 6
  • Awe-inspiring nature? 9
And with that hand full of money, would you like to see some:

  • Amazing culture or 12
  • Awe-inspiring nature? 16
And with the few pennies in your pocket, would you like to see some:

  • Amazing culture or 25
  • Awe-inspiring nature? 21
And with that wad of cash (after buying us a few drinks, eh, eh?) would you like to see some:

  • Amazing culture or 19
  • Awe-inspiring nature? 20
Would you

  • follow the smell of good cheese to the ends of the earth, 28
  • or prefer an experience which includes good food but also other cool things and people? 7
Would you like to visit

  • a culture more different from your own 29
  • or more similar? (similar, keeping in mind that Americans are making this list 8
Hmmm, so Europe then. What is your favorite vice and drug pair to experience while traveling?

  • Lust and pot, 30
  • envy and chocolate, 31
  • gluttony and wine, 32
  • or red heads and whiskey? 11
Would you rather

  • Would you rather bathe in a hot spring, 10
  • wander over green rolling hills, 11
  • boat to a craggy island, 32
  • or explore a picturesque lakeside town? 33
Oooo, me too. Would you prefer

  • a place that is pristine and nearly empty, 34
  • or brimming with people and enthusiasm? 29
Alright,

  • fiddles 35
  • or bagpipes? 36
But not just any culture, you want to go to some really cool a part of the former Soviet Union.

  • right? 13
  • Or no? 14
But the Soviet Union was pretty huge. There is a lot of variation.

  • Do you think you would prefer a more Nordic country, 37
  • a more Mediterranean country, 38
  • or a more romantic (as in Romance languages) country? 39
Alright, suit yourself. Do you prefer to eat

  • a cuisine with lots of dips, sauces, and various kinds of salad things, 15
  • or do you prefer steak, potatoes, and more steak? 40
OK then,

  • do you prefer to take risks and root for the underdog, 42
  • or play it safe and visit a cradle of civilization? 41
What do you like,

  • warmer weather, 41
  • or cooler climes? 17
Gotta say I agree. Now,

  • is it important to you to visit a place with a very different culture? 40
  • Or is the natural world the thing you really want to see? 43
Germany
In Germany, a grungy city of punks, anarchists, and artists can coexist with opera and picture-perfect renaissance towns. Go to Heidelberg to walk along the philosopher’s trail, a haunt of _ _ and _, See houses – still occupied – that predate Columbus. Then go to Berlin, which is a playground for adults who never gave up on having fun. In Berlin, riot is a four letter word, and mobile dance parties are a way life.
Simple,

  • beer, pot, and anarchy 46
  • or coffee and a trip to the sauna? 47
Well, then,

  • Do you prefer mountain goats, happy people, and coastal cliffs; 48
  • sheep, high-adrenaline adventure sports, and volcanoes; 49
  • or reindeer, new cultures, and icy mountains? 50
How long do you have to travel?

  • Ages to really explore every corner of a big country? 22
  • Or do you gotta keep it compact so that you can see beautiful amazing thing before your measly budget dries up? 26
Do you prefer

  • mountains? 23
  • Or beaches? 24
Well,

  • I guess you could have both. 25
  • But why compromise if you know what you want to see? 27
Do you prefer your heat

  • balmy, 25
  • or dry? 51
OK, imagine you are in the rainforest on a mountain, coming back from an arduous hike to the ruins of an ancient civilization. You’re starving! Along the side of the road is a old lady on a blanket, and she wants to fill your empty stomach. So which will it be?

  • fried crickets 44
  • or spit-roasted guinea pig? 45
Do you

  • really hate it when people don’t understand you (and also you don’t speak fluent Spanish) 52
  • or prefer cultures and countries to be very different from your own if you are, after all, flying out all that way to see them. 53
Would you prefer hanging out with people who recently

  • chewed a bunch of coca leaves 54
  • or smoked a bunch of hashish? 55
France
The people are snotty. The capital city is covered in dog shit. You will be underdressed and judged accordingly. But oh, god, the cheese. The cheese. But if I’m gonna be honest, that is not the only reason I would recommend someone go to France. The pastries are pretty good too.

In some cultures they appreciate and even embrace that musky B.O. smell [credit]

Japan
It’s not all Pokemon and fanservice in the land of Anime. There is a long and interesting cultural history, and oh boy is the nature here beautiful. The toilets there are more intelligent than your latest Iphone, and since the population is so huge and densely packed into a few super-cities, there really is something for everyone here. Oh, and did I mention vending machines full of (somehow magically) fresh sushi?
Netherlands
No matter what your vice, the Netherlands will probably satisfy it. Just don’t get too caught up in all the drugs and beer and live sex shows, because you’ll miss out on fields of tulips, awesome museums, and beautiful canal streets. Take a FEW sober pictures to take home for mom, will ya?
Belgium
Yeah, sure they have the best chocolate in the world, but that isn’t enough for them. No, they also the best beer in the world too. Those poor other countries just can’t compete. The first time you have Belgian frites you’ll realize that everything else you’ve ever eaten tasted like soggy powdered starch sticks. And then there are the waffles…But I digress.
Italy
Oh my god, the food. And did you know that there is a syndrome people can get from looking at art that is too amazing and awe-inspiring? It is called Florentine syndrome and it causes dizziness, palpitations, dilated pupils, and fainting. The art there is so beautiful that people literally faint from awe. I can’t think of anything more picturesque than reading Ovid under an olive tree on the windswept coast of a craggy limestone island.
Slovenia
Slovenia is drop-dead gorgeous. It has Alps, the Mediterranean, gorgeous castles on islands in the middle of lakes, and a beautiful capital city. It’s a tiny little gem that has everything its bigger neighbors have, plus great caving. It’s slightly cheaper than Italy and Austria (neighboring country to the north) and slightly pricier than the former Yugoslavian countries to the South.
Iceland
Who wouldn’t fall in love with this charmer? A geothermally active island nation of hearty and creative folks who also keep lots of sheep and wear lots of wool. Go in the summer and take a hike through a glacial ice-cave, or go in the winter and watch the northern lights from a geothermal river while snow coats the ground. Iceland has some of the coolest citizens of any country, with more artists, actors, musicians, directors, authors and what not (per capita!) than any other country. Plus, one of the volcanoes here is rumored, according to Dante, to be the direct portal into hell which all evil souls go through to, which is pretty damn cool.
Ireland
Sure, the Scots have them beat on the whisk(e)y front, but few places can rival Ireland’s gorgeous natural scenery, laid-back beer culture, and beautiful folk music. Plus, sweet Jesus, those accents. You don’t need to have a weakness for gingers in order to fall in love with this place and its people, but that definitely won’t hurt.
Scotland
It’s been established that Scotland has the best whisky in the world, but it also has some of the most gorgeous scenery, vibrant cities, and legendary sea creatures. Plus, we have it on good authority that haggis is actually very delicious. Go there and enjoy yourself, just don’t call the people British.
Estonia
Known mostly for being the birthplace of Skype, this place is way cooler than that fact will lead you to believe. Estonia is one of the most prosperous ex-Soviet states, and it has as much in common with its neighbor to the north, Finland, (including a similar and equally impossible language) as it does to its fellow ex-Soviet countries. Its capital, Tallinn, is a beautiful medieval city with awesome nightlife and lots of very attractive people.
Bulgaria
Imagine that Greece and Russia had a baby, and that baby was filled with delicious food, beautiful mountains, monasteries, ruins, communist propaganda art, and cliffside towns. Now imagine that there were no open container laws and a bottle of the local wines cost less than a bottle of water.
Romania
Dracula is Romania’s most famous citizen, but this country has a lot more to offer than vampires and castles (although it has those too). Bustling Bucharest has a great nightlife, bistros, and huge opulent palaces as could only be imagined by a megalomaniac dictator who doesn’t care about the wellbeing of his people. Horse drawn carriages are a common site in the outskirts, and the word “peasant” is not an anachronism or insult. The mountain roads are widely acknowledged to be some of the most beautiful and most terrifying drives in the world.
Argentina
Argentina has everything you could ever want (and some things you could never want, like Nazis). It has an awesome capital city, great wine, gorgeous beaches, even better looking people, glaciers in the south, one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls (well, half of it) and ranches in the north. Oh, and the steak. Did we say EVERYTHING you could ever want? Okay, we may have lied a teensy bit. People who like vegetables are going to have a rough time here.
Turkey
Can’t decide between Europe and Asia? You don’t have to. You could very easily and happily spend two weeks exploring Istanbul and never venture from the capital. You’d still leave Turkey knowing that this country is one of the most exciting and gorgeous in the world, but you’d be missing out on some awesome beaches and crazy lunar landscapes. Go to some Turkish baths and have some ladies rub you down in the least sexual way possible and top off your day with the most delicious meal of your life.
Bosnia & Hercegovina
Bosnia is known for its friendly people, gorgeous mountain scenery, and being one of the best bargains in Europe. It’s also known for being the site of a fairly recent genocide, and landmines still pepper the more remote areas. If you’re up for an adventure though, go hop on one of its rickey old trains, drink some delicious Turkish coffee, visit a mosque, and learn about one of the most fascinating and vibrant cultures in Europe.
Canada
Our neighbor to the north doesn’t get nearly as much love as it deserves for its breathtaking natural splendor. Lupins in the summer, northern lights, islands, mountains, reindeer, waterfalls, pristine lakes, wild rivers, need I say more? (As we write this, one of your dear travel correspondents has escaped to a little remote Canadian island, so it from her.)
Thailand
Yes, it’s infested with tourists seeking drugs and prostitutes, and you’ll see an uncomfortable number of creepy large white men preying on underage Thais. It’s hot and Bangkok is smelly and crazy and there are streets you can walk down that will be 95% tourists and approximately 100% of them will be high. Think about all that and then imagine how awesome Thailand must be to STILL be one of the world’s best travel destinations. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find in in Thailand. Go get a $3 massage and a 50 cent dinner that will blow away everything else you’ve ever eaten in your life. Then come home and cry about the fact that you couldn’t take it all back with you.
Peru
Machu Picchu is one of the most incredible destinations in the world, but I almost feel like I’m doing Peru a disservice by starting out with that one. Yeah, it’s amazing – but the rest of the country isn’t too shabby, either. The food is great, the surfing is awesome, the hiking is spectacular and, we hear, the ayahuasca can be life-changing (just be careful!)
Denmark
Ask Hamlet, he’ll tell you that this country has as much more culture than most other places in Europe. There are palaces (there is still a monarchy), museums, and beer factories. In the very heart of the capital city is an autonomous zone which has declared itself no longer ruled by Danish law. But they are the nicest, hippiest sort of outlaws; they mostly hold music festivals and sell drugs. If you are a biker, this is a great place for you. There are rental bikes for very cheap everywhere in the city, and the infrastructure was designed for bikers instead of cars with timed streetlights and foot rests so you don’t tip over waiting at intersections. Protected biking trails, along with high-speed trains, criss-cross the entire country.
Sweden
Stockholm is the capital of Swedish culture, and it has the extra bonus of being incredibly beautiful (plus you could probably eat off its streets, but we don’t recommend that). It’s spread out across a series of islands and peninsulas, so that you have to take bridges to get to the different parts of the city. Bonus points for lunchtime electronic dance parties and lots of beautiful people.
Norway
This is probably one of the most awe-inspiring countries in the world. Fjords, mountains, arctic forests, fantastic hiking, and beautiful happy people. This country is one of the most expensive in the world, but it is absolutely worth it. It is one of our favorites. And, though the nature is untamed, Oslo is full of enough cultural treasures and nightlife to keep you occupied for a good long time
New Zealand
Who wouldn’t fall in love with this charmer? An geothermally active island nation of hearty and creative folks who also keep lots of sheep and wear lots of wool. Flight of the Conchords has made the New Zealand sense of humor world famous, and Lord of the Rings has done the same for its natural splendor. This country is home of the best adventure sports in the world, really beautiful fjords, fantastic hiking, and some very cool volcanos which might or might not have creepy disembodied fire-eyes floating on the top of them. [<a href=source]” title=”8218869374_ef29e2db8c_z” width=”640″ height=”469″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-926″ />
Greenland
This is a destination for the more adventurous among you. It’s astoundingly beautiful and fascinating. It’s also expensive and cold, but there’s nothing quite like wrapping yourself in sealskin and gazing up at the Aurora Borealis after an arduous week of dog-sledding. It’s worth blowing your life savings to go there (I did it!), so visit before it disappears.
Mexico
Mexico has fantastic cuisine, some beautiful out of the way sites like cenotes and Aztec ruins, and fantastic natural beauty. It is a big enough country that there is a huge variety between different climates and pockets of widely varied culture, especially because Mexico has many indigenous groups. Plus, it is more accessible from the USA than a lot of the other options those other options. Just stay clear of the border towns if possible, and you will for the most part be staying clear of the drug related violence.
Costa Rica
This is an adventure destination for the slightly-less-adventurous amongst you. If you want to visit a place with world-class hiking, surfing, and zip-lining, but you also prefer stable democracies and relatively low crime rates (especially outside of its capital, San Jose – and why in the world would you stay in San Jose, anyways?) then this country is perfect for you.
Belize
The biggest draw that this country has is its proximity to the US and a shared language. It is beautiful, with spectacular rainforests, cenotes, white sand beaches, and one of the largest coral reefs in the world. But it is also a very small country so it can’t contain as much variation or as big attractions as Mexico, its neighbor to the north. If you are mostly interested in swimming and scuba diving, I would recommend this country without hesitation. If you want a taste of Latin America without having to learn a new language I’d like to warn you that, culturally, Belize is much more Caribbean than Latin. If you want to get into the lush rainforests, keep in mind that the really beautiful ones are very remote, and you would absolutely have to rent a car to get there.
Bolivia
Bolivia has some of the most breath-taking and weird scenery in the world. You can hike in the rainforest, chill on the world’s highest navigable lake, and spend a few nights in a hotel made out of…salt. Just make sure to relax and bring your binoculars: the star-gazing in the desert is the most incredible I’ve ever seen. The food is tasty, too.
Nepal
Everest – need we say more? Okay: this country is one of the best bargains for your buck in the world. The people are friendly, the food is tasty and cheap, the shopping is fantastic, and the trekking is world class. Sure, the buses are terrifying and you might end up sharing a seat with an old lady and her three chickens, but that’s all part of the fun.

One Comment

  1. Elena says:

    Bosnia, I’m coming!!! xD

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