Bray has been named by Time Out magazine as one of the 14 most underrated destinations in the world.
The seaside town has long been a go-to day trip excursion for Irish people and visitors in the know, but was flagged as a little-known gem by the magazine’s “global network of travel writers and editors”.
Time Out is a leading travel and hospitality media group that highlights the best things to do in cities across the world. Founded in 1968 as a guide to London’s buzziest enclaves, it has since grown to a global network of experts all sharing their insights into the places to visit.
The magazine published its list of the 14 most underrated travel destinations in the world today, which spans from tropical islands and crystal clear lakes to cities steeped in history.
Bray in Co. Wicklow clocked in at no. 13, with writer Stephen Emms noting that the seaside destination was once known as the “Brighton of Ireland”. Buoyed by the arrival of the railway system in 1854, he writes, Bray boomed in popularity as a hotspot for local tourists.
“After years of decline, its mile-long Victorian seafront now buzzes with cafés and restaurants. Stroll from the harbour along the esplanade to the 800-foot-high Bray Head, worth the hour’s climb for panoramic views from its rocky summit. Refuel at Butler & Barry on the beach, before a Guinness at ace local institution the Harbour Bar.”
At the top spot was Mongolia, which they write is known for “traditional gers (yurts), friendly nomadic people, and herds of wild horses stomping across untouched steppes”. A new international airport has made it easier to reach for many travellers.
In at number two is Mexico’s Lake Bacalar, which goes by the nickname “Lagoon of Seven Colours thanks to its forget-me-not, peacock and cyan waters”. Lesser known to influencers and content creators that might flood other destinations like Cancun and Tulum, kayaking and swimming are the go-to pastimes here.
Rounding out the top three is Cuenca, Ecuador, which was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. The vibrant city is where the Panama hat is made, and is a hub for other traditional crafts.
“Often overlooked in favour of Ecuador’s more accessible cities like Quito or the bucket list-tickable Galápagos, Cuenca is a picturesque showstopper worth travelling up the Andes mountains for.”