Destination Dupes

Destination Dupes - 1st Move International

Where are the world’s best destination dupes?

‘Destination dupes’ are a new form of holiday destination driven by social media popularity. As seen on TikTok or Instagram, a ‘dupe’ generally means a more affordable or better alternative to a well-known product, meal, clothes, or any applicable area of life. This trend has recently spread to the travel industry as destination dupes are being touted as alternative holiday locations where you can enjoy the charms of a dream destination without the premium or volume of tourists. 

From Greek islands less famous than their neighbours to tropical seaside resorts that allow more room to sunbathe, dupe destinations come in all shapes and sizes. They can be cities, national parks, or even whole nations, replicating or surpassing a similar and more popular destination. But what dupe destinations are the best throughout the world? We have identified the most popular by studying data on the interest shown in various dupe destinations. 

Top 5 destination dupes

  1. Valencia, Spain – dupe score of 9.24/10:

Spain has often been a popular travel destination; the combination of hot, sunny weather, beautiful landscapes, and cultural hubs has attracted people to the country for decades. Barcelona is one of the most popular cities, but people are looking for alternate city breaks in Spain as it is often costly. Valencia is often cited as a destination dupe for Barcelona, and it is the best destination dupe location in the world for holidaymakers. Valencia is a coastal city with sunny skies and beautiful beaches nearby. It is also an excellent location for food lovers as its fresh food market is renowned across the globe. 

  1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – dupe score of 7.92/10:

Southeast Asia is an area of the world full of fantastic cities towering up above the tropical paradise nations that they serve. One of these is Singapore, a city so big that it is a country in its own right that has driven tourists to the area for decades. However, people are now looking for alternatives, and Malaysia’s sprawling metropolis of Kuala Lumpur fits the bill. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, and the cityscape reflects this. It has awe-inspiring towering skyscrapers for tourists to view and visit, such as the Petronas Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world. 

  1. Montreal, Canada – dupe score of 7.71/10:

Unlike the three dupe destinations above it, Montreal is nowhere near the place that it is duping. The Canadian city is around an 8-hour flight away from the capital of France, but Montreal and Paris offer tourists similar experiences. Paris receives around 30 million tourists annually, and as a result, the magic of it is somewhat dimmed by being surrounded by crowds. The first similarity between the cities is the language. Montreal is in the province of Quebec and was founded by French settlers in the 1600s. As a result, it has architecture in the same style as the great French city and is also a cultural hub for tourists to experience. Montreal is also seen as a Dupe for New York City. Despite being in different countries the two cities are only separated by around 350 miles. 

  1. Seattle, USA – dupe score of 7.57/10:

Although the cities are only separated by around 200km, Seattle and Vancouver are in separate countries. Nevertheless, they are similar, and the American city is a destination dupe for its Canadian counterpart. They are both on the coast and surrounded by spectacular mountains that are enjoyable for skiing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.  The cityscape of Seattle is dominated by the iconic Space Needle, the iconic observation platform that looks like a science fiction writer conceived it. Although Seattle is still considered expensive, it is cheaper than Vancouver and allows US-based tourists to stay within their own country. 

  1. Baku, Azerbaijan – dupe score of 7.22/10:

Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, has increasingly been seen as an alternative to the luxury of Dubai. Much like Dubai, Baku has undergone rapid development and boasts an impressive skyline filled with modern architecture. Baku also has a well-preserved Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, providing a historical depth alongside its modern aesthetics. Like Dubai, Baku is also known for its high-end hospitality, but it offers a more culturally rich experience.

Most searched destination dupes

  1. Valencia – 74,700 Google searches for ‘visit Valencia’ in 2023:

Valencia is the most searched-for destination dupe on Google; almost 75,000 searches for “visit Valencia” were recorded worldwide in 2023. Searches for visiting the city increased by 25% in 2023 from 2022, which shows that interest in travelling to this great city is increasing. 

  1. Seattle – 49,100 Google searches for ‘visit Seattle’ in 2023

Seattle, USA, is the second-most searched dupe of 2023, despite a modest rise in interest since 2022 – and the only US City to rank in the top 10.

  1. Montreal – 43,200 Google searches for ‘visit Montreal’ in 2023:

Montreal, Canada ranked higher than Seattle in the overall destination dupe ranking, but Google searches for visiting the city are slightly lower. Searches for visiting Montreal increased from 8% between 2022 and 2023.

Most Popular Instagram Destination Dupes - 1st Move International
  1. Baku – 34.85 million Instagram posts: 

The Azerbaijani capital of Baku was the most popular destination dupe on Instagram, with almost 35 million posts. The city has been seen as a destination dupe for Dubai, and just like the Emirate, it is an oil-rich city filled with stunning modern architecture. 

  1. Medellin – 33.36 million Instagram posts:

In the past, Medellin and Colombia as a whole were notorious for all the wrong reasons. But these days, the beautiful old city is a top tourist destination in South America. There are over 33 million Instagram posts for Medellin. The city is surrounded by fantastic scenery and beautiful old buildings, which are very photogenic. 

  1. Valencia – 29.6 million Instagram posts:

The Spanish city of Valencia has almost 30 million Instagram posts dedicated to its views. The city has many beautiful buildings, such as the waterfront science museum and the central market, as well as stunning beaches which can make a good Instagram picture.

  1. Baku – 2.4 million TikTok posts: 

Baku is the most popular dupe on TikTok, with 2.4 million posts, reflecting its rising profile on the global stage. Medellin’s impressive TikTok presence highlights its transformation and resurgence as a vibrant and innovative city, with 2.2 million posts. 

  1. Medellin – 2.2 million TikTok posts:

Medellin is equally as popular on TikTok as it is on Instagram, ranking second in both categories. There were over 2 million TikTok posts about the city, and there are many interesting places to post about on social media, such as the Pablo Escobar Museum, the most popular tourist attraction in the city.

  1. Valencia and Montreal – 1.3 million TikTok posts:

Valencia and Montreal are tied as the third most popular destination dupes on TikTok. Although they are both some way behind Baku and Medellin, they still rack up an impressive 1.3 million posts.


  • A list of destination dupe locations was compiled from various articles such as
  • We used Google Keyword Planner to find the total number of searches for ‘visit [destination]’ in the calendar year of 2023. We then compared this to the same value for 2022 to see the increase or decrease in searches. 
  • The number of Instagram posts for each location was found by searching the number of hashtags for each location. 
  • The number of TikTok posts for each location was found by searching the number of hashtags for each location. 
  • We calculated a normalised score out of 10 for each factor before taking an average of these scores. 

About 1st Move International

1st Move International are a specialist international moving and shipping company offering packing, shipping and insurance for shipping household goods and personal effects overseas. We have a global reach covering over 80 countries and 6500 worldwide destinations. You can get an international removals quote here or find more information on our international moving services here.

Avatar for Mike Harvey
As the Managing Director of 1st Move International, Mike Harvey brings more than two decades of logistics expertise and three years of specialised experience in international relocations to his role. His comprehensive knowledge spans the intricacies of overseas shipping, secondary yet crucial areas such as visa application processes and immigration requirements, and the wider topic of moving abroad including topics such as comparative analyses of cost of living, healthcare and educational systems worldwide. This expertise allows 1st Move International to equip people with the information they need to not just move overseas, but to make informed decisions about whether, and where, to relocate.