Top 7 destinations to visit if you don’t drink alcohol


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More than one-third of Americans do not drink alcohol. With healthier options coming into the picture, people are choosing to give up booze and live an alcohol-free lifestyle, which includes vacations.

#AlchoholFreeLiving has over 2.7 million views on TikTok, while #alcoholfreeholidays has nearly 130,000. If you don’t drink alcohol or just want to cut back, below are some top destinations that offer some great options for your vacation.

Travelers walking on the street in front of a historical building in Istanbul

Bali, Indonesia

Alcohol is plentiful in Bali, but buying some alcohol can leave a dent in your wallet. Bali imposes a 150% import tax on brands, making wine and premium spirits more expensive. Since most of the country is Muslim, you will find juices and ginger tea is very popular. One of these will usually greet you when you arrive at your hotel or resort, and the good news is that these drinks are very healthy for you.

Ginger tea is known to help manage pain and inflammation (perfect for coming off that long flight) as well as other health issues. Travelers brag online about why Bali is responsible for their ginger tea addiction, and you’ll find that each place adds its own twist to jamu juice or ginger tea, making you want to grab the recipe.

A glass of ginger tea on a wooden table.  A tropical garden in the background.  Bali, Indonesia

Dubai, Emirates

Although alcohol is very expensive in Dubai, bars and restaurants are known to add a markup on alcohol, which is quite severe. Dubai has strict alcohol laws where drinking is allowed in certain places such as your home and licensed premises. These licensed places are often geared towards tourists and ex-pats, which essentially spoils the authentic destination and local experience.

Dubai is known for its cafe culture, so you’ll have plenty of choice when it comes to enjoying a traditional Arabic coffee (or gahwa), which uses spices like cumin and saffron. It is poured in Dallah, an Arabic coffee pot, and is often served with dates. Karak is also a popular drink option and is considered Dubai’s national drink – a sweet chai tea with milk and spices.

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Traditional Arabic hospitality (Saudi Arabia).  Bedouin lifestyle people.

Istanbul, Turkey

Drinking a lot of alcohol is not a Turkish tradition, most people prefer a glass or two here and there. Because it doesn’t have a big drinking culture, you’ll find many cafes and restaurants in Istanbul that don’t serve alcohol, with most locals choosing to go to tea gardens or cafes instead.

Tea is considered a part of Turkish hospitality and is always served to guests at home. In fact, Turks are known to drink more tea per person than any other country in the world (yes, more than Britain!). It is the fifth largest tea producing country in the world. Black tea is the most popular, but there are also herbal options such as rose hip, linden flower, chamomile and pomegranate.

A decorative traditional Turkish tea cup with a view of the mosque in Istanbul


Kenya has one of the lowest rates of alcohol consumption in sub-Saharan Africa, a result of its long-standing alcohol policy. The government uses initiatives to reduce people’s alcohol consumption by reducing the supply of alcohol and imposing alcohol taxes, which is clearly working for the country.

Kenya has some of the world’s most famous coffee and produces quality beans. Like other countries with a coffee culture, Kenyans like to hang out in coffee shops for hours enjoying this delicious drink. Tea and tropical fruit juices are also popular as the country has a perfect climate.

African man smiling and happy with hot coffee


The third-largest country in Central America has the lowest per capita alcohol consumption in Latin America and the Caribbean, with more than a third of the county never having tried alcohol in their lives. Popular drinks you’ll find include “limonada con soda,” which is freshly squeezed lemon with soda water, or “licuados,” a type of fruit smoothie made with local fruits and water or milk.

One of the traditional Guatemalan drinks is sold in the market and is a warm sweet corn drink with cinnamon or vanilla. The corn kernels are slightly ground, so the drink has a soft and smooth texture. Guatemala is popular for its coffee because the country’s nutrient-rich volcanic soil gives it a unique flavor (think: chocolate and cocoa notes with a toffee sweetness) and ideal growing conditions.

Atol de Ellet: A traditional Guatemalan drink made from corn and cinnamon.


Like Indonesia, Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country, which contributes to the global average alcohol consumption compared to its Asian neighbors. The national drink of Malaysia is “Teh Tark”, which is a fruit flavored blend of black tea and condensed milk. It uses a special method of pouring and suction between two cups to achieve the foam ceiling.

Malaysians love their tea, but there are also a variety of exotic drinks with bright colors and unusual flavors to try. Some of these include Er Bandong – a rose syrup drink, nutmeg juice, ambarella juice and longan juice. Many of these juices are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, so you’ll return home with an added glow.

A food vendor prepares and sells sweet and cold drinks at a food stall market in Kota Kinabalu Sabah.

Saudi Arabia

One of the most obvious places to add to this list is Saudi Arabia, as even tourists are not exempt from strict alcohol laws. Tourists are not allowed to drink any alcohol in the country, and if they do, it will result in severe punishment.

Juices are very popular in Saudi Arabia, Saudi coolers (or Saudi champagne) are widely served in hotels and fine restaurants. Despite its name, it contains no champagne and is mixed with apple juice and sparkling water with sliced ​​citrus fruits and fresh mint. Since the entire country does not serve alcohol, you’ll find plenty of delicious and creative options to quench your thirst, including traditional Arabic coffee.

Traditional Arabic coffee and tea pots in a fireplace in the desert in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!

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