Even if you dedicate your life to world travel, it is nearly impossible to see every country, city, commune, or prefecture in the world. With the help of tabletop games, you can experience a small part of a location that may otherwise never get your attention. Here are 10 games that are definitely worth the trip:

While these are games that thematically take place in different places around the world, we’ve also featured some board games about travel in a previous curation.

10. Firenze (2010)

Firenze Box Art
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 60
  • Designer: Andreas Steding
  • Publisher: Pegasis Spiele, Quined Games
  • Location: Italy
Firenze Firenze

Firenze was long out of print but after many BGG users clamored for a re-print, the game got picked up by Quined Games and is now readily available.

This is a game where you take on the role of a master builder commissioned to build towers for the influential families of Florence. This game uses a really simple economy of colored bricks and a set of unique cards to alter the basic rules of the game.

You draft the cards to acquire the special ability and any bricks that are on it, but you must pay one brick to every card you have passed over. Then on each turn you may start or add to a construction and any ongoing constructions you do not add to to are considered abandoned. It features sleek and beautiful artwork which is equally matched by the gameplay.

9. Jamaica (2007)

Jamaica Box Art
  • Players: 2-6
  • Time: 30-60 Minutes
  • Designer: Malcolm Braff, Bruno Cathala, Sebastien Pauchon
  • Publisher: GameWorks
  • Location: Caribbean
Asmodee Jamaica Asmodee Jamaica $49.99

Jamaica has very little to do with the Jamaica we know today. This game is about Pirates in the 1670s racing through the Caribbean Sea spending their precious food to feed their deckhands, losing their coins to the bottom of the sea, and spending their cannons to defeat any enemies that share the same sea as them. This is a programming game so as expected things can get pretty wild and to be honest, it’s a complete luck fest. And yet, there is something about this game that is so fun and satisfying.

8. Carcassonne (2000)

Carcassonne Box Art
  • Players: 2-5
  • Time: 30-45
  • Designer: Klaus-Jurgen Wrede
  • Publisher: Hans im Gluck, Z-Man Games
  • Location: France

Carcassonne is a game that needs little introduction. It has sold over 10 million copies since its 2000 release. Even I have purchased 4 copies myself. Once when I lived in the United States, another now that I live in Japan and 2 other copies as gifts.

It is a tile placement game in which your objective is to build and own roads, cities, farms, and monasteries. It is simple, easy to learn, and has enough strategic depth to keep you interested the whole time. It is a game that should be in everyone’s collection. Period.

7. Puerto Rico (2002)

Puerto Rico Box Art
  • Players: 3-5
  • Time: 90-150
  • Designer: Andreas Seyfarth
  • Publisher: Alea, Ravensburger
  • Location: Caribbean
Puerto Rico Game Puerto Rico Game $64.99

Puerto Rico is a timeless classic. It introduced a couple of very neat mechanics into board gaming. Firstly, on a turn, each player picks an action to perform and all players in clockwise order performs the same selected action, however, as the selector, you get a better version of that action.

Then the next person selects, and so forth and so on. Any actions not used that round gain doubloons and become more valuable to the person who eventually selects them.

This game is still a great game roughly two decades after it’s release, and time will tell how it holds up beyond that – but it would be surprising to see this game disappear into obscurity.

6. Istanbul (2014)

Istanbul Box Art
  • Players: 2-5
  • Time: 40-60 Minutes
  • Designer: Rudiger Dorn
  • Publisher: Pegasus Spiele, AEG
  • Location: Turkey

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In Istanbul you are a merchant with a set of assistants making your way through a bazaar. Each location in the bazaar contains a special action that you can only perform if you drop off one your assistants at that location. If you return to a location that has an assistant you can pick them back up.

The object of the game is to gain 5 rubies and you do so by paying coins or resources, building, and filling your backpack. The pick-up and deliver puzzle with the assistants is what makes this game really interesting. You always wish you had just one more assistant and that tension makes it all the more rewarding when you put together a clever set of turns.

5. Lisboa (2017)

Lisboa Box Art
  • Players: 1-4
  • Time: 60-120 Minutes
  • Designer: Vital Lacerda
  • Publisher: Eagle Gryphon Games
  • Location: Portugal

Lisboa is a game about rebuilding the beautiful city of Lisbon following one of the worst sequences of natural disasters in history, a magnitude 9 earthquake, followed by a tsunami, and then to top it all off, three days of fires.

Understanding the rules to this game will make you feel like you’ve experienced the entirety of that trauma, that is to say, this game is extremely complex and will make even the most seasoned gamer’s brains hurt.

However, once you have truly grasped the game, you will completely forget about the headache designer Vital Lacerda bestowed upon you, and you will instead spend night after night up late thinking about just how beautiful and satisfying this game is.

4. Orleans (2014)

Orleans Box Art
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 90 Minutes
  • Designer: Reiner Stockhausen
  • Publisher: DLP Games, Tasty Minstrel Games
  • Location: France

Orleans is a bag-building game in which you are assembling a following of knights, scholars, soldiers, farmers, and others. You place these followers into your bag and you draw them from your bag at the beginning of the round to determine which workers you have available.

You then assign your workers to complete different types of actions, potentially acquiring more workers and/or gaining victory points in a number of ways. There are a lot of moving parts in this game, but for a mid-weight Euro game, this one plays as smoothly as any of them.

3. Santorini (2016)

Santorini Box Art
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 20 Minutes
  • Designer: Gordon Hamilton
  • Publisher: Roxley, Spin Master
  • Location: Greece

Santorini is another evergreen game that makes this list. This is an abstract strategy game that promises that you can “Learn it in 30 seconds, play it for life!” It is a very simple game in which you and your opponent are building up the city of Santorini and attempting to get one of your workers to the top of one of the constructed buildings.

What really makes the game Santorini game great is the ratio of strategy to accessibility. The turns are amazingly simple, move a worker one space, place a piece adjacent to your worker. The strategy is even quite easy to understand but surprisingly difficult to execute and like in Chess, you often need to think many turns in advance if you want to outwit your opponent.

2. Bruges (2013)

Bruges Box Art
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 60 Minutes
  • Designer: Stefan Feld
  • Publisher: Hans im Gluck, Z-Man Games
  • Location: Belgium

Bruges is a game by the famous Stefan Feld, who is the creator of Castles of Burgundy (another strong candidate for this list). Feld is known for making mechanically rich Euro-style games that often have a lot of moving parts. Bruges on the surface, also seems to have a lot of moving parts, but it uses this brilliant multi-use card system that is so intuitive that the game feels downright simple.

The cards in Bruges have 5 different colors and can be used for any of 6 actions but the color determines the area the action can be taken or the strength of the action. To boot, it is a beautiful game, just as Bruges is a beautiful city.

Sadly this one is out of print, but there is definitely enough interest to get another print run so for now it’s just a waiting game.

1. Yokohama (2016)

Yokohama Box Art
  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 90 Minutes
  • Designer: Hisashi Hayashi
  • Publisher: Ozaku Brand, Tasty Minstrel Games
  • Location: Japan

The fishing city of Yokohama underwent a drastic change during the Meiji Era. It opened it’s ports to foreign trade and local builders and merchants began utilizing the foreign influence to modernize the buildings, streets, technology, and culture in Yokohama.

In this game, you take on the role of a merchant in charge of building a store, learning new techniques from the foreign influence and fulfilling orders to the port’s visitors. It’s a game that looks much more complex than it is and it plays quite quickly for a mid-weight Euro-style game.

There are tons of other games that are set in beautiful cities and towns around the world and it is a shame that I cannot list them all here, but hopefully these 10 will help you get started on your journey around the world.

Looking for more board game recommendations?

Here are some of our most popular curated lists of board games to check out.

10 Board Games About Locations Around the World