33 places Princess Diana loved to spend time at - from Argentina’s remote Patagonia to her tropical Caribbean island hideaway

We revisit some of Princess Diana's favourite travel moments and the places she adored

Montage of Princess Diana depicting the places she loved to spend time at
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Known for her timeless style, down-to-earth humour, and humanitarian work Princess Diana inspired from the get-go. Thrust into the spotlight at the tender age of 19 she fast learned how to navigate life on a global stage, but her royal duties also afforded her to delight in one of her favourite pastimes - travel.

During her 15-year marriage to Charles, Diana undertook numerous royal tours, travelling the world to meet with communities and well-wishers the world over. Yet once the ill-fated marriage came to an end, Princess Diana’s wanderlust only amplified. As well as taking exotic holidays, visiting Europe's hidden gems and heading off on whirlwind city breaks, she also discovered places like Angola and Bosnia as part of her work with The British Red Cross and The Halo Trust, where she worked to highlight the catastrophic issue of unexploded landmines. Here are some of the places Princess Diana enjoyed visiting.

32 places Princess Diana loved to spend time at

Nevis Island, Caribbean

Princess Diana on Nevis Island in the sea

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The volcanic landscape of Nevis, surrounded by translucent waters and powdery white sand interspersed with just a handful of luxurious hotels and no international flights ensured the low-key island was pretty much a paparazzi-free haven for the late Princess. Her 1993 Caribbean hideout of choice was Montpelier Plantation Beach, a rugged, mostly undiscovered place that not only Diana loved but according to her former bodyguard, her boys cherished too. Ken Wharfe notes in his book, Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, "Harry particularly loved the place. It was not a five-star venue, but unique in so many ways. Rugged beaches and journeys in an open-top battered Toyota truck". It’s no surprise then, that Prince Harry later returned to Nevis during his tour of the Caribbean in 2016.

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Patrick Jephson, Diana's private secretary for many years, gives his unique perspective of his time spent with the Princess. As the man who organized nearly all of her foreign travel and accompanied her on most of it, his viewpoint provides the book with a unique sense of authority.

Lech, Austria

Princess Diana in Lech with Harry and William

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This skiing hotspot is not only Diana’s but also one of the royal family’s favourite holiday destinations. Diana frequented the alpine village numerous times throughout the 90s, often opting for Hotel Arlberg as her lodgings of choice. Diana loved to ski alongside William and Harry, and in his book Spare Prince Harry fondly writes about the family trips to Lech, even recalling a time as an adult when he was considering moving to the Austrian village more permanently. 

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Princess Diana sits in front of the Taj Mahal

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While marriage breakdown rumours were swirling at the time, Princess Diana said her experience of the monumental Taj Mahal was "fascinating and very healing". The resulting image of Diana sitting alone in front of the epic ivory-white marble mausoleum became one of the most memorable photographs of the Princess's seven-day trip to India if not one of the most famous images of all time. Diana spent over an hour contemplating the Taj’s beauty before writing, "A beautiful monument" in the visitors' book. Though she visited India multiple times, her first visit in 1992 when she also visited Delhi, Hyderabad, and Kolkata is perhaps her most known.

Enugu, Nigeria

Priness Diana in Nigeria in 1990

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Known as a major coal mining centre, Nigeria’s Enugu captured Princess Diana’s heart when she visited in 1990. Wearing a pale blue Catherine Walker dress with white pumps and her trademark gold earrings the people’s princess talked with the local community after watching a show performed especially for her visit. During her time in the West African country, Diana particularly enjoyed the company of Maryam Babangida, the First Lady of Nigeria, and the pair were seen laughing and chatting on many occasions throughout the trip. 

Giza, Egypt

Princess Diana in Egypt

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Diana visited the pyramids on the Giza Plateau in Egypt in 1992 as part of a solo trip a few months after her separation from the then Prince Charles was confirmed. She declared the pyramids "breathtaking" and looked relaxed at the ancient site, despite claims by photographer Kent Gavin that she had initially been reluctant to pose in front of the pyramids. The Egyptian jaunt also saw the princess visiting the Cairo Institute for Polio Rehabilitation before her trip to the Pyramids and Sphinx on the Giza plateau.

Huambo, Angola

Princess Diana in Angola

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In her own words, Diana had an “intense four days in Angola” where she got to see a great deal and meet with people affected by landmines. Of the trip - one of her most important as a humanitarian outside of the Royal Family, she said, “Angola is an example of what the Red Cross can achieve around the world.” She also noted a kind of freedom she’d not witnessed on tours before revealing to ITN that she’d been able to have “more contact with people and fewer formalities” concluding that it was the type of programme she’d been looking for. Diana was “very happy” with what she and The Red Cross had achieved in her plight to bring awareness to the campaign for a worldwide ban on mines.

Khyber Pass, Pakistan

Princess Diana at the Kyber Pass

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The set of images from Diana’s time at Pakistan’s Khyber Pass exode pure joy as she jokes around with military police from the Khyber Rifles Regiment, part of the Frontier Corps. The mountain pass that links Afghanistan and Pakistan was a stopping point during her 1991 trip but the Princess of Wales loved Pakistan so much she travelled to the country twice more in 1996 and 1997.

Sydney, Australia

Princess diana in sydney

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At just 22 years old, Australia marked Princess Diana’s first royal tour in 1983 where the royal spent over a month in Australia and New Zealand with the then Prince of Wales and a baby Prince William. While the trip has been cemented in time in Netflix’s The Crown, the iconic tour down under wasn’t all doom and gloom. The young royal loved spending time exploring the wildlife and nature of the country and engaging with crowds who were enthralled by the fashionable princess. It was this tour that really highlighted Diana’s popularity, overshadowing the future king and thrusting her into the spotlight even more.

Kolkata, India

Princess Diana in Kolkuta

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Princess Diana loved spending time at Mother Teresa's home in Kolkata which she first visited in 1992 as part of her seven-day tour to India with Prince Charles. During this visit, she didn’t get to meet the Nobel laureate herself since she was in Rome recovering from heart trouble. Still, Diana did get to spend time with Mother Teresa's second-in-charge, sister Lynne Frederick, and said of the visit that it was “a deeply spiritual experience”. Diana later flew to Rome to see the then 82-year-old missionary, who had been too ill to attend their scheduled meeting in Kolkata and the pair formed an unwavering bond until they reunited once more in the Bronx, New York just a few months before Diana’s and then Mother Teresa’s death.

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Princess Diana in New Zealand

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Diana’s time in New Zealand was historic for many reasons but the most notable was the moment she took a ride in a Māori Waka (canoe) as she was transported to Te Tii Waitangi Marae, next to the Waitangi River mouth in New Zealand’s magical Bay of Islands. Situated at the top of the country’s north island, the area is known for its wild dolphins and alluring landscapes. Diana visited New Zealand with Charles and William in 1983, while Prince Edward was also visiting the country to teach history at Whanganui Collegiate School. This was Diana’s only trip to New Zealand but it didn’t stop her from falling in love with the awe-inspiring place, upon returning to England she told royal biographer Andrew Morton that she was a "different person".

Necker Island, Caribbean

Princess Diana on Necker Island

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This private island paradise owned by Sir Richard Branson is a stunning and unspoiled area part of the Caribbean that Diana adored. Sitting in turquoise waters surrounded by coral reefs and fringed with beautiful white sandy beaches it’s no surprise that Diana visited Necker Island at least twice over the years, taking her young family with her in 1990. 

Flat 60, Coleherne Court, London

Princess Diana outside her london flat

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Documented as the place Princess Diana was most content, flat 60 in a large apartment block on London’s Old Brompton Road was the princess's home for two years, between 1979 to 1981. Before she married into the Royal Family Diana bought the flat using inheritance money, renting out the spare rooms to friends. according to Andrew Morton’s book Diana, In Her Own Words, Diana described her time at the flat as “the happiest time of her life”.

Mallorca, Spain

Princess Diana in Mallorca

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With no shortage of incredible things to do in Mallorca, Diana relished spending time on the quaint Spanish Isle visiting numerous times over the years. Before she married the then Prince Charles she visited as a teenager with friends, then later with Charles and her two young sons, William and Harry. During this trip, the royals spent time with the Spanish royal family, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, his wife Queen Sofia, and their children, Elena, Cristina, and Felipe. Following her separation from Charles, Diana returned once more where she stayed at Hotel La Residencia in Deya, then owned by her close friend, Sir Richard Branson.

Uluru, Australia

Diana at Uluru, Australia

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Majestic Uluru marked one of the first stops on Diana and Charle’s month-long tour of Australia where the couple climbed the sacred site. Since Diana was wearing a dress it was reported that she hesitated during the climb, but according to the Sydney Morning Herald it was “because she knew that coming down would expose her knees and petticoat to the world’s press.” Princess Diana spent a lot of time in Australia before her marriage to Charles since her mother had a beach house on the coast in New South Wales. The scenic Australian outback and endless coastline always held a special place in Diana’s heart. 

Rajasthan, India

princess diana in Rajasthan, India

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The day before Valentine’s Day in 1992, Diana loved spending time in Nalu village in Rajasthan, India as part of her royal tour with the then Prince Charles. Diana was welcomed to the village by dancers before a puppet show was put on for the Princess. Diana became enamoured with India during the seven-day tour where she visited the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal, Kolkata, and the country's bustling capital Dehli. The couple also attended a polo match in Jaipur and Diana was spotted wearing a selection of dresses and suits by Catherine Walker, the designer also favoured by Duchess Kate.

Florida, USA

Princess diana in Florida, USA

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Princess Diana visited Florida twice during her lifetime, with the first taking place in 1985 when she presented prizes at a polo match in Wellington, Palm Beach County. The then Prince Charles competed in the match and the jaunt marked the final stop of the couple’s stateside trip. Visiting once again in 1993 alongside Princes William and Harry, the royal family members famously took a special trip to Disney World opting for the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa as their base, the large hotel that is said to be one of Disney World's most luxurious.

St Tropez, France

princess diana in St Tropez, France

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Undoubtedly, one of Princess Diana's best fashion moments is when she sported that iconic acid green one-piece aboard Mohamed Al Fayed's Yacht. Docked on the shores of France’s St Tropez Diana, Dodi, William, and Harry spent idyllic days swimming and sunbathing. In his memoir Spare, Prince Harry notes, “There was much laughter, horseplay, the norm whenever Mummy and Willy and I were together, though even more so on that holiday. Everything about that trip to St. Tropez was heaven. The weather was sublime, the food was tasty, Mummy was smiling."

Doha, Qatar

princess diana in Doha, Qatar

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Diana took a shine to Doha in 1986 when she spent time in the Persian Gulf visiting the city’s gardens, museums, and schools before being whisked off to the desert. It was here she became deeply interested in the ancient art of falconry, a popular pastime in Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries. After enjoying tea, the Princess attended her first camel racing event which she loved. 

Tuzla, Bosnia

princess diana in bosnia

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Diana’s trip to Bosnia was her last ever official engagement, undertaken just a few weeks before her death. The late Princess arrived at Sariavo airport on August 8, 1997, before visiting victims of landmines in her crusade to ban the savage remnants of Bosnia's three-year war. As part of the visit, Diana made a surprise visit to the Suljkanovic family near Tuzla to meet with Muhamed Suljkanovic, the father of the family, who had lost both his feet after stepping on a land mine in a forest near his home. While the nature of the trip was sad, Diana enjoyed her time in Bosnia immensely, having been consumed by her humanitarian work, a part of her life that brought her so much joy. 

Venice, Italy

Princess diana in Venice, Italy

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Like many travel lovers, Diana was mesmerised by the waters of Venice and her fascination leading her to the Italian islands many times throughout her lifetime. Talking about her first time in the city Diana remarked on “how kind and wonderful” the Italian people she met had been to her, commenting, “We’ve felt so much at home, it’s the most beautiful place.” Years later, Diana returned to Venice once again to attend the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice for a reception as part of the Biennale exhibition in 1995.

Terathum, Nepal

princess diana in Terathum, Nepal

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The Princess visited Nepal between the 2nd and the 6th of March 1993 on her first official solo visit abroad since her separation from Prince Charles. Staying at the British Embassy rather than the Palace with the Nepalese Royal Family the visit was part of a partnership with the British Red Cross Youth and the Leprosy Mission. While in Nepal Princess Diana held leprosy patients' hands and sat on their beds, something the British media at the time were advising against. When talking to Nepal's minister-in-waiting, Ram Hari Joshi, before boarding her flight home talked about how she had thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

Islamabad, Pakistan

princess diana in Islamabad, Pakistan

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Surrounded by a group of young women at a university students' lunch at the hilltop garden of Daman-e-Koh, this marked Diana’s first time visiting Islamabad, a place she would return to in the years that followed. During the trip, Diana fell in love with the city of Islamabad, visiting schools and the Norpoor Family Welfare Centre in the capital, where she was also given an ornate garland. 

Thumamah, Saudi Arabia

Princess diana in Thumamah, Saudi Arabia

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Wearing a blue-and-white silk kameez with a white silk salwar designed by Catherine Walker, Diana visited a Bedouin camp in the Thumamah area of Saudi Arabia in 1986. Enthralled by the culture and hospitality of the country the Princess enjoyed a desert picnic as part of the same trip which she took alongside the then-Prince Charles. While the country was much hotter than the princess had been led to believe she styled it out in a selection of stunning outfits and timeless fold jewellery. 

Patagonia, Argentina

Princess diana in Patagonia, Argentina

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The wild beauty of Argentina’s Patagonia enthralled the princess as she spent her time whale-watching in the south before heading back to the buzz of the city where she stunned royal fans by stepping out in a bright red halterneck dress for an evening watching tango in the country’s capital, Buenos Aires. The trip was undertaken by Diana in her newly-defined role as a goodwill ambassador for Britain. The visit, which was the Princess of Wales' first international engagement since her controversial Panorama interview, was seen as an important step in the warming of relations between the UK and Argentina.

The Vatican, Rome, Italy

princess diana at The Vatican, Rome, Italy

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Princess Diana met with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 1985 alongside Prince Charles. The princess wore a calf-length black lace dress by Catherine Walker and, in keeping with Vatican protocol, a black lace veil to cover her head. Enthralled by the impressive surroundings Diana and Charles returned later the same day to absorb the atmosphere and beauty of the Sistine Chapel. It’s reported that a request by the couple to attend a papal Mass was overruled by Buckingham Palace.

Kyoto, Japan

princess diana in Kyoto, Japan

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A traditional Japanese tea ceremony with Prince Charles at Nijo Castle marked the start of a long Japanese love affair for Diana as she returned to the country twice more during her life. On this trip, in May of 1986, Diana sipped green tea and was gifted a peach-coloured kimono that took six months to craft. She also enjoyed visiting the Shugakuin Imperial Villa and taking a stroll in the colourful gardens. 

Cape Town, South Africa

princess diana in Cape Town, South Africa

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Diana was extremely familiar with Cape Town since her brother Charles had relocated to the South African city to escape media attention in 1995. She loved spending time in Cape Town and is seen here on one of the more memorable trips where she met with the late South African President Nelson Mandela. Diana visited Nelson Mandela at his home where this image was captured in 1997. It’s a moment that creates warm memories for Prince Harry, who later said of the image which hangs on his wall, "When I first looked at the photo, straight away what jumped out was the joy on my mother’s face. The playfulness, cheekiness, even. Pure delight to be in communion with another soul so committed to serving humanity."

Rio de Janero, Brazil

princess diana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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As part of a trip to Rio in 1991, Diana became just like any other tourist milling around and managed to get a quick snap of her standing in front of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue that watches over the city. The princess visited several hospitals caring for abandoned street children and was given a rose by a little girl as she left her Rio hotel. 

Hong Kong, China

princess diana in Hong Kong, China

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It’s been said that Diana loved Hong Kong so much she was about to make her third trip to the city before her untimely death. Seen here on her first trip to the bustling metropolis, she was presented with garlands on a visit to Has Tamar, a British Forces shore base. During her second visit, the princess checked into a suite on the 24th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and later attended a dinner in aid of the Leprosy Mission at The Peninsula Hotel.

Ontario, Canada

princess diana in Ontario, Canada

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Diana took her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, on a private ride aboard the 'Maid of the Mist' sightseeing boat to get up close to Niagara Falls in 1991. A Director of Public Relations for the Niagara Parks Commission said of the time, “It was 3 hours that I would not forget. Even though there was damp and cold with a heavy mist in the air that didn’t prevent any of us from having a great time. While they were here they mingled with the large crowd at the edge of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls at Table Rock, enjoyed a private lunch at the Commissioner’s Quarters of the Victoria Park Restaurant (now Edgewaters) followed by a private ride aboard the Maid of the Mist. This seemed to be the highlight of the day, especially for the children, and almost on cue the rain stopped and the sun came out as we began our 25-minute ride to the base of the falls.” 

Salamanca, Spain

princess diana in Salamanca, Spain

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As one of the most beautiful World Heritage cities in Spain, it’s easy to see why Lady Di enjoyed stunning Salamanca with its pretty cobbled streets and important historical architectural heritage. For her visit, the people of the town held a special party and threw down capes for the Princess to walk across after being serenaded with typical Spanish music in 1987. 

Lahore, Pakistan

princess diana in Lahore, Pakistan

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Since Diana was good friends with Jemima and Imran Khan who were both based out in Pakistan at the time, Diana spent a lot of time in Lahore across three separate visits where she would visit hospitals and places of interest around the city. During her final visit to the stunning country in 1997 she spent more time with Imran Kahn and was also dating Imran’s cousin, surgeon Hasnat Khan. The love affair was so special that allegedly Diana said she "wanted to marry him, even if that meant living in Pakistan."

Hawaii, USA

princess diana in Hawaii, USA

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Diana found a haven in the tropical island paradise of Hawaii staying at the beachfront Kahala Hilton Hotel in Honolulu in 1985. It was her very first visit to the United States but she returned many times finding the island’s botany fascinating. Official lei greeters for the state presented the princess with a five-strand pikake lei, made with flowers that represent romance and love, having been brought to the Hawaiian islands in the 1800s. But the gifts didn’t stop there as Diana was also given two aloha t-shirts for William and Harry. 

Lydia Swinscoe
Travel writer & editor

Lydia is a travel writer and solo travel expert, based mostly in London. Her work has been published in print and online for the likes of Condé Nast Traveler, The Guardian, BBC Travel, Harper's Bazaar, ELLE, Marie Claire, Oh magazine, Town&Country, and woman&home.