21 Most Popular Hobbies Worldwide

When it comes to relaxation and destressing in your daily life, there are few activities that are more effective than spending some time on your favorite hobbies.

Making sure you balance out the time you have for work, and the time you have to enjoy yourself, is key to ensuring you live both a productive but also healthy life.

Hobbies can benefit you in numerous ways such as boosting confidence, lowering stress levels, inspiring creativity, as well as giving you a distraction from daily worries.

Whether you have some hobbies already or are looking to start one for the first time, join us in taking a look at the most popular hobbies in the world, and perhaps you’ll find one (or more) that is right for you.


1. Reading

Reading can be a deeply engaging and rewarding hobby to pursue as it actively powers your imagination.

The catalog of reading material is expanding by the hour and it will not stop anytime soon, effectively meaning you have an infinite selection to choose from.

Knowledge is also something that reading can provide you, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, the topics that books cover have such a variety that you could really find out almost anything about any given area.

Reading can also be a great way to unwind and just take some time to imagine yourself in a different place, as well as a powerful tool in expanding your vocabulary.

2. Television and/or Online Streaming Services

In recent years, TV and shows available on online streaming services have only been getting better and providing greater access to amazing shows.

Sites like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video have an extraordinary wealth of content that can range from older shows you might have missed out on, to newer exclusive releases on the platforms themselves.

Similar to reading, watching television can help you unwind and immerse yourself in a world away from your day to day worries.

Documentaries also offer a way to boost your knowledge on a wide range of topics and maybe help you discover some other hobbies along the way.

3. Movies

Going to movies has been a popular pastime for years and with good reason. Whilst you could watch films on your TV at home, nothing compares to the full movie theatre experience.

Sitting in front of the big screen with your snacks, to watch that new release, is an experience you just cannot achieve with the same effect at home.

Going to the movies can also allow you to spend time with friends and family and enjoy a unique activity together.

4. Fishing

In terms of relaxation, most people who enjoy fishing will tell you it is up there with the best of the hobbies.

Being out in nature for hours on end can provide ample time to just sit and soak in your surroundings, the choice of which is up to you.

From the sea to lakes, to small rivers and streams, the places you might choose to fish can have beautiful environments and many different kinds of fish to catch.

It is also appealing due to it having a tangible reward, you can physically take the fish home to make meals with.

Why not take a salmon fishing trip to Norway or other popular venues?

5. Online Gaming

Online gaming has been around for quite a while now, but in recent years it has really exploded in popularity.

There is a crazy amount of games out there with a huge array of genres, from fantasy games, cooking games, party games to military simulation games.

One of the major benefits of online gaming is that you get to enjoy them with your friends and spend time with them.

Most can be played perfectly fine on their own but are made all the better for bringing some company.

Online games can help improve skills and qualities like problem solving, teamwork and leadership.

6. Gardening

Gardening is a relatively accessible hobby that can provide you with visible rewards for your time spent, as well as being a great way to unwind.

Even if you do not have access to a garden, using your balcony or just having plants to take care of on windowsills in your home can be a great hobby to take part in.

A big benefit is that you get to directly see the effect over time and therefore it makes to care you have given to the plant feel very rewarding.

The other main benefit is obviously that it will make your environment look great and you get the freedom to make it look however you want.

7. Hiking

Hiking is another hobby that can let you spend time enjoying the natural beauty of the world around you.

Some hikes are more intensive than others and may require some investment in hiking gear (such as boots and hiking poles).

However, there will also be less intensive hikes that can be done without any such additional equipment and both types of hiking can be a very good way to get some exercise in.

Probably the main benefit to most people will be seeing some of the paths through nature that hiking will take you on.

The physical exertion can help you unwind as you only have to worry about where you're going and then getting back to where you were.

8. Playing and/or Listening to Music

Music is one of those hobbies that is incredibly diverse in terms of what it can offer you.

If you have no musical experience but have always wanted to learn, then taking up an instrument as a hobby could be very rewarding for you.

There is such a wide variety of instruments to choose from and recently many apps have become available that can help you to learn an instrument without the need for you to go to physical lessons and let you set the pace at which you learn.

Listening to music is also a hobby that many people enjoy, and it is now more accessible than ever.

No longer do you need to have the specific CD for whichever album you want to listen to as there are online streaming services that can offer you instant access to a wide variety of music.

This gives you more freedom in trying out the latest music, that if you had to buy a whole CD, without knowing if you actually liked it, may have caused you to spend money on something you would never use.

9. Arts and Crafts

This is an excellent hobby to get into with surprisingly little initial investment.

You are most likely to already have things such as glue and paper sitting in cupboards around your home. which can be enough for a lot of arts and crafts projects.

You get the opportunity to let your imagination take you in whichever direction you want to go, and, in the end, the only limits are your supplies and your imagination itself.

If you are starting for the first time and are not sure what to do, there is a bounty of guides, both online and in books that can help give you some inspiration.

Once you master the basics you can use these building blocks to experiment on different potential projects.

10. Yoga

Yoga is yet another hobby that requires next to nothing to get started with.

This particular hobby is great if all you want from time is to unwind and even learn to relax better.

What yoga can do is reinforce healthy habits that can allow you to focus on yourself and take your mind away from your worries by utilizing different breathing, meditation, and balance techniques.

Yoga can be done in a class but if you would rather do it alone you can download an app or find a guide online that you can follow to help you.

Doing yoga often can help to refocus you and strengthen your body and mind and so a lot of people tend to give it a go.

Yoga retreats worldwide are extremely popular.

11. Cooking

When you go out to a restaurant, is there one meal that you often choose over the rest?

If you have ever thought that it would be brilliant to be able to recreate that meal in the comfort of your own home, then maybe you should try cooking.

Cooking can help strengthen things like patience and creativity as well as being a nice activity to share with friends and family.

Perseverance is another thing that cooking can teach you. It is unlikely you’ll finish your first recipe without making a mistake, but if you keep trying, you will eventually end up with a result that you will be proud of and then you can start to branch out and try new things.

Why not try one of the international culinary schools to hone up your cooking skills?

12. Running

With a little to no initial investment required, running is another hobby that is very accessible and provides an avenue for you to relax and get some exercise at the same time.

Whilst running maybe a workout for your body, what it can also do is allow for your mind to destress and focus on just the running itself.

It is also rewarding in the sense that you can see your progress in the distance you can cover each time you run and be proud of what you have accomplished.

Another benefit is being able to spend more time in nature which also aids in the relaxation process.

There are many running competitions worldwide that you could consider attending or competing in!

13. Cycling

Cycling is not only a convenient way to travel to and from work whilst keeping your environmental footprint low.

Similar to running, you can use cycling to relax your mind as you work out your body.

Typically, you will be able to cover greater distances when you cycle as opposed to run and this can allow you to use your cycling as a vehicle to get to places that would usually be out of reach.

For example, there may be a nearby lake you want to visit but would be further than you would typically walk or take longer than you would like, and so instead you could cycle which would be faster and allow you to travel the distance more easily – as well as providing you with a workout.

There are many forms of cycling that you can partake in Road cycling, Mountain Biking, Track Cycling, BMX Racing, and many more that might grab your attention and interest.

There are international cycling competitions held throughout the year in which cyclists throughout the world compete.

14. Writing

If you really enjoy reading as a hobby, then writing may have been something you have thought to pursue.

Writing is a wonderful way to transfer your creativity and vocabulary (that you can work on by reading) into a physical representation.

You could write any number of things that you could keep for yourself or share with others, whether it be a journal, poetry or for letters to send people.

Some other benefits of writing could be, helping keep track of tasks, learning how to communicate more clearly, and to be able to write out your thoughts to help process them.

Writers throughout the world join writing programs, conferences, residencies, and retreats which might inspire you to pursue a wonderful hobby in writing.

15. Collecting

This is another hobby that can really be tailored to your specific interests.

What you collect is up to you and could be anything from Pokémon cards to gemstones to little rocks that looks like animals – it really can be anything you want.

You can use your collection to decorate your home or you could keep them in display cases, which gives you another way to appreciate this hobby.

The task of hunting down additional items for your collection can also be a fun and rewarding experience, as at the end of it you will have a physical object to keep.

Collecting can also be an enjoyable way to display your interest to others when they are visiting your home.

Most forms of collections have an international group associated with it. Research your favorite theme on the internet, you're bound to find a group of similarly minded people you can share your hobby with.

16. Swimming

Hobbies that involve exercise can be extremely beneficial and swimming is no different.

Some people enjoy swimming competitively, but it can also be enjoyed as a more casual hobby instead.

Going for a swim can provide an opportunity to relax as you don’t have to swim under any time constraints if you don’t want to, you can just unwind and enjoy your time in the water.

If you choose to, you can also use swimming as a way to work out and strengthen your body which can be one of the best ways to work out.

Whether you travel the world to find challenging swimming events or choose to swim in the local lake or sea, there are safety aspects that should be considered. This article on 'open-water' safety is necessary to read.

17. Camping

Camping is a great hobby to take part in if you feel you do not get to spend enough time in nature.

When you are out in the wilderness you can really relax as you are away from the distractions of modern life, such as computers and phones.

If you were to go camping with friends or family, it also provides an opportunity to socialize and spend some quality time with them that you may not be able to achieve otherwise.

One other benefit of camping is that it can help to reset your sleeping pattern back to its more natural state, which can be really useful if you have noticed you are sleeping at times that are getting frustrating.

Travel the world to different camp sites with your companions and enjoy different cultures, nature and scenery.

18. Board Games

This hobby can be good if you feel as though you may have been spending too much time looking at screens, be it a phone or computer, but would still like something fun to do, with family or friends, within your home.

Usually, board games have relatively simple rules, meaning that you and the people you are with will be able to get to playing almost straight away and enjoying your time together.

You may not be aware that board games first appeared around 3000BC - that of Backgammon - check out the list of the highest-selling board games of all time - you may well find a new board game to play with your gang.

19. Learning a Language

If you have ever thought about visiting a foreign country but are worried about the language barrier, maybe it is time to consider trying to learn an additional language.

Nowadays, there is a multitude of apps that can help you to learn new languages gradually over time in an interactive way.

Obviously, the main benefit of learning a new language is that you can now speak another language and therefore converse with native speakers of this new language, which can open up new employment, travel, and migration possibilities.

One thing people often miss, however, is that learning a second language can actually help you understand your original language even more - something that will benefit you in everyday life.

20. Baking

Although similar to cooking in concept, baking requires a different approach.

When cooking it can be rewarding and fun to change the build of a recipe on the fly and try new things, however, with baking you really need to stick to a recipe to achieve the desired result.

For example, if you are baking a cake and you decide to change up the amount of flour you are adding it can result in an end product that is inedible.

Baking is more suited to teaching you discipline and precision when in the kitchen and if you make something that you are proud of you can share it with your family and friends (or just keep it all to yourself).

Every country in the world has their own particular baked goods. You could experiment with your own baking - ask for an international baking book for your next birthday and enjoy baking recipes from around the world.

21. DIY Projects

Sometimes you may be walking around your home and notice something that could be improved upon, say for example a shelf that is not straight or maybe the paint on your walls could look better as a different color.

Taking up DIY projects can help fix these issues in your home, as well as giving you an activity to do that can be both fun and rewarding.

Even tinkering with little things around your home can provide you with a sense of satisfaction as you will see your home transform before your eyes into something that is more your style.

Attending home exhibitions is an ideal opportunity to gain knowledge and ideas to enhance your own surroundings. A quick search of the internet will give you both local and international events available.


In Summary

To conclude, there is such a great wealth of hobbies out there that you are bound to find something that you can enjoy doing.

Hopefully, this article has helped you find a hobby that can be rewarding, fun, creative, productive, or just an effective way to pass the time for you.

Even if these hobbies weren’t for you, don’t stop searching as it’s important to try and balance out your work and relaxation.


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