Wondering what the best places to travel in 2023 are? Us too, so we decided to do some research and put together the best places to visit this year.
After re-opening their borders after years of COVID-19 closures, new destinations are on our list.
Below, find the best 23 places that are already trending for 2023!
The absolute, undisputed most popular destination for 2023 is Italy. The Amalfi Coast, Lake Como, Tuscany, Puglia, Rome and Sicily are the most requested Italian destinations but also, many travelers are now looking for experiences off the beaten track even in famous places, and are interested in immersing themselves in Italian culture through cooking classes, excursions and craft workshops. If you choose to visit Italy in 2023, we guarantee you won’t regret it!
Known for its pristine beaches and vibrant nightlife, Malaga is the ultimate beach destination in Europe for many. This Spanish coastal city has enjoyed a cultural renaissance in the last decade, making it a lively cultural hub on the beautiful Costa del Sol. Several new museums have opened there, including the Pompidou Center, a modern art treasure housed in a multi-coloured glass cube. The street art scene is just as incredible, with colourful murals blanketing entire neighbourhoods.
Found off Madagascar’s east coast, this massive island is an excellent choice for a beach getaway and many tourists are expected here in 2023. Île Sainte-Marie teems with raw nature, rugged coastline, and an endless variety of things to do. A destination that offers excitement and relaxation, how you spend your days is entirely up to you. Here you’ll find incredible hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, national parks—and of course, amazing beaches, too. Imagine wooden bungalows, the turquoise Indian Ocean lapping at your doorstep, sunshine, cocktails served in coconuts, and delicious Malagasy cuisine. Île Sainte-Marie is the real deal.
As the last region in the world to reopen during the pandemic, East Asia is expected to have a banner year for tourism, with Japan poised to be the fan favourite. Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka are the top destinations in Japan for 2023.
There is no other place like Bali in this world. A magical blend of culture, people, nature, activities, weather, culinary delights, nightlife, and beautiful accommodation. Bali is rated as one of the best travel destinations in the world and is a top choice for 2023 also.
While most visitors to Egypt prefer to visit Giza, Cairo, and Luxor, the grandeur and beauty of Aswan is reserved for enthusiastic visitors. Your exploration will be rewarded with unbelievable ancient ruins, friendly locals, and opportunities to experience sites most other tourists don’t even know exist.
Bhutan, a tiny Himalayan country wedged between China and India, is a special place. With breathtaking scenery and the freshest air you’ll ever inhale, the Bhutanese take environmental conservation seriously – not by law, but by choice. They strive to keep their country “clean and green,” and they’ve succeeded. The entire nation looks like a postcard, with Buddhist monasteries decorating its dramatic mountains and valleys.
Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago comprises five islands, renowned for their white beaches and diverse marine life. The second largest of them all, Benguerra, has quietly emerged as a wild and stealthy upscale getaway. Two luxury resorts are newly opened here: Kisawa Sanctuary and andBeyond Benguerra Island. These two will definitely be the tourists’ favourites for 2023.
Mexico has been breaking tourism records throughout the pandemic and will return as a powerhouse destination in 2023. It’s most popular and easy-to-get-to beach destinations are major contributors to that success. The best Mexican destination for 2023 is Cancún, with its gorgeous turquoise seas, powdery white-sand beaches, and vibrant coral reefs.
Another dream trip becoming reality for travelers in 2023 is the Galápagos Islands. Six hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador lie the volcanic islands of the Galápagos, famous for a wealth of unique plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. The Galápagos Islands were also the source of Darwin’s theory of evolution and remain a priceless living laboratory for scientists today.
Many people have heard of Roatán, a popular diving destination and cruise port off the coast of Honduras. But just west lies the lesser-known island of Utila, home to more than 80 astounding dive sites. Many resorts and dive centers on this island cater to scuba divers and offer all-inclusive, week-long packages.
Backpackers and beachgoers will also love this Caribbean escape. White sands, waterfront bars, and vivid sunsets suggest a leisurely pace. Those seeking a relaxing getaway will have no issue adjusting to island time in Utila.
If you’re looking for a dreamy nature getaway, Vanuatu is the complete package. This South Pacific Ocean paradise offers beautiful landscapes, world-class diving, rainforests, volcanoes, captivating beaches, and warm hospitality. With an abundance of tropical fruit all year round, the country offers some delicious cuisine, too. Of course, you could spend your entire time beach-hopping and exploring the underwater world off the main island of Efate, but Vanuatu offers so much more. For a taste of adventure, you should head to the outer isles and villages to experience local culture and quintessential island life.
Lake Ohrid is one of those rare UNESCO World Heritage Sites that meet both natural and cultural criteria. Beneath the surface of its tranquil waters lies one of Planet Earth’s most biodiverse lake ecosystems, as well as artefacts from ancient settlements dating back to at least the 4th century BC.
Ohrid, the town that shares the lake’s name, has been nicknamed “the Jerusalem of the Balkans” because it is home to as many churches as there are days in the year. The town’s cobblestone streets and Instagram-worthy boutique hotels have long drawn vacationers from around the Balkans, though Ohrid remains a relatively hidden gem unknown to most travelers outside the region.
The United States boasts some of the world’s most famous cities, and though Detroit doesn’t receive the same recognition as New York or Los Angeles, it certainly deserves to. This Michigan metropolis is filled with character, a diverse range of things to do, and friendly people.
As one of the country’s best-kept secrets, Detroit isn’t overly touristy, so you get the joy of exploring without crazy crowds. Some of the city’s best elements are its architectural history, Motown music, thriving sports scene, art culture, and excellent selection of restaurants, craft breweries, and cocktail bars. Canada is just across the beautiful Detroit river, so make the most out of your trip and visit two countries in one go!
A year-round destination, Mammoth Lakes is equally stunning in the snow and the summer sun. While famed for some of the best skiing and snowboarding in California, seasonal snowmelt reveals wonderful campgrounds and a web of incredible hiking trails, several of which lead to pristine alpine lakes.
Throw in a popular waterfront and proximity to beautiful beaches and inland mountains, Thessaloniki is surely a contender for one of Europe’s best city-break destinations. What could make it even better? How about a gleaming new metro system? All being well, November 2023 should see the opening of the main line of an infrastructure megaproject that will eventually connect the city’s downtown to its international airport. Driverless trains will whisk passengers through tunnels whose excavation has added to Thessaloniki’s already rich catalog of archeological discoveries, many of which will be on display in specially created museum stations.
Kraków is a stunning city, filled with horse-drawn carriages that transport tourists and trees and perfectly manicured gardens lining the cobblestone streets. Less than an hour from the charming city square lies Auschwitz concentration camp, a tragic but important site that forever leaves a chilling mark on visitors.
In addition to the immense Jewish history in and around Kraków, awe-inspiring architecture abounds. This especially applies in the well-preserved medieval core. Walk through Rynek Główny, the market square, to sightsee St. Mary’s Basilica, a 14th-century Gothic church, Wawel Royal Castle, and more. When visiting, be sure not to miss the salt sculptures in the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
All you need on Xiaoliuqiu is a motor scooter, a bathing suit, and a bit of cash. To reach the island, also known as Liuchiu and Lambai Island, take a 20-minute ferry from Donggang. When you arrive, rent a motorbike at the port. The island is only about 2.5 square miles, so it’s easy to navigate by scooter without getting lost. Chow down on fresh seafood, then enjoy sweet bubble tea for dessert. To simplify your trip, book one of many all-inclusive guesthouses on Xiaoliuqiu, offering meals, snorkeling tours, and more.
A major city in the American Midwest, Cleveland embraces diversity, both in its communities and attractions. Studio West 117 popped up this year, a new neighborhood created by and for the LGBTQ+ community. In 2023, Karamu House, America’s oldest African American theater, is putting on new shows; while the Western Reserve Historical Society will be opening a Black history exhibit.
Black representation continues with a new photo display on the golden age of Soul, R&B, and funk, available at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. City entertainment further extends to the clubs on West 6th Street and the shops of Tower City Center. Not to mention the concerts, comedy shows, sports games, and more. With Lake Erie’s shoreline and 23,000 acres of parks and nature preserves, even outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring Cleveland.
Built on ancient ruins and filled with interesting people, Sofia is one of the cities you’ll definitely want to put on your 2023 bucket list. Though the capital of Bulgaria, it’s a lesser-known destination, making it one of the most affordable places to stay in Europe. You’ll find an upcoming restaurant scene, and one of the best underground music scenes in Eastern Europe. The city abounds with spectacular architecture and fascinating history.
North of Chiang Mai lies the less-traveled Chiang Rai, where visitors will find some of the most thought-provoking temples in the region. Marvel at the history and intricate carvings of the White, Blue, and Black Temples, each one saturated in its assigned colour.
Explore other attractions unique to Chiang Rai, including the Golden Clocktower and Wat Huai Pla Kung, famed for its giant white statue of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. And don’t miss the Night Bazaar, full of vibrant stalls selling souvenirs and all the incredible Thai food you crave.
Ghana’s Cape Coast is vibrant and scenic. Visit Kakum National Park where you’ll discover Ghana’s absolute enchantment. Sway with the tropical treetops as you tiptoe across the Canopy Walkway, a series of rope bridges strung 30 meters above the ground. When visiting, keep an eye out for forest elephants, mona monkeys, leopards, and other incredible wildlife.
Take the lesser-known route to Machu Picchu, the most spectacular archeological site in Peru. Across the span of five days, the Salkantay Trek weaves in and out of the dense jungle and Andean mountain terrain.
The beauty of the snow-capped peaks and glacier-carved valleys is sure to wow all who lay their eyes on the landscape. On your scenic journey, you’ll encounter only a few other tourists, adding to the reasons why this is one of the country’s absolute best excursions.