World’s 30 Best Travel Destinations, Ranked
Best places to visit in the world.
The ultimate ranking of travel destinations aims to solve a serious problem: so many places to visit, so little time.
But even in a world with a trillion destinations, some manage to stand out and rise to the top. From the sleek skyscrapers of Dubai to the emerald-green waters of the Bora Bora lagoon, you’re sure to find at least one vacation that piques your interest (and likely several!).
These are the 30 best places to visit in the world. Which ones have you already been to? And which ones stoke your wanderlust most?
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30. Argentine Patagonia
In this region of the Andes, you’ll find glaciers, evergreen trees, deep blue lakes and clear skies everywhere you look. For a trip full of adventure and discovery, there are few better destinations on the planet.
No trip is complete without a visit to the craggy Mount Fitz Roy, the historic (and mysterious) Cave of the Hands, the Punta Tombo wildlife preserve, the Peninsula Valdes marine wildlife refuge and the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier. Be sure to bring your camera and your sense of wonder.
*Rankings are based on the 2021 U.S. News & World Report's " World's Best Places to Visit ," traveler ratings and our own editorial input.
What to Know Before You Go to Argentine Patagonia
Where to stay: Cyan Soho Neuquen Hotel
Hot tip: Since springtime occurs in the southern hemisphere in October and November, those months are your best bet when planning a trip.
Fun fact: The largest dinosaur fossils ever unearthed were found in Argentine Patagonia. They belong to the largest-known titanosaur, believed to have weighed about 83 tons.
29. Amalfi Coast, Italy
Set in the Sorrentina Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast has long been renowned for its natural beauty and idyllic coastal towns. During the golden age of Hollywood, it was a preferred vacation spot for glamorous movie stars.
Days here are spent eating Italian food, drinking wine and walking around colorful cobblestone streets. You can also expect to drink copious amounts of wine as you look out into the Mediterranean Sea.
The best way to see the coast is to rent a car , then drive to different towns each day.
What to Know Before You Go to the Amalfi Coast
Where to stay: Hotel Marina Riviera
Hot tip: If you're planning on using a beach chair to work on your tan, make sure you wake up early, as they are usually first come, first served.
Fun fact: The Amalfi Coast is featured in Sofia Loren's 1995 Film, "Scandal in Sorrento."
28. Cancun, Mexico
For years, Cancun has been the preferred getaway for East Coast Americans (particularly Floridians) who want an international getaway that's still close to home. But despite the droves of tourists, the area has managed to keep the charm that attracted people in the first place.
The city is known mostly for its luxury hotels, wild nightlife and warm beaches. Definitely indulge in all of these — as well as the Mexican food! — but also consider other activities like visiting Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes and snorkeling. One thing is certain: You won't run out of things to do in Cancun .
What to Know Before You Go to Cancun
Where to stay: Hyatt Zilara Cancun
Hot tip: While you're in Cancun, make a plan to visit one of Grupo Xcaret's six eco-tourism parks, with the best ones being Xcaret and Xelha. The Mexican-owned company is credited with starting the eco-tourism trend in the Yucatan Peninsula, and the parks offer incredible and varied local experiences.
Fun fact: The Yucatan Peninsula, where Cancun is located, was the cultural, political and economic center of the Mayan civilization. Many locals have Mayan ancestry and Mayan continues to be widely spoken in the area.
27. San Francisco, California
Everyone should visit San Francisco at least once in their lives. Though tech companies grab all the headlines these days, it remains down-to-earth, diverse and packed with things to do.
Where to start? No matter your style, you’ll want to check out the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, see the sunbathing sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, take a tour of the historic prison Alcatraz and relax in one of the city’s many parks, especially Dolores Park for its epic people-watching on the weekends.
For dinner, treat your tastebuds and make a reservation at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the Bay Area .
What to Know Before You Go to San Francisco
Where to stay: The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
Hot tip: Want similarly beautiful landscapes and rich cultural attractions, but at lower prices and with (slightly) fewer crowds? Head to Oakland just across the Bay Bridge, named one of the most exciting places on earth to travel by National Geographic.
Fun fact: The fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco by a Japanese resident. Random!
26. Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the world . The power with which water storms down cliffs on the border between the United States and Canada has captivated the imagination of humans for centuries.
This natural wonder is comprised of three awe-inspiring falls. One of the best ways to experience them is on a boat tour.
What to Know Before You Go to Niagara Falls
Where to stay: Sheraton Niagara Falls
Hot tip: There is some debate about which side of the falls is better, but the general verdict is that the Canadian side offers better views. This is because you can (ironically) get a better view of the American Falls as well as get up close to Horseshoe Falls.
Fun fact: Established in 1885, Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the U.S.
25. Yellowstone National Park
Located mostly in Wyoming as well as Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone is America’s first national park and remains one of the most popular in the country, welcoming more than around 3.8 million people last year . With unpredictable geysers, rainbow-colored hot springs, craggy peaks, shimmering lakes and tons of wildlife — from elk to boars to bison — it’s easy to see why so many people flock here.
The park makes for an awesome family trip and is well-suited to budget travelers since it offers so many campsites ( over 2,000! ).
What to Know Before You Go to Yellowstone
Where to stay: Stage Coach Inn
Hot tip: You’ll never fully beat the crowds at this wildly popular park, but April, May, September and November are your best bets for finding some solitude.
Fun fact: Yellowstone is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.
24. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
As the largest reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of marine species. This makes it a paradise for scuba diving or snorkeling.
The reef system is truly gigantic, with over 600 islands and about 2,900 individual reefs. This is one of Australia's greatest prides, but it's also a planetary national treasure. Seeing it with your own two eyes is an experience that is incredible beyond words.
What to Know Before You Go to the Great Barrier Reef
Where to stay: Crystalbrook Flynn
Hot tip: Though going underwater to see the reef is a must, we also recommend booking a helicopter tour to experience the magic of it from above.
Fun fact: Made of corals, which are animals that live in collectives, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet.
23. Santorini, Greece
With its picturesque blue-domed churches, whitewashed buildings and colorful beaches, the island of Santorini is a photographer’s paradise. If you want to snap photos to post to Instagram and make everyone back home jealous, this is the place to go.
Also make sure to experience some of Santorini’s archaeologically significant sites, like Ancient Akrotiri (an ancient city preserved by volcanic ash) and Ancient Thera (where humans lived as early as the 9th century BC). And don’t forget to visit the smaller islands that surround it, including Thirassia, Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni.
What to Know Before You Go to Santorini
Where to stay: Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Santorini
Hot tip: To optimize your vacation, U.S. News recommends visiting in September and October or April and May, when the weather is still warm but there aren’t as many other tourists milling around.
Fun fact: While it’s difficult to prove, locals like to say there’s more wine than water on this island where it hardly rains (and vino abounds).
22. Florence, Italy
For art and history buffs (and anyone who appreciates delicious Italian food), Florence is a must-visit city.
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, it’s home to some of the most iconic artworks by the world’s premier artists throughout history — Michaelangelo, Brunelleschi and Donatello, just to name a few. In addition to art museums and architectural wonders, Florence is also home to chic shops, quaint cafes and spectacular gardens.
What to Know Before You Go to Florence
Where to stay: NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa
Hot tip: Keep Florence in mind if you want to spend your honeymoon in Europe without spending a fortune, says U.S. News.
Fun fact: The city’s famed “El Duomo” cathedral took over 140 years to build .
21. Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite, one of the most-visited national parks in America with more than 4 million annual guests, encompasses 750,000 acres of wilderness just waiting to be explored.
It’s home to scenic waterfalls, like the 317-foot Vernal Fall and the 617-foot Bridalveil Fall, as well as iconic rock formations like El Capitan and Half Dome, two popular spots for the world’s best rock climbers to test their mettle.
Not surprisingly, the wildlife here also impresses. Dozens of species of butterflies, marmots, bobcats and mule deer are just some of the animals that call Yosemite home. And keep your eyes peeled for black bears; some 300-500 roam the park .
What to Know Before You Go to Yosemite
Where to stay: The Ahwahnee
Hot tip: Summer can get really busy here, so if you want to camp, be sure to book a spot early. Want to beat Yosemite’s notoriously bad traffic? Ditch the car and take advantage of the park’s extensive free bus system.
Fun fact: This is one of the only places in the country where you can catch a moonbow — like a rainbow, but created by the light of the moon instead of the sun.
20. St. Lucia
Whether you’re visiting on a cruise ship or just relaxing at an all-inclusive resort or boutique hotel, stunning St. Lucia is a clear winner. This Caribbean island offers diverse terrain for vacationers, from its pristine beaches to its lush rainforests to its volcanic peaks, the Pitons, that loom over the landscape.
Adrenaline-junkies love hiking, climbing and zip-lining, while newlyweds (and soon-to-be-married couples) enjoy the romantic mix of fine dining, adults-only resorts and exotic activities.
What to Know Before You Go to St. Lucia
Where to stay: Rabot Hotel From Hotel Chocolat
Hot tip: Visit when temperatures are moderate, which is typically in May and June.
Fun fact: St. Lucia is the only country named after a woman: Christian martyr Saint Lucia of Syracuse.
19. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Everything is bigger and better in Dubai, home to one of the world’s largest shopping malls, the world’s tallest tower, one of the world’s largest man-made marinas — and the list goes on.
This Las Vegas-like urban center in the United Arab Emirates has an eclectic mix of activities for visitors to enjoy, including beaches, waterparks, tons of shopping and even an indoor ski resort. Outside the skyscraper-filled city, the vast desert awaits, best enjoyed via quad-biking or sandboarding.
What to Know Before You Go to Dubai
Where to stay: Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai
Hot tip: Though you’re likely to pay a pretty penny for a trip to Dubai no matter when you visit, you can save a little cash by visiting during the scalding-hot summer months and by booking your hotel room two to three months in advance.
Fun fact: Dubai’s man-made Palm Islands were constructed using enough imported sand to fill up 2.5 Empire State Buildings .
18. Machu Picchu, Peru
Many travelers describe their visit to Machu Picchu as life-changing. Why? It’s an archaeological wonder, the remains of an ancient Incan city dating back more than 600 years. No wonder this is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most-visited attraction in all of Peru.
Be sure to visit significant sites like Funerary Rock, where it’s believed Incan nobility were mummified, and Temple of the Condor, a rock temple sculpted to look like the impressive bird in its name.
What to Know Before You Go to Machu Picchu
Where to stay: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Hot tip: If you’re planning a trip, be sure to get your ticket in advance, as only 2,500 people can visit Machu Picchu each day. (And a lot of people have this destination on their bucket list.)
Fun fact: The site contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs .
17. Sydney, Australia
With its iconic Opera House and lively Bondi Beach, Sydney is the perfect spot to vacation if you’re looking for a blend of culture, arts, nightlife and relaxation.
Spend the day on the water at Darling Harbour, then head to the Royal Botanic garden for even more fresh air. Want to travel like a local? Get a ticket to a rugby match and order a Tim Tam, a popular chocolate-covered cookie that pairs well with coffee.
What to Know Before You Go to Sydney
Where to stay: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Hot tip: You can make your trip more affordable by visiting during Sydney’s shoulder seasons, which are typically September through November and March through May.
Fun fact: In 2007, Bondi Beach was the site of the largest ever swimsuit photoshoot ; 1,010 bikini-clad women participated, enough to earn it a spot in the Guinness World Records book.
16. Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is truly massive (277 river miles long and up to 18 miles wide!), which helps explain why so many people feel the urge to see it in person.
Last year, 6.4 million people visited, making the Grand Canyon the second-most popular national park in the country (behind Great Smoky Mountain Nationals Park). Established in 1919, the park offers activities for all ability levels, whether you want to do an intense hike down into the canyon and sleep under the stars (with a backcountry permit, of course) or simply want to saunter along the South Rim Trail, an easy walking path with views that wow.
What to Know Before You Go to the Grand Canyon
Where to stay: The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon
Hot tip: If you’ve wanted to visit the Grand Canyon for a while now, this is the year to do it. The park is celebrating its 100th birthday with musical performances, lectures, screenings and other special events.
Fun fact: The most remote community in the continental U.S. can be found in the Grand Canyon. At the base of the canyon, Supai Village — part of the Havasupi Indian Reservation — has a population of 208. It’s inaccessible by road, and mail is delivered by pack mule. Want to see it for yourself? The village houses a collection of campsites , accessible via a hiking trail.
15. Bali, Indonesia
In recent years, Bali has become a popular expat destination, where groups of "digital nomads" work and play.
But the island hasn't lost its original charm to this added tourism and continues to be an incredible destination. Divide your time between swimming in the beach, hiking active volcanoes, visiting temples and enjoying views of tiered rice terraces.
What to Know Before You Go to Bali
Where to stay: Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach
Hot tip: Though shoulder season (January to April and October to November) means fewer crowds and cheaper prices, it also means rain. Tons of it. We'd recommend avoiding the rainy season if possible.
Fun fact: On the Saka New Year, Balinese people celebrate Nyepi. This Hindu celebration is a day of silence when everything on the island shuts down and no noise is allowed.
14. New York, New York
As the saying goes, New York City is “the city that never sleeps” — and you won’t want to either when you visit, lest you run out of time to take it all in.
Be sure to check out newer attractions, like the High Line (an elevated park) and Hudson Yards (a mega-mall along the Hudson River), but also make time for some New York City classics, like catching a Broadway show or standing under the lights of Times Square.
Foodies will have a hard time choosing where to eat (the city is home to 93 Michelin stars !), which is why an extended trip is always a good idea.
What to Know Before You Go to New York City
Where to stay: The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel
Hot tip: Yes, January and February get cold here, but this is also the best time to lock in relatively reasonable hotel rates. You can spend your time eating in the city’s restaurants, exploring its fabulous museums and catching its world-class theater shows, without needing to spend much time in the chilly outdoors.
Fun fact: There’s a birth in New York City every 4.4 minutes — and a death every 9.1 minutes.
13. Banff National Park, Canada
Some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery and vistas are located in Banff, the tiny Canadian town located at 4,537 feet above sea level inside the national park by the same name. Banff is the highest town in Canada, and Banff National Park was Canada’s first, established in 1885.
Shred some powder at Banff’s three ski resorts in the winter, then come back in the summer for activities like hiking, biking, fishing and scrambling (scaling steep terrain using nothing but your hands).
What to Know Before You Go to Banff
Where to stay: Fairmont Banff Springs
Hot tip: June to August and December to March are the best times to visit if you want to take advantage of summer and winter activities.
Fun fact: Banff National Park has more than 1,000 glaciers .
You can look at picture after picture, but you still really need to visit the Maldives to believe its beauty. If rich sunsets, flour-like beaches and vibrant blue waters are your style, this is the destination for you.
Though it’s somewhat difficult to get to this small island nation southwest of Sri Lanka, that also means it’s incredibly private and secluded, which makes it the perfect spot for a honeymoon or romantic beach getaway.
And don’t worry about getting bored, either — explore the water by snorkeling or scuba diving, relax in the spa or wander around the bustling Male’ Fish Market.
What to Know Before You Go to Maldives
Where to stay: Velassaru Maldives
Hot tip: May to October is the island-nation’s rainy season — but that also means it’s the best time to go for fewer crowds and better rates.
Fun fact: In 1153 AD, the nation’s people converted to Islam. Today, the Maldives remains the most heavily Muslim country on earth.
11. Barcelona, Spain
Soccer, architecture, shopping, nightlife, world-class food and wine, arts and culture — is there anything Barcelona doesn’t have? If there is, we honestly can't think what it would be.
This cosmopolitan Spanish city is home to some awe-inspiring architecture, including several buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi, so be sure to book tours of his whimsical creations like Park Guell and the yet-to-be-finished Church of the Sacred Family (La Sagrada Familia).
For nightlife and shopping, Las Ramblas is always bustling; for an enriching arts experience, follow the progression of famed artist Pablo Picasso at Museo Picasso.
What to Know Before You Go to Barcelona
Where to stay: Hotel Bagues
Hot tip: It can get really humid here, so U.S. News suggests planning your trip in May and June, before things really heat up.
Fun fact: In preparation for its 1992 hosting of the Olympics, the city flew in sand from as far afield as Egypt to make Barceloneta Beach a place where people would want to go. Though largely man-made, the beach remains a wonderful spot for seaside R&R.
10. Glacier National Park, Montana
The crown jewel of beautiful Montana, Glacier National Park is every outdoors traveler's dream.
Of course, the most defining natural feature of the park are its glaciers, which provide spectacular views as well as a number of pristine lakes. There are hundreds of trails that will take you up peaks, down through valleys and across some of the most beautiful landscapes you'll ever see.
What to Know Before You Go to Glacier National Park
Where to stay: Firebrand Hotel
Hot tip: Plan to spend a day or two in the nearby town of Whitefish. This gateway to Glacier National Park is one of the best small towns in America and a destination in its own right.
Fun fact: During your visit, you're very likely to run into mountain goats, which are the official symbols of the park.
9. Tokyo, Japan
The Japanese capital is one of the most exciting cities on the entire planet. It is notoriously fast-paced, with neon lights illuminating the multitudes that are constantly rushing to their next destination.
But Tokyo is also a city of temples, of taking time to picnic under the cherry blossoms and of making sure you enjoy the abundance of delicious food that can be found on basically every corner.
What to Know Before You Go to Tokyo
Where to stay: The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Hot tip: Visit between the months of March and April or September and November for more comfortable temperatures. Of course, spring is when the city's cherry blossoms are famously in full bloom.
Fun fact: Tokyo happens to be the largest metropolitan area in the world, with more than 36 million people calling it home.
8. Phuket, Thailand
If you’re looking for a vacation destination that feels luxurious but won’t break the bank, start searching for flights to Phuket now.
This island in southern Thailand, which is just an hour flight from Bangkok, is surrounded by the Andaman Sea, so white sandy beaches abound. If a stunning sunset is what you’re after, head to Promthep Cape, the southernmost point on the island and a popular spot for photo-ops. For views of the island and beyond, climb to the top of the massive alabaster statue called Big Buddha.
You can even learn something during your vacation by visiting the Soi Dog Foundation, an innovative animal shelter that’s fighting the meat trade and taking care of the thousands of stray cats and dogs in the area.
What to Know Before You Go to Phuket
Where to stay: InterContinental Phuket Resort
Hot tip: Visit between November and April for the best weather — and ideal conditions for beach activities like swimming and boating.
Fun fact: The island is not pronounced in the rather colorful way it appears to be. The correct way to say it is “poo-ket” or “poo-get.”
7. Rome, Italy
Though Rome’s historic significance cannot be overstated, don’t assume that this Italian city is stuck in the past. On the contrary, you’ll find posh storefronts and luxurious hotels not far from iconic structures like the Pantheon (built in 120 AD) and the Colosseum (built in 80 AD).
And then, of course, there’s the city’s art. Stroll through Rome, and you’ll stumble upon some of the greatest treasures the world has ever seen — an astonishing collection of frescoes, paintings, ceilings and fountains created by icons like Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael and Bernini.
After all that exploration, take advantage of ample opportunities to eat and drink, including at several Michelin-starred restaurants. City staples include suppli (deep-fried balls of risotto, mozzarella and ragu meat sauce) and cacio e pepe (a deceptively simple mix of al-dente pasta, pecorino romano and fresh black pepper).
What to Know Before You Go to Rome
Where to stay: Radisson Blu Ghr Hotel
Hot tip: Tourists congregate here in the summer when temperatures are also sweltering. Go instead between October and April, when there are thinner crowds, better rates and cooler temps. Just make sure to bring a light jacket.
Fun fact: Each year, travelers throw about $1.5 million worth of coins into the Trevi Fountain. The money is donated to Caritas, a Catholic nonprofit that supports charities focused on health, disaster relief, poverty and migration.
6. London, England
U.S. News quotes English writer Samual Johnson when making the case for London as one of the best places to visit in the world: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”
From live performances of Shakespeare to truly world-class (and free!) museums like the National Gallery, London will enrich your mind and enliven your senses. Of course, no visit would be complete without a stop at Buckingham Palace to see the famous stone-faced guards outside and the 19 lavish State Rooms inside (though, unfortunately, you can’t see the queen’s private quarters). Another must-see landmark is the Tower of London, the historic castle on the north side of the River Thames.
What to Know Before You Go to London
Where to stay: Vintry & Mercer
Hot tip: Many U.S. cities now offer direct flights to London, so set a price alert and act fast when you see fares drop.
Fun fact: London’s pubs are worth a visit for their names alone; fanciful monikers include The Case is Altered, The Pyrotechnists Arms, John the Unicorn and The Job Centre.
5. Tahiti, French Polynesia
Flavorful French cuisine, top-notch resorts, warm waters — need we say more? Though Tahiti can be pricey, travelers say it’s so worth it.
The largest of the 118 French Polynesian islands, Tahiti is split into two main regions (connected by a land bridge). Tahiti Nui, the larger region, is home to the island’s capital Papeete and surfing hotspot Papenoo Beach, while Tahiti Iti, the smaller region, offers more seclusion and the bright white sands of La Plage de Maui.
What to Know Before You Go to Tahiti
Where to stay: Hilton Hotel Tahiti
Hot tip: Visit between May and October, Tahiti’s winter, when there are less humidity and rain.
Fun fact: Overcrowding is not a concern here; Hawaii gets more visitors in 10 days than all of French Polynesia does in a year.
4. Maui, Hawaii
If you’re short on time or you just can’t decide which Hawaiian island to visit, Maui is right in the sweet spot: not too big, not too small, but just right.
There are five regions to explore on Maui, including the popular West Maui and South Maui, home to some of the island’s best-known attractions and beaches (Wailea Beach is in South Maui, for example). But don’t overlook East Maui, where you can travel along the Road to Hana, or the Upcountry, where you can explore the world’s largest dormant volcano, Haleakala.
What to Know Before You Go to Maui
Where to stay: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Hot tip: This is Hawaii we’re talking about, so your trip will be on the pricey side. Be sure to budget for add-ons if you need them (think gym access and WiFi at your hotel), and do some research on insurance before you head to the car-rental counter.
Fun fact: How’s this for a selling point? Maui has more beach than any other Hawaiian island — 60 miles of it , with red, white and black sand.
3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Don’t write off the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora just because of its size. Though it’s a little more than 2 miles wide and just 6 miles long, Bora Bora packs in an abundance of natural beauty. To start, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the island’s turquoise lagoon surrounded by lush jungle.
If you’re looking for more than relaxation on your trip, consider hiking or booking a 4X4 tour of Mount Otemanu, part of an extinct volcano that rises 2,400 feet above the lagoon. You can also snorkel among the coral reef of Coral Gardens, where you might catch a glimpse of reef sharks, eels and stingrays.
Because of its remoteness, flying into Bora Bora Airport will be quite a journey, no matter where you're departing from. But you'll forget everything as soon as you see this Polynesian paradise that is beautiful beyond words.
What to Know Before You Go to Bora Bora
Where to stay: Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Hot tip: Though Bora Bora can be wildly expensive to visit, you can cut costs by visiting between December and March (though you should avoid the Christmas holiday) and by bringing your own alcohol and sunscreen with you.
Fun fact: Bora Bora is one of the countries that no longer exists . The Kingdom of Bora Bora was an independent state until it was forcefully overtaken and annexed by France in 1888.
2. Paris, France
Paris has it all — incredible cuisine, legendary landmarks and centuries of history. Those are just some of the reasons it’s the second-best place to visit in the world.
Though you’ll want to spend your time hitting up popular tourist spots like the Eiffel Tower and the Musee d’Orsay, you should also carve out time to explore other parts of Paris — the city’s 20 diverse neighborhoods, called arrondissements, for instance. Standouts include the 2nd arrondissement, which touts covered passages and some of the city’s hippest restaurants, and the romantic 18th arrondissement, with charming squares, cafes and bars, set apart from the city’s more tourist-packed areas.
What to Know Before You Go to Paris
Where to stay: Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal
Hot tip: Yes, summer in Paris is busy, but the weather is also ideal — average highs are in the 70s.
Fun fact: Built for the 1889 World Fair, the Eiffel Tower was originally meant to be temporary , and was almost torn down in 1909. Luckily, local officials saw its value as a radiotelegraph station, preserving the future tourist icon for generations to come.
1. South Island, New Zealand
Instead of choosing just one city or region, U.S. News selected an entire island for the coveted top spot. South Island, the larger but less populated of the two islands that make up New Zealand, earned the honor for its “breathtaking scenery, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and affordable activities."
They really weren’t kidding about those once-in-a-lifetime activities, either. The 33.5-mile hike on Milford Sound, which is limited to 90 people at a time, is considered one of the world’s best treks, with stops at Lake Te Anau, suspension bridges, a mountain pass and the tallest waterfall in the country, Sutherland Falls.
For a heart-pumping experience, you can jump out of a helicopter while flying over the Harris Mountains with skis on your feet. Still not satisfied? Roam Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage area, and explore the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, two of the most accessible glaciers in the world.
What to Know Before You Go to New Zealand
Where to stay: QT Queenstown
Hot tip: Book your trip for the fall, when South Island is temperate, not overcrowded and offers great rates. Bonus: This is also when the island is at its most stunning.
Fun fact: New Zealand natives, called Kiwis, are among the most hospitable you’ll ever meet. The local saying “He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata” translates , appropriately, to “What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people.”
Honorable Mention: British Virgin Islands
Sadly, we can't include every destination in the world here. But to make the ruling a bit fairer, we've included two places that were included in previous U.S. News & World Report lists. They may not be in the top 30, but they're incredible destinations everyone should plan to visit at least once.
The British Caribbean is one of the most enjoyable and exclusive vacation destinations in the world. With some 60 islands and cays to explore, the British Virgin Islands offer a little something for everyone — granite boulders, mountainous cliffs and, of course, the gorgeous Caribbean Sea.
What to Know Before You Go to the British Virgin Islands
Where to stay: Sugar Mill Hotel
Hot tip: Because of the warm weather, travelers tend to flock to the islands around the holidays, so plan your visit in the fall to avoid large crowds. Looking to save a few bucks? U.S. News suggests staying on Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, then making a day trip to the British Virgin Islands.
Fun fact: BVI’s Norman Island was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, “Treasure Island.”
Honorable Mention: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sometimes, Amsterdam gets a bad rap for its Red Light District and marijuana-peddling coffee shops , but there’s so much more to this European city than those two sound bites.
Amsterdam offers plenty of opportunities to delve into history and culture, too, from the home where Anne Frank wrote her journal during the Holocaust to the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and drawings at the Van Gogh Museum.
It’s also a surprisingly kid-friendly destination, with spots like the NEMO Science Museum and the spacious Vondelpark for little ones to explore.
What to Know Before You Go to Amsterdam
Where to stay: citizenM Amsterdam South
Hot tip: Avoid the high tourist season by planning your visit for just before summer (between April and May) or just after it (between September and November).
Fun fact: Amsterdam is home to what is surely one of the only cat-focused houseboats in the world: a floating feline sanctuary aptly named Catboat .
Top 50 Travel Destinations & Places to Visit in the World 2023
Editor Note: This post was originally published on 14 July 2020 and Updated on 29 September 2023 to make it more comprehensive and up-to-date.
Traveling can be a life-changing experience and travelers when getting a list of places to be viewed is like a precious gift. Trying to make this informative, we have compiled a list of the 50 best places to visit in the world for travel enthusiasts. These are inspirations from various platforms and most of which are World Tourism Ranking and others for their scenic beauty that has been captured so well.
Traveling is like therapy and for those who haven’t experienced the charm, this list would be very useful. A gradual beginning would lead you to tick the last place on the list and you will be stimulated to look for another destination. That is the impact traveling has on the mind and the heart. Before we stream into the advantages of traveling, look at the list below and find out yourself:
So here you go…
Best Places to Visit in the World
1. bora bora island, french polynesia.
The epitome of romance, Bora Bora is one of the best travel destinations in the World. This place is known for its luxurious stays and adventurous activities. The hotels in Bora Bora offer full privacy and their floating villas have direct entrance to the sea while their terrace is blessed with romantic sunrise & sunset.
This south pacific island is regarded as the center of the romantic universe with white sand beaches, blue water, tropical colored fish, beautiful coral gardens and luxurious resorts & spas.
Amazing wildlife, oceanic adventure, and wining & dining at these places often come together. With all these places close to each other, you can visit them together. When in Australia, New Zealand and Bora Bora island can be planned with the help of a tour planner.
Tahiti ranks as the best island in the world, the best honeymoon destination in the world , the best place to visit in Australia and The Pacific. New Zealand is famous for perfect weather with rainforests and glaciers. And if you are missing waters, you will find that in abundance in Australia with a shoreline of 50,000 km.
Best time to visit Bora Bora?
Anytime is a good time to visit Bora Bora because the weather is warm year-round. May to October is the time when the island receives a lot of tourists and the rain showers are isolated. But the best time to go to Bora Bora is the months of November and April. During this time you can skip the crowd and get the perfect weather.
Ready to Unveil the Magic of Bora Bora? Discover the best Packages Here!
Private Bora Bora Lagoon & Water Lunch Experience
- Snorkelling gear
- Round trip transfers from your Hotel
- Beverages – wine, soda & bottled water
Full Day – Snorkel Cruise by Polynesian Outrigger Canoe with BBQ Island Lunch
- Learn about Bora Bora marine life & culture
- Enjoy BBQ lunch at the beach
- Hotel pickup & drop with snorkeling equipment
Best vacation spots in Bora Bora:
- The island of love Moorea
- The romantic island Bora Bora
- The most photographed isle in the South Pacific Motu Tapu
- Fautua Waterfall
- Matira Beach
- Coral Gardens
- Bora Bora Boat Tours
- Mount Otemanu
Initially, the Tahitian language doesn’t have any letter “B”, it was “Pora Pora” instead of “Bora Bora”. Pora Pora means “the firstborn”. And then the English letter settled here and people began pronouncing it as Bora Bora.
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2. Machu Picchu, Peru – The Sun Gate
Huayna Picchu is a mountain in Peru, rising over Machu Picchu , the so-called Lost City of Incas . This place is popular among tourists as the sunrise from the Sun Gate is simply spectacular. The hills here proffer one of the most marvelous views of the main square of Machu Picchu, with the sun in the backdrop.
The setting sun each day is something to look forward to with the hues it spreads. This place is widely rated as one of the world’s greatest ancient archaeological sites .
The interesting fact about Picchu is that only 400 people are allowed to climb the hills in a day.
Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Machu Picchu:
- Huayna Picchu
- Winay Wayna
- Temple of the moon
- Llaqtapata, Putucusi
- Los Jardine de Mandor
Your Machu Picchu Adventure Awaits! Explore Top Packages Now
Private Full-Day Tour To Machu Picchu with Lunch
- Hassel free round trip with car & train
- Explore at your own pace
- Learn the history & culture of Machu Picchu with a private guide
4-Day Machu Picchu with Biking, Rafting, Ziplining from Cusco
- Hike, raft, bike & zipline
- Learn the history & culture of Peru with a private guide
- Enjoy breathtaking mountains and hike to mountain summits
3. Great Barrier Reef, Australia – Great Natural Wonder
One of the most remarkable Australian natural gifts is the Great Barrier Reef . The hallmark of this place is ‘lavish’ and ‘beauty’. So if you want to see this grandeur of nature in Australia, you need to spend money and come & stay at the most luxurious places the Reef has to offer. This place is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef.
The reef contains an abundance of marine life and comprises over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays and hundreds of picturesque tropical islands. It also boasts of some of the world’s most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches. Because of its natural beauty, the Great Barrier Reef has become one of the world’s best travel destinations.
Best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef?
The best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is between June to October. During this time you get to view the clear water allowing you to take that deep dive into it.
Ready to Explore the Underwater World of Great Barrier Reef. Here are Top Packages –
Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
- Comprehensive training and safety guidance
- Including snorkeling, diving and safety gear
- The ticket price includes onboard boat lunch.
Full Day Reef Cruise Including 10 Minute Heli Scenic Flight
- Experience a luxurious super-yacht featuring an onboard BBQ buffet lunch.
- Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving, catering to various skill levels.
- Breathtaking sights observed from a boat, helicopter, and underwater vantage points.
Best places to visit in the Great Barrier Reef:
- Whitehaven beach
- Yongala Shipwreck
- Lady Elliot Island
4. Bangkok, Thailand
Glitterati and vibrant is how Bangkok can be described. With lots of floating markets and perfect nightlife, you are about to have the best time of your life at this amazing place. With ladyboys and temples, the place is a unique blend of urban spiritual life. People here are followers of Buddha and the temples are divine.
Almost all the buildings and structures reflect the Chinese origin of this place. You are in for a lot of vigor in Bangkok with not just nightlife, but also some wonderful shopping.
Major Tourist Attractions in Bangkok
- The Grand Palace
- Wat Pho
- Asiatique the Riverfront
- Chinatown, Khao San Road
- Chatuchak Weekend Market
- Chao Phraya River
- Bangkok National Museum
Bangkok Dream Tours
Bangkok by Night: Temples, Markets and Food by Tuk-Tuk
- Comprises dinner at a nearby eatery along with street food snacks and desserts
- Witness the illuminating city lights highlighting Bangkok’s temples, palaces, and iconic landmarks
Three BEST Temples Bangkok City Tour “Must Visit” By The River
- The admission tickets for temples and sites are all covered
- Transfers to the hotel are provided
- Perfect for those with limited time, aiming to explore extensively.
5. Cappadocia, Turkey – Most Magical Place on Earth
Magic can only be seen and seeing is believing. This amazing place in Turkey offers a breathtaking view that words would fall short when we begin to explain it. Coming to Cappadocia’s you realize that everything done by nature has its own beauty.
The volcanic eruptions are also shaped magically into a beauty making humans realize their worth in front of nature. According to the World Tourism Ranking, 45 Million people visit Turkey each year, and from that about 2 Million come to visit Cappadocia.
Best places to visit in Cappadocia:
- Goreme open-air Museum
- Hot-air Ballooning
- Zelve open-air Museum
- Derinkuyu underground city
- Red and rose valley
- Cavusin, Soganil
Unlock Cappadocia wonders: Dive into Exclusive Packages!
Cappadocia Dream – 2 Days Cappadocia Travel with Balloon Ride from/to Istanbul
- Reduce your time spent in queues and maximize your exploration of Cappadocia
- Travel comfortably in a smoke-free vehicle
- Experience a captivating and unforgettable sunrise flight aboard a hot air balloon
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Tour Over Fairychimneys
- Take home a flight certificate as a memento of your journey
- A morning departure offers excellent viewing opportunities
6. Paris, France – Most Visited City in the World
A whopping 89.4 million tourists visiting France each year is not in vain. It certainly has a reason and Paris is perhaps one BIG reason . It’s almost impossible to not fall in love with this city. It is full of history, beauty, and love. The city exudes culture, class, style and sophistication above all.
Watch the Eiffel Tower and become a poet or photographer instantly as you naturally draw inspiration from these and like of these in Paris. Be in awe when you observe the massive Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum and the list is endless.
Best place to visit in Paris:
- Eiffel Tower
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Louvre Museum
- Montmartre – Wall of Love
- Moulin Rouge
- Tuileries Garden
Ready to Unveil the Magic of Paris? Discover the Best Packages Here
Eiffel Tower Skip The Line Summit with Host
- Discover the culture, traditions, and history of Paris
- Enjoy expansive views from the viewing platforms on the second and third levels
Tuktuk in Paris Private City Tour with Pick Up
- Narration by a guide proficient in English
- They provide round-trip transfers to your preferred hotel or location
7. New York, United States – The City Which Never Sleeps
A city that forever awakens and observes an influx of people throughout the year, you will be thoroughly awed by the skyscrapers in the city. These skyscrapers are built for a reason, and they restore incredible art galleries, and museums, some amazing contemporary cuisine restaurants, and a catalog of things.
New York is one city that is bestowed by its designers with an infrastructure to please one and all. No traveler has been disappointed ever while visiting New York . Here you can feel the synergy between urban and natural areas and how the greens have been retained irrespective of major developments in the city.
Unlock New York wonders: Dive into Exclusive Packages!
New York Helicopter Tour: Manhattan Highlights
- Witness renowned landmarks such as the Empire State Building and Central Park
- Witness awe-inspiring aerial views.
Niagara Falls in One Day from New York City
- Witness the falls and enjoy ample time for exploration at Niagara Falls State Park
- Easily accessible, return transportation from Times Square
Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New York City:
- Statue of Liberty
- Ellis Island,
- Central Park
- Little Italy and Chinatown
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Grand Central Terminal
- Financial District
- 9/11 Memorial
- Broadway Show
More than 60 million people visit this city every year.
8. Rothenburg – Germany:
Rothenburg is one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Germany and part of the famous romantic road through southern Germany. The full name of this city is Rothenburg ob der Tauber means the Red Castle above the Tauber (river). It is because this town is situated on a knap overlooking the Tauber River.
Rothenburg is too touristy so to skip the crowd you must explore this town early in the morning and walk inside & outside of the wall to take better pictures. The main attraction of this town is the Charming Old Town itself.
The 13th-century town hall tower is the higher point of the city where you can get a birds-eye view of this beautiful city.
Discover exclusive Rothenburg tours with premium packages to choose from
- Private walking tour with guide
- Medieval musical tour of Rothenburg ob der tuber
There are many things you can explore in Rothenburg:
- The Town Hall Tower
- Old town of Rothenburg
- The walls of old town
- St. James Chruch
- Medieval Crime Museum
- Rothenburg Museum
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9. Guanajuato – The most Beautiful City in Mexico
A city in central Mexico, Guanajuato is known for its history of silver mining and colonial architecture. The houses in the city are very attractively painted with the most bright colors available.
These sights will be a treat for your eyes when you see fuchsia pink mingling with pillar box red, saffron yellow, baby blue, and lime green. Because of its picture-perfect beauty, the city is visited by more than 28 million people each year.
Ready to Unveil the Magic of Guanajuato? Discover the best Packages Here!
Tacos and Tequila Food Walking Tour in San Miguel de Allende
- Explore a culinary adventure by visiting seven local eateries and bars, indulging in a delectable array of gourmet tacos
- Get a comprehensive insight into Mexican culture and cuisine from an experienced guide.
Transportation between Bajio Airport and Guanajuato Capital
Major tourist attractions in guanajuato:.
- Guanajuato underground tunnels
- The Basilica of Our Lady
- Guanajuato old town
- Mummy Museum
- Pipila Monument
- The Alley of the Kiss
- La Valenciana Church
10. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is one of the most famous archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Stretching over 400 acres of Land, Angkor War is said to be the biggest religious monument in the world . Originally, it was dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu but at end of the 12th century, it becomes a Buddhist temple. Now, it is no longer a temple, it serves as one of the best tourist destinations in Cambodia.
Angkot wat represents the entire range of Khmer art from the 9th to the 15th century. This temple is considered the heart and soul of Cambodia.
Things to see in Angkor Wat:
- Ta Prohm Temple
- The Bayon Temple
- Terrace of the elephants
- Preah Khan Temple
11. Amsterdam, Netherlands – Cycling Capital of the World
The most active city in the world – Amsterdam, the capital of Netherland, is one of the best places to visit in Europe. This vibrant city is celebrated for its stunning architecture, iconic canal system, flower-adorned bridges, and excellent mobility network. Whether you’re a honeymoon couple, a backpacker, or a leisure traveler, Amsterdam caters to everyone’s preferences.
For art and history enthusiasts, Amsterdam is a paradise. With over 50 museums showcasing precious art pieces, culture, photography, and architecture dating back to ancient times, the city offers a rich cultural experience.
The streets of Amsterdam exude a vibrant and artistic ambiance, encouraging you to pause and capture their beauty. Moreover, the city’s street cafes allow you to savor lip-smacking food, adding to its reputation as a culinary hotspot.
- Here’s an interesting fact : Amsterdam boasts more bicycles than people and over 2500 boats. Additionally, it surpasses Venice in terms of the number of canals.
Best Time to Visit
April to May is the prime time to explore Amsterdam, with pleasant weather and blooming tulips creating a picturesque backdrop. However, be prepared for larger crowds as this is the peak tourist season. If you prefer a quieter experience and wish to avoid the hustle and bustle, September to October is the ideal time to visit Amsterdam.
Things to do in Amsterdam
- Cycling around the city.
- Admire the beauty of the city through canals.
- Visit Anne Frank Museum to deep dive in the era of world war 2.
- Spend time inside the Amsterdamse Bos park which is three times bigger then New York’s Central Park.
- Try local beer.
- Discover Amsterdam independent shopping streets for shopping.
- Admire the beauty of tulips at Keukenhof Gardens, the most famous tulip garden in the world.
- Visit Rijksmuseum.
12. Iceland – Land of Fire & Ice
In recent years, Iceland has emerged as a hotspot among world travelers and is easily one of the best places to visit. Located between Norway and Greenland, Iceland is a Nordic country renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, glaciers, active volcanoes, the Blue Lagoon, abundant wildlife, and mesmerizing Northern lights. From the soothing Blue Lagoon to the lush green rugged landscapes, the natural beauty of this country is truly enchanting.
Iceland is one of the youngest countries in the world. Approximately 11,00 years ago, this land was discovered by the Vikings from Norway.
Beyond its appeal to tourists, Iceland is also an excellent country to call home. Despite the high cost of living, Iceland ranks as one of the most peaceful and eco-friendly nations in the world.
- Interesting Fact – Approximately 60% of Iceland’s population resides in its capital city, Reykjavik.
Best time to visit
Iceland boasts a range of extreme weather conditions, so the best time to visit this country entirely depends on your preferences. For those interested in witnessing the Northern Lights, the ideal period is from November to February when the nights are at their longest. On the other hand, if you’re keen on outdoor activities and basking in the warmth, the best time to visit would be during the summer months of June to August when you can experience the enchanting phenomenon of the midnight sun.
Top tourist attractions of Iceland
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Explore the black sand beaches
- Take bath in hot springs and blue lagoon
- Explore the ice caves
- Visit capital of Iceland – Reykjavik
- Visit Skógafoss Waterfall
- Take legendary horseback riding.
13. Costa Rica – Switzerland of Central America
If you’re a nature lover, Costa Rica should be at the top of your list of top tourist attractions in the world. This peaceful American country boasts coastlines along both the Pacific and Caribbean seas, giving rise to some of the most beautiful beaches, interconnected canals, and national parks where you can witness green turtle nesting. The abundance of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, rainforests, beaches, unique eco-friendly hotels, and adventurous activities attracts millions of visitors every year.
For adventure enthusiasts, there are a plethora of activities to indulge in, including river rafting, canyoning, snorkeling, surfing, swimming, zip-lining, cave tubing, waterfall rappelling, and paragliding. And if you’re seeking relaxation, there are stunning beaches, spas, and natural hot springs to unwind in.
The peak tourist season in Costa Rica is from December to March when the weather is dry, the sun shines brighter, and there’s less humidity. However, for those who prefer to avoid crowds and hustle, May to November is the ideal time to visit. November to May marks the rainy and green season in Costa Rica, offering lower crowds and the best deals on hotels and transportation.
Top Tourist Attractions in Costa Rica
- Take a high flying zip line tour at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.
- Explore rich wildlife and natural wonders at Corcovado National Park.
- Visit Arenal Volcano National Park.
- Witness best beach sunset at Santa Teresa.
- Explore San Jose – The capital of Costa Rica.
- Take a coffee and chocolate farm tour farm tour.
- Take a relaxing bath at Tabacon Hot Springs.
- Admire the beauty of Fortuna waterfall.
14. Cinque Terre, Italy – Comprise the five small coastal villages
Cinque Terre means five lands comprising the five villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso and Corniglia, those are located in Italy’s northwestern coastal region of Liguria. All these five villages are linked with a hiking trail called Sentiero Azzurro cliffside.
The vibrant hues of the houses are its benchmark and explain the beauty of this place. Also, if you are a foodie and love seafood, you will be exhilarated with the choice you are about to get here. Happy exploring great food!
Top things you should not miss in Cinque Terre:
- Ramble around Cinque Terre
- Views of Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero
- Explore Portovenere
- Best sunset spot in Cinque Terre
- Cinque Terre National Park
15. Agra, Taj Mahal, India
An immense mausoleum of white marble, built-in Agra by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz, the monument is breathtakingly beautiful. The tranquility of white is universally spread over the Taj. It is one of the masterpieces of world heritage and also one of the best travel destinations in the world.
Standing on the banks of the Yamuna River, Agra it is one of the best tourist attractions in the world. With the most beautiful hotels and places to stay, you will be charmed with the hospitality the accommodations will have to offer you.
If you have a strong palette, do try the street food in Agra as it is famous for some ‘Indian Chats’. There are more monuments and gardens near the Taj Mahal that are equally beautiful and worth a visit.
Major tourist attractions near Taj Mahal:
- Mehtab Bagh
- Jama Masjid
- Wildlife SOS
- Fatehpur Sikri
- Shopping in Agra
16. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is an Indonesian Island and one of the best holiday destinations in the Indonesian archipelago. Bali is known for its volcanic mountains, history, art & culture, food, temples and beautiful sandy beaches.
For its beauty, it has been nicknamed many times and is also called Island of Gods, The Last Paradise, Land of Thousand Temples and Morning of the World. Bali has world-class surfing and diving places.
Best time to visit Bali:
From April to June and September to October along with Christmas & New year is the best time to visit Bali.
Top-rated tourist attractions in Bali:
- Pura Tanah Lot
- Mount Batur
- Ubud Monkey Forest
- Tegallalang and Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in Bali
- Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
- The sidemen valley
- Seminyak Beac
17. Singapore – City of Garden
From a fishing village to one of the most developed places in the world, Singapore is the best vacation spot in the world. Singapore is also known as the Garden City because there are trees everywhere which makes it like a Garden. The delicious food, picturesque sightseeing, adventurous activities and splendid charm of this place would entice you forever.
Singapore is famous for its beautiful place like Garden by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer, Sentosa, Chinatown and Merlion.
Greece, with its rich tapestry of attractions and natural beauty, stands out as one of the world’s best travel destinations. It boasts a staggering 6,000 islands, of which a mere 227 are inhabited, each offering its unique charm. Moreover, Greece is renowned for its world-famous historical sites, stunning beaches , and ancient archaeological wonders.
The country’s diverse landscapes encompass towering mountain ranges, creating a picturesque backdrop for any traveler’s adventure. Additionally, Greece’s evergreen climate adds to its allure, making it an enticing year-round destination. With a network of dozens of international airports, traveling to Greece is not only accessible but also affordable, ensuring that this Mediterranean gem is within reach for all wanderlust seekers.
Top Tourist Attraction in Greece:
- Acropolis, Athens
19. Milford Sound, New Zealand – Explore the 8th Wonder of the World
Formed by glaciers during the Ice Age, the scene around Milford Sound still bears proof of its creation as an epic landscape: Cliffs rise from fjords crowned by mountains and waterfalls.
After the experience, the water from the surface goes underneath to visit the main coasting, submerged observatory in New Zealand, Milford Discovery Center and Underwater Observatory. You can go more than 30 feet somewhere down in the water and get 30 deg of submerged condition.
Best time to visit Milford Sound:
The best time to visit Milford Sound is during winter. November is the peak season when the sound hosts more than two thousand people per day. April/May and September/October are less crowded.
Best Vacation Spot in Milford Sound, New Zealand:
- Milford Sound Underwater
- Harrison Cove
- Milford Sound Lodge
- Anita Bay
- Bowen Falls
- Go Orange Cruise
- Milford Track
20. Luzern, Switzerland
Lucerne, a city in Central Switzerland , without a doubt, justifies the claim of the most lovely city in Switzerland and also the most beautiful vacation spots in the world.
Every year more than 9 million tourists witness this beautiful place. It is a paradise for newlyweds and you will often observe couples there.
Moreover, the blue waters in the city and the greens together synergize into making this one of the most visited places in Switzerland. Lucerne is famous for its postcard views and lovely weather.
Major Tourist Attractions in Lucerne:
- Old Town, Lucerne
- Mount Pilatus
- Chapel Bridge
- Lake Lucerne
- Natur-Museum Lucerne
- Lion Monument
- Spreuer Bridge
- Swiss Museum of Transport
21. Madrid, Spain
Madrid, the Capital of Spain is one of the best travel destinations in the world. This city is famous for being open for all kinds of travelers with the famous museums, busy streets, vibrant nightlife, cultural heritage, scenic structure, century-old bars and clam historic spots.
The main highlight of this city is Museo Del Prado. It is a collection of elite arts of Spain and Europe. Goya, Durero, Rembrandt and Velazquez is the best attractions of Museo del Prado. It is a home of 7000+ paintings.
22. London, United Kingdom
London is one of the biggest and most populated cities in the world and that makes it the best place to visit in the world. London is a fashion hub and cultural capital. Visitors come here to enjoy its royalty, pubs, theater, museum and the amazing landscape it offers.
Around 17 million people visit this beautiful city every year. London has a large cultural diversity and people from many origins live and visit it.
Top Tourist Attractions in London
- The London Tower
- Tower Bridge
- The British Museum
- Big Ben and Parliament
- National Gallery
- The Victoria and Albert Museum
- Churchill’s War Rooms
- Covent Garden
23. The Colosseum Rome, Italy
The Colosseum is one of the best tourist spots in Rome. It is one of the most recognized monuments in the world. Every year over 6 million tourists visit it. It stands as an iconic symbol of ancient imperial Rome’s architectural and engineering powerness.
Nearly after the 2000 years of construction, the colosseum is still stood and this is the major reason behind its popularity. This Roman architecture is huge. There are 80 entrances to get into this monument.
24. Bryce Canyon Bryce, Utah – Perfect Place for Travel Geek
Bryce Canyon National Park is an American national park located in southwestern Utah. This place is famous for layered red and orange sedimentary as it provides the mystique beauty to this place. The presence of hoodoos which are geological structures has made this place a famous one with more than 2 million people visiting it every year.
Best time to visit Bryce Canyon?
May to September is considered the best time to visit Bryce Canyon National park. During that period you get plenty of ranger activities and the warmest weather of the year.
Top Sight at Bryce Canyon National Park:
- Navajo Loop Trail
- Queens Garden Trail
- Inspiration point
- Bryce Amphitheater
- Fairyland Canyon
- Wall Street
- Thors Hammer
- Bristlecone Point
Things to do at Bryce Canyon National Park:
- Horse Riding
25. Sydney, Australia
The city is very multicultural, so the food on offer is delicious, and it’s also a fantastic shopping destination. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country and the best holiday destination in the world, attracting over 32 million visitors per year.
Best place to visit in Sydney:
- Opera house
- Harbour bridge
- Royal Botanic Garden
- Darling Harbour
- Queen Victoria Building
- The Sydney Tower Eye
- Taronga Zoo
26. Niagara Falls, Canada/USA
Niagara Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the world . It is a collection of three waterfalls which is located on the US-Canada border along with the Niagara River. Niagara Falls is famous for its majestic height (51 Meters) and shocking flow rate (225,000 Cubic feet per second).
Every year more than 30 million people visit it. You can see this waterfall from both Canada and US. There are the number of viewpoints of this waterfall like Skylon Tower, Queen Victoria Park, Table rock etc. Even you can book a room near to this waterfall which allows you to see it from your bed.
Malaysia is a wonderful travel destination for those who love sandy beaches, HALAL food, rich culture & history, religious sites, shopping malls and beautiful Islands. Despite being a small country Malaysia has numerous places and things that you can reconnoiter and make your trip a memorable one.
The best place to visit in Malaysia is none other than its capital Kaula Lampur . A city with great food, good nightlife and low cost of living among world capital. This city has one of the world’s largest buildings, the Petronas Twin Tower. They were the tallest building in the world from 1988 to 2004.
28. Phuket Thailand:
Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and rated as one of the best beaches in the world . The white sand, blue water, spicy Thai food, palm tree, lively town, adventurous sports and sandy beaches make it the best holiday destination.
You can travel to Phuket on a minimum budget and go to a higher limit to enjoy the best luxury of Thailand. Phuket is always a vibrant place to travel with lots of spas, hotels, cafes, bars and a wide range of party options.
Places to Visit in Phuket:
- Phi Phi Island
- Old Phuket Town
- Bangtao Beach
- Siam Niramit
- Weekend Night Market
- Wat Chalong Temple
- Phang Nga Bay
29. Budapest, Hungary, Europe – City of Baths
Budapest is home of art or culture and one of the best tourist destinations in Europe. Here you will witness one of the biggest parliament buildings of world, the oldest zoo, the largest music festivals, and tons of world heritage sites. Budapest is the city that will keep you entertained.
The city is full of surprises and wonders with hidden & exciting spots, a lively center majestic river, tall church spires and a lot more to make the most of your time.
If you’re an art lover then Budapest could be the perfect destination for you because it has more than 100 Museums & galleries and 40+ theaters.
Top Vacation Spots in Budapest:
- Chain Bridge
- Parliament Building
- Heroes Square
- Buda Castle
- Szechenyi Spa Baths
- Margaret Island
- House of Terror
- Faust Wine Cellars
30. Manali, India
Manali is one of the best hill stations not only in India but in the entire world. Located at a height of 2050 meters, the weather and mountains of Manali always fascinate the tourist, especially romantic couples. Manali is a heaven for adventure lovers, here you can do lots of things like skiing, trekking, camping, paragliding, rafting, riding, biking and many more.
If you’re looking for a good mixture of art, culture, peace and adventure then you should head up to Manali. The world’s most beautiful mountain pass, Rohtang Pass is located just 50 KM away from Manali. Solang Valley, Hidimba Devi Temple, Vashisht Temple, Old Manali, Manu Temple, Jogini Falls are some of the best places to visit in Manali.
31. Norway, Europe
Norway is one of the most beautiful and happiest countries on earth. It has something to offer to every kind of traveler such as the northern lights, the midnight sun, and one of the best places to glimpse the Aurora Borealis is the Lofoten Islands , in northwestern Norway.
Most beautiful places to visit in Norway:
- Waterfalls valley
- Lofoten Island
- Fantoft Stave Church
32. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and one of the largest in the world. Impressive architecture, historic sites, dining, shopping, nightlife and exotic atmosphere all make Istanbul one of the best tourist destinations in the world. Istanbul is the only city in the world that straddles two continents : Asia and Europe.
Best places to visit in Istanbul:
- Topkapi Palace
- Blue Mosque
- Basilica Cistern
- Grand Bazaar
- Spice Bazaar
33. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA
Spread over an area of 278 miles, the Grand Canyon National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and arguably the most beautiful natural wonder in the world. Its fresh air, zero pollution, and raw natural beauty make it a perfect place to escape from the city.
The canyon itself is an astonishing 278 miles long, 18 miles wide, and 1 mile deep. This vast expanse means that you could spend months exploring it and barely see one rim.
Carved out by the Colorado River, which flows right through the canyon, it becomes even more beautiful with this natural watercourse. Filled with stunning rugged landscapes, trekking trails, long mountain ranges, and gorges, this place is considered the Crown Jewel of America.
Fun fact: The canyon creates its own weather, which means that at one point, the temperature could be quite low, and just 8 miles away, it could be very warm.
The peak season and the ideal time to visit the Grand Canyon National Park is from June to August when the weather is perfect, and families are eager to opt for a summer vacation. If you want to avoid the crowds, then November to May is the perfect time to visit.
Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park
- Enjoy the spectacular view of the park from Desert View Watchtower.
- Take a mule ride.
- Enjoy the bird’ eye view of the park through a helicopter ride.
- Visit the Yavapai Geology Museum.
- Visit the Grand Canyon skywalk and enjoy the amazing views.
- Enjoy stunning sunrise from Imperial Point and sunset from Cape Royal.
- Hike the well-known Bright Angel Trail.
- Do Camping.
- Visit the Southern Rim viewpoints.
- Explore the Grand Canyon village at South Rim.
34. Srinagar, Kashmir India- Paradise on Earth
Srinagar, the largest city and capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, is often referred to as the ‘Switzerland of India.’ This beautiful city is nestled in the heart of the Kashmir Valley, situated alongside the serene banks of the Jhelum River.
Srinagar is widely regarded as a true paradise on earth, a notion that was also acknowledged by the great Mughal Emperors, who aptly described it as the “Paradise on Earth.” Its charismatic charm beckons travelers from far and wide to experience its unparalleled beauty and tranquility.
Best Places to visit in Srinagar:
- Bonafide Multi Brand
- Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden
- Hari Parbat
- Shankaracharya Temple
- Nigeen Lake
- Pathar Masjid
Maldives is a South Asian Island Country. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world or you can say paradise on earth. The interesting thing about the Maldives is that the first underwater cabinet meeting was held here. The actual beauty of this place is underwater with colorful coral reefs, exotic fishes and vibrant marine life.
It is a place where nature at its best. A perfect place for those who enjoy the water around. The ideal temperature of Maldives makes it ideal for water activities like swimming, snorkeling, surfing, fishing, scuba diving.
Top tourist attractions in the Maldives:
- Banana reef
- Island hopping
- Water sport
- Alimatha Island
- Artificial beaches
- Biyadhoo Island
- Ithaa Undersea Dining
A beautiful island founded by Arab’s in the 10th century, Mauritius is one of the best destinations for family and honeymoon couples. Mauritius is known for its beautiful white beaches and islands. It is divided into 9 different districts and each of them is very picturesque and wonderful to stay.
Nothing can beat a beautiful island surrounded by the Indian Ocean. The best thing about Mauritius is the range of pricing and activities that if you’re a budget traveler you’ll always have a wonderful time.
Dubai is a stopover destination for tourists who fly in and out of UAE. It is the perfect family holiday destination in the world. This city is famous for its beautiful shiny skyscrapers like Burj Khalia, shopping malls like Dubai Mall, luxurious staying options, sandy beaches, adventurous sports and delicious food.
Dubai has many exciting things to do ranging from Natural to man-made like Artificial Palm Island, Dubai Water Canal, Dubai Bollywood Park, Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Frame.
38. Mongolia – World’s Emptiest Country
Mongolia, the world’s least populated country, is famous for its nomadic culture and vast rugged landscapes. The majority of Mongolians live a nomadic life, primarily as herdsmen, residing in portable felt and canvas tents. They constantly move from one place to another in search of food and water, both for themselves and their animals.
Most of Mongolia remains untouched, with vast deserts and stunning combinations of mountains and forests. Unlike many tourist destinations, Mongolia lacks man-made attractions; instead, its appeal lies in its natural beauty. It’s an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, offering plenty to explore with the help of friendly locals.
Fun Fact: Mongolia boasts more horses than people and five times as many goats and sheep.
The best time to visit Mongolia is during the summer season, which spans from May to September. During this period, the weather becomes pleasant, ideal for enjoying outdoor activities. Daytime temperatures range from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius, while nights are cool, with temperatures between 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. This season also coincides with Mongolia’s most famous festival, Naadam Holiday, making it an excellent time to experience the country’s rich culture and traditions.
Top Tourist Attraction in Mongolia
- Explore world-class hotels and restaurants in the capital of Mongolia – Ulaanbaatar.
- Lost in the beauty of the Gobi Deserts.
- Enjoy the rugged landscape by horse riding.
- Explore the untouched region of this country by trekking & hiking.
- Do camping.
- Visit Lake Khovsgol which holds 380 billion liters of freshwater.
- Stay in Ger Camps.
- Visit Flaming Cliffs at Bayanzag.
39. Rovaniemi Lapland, Northern Finland – Home Town of Santa Claus
The city is best known as the home of Santa Claus, located right astride the Arctic Circle at Santa Claus Village. It is one of the best travel destinations in the world. During early June to July, locals came out of their house to enjoy the beauty of polar nights. Tourists from all over the world visits it to witness the beauty of the Mid-Night sun.
There are numerous reasons to visit this place like lappish culture, wild nature, adventurous activities, urban life, northern light, polar night and midnight sun.
Best places to visit in Rovaniemi Lapland:
- Santa Claus Village
- SantaPark – The home cavern of Santa Claus
- Santa Claus Office
- Pyha-Luosto National Park
- Santa’s Post Office
- Arktikum Museum
- Bearhill Husky
- Santa Claus Reindeer
- Rovaniemi Chruch
40. Cape Town, South Africa
Situated at the foothills of Table Mountain on South Africa’s Cape Peninsula, where the great Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean converge, Cape Town is one of the world’s best cities. The city is renowned for its stunning landscapes, cultural heritage, delicious food, and amazing beaches.
Overlooking the stunning two-mile-long plateau of Table Mountain, Cape Town boasts a rich colonial history that is reflected in its architecture. The blend of different nationalities in this city makes it culturally rich, contributing to its amazing food scene.
Cape Town is the second most populated city in South Africa, following Johannesburg. With approximately 950 square miles of the region covered by the metro, getting around the city is easy.
Cape Town is a year-round destination, meaning that any time of the year can be the best time to visit. Each season has its own unique colors and charm. However, the peak season falls during South African summer (from November to March) when the weather is warm and comfortable, perfect for exploring beaches and enjoying outdoor activities.
Things to do in Cape Town
- Enjoy endless ocean views from Cape Point.
- Explore world-class beaches.
- Visit Robben Island – UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Explore Old Biscuit Mill for amazing food.
- Click pictures at Woodstock street art.
- Paddling alongside the dolphins in the Atlantic ocean.
- Spot cute penguins at Boulder beach.
- Spend an amazing time at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden.
41. Bologna, Italy
Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region and the largest city in Northern Italy. Bologna is known for its tasty food, ancient architecture, medieval town and the old University of Europe. This city is also famous for inventing a meaty ragu sauce, used in two tasty regional dishes: tagliatelle and lasagna.
Major tourist attractions in Bologna Italy:
- Piazza Maggiore
- Fountain of Neptune
- Asinelli Tower
- Saint Pettrounius Chruch
42. Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
More than 3000-year-old, the 7th wonder of the ancient world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is 479 feet tall from a 754 sq feet base. It is still a mystery for the scientists who are trying to figure out how the ancient Egyptians moved, carved and erected the block which weighed about 60 tons.
The historical site is absolute of interest to more than 35 million people visiting these wonders of the world.
Best places to visit near the Great Pyramid of Giza:
- Solar Boat Museum
- Western Cemetery
- Pyramid of Chephren
- Egyptian Museum
- Egypt Papyrus Museum
- Sound and Light Show of Giza Pyramid
43. Guilin China – The Magical Place
Every corner of this extraordinary place would astonish you. As you begin to explore, you will be amazed by the findings in every nook and corner of this city. Guilin is built around two rivers and lakes that are interconnected.
Many distinctive bridges crisscross the waterways. As visitors, you will enjoy the walking trail that can spend numerous hours meandering near the lovely waterway and lakes making Guilin what it is.
Best tourist attractions in Guilin China:
- Li River Guilin
- The Reed Flute Cave
- Elephant Trunk Hill
- Seven Star park
- Folded Brocade Hill
- Solitary Beauty Hill
- Longji Terraced Field
44. Queenstown New Zealand
Queenstown is located on the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand. It is the third-largest lake by surface area in New Zealand. Owing to its beauty and the landscapes, the most iconic movie called ‘Mission Impossible’ was shot here.
It is a great place for adventure seeker with numerous year around adventurous activities like rafting, riding, horse trekking, jet boating, sky diving, bungy jumping, canyon swinging and skiing (in winter).
Top sights in Queenstown:
- Milford Sound
- Lake Wakatipu
- Lake Wanaka
- The Remarkable Ski area
- Skippers Road
- Hollyford Track
- Kiwi Birdlife Park
45. Hoh Rain Forest, United States
The Hoh Rainforest is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S. It is located on the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington State, USA.
Every year Hoh Rain forest gets an average of 12 feet of rain. And fog and mist contribute the equivalent of another 30 inches of rain, resulting in the richness of natural life including massive conifers, 130+ species of mosses, ferns and lichens.
For 1000 years, this forest has managed an unchanged unique ecosystem. Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock are the common types of trees grown in the Hoh rainforest. These trees can reach over 300 feet high and 7 feet in diameter. Even some of the trees are 1000 years old.
46. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nestled between majestic mountains and the sea, Rio de Janeiro is the ultimate destination for party enthusiasts. Its unique and laid-back culture, vibrant nightlife, samba (Brazilian dance), pristine white sandy beaches, iconic landmarks, and never-ending festivities allure millions of tourists from around the globe.
The Brazilian coastline boasts some of the world’s most exquisite beaches, including Ipanema and Copacabana, while the Carioca landscape is home to UNESCO World Heritage sites. Whether you’re a street food aficionado, a nature lover seeking breathtaking beauty, or someone who revels in music, dance, and libations, Rio de Janeiro has something to offer everyone.
Fun Fact: Rio boasts the bluest skies in the world and hosts the largest carnival party globally.
Rio de Janeiro enjoys favorable weather year-round. However, December to March is the best time to visit, featuring festive celebrations like Christmas, New Year’s, and the renowned Rio Carnival. Keep in mind that this is also the most expensive time to experience Rio’s magic. For those who prefer smaller crowds and more budget-friendly options, April to September is the ideal time to explore this enchanting city.
Top Tourist Attractions in Rio De Janeiro
- Click pictures at Christ the Redeemer – one of the 7 new wonders of the world.
- Enjoy stunning views of the city from Sugarloaf Mountain.
- Play basketball at Ipanema beach.
- Spend a great time at Copacabana beach.
- Explore Santa Marta Favela to learn about the culture of Rio.
- Climb the 215 colorful steps of Escadaria Selaron.
- Explore the Downtown area for the best cafes.
- Admire amazing architectural beauty at the Museum of Tomorrow.
47. Hallerbos, Belgium- The Blue Forest
The forest with young trees and lots of bluebells (The Blue Forest). The forest is a favorite of many visitors as they come to view the beautiful purple carpet of bluebells. The giant Sequoia trees also make this forest more than worth it. It is a public forest located in the municipality of Halle, Belgium.
Every year for two weeks, the Halle Bros turn into the blue forest when the ground is covered with bluebells. The perfect time to visit Hellerbors to catch the bluebells is different every year, sooner the temperature rises sooner the flower bloom (Mid-April). Every year millions of tourists flock to this place lured by its airy beauty and irresistible charm.
Best places to visit near Hallebros Belgium:
- Saint Martinusbasiliek
- Grote Markt
- Provincial Domain Huizingen
- Rozentuin Coloma
48. Tokyo, Japan
To explore Japan thoroughly, you would need more than one visit, but starting your Japanese journey with a visit to the capital, Tokyo, is perfect. Tokyo, the most populated city in the world, is a paradise for shopaholics, food lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and entertainment seekers.
Despite being one of the busiest cities globally, Tokyo maintains a fast-paced lifestyle while staying deeply connected to its cultural roots. The city truly comes to life at night, as neon billboards and bright lights adorn it in a unique and captivating fashion. Alongside its bustling landmarks, Tokyo also boasts beautiful green spaces located in its outskirts.
Here’s an interesting fact: Tokyo is home to the world’s busiest intersection, known as Shibuya Crossing. With seven crossings on each side of the streets, approximately 2500 people can cross every time the lights turn green.
When it comes to the best time to visit Tokyo, it’s advisable to plan your trip between September and November or from March to May. If you want to witness the mesmerizing beauty of cherry blossoms, April is the perfect time to explore this vibrant city.
Top tourist attraction in Tokyo
- Try the yummy street food. Tokyo also has many theme cafes & restaurants.
- Admire the structural beauty of Tokyo Tower.
- Visit Tsukiji and Toyosu fish market.
- Enjoy the beauty of the Imperial Palace.
- Click pictures with cherry blossom trees in Ueno Park.
- Take a day trip to Mount Fuji.
- Visit Tokyo Skytree, Senso-Ji, Meri Jingu, and Tokyo National Museums.
49. Verona, Italy- The town of Romeo and Juliet
Verona is deemed as one of the most romantic cities in Italy, famous for the most tragic love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet . And for this reason, it’s impossible to visit Verona without seeing Juliet’s infamous balcony.
The interesting thing about this place is that people used to write notes declaring their love for someone on the courtyard walls and now more than 5,000 letters are received every year.
Best places to visit in Verona Italy:
- Juliet’s House
- Verona Arena
- Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore
- Verona Cathedral
- Castel San Pietro
50. Waiheke Island Auckland, New Zealand – Island of wine
Biennial Headland is the highlight of this amazing Island in Auckland . For its beauty, the island is considered one of the top islands in the South Pacific and the fourth-best island in the world. Every year more than a million people visit this beautiful Island.
If you are looking forward to a relaxing holiday, with some wine, beautiful landscapes, gorgeous beaches, cute little cafes and restaurants, crafty shops and art galleries, this island is what you are perhaps looking for.
Things to do in Waiheke Island:
- Visit Onera Beach
- Walk on Onetangi Reserve
- Taste Waiheke Island Wine
- Taste Waiheke Olives
- Rome around the island
- Archery and Clay shooting
- Explore art galleries
- Explore its wildlife
Going through these amazing places, your bucket list would now be ready! These places are ready to bestow their magic upon you. If you have already visited some of them, you may let us know your experience.
Did you visit any of the places from the above list? Share your experience with us in the below comment section.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Q1: what are the top 10 holiday destinations.
Tokyo – Japan, Istanbul – Turkey, Bali – Indonesia Georgia Ireland, Paris France , Lucerne Switzerland, Mexico, Vietnam, Madrid Spain are top 10 holiday destinations in the world.
Q2: What are the best Budget-Friendly Destinations in 2023?
Chiang Mai, Thailand, Palawan Philippines, Hanoi Vietnam, Colombo SirLanka, Malaysia and Bali Indonesia are the cheapest places to travel in the world .
Q3: Which are some family Holiday Destinations in 2023?
Bali Indonesia, Mekong Delta Vietnam, London UK, Rome Italy, Athens Greece, Paris, Barcelona Spain and Kangaroo Island Australia are the best family holiday destinations in 2023 .
Q4: Which are the best honeymoon destinations in 2023?
Maldives, Mauritius, Bali Indonesia, Paris, Raratonga, The Cook Island, Lucerne and Monteux, Switzerland, Hamilton Island, New York City and Banff National Park Canada are some of the most romantic places in the world .
Q5: Where can I go in the summer 2023?
Rome Italy, Paris France, Quebec City, Chicago, Great Barrier Reef Australia, Singapore, Dublin Ireland, and Machu Picchu are the best places to visit in the world during summer.
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Hi Guys, My Name is Pursottam Saini, living the life of my dream – From traveling one destination to another and seeing the places I still don’t believe.
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We award Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best to destinations whose hotels, restaurants and things to do received a high volume of above-and-beyond reviews and opinions from our community over a 12-month period. Fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor’s 8 million listings are awarded Best of the Best, signifying the highest level of excellence in travel.
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You’ve probably got one or two of these destinations on your list of dream vacays. What can we say? People love them—and for very good reason.
52 Places to Go in 2023
London Copied to clipboard!
A buzzing city ready for a coronation, a brand-new airport link and a prehistoric colossus read more.
Tom Jamieson for The New York Times
Between an altered post-lockdown landscape, sensational changeovers at 10 Downing Street and the death of Queen Elizabeth II, there is no doubt that London is in transition. But the city continues to juxtapose old traditions and new possibilities, offering something for everyone who loves culture, history, art and nightlife.
For fans of the royal family, and maybe a few naysayers, the crowning of King Charles III , Britain’s first coronation in seven decades, will be the main event in May. There’s also the revamping of Battersea Power Station , an iconic former coal-fired power plant, into a shopping and leisure hub, and a new line on the Underground will directly connect Heathrow Airport to the central boroughs. A cast of a titanosaur, the largest creature ever to walk the planet, will make its European debut at the Natural History Museum , and late-night obsessives can head to newly opened dance clubs like the Beams . Big changes, yes, but a wealth of new choices, too.
— Isabella Kwai
Morioka Copied to clipboard!
A walkable gem without the crowds, just a short bullet train ride from tokyo read more.
Andrew Faulk for The New York Times
Until this past October, Japan maintained some of the most stringent travel restrictions of any major country. Now, travelers are beginning to stream back to popular destinations like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.
The city of Morioka, in Iwate Prefecture, however, is often passed over or outright ignored. Circumscribed by mountains, it lies a few hours north of Tokyo by Shinkansen, the Japanese high-speed rail lines. Morioka’s downtown is eminently walkable. The city is filled with Taisho-era buildings that mix Western and Eastern architectural aesthetics as well as modern hotels, a few old ryokan (traditional inns) and winding rivers. One draw is an ancient castle site turned into a park.
There’s also fantastic coffee, including one of Japan’s third-wave originators: Nagasawa Coffee, whose owner, Kazuhiro Nagasawa, is so committed to his beans that he uses a vintage German-made Probat roaster, which he personally imported and restored. Azumaya serves up all-you-can-eat wanko soba , which comes served in dozens of tiny bowls; Booknerd offers classic Japanese art books; and Johnny’s, a jazz cafe, has been open for over 40 years. An hour west by car: Lake Tazawa and dozens of world-class hot springs.
— Craig Mod
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Copied to clipboard!
The majesty and awe of towering buttes in a setting fit for hollywood read more.
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park,
Americans have been flocking to national parks, many of which were overrun with visitors during the peak of pandemic-related international border closures. Amid the bustle, peacefully taking in the majesty of nature can be a challenge.
Monument Valley offers a less crowded alternative. The site, known as Tse’Bii’Ndzisgaii in Navajo, has been a popular insignia for the American West ever since John Wayne rode in to film “Stagecoach” in 1939, and the grandeur of its cinematic sandstone buttes, towering above a copper-red desert vastness, elicits a feeling of reverence and awe.
The tribal park, which features a 17-mile driving loop, is open to visitors under the stewardship of the Navajo Nation. Its relatively basic infrastructure — in contrast to sites governed by the National Park Service — and its out-of-the-way location on the Arizona-Utah state line help create a more serene experience compared with other awe-inspiring U.S. destinations.
— Rachael Wright
Kilmartin Glen Copied to clipboard!
A misty scottish stonehenge, with all of the mystery and far fewer visitors read more.
Andy Haslam for The New York Times
Kilmartin Glen, Scotland
The sun rises over Kilmartin Glen as it has for thousands of years, illuminating an ancient landscape of more than 800 archaeological monuments sprouting in the mist. This verdant valley on Scotland’s wild west coast is one of the most significant prehistoric sites in Britain, yet it’s largely off the visitor circuit; imagine Stonehenge without the crowds.
Wander among majestic stone circles, standing slabs that jut from the earth, burial cairns and rock carvings of concentric rings, expanding like ripples from a drop of water. And now the past is getting a refresh: The Kilmartin Museum is reopening with expanded exhibits and new experiences that delve into the region’s relics and flourishing natural life, including Moine Mhor (Great Moss), one of the few remaining raised bogs in Europe, above which looms the Iron Age hill fort of Dunadd.
For full immersion into the Scotland of yore, stay at the moody 16th-century Kilmartin Castle , which was recently transformed into a boutique hotel, with vaulted ceilings, copper tubs and a wild swimming pond.
— AnneLise Sorensen
Auckland Copied to clipboard!
Pastries that rival France’s best, with a side of adventure tourism on the North Island Read more
Susan Wright for The New York Times
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is usually considered the entry point for the rest of New Zealand’s natural attractions, but travelers just passing through can miss that it’s also the culinary capital (sorry, Wellington).
Restaurants that have been germinating while the country’s borders were closed are now ready to be sampled by all. Just 10 minutes on foot from the newly renovated downtown, for instance, takes you to Hugo’s Bistro , where a regular clientele, including many lawyers, dines on unfussy French-inspired food that takes advantage of New Zealand’s fertility: Saffron, wasabi and truffles, among other delicacies, are grown in the country. Cazador , a longtime staple of the residential neighborhood Mt. Eden, serves local game in its restaurant and house-cured meats in its delicatessen.
The city’s famous multiculturalism also plays a part: Omni , which opened in 2020 and whose head chef worked at Hong Kong’s Yardbird, makes high-end yakitori, and Little French Pastry ’s founders, originally from France, serve up mille-feuille rivaling Paris’s best.
Palm Springs Copied to clipboard!
Spotting stars in the streets and counting galaxies in the sky read more.
Beth Coller for The New York Times
Palm Springs, California
Yes, this is the land of midcentury nostalgia, with its low-slung Modernist architecture and the recent return of the 26-foot-tall “ Forever Marilyn ” statue. But these days, there’s another headliner: the surrounding desert, and the dark skies above.
Astrotourism is on the rise, with a constellation of ways to explore the cosmos, including at the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory , which offers tours and monthly “Swoon at the Moon” events. Unfurl a blanket on the desert floor and gaze up at the starry sky at Joshua Tree National Park . This designated International Dark Sky Park has one of the darkest skies in California, with stargazing treks and the annual Night Sky Festival .
The desert nature and history that flourish around Palm Springs are also shaping the city’s landscape, including the new Palm Springs Downtown Park , designed to reflect Indian Canyons , ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; the Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza and Museum , which, when it opens later this year, will be one of the largest Native American cultural centers on the West Coast; and new desert-inspired hotels like Azure Sky .
Kangaroo Island Copied to clipboard!
A haven for koalas and other wild creatures, healing after devastating wildfires read more, kangaroo island, australia.
A short trip from Adelaide, South Australia’s capital, the nearly 1,700-square-mile Kangaroo Island is known for incredible wildlife, breathtaking ocean views and its status as an ecological haven — like a zoo without fences.
Three years ago, devastating fires consumed the island, wiping out wildlife and destroying a famous luxury hotel, the Southern Ocean Lodge . Efforts to rebuild are continuing, and the island is more compelling than ever to visit. New organizations that sprang up to help with the wildlife recovery offer visitors a chance to play a part in funding that regeneration.
At the Kangaroo Island Koala and Wildlife Rescue Centre , you can book a private tour to see the animal hospital facilities, or bottle-feed a joey (a baby kangaroo). At the long-established Seal Bay Conservation Park , you can watch one of Australia’s largest colonies of sea lions frolic on the beach. And in 2023 the Southern Ocean Lodge will reopen, grander and better than before.
— Besha Rodell
Vjosa River Copied to clipboard!
Cycling through the canyons and valleys of one of europe’s last untamed waterways read more.
Vjosa River, Albania
Protecting the Vjosa , one of Europe’s last undammed rivers, hasn’t been easy. After a decade of proposed projects that threatened to alter the waterway’s wild flow, its innumerable ecosystems and its valleys strewn with ancient communities, the Albanian government signed a commitment last June to create the Vjosa Wild River National Park .
Making good on that pledge, scheduled to become reality in 2023, will establish a global conservation model while preserving the country’s canyon-lined, 120-mile stretch of the 169-mile waterway, which runs from the Pindus Mountains in Greece to the Adriatic Sea, as well as including around 60 miles of tributaries.
For travelers — on trails like Albania’s new UNESCO Cycling Route (opening January 2023), which runs along the river and visits World Heritage sites like the city of Gjirokastra — safeguarding the Vjosa and its river system, with over 1,100 animal species, encourages responsible discovery of alpine settlements, where locals welcome adventurers for coffee, raki (local fruit brandy) and a chance to imbibe oft-overlooked Balkan culture.
— Alex Crevar
Accra Copied to clipboard!
Feast first, dance later, in a hub of innovative west african cuisine read more.
Jessica Sarkodie for The New York Times
Accra’s food scene typically consists of two schools: “chop bars” that serve traditional, cheap meals like fufu (made from pounded cassava, green plantains or yams) with tomato-based spicy soup, and pricier restaurants serving foreign fare.
Travelers to Accra, Ghana’s capital, can now see a new wave of chefs and entrepreneurs bridging this gap by emphasizing and innovating with local produce. At the Mix, a new restaurant and design hub, the West African staple gari (granulated cassava root) is dyed pink with beetroot and accompanies squid in a passion fruit sauce.
The sustainable food space in Accra is also one to watch; Ghana Food Movement , an educational group, hosts events throughout the year, including a signature Dine & Dance series in which underutilized indigenous ingredients like millet, eaten by Ghanaians almost exclusively as porridge, are made into stars over three courses. The meal is followed by a dance party, of course, in true Ghanaian fashion.
— Jessica Sarkodie
Tromso Copied to clipboard!
A clear-skied hot spot where aurora seekers are likely to spy their dazzling prize read more.
Nerd Nomads Travel Blog
After years of low solar activity, projections are looking up for travelers hoping to experience the aurora borealis, or northern lights. As the sun’s volatility increases, with more coronal mass ejections and solar flares, so, too, will the frequency and intensity of the aurora. Experts predict solar activity to peak in 2025, explained Trond S. Trondsen, an aurora expert at Keo Scientific , a designer of specialized optical instruments for space research in Calgary, Alberta. Already, he said, “the number of sunspots are climbing faster than predicted .”
One of the best places to see the northern lights, Tromso, Norway, is more than 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, and is relatively accessible, as far as reliable viewing locations go. Travelers can get there either by plane or by a combination of train and bus. Cruise ships and ferries are also a possibility.
Most important, the town’s surrounding landscape, near the sea but with mountains nearby, offers enough distinct weather zones to make it likely that there will be clear skies most nights — a must for seeing the lights when they do appear.
— Ingrid Williams
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park Copied to clipboard!
Blinding white dunes and aquamarine pools in an otherworldly natural water park read more.
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil
Want to feel like you’ve traveled so far that you’re only vaguely tethered to Earth? Welcome to Lençóis Maranhenses , a horizon of rolling, blindingly white sand dunes rising into the sun and descending into otherworldly green and blue lagoons filled with rainwater.
Forget your cell signal or trappings of comfort: There are few if any structures, people or even trees around, and the park’s location near the Equator means it’s blazingly hot during the day. Yet almost all Brazilians will tell you they want to visit this remote area to experience the sensation of playing in a lunar water park.
Logroll down the dunes, splashing into the natural pools. Traverse the area on horseback, stopping at “oases” along the way. Or be mesmerized by its immensity via helicopter tour. It’s the antidote to that claustrophobic Covid-era feeling — a vast, borderless moonscape where you can roam wild and free.
— Shannon Sims
Bhutan Copied to clipboard!
Cliff-top fortresses and rhododendron forests on a revived trekking trail read more.
After two and a half years of pandemic isolation, Bhutan reopened in September with changes to its longstanding “high value, low volume” tourism policy. Visitors are no longer required to travel on package tours, but Bhutan’s mandatory “sustainable development fee” increased to $200 from $65 per day.
At the same time, the 250-mile Trans Bhutan Trail, a path used for centuries as a pilgrimage and communications route, reopened after a three-year restoration that mended suspension bridges, stone stairs and long-overgrown temples. The trail stretches east to west across nearly the entire country, passing through cities, villages, farmlands and wilderness. Depending on the route and time of year, trekkers might spy the snowcapped Himalayas, visit cliff-top fortresses, scale sacred mountain passes or pass through blooming rhododendron forests.
Official guides are required, and itineraries range from half a day to more than a month. Accommodations include guesthouses, home stays, luxury hotels and well-appointed campsites on each of the trail’s 28 sections. Proceeds from trips booked with Trans Bhutan Trail , the nonprofit that led the restoration, go toward trail maintenance, educational programs, guide training and other community causes.
— Sara Clemence
Kerala Copied to clipboard!
Learn to climb a palm tree, visit a temple during an annual festival and get a sustainable taste of village life read more.
Poras Chaudhary for The New York Times
We travel to immerse ourselves in other cultures, but some forms of community tourism put residents on display without offering benefits. Not so in Kerala — a southern Indian state celebrated for its beaches, backwater lagoons, cuisine and rich cultural traditions like the Vaikathashtami festival — where the government has adopted an award-winning approach that allows visitors to experience village life while supporting the communities that host them.
In Kumarakom, one of several “ responsible tourism destinations ” in the state, visitors can paddle through jungly canals, weave rope from coconut fiber and even learn to climb a palm tree. In Maravanthuruthu, visitors can follow a storytelling trail and enjoy village street art before taking in an evening performance of a traditional temple dance.
— Paige McClanahan
Greenville Copied to clipboard!
Adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and on dinner plates downtown Read more
Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Greenville, South Carolina
Set in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville has established itself on the culinary scene. The quaint city of about 70,000 has more than 200 restaurants — 85 percent of which are local, without a tie to a national chain — in its strollable downtown area alone. Visitors may come for the access to outdoor adventures, but they’ll most likely leave having been introduced to flavors from around the world.
Even as the renowned Soby’s celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2022 and two food festivals — euphoria and Fall for Greenville — attract tens of thousands of people annually, restaurants continue to crop up around the city. The second location of Charleston’s acclaimed Lewis Barbecue opened to long lines in September. Mr. Crisp , with Greg McPhee as executive chef, highlights seafood, especially its crisp-yet-tender hand-battered fish and chips. Keipi celebrates Georgian khachapuri and the country’s ancient wines; Aryana delivers a taste of Afghanistan; and Califas has brought Mexican birria tacos to Greenville.
“The real heartbeat of Greenville is a creative and diverse food community that keeps reinventing itself,” said Sid Evans, the editor in chief of Southern Living. “The food here is adventurous, and the chefs have embraced the global influences shaping the modern South.”
— Ari Bendersky
Tucson Copied to clipboard!
A rebounding center of art and adobe with centuries-old ties to mexico read more.
John Burcham for The New York Times
Barrio Viejo, an area of more than 150 acres in Tucson, is the largest barrio in the United States and exemplifies Tucson’s connection to Mexico, with centuries-old Sonoran adobe architecture.
This year, the neighborhood, which has one of the most diverse racial, cultural, religious and ethnic populations in the country, will receive National Historic Landmark designation . Revival projects include the restoration of the 300-seat Teatro Carmen , built in 1915 and later converted into the Black Elks Club , and female-owned boutique hotels, like the Citizen in the former home of the Tucson Citizen newspaper and the Downtown Clifton in a once-faded motel.
Take the Tucson Origins Tour by Borderlandia , which specializes in tours of the U.S.-Mexico border area, for a deep dive into history. Then explore the famed Etherton Gallery and Andrew Smith Gallery , both in new spaces. Don’t forget Barrio restaurants like the local coffee drinkers’ favorite EXO Roast , housed in an 1885 adobe home, and the Coronet , which moved to the neighborhood in 2019.
— Daniel Scheffler
Martinique Copied to clipboard!
Creole culture, giant ferns and hummingbirds that don’t back down from a staring contest read more.
While travel was frozen in 2020, Martinique celebrated the induction of its traditional yole sailboat — a lightweight craft kept upright by crew members, who use their body weight as ballast by sitting on poles that extend over the sides of the hulls — on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. In the fall of 2021, the entire island was named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve , recognizing the destination’s commitment to sustainable economic and social development.
Islanders are awaiting yet another decision from UNESCO, which they hope will name the nearly 4,600-foot volcano Mount Pelée and the Pitons du Carbet range to the World Heritage List. The region represents “the diversity of Martinique,” said Alex Dobat, who owns Natiyabel , a scuba diving and hiking outfitter (whose name means “nature is beautiful” in Creole), who described ferns the size of trees, wild begonias and hummingbirds “staring at you quietly.”
Tourism officials are counting on the UNESCO certifications to attract ecotourists to its peaks, rainforests, reefs and Creole culture.
— Elaine Glusac
The Namib Desert Copied to clipboard!
1,000-foot dunes and crashing waves along a nearly uninhabited coastline Read more
The Namib Desert, Southern Africa
Along the desolate coast of Namibia, 1,000-foot-tall sand dunes descend into the sea. During low tide, intrepid adventurers can drive along the beach, past towering yellow dunes on one side and the South Atlantic’s churning waters on the other. This is the Namib, the world’s oldest desert, and the perfect place for a long road trip . After almost three years of Covid-19 restrictions, it’s hard to imagine a place where you can feel more free.
“Namib” means “vast place” in Khoekhoegowab, a language spoken in many parts of Namibia. It’s astonishingly easy to get lost in this almost entirely uninhabited expanse of sand, where you might travel for days without seeing another human being.
In the Namib-Naukluft National Park, travelers can go back in time at the Deadvlei, where 600-year-old trees stand eerily lifeless, preserved by the dry air; challenge themselves to climb the 100-story Big Daddy Dune; observe desert-adapted wildlife like oryx and springbok; and even see mysterious fairy circles .
— Jen Guyton
The Alaska Railroad Copied to clipboard!
470 miles of mountains, glaciers and grizzlies from the comfort of a glass dome read more.
Christopher Miller for The New York Times
The Alaska Railroad,
Since 1923, the Alaska Railroad — the last railroad in the United States to carry both people and freight — has connected millions of passengers and trade goods over 470 miles of track, from Seward to Fairbanks. This year is the centennial of its operation and a celebration is planned in Nenana, where President Warren G. Harding drove in the golden spike on July 15, 1923, completing the railroad.
Operational well before Alaska became a state, in 1959, the railroad is an environmentally friendly way for passengers to see wilderness, and even the aurora borealis, without sacrificing comfort: Glass-domed rail cars make viewing easy. It is also the only remaining flag-stop major railroad in the country. Passengers can wave a flag to embark or disembark, gaining access to more remote locations, including harder-to-reach areas of the Chugach National Forest, through a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.
Sights along the way include Denali, North America’s tallest peak, and Kenai Fjords National Park. History buffs can view a special exhibit at the Anchorage Museum that runs from May to February 2024, chronicling the railroad’s history.
— Charu Suri
Fukuoka Copied to clipboard!
Savoring an endangered street-food tradition on the often overlooked island of kyushu read more.
Fukuoka, a subtropical city perched on the northern shore of Kyushu, is one of the few remaining places in Japan where you will see rows of yatai — open-air street-food stalls resembling boxes of neon light. Many sell traditional foods like ramen, yakitori and oden, but if you stroll along the riverfront on Nakasu, a small island that is Fukuoka’s red-light district, you’ll find some diversity with wine, coffee, and even French sausages and garlic toast.
Yatai were a common sight across Japan in the 1950s, but during the 1964 Summer Olympics, the authorities had them removed to project an image of economic recovery. In the present, Fukuoka is the only city left that’s fighting this bureaucracy. The government has acknowledged the cultural significance of yatai by increasing the safety and quality of the food and by offering more licenses in 2022. Even so, the number of yatai has fallen drastically to around 100 stalls today from more than 400 in the ’60s. Pull up a seat while you can and enjoy rubbing shoulders with strangers over supper again.
— Harvard Wang
Flores Copied to clipboard!
An island paradise where crater lakes change color and nine-foot dragons roam read more.
Lauryn Ishak for The New York Times
The term “fairy-tale getaway” is overused, but what else do you call a far-off, unspoiled, Southeast Asian island with nine-foot Komodo dragons, active volcanoes, white-sand beaches, coral gardens, rushing waterfalls and color-shifting crater lakes reputed to house departed spirits?
Such are the allures of Flores, one of the roughly 17,500 islands of the Republic of Indonesia. An hour’s flight from Bali and far less visited, Flores may be seeing more visitors with the scheduled opening late this year of Kodi Bajo , a luxury resort in the fishing town of Labuan Bajo. Operated by the group behind the NIHI hotel on Sumba, a nearby Indonesian island, Kodi Bajo will offer sumptuous hillside accommodations and views of the nearby Komodo National Park archipelago — the only place in the world inhabited by the famous giant lizards.
— Seth Sherwood
Guadalajara Copied to clipboard!
Celebrating queer culture’s diversity and l.g.b.t.q. athletes from around the globe read more.
Adrian Wilson for The New York Times
Travel has always been a way to experience diversity, and in 2023 you’ll find a variety of sexual expression and shifts in traditional gender roles in Jalisco’s capital. This fall, the city will co-host (with Hong Kong) the 11th annual Gay Games . Athletes from around the world — of varying ages, sexual orientations and levels of athletic experience — will participate in 20 sports.
The city is also home to the annual Prohibido festival , during which an abandoned theater is transformed into a celebration of sexual diversity through art installations, interactive experiences, live music and talks about polyamorous and nonbinary culture. In Guadalajara, too, women take on nontraditional performance roles. On most nights, you can hear one of almost a dozen female mariachi bands from the area at Hotel Riu Plaza Guadalajara or El Patio, a restaurant. There are also local performances by female cowboys, known as escaramuzas, who present their choreography on horseback.
The city is considered by some to be Mexico’s drag capital, with numerous performers and shows. Guadalajara has also developed “antiturista” maps, including one for L.G.B.T.Q. travelers, that provide a local’s perspective on places to see and stay.
— Maggie Jones
Tassili n’Ajjer Copied to clipboard!
Rock art, sandstone pillars and a glimpse at a lost saharan history read more.
Tassili n’Ajjer, Algeria
Often overshadowed by its neighbor, the tourism giant Morocco, Algeria — a stone’s throw from Mediterranean Europe and a mere three-hour flight from London — has recently relaxed its visa policies, allowing for much easier exploration of the country. While most visitors tend to stick to the coastal north, which contains some of the region’s best preserved Roman ruins, Africa’s largest country also contains its largest national park.
Virtually unknown to the outside world, Tassili n’Ajjer is eight times the size of Yellowstone. At the heart of the vast landscape of Saharan sand and stone lie the deep red dunes and pillars of Tadrart Rouge. Accessible only by a four-wheel-drive vehicle, this astonishingly striking national park is home to thousands of ancient works of rock art, stretching back to when the desert was a thriving savanna, as well as to a very much living nomadic Tuareg culture.
— Marcus Westberg
Kakheti Copied to clipboard!
New flavors and ancient winemaking traditions in tiny hilltop towns and green valleys read more.
The mountainous nation of Georgia’s 8,000-year-old winemaking tradition is at the center of several new trends in the wine world, including skin-contact (a.k.a. orange ) wines, amphora fermentation and charismatic grape varieties like saperavi. As a result, Georgian wine exports to the United States recently topped one million bottles and are growing at almost 29 percent annually, as Wine Enthusiast recently reported .
For wine lovers, a tasting trip to estates like Vazisubani and Kardanakhi in Kakheti offers a chance to discover new wines in a landscape of tiny hilltop towns and verdant valleys framed by the Caucasus. Many wines are made in traditional pointed qvevri clay vessels that are buried in the earth.
To complement the experience, local chefs have started offering cooking classes where gastronomes can learn how to make the meaty dumplings known as khinkali and other dishes from what Saveur magazine called “Europe’s great unsung cuisine.”
— Evan Rail
Nîmes Copied to clipboard!
A sunny mediterranean morsel whose charming streets are studded with roman monuments read more.
Joann Pai for The New York Times
Nîmes is that rarest of Gallic delicacies — a sunny southern French city with great charm and fascinating architecture and museums that hasn’t yet become thronged with tourists like Arles or Avignon.
The city has a growing word-of-mouth reputation for the excellence of its dining options, which include everything from Michelin two-star restaurants like the chef Pierre Gagnaire’s Duende at the recently renovated Hotel Imperator to exceptionally good lunchtime dining in Les Halles de Nîmes, a covered food market, where the Halles Auberge and La Pie Qui Couette offer first-come first-serve counter service at noon. The latest local buzz is about the chef Georgiana Viou, originally from Benin, who serves up her personal and very delicate Afro-Provençal cooking at Rouge , the restaurant of the elegant new 10-room Margaret-Hôtel Chouleur in a landmarked mansion in the heart of the Écusson, or Old City. Le Coin and Menna, two excellent cosmopolitan modern French bistros — a type of restaurant that’s new to Nîmes — are not far away.
Shed some calories after a meal by taking in the sights of the Rome of France, a sobriquet explained by the most spectacular collection of Roman monuments in Europe outside of Italy.
— Alexander Lobrano
Ha Giang Copied to clipboard!
A two-wheeled thrill ride leads to mountainside settlements where hmong and tay culture lives read more.
Ha Giang, Vietnam
The several-day loop by motorbike through the Ha Giang highlands in northern Vietnam is not for the timid. Getting to the city of Ha Giang takes six hours by road from Hanoi, and the loop’s steep roads, serpentine passes and recurring switchbacks can make the journey both treacherous and exhilarating.
This remote tableau of soaring peaks and cavernous valleys inspires a deep connection to the landscape and its inhabitants. Veer off the main road onto the narrow ribbons of concrete streaking the mountainsides and into the Hmong and Tay settlements dotting the hillsides and hollows. To learn more about their cultures, you can hire a guide from QT Motorbikes and Tours .
Road improvement projects and new high-end accommodations have made the loop more accessible and inviting. Don’t miss a boat ride through the canyon on the emerald river at Ma Pi Leng Pass.
— Patrick Scott
Salalah Copied to clipboard!
A historic frankincense-trading center where the desert erupts in waterfalls read more.
With last year’s World Cup drawing attention to the built environment elsewhere in the Persian Gulf states, seaside Salalah, Oman, offers visitors a chance to see the region’s natural beauty. Depending on when you go, the area is either lush and green and blanketed in thick fog, or basking in sunlight and a warm breeze.
During the khareef (monsoon), the valleys and riverbeds are flooded with fresh water, and the mountains flow with waterfalls. The city is also home to Al Baleed Archaeological Park and the Museum of the Frankincense Land , which provides a visual history of the ancient incense trade and the associated export routes to the rest of the world. (A nearby collection of sites, known as the Land of Frankincense , is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.) Another draw is the collection of historical ports spread along the coast.
The population of Salalah, one of Oman’s largest cities, is around 330,000, so it’s easy to find oneself alone in the crystal clear waters of the area’s many tranquil beaches, including Mugsail, Fazayah and Haffa.
— Noa Avishag Schnall
Cuba Copied to clipboard!
An island of music and white-sand beaches ripe for rediscovery as the united states eases travel restrictions read more.
Robert Rausch for The New York Times
With its sea-sprayed, pastel facades, white-sand beaches and tobacco-rich valleys, Cuba sits tantalizingly close to the United States, though it often feels out of reach — especially in recent years, when the Trump administration reinstated strict rules for American citizens hoping to visit.
But a confluence of factors just made travel to the island nation a bit easier. Last spring, President Biden relaxed many of the restrictions imposed by his predecessor. And in November, American Airlines resumed flights beyond Havana, adding departures to the beach town Varadero and the interior city Santa Clara, a regional capital steeped in revolutionary history. More flights from other carriers are set to begin in the coming months.
Cuba’s people are as generous with their stories — of history, family, even politics and protest — as they are with their music, an omnipresent, joyful soundtrack thrumming through the island’s cities and towns. Less than two years after historic protests were met with harsh repression, and as the country rebuilds from Hurricane Ian, travel to Cuba and support of its people may never be more valuable.
— Lauren Prestileo
Odense Copied to clipboard!
A mystical new museum and garden with all you need to write your own fairy tale read more.
Andreas Meichsner for The New York Times
Designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma & Associates, the new Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense, on the island of Funen, is more than a museum. It’s a mystical land, featuring labyrinthine gardens that double as a public park.
The museum explores Andersen’s literary interplay between real and imaginary: You can gaze up at the sky through a glass dome and feel like the Little Mermaid; roam sunken courtyards, illuminated by sunlight splintering through trees; and engage with exhibits by contemporary artists in cylindrical spaces wrapped in latticed timber that suggest the city’s traditional thatched-roof houses. The museum is as much about telling stories as it is about imagining your own: Creativity is encouraged at the magical Ville Vau children’s center, where children can paint, draw, write and play dress-up amid colorful scenes from Andersen’s fairy tales.
Time your visit with Odense’s summertime H.C. Andersen Festivals , and then find artistic inspiration, as Andersen did, by venturing across his home island of Funen, the “garden of Denmark,” with its storybook castles (the moated Egeskov is the stuff of dreams), heather-coated hillsides and misty coastline.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Copied to clipboard!
The shape-shifting sandstone heart of a continent and its indigenous heritage read more.
Matthew Abbott for The New York Times
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia
At Uluru, time stretches, dissolves. Over 500 million years old, the 1,142-foot sandstone monolith in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a shape-shifter: aflame in pink, orange and violet through the day; its crevices gush with the rain, its surroundings erupt with wildflowers.
Now, Uluru is a symbol of urgency. In 2017, it was the site of the Uluru Statement From the Heart , which calls for an Indigenous “voice to Parliament” to be enshrined in Australia’s Constitution. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced there would be a national referendum on the issue in 2023.
Uluru is sacred to the Anangu people, who protect and manage the land, and for decades tourists climbed the rock against their wishes. Climbing was banned in 2019, and now visitors can take a 5.8-mile walk around Uluru’s base to experience its splendor. The ban was a rare victory for Indigenous rights and cultural respect, and evidence that even deep-rooted attitudes can change.
— Tacey Rychter
Boquete Copied to clipboard!
A slope-side nirvana for coffee geeks, waterfall hikers and white-water rafters read more.
Geisha, among the world’s most expensive coffee varietals, thrives on the slopes of the Barú Volcano, near Panama’s western border. In recent years, specialty coffee geeks the world over have gravitated here, encouraging coffee farms around the highland town of Boquete to act more like Bordeaux vineyards. New cupping rooms and bodega tours have been added at farms like Lamastus Family Estates , Chevas Coffee Estate and Finca Altieri , while coffee-themed hotels — including Finca Lérida and Panamonte — have updated their facilities.
In Boquete’s town center, which acts as a base for adventure activities like waterfall hikes and white-water rafting, the noted Panama City chef Mario Castrellón has opened a branch of the coffee roaster Café Unido , as well as a restaurant and bar with seasonal menus and Geisha-infused cocktails, in the new Selina hostel . The bold, 60-room property straddles a small river, with rooms ranging from beds in concrete cylinders to luxe suites.
— Nicholas Gill
Tarragona Copied to clipboard!
An unsung artsy seaport rich in well-preserved roman ruins, and delicious tapas read more.
Long upstaged by the flash of Barcelona, this unsung waterfront city on the Costa Daurada is a culturally rich alternative, with thriving Catalan traditions, from the famous castells (human towers, formed by people standing on one another’s shoulders) to earthy Romesco sauce, often served with grilled fish and vegetables, and best enjoyed in El Serrallo, a maritime neighborhood.
But what elevates the Tarragona experience is the past: This is one of the oldest Roman settlements in the Iberian Peninsula. The impressively preserved Tarraco ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, transform the city into an open-air museum, from the mighty Roman walls to the amphitheater framed by the Mediterranean.
Against this ancient backdrop, the city is in the midst of change: a revitalized port, new low-cost fast trains to the region and a growing contemporary arts scene. Perhaps the best way to savor it is to partake in a paseo: Stroll the Rambla Nova, grazing on tapas along the way, to the aptly named Balcó del Mediterrani observation point, where touching the iron railing is said to bring good luck.
Charleston Copied to clipboard!
A powerful space will examine a city’s past and honor the african american legacy read more, charleston, south carolina.
Charleston’s brutal history of slavery can be overshadowed by a romanticized portrait of a city with charm, award-winning restaurants and plantation gardens. The planned opening of the $100 million International African American Museum this year will help comprehensively display the city’s complicated past.
The I.A.A.M. occupies the former Gadsden’s Wharf, where an estimated 30,000 African captives landed during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, more than at any other site. The sleek, single-story building floats atop 18 pillars clad in tabby, a kind of concrete made from oyster shells, and houses a genealogy center, a social justice action lab and 10 exhibit galleries that include stories of slavery and the Great Migration. A public outdoor space offers an African Ancestors Memorial Garden featuring indigenous plants like Lowcountry sweet grass and Canary Island palm trees.
This spring, the Charleston tourism board will debut a comprehensive guide to Black-owned businesses to elevate the overlooked successes of creative locals.
— Lauren Matison
Cayos Cochinos Copied to clipboard!
Planting coral and counting sea turtles where there are no cars or roads read more.
Cayos Cochinos, Honduras
Off the northern coast of Honduras, the Cayos Cochinos archipelago, part of a marine preserve where commercial fishing is banned, encompasses about 300,000 acres, two main islands and 13 small cays, with a collective population of about 200 Indigenous Garifuna residents.
Before the pandemic, the nonprofit Cayos Cochinos Foundation, which manages the reserve, derived much of its funding to study and protect its biodiversity from the fees paid by day-trippers to snorkel there. Now, the nongovernmental organization is gently opening itself to tourism, allowing visitors to stay in basic cabins (from $45 a night) that previously hosted exclusively scientists.
Between scuba dives and hikes to see pink boa constrictors and black-chested spiny-tailed iguanas, travelers can volunteer to propagate new coral or count sea turtles. Travel to the islands, which are roadless and free of cars, also supports the Garifuna community, which offers guide services, restaurants and tastings of the local root-infused spirit, guifiti.
Burgundy Beer Trail Copied to clipboard!
Paying homage to hops and yeast in a region where wine has long reigned read more.
Burgundy Beer Trail, France
Wine lovers have long revered the great vintages of Burgundy. Now, beer lovers have their eyes on the Burgundy region, following the arrival of head-turning new breweries like Ammonite , Vif , Independent House and 90 BPM , all within 90 minutes of one another, and all rated among the best in France by fans on sites like Untappd and RateBeer .
Winemaking influences these new brewers, some of which employ solera barrel systems (like those used to age and blend sherry and Madeira wines), natural yeast, small oak barrels and other tools and techniques most often used by vintners.
For years, France has been a laggard in the global craft beer revolution, running far behind neighboring countries like Spain and Italy. The emerging beer trail in Burgundy’s wine region shows how France might soon develop an enviable beer culture of its own.
Istanbul Copied to clipboard!
Reviving a city’s historic architecture just in time for modern turkey’s centennial read more.
Maria Mavropoulou for The New York Times
This October, the Turkish Republic celebrates its 100th anniversary, and to mark the occasion, Istanbul’s local government has invested millions in giving historic structures new life.
Among them: Feshane, a factory that manufactured the iconic Turkish hats and one of Istanbul’s first steel buildings, will become one of its largest art centers; west of the old city, a comprehensive restoration of the stone-and-brick Mevlanakapi city walls with their 22 towers dating back to the fifth century, will transform them into a four-and-a-half-mile walking path; and the Botter Apartment, one of Istanbul’s earliest Art Nouveau buildings, whose bottom floor was originally a studio for the sultan’s private tailor, will be turned into a fashion design center.
There’s more. Art museums are planned for the former Yedikule gasworks and the Halic Shipyard, one of the world’s oldest still in operation. And most notably, the newly built Istanbul Modern museum, designed by the architect Renzo Piano, will open its doors along the Bosporus in Karakoy, showcasing the works of notable Turkish artists such as Fahrelnissa Zeid and Erol Akyavas.
— Nora Walsh
Taipei Copied to clipboard!
Floating sky lanterns and soaring skyscrapers in a sprawling, thrumming capital read more.
Taipei is a glorious assault on the senses, a capital with stunning natural beauty, low crime, and clear air despite its immense urban sprawl. From its neon-lit night markets to its Qing Dynasty temples, visitors can feel the quiet drum of independent pride, however fragile its future.
Beijing, which sees self-ruled Taiwan as an unruly child, continues to assert its desire to reunify with Taiwan and put the island firmly back under its control. But for now, a visit to this city offers a riot of culinary and cultural pleasures. In 2023, the island’s third-tallest skyscraper will open, and the Taiwan Lantern Festival , a beloved tradition in which thousands of glowing lanterns float skyward in tandem, will return to Taipei after more than two decades.
Taipei’s future is uncertain. But in 2023, it remains an ideal place to gape at the sheer power of human innovation.
— Debra Kamin
El Poblado Copied to clipboard!
A chic shopping district, pulsing nightlife and rainbow-colored macaws Read more
Federico Rios for The New York Times
El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia
In the 1600s, Spanish settlers established El Poblado, “the village,” along the Medellín River. Eventually, the larger city of Medellín grew to the north, and El Poblado became a rural getaway for wealthy Colombians.
Today, it is once again a center of activity. The grid of two- or three-story homes has blossomed with shops and restaurants, interspersed with boutique hotels rising above the treetops. Nearby, gushing waterfalls and rainbow-colored macaws add to the lush tropical vibe.
An afternoon roaming the neighborhood, popping into Mon y Velarde for menswear or Makeno for artisanal home goods, followed by coffee at Pergamino or modern Colombian cuisine at Oci.Mde , is a worthy entry on any South American traveler’s bucket list. Stay out late enough to see the area transform into the pulsing heart of the city’s nightlife, with D.J.s on the rooftops and dance parties in the streets.
Lausanne Copied to clipboard!
Spectacular views of Lake Geneva and an exploding architectural and artistic scene Read more
Clara Tuma for The New York Times
Already blessed with a sublime Lake Geneva location and dramatic mountain views, Lausanne, Switzerland’s fourth-largest city, has been adding architectural and artistic beauty to its repertoire as well.
Known as Plateform 10 , the city’s three-year-old arts district recently inaugurated a bold new building that resembles an artfully cracked block of white stone for a pair of museums. Photo Elysée is dedicated to exhibiting photography in all its forms, while MUDAC is a haven of five creative outlets: design, glasswork, ceramics, jewelry and graphic art. The two institutions join the new home of the city’s international art museum, the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts , which moved into its ridged, rectangular building in 2019.
Methana Copied to clipboard!
A hike, a stroll or a run into the bronze age followed by a soak in an ancient tub read more.
Athens’s nearest active volcano, Methana, sits on a peninsula of the same name some 30 miles southwest of the Greek capital. Though largely unknown to tourists, the area is slowly evolving, in part because of its increasing popularity as a hiking destination.
In recent years, groups of locals have managed to reopen and map old walking paths, some of which date back to the Mycenaean Era, creating hiking trails that attract visitors from around the world. (So far, more than 18 miles have been cleared and marked.) The Methana Volcano Challenge , first organized in 2021, offers a trail run across the peninsula’s sloping landscape.
Visitors to this volcanic peninsula can also enjoy several hot springs, the most interesting of which is an ancient (and recently renovated) tub known as the Pausanias Baths near the village of Agios Nikolaos.
— Demetrios Ioannou
Louisville Copied to clipboard!
A rising l.g.b.t.q. scene with quilts, drag shows, the derby and, of course, bourbon read more, louisville, kentucky.
One of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains, and arguably among the most beautiful, Louisville somehow flies under the radar. This despite its graceful 19th-century park system , designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, and its bourbon-fueled convivial spirit.
Today, its L.G.B.T.Q. scene is also thriving, with hot spots like Chill Bar and Play Dance Bar , which hosts regular drag nights featuring touring artists. (The city has also earned top marks from the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index for seven years running and is home to two new L.G.B.T.Q. community centers.) This spring brings Hotel Genevieve , from the Texas-based Bunkhouse Group, which offers Louisville-inspired touches like décor that pays homage to the city’s rich quilting heritage, an on-site market selling work from local artists and bourbon selections from neighboring Rabbit Hole Distillery .
Make plans for 2023, because the city might not stay below the radar much longer: 2024 will draw the masses for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby.
— Paul L. Underwood
Manaus Copied to clipboard!
River-to-table cuisine and ancestral recipes in the heart of the amazon read more.
Michelin-starred restaurants in São Paulo use Amazonian ingredients to appear exotic, but in Manaus, where you can sip steamy gourds of tacacá from a stand in front of the Teatro Amazonas or wander past plastic bottles of tucupi, the juice squeezed from grated cassava, in Adolpho Lisboa Municipal Market, Amazonian ingredients are a fact of life.
At the Indigenous-owned Biatüwi , a restaurant that pays homage to ancestral recipes and cooking techniques, drinks are made from fermented purple yams, and chiles are used to purify river fish in piquant stews like quinhampira.
Then there’s the chef Felipe Schaedler, who has helped threatened Yanomami communities commercialize their native mushrooms and runs two restaurants of his own: Banzeiro and Moquém do Banzeiro . Steering away from traditional preparations, Mr. Schaedler reimagines ingredients like lemon-grass-flavored ants and tambaqui ribs in a modern format, as do the bistros Caxiri , set in a colonial building overlooking Largo de São Sebastião, a grand plaza, and Fitz Carraldo, in the boutique hotel Villa Amazonia .
Vilnius Copied to clipboard!
A 700-year-old survivor ready to party like there’s no tomorrow read more.
Gordon Welters for The New York Times
Lithuania’s cobblestoned capital has a long history of bootstrap survival. Occupied once by the Nazis and twice by the Soviets, Vilnius has a story that is complex and fascinating to explore. Its architectural riches span from Gothic to Renaissance to Baroque; grand churches rub shoulders with quaint timber homes on leafy streets.
In 2023, the resilient city celebrates its 700th birthday with a full year of revelry. A light festival , free music performances and the first Vilnius International Biennial are all on the calendar. Artificial intelligence will resurrect one of the city’s first operas from the 17th century, and an exhibition space will allow visitors to virtually explore Vilnius’s streets as they looked more than 200 years ago.
Ringing in its eighth century, Vilnius reminds travelers that, when viewed through the long lens of history, our own uncertain times are fleeting.
Macon Copied to clipboard!
1,100-year-old native american mounds and deep rock ’n’ roll roots read more.
The area around Macon has been home to multiple Native American tribes for 12,000 years. That history will be acknowledged this year, when Georgia is expected to get its first national park: The Ocmulgee Mounds, some of the most significant prehistoric Indigenous mounds in North America, date to the year 900, and are now a national historical park .
The national park will include the Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge , for a total of 50,000 acres, and offer a network of exquisite hiking trails and artifacts from American Indian culture. Management will be shared by the Muscogee Nation and the National Park Service.
Additionally, the city, whose musical roots run deep — Little Richard, the Allman Brothers and Otis Redding all got their start here — is celebrating its 200th anniversary with a new 10,000-seat amphitheater . Visitors can check out the Hotel Forty Five , a boutique hotel that opened downtown last year and that was named both for the angle of the street on which it sits and as a nod to musical history.
— Ondine Cohane
Madrid Copied to clipboard!
Kicking off a worldwide tribute to picasso in a place that’s a masterpiece unto itself read more.
Emilio Parra Doiztua for The New York Times
If art is a universal language, as travel often reveals, Pablo Picasso’s antiwar “ Guernica ” may be one of its most potent symbols.
The Spanish and French governments recently announced the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 in front of the famous painting at the Reina Sofia museum, kicking off a transnational commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death. The worldwide tribute, from Madrid to Paris to New York City, includes some 50 exhibitions, many of which explore the artist through the lens of the present day. Madrid leads the way, with tributes throughout the year, including “Picasso. The Sacred and the Profane” at the Thyssen-Bornemisza ; “Picasso 1906. The Turning Point” at the Reina Sofia ; and an exhibition exploring Picasso and El Greco at the Prado .
During Picasso’s anniversary year, it’s worth noting that the city’s artistry isn’t just within its museums, but outside as well: Madrid’s cultural core is an urban masterpiece of art, nature and light, and in 2021, the entire area of the Paseo del Prado and verdant Parque del Buen Retiro, called “Landscape of Light,” was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Grand Junction Copied to clipboard!
A bonanza of canyons, arches and cliffs, without the hordes of tourists read more.
Grand Junction, Colorado
On Colorado’s Western Slope, arid Grand Junction offers attractions similar to those of Moab, Utah, the gateway to Arches National Park, without the throngs.
The area around the Colorado alternative has the second-largest concentration of natural arches in the country in Rattlesnake Canyon, where some 35 sandstone spans are part of the roughly 123,700-acre McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area , reachable via off-road vehicle or a strenuous 14-mile round-trip trek. More convenient hiking trails in the Colorado National Monument — where geologic uplift and erosion formed monoliths of the same Entrada sandstone found at Arches — lie within about 10 minutes of town.
The 2021 opening of the Palisade Plunge adds a 32-mile descent — from the world’s largest flat-topped mountain, 10,000-foot Grand Mesa, down to the Colorado River — to the area’s biking challenges. All trails lead back to downtown Grand Junction, filled with shops, craft breweries, locavore restaurants and wine-tasting rooms from area vineyards.
La Guajira Copied to clipboard!
An unspoiled land of orange-sand beaches and flamingo-lined lagoons read more.
La Guajira, Colombia
The remote and arid La Guajira peninsula, straddling Colombia’s border with Venezuela, remains largely unknown to international tourists — in spite of its dramatic salt flats, flamingo-lined lagoons and orange-sand beaches.
Terrorist activity made this area mostly off limits until 2016, but eco-minded hotels, including La Casa del Pavo Real and Hotel Waya Guajira , have spread along the peninsula, relying on increased flights to Riohacha, the regional capital, and nearby Santa Marta.
This region is the home of the Indigenous Wayúu people, who have expressed concerns that giant development projects may irreparably alter their ancestral lands. Tour operators visit Wayúu weavers known for their chinchorros, the colorful hammocks that take months to make, and their rustic kitchens, where cooks like Zaida Cotes showcase traditional cuisine based on salted fish, goat meat and purple corn.
Bergamo and Brescia Copied to clipboard!
Open-air theater, art, music and a plateful of local delicacies in a cultural crossroads read more.
Andrea Wyner for The New York Times
Bergamo and Brescia, Italy
Milan may outshine Bergamo and Brescia , but in 2023 a spotlight will fall on these two Lombardy cities after they were jointly named the Italian Capital of Culture . More than 100 art projects, music and theater events (some open-air), nature walks and new bike routes are meant to map a way forward after the tragic headlines this northern region generated in 2020, when it was more ravaged by the coronavirus than anyplace else in Italy.
Bergamo is distinctive for its ancient, walled Città Alta (Upper Town) and modern Città Bassa (Lower Town), the two connected by narrow roads, a funicular and a footpath. Brescia, around 30 miles southeast , is a handsome crossroads of Roman, medieval and Renaissance sites .
Outstanding food is another draw — it’s Italy, after all — with menus in both areas featuring creamy, nutty polenta taragna and variously stuffed crescents of casoncelli swirled with butter and sage — little pasta miracles that prove how good life can still be.
— Julie Besonen
American Prairie Copied to clipboard!
A vast, and growing, swath of nature where you can still feel tiny read more.
American Prairie, Montana
With its wide-open skies and boundless horizons, American Prairie is ideal for visitors seeking a respite from the fast pace of modern life. A vast nature preserve founded by a Montana nonprofit, A.P. has been accumulating grasslands since 2004. It currently consists of 455,840 acres — and the preserve continues to expand by acquiring private properties that connect to surrounding public lands. The goal: to create a contiguous, three-million-acre reserve and restore a disappearing ecosystem.
A.P. offers a broad range of activities, including leisurely walks, cross-country skiing and expert-level hiking, biking and paddling. Paved roads lead to Antelope Creek Campground, which features an interpretive trail and distant views of the Little Rockies. Buffalo Camp, accessible by gravel roads and situated among the reserve’s largest bison herd, is a little farther off the beaten path and provides a chance to see a buffalo jump, a cliff traditionally used by Indigenous peoples to harvest bison.
— Janie Osborne
Eastern Townships Copied to clipboard!
A leisurely journey through the countryside with stops for wine, cheese and poutine read more.
Eastern Townships, Quebec
This is slow travel at its best: Pedal across the quiet Quebec countryside, refueling on local cheese, wine and, yes, poutine. Montreal and Quebec City are the stars of the region, but the bucolic, lake-laced terrain between them is often relegated to fleeting glimpses from the windows of a rental car.
The Eastern Townships — Canada’s New England, with French flair — deserves a visit all its own, and especially now, with the recent debut of the Véloroute Gourmande . The 150-mile cycle route traces the Route Verte and Trans Canada Trail across this charming region dotted with flower-festooned villages, and features more than 100 epicurean stops along the way, from farmers’ markets to maple groves to fromageries to vineyards.
Try the lush, sweet vin de glace (ice wine), made from ripe grapes that have frozen naturally on the vine, at Le Cep d’Argent , and the buttery Brise des Vignerons at the family-run Fromagerie des Cantons , one of the first in the area to develop cheese exclusively from Jersey cows, a nod to the region’s British influences.
New Haven Copied to clipboard!
A home to tinkerers and rebels, and a treasure trove of contemporary art and architecture Read more
New haven, connecticut.
Connecticut’s third-largest city is a historic, mostly walkable and bikeable seaside town with distinctive neighborhoods, an encyclopedic collection of great American architecture, a thriving cultural life and one of the best food scenes in the country for a city of its size (134,000).
Founded in 1638, it’s a place where people have always tinkered with, mused about and challenged the status quo, which is why the New Haven Preservation Trust is now looking at saving the modernist buildings of the 1970s, which many see as disastrous examples of urban renewal. Discover one of the best of these brutalist concrete buildings by checking into the new Hotel Marcel , named for its architect, Marcel Breuer. Recently renovated, it’s become the first completely solar-powered, energy-neutral hotel in the United States.
Check out NXTHVN , a cutting-edge, community-focused arts center founded in 2019 in two abandoned factory buildings in the Dixwell neighborhood that has become the heart of a vibrant African American artists’ community. And then treat yourself to a great meal — maybe crispy artichokes with Parmesan aioli and pork belly with Tuscan cabbage and apple mostarda — at the recently opened Villa Lulu .
The Black Hills Copied to clipboard!
Pine forests, powwows and a climb up to Crazy Horse’s giant granite face Read more
The Black Hills, South Dakota
The Lakota people trace their creation to the He Sapa, or Black Hills, a mountain range of dramatic peaks and pine forests in an area that is South Dakota’s chief tourism attraction.
Now, representatives of all nine tribes in the state — working as the South Dakota Native Tourism Alliance — are having a say in how to experience Native American sites with the publication of a new tribal nations’ visitors guide , including destination suggestions and tips on visitor etiquette. The assembly helped identify the Great 8 , eight sites and experiences — among them powwows, or dance celebrations — that are significant to Indigenous culture, with a concentration in the Black Hills. These include Bear Butte State Park where hiking trails may lead past prayer cloths tied to trees, 7,244-foot Black Elk Peak, the state’s highest, and the Crazy Horse Memorial .
The massive sculpture of the Lakota warrior turns 75 next summer, when the biannual Volksmarch will allow hikers to ascend the carving, still under construction, and stand beneath Crazy Horse’s more than 87-foot-tall granite face.
Sarajevo Copied to clipboard!
Bosnia and Herzegovina
A living museum of resilience where empires and cultures have long intersected Read more
Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo’s history lives in the present. There is the Latin Bridge, where a certain archduke was assassinated, catalyzing World War I. There are buildings still pockmarked by shells from the siege three decades ago. And there is the intricate interplay of empires, from the Ottoman to the Austro-Hungarian, that allows visitors to tour a mosque, a cathedral, an Orthodox church and a synagogue all within a few blocks.
These layers of history, of course, can detonate as easily as they can coexist. Bosnia’s multiethnic capital remains on edge. Look up to the hills, and there are the artillery positions built on the grounds of the 1984 Winter Olympics. But Sarajevo’s splendor comes from this intrusion of the past. It remains a living museum that hints at how a Ukraine or a Syria cannot only survive but perhaps one day flourish anew.
— Hannah Beech
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Danial Adkison, Stephen Hiltner, Suzanne MacNeille, Morrigan McCarthy, Fiona Murray, Nancy Ramsey, Tacey Rychter and Amy Virshup
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The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2023
Where to go in 2023, according to T+L editors — for a breath of fresh air, a big-city adventure, or a glimpse at the future of travel.
Since 1971, Travel + Leisure editors have followed one mission: to inform, inspire, and guide travelers to have deeper, more meaningful experiences. T+L's editors have traveled to countries all over the world, having flown, sailed, road tripped, and taken the train countless miles. They've visited small towns and big cities, hidden gems and popular destinations, beaches and mountains, and everything in between. With a breadth of knowledge about destinations around the globe, air travel, cruises, hotels, food and drinks, outdoor adventure, and more, they are able to take their real-world experience and provide readers with tried-and-tested trip ideas, in-depth intel, and inspiration at every point of a journey.
With much of the world reopened, 2023 is shaping up to be the year travel officially bounces back. We made our list of the 50 best destinations for 2023 a little differently this year: We asked Travel + Leisure's editors where they want to go in the months ahead. Some are raring to get back to Japan, while others have the Trans-Bhutan Trail on their lists. Still more are planning a sail around Greenland, a wine-tasting trip on California’s central coast, and a visit to France’s next big wine region (which is, as it happens, tiny).
A few up-and-coming culinary destinations made our list, as did a remarkable piece of art, the size and scale of which boggles the imagination. While many of the team’s picks are remote, breathe-in-that-fresh-air kinds of places, our list doesn’t skimp on cities where the hustle and bustle is part of the fun.
But with so many choices now back on the map, there are as many styles of trips as there are places to explore. That’s why, for the first time in recent memory, we’ve broken our list of best places to go into categories.
The hope is that, whatever it is you’re after in the year ahead, you’ll find it in one of these 50 places. And who knows? We may just see you there.
— Edited by Paul Brady and Maya Kachroo-Levine
Destination by Category
For cultural riches, alexandria, virginia.
K. Summerer for Visit Alexandria
With postcard-perfect cobblestone streets and quick access to the wineries of northern Virginia , Alexandria is an easy city to love. But these days, the reason to go is to see how effectively the city is confronting its own history, as destinations across the American South grapple with the legacy of the Confederacy . Alexandria, which was founded as a tobacco port in 1749, was for decades of the 19th century the site of the country’s largest domestic slave trade . Today, the Freedom House Museum has three new exhibitions honoring the people who were forcibly brought here. Meanwhile, the African American Heritage Trail, which opened in 2020, follows the Potomac River and encompasses nearly 200 years of history at 11 stops, such as the Torpedo Factory , where many Black men and women worked during World War II. An extension of the route will debut in February 2023 with 20 new stops, including Waterfront Park, the port from which enslaved people were trafficked to places like New Orleans. At Jones Point Park, visitors can learn about Benjamin Banneker , an inventor, mathematician, and free African American from Maryland who was instrumental in the 1791 surveying team that determined the border of the new U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. (For an even deeper look at the city’s Black experience, book with Manumission Tours , which is run by a fourth-generation Alexandrian .) The city’s most elegant stay is Morrison House Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection , which was recently voted one of the best city hotels in the continental U.S. in T+L’s 2022 World’s Best Awards. A new Hotel AKA is slated to open in Old Town in winter 2023. — Liz Cantrell
Cairo and the Nile
It’s almost here: After more than a decade of construction — to say nothing of the hype — the Grand Egyptian Museum may finally open, just a stone’s throw from the Great Pyramids of Giza, this spring. What to expect? More than 1 million square feet of exhibition space, treasures including a 40-foot-high statue of Ramses II, outdoor gardens, and an expansive plaza from which visitors can take in the desert surroundings. Meanwhile, a number of new and luxurious ships have started sailing the Nile: Among the best choices are the Viking Osiris , an all-veranda vessel carrying 82 passengers, and the opulent Sphinx from Uniworld Boutique River Cruises , which has 42 cabins swathed in marble and hand-carved wood, with beds dressed in fine Egyptian cotton sheets. The hotel scene is also, thankfully, getting a refresh with a new Mandarin Oriental slated for downtown Cairo in 2024; the forthcoming 200-room Four Seasons Hotel Luxor is scheduled to debut in 2025 — not that you should wait that long to see the ancient Valley of the Kings. — John Wogan
City, 1970 – 2022 © Michael Heizer. Courtesy Triple Aught Foundation. Photo: Eric Piasecki
Even in a state known for its vast, empty landscapes, Basin and Range National Monument , about a two-hour drive north of Las Vegas, takes “remote” to a new level. The 704,000-acre preserve, created in 2015, provides endless opportunities for hiking, climbing, camping, and cycling; its desert valleys and mountain ranges are also dotted with Indigenous rock art sites. But the reason to go now is “ City ,” the single largest contemporary artwork in the world, which opened to visitors in September 2022. Made from dirt, rock, and concrete, the monumental open-air sculpture was more than 50 years in the making, a collection of mounds, depressions, and stelae conceived by the artist Michael Heizer . The endeavor — which was made possible by joint contributions from art institutions around the country, including LACMA and MoMA — will open to the public for the 2023 season by reservation only . The mile-and-a-half-long sculpture feels at once ancient and futuristic, a destination just as awe-inspiring as the natural one surrounding it. — John Wogan
The can-you, can’t-you continues, but the Biden administration has made it a touch easier to visit Cuba as a result of its May 2022 relaxation of some restrictions on travel to the island. These days, Americans can go as part of a group tour or visit individually on a "support for the Cuban people" license, travel advisor Molly Layman told T+L. “It’s one of 12 authorized categories of travel to the island,” she said, adding that “it requires citizens to have a full-time schedule of activities that support the Cuban people, which is easily fulfilled through buying services from Cuban entrepreneurs, staying in local homes, dining in private restaurants, and booking cultural activities.” Those ready to take to the vibrant streets of Havana will also need a visa, said Layman, who works as director of operations at tour company Cuba Candela . Travelers can handle that, she said, “on the day of travel at the airport check-in desk or from a tour provider.” (The cost varies depending on where a visa is purchased but rarely exceeds $100.) While the hoops are undeniable, they may well be worth jumping through in the year ahead. — Christine Burroni
Issam Elhafti/Getty Images
For decades, this northern Moroccan city has attracted a stream of bohemian expats including, most famously, beat-generation writers Paul Bowles and William S. Burroughs. That’s how it cultivated a reputation as a place where foreigners went to live, rather than simply visit. But Tangier’s reputation could change this spring, thanks in part to the opening of Villa Mabrouka — British designer Jasper Conran’s second Moroccan property, which follows the 2018 opening of L'Hôtel Marrakech . The one-time private residence of fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, the hillside property has gorgeous views over the Bay of Tangier within walking distance to the city’s frenetic medina. Villa Mabrouka joins other newcomers, like the Museum of Contemporary Art , a space displaying work by regional artists, also called the Kasbah Museum, as it's housed in the renovated, 17th-century Kasbah prison. Also new on the proverbial block is the just-opened Fairmont Tazi Palace Tangier , set on a refurbished, century-old estate near the old city. Anticipation is already growing for a recently announced Waldorf Astoria, a 115-room and 21-villa resort set to open in 2025. — John Wogan
Lakes Region, Turkey
Istanbul and Bodrum are both rightly popular, but U.S. travelers will find much to love in other pockets of this diverse country — including this inland part of southwestern Anatolia, which travel advisor Engin Kadaster predicts “will be very popular in the years to come.” Kadaster has been including the Lakes Region on more and more itineraries for her clients, and helped coordinate a story in T+L’s August 2022 issue that included destinations such as Isparta , the region’s largest city and a center of rose and lavender production, and the ancient hilltop city of Sagalassos. The region’s most famous feature — naturally — is a series of tectonic lakes, created by ancient earthquakes, in the foothills of the Taurus Mountains, but it also holds many ancient Greek and Roman archaeological sites. A blessed lack of mass tourism means that this isn’t a hot spot for luxury hotels, but cozy places like Eskiciler Konaği , a renovated century-old mansion near Lake Eğirdir, or Aliya Konak , a seasonal farmstay on a working lavender operation in Isparta, are warm and welcoming. Intrepid travelers can ditch the hotels altogether by camping along the new Pisidia Heritage Trail , a waymarked route that unites the Lakes Region’s splendid nature and unique history as it passes through ancient sites like Kremna, Adada, and Yazılı Canyon. — Hannah Walhout
The United Kingdom
Courtesy of Peninsula London
T+L’s Destination of the Year may be undergoing a once-in-a-lifetime period of transition, but some things never change. For one, the country’s historic cities will always be home to hotels that mix stately grandeur and affable service. This past summer saw the opening of Gleneagles Townhouse , a chic, urban outpost of the iconic Gleneagles resort, in the heart of Edinburgh; next year London will welcome the cool glam of the Peter Marino–designed Peninsula London . Of the U.K.’s many world-class museums, two have recently gotten upgrades: Glasgow’s Burrell Collection , a stunning assortment of international art and artifacts, and the Manchester Museum , which is dedicated to the natural sciences. The Factory , Manchester’s new cultural center, pays tribute to the famous record label behind '80s rock bands the Happy Mondays and New Order. Gourmands (and the just plain hungry) will want to sample the broad range of culinary delights at London’s new Arcade Food Hall at Battersea Power Station, the latest stage in the rehabilitation of the historic building. No visit to the U.K. is complete without venturing out into its peerless countryside, and Scotland’s first rewilding center, Dundreggan , is one noteworthy place to take it all in: Managed by charitable organization Trees for Life , this 10,000-acre estate on the shores of Scotland’s Loch Ness plans to open a visitor’s center by the end of 2023. Meanwhile, the new Two Toms Trail in Lancashire covers 25 miles and features some of England’s most stunning scenery. — Peter Terzian
The perennially popular city made headlines in 2022 for its day-trip entrance fee , which takes effect in January 2023. But why only go for the day? The Venice Architecture Biennale runs May 20, 2023 to Nov. 26, 2023, with global exhibits curated by Lesley Lokko, the first Black architect to organize the event. Architecture lovers will also want to visit the Procuratie Vecchie, the 16th-century building along St. Mark's Square. Though its façade is one of Italy’s most photographed, the public has only recently been allowed inside, after the completion of a five-year refurbishment led by David Chipperfield Architects . Those looking for nostalgic luxury should plan to arrive in the second half of the year, with their bags packed for a train trip: Belmond’s iconic Venice Simplon-Orient Express will unveil two newly restored carriages from the 1920s and ‘30s in June, with opulent suites modeled to mirror the landscapes of Europe. — Nina Ruggiero
For the Food — and Wine
Courtesy of Four Seasons
It may have a reputation as a stopover city, but Athens deserves a closer look — and at least a few nights — in the year ahead. Not far from the Piraeus port , where travelers hop both domestic ferries and cruise ships that criss-cross the Mediterranean, the Athens Riviera has seen a surge of development. Four Seasons Astir Palace , which opened amid the pandemic, has a private beach on the sparkling Saronic Sea and two spaces designed by Swedish architect Martin Brudnizki, including a midcentury modern cocktail bar and Pelagos restaurant, which has already earned its first Michelin star. In the spring of 2023, One&Only Aesthesis will open just a few miles away, also along the waterfront. Next door is the brand-new Experience Park, with trails, fitness classes, fountains, a Zen garden, and bountiful native plants and flowers; it’s part of an $8-billion waterfront green space called The Ellinikon , on the former site of the city’s international airport, that’s still under development. In central Athens, the 2022 opening of the 43-room Xenodocheio Milos hotel in the Pláka neighborhood brings a bit of cosmopolitan verve, from the team behind international restaurant brand Estiatorio Milos . And while the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on the Acropolis isn’t new — the ancient amphitheater first opened about 1,900 years ago — it will bring back a full schedule of shows in 2023 after a pandemic-era slowdown. — Maya Kachroo-Levine
Courtesy of Small World Vacations
This fall, Hurricane Ian took 81 lives and caused $60 billion in damage across Florida. While the hard-hit southwestern part of the state continues to recover, Visit Florida president and CEO Dana Young said in October that other regions are ready to welcome travelers back. Central Florida in particular is worth a closer look, thanks to its ever-growing hospitality scene. Orlando and Tampa recently won a combined 14 Michelin accolades in 2022, when the guidebook publisher released its first-ever guide to Florida restaurants. The area’s family-friendly draws are better than ever: Disney’s recently opened, highly immersive Star Wars : Galactic Starcruiser is a two-night adventure that takes themed entertainment to the next level by allowing guests to eat, sleep, and breathe Star Wars with lightsaber training, out-of-this-world dining (blue shrimp, anyone?), and a trip to Batuu at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Meantime, Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebrations continue through March 2023, with limited-time eats, nighttime spectaculars, and festive décor. In Tampa, the latest Edition Hotel just opened with a sprawling rooftop pool club and restaurant from chef John Fraser. And getting both to and around Central Florida is easier than ever, with the recent opening of Orlando International Airport’s new 15-gate Terminal C and Brightline rail service connecting Orlando to South Florida destinations including Miami and West Palm Beach beginning in 2023. — Elizabeth Rhodes
The Jura, France
There’s a tiny French region just west of the border with Switzerland that’s producing some big, big wines. Thing is, only a tiny fraction of those bottles ever make it to the U.S., as T+L recently reported . That means you’ve got to go to the Jura — preferably before everyone gets wise to the area’s seven Appellations of Controlled Origin (AOCs) . Among serious oenophiles, word is already spreading about the vin jaune, “yellow wine,” made from native savagnin grapes and aged in the Jura’s distinct sous voile style, in which the wine matures “under a veil.” Not that wine is the only draw. The Jura also boasts a comté cheese trail — as if the région weren’t French enough — that connects no fewer than 150 fromageries and dairy farms. Hiking in the Jura Mountains, through Baume-les-Messieurs village and to the Hérisson waterfalls , is equally enticing, particularly as an antidote to all the wine- and cheese-focused sightseeing. Most surprising, perhaps, is just how accessible this under-the-radar area can be. Getting to the Jura takes two hours from the French capital by high-speed train , departing from Paris’s Gare de Lyon. — Maya Kachroo-Levine
San Luis Obispo County, California
Courtesy of Visit SLO CAL/Acacia Productions
It’s time to stop sleeping on “SLO.” Once considered a quick Pacific Coast Highway stopover for those visiting Hearst Castle — which reopened this past spring 2022 after a two-year closure — the central coast county is now a draw in its own right. SLO’s seven cities, including Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo, are all buzzing, and the area just earned official American Viticulture Area (AVA) recognition in 2022, thanks to more than 200 wineries, many of which are family owned . Two new Nomada Hotel Group properties opening in 2023 will welcome the inevitable influx of oenophiles: Farmhouse, a collection of 26 rustic-chic cottages with fire pits and hammocks, arrives in January; while River Lodge, a mile from the Paso Robles wine trail, is slated for May. Also being reimagined under Nomada is the Gold Rush–era Pozo Saloon , reopening in the town of Santa Margarita in August with outdoor soaking tubs, live music, trails for hiking and horseback riding, and a glamping site. Paso Robles just notched its first Michelin star ( Six Test Kitchen ), while San Luis Obispo’s SLO Public Market will welcome two new restaurants, All Good Grill and Todo Bueno , in 2023. Nature lovers should make a beeline for the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove : The insects were recently put on the endangered list, but this spot still draws over 10,000 annually. — Nina Ruggiero
Matteo Colombo/Getty Images
Australia has reopened, and this southern state is a particularly appealing corner of the country these days, thanks to hot springs resorts that are poised to make it the next big wine-and-wellness destination: Alba Thermal Springs and Spa on the Mornington Peninsula was the first to open in September 2022, with pools powered by solar and a commitment to achieving climate-positive operations. Metung Hot Springs in East Gippsland is set to follow in late 2022, with updated facilities in an area long known for its thermal waters. Phillip Island Hot Springs , which distinguishes itself with several saltwater features, plans to open in early 2023. Out on the Mornington Peninsula — a destination long popular for its world-class wineries — the InterContinental Sorrento began accepting reservations this past August 2022. Melbourne, Victoria’s appealing capital city, is also expecting new openings, including the intimate, seven-suite Hotel Vera Ballarat by year’s end, followed by the highly anticipated Ritz-Carlton Melbourne , set to open in 2023 in Australia’s tallest tower. Qantas is making it easier to get there, too: By December 2022, the airline will have four nonstop flights a week connecting Dallas and Melbourne, a welcome bridge between Victoria and the middle of the U.S. — Sarah Bruning
For Big-city Thrills
Jonathan Filskov/Getty Images
The eternally cool city will highlight its prowess with all things design, as the official UNESCO World Capital of Architecture in 2023. Venues across Copenhagen — contemporary parks, starchitect-designed skyscrapers, even typically humdrum infrastructure like playgrounds — will host events and visitors for a look at the future of the urban environment. One highlight will be the Copenhill Power Plant, the cleanest waste-to-energy plant in the world — that’s also the site of an artificial ski slope. “We’re going to do a lot of open-house events where 50 different venues are going to be open to the public that are usually closed to visitors,” said Copenhagen’s city architect Camilla van Deurs, who mentioned as examples churches; bridges; and the Danmarks Nationalbank, the central bank building planned in part by Danish design legend Arne Jacobsen. “Superkilen,” van Deurs said, “is a playground for kids and adults — and a cultural hub in the middle of Nørrebro, the most ethnically mixed neighborhood in Copenhagen.” New places to stay in the city also deliver a signature blend of modernism and hygge: Find it at the single-suite Kaj Hotel , which floats on a canal near Copenhagen Opera House, or the colorful new 25 Hours Hotel Copenhagen . — Tim Latterner
Lance Childers/Houston First
The 2020 opening of the Kinder Building, the latest addition to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston , cemented the city’s spot among true international arts destinations. The recent reopening of the Rothko Chapel , after a $35-million renovation, has only reinforced that reputation. Today, a wealth of new ventures is poised to raise the profile of Texas’s largest city in other categories as well. Opening next year, the JMK5 Arena will transform a disused racetrack into a 12,500-seat concert stadium poised to rival the venues of Vegas. It arrives on the heels of the relatively more intimate 713 Music Hall , which has attracted artists ranging from Judas Priest to Lil Nas X. The Houston Zoo is undergoing a much-delayed expansion that will include a Galápagos Islands–themed exhibit, which will feature an underwater tunnel and a penguin habitat. And the Houston Botanic Gardens , which opened in 2020, features 132 acres of diverse ecosystems, from wetlands to prairie. — Peter Terzian
Courtesy of Rosewood Villa Magna
The Spanish capital may finally, thankfully, be shaking off its reputation as the country’s somewhat stuffy business hub. A flurry of tony hotel openings throughout the city has helped, by bringing plenty of personality to what had been a staid scene. It began in 2021 with the arrival of the Mandarin Oriental Ritz ; Rosewood Villa Magna ; and Santo Mauro, a Luxury Collection Hotel . Then came the Edition in April 2022 . Breathing new life into the former Monte de Piedad de Madrid building, the hotel has 177 rooms, 21 suites, and two penthouses, plus two restaurants with food from chef Enrique Olvera and the culinary team behind Mexico City’s acclaimed Pujol . Elsewhere in Madrid, an already electric food scene has only gotten better — particularly in the glamorous Salamanca neighborhood and architecture-rich Chamberi district — with new offerings representing everything from Middle Eastern falafel and Argentinian asado to Spanish-Indian fusion and globally inflected vegan fare. — Sarah Bruning
Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure
Welcome to the new Nashville. The city’s tourism renaissance is being fueled, in part, by a slew of just-opened hotels, including a Conrad , 1 Hotel , and a Soho House . (A Four Seasons just popped up in the bustling SoBro neighborhood, too.) The newly redesigned Hermitage Hotel , meanwhile, now has the first Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant in the South. The Fifth + Broadway complex has new outposts of old favorites, like fried chicken staple Hattie B’s , and the expansive Assembly Food Hall has dozens of choices, including bars, plural. That inimitable Nashville energy can still be found on Broadway, at honky-tonk bars that go until all hours, but there’s also Justin Timberlake’s sexy Twelve Thirty Club or live events like CMA Fest , which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023. Getting there has never been easier, thanks to low-cost carriers such as Breeze Airways and Southwest, both of which have recently added more flights from both coasts, not to mention places like Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Ohio’s Akron-Canton Airport. — Elizabeth Rhodes
Forget the notion that Steel City is just a town for football and factories. The metropolis is working on new cultural destinations that can’t be missed: While the next lunar lander is currently being built in Pittsburgh, the Moonshot Museum , which opened in October 2022, is putting on display mankind’s history of getting to and exploring the lunar surface. The Carnegie Museum of Art is hosting its 58th Carnegie International Exhibition, a huge temporary show of both historical and contemporary art which runs through April 2, 2023. The childhood home of playwright August Wilson has been restored and turned into a museum, complete with studios for arts programming. The city also has a new spate of hotels and bars drawing crowds, like the modern-chic Joinery Hotel Pittsburgh, Curio Collection by Hilton and The Industrialist, Autograph Collection in the Arrott building, one of the city’s first skyscrapers. Across the river in Allentown, Bottlerocket Social Hall is the perfect place to post up with locals and, yes, watch the game. — Tim Latterner
Ryan White/Parks Conservancy
Despite the so-called national conversation, the apocalypse has not yet come to San Francisco. True, this city had the most extreme wealth divide of any in California in 2020, and the seams here can be especially visible. But all the reasons SF shines — the arts, the nature, the dim sum, the sourdough — haven’t gone anywhere. And a slate of recent infrastructure and cultural projects show that many in the city are working to make it a better place to live and a more compelling destination to visit. The new Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco walks the walk of its focus on equity: the museum is completely free and has opted against a permanent collection in order to direct more funds to artists and staff. The city’s urban national park unit, the Presidio of San Francisco , recently gained 14 acres with the opening of the Presidio Tunnel Tops , a green space designed by James Corner Field Operations, the lead firm for New York City’s High Line, which incorporated input from more than 10,000 residents. Another massive community-led park and mixed-use development is underway in India Basin , with sustainability and affordable housing as stated core values. The hospitality scene is also on the come up: 1 Hotel San Francisco , The Line SF , and Beacon Grand (formerly the Sir Francis Drake) have all opened in the past six months, and Auberge Resorts Collection is slated to debut a new hotel in the Hearst Building in 2023. — Hannah Walhout
Don Eim/Travel + Leisure
American travelers can finally get back to the South Korean capital after years of pandemic restrictions — and there’s plenty to catch up on. The city’s arts scene is buzzing, thanks to new venues such as Konig Gallery , not to mention the announcement from Seoul Museum of Art that three new wings will launch by 2024. (An added boost came from Seoul hosting its first edition of Frieze this past September, during which many commenters asked if K-art may well be the next K-pop.) Meanwhile the destination has seen a number of new hotels open, including the surprisingly trendy Fairmont Ambassador Seoul and Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seoul Gangnam , with its sweeping views of the globally famous district and stunning public spaces, including 1914 Lounge & Bar. — Tim Latterner
For Moments on the Water
Cape verde, the gambia, ghana, and guinea-bissau.
Though Ghana has, in recent years, surged in popularity as a destination for American visitors , particularly Black Americans , West Africa remains unfamiliar to many. One solution may be the innovative West Africa Archipelago cruises that Hurtigruten Expeditions aims to launch in November 2023. These two-week trips, aboard the line’s 180-passenger Spitsbergen , will stop in ports in four countries, with a huge array of activities on the expedition schedule: visits to historically important sites including Gorée Island ; wildlife-watching forays to spot hippos and manatees; and adventures such as scaling volcanoes and scrambling across lava fields. Though some cruise lines occasionally stop in West African ports, Hurtigruten’s deep focus on the region represents a step change — one that’s driven by passenger demand, said Asta Lassesen, the CEO of Hurtigruten Expeditions. “These islands are not as known as our other destinations, but they are teeming with unique wildlife, different cultures, and offer completely different experiences than you’d find in a traditional cruise destination,” Lassesen told T+L. — Paul Brady
Courtesy of Kontiki Expeditions
Many travelers know the historic capital city of Quito and the incredibly biodiverse Galápagos Islands , but now's the time to visit Ecuador’s stunning Pacific coastline. From surf towns like Montañita to the preserved beaches and cloud forest of Machalilla National Park, coastal Ecuador is packed with outdoor adventures and stunning scenery. Kontiki Expeditions unlocks the region with eight-day yacht cruises that visit five of the country’s 24 provinces, hitting destinations including Isla de la Plata and Salinas. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Kontiki Expeditions operates an intimate ship with just nine staterooms, refined outdoor and indoor spaces, and a nearly 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio. (Guests can book an individual room, or charter the entire 18-passenger yacht.) Getting there has gotten smoother, too: U.S. airlines including American, JetBlue, and Spirit now offer direct flights to Guayaquil, from which Kontiki Expeditions trips depart. — Elizabeth Rhodes
The Explora I
Courtesy of EXPLORA I
Just don’t call it a cruise: Upstart travel company Explora Journeys describes its itineraries as “ocean journeys,” nevermind the fact they’re aboard the newly built, 461-suite Explora I . The vessel is slated to hit the water in July 2023, with trips in the Mediterranean that visit popular cruise destinations such as Barcelona and Civitavecchia, near Rome, as well as lesser-visited ports including Patmos, Greece, and St.-Tropez, France. “It’s a new style of ocean travel that connects you with the things that are important,” Explora CEO Michael Ungerer told T+L. “There’s a craving to learn something new and make authentic connections without leaving your tried and tested luxury environment and services behind.” Indeed, life aboard won’t be monastic: Explora I will have 18 restaurants and bars and a massive spa, among other luxuries. Still, should all that ocean journeying become a bit too wearying, guests can always retreat to their suites, all of which have private verandas. In fact, when it debuts, Explora I will have the most space per passenger of any vessel anywhere. — Paul Brady
Antarctica is so last year. While Greenland may not have penguins, it does promise plenty of beautiful landscapes and seemingly endless horizons. The newly christened National Geographic Resolution will sail the Eastern shore of Greenland in June 2023, with opportunities to explore the Rømer Fjord depending on conditions. Ponant has a dozen distinct itineraries scheduled for 2023, including a number of round trips from Kangerlussuaq, in Western Greenland, that explore Baffin Bay. The brand-new Seabourn Venture, the line’s first expedition ship, will also be there in 2023; one particularly compelling August itinerary starts in Iceland, spends nearly three weeks along Greenland’s coast, then continues through the Northwest Passage before wrapping in Anchorage, Alaska. More conventional operators, such as Regent Seven Seas Cruises, are making the polar destination a fixture, too. The Seven Seas Navigator will visit Prince Christian Sound and make calls in Nuuk and Paamiut on a June 2023 sailing between New York City and Reykjavik. — Paul Brady
Goran Stimac/Getty Images
Those seeking a brighter 2023 will find it on Hvar: This Dalmatian Coast island calls itself the sunniest in Croatia. That means plenty of time for cycling more than 100 miles of bikeable terrain or kayak trips to secluded beaches. At night, those clear skies make for incredible stargazing: Jesla, on the island’s north shore, was named the first International Dark Sky Community in Southern Europe in 2022; and Moeesy , the island’s newest luxury hotel, has one room with an over-the-bed skylight for bedtime viewing. The town of Velo Grablje’s 14th-century charm peaks in July, when the lavender festival blooms with food, drink, and family-friendly activities all centered around the fragrant Mediterranean plant. And in Hvar proper, the harborside Riva Marina hotel reopened in June 2022 with refreshed waterfront terrace suites and a new restaurant and bar concept focused on local ingredients. Just down the block is the island’s first sustainable hotel , Beach Bay , which opened this past summer 2022 with an off-grid solar power system and a commitment to honor UNESCO’s Sustainable Travel Pledge . — Nina Ruggiero
The Path of Totality
A total solar eclipse, in which the moon blocks the sun and plunges the Earth into momentary darkness, is a “relatively common” phenomenon, NASA heliophysicist Dr. Michael Kirk told T+L. The trick is that most eclipses happen over water or in extremely remote places — which is why spotting the next one, on April 20, 2023, will be all about the chase. The upcoming path of totality will cross the Indian Ocean, graze Western Australia, then sweep across Indonesia and East Timor into the Pacific; astro-enthusiasts can chart its full course with the Totality app . That means the best way to catch the show will be to board a ship , such as the 188-passenger Le Lapérouse, for a Ponant and Smithsonian Journeys cruise from Bali, Indonesia, to Broome, Australia. The new Indonesia-based charter yacht Celestia will also be sailing around the edges of totality, making visits to the islands of Komodo National Park, the Moluccas, and Raja Ampat. The very best odds for viewing, said NASA’s Kirk, will be in Western Australia, where “the Exmouth Peninsula, Barrow Island, and the sea in between should have clear skies.” Eclipse chasers could drive the 750 miles from Perth to Cape Range National Park on the Ningaloo Reef–fringed Exmouth, but Tropical Sails Corp’s Pacific Explorer , which can take you there from Perth on a five-day Indian Ocean sail, seems a far more pleasant journey. — Maya Kachroo-Levine
For Fresh Air and Nature
Courtesy of Pal-Arinsal Ski Resort
This tiny European country, which at 181 square miles is smaller than Chicago, could soon turn into one of the world’s biggest ski destinations. The mountainous country, situated between France and Spain, has long been known for its reliable December-to-April conditions thanks to its high-altitude perch in the Pyrenees. But now, for the first time, three Andorra ski areas have been added to the Ikon Pass , putting a collective 7,600 acres of downhill terrain across 215 runs and 123 lifts into play for holders of the global lift ticket. At the same time, the three destinations of Grandvalira , Ordino Arcalís , and Pal-Arinsal (or, collectively, the Grandvalira Resorts Andorra ) will be available on a single local Andorra Pass , which starts at about $50 a day, a bargain by any big-mountain standards. Alternatively, visitors can opt for a newly launched Nord Pass, a multi-day ticket that works at both Ordino Arcalís and Pal-Arinsal for less than $40 per day. So, while these affordable mountains remain a bit of a challenge to reach — Grandvalira can be a four-hour drive from Barcelona — the days of smaller crowds may soon be a thing of the past. — Jamie Aranoff
Asheville, North Carolina
This flannel-clad city in the Blue Ridge Mountains checks all the boxes, with year-round outdoor activities, sophisticated dining, and easy access, whether you’re driving or flying. (Asheville Regional Airport is on pace for a record-breaking 2022 , with service from 25 destinations.) But the year ahead offers more reasons to visit, starting with some cool new places to stay: Wrong Way River Lodge has a collection of A-frame cabins along the French Broad River that are perfect for white-water rafters. AutoCamp Asheville , another glamping-esque abode with Airstream campers, is slated to open by mid-2023. Downtown, the new Restoration Hotel promises a properly plush stay; its sister property in Charleston consistently ranks in T+L's World's Best Awards . (For those who’d rather be even closer to nature, The Glamping Collective is a newly opened, 160-acre site with domed pods and glass cabins situated a short drive from the city.) Asheville’s food scene has fresh energy from S&W Market , Asheville’s first food hall and the brainchild of award-winning chef Meherwan Irani. For all that’s new, visitors shouldn’t skip the old standbys: French Broad Chocolates is a local fave that’s since gone national, and Battery Park Book Exchange is the prime spot for a late-night glass of Champagne amid dusty bookshelves. — Samantha Falewée
Chile’s Aysén region lies between two popular destinations — Torres del Paine National Park and the Lake District — with a captivating landscape of hanging glaciers, magnificent fjords, pristine lakes, and jagged peaks. Yet this 41,000-square-mile swath in northern Patagonia — the least populated in Chile — remains largely unexplored by visitors, in part because of its topography. But now, several outfitters and organizations, including Chile’s Route of Parks , are developing more itineraries and ecotourism routes for the non-mountain-scaling adventure traveler, with less-daunting activities like kayaking, hiking, and biking. Not long ago, travel company Explora opened a lodge in Aysén’s Patagonia National Park (working with nonprofit Rewilding Chile to support conservation and educational efforts) and launched eight- to 12-day trips that make travel across the region convenient, with flights, accommodations, and activities included. Factor in loosened COVID-19 restrictions and a newly elected president (the country’s youngest in history) as additional reasons to go now. Then there’s the continually growing partnership between Delta Air Lines and Latam, which allows for mutual lounge access and easy nonstop flights from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City to Santiago, which is just a short connecting hop from Coyhaique, the gateway to Aysén. — Alisha Prakash
The Hudson Valley, New York
Yes, the stretch north of New York City and south of Albany, along the banks of the lordly Hudson River, has been attracting enterprising former urbanites — as well as savvy travelers in search of charming towns and idyllic countryside — for the past century or so. But its transition from quasi-rustic to quietly glam marks a new and intriguing chapter. Next summer, The Ranch Hudson Valley , an offshoot of the West Coast’s rigorous retreat The Ranch Malibu, will open on a grand estate built by financier J.P. Morgan (as a gift for his daughter’s marriage to Alexander Hamilton’s great-grandson) and will offer multi-day programs to revive weary New Yorkers. Meanwhile, Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection , a property with 60 freestanding cabins and cottages, will highlight the pastoral side of the region, with a farm-to-table restaurant and 140 acres of orchards and wildflower gardens. The region’s reputation for top-notch cuisine continues with the upscale tavern fare at Merchants Social in Hudson and Stissing House in Pine Plains, the Southern-inflected Darlings in Tilson, and the sweet fantasia of the Catskills Chocolate Co. in Catskill. (Longtime cheesemongers Talbott and Arding have recently moved to a beautiful new space in Hudson, too.) But don’t forget to leave room for culture. In Catskill, Foreland is a self-billed kunsthalle that extends across three 19th-century mills with exhibition spaces and artist studios. And the beloved sculpture park Storm King Art Center is getting a $45-million overhaul that includes an extensive new visitors center. — Peter Terzian
Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Thomas Retterath/Getty Images
“Zambia is a destination so many people miss,” said travel advisor Leora Rothschild . “The country’s Lower Zambezi National Park is one of my favorite destinations anywhere. Having a safari on a river adds a dynamic element,” she notes, since being on the water offers a different perspective than travelers get while on a game drive or in camp. Among the best places to take in this wildlife-rich destination is at one of its newest lodges , the luxurious eight-suite Lolebezi , which African Bush Camps opened inside the park and on the banks of the river this past June. It’s an ideal base from which to explore Lower Zambezi, which sits opposite Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to what the agency calls its “ dramatic landscape ” and “huge herds of elephant and buffalo.” Though remote, this corner of Zambia has recently gotten a bit easier to access, as pandemic-era travel regulations have loosened. Air Botswana announced in May 2022 that, following a two-year hiatus, it would relaunch flights from Gaborone, Botswana to Lusaka, Zambia. — Samantha Falewée
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Tourism PEI/Sander Meurs
As Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island might get overlooked in favor of the country’s bigger, badder destinations for outdoor thrills. But this tiny island — known to many as the setting of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved “Anne of Green Gables” series — packs a punch. Here, you’ll find rugged cliffs, red-sand beaches , and a surprisingly robust golf scene, with 27 courses. Perhaps the biggest draw for adventurous travelers right now is the Island Walk , a 435-mile trail that opened in 2021 . Tracing the entire coastline, it passes through dozens of small towns and fishing villages. Walkers can start and end at any point, but the entire loop would take about 32 days, assuming a pace of 12-15 miles a day. Not that you’ve got to be hardcore to enjoy the trail: Towns and villages along the route have plenty to offer even non-hikers, such as the relatively new Slaymaker & Nichols , a cozy inn and gastropub in Charlottetown, the provincial capital. Classic PEI experiences endure, such as the seafood-focused, multi-course “ culinary experience ” from celebrity chef Michael Smith at the Inn at Bay Fortune . — Liz Cantrell
When high-speed internet was installed at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak, this past August, it was just the latest example of the new era dawning in Tanzania. The leader of the country’s changing face is President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the first woman of color and the first Muslim to lead this country, who took office in 2021. “I never expected that one day I would be president,” President Hassan told PBS . Not that she’s wasting any time. Since taking power, she’s devoted herself to strengthening infrastructure, women’s businesses, education, health care — she received her COVID-19 vaccine on live television to encourage others to get immunized — and sustainable travel. This summer, the Usangu Expedition Camp in Ruaha National Park opened in partnership with the Tanzania National Parks Authority , and the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute ; Selous Safari Company recently refreshed its six-suite private reserve on Fanjove Island, a jumping off point for “marine safaris” by dive boat or kayak. — Samantha Falewée
Uttar Pradesh, India
Luis Dafos/Getty Images
Pummeled by the pandemic, India suffered through a grim 20-month closure, only reopening to travelers at the end of 2021. However, at long last — and with COVID-19 cases now under control thanks to large-scale vaccination programs that have delivered more than 2 billion doses — 2023 is primed to be the year visitors return to this soul-stirring country in full force. While many travelers will opt for Rajasthan’s royal palaces and desert jewels, there’s good reason to discover Uttar Pradesh on your next trip. India’s fourth-largest state is home to classic attractions including the Taj Mahal, in Agra, and the Ganges River ghats of Varanasi, the nation’s holiest city. But the new draws here include Vana, a wellness retreat in the Himalayan foothills of Dehradun. The resort, which is now managed by the World’s Best Award–winning hospitality company Six Senses, has rooms and suites that prioritize the lush landscape with balconies and terraces overlooking the surrounding forest and gardens, offering a true breath of fresh air. — Alisha Prakash
For Beach Vibes
Patrick Michael Chin
Already a favorite weekend getaway for East Coasters, Bermuda will become even easier to get to in 2023. American Airlines resumed flights to the island from New York City's John F. Kennedy International in November, which the carrier had paused in the early days of the pandemic. Upon arrival at L.F. Wade International, travelers are now greeted in a new $400-million terminal with automated immigration gates and preclearance for U.S.-bound passengers — plus unexpected extras like a putting green and an outdoor nature trail. Bermuda’s resort stock is on the rise, too: Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa recently debuted a top-to-bottom renovation, adding villas and a Bermudian outpost of Sunken Harbor Club, the tropical cocktail bar above Brooklyn, New York’s wildly popular steakhouse Gage & Tollner. The St. Regis Bermuda is another high-end hotel option, which opened in 2021 with the nation’s first casino and incredible views of Fort St. Catherine. The island recently rolled back all COVID-19 entry requirements, but the Atlantic country’s remote work program — which launched in July 2020 and allows for stays up to one year — is still running for anyone looking to make its pink-sand beaches a new home base. — Liz Cantrell
Warren Fleming-Hollinger/Getty Images
It just keeps getting easier to visit the Caymans. As of fall 2022, Cayman Airways flies nonstop from Los Angeles International to Grand Cayman, the first direct route from the West Coast to the British territory. “Getting to Hawaii takes longer,” said Kenneth Bryan, Cayman Islands honorable minister for tourism and transport, in an interview with T+L. Wherever they’re flying in from, visitors will find plenty of new offerings along Seven Mile Beach, on Grand Cayman’s west shore. Chief among them is the freshly renovated Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman , which is now outfitted with a La Prairie Spa and Saint June restaurant, complete with a beachfront bar. (The property is thankfully still home to the long-running, annual Cayman Cookout .) For travelers who prefer heart-pumping adventure to pool- or beachside relaxation, the Caymans can deliver: Hiking reserves like the 100-year-old Mastic Trail on Grand Cayman or the Bluff on Cayman Brac may not be as well known as the islands’ beaches — but they should be. Meanwhile a growing art scene is beginning to draw international attention, thanks to shows at the well-established National Gallery of the Cayman Islands as well as the vibey, creative atmosphere at new hotels such as Palm Heights , as T+L recently reported . — Christine Burroni
© Tali Kimelman/Posada Ayana
The vast skies, empty beaches, and delicious food of Uruguay remain as alluring as they’ve ever been. Still, 2023 promises to be a breakout year for the country’s lowkey coastal destinations, thanks to an ever-growing art scene that adds a layer of culture to this already inviting stretch along the Southern Atlantic. Among the newest must-sees is the Atchugarry Museum of Contemporary Art in Punta del Este, a 90-acre campus which opened in early 2022. Also nearby is artist James Turrell’s “Ta Khut,” an experiential Skyspace that opened in late 2021 at Posada Ayana, a small hotel in José Ignacio. (The seaside village is also home to intriguing contemporary collections at three Vik Retreats properties, including Bahia Vik , with its oceanfront bungalows.) A short drive from José Ignacio, the village of Garzón has lately become a hub for multidisciplinary artists thanks to Campo , an incubator and non-profit that brings creatives to this still-rural corner of Uruguay. — Paul Brady
Lush mountains, bustling beach towns , and idyllic resorts make Guadeloupe the perfect place for adventurous travelers looking for something Caribbean but different. In recent years, though, it’s been difficult for U.S. travelers to reach this French overseas department — particularly after Norwegian ceased its nonstop flights to the destination in 2019. Now, things are looking up again, as JetBlue has relaunched its nonstop service from New York City to the gateway city of Pointe-à-Pitre in November 2022. SkyTeam faithfuls can also now get there on Air France, on nonstops from either Miami or New York; American Airlines also serves the archipelago from Miami. First-timers tend to focus on two of the islands, Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre, the latter of which is home to Guadeloupe National Park. (A local tour company such as Vert Intense can help with the logistics of seeing Carbet Falls and La Grande Soufrière volcano.) Accommodations tend away from big brand names, though — this being France — there is an all-inclusive, beachfront Club Med La Caravelle . Other well-regarded options include the remote, hillside Le Jardin Malanga Hotel , with its dramatic ocean views, or the cliffside villas of the boutique-y La Toubana Hotel & Spa , along the southern shore of Grande-Terre. — Christine Burroni
The Jersey Shore, New Jersey
“The real thing is quite different from TV,” George Distefano told T+L. Now a hotelier, Distefano grew up on the Jersey Shore — and today is doing his part to change the narrative around the beloved summer destination. His latest project, The James Bradley , is a 17-room inn that opened in Bradley Beach in August 2022 and is aimed at a crowd that’s perhaps quieter, chicer, and altogether less interesting to MTV producers. In nearby Asbury Park , which has long been a barometer of development, openings of The Asbury Hotel and the Asbury Ocean Club and Residences signal the start of a bougier era. Even Atlantic City is now substantially more chic, after many casino resorts, including Bally’s , Caesars , and Ocean , used the pandemic-induced dip in visitors to undertake hundreds of millions of dollars in renovations. “The area as a whole has had a bit of a renaissance,” Distefano said. One telling indicator of where the Shore is headed next? A Nobu Hotel is slated to open on the boardwalk any day now. — Hannah Walhout
Hawaii has been in the midst of a multi-year rethink about how tourism impacts the state . “We seek to balance the economic vitality of our industry with the health of our natural environment and the well-being of our communities,” is how Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO John De Fries put it this past summer . On Maui, that balance has been struck recently in efforts to renovate and reimagine some of the island’s most popular resorts. The 54-acre Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua , to take one example, is finishing up a major overhaul that includes a reimagined aquatic complex (with three “zero-edge” swimming pools), an expanded Club Lounge , and programming that will include not just cocktail classes and cooking demonstrations but also lei making and musical performances by Hawaiian artists. On the southwest coast of the island, The Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort is in the midst of its own refresh of all 776 guest rooms and suites; some are, happily, already good to go. There’s other progress beyond hotels: e-bikes are now plentiful on Maui, thanks to a recent rule change that allows them on island roads. Companies like RideSmart Maui lend out wheels that make exploring a breeze, whether your interest lies in the historic sites of Lahaina or the beautiful beaches around Wailea. — John Wogan
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Courtesy of Chablé Hotels
This picturesque stretch of the Yucatán peninsula is in the midst of welcoming four marquee hotels. The Waldorf Astoria Cancun just opened, a brand-new build with 173 rooms and five dining venues all overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Casa Chablé and The St. Regis Kanai Resort are slated to open in early 2023, followed by the Riviera Maya Edition at Kanai in spring 2023. Not new but refreshed is Maroma, a Belmond Hotel , which will reopen in May 2023 after a year-long closure with 10 new oceanfront suites and Latin America's first Guerlain spa. Farther south, closer to Tulum, the ultra-luxurious Hotel Esencia has added a posh new 10,000-square-foot, four-bedroom mansion tricked out with fitness and screening rooms, an underground speakeasy, and three pools — the perfect thing for a friends’ getaway. Not that hotels are the only draw: The last section of the new Maya Train project, which connects Cancun and Tulum, is expected to open by the end of 2023 after delays to address environmental and archeological concerns . The route will make several cultural and historic sites , including Chichén Itzá, more accessible and connect travelers to other destinations in the state of Quintana Roo, including Bacalar, Playa del Carmen, and Puerto Morelos. Also on the horizon is the opening of the long-awaited Tulum airport, which Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said will be completed by the end of 2023. — Sarah Bruning
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection
Long a vacationer’s paradise, this section of Mexico’s Pacific coast between Puerto Vallarta and the beach town of San Blas is only getting better in the year ahead. The 59-room Susurros del Corazón , Auberge Resorts Collection, began welcoming guests in November 2022 with experiences that include an introduction to raicilla , a lesser-known agave spirit, and boating excursions in Islas Marietas, a national park known for its biodiversity. On its heels, Naviva, A Four Seasons Resort , which is the second tented camp property from the brand , will open in December 2022. Accommodating just 30 people at a time, the lush 48-acre property is making wellness a key focus, so guests can expect to unwind with options like a temascal ceremony and nocturnal forest bathing sessions. An extra incentive to go? JetBlue launched new nonstop flights from JFK to Puerto Vallarta International, which serves as the gateway to the region. — Sarah Bruning
U.S. Virgin Islands
Courtesy of USVI Department of Tourism; Jamie Aranoff
With no pandemic restrictions, no passport needed, and plenty of inbound flights, the U.S. Virgin Islands are challenging Bermuda for the title of easiest warm-weather getaway for East Coasters. What’s more, the islands just established a Territorial Park System Trust Fund Board which will protect and preserve attractions like St. Croix’s Great Salt Pond and St. John’s Oppenheimer Beach. Caribbean flavors are, once again, another reason to go: The King of the Wing competition on St. Thomas, which celebrates creative chicken cookery, is back after a two-year hiatus; the 23rd annual Taste of St. Croix festival, one of the largest culinary events in the region, happens in April. Carnival , which returned in 2022, will be another event to watch in the year ahead. St. Thomas celebrates from late April through early May with food fairs, pageants, and parades; St. John fetes from late June through July 4, concluding with an Independence Day bash; and St. Croix sparkles from mid-December through Three Kings Day with more traditional, Christmas-centric fanfare. — Jamie Aranoff
For a Look at the Future
This past September, Bhutan, the impossibly scenic country between India and China, reopened to tourists after 30 months. But that’s nothing compared to the 60 years it’s taken to redevelop the 250-mile Trans-Bhutan Trail , which also reopened that month. Once the only way to travel across the Himalayan kingdom, the ancient pilgrimage route is now one of Bhutan’s biggest draws, a must-see for hikers, bikers, and other outdoorsy types. The trail connects 400 historic sites, with museums, fortresses, and temples along the way — plus stunning natural scenery and seemingly endless views. As part of its reopening, Bhutan has ended its policy requiring visitors to be accompanied 24/7 by a guide; instead, the nation has implemented an increased tourism tax, or Sustainable Development Fee, which is intended to fund social and cultural programs, infrastructure improvements, and environmental conservation. (The $200-a-day charge, up from $65, is also deliberately expensive, in an effort to keep visitor numbers low.) On the hotel front, Six Senses opened its fifth and final Bhutan lodge, Six Senses Bumthang , in March 2020, but the eco hideaway tucked in a pine forest in the town of Jakar, of course, has only just become accessible to foreigners. — Alisha Prakash
Boten–Vientiane Railway, Laos
Kaikeo Saiyasane/Xinhua via Getty Images
It’s not every day the world gets a new cross-country railroad. The ambitious Boten–Vientiane railway that stretches across Laos may have opened for business in late 2021, but now’s the time to jump aboard, as travel to Asia reopens to American visitors. The remarkable engineering project is one of many financed by China as part of the country’s Belt and Road Initiative that builds heavy infrastructure across Africa and Asia. In this case, the train has dramatically slashed travel times across the difficult-to-drive if strikingly beautiful landscapes of Laos: Trips that would’ve taken a full day by road can now be done in just a couple hours of train-carriage comfort, as T+L recently reported . The route runs from the northern border town of Boten to Luang Prabang, which is known for its many temples. It then continues on to Vang Vieng, a gateway to some of the country’s most dramatic landscapes, before arriving in the capital, Vientiane, on the border with Thailand. Intermediate stations will help open up to visitors parts of the country that haven’t historically benefited from tourism, as Ruben Derksen, director of product and digital at Bangkok-based tour operator Exo Travel , told T+L. In the years ahead, the 257-mile railway may become even more critical, as just one segment of a Singapore to Shanghai route that will make continent-spanning journeys not just possible, but pleasant. — Paul Brady
Rudy Sulgan/Getty Images
Kyoto is often thought of as the serene, slowed-down complement to go-go Tokyo. And, certainly, the former Japanese capital has its historic temples, gardens, and teahouses. But since Japan’s October 2022 reopening to independent travelers , this destination and its new draws demand fresh eyes. The city’s famous Gion Matsuri , or festival, is set to return in full force in July 2023 following a pandemic pause, with enormous floats and a wealth of food and drink offerings; the event, which was first held in 869, is said to be Japan’s biggest festival. In August, Kyoto celebrates Gozan Okuribi , a bonfire celebration visible across the city that marks the close of Obon, a festival honoring ancestors. New hotels abound, including hospitality group Banyan Tree’s 138-room Dhawa Yura Kyoto , located in the heart of the city. Another new option is Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto , with 25 rooms set amid lush greenery in front of Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also new — yet firmly rooted in the city’s history — is the recently opened Maana Kiyomizu , where visitors can spend the night in restored machiya , traditional wooden townhouses. Though Japan has only just reopened, it’s already getting even easier to get there, thanks to Delta Air Lines’ brand-new routes from Hawaii to Tokyo plus flights that resumed this fall from Los Angeles. — Alisha Prakash
Barry Tobin; Courtesy of Tourism New Zealand
After a stringent lockdown, New Zealand has at last dropped all travel restrictions. Happily, the country is becoming more accessible than ever, thanks to the nonstop flights between New York and Auckland that Air New Zealand launched in September. (That long haul has also gotten comfier, thanks to the airline’s Economy Skycouch seats.) Wondering if those 17 hours in the air will be worth it? Auckland continues to evolve with no shortage of dazzling new places to stay. The 99-room Hotel Britomart , lined in timber and exuding Zen calm, is at the heart of Auckland’s Britomart District, nine blocks of historic warehouses converted into shops and restaurants. Mawhiti Walheke is a luxurious modern guest pavilion on a vineyard-covered island a short ferry ride from the city. And New Zealand’s spectacular landscape finally has a showstopper of a property to match it: Flock Hill , a fully serviced four-bedroom villa on a sheep ranching station in the Southern Alps region of South Island. — Peter Terzian
© Gre goire Le Bacon
The village of Teahupo’o, on the southwestern coast of Tahiti, will take center stage during the 2024 Paris Olympics, despite being 9,800 miles from the French capital. But unless you’re planning to compete, the year ahead is the ideal time for a closer look at this part of French Polynesia, before the world’s attention turns to the South Pacific. Some of the incredible waves here rate among the most fearsome on the planet — hence the name Teahupo’o, which essentially means “wall of skulls” — while others are more rideable for those with some surfing experience. Accommodations such as Tahurai can organize coaching sessions, including some hosted by local surf icon Tereva David. Those more comfortable watching the waves than riding them can get on the water with tour companies such as Teahupo’o Tahiti Surfari , which takes visitors by boat to see the famous Teahupo’o swell, one of the highest and heaviest waves in the world, as well as waterfalls, lagoons, lava tubes, and cliff-diving spots around the island. Meanwhile, it’s gotten easier than ever to reach Tahiti, thanks to Delta Air Lines’ new nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Fa'a'ā International Airport. Air Tahiti Nui has also added connectivity, with the only nonstop flights between Seattle and Tahiti, which took off in October. — Jamie Aranoff
Victoria, British Columbia
Carlina Teteris/Getty Images
What does it look like for a city to meaningfully prioritize “sustainability,” a word that often ends up more “feel-good” than actually “do-good?” Victoria is maximizing its green impact, aiming to make all new buildings carbon neutral by 2025 and halve landfill waste by 2040. Admittedly, few travelers pick destinations based on zero-waste initiatives, but it’s easy to take an environmentally minded trip to Victoria — the city even has suggested “green travel” itineraries , capitalizing on the outdoor beauty of places like Goldstream Provincial Park, one of many green spaces on Vancouver Island. Visitors have their choice of carbon-neutral hotels, such as Inn at Laurel Point and Parkside Hotel & Spa , and can even do carbon-neutral fast food at Big Wheel Burger , Canada’s first such restaurant. Other eco-minded activities include e-biking along the Saanich Peninsula to seaside towns like Sidney — with stops at picturesque wineries or the Butchart Gardens along the way — or hopping aboard an orca-watching cruise with Eagle Wing Tours , which is, of course, part of 1% for the Planet . — Liz Cantrell
JJ Farquitectos/Getty Images
Austria’s capital city may be old — like, Holy Roman Empire old — but 2023 will see neue life in this historic destination. The year ahead is the 150th anniversary of Vienna’s World’s Fair, and the celebrations include 12 months of cultural events. It’s also the 300th anniversary of the opening of the Belvedere , the palatial museum that’s mounting an art nouveau exhibit featuring 90 Gustav Klimt works in February. Adaptive reuse is also on trend here, and the recently opened Rosewood Vienna is but one example, set in a neoclassical building that was once a bank headquarters and, before that, an apartment building where Mozart lived. The now-reopened Reznicek is a contemporary gasthaus inside a 100-year-old inn; Grace ’s Michelin-starred fare is served in a refurbished wood-paneled café reminiscent of the ‘70s. Not that Vienna is only looking to the past: New initiatives have added 1,000 miles of bike paths, carsharing via WienMobil , a robust network of electric buses, and new development in the fast-growing Aspern neighborhood where every public space and street is named after a woman . Other new additions include Hotel Josefine , with its sultry Roaring ‘20s energy and Hotel Gilbert , with a greenery-cloaked façade and Scandi-inspired design. Nonstop flights from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, New York City, and Washington, D.C. are always an option but the most au courant way in may be the new Paris to Vienna Nightjet train , which runs three days a week, with private cabins with lie-flat beds and breakfast in the morning. — Maya Kachroo-Levine
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Where to go in 2024: The 16 best places to travel
This past year has been a time of regeneration, renewal and reckoning for travelers and the travel industry alike.
Travel has certainly resurged since pandemic-related restrictions were lifted ... but it is different from before.
Travelers faced new frustrations, whether it was higher prices, longer wait times or more crowds. Destinations eager to welcome back waves of visitors were confronted with obstacles like unprepared infrastructure, the impact of inflation on local populations and unforeseen environmental calamities. Hotels and airlines continued to struggle with staffing shortages, operational challenges and supply chain issues.
And yet, despite those hurdles, the desire to travel has never shone brighter. Intrepid adventurers journeyed to new (to them) corners of the globe in search of unique experiences. Folks who had perhaps put off a trip or two found reasons to take them. And all of us discovered the joy of reconnecting with loved ones near and far.
As we look ahead to next year, we are excited to share our list of the best places to go in 2024, drawing from our own editorial team's expertise and also that of our outstanding group of contributors from around the world.
We thought long and hard about things like new airline routes , fabulous hotel openings and events set to take the world stage by storm. But at The Points Guy, we also think why we travel is as important as where we travel.
Maybe you want to use your hard-earned points for an over-the-top flight in Singapore Airlines' Suites or just to get the family together at Grandma's house for an overdue visit. Perhaps you want a carefree all-inclusive beach vacation , or to get firsthand insights into a destination at the forefront of sustainability .
From the thrill of Olympic competition in France to the otherworldly landscapes of Bolivia, the wildlife-rich Bissagos Islands of Guinea-Bissau and the exciting design developments taking place in both San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico — whatever your travel goals or preferences, we've got an incredible roster of places just waiting to be explored next year.
Get ready for a few surprises, a dash of inspiration and a healthy helping of wanderlust as we share our most exciting places to travel to in 2024.
— Eric Rosen
Best for experiencing once-in-a-lifetime events on the world stage
Whether it's high fashion or haute cuisine, France is known for creating creme-de-la-creme experiences. But the sheer number of special events and exciting new developments expected to take place there in 2024 will have even the French exclaiming, "Sacré bleu!"
The marquee happening, of course, will be the 2024 Summer Olympics from July 26-Aug. 11. The opening ceremony will take place along the Seine in the heart of Paris , but showstopping venues will include the magnificent grounds of Versailles for the equestrian events, various stadiums throughout the country, and even French Polynesia for the surfing competition. The stage is set for a truly spectacular set of games.
The Olympics have even displaced the Tour de France from its normal final stage along the Champs-Elysees in Paris. The alternate is, thankfully, a sun-splashed finish line along the Cote d'Azur in Nice . That's within easy driving distance of the relatively new Carlton Cannes , a luxurious reimagining of one of France's most iconic hotels courtesy of IHG. Hilton is also planning a vast French expansion with various branded properties in cities including Cannes, Dijon, Bordeaux and Marseille.
On a more somber note, June 6 will mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, and the region is planning over 100 special events to commemorate this historic event, including a June 1 sound-and-light show using 2,500 drones over the five landing beaches. From March 22-Sept. 22, the region will also host the Normandy Impressionist Festival, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition. Events will include a major show of James Abbott McNeill Whistler at Rouen's Fine Arts Museum, while the Musee d'Orsay in Paris will host the "Paris 1874: The Impressionist Moment" showcase of 130 masterpieces of painting, sculpture, photographs and more.
In the east, Strasbourg will be UNESCO's 2024 World Book Capital, with events organized around various themes like poetry, refuge, debate and more. The Alsatian capital is also home to one of Europe's most charming Christmas markets in the month leading up to the holiday , which is well worth a visit.
Wine lovers should head to Bordeaux for its famous Fete le Vin from June 27-30 to enjoy the region's famous vintages and gourmet delicacies, along with live music and other performances. They can even put their Accor points to use with a stay at a new Philippe Starck-designed, 97-room Mondrian constructed around a historic 19th-century building right in the city center, complete with an expansive open-air terrace. Now that's something worth toasting to.
TPG tip: Hotel reservations around the Olympics can be notoriously hard to confirm and Paris is cracking down on short-term rentals, so if you plan to attend the Games, prepare to pay high prices for an official package ... or take your chances trying to book something at the last minute.
San Diego, California & Tijuana, Mexico
Best for art and design lovers who appreciate cross-cultural collaborations
In a first, two neighboring cities in two different countries have been designated the World Design Capital for 2024: San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico. The World Design Organization accolade recognizes cities that effectively utilize design to enhance their residents' economic, social, cultural and environmental quality of life. San Diego and Tijuana will celebrate the designation through unique experiences, from events and festivals to exhibitions and summits.
Community events scheduled throughout 2024 include Tijuana's World Design Street Festival (April 28), where travelers can attend concerts, public design workshops, exhibitions and design studio open houses. The Mingei International Museum in San Diego and the Centro Cultural Tijuana will simultaneously host an exhibition called "Frontera," focused on jewelry design. In September, both cities will host an interactive World Design Experience.
Aside from its WDO duties, San Diego has a lot going on. One of the West Coast's largest adaptive reuse projects, the 10-acre, sustainably designed Horton Campus , set for completion at the end of 2023, has transformed a former downtown shopping mall into a chic development with white-and-glass structures, parks, shops and lab space, each with either a green roof or solar panels.
San Diego's white-hot culinary scene continues to heat up, with Valle winning Oceanside's first Michelin star earlier this year. Restaurant openings to look forward to in 2024 include all-day cafe Wildflour from award-winning chef Phillip Esteban, the farm-and-vine-to-table Cellar Hand , and chef Brian Malarkey's highly anticipated French-inspired steakhouse, Le Coq, in the tony coastal enclave of La Jolla.
San Diego's hotel roster is also growing. The new owners of the historic Lafayette Hotel in North Park, which had fallen into disrepair, unveiled a stylish $31 million renovation this summer, and the bucolic Inn at Rancho Santa Fe will celebrate its 100th anniversary following the completion of multimillion-dollar renovations in 2024. The iconic Hotel del Coronado is in the throes of a wholesale revamp. The Beach Village at The Del will unveil a full makeover at the end of 2023, while its Victorian section will be renovated in 2025. A new 39-room boutique hotel in Coronado called The Bower is also slated to debut in fall 2024.
Tijuana got its own new hotel in 2023: Hotel Brecha , a boutique hotel with art-filled walls and nine sleek rooms. Recent bar and restaurant openings across the city's diverse culinary scene include the speakeasy-style Border Saloon and seafood spots Don Vergas Mariscos Tijuana and Don Timon .
TPG tip: Tijuana, which has been sorely lacking in green space, will have a new eco-park by the end of 2024, Parque Esperanto . The 320-acre plot will involve the reforestation of 15,000 trees and feature amenities like an open-air gym, sports fields, zip lines, children's play areas and a bicycle path.
— Devorah Lev-Tov
Best for lovers of tea and tigers keen to explore one of India's hidden corners
Home to a fascinating blend of Indigenous tribes, awe-inspiring landscapes, traditional mountain villages and UNESCO-inscribed national parks, the eastern Indian region of Assam has cultural and natural wonders just waiting for travelers to explore — without the crowds you might find in better-known South Asian destinations.
The region's main artery, the mighty 1,800-mile-long Brahmaputra River, runs from the Himalayan highlands of Tibet to Assam's wildlife-rich floodplains, bordered by lush, terraced tea plantations, ornate temples and riverside villages.
Even with just a week or 10 days for your journey, you can learn about tea cultivation in Jorhat (Assam produces over 50% of India's famed tea), marvel at imposing Ahom temples in bustling Sivasagar — the sacred former capital of Assam's Ahom kings — and learn about the socially inclusive religion of neo-Vaishnavism on Majuli, one of the world's largest river islands and a haven for birdlife.
Straddling the border with Bhutan, UNESCO-listed Manas National Park is a biodiversity hot spot known for its sightings of buffaloes and rhinoceroses that graze in forests that surround the Manas River. The highlight of any visit, though, is a Jeep safari to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kaziranga, which provides sanctuary to endangered one-horned rhinoceroses, Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, panthers, bears, gaurs (Indian bison) and myriad other species.
Next year, several new cruise itineraries will make the region more accessible to travelers keen to get off the beaten path without sacrificing creature comforts. Banyan Tours will operate four-, seven- and 10-night Assam cruises from Kolkata aboard the luxurious ABN Charaidew II and the more intimate 12-cabin ABN Sukhapa . Both ships feature spacious, beautifully appointed cabins, large sun decks, small spas, a library, gourmet cuisine and onboard naturalists. Guests can spend time in between excursions scouring the waters for species such as the endangered Ganges river dolphin and the smooth-coated otter.
TPG tip : For travelers looking for rare tiger and mammal encounters across several Indian regions, in January, andBeyond will offer a 16-day limited-edition Project Tiger Expedition that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of India's renowned tiger conservation initiative. The itinerary begins in Delhi before visiting three of India's most iconic national parks: Kanha, Kaziranga and Ranthambhore.
— Caroline Lascom
Best for an affordable Mediterranean beach getaway
Turquoise Mediterranean waters lapping beautiful beaches? Check. Picturesque hilltop villages? Check. Forest-covered mountains and mouthwatering food and wine? Check and check. Albania has all the attributes of more popular Southeastern Europe destinations like the Greek islands but without the crowds and the high price tag.
Begin your adventure in Tirana, the capital city, where Brutalist architecture blends with charming, tree-filled neighborhoods. Take a cable car ride up Mount Dajti for panoramic views of the city and stay at the sophisticated Tirana Marriott , though IHG loyalists might want to hold out for the opening of the InterContinental in 2025.
Just an hour southwest from Tirana International Airport (TIA), check in to the newly opened Melia Durres Albania, a luxurious beachfront retreat in a dreamy beach town offering stunning Adriatic Sea views and an opportunity to unwind.
Heading south along the coast, enjoy picturesque beaches while exploring charming towns like Dhermi and Jale, and savor the local cuisine, renowned for its fresh seafood and Mediterranean spices.
Then, immerse yourself in the country's vibrant summer music scene . The weeklong Kala Festival in early June features house, disco, soul and funk music across five intimate stages along the pristine shores of the Ionian Sea.
Back in the hinterlands, you can delight in mouthwatering delicacies at the AgriTourism Huqi farm located a short drive from the capital, like slow-cooked lamb (mish ne pus), and sample a variety of flavorful cow and goat cheeses. Don't forget to try local wines like the tangy white ceruja and full-bodied red kallmet at the family-run Nurellari Winery, less than a half-hour from the 13th-century fort city of Berat.
For an even deeper glimpse of the country's rich heritage and archaeological sites, wander its many ancient settlements, like Butrint, which played host to the Greek, Roman and Byzantine civilizations. Even with all that history, Albania feels exciting and new once again, and you won't have it to yourself for much longer.
TPG tip : Fly into a major European gateway like Frankfurt or Paris and then connect to Tirana via air. From there, book a one-way car rental to the port city of Sarande so that when your time in Albania is over, you can catch a 30-minute ferry to Corfu, Greece, where you have even more history and beaches to explore, and many low-cost flight options to major European airports.
— Matt Moffitt
Best for epic wildlife and sustainable travel
One of the most biodiverse places on Earth, framed by rugged Pacific and Caribbean coastlines and home to magical cloud forests, picture-perfect volcanoes and extraordinary marine reserves, Costa Rica has long captivated wild-at-heart travelers.
An eco-tourism pioneer in the 1990s, and dubbed the "Switzerland of South America" due to its mountainous green landscapes and political stability in a sometimes volatile region, Costa Rica continues to raise the bar with its commitment to environmental protections; over 25% of its land is national parks and reserves.
For travelers looking to combine sustainable outdoor adventures with sumptuous accommodations, 2024 is when it all comes together. A flurry of exciting new hotels are set to debut, including Nekajui, just the sixth of Marriott's ultraexclusive Ritz-Carlton Reserves . Designed with a light environmental footprint on a pristine swath of the Papagayo Peninsula, the 107-key resort takes inspiration from a traditional stone Costa Rican hacienda surrounded by treehouse-style buildings tucked discreetly into steep hillsides.
Nearby, the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Residences Guanacaste will be the brand's first Costa Rican outpost, embodying the "pura vida" lifestyle with a holistic wellness center and cenote-inspired spa. Elsewhere, the Four Seasons Resort Peninsula Papagayo comes back online following a multimillion-dollar renovation with a new beach club and expanded wellness offerings.
For travelers looking for a low-key retreat with easy airport access, as well as proximity to San Jose's cultural attractions, the new Hyatt Centric in Escazu — another brand first for Costa Rica — will offer World of Hyatt loyalists an ideal bookend to a Costa Rica road trip.
The wildlife-rich Osa Peninsula is more accessible (and especially alluring to points enthusiasts) these days thanks to the recent opening of Botanika, part of Hilton's Curio Collection. The eco-chic property places travelers within striking distance of Corcovado National Park, one of the best places on the planet to view sloths, toucans, giant anteaters, howler monkeys and ocelots.
Visit the region from August through December to witness one of the world's greatest natural attractions: humpback whales migrating to Golfo Dulce, one of just four tropical fjords on the planet. The habitat, critical for the survival of the whale species, was awarded Whale Heritage Site status in 2023, one of only eight such sites worldwide.
TPG tip : U.S. airlines are adding new flights to Costa Rica, including Delta Air Lines, which will boost its service from Atlanta with three additional flights per week to both San Jose and Liberia (for Papagayo) from Jan. 13. Flights on the Liberia route are currently available this winter starting at 26,000 Delta SkyMiles or $421 round-trip.
Best for glimpsing the future while exploring the past
The "Korean Wave" — a tide of global popularity the country's cultural economy has created thanks to K-pop music, K-dramas on television and movies — has swept the world in recent years. In fact, youth tour company Contiki has announced the first K-Wave trip to South Korea to showcase local pop culture.
However, South Korea's entertainment culture is just one of a long list of reasons this Asian sensation should be on your 2024 travel list.
Four distinct seasons provide stunning backdrops year-round, so there's no wrong time to visit. Spring brings the magic of Jinhae's cotton candy-pink cherry blossoms while crimson and cadmium foliage frames the historic temples of Naejangsa and Taeansa during fall.
The past and the future intersect in the capital, Seoul, where heritage sites like the 14th-century Jongmyo Shrine coexist with futuristic architecture, including the Zaha Hadid-designed Dongdaemun Design Plaza and the striking Seoul City Hall, with its seven-story vertical garden and prismatic glass facade.
Set to open in late 2024, the Seoul Robot and Artificial Intelligence Museum will showcase science and technology through interactive exhibits featuring AI and virtual reality. Robots aided in the museum's construction and will participate in its day-to-day operations, including welcoming guests and leading tours.
New spaces and exhibitions await visitors at the Busan Museum of Art, which showcases modern Korean artwork. Renovations begin in 2024 and will add high-tech features like evolving 3D projections.
A luxury clifftop island retreat overlooking the East China Sea, the stunning JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa, designed by Bill Bensley, debuted in 2023. And though it will be a while, in 2025, the luxury chain Capella Hotels and Resorts is set to open its first Korean property, Capella Yang Yang, near Songjeong Beach in Yangyang, Gangwon Province, where travelers can explore the region's famous pine forests and enjoy its ultrafresh seafood.
TPG tip: Travelers eager to explore South Korea's assorted allures can take advantage of increased airlift from the U.S. United Airlines has upped its frequencies between Incheon International Airport (ICN) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to 12 flights weekly. By the end of 2023, Air Premia will add flights between Seoul and Honolulu, too.
— Kristy Tolley
Eclipse path, United States
Best for travelers who want to see a rare total solar eclipse in their own backyard
On April 8, some 31.5 million Americans will be able to witness a total solar eclipse from their doorstep when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, completely blocking the sun's face. The heavenly event will cut its way across North America, passing through Texas, the Midwest and some Eastern states. It's a sight you won't want to miss — the next total solar eclipse won't be visible from the contiguous United States for another 20 years.
Parts of San Antonio will experience about two minutes of midday darkness, making it the largest U.S. city along the path of totality. The 15-mile-long San Antonio River Walk is just south of the path, so visitors there will only see a 99% partial eclipse. Nevertheless, many hotels and restaurants are hosting viewing events, including a Solar Brunch at The Moon's Daughters , where guests and locals can see the eclipse unfold from the indoor-outdoor perch on the 20th floor.
An hour northwest of San Antonio, the town of Kerrville, Texas, one of NASA's Primary Eclipse Partners, will have over four minutes of darkness. The Texas Hill Country community's Schreiner University will host a weekendlong festival with celestial yoga, trail walks and observatory tours.
With renowned institutions known for cutting-edge research in space science and technology — and expecting four minutes of totality — Dallas will be one of the best eclipse destinations. At the Perot Museum of Nature and Science , 20 astronomers will answer questions. The city's many hotels, meanwhile, plan to offer stylish viewing, like Virgin Hotels Dallas, which will host a lively rooftop pool party.
This will be Indianapolis' first total solar eclipse in more than 800 years, and the town is going all-out with a citywide party to celebrate its 3 1/2 minutes of totality, including events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (NASA will broadcast live from the venue) and the Indianapolis Zoo.
In Cleveland, another NASA partner city, a natural phenomenon known as a lake effect (where cool air blows away clouds from the shoreline of Lake Erie) will allow visitors to view the eclipse for nearly four minutes. Downtown, The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland is offering a solar eclipse package with club-level accommodations for two and celestial-themed cocktails. The Great Lakes Science Center and NASA's Glenn Research Center are hosting Total Eclipse Fest from April 6-8, with science activities for kids and a classical music concert.
Buffalo will experience just under four minutes of totality, with the best vantage points found inside Niagara Falls State Park, while the Sheraton Niagara Falls is offering a two-night package , including eclipse viewing glasses and breakfast.
In Vermont, Stowe Mountain Resort will whisk skiers and snowboarders via gondola to the top of Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak, for high-altitude views during the nearly three minutes of totality the town is set to experience.
TPG tip: Holland America has put together a 22-day Solar Eclipse cruise , where guests will depart from San Diego and experience the eclipse off the coast of Mexico.
— Casey Hatfield-Chiotti
Bissagos Islands, Guinea-Bissau
Best for intrepid naturalists seeking an under-the-radar destination
Sandwiched between Guinea and Senegal, Guinea-Bissau is one of West Africa's lesser-visited destinations, but that's what has helped keep the 88-island Bissagos archipelago 31 miles off its coast so untouched.
This astonishingly wildlife-rich island chain — often dubbed the Galapagos of Africa — is an idyll of empty white-sand beaches, thick mangroves, teeming lagoons and dense palm and cashew forests. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, the Bijagos (as they're also known) are home to thriving populations of saltwater hippopotamuses, manatees, dolphins, green sea turtles, flamingos, rays, sharks and around 175 fish and 500-plus bird species.
And you won't be vying for sightings with other safari vehicles or Zodiac boats. These paradisiacal islets are home to just 33,000 or so residents who hew to their traditional matriarchal society, and there are no formal resorts or ecolodges.
The archipelago has also been quite difficult to reach. However, a handful of luxury and small-ship cruises have begun to call at the islands. Ponant Cruises has just opened sales for its first dedicated nine-day "Adventure in the Bissagos Islands" itinerary (April 7-15, 2025) on Le Lyrial, which starts and ends in Dakar, Senegal. During the journey, guests can expect to spy towering baobabs and flocks of migratory birds, playful vervet monkeys and vividly colored lizards, and take part in ancient ceremonies alongside the Bijago people.
On board MS Spitsbergen, Hurtigruten now offers a 14-day "West Africa Archipelago" cruise (paired with Cape Verde), which includes four days of deploying small rigid inflatable boats and sea kayaks to navigate the islands and channels for awe-inspiring wildlife sightings. The line also arranges encounters with the islanders, who have acted as custodians of this wonderfully biodiverse and pristine part of Africa, and who dedicate some 100 days per year to sacred rites and ceremonies such as fanado and difuntu .
Swan Hellenic's Ghana-to-Senegal "Crucibles of West Africa" trip, on the new 152-guest SH Vega, has two days scheduled in this off-the-grid sanctuary, where shore excursions include explorations of Orango National Park's mangrove thickets and savannah as well as trekking through traditional villages on Canhabaque.
As with many of the world's island paradises, the clock is likely ticking down on the Bissagos remaining immaculate and undeveloped, so if you hope to see them as they are, 2024 is the year to go.
TPG tip: Non-cruisers can visit the islands by first flying into the capital, Bissau, from Lisbon with TAP Air Portugal. Alternatively, Delta Air Lines has daily direct flights from New York to Dakar, from which there are daily connections on Air Senegal to Bissau. From Bissau, hire a speedboat for the hourlong journey to Bubaque, where the affordable Saldomar guesthouse and Hotel Kasa Afrikana make great home bases for daytrips to islands like Rubane, Orango and Canhabaque.
— Kathryn Romeyn
Best for pristine landscapes and rich Indigenous cultures
Quebec has long attracted travelers with its cosmopolitan towns , distinctly French flair and untouched wilderness. Thanks to a bold commitment to supporting Indigenous tourism, in 2024, the Canadian province will also provide new and meaningful ways to experience its natural beauty, its people and its culture.
Travelers can take in the aurora borealis while learning about Inuit traditions in Quebec's Arctic region of Nunavik, scan for beluga and blue whales with an Innu guide in Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, or forage for mushrooms and berries in the Laurentian mountain range. Across Quebec, there are now abundant opportunities to delve deeper into the ancestral traditions of the area's First Nations, Innuit and Metis people.
The recent addition of Anticosti Island to Canada's cache of UNESCO-protected heritage sites will draw wilderness seekers to its otherworldly canyons, primordial forests and cascading waterfalls. The island's 1,440 known fossil species offer the most "complete and best preserved paleontological record of the first mass extinction of animal life, 447-437 million years ago," according to UNESCO, providing a unique window into our planet's past.
For urbanites, Quebec City's lamplit, cobblestone streets have never been a hard sell for a weekend getaway, but now there are even more reasons to linger. Join one of Cicerone 's locally led walking tours, shop for regional artworks along Rue du Tresor, see Inuit art at the Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec (a new exhibit starts in February) and then dine on inventive boreal cuisine at Indigenous-owned restaurant Sagamite, whose owners have added two boutique hotels to their portfolio and will open a new microbrewery in 2024.
Head just outside the city's 400-year-old walls to Canada's only recognized Huron-Wendat community. Here, the superb First Nations-owned Hotel-Musee Premieres Nations was recently revamped with luxe suites and rooms appointed with Indigenous artworks and textiles with First Nations motifs. The hotel's restaurant, La Traite, helmed by much-lauded chef Marc de Passorio, provides a magical initiation into ancestral flavors with standout dishes like local tomatoes with sage and Quebec buffalo mozzarella and hearty bison medallions with beet puree and thyme juice.
TPG tip : Bookend your trip with a stay in Montreal , where the hotel scene is buzzing. There's the new art deco-inspired Honeyrose Hotel, Montreal, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, where Marriott points will come in handy, and the iconic Vogue Hotel Montreal Downtown, an elegant retreat on Montreal's Golden Square Mile which has been revamped and is now part of Hilton's Curio Collection.
Best for travelers Down Under looking for the right mix of urban and wildlife adventures
Best known for one of Earth's natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef , there's a lot more to this northeastern Australian state (though a visit to the reef is still top of the list while you still can — climate change and other factors are having increasingly adverse effects on much of the aquatic ecosystem).
In the capital, Brisbane , once-gritty environs like Howard Smith Wharves have been revitalized with trendy bars and restaurants. However, one of the biggest redevelopments is still on the horizon. The $2.6 billion Queen's Wharf precinct is nearing completion on 30 acres of prime riverfront land with not one but three hotels planned, plus over 50 dining and drinking venues, a huge footprint for retail and tons of outdoor spaces like a 100-meter-high sky deck with 360-degree views. In October, the city will also host the first annual Melt Open festival celebrating queer art and culture.
Down south in the blingy surfer haven of Gold Coast, travelers will be able to check in to a sleek new twin-towered Mondrian hotel and residences, while north along the Sunshine Coast, the tourism industry is taking the lead in regenerating bush once used for cattle grazing with native subtropical rainforest, which visitors can enjoy by staying at the avant-garde new Kurui Cabin at the base of the Cooroy Mountains.
In an effort to cultivate Indigenous-owned and -operated tourism businesses, the state has already invested 7 million Australian dollars in the Growing Indigenous Tourism in Queensland Fund. What's more, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fraser Island — the world's largest sand island and a habitat for diverse wildlife where you can also swim with migrating humpback whales — has officially reverted to its traditional Butchulla name, K'gari.
Speaking of islands, luxury travelers can have an entire one to themselves along the Great Barrier Reef thanks to the November opening of Pelorus Private Island in the Great Palm archipelago off the Townsville coast. The nearly 1,000-acre paradise has just a single four-suite residence designed in a traditional, breezy Queenslander style, where guests can customize their entire experience from days out yachting between islands or exploring the island's teeming fringe reefs to enjoying leisurely meals prepared by a private chef.
TPG tip: It's getting even easier to travel from the U.S. directly to Queensland since United increased its frequencies between San Francisco and Brisbane from three times per week to daily in October and will launch three weekly nonstops between Los Angeles and Brisbane in December.
Best for high-velocity thrills or romantics looking to slow things down
Trains revolutionized travel in the 19th century, but 2024 might just be a rail renaissance thanks to new, thrilling high-speed routes, plush overnight sleepers and lavish itineraries on par with the world's best hotels.
Global developments in high-speed rail are coming to a pitch, with various highly anticipated routes finally entering operation. In Florida, the long-awaited Brightline has opened up an efficient new corridor between two major U.S. cities that are favorites with tourists. The service, which tops out at 125 miles per hour, connects Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Miami in just three hours (with 15 daily departures) and also courses between Miami and West Palm Beach via Aventura and Fort Lauderdale.
In Europe from late 2024, the ultraquiet Frecciarossa train will zip from Paris to Barcelona in just seven hours, shaving two hours from current travel times. In time for the Summer Olympics , Spanish rail company Renfe also plans to extend its daily Madrid-Marseille service through to Paris.
If you're craving tropical surroundings, Belmond's Eastern & Oriental Express returns to Southeast Asia in February after a pandemic hiatus. The restyled trains feature eight sleeper cars, two restaurant cars, a piano bar and an open-air observation car. The three-night "Essence of Malaysia" itinerary will operate from November to February from Singapore to Penang, with stops in Kuala Lumpur and the island of Langkawi (via private boat). Operating from March to May and August to October, the "Wild Malaysia" experience steams from Singapore along the eastern side of the Malay Peninsula, with stops to spot wildlife at Taman Negara National Park and Penang before returning to Singapore.
Later in 2024, Orient Express will debut its opulent La Dolce Vita trains with lavish art deco cabins, haute cuisine and world-class bartending. The eight itineraries span one to two nights and include a Sicilian service starting and ending in Palermo via Agrigento and Taormina with a whiz-by of Mount Etna. Other standout itineraries include from Rome to Sicily (via a ferry) and a romantic circular route from Rome to Venice with a stop at Siena.
Finally, Europe continues its relative boom in new sleeper train services . Leading the way is Nightjet, which already connects major cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Zurich. In 2024, the Austrian train operator will expand its Belgian routes from Brussels to Dresden and Prague. Additionally, Deutsche Bahn and SNCF will introduce a high-speed seven-hour service between Paris and Berlin, including stops in Strasbourg on the night route.
TPG tip: Use a Eurail pass (from $208) to explore multiple European countries using rail operators like Deutsche Bahn, SNCF and Trenitalia. Note that high-speed or sleeper options like Nightjet and Eurostar have extra reservation fees (typically $10-$20), but it's still much cheaper than buying individual tickets.
— Jordan Waller
Best for beach and nature lovers who want to avoid crowds
Many travelers make the trek to South Africa for its spectacular wildlife and vibrant cities, but few hop across the border to Mozambique. Though the country has experienced ongoing conflicts in the far north, the central and southern parts remain relatively insulated from internal struggles.
Getting there is easier than you might think, too — Airlink offers direct flights to Vilankulos along the coast from Johannesburg , and more recently, the airline launched a nonstop flight between Cape Town and the capital, Maputo. While some travelers tend to skip the city, if you do make use of that route, consider a layover for a night or two. Maputo is a hub of activity with oceanside restaurants serving ultrafresh seafood with icy 2M beers and bakeries proffering crispy, creamy pasteis de nata, a holdover from Portuguese rule. The city's music scene is also buzzing, with bars and clubs playing everything from reggaeton to marrabenta (a hybrid of Mozambican dance with Portuguese folk music).
The main reason people come to the country is for the untouched Indian Ocean beaches along its 1,700-mile coast, which are lapped by aquamarine waters that rival the Caribbean. Over the past few years, a cluster of hotels have opened along the coast, including Kisawa, a design-focused property with 11 villas on a 740-acre sanctuary on Benguerra Island in the ecodiverse Bazaruto Archipelago.
Around two hours from Vilankulos on the mainland and set on a peninsula along a sheltered saltwater lagoon, Sussurro is an intimate pared-back lodge whose sandy-hued rooms are filled with artisan-made baskets and wooden furniture. Next year, Banyan Tree is expected to open Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira, which promises to be an uberluxury spot, on a private island north of Beira.
For safarigoers, Gorongosa, a national park that has been undergoing a two-decade-long rehabilitation, has become a beacon of regeneration and economic activity in an area where tourism was entirely decimated by civil war. This year, Muzimu Lodge, a tent camp, opened on the banks of the Mussicadzi River. Wildlife is not as abundant as in nearby Kruger National Park (though you can expect to see huge packs of wild dogs and teeming herds of antelope), but the biodiversity is some of the richest in the world, with nearly 500 species of birds. Indelible landscapes like chalky limestone gorges dotted with vegetation and inky caves, woodland savannah and giant "Jurassic Park"-like forests with sausage trees and native Borassus palms will leave you awestruck.
TPG tip : Ensure you allow ample time for your visa application. The process has moved online, which makes it infinitely swifter than previously, but the application time can still take up to a month and costs $160 or more depending on the type you apply for.
— Mary Holland
Note from TPG editors : Due to an ongoing terrorist insurgency in the far north of Mozambique, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 2 warning advising travelers to exercise increased caution when traveling in the Cabo Delgado province. The country also recently experienced some unrest following local elections, so be sure to investigate the current situation before booking a trip.
Best for food lovers and thrillseekers looking for something out of this world
Arriving in Bolivia can feel like you've landed on the moon. Have you seen the magnificent Salar de Uyuni? It's a vast salt pan with 3,900 square miles of desertlike cracked earth punctuated by cactus-covered rock piles. Though this parched corner of the earth draws visitors from around the globe, high-end accommodations have been lacking, but that's been changing quickly. In 2022, the Chilean hospitality brand Explora unveiled an intimate six-room mountain lodge set in a slick, glass-fronted building with snug, wood-lined rooms overlooking the flats.
Guests can partake in excursions, but the property also forms part of a greater six-night odyssey: a nomadic expedition where guests journey from Chile's Atacama Desert to Salar de Uyuni, stopping off at Explora's other "Mountain Lodges" along the way. Loads of thrilling activities are on offer, such as biking explorations across the Salar, through quinoa fields and beyond, as well as hikes across the largest islands and up into a village to see ancient Andean burial sites.
Whether you decide to begin your journey in the Atacama or Uyuni, don't miss Bolivia's capital La Paz, which sits in a bowl at a (literally) dizzyingly high elevation of 11,975 feet. The city's restaurant scene is arguably one of the most exciting in South America. Make a reservation at Gustu and enjoy a multicourse extravaganza of local delights including alligator and creamy aged corn. Hailed as one of Latin America's best restaurants, it was founded by Noma's Claus Meyer and is now helmed by chef Marsia Taha Mohamed. Also snag a table at Ancestral, where chef Mauricio Lopez (former head chef of Gustu) roasts vegetables and osso buco over an open flame, served alongside Bolivian wines.
The same team that opened the design-driven Atix Hotel (long a favorite among international visitors) unveiled the new Met Hotel last year in a soaring charcoal building with traditional Bolivian arts and crafts highlighted throughout its interior spaces. If you're traveling after July 2024, be sure to check out Altu Qala, a hotel set in a restored neoclassical building with wood-paneled walls and handmade cabinets in upcycled wood. The owner is also behind The Writer's Coffee, a cafe serving artisanal brews in the city, perfect for combating altitude fatigue.
Finally, for the best views of La Paz, take a trip on Mi Teleferico, the cable car transit system that's been expanding its network with various routes and now has 30 stations and 10 lines. Climb into the plastic bubbles, filled with locals whizzing across the city, and head up to El Alto, which sits at a staggering 13,325 feet.
TPG tip: If you really want to soak up the food and wine scene in La Paz, add in an extra few days to acclimatize. It's the highest capital in the world (11,975 feet) and altitude sickness is a high probability, so whizzing in and out is not recommended.
Best for sustainability searchers who also crave cultural connection
Bali is an island of contradictions. It's home to a majority Hindu population but part of predominantly Muslim Indonesia. Visitors in the millions come both to sunbathe and party on its beaches while also seeking spiritual awakenings through wellness retreats. After decades of overtourism, Bali is also pioneering responsible, lower-impact ways for visitors to enjoy its natural wonders and renowned hospitality.
In 2024, the government will levy a $10-per-person fee on international tourists that will directly fund cultural and environmental protection, such as waste management. It's an incremental but important step toward becoming a more sustainable destination.
Luxury resorts are also leaning into the trend. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay recently debuted Telu, a bar constructed entirely of upcycled materials that serves cocktails made with sustainable ingredients. In early 2024, Ayana Estate will open Museum Saka, a breathtaking 50,000-square-foot gallery showcasing the work of Balinese artists, historians and scholars, all of which is meant to bestow guests with a deeper understanding of the community's vibrant heritage.
At Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape , about an hour from Ubud, chef Eka Sunarya began experimenting with hypercreative and ultralocally sourced menus. He has since decamped to nearby Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve , where he continues to highlight seasonal Balinese cuisine with a no-waste philosophy.
Seminyak's Desa Potato Head — with its beach club and pair of striking, sustainably designed hotels that all together send just 3% of their waste to landfill — continues to be a regenerative tourism pioneer. In 2024, the resort is opening an ambitious Collective Waste Centre that will radically reduce landfill waste from eight nearby resorts, beach clubs and restaurants through high-efficiency sorting, processing and reuse practices.
A slew of exciting all-new hotels beckons design lovers and wellness seekers to Bali, too. Part of Hilton's LXR Resorts & Hotels, Umana Bali is expected to open in November 2023, a brand first in Southeast Asia. Guests will enjoy not only epic vistas from its 72 clifftop pool villas but also next-level cultural programming emphasizing legacy crafts and spa treatments utilizing ancient healing techniques.
Expected to debut in spring 2024, IHG's Regent Canggu will feature 150 suites and villas in one of Bali's hottest beach locales. Architecture by WATG and interior design by HBA will blend contemporary Indonesian fashion and cultural influences with traditional design motifs. Slated for late 2024, Kimpton Naranta Bali will bring boutique vibes to the Nusa Dua resort scene in the reimagined former Amanusa resort, designed by Kerry Hill.
TPG tip: Some of Bali's best points hotels offer deep cultural dives into Balinese village life. At Alila Manggis (from 3,500 World of Hyatt points per night), guests can take part in water purification rituals, visit the Indigenous Bali Aga tribe and trek to the "Gateway to Heaven" temple. At The Laguna, part of Marriott's Luxury Collection (from 33,000 Bonvoy points per night), exclusive experiences include lunch with the seventh generation of Kerambitan's royal family.
Best for ancient treasures in a modern metropolis
Few destinations offer the same look at the mysteries of the past quite like Cairo. While this desert city has long been a magnet for those intrigued by the wonders of ancient Egypt and its former rulers, new attractions and highly anticipated hotel openings will draw even more travelers to this bucket list destination in 2024.
With that in mind, Cairo's most exciting addition will be the long-awaited reopening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, which, after years of delays , is on track to welcome visitors by early 2024. A colossal project that began more than 20 years ago, this massive repository — the largest archaeological museum ever built — will house over 100,000 Egyptian artifacts, including 5,000 relics found in famous pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb.
Recently discovered artifacts from the Saqqara — an expansive necropolis located within Egypt's UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient capital of Memphis — are also expected to be added to the museum's collection in due course. The treasures include multiple tombs, ancient workshops and burial shafts full of priceless antiquities, such as a mummy believed to be the most complete one ever found in Egypt.
To accommodate the influx of tourists expected in 2024, Cairo's hotel scene is rapidly expanding, too. Among the new properties currently in the pipeline are points-friendly accommodations like a Hyatt Centric, a Hilton and a Waldorf Astoria, plus the luxurious rebranding of the historic Shepheard Hotel into the Mandarin Oriental Shepheard, Cairo.
Unsurprisingly, Cairo's prime position on the Nile and proximity to other historic destinations also make it an excellent place to embark on a river cruise , especially in 2024. Several top river cruise lines offer itineraries that start or end in the city, making it possible to tack on visits to other ancient sites like Luxor and Aswan, Egypt. New standout ships to consider include Viking Aton (the fourth of six ships Viking expects to be sailing the Nile by late 2025) and AmaLilia (AmaWaterways' second ship devoted to Nile River cruises).
TPG tip: It should become easier than ever to reach this historic metropolis thanks to more nonstop routes from the U.S. to Cairo in the works. In addition to adding new nonstop flights from Newark to Cairo this past summer, Egyptair has filed a request with the Department of Transportation to launch service between Los Angeles and Cairo in the coming months. If approved, service on the Star Alliance carrier would give visitors yet another convenient way to reach the ancient city.
— Christine Gallipeau
Note from TPG editors : We want to acknowledge that all eyes will be on the widening conflict in the region as we end 2023 and look ahead to next year. Before planning your own trip to Egypt, stay up to date on State Department advisories , current events and the unfolding situation in neighboring Israel and beyond .
Best for rediscovering paradise right on our doorstep
Dazzling white- and pink-sand beaches; calm, clear seas shaded in myriad hues of blue; and easy access from various U.S. hubs have long made the Bahamas a top tourist destination. Expect 2024 to be an extra-buzzy year for this Caribbean nation, though, thanks to new hotels, exciting cruises and more flights from major airlines.
Goldwynn Resort & Residences on Nassau's famous Cable Beach was 2023's big hotel debut, offering 81 studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom suites just a short drive from the airport so visitors could be on the beach within an hour of landing. Set to open mid 2025, the ultraluxurious Montage Cay will occupy a 48-acre private island in the Abacos. The $352 million project will feature 50 oceanfront suites with private plunge pools and outdoor showers. The property will also comprise villa residences and a 47-slip marina for private yachts.
The Bahamas are drawing even more interest from major cruise lines, too. Norwegian Cruise Line christened its exciting Norwegian Viva megaship with a short cruise to its Bahamian private island, Great Stirrup Cay, in November 2023. The line's second Prima Class vessel, Viva, boasts the "fastest slides at sea," a three-level go-kart racetrack and millions of dollars of art on board. Royal Caribbean's new Oasis Class ship, Utopia of the Seas , is also set to start sailing short new cruises focusing on the Bahamas in 2024.
Cruise lines are adding new private-island experiences, too. Slated to open in summer 2024, Disney's Lighthouse Point in Eleuthera will offer amenities ranging from an adults-only beach to a family water play area and food hall-style dining. The destination is being designed with the environment in mind, too — about 90% of its electricity will be provided via solar panels.
TPG tip : Getting from the U.S. to the Bahamas will be easier than ever in 2024, especially from the West Coast. Alaska Airlines is adding seasonal nonstop flights from both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) four times weekly and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) three times weekly to Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS). The services will run from Dec. 15, 2023, to April 9, 2024. JetBlue is launching its own new flight between Nassau and Los Angeles beginning in November 2023 that will fly once per week on Saturdays. Delta debuted a new nonstop from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Nassau this fall as well.
— Becca Blond
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"Northern-most Megacity of the World"
Moscow is Russia's capital, and its cultural, economic and political heart. It is the largest and the most populated city in Russia, and also a city of huge global influence. It is the country's biggest tourist destination, home to some of the most historic architectural works in the country.
Moscow is a city with a very rich past. It served as Russia's capital for a long time and after the Bolshevik Revolution became the capital of Russia again. It has one of the best collections of architectural structures in the world. The Kremlin, which serves as the residence of the Russian President today, is an emphatic complex of palaces, cathedrals and walls. The iconic St. Basil's Cathedral is one of the most unique cathedrals you'll find anywhere in the world. Moscow has a huge number of museums as well, displaying artworks from throughout the history of Russia. There is even a display of priceless jewellery and state regalia in the Kremlin Armoury. Apart from that, Moscow is home to many splendid gardens and parks that find their origins in the imperial era. These parks today have been restored and beautified and are a favourite hangout spot for locals who are looking for some time away from their busy lives. Gorky Park , Tsaritsyno and the Alexander Garden are an example of the remarkable gardens in the city. The city's nightlife is world famous and so is it's shopping, symbolised by the GUM on the Red Square . Several musical concerts and cultural events take place often in the city and the city is also home to Russia's national theatre, the Bolshoi Theatre . Moscow provides you with a huge variety of activities and is sure to keep you occupied throughout your trip. When you're done with it all, take a hike up Sparrow Hills and absorb a beautiful panorama of the city.
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17 Top Tourist Attractions in Moscow
Last updated on November 3, 2023 by Alex Schultz -
The capital of Russia is an incredible place to explore. Visitors to Moscow come away spellbound at all the amazing sights, impressed at the sheer size and grandeur of the city. Lying at the heart of Moscow, the Red Square and the Kremlin are just two of the must-see tourist attractions; they are the historical, political and spiritual heart of the city – and indeed Russia itself.
A fascinating city to wander around, stunning cathedrals, churches, and palaces lie side-by-side with bleak grey monuments and remains from the Soviet state. In addition to its plethora of historical and cultural tourist attractions, Moscow is home to world-class museums, theaters and art galleries.
Renowned for its performing arts, fantastic ballets and amazing circus acts, catching a show while in Moscow is a must. The wealth of brilliant restaurants, trendy bars, and lively nightlife means there is something for everyone to enjoy.
See also: Where to Stay in Moscow
In this post, we'll cover:
17. Tsaritsyno Palace
Once the summer residence of Catherine the Great, the stunning Tsaritsyno Palace is now a museum-reserve. The architecture is magnificent and there is a lovely park surrounding it for visitors to explore.
Located in the south of Moscow, the palace was commissioned in 1775 and recent renovations mean its lavish interior looks better than ever before with its elegant halls and beautiful staircases.
The exhibits on display look at the life of the empress as well as the history of Tsaritsyno itself. The huge palace grounds are also home to some other delightful buildings with the elegant opera house and wonderful brickwork of the Small Palace being particularly impressive to gaze upon.
Starting out in 1935 as the ‘All-Union Agricultural Exhibition’, VDNKh has slowly morphed over the years into the fascinating open-air museum of today. Remarkably, over 400 buildings can now be found within its confines.
The huge park complex has numerous pavilions representing former Soviet republics on show, such as those of Armenia and Turkmenistan and the distinctive architecture of each of the buildings is always interesting to gaze upon. In addition to this there is the fascinating Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics which is dedicated to space exploration and the fun Moskvarium aquarium even offers you the chance to swim with dolphins.
With lots of eateries scattered about and numerous entertainment options such as horse-riding and zip-lining, there is something for everyone to enjoy; the Friendship of Nations fountain truly is wonderful.
15. Kremlin Armoury
One of the oldest museums in the city, the Kremlin Armoury has a wealth of treasures; highlights include the ornate Grand Siberian Railway egg, the historic Cap of Monomakh and the stunning Imperial Crown of Russia which often has a crowd of tourists around it, jostling to take a photo.
Once the royal armory, there are loads of fascinating objects on display. Perusing the many sabers, jewelry, armor and more is as interesting as it is educational and entertaining and the swords are so finely crafted that you’ll almost wish you could pick up one and wield if yourself.
Established in 1851, the museum is situated in the Moscow Kremlin.
14. GUM Department Store
Standing for ‘Main Universal Store’ in Russian, GUM is stunning. Its wonderful skylights and beautiful facades mean it doesn’t look out of place alongside its illustrious neighbors on Red Square.
With over 200 shops, boutiques and upmarket eateries inside, it is a shopaholic’s heaven and concerned partners will be glad to find more affordable options alongside luxury brands such as Dior and Prada.
The main department store in the city, GUM was opened in 1893. The stunning architecture makes it well worth a visit even if shopping isn’t your thing.
13. Moscow Metro
It’s not often that public transport looks like a work of art. So many stops on the Moscow Metro will astound visitors with their beauty and elegance.
Decked in marble and with frescoes covering the walls, the stations are amazing to gaze upon and are part of one of the longest metro systems in the world, with the first stations opened in 1935.
Using the metro is the quickest and easiest way to get around Moscow and braving the crowds of commuters is well worth it for the beauty all around you.
12. Arbat Street
An elegant yet lively street, Arbat is full of impressive architecture and was once a popular place to live for aristocrats, artists, and academics.
A historic place, it is down Arbat Street that Napoleon’s troops are said to have headed on their way to capture the Kremlin.
Nowadays, there are many cafes, restaurants, and shops, as well as various monuments and statues to former residents such as Alexander Pushkin who was reputed to be a lover of the Russian Empress due to his massive influence in court.
11. Novodevichy Convent
Drenched in history, the Novodevichy Convent is located in a striking building that was once a fortress. This captivating place is well worth visiting when in Moscow.
Founded in 1524, the convent houses four cathedrals; Smolensk Cathedral is the undoubted highlight due to its delightful 16th-century frescoes.
Wandering around the grounds is like stepping back in time. The Novodevichy Cemetery is where many famous leaders of the Soviet Union are buried, such as Yeltsin and Khrushchev.
10. Pushkin Museum
Despite its name, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts actually has no connection at all to the famous poet other than that it was named in his honor after his death. A delight to visit, its extensive collection focuses on European art with masterpieces by Botticelli, Rembrandt, and van Gogh all featuring.
Sculptures, graphic art, paintings and more can be found in its beautiful galleries; various sections look at themes and epochs such as the Renaissance, the Dutch Golden Age, and Byzantine art.
Among the many highlights are the clownish characters which can be found in Cezanne’s Fastnacht (Mardi Gras) and the twirling ballerinas who look so elegant in Degas’ Blue Dancers. Picasso’s Young acrobat on a Ball is also well worth checking out for its interesting use of shapes and colors.
9. Christ The Savior Cathedral
This gorgeous Russian Orthodox cathedral is located on the banks of the Moskva River, just a stone’s throw away from the Kremlin.
The church as it stands today was consecrated in 2000, as the original church that stood here was destroyed on the command of Josef Stalin in 1931 due to the anti-religious campaign.
With its delightful golden dome, spires and dazzling white facades, the Christ the Savior Cathedral is stunning. The interior is just as captivating to wander around, with its beautifully tiled floors and impressive altar.
8. Lenin Mausoleum
Opened to the public in 1924, Lenin’s Mausoleum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Moscow. The red granite structure is located at the heart of the city in Red Square.
Lenin’s embalmed body lies in a glass sarcophagus; it is a somewhat eerie experience walking past the former leader of the Soviet Union but is well worth doing as you understandably can’t do it anywhere else in the world.
After visiting the mausoleum, head to the Kremlin wall right next to it for more graves of important communist figures such as Stalin and Brezhnev.
7. Tretyakov Gallery
Home to the most extensive and impressive collection of Russian fine art in the world, the State Tretyakov Gallery is definitely worth visiting when in Moscow for the wealth of amazing art pieces that it has on display.
Having started out as the private art collection of the Tretyakov brothers, there are now over 130,000 exhibits. Highlights include the iconic Theotokos of Vladimir which you will almost certainly recognise despite probably not knowing the name and Rublev’s Trinity which is considered to be one of highest achievements in Russian art.
An absolute must for art lovers, the State Tretyakov Gallery will delight visitors with all that is has to offer.
Once a royal estate, Kolomenskoye is now a museum-reserve and lies a few kilometers outside of the city center. A captivating place to visit, there is a plethora of history on show and the site overlooks the Moskva River.
Consisting of four historical sites, there are extensive gardens for visitors to explore, as well as loads of interesting old buildings, the former village of Kolomenskoye itself and the impressive Palace of the Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich – once considered the Eighth Wonder of the World by contemporaries.
Among the many stunning sights, it is the brilliantly white Ascension Church that is the undoubted highlight – dating back to 1532.
5. Gorky Park
Lying alongside the Moskva River, the huge Gorky Park is a lovely place to visit. Its extensive gardens are home to numerous cultural institutions and visitors should definitely check out the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and while the eclectic exhibits may not always feature such incredible sights as a balloon-covered rider on a zebra; they certainly always succeed in pushing back the boundaries of art.
Pop-up exhibitions and festivals can be found from time to time in the park itself and there is an open-air theatre and numerous eateries alongside a plethora of leisure activities.
Whether it’s cycling, table tennis or yoga that you are after or beach volleyball and rowing, Gorky Park certainly has it. In winter, there is a huge ice rink for visitors to enjoy.
4. Bolshoi Theatre
The Bolshoi Theatre is the main theater in the country. The amazing opera and ballet performances it has put on over the centuries go a long way in explaining Russia’s rich history of performing arts.
While the Bolshoi Ballet Company was established in 1776, the theater itself was opened in 1825. The glittering, six-tier auditorium is lavishly and decadently decorated; it is a fitting setting for the world-class performances that take place on its stage.
Spending a night watching a performance of such classics as The Nutcracker or Swan Lake at the Bolshoi Theatre is sure to be a memorable experience and the beauty all around you only adds to the sense of occasion.
3. Moscow Kremlin
This famously fortified complex is remarkably home to five palaces and four cathedrals and is the historic, political and spiritual center of the city. The Kremlin serves as the residence for the country’s president. It has been used as a fort, and this fact is made clear by its sheer size. The Kremlin’s outer walls were built in the late 1400s.
Under Ivan III, better known as Ivan the Great, the Kremlin became the center of a unified Russian state, and was extensively remodeled. Three of the Kremlin’s cathedrals date to his reign that lasted from 1462-1505. The Deposition Church and the Palace of Facets were also constructed during this time. The Ivan the Great Bell Tower was built in 1508. It is the tallest tower at the Kremlin with a height of 266 feet (81 meters).
Joseph Stalin removed many of the relics from the tsarist regimes. However, the Tsar Bell, the world’s largest bell, and the Tsar Cannon, the largest bombard by caliber in the world, are among the remaining items from that era. The Kremlin Armory is one of Moscow’s oldest museums as it was established more than 200 years ago. Its diamond collection is impressive.
The Kremlin’s gardens – Taynitsky, Grand Kremlin Public and Alexander – are beautiful. The Kremlin has also served as the religious center of the country, and there is a tremendous number of preserved churches and cathedrals here. The collections contained within the museums include more than 60,000 historical, cultural and artistic monuments. Those who enjoy the performing arts will want to consider attending a ballet or concert at the State Kremlin Palace. Completed in 1961, it is the only modern building in the Kremlin.
2. Red Square
Lying at the heart of Moscow, Red Square is the most important and impressive square in the city. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions due to its wealth of historical sights and cultural landmarks.
Drenched in history, the huge square is home to incredible sights such as the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral and Lenin’s Mausoleum, among others. Consequently, it is not to be missed when in Moscow as it really is home to the city’s most stunning monuments.
It is here that many important moments in Russian history took place; the former marketplace has hosted everything from Tsar’s coronations and public ceremonies to rock concerts and Soviet military parades. Wandering around the massive square is a humbling experience and undoubtedly one of the highlights the city has to offer.
1. Saint Basil’s Cathedral
Located in the impressive Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral is gorgeous; its delightful spires appear as if out of a fairytale. The most recognizable building in the country, the cathedral is very much a symbol of Russia. No visit to Moscow is complete without having taken in its unique and distinctive features.
Ivan the Terrible ordered the cathedral’s construction in the mid-16th century, and legend holds that Ivan put out the architect’s eyes so that he would be unable to build another cathedral more glorious than St. Basil’s. Designed to resemble the shape of a bonfire in full flame, the architecture is not only unique to the period in which it was built but to any subsequent period. For various reasons, both Napoleon and Stalin wanted to destroy the cathedral but fortunately did not succeed.
Known for its various colors, shapes and geometric patterns, St. Basil’s Cathedral houses nine different chapels that are all connected by a winding labyrinth of corridors and stairways. On the lower floor, St. Basil’s Chapel contains a silver casket bearing the body of St. Basil the Blessed.
Throughout the cathedral are many beautiful murals, frescoes, wooden icons and other art works and artifacts. Outside the cathedral is a lovely garden with the bronze Monument to Minin and Pozharsky, who rallied an all-volunteer Russian army against Polish invaders during a period of the late 16th century known as the Times of Troubles.
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17 Exciting Things to do in Moscow
Written By: Linda Voltaire
Updated On: December 21, 2022
Visiting Russia? These are the top 17 things to do in Moscow to help you plan your trip.
If the western world has New York City , the first great metropolis on the eastern side of our planet is Moscow. A huge city with a complicated and impressive history, Moscow gets a bad rep over Russian politics – but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Capital to the largest country in the world, Moscow takes the grandeur of its standing very seriously.
This is a place where luxury is king and where opulence takes a front seat in every aspect of life. The buildings are grand and imposing, the parks are luscious and enormous, and even the subway stations look different in Moscow than anywhere else in the world.
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Best Things to do in Moscow, Russia
Walking around Moscow is also going through the tumultuous history of the 20th century, which had Russia as one of its main protagonists. There are fascinating remains of these times everywhere in the former Soviet capital, from the gorgeous Seven Sisters skyscrapers to the Orthodox cathedrals that were closed for the better part of a century. Still, Moscow is also a completely modern city, with a vibrant social and party scene, incredible restaurants, and some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
After living in Russia’s capital as an ex-pat for four years, I got the privilege to experience not only the main attractions in Moscow but also the everyday life in this huge city and quickly found my sweat spots off the beaten tracks! So here is my list of my top 17 things to do in this exciting metropolis!
Attractions in Moscow
When visiting a famous city like this one, it’s a must to go through the most iconic landmarks first. Moscow has plenty of those, most of them in the center of the city, which is very well-planned for tourists.
1. The Red Square, Kremlin & Surrounding Area
No place tells the story of Moscow’s power in the past century the way the Red Square does. This is where the biggest political meetings in the USSR occurred for many decades, and you can feel the power on each step.
Here, you’ll also find the historic museum at the entrance, showcasing the decades of history behind this iconic landmark. The Lenin Mausoleum, perhaps the most famous resting place in the world and home to the remains of the former communist leader, is also here.
On one side of the Red Square you’ll find the Kremlin, the fortified complex that now hosts the presidential residence. This is also home to the most iconic of all Moscovite landmarks: St. Basil’s Cathedral, a 16th-century marvel of colors. This is the best spot to take a selfie and show the world you’ve reached the Russian capital!
- Get your Kremlin Skip the Line Tickets and Kremlin tour here.
- Free cancellation up to 24-hours in advance of the tour.
2. Bolshoi Theatre
You can easily spend a couple of days just exploring the Moscovite city centre, and the Bolshoi Theatre should be your second stop. Walk past the Red Square and then head to the nearby Bolshoi Theatre, one of the oldest and most renowned houses of opera and ballet on Earth.
Visit for the impressive early 19th-century architecture, but if you’re seeing a ballet performance, make sure you book between 3 and 6 months in advance! I can strongly recommend this as it is a truly unique experience!
- Book a private 2-hour tour of the legendary Bolshoi Theatre.
- See the presidential box reserved for tzars, watch a rehearsal and skip the lines through a separate entrance.
- Free Cancellation up to 24-hours in advance.
3. Luxury Shopping at GUM and TSUM
While many might think of Moscow as the sad place with the long bread queues from the USSR days, it’s been quite the capitalist haven for a while.
If you’re up for some shopping, you’ll find one of the biggest luxury malls in town, TSUM, right behind the Bolshoi and GUM, at the red square. GUM is the most famous department store in town, where you’ll find luxury everywhere and all high-end brand.
All in an imposing late 19th-century building with lots of history, worth a visit just for the design, its bridges and the glass roof even though you are not up for shopping!
4. Christ the Savior Cathedral
A newer addition to the gorgeous Moscovite cathedrals and my grandeur neighbor during my years in the city Don’t let the young age of this building fool you. After the perestroika in the early 90s, the newly revived Russian Orthodox Church received permission to build a cathedral on this site. They did the location honors and built the largest temple of the Christian Orthodox Church.
The façade is as grand as you’d expect, but it’s the inside that will mesmerize you, with its domes as tall as the skies in bright gold and gorgeous paintings and decor! Bring a shawl to cover your hair to adjust to the local tradition.
Head to the back of the cathedral and you will find one of the most photographed bridges in Moscow, the Patriarshiy Most. This is the perfect spot to get a good view and photo of the cathedral but also to see the Kreml and Gorky Park from a distance. Or why not just enjoy a moment watching the river and its boats!
- Get around Moscow with ease using the Hop On Hop Off boat and Bus ticket. 24, 48 or 72-hour tickets available.
5. Gorky Park
Cross the river and head to Gorky Park along the Moscow river. The most famous green area in town, similar to New York ’s Central Park and the weekend hangout for locals. There are many beautiful parks in the city, but if you’re only visiting for a few days, this is the unmissable one!
With fair attractions to entertain children, beautiful artificial lakes and gardens, and lots of outdoor activities, it’s a lovely place to relax. A place of rest in the middle of the metropolis. The area in front of the New Tretyakov Gallery & the Muzeon Park of Arts is actually one of my favorite oasis as a bit more quiet and peaceful than Gorky itself.
Why not spend some time in the museum to get a great tour of Russia’s history through art or just enjoy the art exhibition outside where local artists spend their weekends.
6. River Cruising
One of the best ways to experience Moscow is from the Moscow River. There are many stops for the boats and one is just next to Gorky Park. See the city from another perspective – and turn the ride into a romantic one by taking the evening cruise. Moscow is magic during the night.
If you’re looking for a truly luxurious experience, take the Radisson Blu cruise – or the Erwin for a delicious seafood dinner. Both stop at Gorky or at the luxury Radisson Royal Hotel, set in one of the Seven Sister’s skyscrapers.
- We use Get Your Guide when booking city tours and they offer a River Sightseeing Cruise seeing all the main tourist attractions in Moscow
7. Metro Hopping
First inaugurated in the 1930s, the Moscow subway system is one of the oldest in the world, and certainly the most beautiful. Started under Stalinist times, each metro station is dedicated to grandeur and oozing personality.
Visiting the subway stops is an attraction in and of itself, and Komsomolskaya, Mayakovskaya, Kropotkinskaya are my favorites. Those surrounding the Red Square are also mesmerizing – in general, these are kind of like underground palaces.
Most of the signs at the Moscow Metro now have Latin letters, so it’s very easy to get around!Unfortunately, the trains are not as beautiful and pleasant as the stations but still, this is a true Moscow experience. Take a guided tour of the 9 most beautiful Metro Stations including the award-winning art deco station. See more details here.
8. Arbatskaya & Artsy Moscow
Novy Arbat Street is one of the most touristy areas in the city, with lots of shops and cafés directed at visitors. When you walk a little beyond, you’ll find a different part of town, where the hip scene thrives because so many artists live in the area. Just follow the small streets with fewer tourists!
9. Moscow State University View
In his effort to create a grander Moscow, Stalin had seven skyscrapers built in different parts of town; they’re called the Seven Sisters. The largest of these buildings hosts the main building of the Moscow State University, one of the most prestigious colleges in Russia – and the one with the best view.
Although this is a little outside the city centre, the sight from above is more than worth it, with the nearby fountains and park and then the whole of the city behind them.
10. Russian Market
If you love to visit markets wherever you go, Moscow has one of the most impressive ones in the world – the Izmailovsky. You can easily take the metro here and feel like you’ve been transported to another time.
This place was first built in the 16th century and retains the look of an old fairytale, with a lineup of colorful old castle. A lovely local experience beyond the confines of the bustling metropolis, where you can also try some delicious Russian barbecue.
Here, you’ll find beautiful souvenirs at great prices.
Off The Beaten Track Moscow
Once you’ve covered the most touristic spots, Moscow still has plenty to offer – and the places below will also be full of locals! Moscow is a city for hipsters, full of trendy and arty spots where you can literally feel the creativity oozing! So for some local vibes, I would strongly recommend my sweat spots below!
11. Patriarshiye Prudy
This is my favorite area in the entire city! While Moscow is generally a very noisy metropolis, Patriarch Ponds is far quieter, yet such a vibrant place. This is a very hip and trendy area making you think you are rather in Paris than in Moscow. Here the streets are narrow and full of chic eateries and clubs to see the local crowd.
A little bohemian and with an air of peace you won’t find anywhere in the city this is a great spot to spend an afternoon with your thoughts.
Barely 15 minutes away from the city center you’ll find the artsiest Moscow district: ArtPlay. For decades, this block was a factory, but it was renovated to become a hub for the arts not too long ago.
Now, you’ll find it’s full of exhibitions, showrooms and art schools – and some of the most creative people in town. Writers, painters, and young hip people use ArtPlay as a rendezvous, and you can feel the creative energy here. The industrial design with modern interior decoration is also a feast for the eyes!
13. Shopping Local Designs
If you’re into design, both international and local, you’ll find lots of cute things at Patriarshiye Prudy. Department store Podium Market is also a great spot for shopping, as a department store everywhere in town, with lots of local and international brands. There’s one in the Four Seasons Hotel next to Red Square. My favorite Moscow mall is Tsvetnoy Central Market, a cool spot with great brands, lots of inspo, and even a cute café!
14. Moscow City
Like many other great capitals of the world, for the past few decades, Moscow has hosted a super modern area full of modern skyscrapers – Moscow City. With a completely different vibe than the rest of town, it’s like a mini Dubai, with lots of impressively tall glass buildings. Here, you’ll find the best rooftops in towns, such as Ruski and Sixty they are perfect spots for dining or enjoying a glass of wine with a view. There are also a relatively new shopping mall with lots of international brands called Affimall!
Wine, Dine, and Party in Moscow
Gone are the gloomy Moscow days – cold as it might be in the winter, Russia’s capital is a place for the senses. Great food and drinks abound – and the clubs are hot, too!
15. Where to Eat in Moscow
Moscow is a great metropolis where people love to dine out, and there are endless options for delicious food. The flavors are as diverse as you’d expect from a big city, with options of fine dining and little hipster eateries.
- For traditional Russian flavors, I can’t recommend Café Pushkin, Dr. Zhivago, and Turnadot enough.
- When looking for international cuisines, Italian is always the way to go, and my local favorite is Probka.
- Fine dining is best done among the clouds at White Rabbit, with European flavors.
- As for the hip spots, you can spend a full day just eating around trendy places, from burgers to Asian fusion.
More Dining Options
- Patriarshiye Prudy offers a lot of small and classy spots with cool concepts, like breakfast restaurants I Love Cake and Fresh.
- For dinner, I love the NYC experience of Saxon & Parole, and the wonderful trendy Pins, with its delicious food and drinks.
- For delicious Asian food head to CutFish.
- Lastly, there’s a recent revival of food markets in Moscow, offering lots of great choices of international flavors at affordable places.
- Don’t miss out the Vietnamese food stand at the Danilovsky market, and everything at Usachevsky!
Big cities deserve to be seen from above, having a cocktail among the clouds. These are my recommendations for rooftop bars in Moscow.
- As I mentioned in the Moscow City section, Sixty & Ruski are two of my favorites, overlooking the newest part of town.
- White Rabbit and its fine dining is also a lovely place for a fun dinner looking down on Moscow.
- O2, in the city center, has an advantage above all others: amazing views of the Red Square.
- Buono, above the Radisson Royal Hotel, might be the most romantic rooftop hotel in town, with its candlelit setting.
- Also on the Radisson stands the Mercedes. It’s a luxurious and posh experience with delicious cocktails.
- The Sky Lounge offers a peculiar experience, mixing an old Soviet building with futuristic additions.
17. Moscow by Night
Party the night away! The city is full of bars everywhere, but there are some areas where you’ll find more than others.
- Patriarshiye Prudy has lots of hip and small clubs and great bars, including the super fun private club Clava, which has a great vibe and people from all walks of life.
- For more hipster style bars, Red October is the place to go.
- Streak is a summer favorite, with a lovely terrace to catch a beautiful sunset – plus, their mozzarella bar is delicious.
- At night, Red October lights up with clubs everywhere, including the cool rooftop one Gipsy.
- Jagger is also a great spot during summer with a more relaxed vibe in garden setting.
- For the traditional Russian luxury experience, go to SohoRooms, a whole other world including all-night go-go dancers.
There are so many things to do in Moscow at night and during the day, you definitely need several days to explore this exciting destination.
Moscow is a must-see city, a city like no other ! I hope you will enjoy this Russian metropolis as much as I did!
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About Linda Voltaire
Linda Voltaire is the owner of Travel with a Silver Lining, home to reviews of gorgeous boutique & design hotels, hip & trendy eateries as well as authentic and personal travel experiences beyond the crowd. She started blogging after a life-changing trip across South America. Follow Linda at TravelWithASilverLining / Facebook / Instagram /
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10 thoughts on “17 Exciting Things to do in Moscow”
These places look so awesome! Moscow is truly a beautiful city
Very good article, you have explained so nicely. Russia has always been a part of history and its good to know about much more about architecture and other things, wish i could see the inside of façade
Thanks for sharing such a nice article.You have very beautifully explained everything that one need for a trip to Moscow.
Nice article. Love the hidden gems and graffiti art, would love to visit Artplay. Thanks for a comprehensive guide to Moscow!
Moscow is a city where the past and the future live side by side. Here we can find everything from medieval fortresses and Soviet monoliths to glass skyscrapers and innovation centers.
Your article is good and meaningful .
Thanks for sharing about ArtPlay district, we didn’t know about it and it looks amazing 🙂 Hopefully there’ll be a second time in Moscow, we visited last May and really liked the city!
Wonderful stuff! I’ve been to Moscow, but not properly – it’s a long story lol!
Anyhoo, my next thing is to fly from Berlin to Moscow and then travel from there to Beijing via the Trans-Mongolian / Trans-Siberian train. Now, if only I could just find the time …!
I hear Moscow is very beautiful at night. I hope to get out there one day. A friend of mine went to St. Petersburg and had a great experience. Despite all the tension we see on the news with Russia and other Countries like the U.S. I wonder what the sentiment is with Russians and foreigners visiting their country for tourism. Especially Americans.
that looks like quite a beautiful place. 🙂
Rangers travel down winding path but it leads to an AL pennant and a spot in the World Series
HOUSTON — The Texas Rangers finished 68-94 last season, 38 games behind the Houston Astros in the American League West.
There was a base of solid talent but it wasn’t enough. Major changes were needed.
Manager Chris Woodward was fired in August, two days before president of baseball operations Jon Daniels was let go and replaced by his chief assistant, Chris Young.
Young didn’t look for a manager to grow with his team; he went to Nashville and lured three-time World Series winner Bruce Bochy out of retirement.
Young stayed aggressive in the free agent market, signing Jacob deGrom for five years and $185 million along with securing two-years deals for Nate Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney to rebuild what was a terrible rotation.
“They wanted to win. That was a big reason why I wanted to sign there,” Eovaldi said. “At this point in my career, that’s what matters.”
ADOLIS. GARCIA. UNSTOPPABLE. 💪 📺: FOX/FS1 pic.twitter.com/cJxpNzbxHh — FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 24, 2023
When deGrom was lost to elbow surgery, the Rangers threw in more chips and obtained Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery at the trade deadline.
The Rangers advanced to the World Series with an 11-4 rout of the Astros on Monday night, which is far from a blueprint for the Red Sox.
But it does show that a team’s fortunes can flip dramatically from one season to the next.
“It’s a credit to our ownership that they gave us the tools to do this,” Young said while standing on the field as his players headed for the clubhouse and a champagne celebration. “That’s where it starts.”
The Red Sox are already down that road, having fired chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom in September. Their candidates to replace him include Craig Breslow.
Young is an Ivy League-educated (Princeton) former pitcher who understood the need to meld clubhouse dynamics and analytics while constructing the roster and to trust the manager in making in-game decisions.
Breslow, who won a World Series ring with the 2013 Red Sox, is an Ivy League-educated (Yale) former pitcher who also respects both sides of the team-building equation.
Alex Cora does not have Bochy’s resume. But he does have similar gravitas among his players after leading the Sox to a championship in 2018.
Eovaldi was a member of that team.
“The Red Sox aren’t far away,” he said. “You look at their lineup, and they could get back quickly if the pitching improves. Everybody sees that.”
Breslow is not the only worthy candidate to run baseball operations. But after four years of cautious moves by Bloom, the Sox are like the Rangers in that more urgency could pay off quickly if they hire the right executive and are willing to invest payroll and/or prospects to fix the rotation.
Do that correctly, and the Sox can be a team like Texas. The Rangers won 90 games, entered the postseason as a wild card and won eight games on the road to win their first pennant since 2011.
The World Series starts on Friday night with Texas hosting Arizona or Philadelphia at Globe Life Field.
“It’s been an honor to watch them and so it’s great to be here,” Bochy said. “It’s unreal that I’m here, to be honest. Sitting at the house for three years, and to think here I am going to a World Series. Yeah, that’s special.”
“We all know what [Bochy] had done in his career. You trust what he says because of that experience. Whenever we seemed to go off course, he knew how to get us going back in the right direction, Eovaldi said.”
It was not always smooth. Texas fell behind 3-2 in the series after losing three home games before coming back to Minute Maid Park and scoring 20 runs in two games to clinch.
Adolis Garcia was named MVP after he homered twice and drove in five runs in Game 7. He had 15 RBIs in the series.
“We’re good at focusing on the little things. We try to look at what we need to do, little things, to get that win or to just be successful,” he said.
Houston starter Cristian Javier came into the game with a 2.08 earned run average in 16 previous postseason appearances. He was 4-0 with an 0.82 ERA in four starts.
This time, he was finished after six batters as Texas jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
Corey Seager, the second batter of the game, launched a high fastball 441 feet into the second deck in right field. Javier then walked Evan Carter on five pitches.
Carter stole second base and scored when Garcia lined a pitch off the scoreboard in left. Garcia stood at the plate admiring a ball that was about four feet shy of a home run and was left with a single.
He stole second and scored on a single by Mitch Garver. Jonah Heim’s single knocked Javier out of the game.
Scherzer was a little better, but not much. He allowed two runs on four hits over 2 2/3 innings.
Montgomery, the Game 5 starter on Friday, replaced Scherzer and got seven outs without giving up a run to earn the victory as Texas kept scoring. The Rangers had 15 hits off eight Astros pitchers.
Now Texas will get an extra day of rest before facing the Diamondbacks or Phillies. Game 7 of the NLCS is Tuesday night.
Eovaldi is lined up to start Game 1, although no decision has been made.
Peter Abraham can be reached at [email protected] . Follow him @PeteAbe .
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For Thanksgiving travel, here are the top 10 cities to visit this year, according to WalletHub
Move over, new york city top travel destinations for thanksgiving in 2023 include las vegas, phoenix, raleigh and more, says study.
Thanksgiving travel tips: How to avoid the worst traffic this holiday season
According to AAA, this holiday season will see more than 55 million people hit the road, making this the second-busiest Thanksgiving for road travel since AAA began their tracking in 2000.
Thanksgiving marks the start of holiday season for many, with millions of Americans planning on traveling in some capacity.
With the festive feast day coming up fast, WalletHub released its top cities to visit on Thanksgiving for those looking to travel to a new place this year.
The company compared the 100 largest U.S. cities in five categories: Thanksgiving celebrations and traditions; affordability; safety and accessibility; giving thanks; and weather forecasts.
TOP 10 BEST CITIES FOR FOODIES ANNOUNCED IN RECENT STUDY
In this countdown below, see if your planned Thanksgiving destination made the top 10 most recommended cities to travel to for this year’s holiday.
Or maybe there are some compelling new ideas to consider.
Virginia Beach, Virginia, made the no. 10 spot on the best places to travel this Thanksgiving holiday, based on a variety of criteria. (iStock / iStock)
10. Virginia Beach, Virginia
9. greensboro, north carolina, 8. las vegas, nevada.
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7. Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona, also made the list of top cities to visit this Thanksgiving holiday, according to WalletHub. (iStock / iStock)
6. Atlanta, Georgia
5. raleigh, north carolina, 4. scottsdale, arizona.
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3. San Diego, California
2. san jose, california.
San Francisco, California, took the top spot for the best city to visit this Thanksgiving holiday. (iStock / iStock)
1. San Francisco, California
San Francisco — yes, "The City" — topped the list this year, according to WalletHub.
The organization noted that San Francisco has highly rated yet affordable restaurants, outdoor activity options, volunteering options for charity organizations and more.
WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe told Fox News Digital that the biggest shock of this year’s list was that the top three spots all went to California cities.
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"It’s fascinating to see cities like San Jose and San Diego following closely behind [San Francisco]," she said.
"They are holding their own, offering a mix of affordable dining options and exciting cultural experiences for families to enjoy during the holiday," she added.
San Diego, California, nearly took the top spot — but came in at no. 3 this year, according to WalletHub's list. (iStock / iStock)
Other major cities on the list included Los Angeles, California, at no. 13; Dallas, Texas, at no. 17; New York City at no. 37; Chicago, Illinois, at no. 60; and Nashville, Tennessee, at no. 91.
WalletHub data also indicated the cities with the lowest cost of Thanksgiving dinner, including Laredo, Texas, plus the highest cost — which was a five-way tie, including New York City and Honolulu, Hawaii.
WalletHub’s five categories included specific criteria that each city needed to be evaluated on.
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For example, pumpkin patches per capita and holiday decoration shops per capita were factored into the calculations.
The best cities for number of pumpkin patches per capita, according to WalletHub, include Portland, Oregon, Miami, Florida, San Francisco, California, San Jose, California and Bose, Idaho.
For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle .
Largest green space in Los Angeles named to Fodor's 'No List 2024'
Posted: November 7, 2023 | Last updated: November 7, 2023
One of California’s most accessible and protected lands has been named to Fodor’s “No List” for 2024.
The annual list looks at over-tourism, habitat destruction and other factors that are harming some of the world’s most beautiful natural spaces. These issues lead to a rare do-not-travel recommendation from the famous guidebook company, and for 2024, only one California spot has landed on the list .
The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, a large, rugged stretch of mountains, streams and wilderness valleys perched atop the Los Angeles basin, is a spot that travelers and locals should avoid this upcoming year, according to Fodor’s.
The issue, it seems, stems primarily from the amount of trash and graffiti that has accumulated in the national monument in recent years, due in large part to the monument’s easy access from dense urban centers like Los Angeles and the Inland Empire in Southern California.
The monument, which was officially designated in 2014 by President Obama, has several primary roads that skirt through it, which can concentrate litter in several hard-hit areas, including some hillsides that have become illegal dumping grounds.
Other trails suffer from overuse, explained Mark Stanley from the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. He told Fodor’s that with so much land to cover across multiple counties and facilities, there are simply too many people coming into the national monument, leaving too much behind.
That amount of attention is changing the wilderness landscape, sometimes purposefully. “The rivers are being dammed to create swimming areas,” Stanley told Fodor’s, which “...impacts not only fauna that’s endangered, but all the other fauna as well.”
A better future for the national monument will take time, the list indicates, as well as additional funding to help staff up the most heavily trafficked areas. For now, the shimmering San Gabriels just north of Los Angeles are, at least to Fodor’s, a no-go travel destination for 2024.
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