The top 10 best places to travel in 2023

Travel inspiration


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Here are our top destinations in Europe, the Americas, Asia and beyond in 2023. Undiscovered places, tourist favorites, grand adventures and city breaks are all here, so whatever your budget, there’s a trip for you

We’ve been looking into the data here at, and it seems you’re already looking forward to 2023! Searches are stacking up for destinations such as Barcelona (nearly 2 million so far), Los Angeles (over 2 million), London and Paris (over 3 million), and Bangkok (over 6 million).

Those are all wonderful places, of course, and they should be on your bucket list. Here, however, are our insider tips for travel in 2023. We’ve picked out some of our favorite regions, countries, cities, tours and projects to inspire you more than ever. From hiking in Canada to a famous South Korean fish market; a romantic journey, a conservation project, city breaks and road trips, they’re all here. And remember, January is one of the cheapest times of the year to book flights, so book early, save more, and give yourself something to look forward to in 2023.

Eastern France

Place Stanislas in Nancy — Getty ImagesThe Place Stanislas in Nancy has an air of mini Versailles — Getty Images

When most people think of France, it’s Paris, the Riviera, the beaches and vineyards of the southwest, the mountains maybe, and the eastern part of the country doesn’t really get a look in. That’s a mistake.

There’s Strasbourg with its pretty wood-framed houses, canal paths, and huge but curiously lopsided cathedral. Besançon is a tight network of sturdy, 18th-century townhouses huddled together on a bend in the Doubs river. Nancy is almost Paris in miniature, its Art Nouveau stylings, boulevards and palaces bringing upright elegance and refinement to the region.

Culturally as well, you’re caught somewhere not entirely French, with Luxembourg, Switzerland and Germany right there over the various borders. The Vosges du Nord Regional Nature Park is a pleasant distraction too — its forests and wetlands are dotted with medieval ruins and tiny villages. All in all, it’s a fabulous region that doesn’t really get enough love. Maybe 2023 is the time to change that.

Night trains (Europe, various routes)

Prague Main Train Station at night — Getty ImagesHop on a train at night and wake up somewhere completely new — Getty Images

One of the joys of a connected continent is how easy it is to cross borders and see so many different cities. Bicycles and canals in the north, red-roofed laneways in the center, and beachfront relaxation in the south — traveling across Europe to see all this is now even easier thanks to the network of night trains running across the continent. It’s a great way to travel as you leave one wonderful city in the evening, satisfied and full of dinner, and wake up the next morning somewhere else, ready and raring to explore.

There are a bunch of options available (all of which need a reservation for either a seat or a bed), and all of them run between places that are at once accessible and romantic-sounding. The EuroNight Metropol runs between Prague and Budapest; the Berlin Night Express takes you from the German capital to Stockholm; Intercités de Nuit connects Paris with either Toulouse, Latour de Carol on the Spanish border, or Briançon in the Alps; and the Hellas Express rumbles between Belgrade and Thessaloniki.

This is just a selection, of course, and one of the best things is that because you’re flying to and from different destinations to start and end your trip, you can find some of the cheapest one-way flights on

Trinidad and Tobago

Scarlet ibis — Getty ImagesThe scarlet ibis, one of two national birds of Trinidad and Tobago — Getty Images

The two-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad’s the larger one) sits off the coast of Venezuela, and prides itself on its conservation projects. Every year, the numerous organizations on the islands require volunteers to aid their activities, from measuring and cataloging the activities of leatherback turtles, to helping build new animal hospitals. 

The nonprofit organization Nature Seekers is the place to begin. For around $500, between April and August you can become part of their team, learning how to deal with and document the turtles and their nests (around 20,000 annually!), as well as patrolling the beaches at night while having time to relax and explore the island during the day. The scheme also involves trips to Caroni Swamp, a protected wetland home to hundreds of bird species, including the scarlet ibis, one of the national birds of the country.


View over Pristina at sunset — Getty ImagesPristina at sunset — Getty Images

Europe’s youngest nation is coming into its own as a tourist destination. 2023 marks 15 years since it unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, so maybe it’s time to visit this pretty part of the Balkans. The capital, Pristina, isn’t the most attractive city in the world, but its lively atmosphere and central location make it the ideal place to meet the locals, learn about the complicated history of the city and the region in its range of decent museums, and use it as a base for exploring the country further. The center of Pristina is smart enough, and the surrounding hillsides are great for looking over the city, its towers and minarets, and hearing the calls to prayer drift, ghost-like, up into the trees.

It’s also a fabulous country for outdoorsy types. In the west of the country, you’ll come across the dramatic and superbly-named Accursed Mountains, home to the Bjeshkët e Nemuna National Park. It’s a starkly beautiful place, with forests, waterfalls, meadows, and lakes at the bottom of sheer valleys, and is one of the four national parks in the region (the others being in Albania, Montenegro and a small bit of Serbia). There are plans to create a tri-state national park between Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo, to be known as the Balkans Peace Park. With the rather fraught history of the region still causing resentment to some, it would certainly be a small step in a positive direction.

The Pacific Northwest, US

Hiker in the mountains in Oregon — Getty ImagesThe state of Oregon boasts some astounding natural landscapes — Getty Images

It’s not the big city life of New York City on the east coast, and it’s not the warmth and glamor of California to the south, but the PNW (as it’s known) is well worth a chunk of your time. Oregon, Washington, and the southern end of British Columbia in Canada make up this beautiful part of the world, and though its reputation for rainy weather is kind of justified, both the cities and the scenery more than make up for it.

Portland, Oregon’s biggest city, is lively and artsy; not too big, but big enough to be fun. It’s also easy to get out to the surrounding areas of natural beauty such as the Columbia River and the beaches of the Pacific coast. Seattle, around three hours north, is home to a bunch of famous sights such as Pike Place and the Space Needle as well as some of the country’s best microbreweries. If you have the paperwork to cross into Canada, do so, and discover Vancouver, a green and pleasant city that’s home to scores of languages and cultures, and one of the best food scenes in North America.

Morelia, Mexico

Morelia Cathedral at sunset — Getty ImagesLittle did you know that there’s a party going in inside Morelia Cathedral — Getty Images

A city made of pink stone? Well, yes. More than 200 of its historic buildings are made from the light pinkish stone that’s quarried locally, and this gives the city a mellow, almost surreal look. It’s not the only oddity either. You might notice (or in fact, not notice) that there’s a lack of a zocalo, or main square; it’s the only colonial city in Mexico not to have one. This doesn’t mean the city wants for focal points though, oh no. The 18th-century baroque cathedral is one of the finest in the country, and on Saturdays, is illuminated with floodlights and fireworks as music plays and locals gather to celebrate… well, just to celebrate!

The best thing to do is to get your bearings with a trip on the Tranvía (city sightseeing bus) that departs from La Plaza de Armas. You can hop on and off at various points, and you’ll get to know all the main sights of the city, including the impressive 17th-century aqueduct — with its 253 arches — that still carries water to the city.

You can also treat yourself to something delicious. Morelia is the candy capital of Mexico, so head over to the Museo del Dulce for manufacturing demonstrations and tastings of some of the city’s most famous sweets, and then to the Mercado de Dulces y Artesanías, an entire market dedicated to the stuff. It’s a fine way to add a bit of sweetness to an already tasty city.


Beach on the island of Gorée — Getty ImagesGorée — a tiny, carless island off the coast of Dakar, the Senegalese capital — Getty Images

Senegal is known as the Land of Teranga. What’s teranga? Well, it’s a word in the Wolof language and it translates, very loosely, as ‘hospitality’, but it also defines the very essence of the country. It encompasses generosity (both spiritually and materially), a sense of community, and the idea that there’s no such thing as ‘other’. It means that, in the words of Dr. Ibra Sene — a Senegalese historian talking to the BBC — “by being so giving to all, regardless of nationality, religion or class, a feeling grows that everyone is safe and welcome […] you would be willing to look at people and counsel them as the members of your own family.”

If that doesn’t sound like somewhere to visit, I don’t know what does. It’s almost Africa in a nutshell too (if such a thing is possible). Rolling, sandy deserts in the north, mangrove swamps, tropical savannah, big, bustling cities, and beaches backed by wooden fishing villages. You can also — if you’re an EU or UK citizen — cross the border into the Gambia, a narrow strip of land along its eponymous river and a top destination for river tours spotting local wildlife. Two amazing African countries in one go? Add it to the list.

Prince Edward Island, Canada

Beach at sunset on Prince Edward Island — Getty ImagesThinking of taking a trip to Canada? Don’t miss out on Price Edward Island — Getty Images

Canada’s open plains and stunning mountains are a clear draw for adventure-seekers the world over, so poor old Prince Edward Island (Canada’s smallest province) gets forgotten about. However, you can pretty much get every aspect of the country right here: cliffs, beaches, forests, cities, villages, fields and, curiously, 27 golf courses. It’s also just opened the 435-mile-long Island Walk, a trail that circles the entire island.

To walk the whole path would take a little over a month, but you can of course choose to section-hike as much or as little as you want. It’s relatively easy terrain for the most part, and 12 to 15 miles a day is possible. Indeed, the island is pretty small, so you’re never that far from a bit of comfort or something to eat and drink. Many of the villages will have cozy seafront restaurants, and the provincial capital, Charlottetown, is home to a number of gastro pubs and bistros. If you’re looking to dip your toe into Canada, this might be the perfect introduction.

Busan, South Korea

Gamcheon Culture Village — Getty ImagesThe colorful Gamcheon Culture Village — Getty Images

South Korea’s second city is a confusing tangle of industry, student life, noises and smells, but it also has temples, mountains, beaches and forests. Busanites love that it’s different from Seoul, and happily embrace the controlled mayhem while eagerly telling visitors why their city is clearly the better place to be. With festivals happening year-round, great food, and nightlife from classical music to dive bars, you’ll soon see why people take pride in the place.

You’ll not be able to miss the Jagalchi Fish Market; the smell alone will tell you when you’re close. If you’re brave enough to venture into the ground floor and buy something, you can take it upstairs and have it cooked. Alternatively, just grab some fried tuna from one of the outdoor stalls.

Haeundae Beach is also famous, a mile and a half of sand that’s generally packed with locals. It’s worth it just to say you’ve been. There’s nightlife there at the weekend as well, with hip-hop-heavy beach bars going into the small hours. Otherwise, head to the areas surrounding the two universities for cheaper, more convivial entertainment.

During the day, Gamcheon Culture Village is worth your time, a village built for Korean War refugees that’s now an artists’ colony. The Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is also wonderful, but you’ll have to go very early to beat the enthusiastic crowds. That’s kind of the story of Busan: people just… love it.

The Uruguayan coast

Tourist in front of Montevideo sign by the beach — Getty ImagesMontevideo is a big beach city — Getty Images

Uruguay’s coastline isn’t particularly long (around 300 miles), but both the areas fronting the Río de la Plata (the River Plate) and the Atlantic Ocean are home to some of the best beaches in South America. Most of Uruguay’s population lives near the coast, so beach life is part of the country’s culture. This actually makes it very easy just to bounce from beach to beach, as most of the seafront towns have excellent bus connections between them.

In the capital, Montevideo, you’ll find beaches all along its 13-mile seafront road. Playa Pocitos is the most popular beach of the lot, with its proximity to housing making it part of everyday life for the locals. Playa Ramírez, around a mile west, is smaller, quieter, and close to a park, so your basic choice is liveliness versus relaxation.

Heading east along the coast, you’ll hit Punta del Este, a beach resort in the finest tradition of seaside gaudiness. If that’s not your cup of tea, keep going to Punta del Diablo — a cute seasonal village, home to fishermans’ cottages, a small school, and a collection of boho shops selling local wares. You could even extend your trip to a couple more countries — with Argentina on one side and Brazil on the other, you might as well just keep going!

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