The 23 Best Places To Travel in 2023
There's no disputing that travel is back in 2023, thanks to a resurgence in interest for all the getaways that had to be postponed due to the epidemic. But which are the top tourist destinations in the world? Which places in the globe are the most popular for travel?
I compile a list of the top vacation spots each year. I consulted top female travel professionals and influencers this year to learn about their picks for the top foreign destinations to visit in 2023 in recognition of Women's History Month in March.
The destinations chosen for 2023 this year range from sustainable jungle retreats to spectacular beach getaways in Europe. Comparing these choices to previous year's picks for the world's finest tourism destinations.
But bear in mind: Don't wait, since demand for travel is on the rise, expenses are rising, and 31% of travelers say they want to spend more on foreign travel this year. The moment has come to make the vacation of a lifetime on your bucket list.
Best destinations to visit in 2023: Europe
Côte ouest de majorque.
Heidi Mitchell is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and an accomplished travel writer for publications including Travel + Leisure, Town & Country, and the Financial Times' How To Spend It. Her fields of expertise range from cybersecurity to the psychology of work. Although she was born in New York and will always be a wanderer, she splits her time between Chicago and London.
Due to high demand, United Airlines has reinstated direct flights from JFK to Palma de Mallorca beginning in April for the second consecutive year. Many Europeans and Americans have moved to this Balearic island noted for its expansive beaches, but which fact shines more brilliantly inland since the epidemic started.
—where recent emigrants are rediscovering the talents of recently starred chefs like Santi Taura, who literally makes every dish (including the ceramics) by hand nightly at his tiny DINS restaurant, the pleasures of strolling the cobblestone streets of Valldemossa in the interior, the expansive winery of José Ferrer in Binissalem, and the challenging bike trails that are best enjoyed in spring and fall, when temperatures are delectably cool. "That 13th-century cathedral!," says Mitchell, "and I didn't think I'd feel comfortable walking the streets of Palma at night on my own. But it's so clean, magically illuminated at night, and buzzing with youthful couples strolling hand in hand."
Even if you've been to Mallorca before, you'll find new vitality in the unlit hours. Former executive headhunter Paul Skevington relocated from London to what he calls "the Mecca of European cycling," an island about the size of Delaware, to launch a high-end bicycle retailer called Parietti. He also makes light of Mallorca's transformation into a "Founders' Island," a place where everyone opens their own company, whether it is a charming small boutique (Ca Na Toneta) or an artisanal pharmacy (Arquinesia).
Make Castell Son Claret your headquarters if you want to avoid the bustle of Palma, where the majority of the 500,000 inhabitants live. The 43-room hulk was first constructed as a 19th-century castle and is situated on 326 acres that are primarily home to sheep. "I loved waking up early after nights of long dinners and bottles of wine to run it off on the property, veering between sheep and wild olive trees," adds Mitchell. The new garden rooms, created by the Spanish design company Decagano and Juncosa, pay homage to the glitter of the 1960s jet set and provide breathtaking floor to ceiling views of the UNESCO-protected Tramuntana mountain range. Jord Canto, a local son, runs the restaurant there called Sa Clastra. who has reportedly been chosen to obtain a Michelin star.
Forget whatever what you've heard about package tourists swarming these beaches, Mitchell advises. In fact, skip the beaches and bring your trekking boots and explorer's spirit instead. Today, Mallorca is essentially unexplored land.
Where to Go: Sicily's Noto Valley
'N A Perfect World, a curated confluence of travel, cuisine, fashion, and geopolitics inspired by the global-citizen lifestyle of the millennial, was chosen by Nneya Richards, a speaker and travel blogger. Richards wants to encourage young people, especially those of color, to travel because she thinks doing so will help us overcome cultural divides and misconceptions.
"There has always been a thing for film and television tourism. There's little question that this summer, The White Lotus fans will fill the Sicilian town of Taormina, which is undoubtedly Italy's finest PR asset, says Nneya Richards.
Richards claims that "you won't be disappointed in this romantic and charming town," whether having lunch at the Four Seasons San Domenico Palace—the real hotel from the HBO series—or traveling along the vibrant streets that Valentina, the manager of The White Lotus, walked through on her way to work.
Fly into Catania and drive south to the Noto Valley, the epicenter of Sicilian baroque architecture, if you're eager for a more thorough tour of the island, complete with stunning architecture and breath-taking baroque grandeur.
According to Richards, the Val di Noto region of Sicily is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites. The history of this region, which dates back to Magna Grecia, makes it even more evident that this is where you can witness the actual Kingdom of Sicily.
There is something for the whole family with the Ionian Sea and lovely beach lengths shining during the day and the illuminated grandeur of the renowned Noto Valley cities at night. Fans of chocolate? Go to the Modica town, advises Richards. "Love pottery? Visit a Caltagirone artisanal store. The Noto Valley should not be missed.
Scotland's Isle of Skye is where to go.
Scotland's Isle of Skye
Jane Anderson is a London-based travel journalist and magazine editor. Currently serving as travel editor for Prima magazine, the fifth best-selling monthly lifestyle publication in the United Kingdom, as well as Companion magazine, a tabloid-style publication for 25hours Hotel guests. She also does freelance work for The Telegraph and iNews' travel sections. She is also a co-author of the recently released Bradt Guides book Slow Travel Family Breaks: Perfect Escapes in Britain's Special Places.
Thanks to hometown heroine Flora Macdonald, the Isle of Skye gained notoriety as the location where Bonnie Prince Charlie hid out following the Battle of Culloden. (It is also the setting for Sir Harold Edwin Boulton's 1870 song "The Skye Boat Song," which Outlander fans adore.) Skye, which is a part of the Inner Hebrides, has become a getaway from the fast-paced contemporary world. It was and, ideally, will always be a refuge, according to Anderson. It took me until I was in my forties to visit the West Coast of Scotland, where my father vacationed as a young man, and in particular Skye. My father is from Edinburgh, a city I love and know well.
The Bracken Hide Hotel, a unique pod hotel and Nordic sauna retreat with a natural swimming pond on the outskirts of the little capital, Portree, opens this year. Its luxurious accommodations mirror Skye's untamed scenery with views of the Cuillin Hills or the Isle of Raasay, blending rustic appeal with a dash of glitz. A restaurant, whiskey bar, and screening room are all part of The Hub.
Go to Kinloch Lodge if you desire something much more traditional. The restaurant was established in 1972 by Lord and Lady Macdonald and served as their family home until being taken over by their daughter Isabella Macdonald, a relation of the aforementioned Flora (whose image is shown in the wood-paneled restaurant). The hotel's theme of seasonality and sustainability has been restored by Isabella and head chef Jordan Webb using foods that are either homegrown in Kinloch's polytunnels or foraged from the loch coast and woodlands. Visitors may pick up these techniques from Mitchell Partridge, the hotel's ghillie, or go on a wildlife hunt with Stewart Dawber of Skye High Wildlife to see deer, otters, and Golden Eagles.
"A highlight of my stay at Kinloch was a whisky tasting with manager Dan in the historic bar where the Macdonald clan discussed joining the battle of Culloden," recalls Anderson. You must begin with the two nearby distilleries: Talisker, founded in 1830, and Torabhaig, a relative newcomer, set to release its first single malt in 2021. Torabhaig distillery tour, whiskey tasting, and picnic lunch are all included in Kinloch Lodge's new package for the water of life, which is available to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Excise Act, also known as Year Zero for whisky.
Don't forget to eat at Edinbane Lodge, which was a run-down hunting lodge until chef-patron Calum Montgomery, who was born and bred on Skye, took over with his family five years ago. It also offers four guestrooms to sleep in after you've gorged on hand-dived Isle of Rona scallops with smoked seaweed butter and other delicacies. In March, it won the title of Restaurant of the Year at the Scottish Excellence Awards.
Nice, France is a great place to visit.
Anthony Bourdain and Laurie Woolever are co-authors of the New York Times bestseller Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography and World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, respectively.
According to Laurie Woolever, "Nice is at the vanguard of a new age. A new city-wide tram system enables eco-friendly transit across the city. Many streets are now solely available to pedestrians.
Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel's debut in a beautifully restored 19th-century building overlooking the sparkling Promenade des Anglais is a historic occasion for Nice and the triumphant return of one of the most illustrious hotels on the Côte d'Azur. With a lavish spa and signature experiences like "In the Footsteps of Coco Chanel," which includes a tour of Château de Crémat (the wine estate that served as the inspiration for Chanel's famous interlocking-C logo), the Belle Époque-era hotel combines old-world elegance with modern luxuries.
Nice also has a ton of intriguing food news. "For dining, I love SEEN rooftop restaurant and bar at Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel for its elegant menu and spectacular city views," adds Woolever. "Rouge, a natural wine bar featuring Mediterranean sharing plates founded by a protégé of Yves Camdeborde of Le Comptoir in Paris."
The 80th running of the Monaco Grand Prix and the 76th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival are noteworthy events for 2023 as well. Nice makes a fantastic basis for both.
Interlaken, Switzerland is a good place to visit.
Tramway, La schynige platte, Montagne.
The Insatiable Traveler was founded by freelance travel writer, photographer, and content developer Susan Portnoy. Her essays will soon be published in Smithsonian, AARP, and Travel + Leisure. Her work has also been featured in AFAR and Newsweek.
Interlaken, Switzerland has earned the title of "Adventure Capital of the World" and has developed into an extraordinary year-round outdoor activity hub, hosting everything from paragliding, bungee jumping, and mountain climbing to hiking and bicycling.
"The more I travel, the more I want to savor a location instead of approaching my trips like a tasting menu and visiting multiple destinations—I want to experience a region in depth," claims Susan Portnoy. Interlaken meets all of my criteria. Numerous activities, like as hiking at Grindelwald or kayaking on Lake Thun, were either in town or less than an hour away by car or train in the Bernese Highlands, where the natural beauty of the terrain is a winner.
Switzerland is recognized for its sustainability efforts, which is important when considering responsible travel. "I adore the rail system there. Train travel is easy and convenient, and the passenger carriages receive bonus marks for always being almost spotless, according to Portnoy. "You must have a Swiss Travel Pass. With only one QR code, I was able to board the bus, obtain deals on tours, and gain access to more than 500 institutions.
Interlaken has more spine-tingling alternatives in addition to hiking, bicycling, skiing, and swimming. The Canyon Swing, according to Portnoy, was the most strange for him. Simply put, I walked off a mountain and fell 300 feet at 120 mph while wearing a harness. I started swinging back and forth in a slot canyon right before I might have maybe struck the stones in the river below.
For some thing simpler, Portnoy recommends touring the Funky Chocolate Factory ("to study more about Switzerland's chocolate history and make chocolate bars the size of her book). your own"), the Classic Carlton-European Hotel (opened in 1898 and has wonderful vignettes filled with antiques from its past"), the Harderbahn Funicular ("an impossible stopover stop") skip for great views”) and Ristorante Sapori e Pizzeria (“with its towering, vaulted ceilings and magnificent painted ceilings, it has the opulence of Versailles”).
Where to Go: Spain FormenteraFormentera, Spain
Jane Anderson, a London-based travel journalist and magazine editor, made the selection. Currently serves as both the travel editor for Prima magazine, the fifth best-selling monthly lifestyle publication in the U.K., and the editor of Companion, a tabloid-style publication for 25hours Hotel guests. She also does freelance work for The Telegraph and iNews' travel sections. She is also a co-author of the recently released Bradt Guides book Slow Travel Family Breaks: Perfect Escapes in Britain's Special Places.
"In my 20s and 30s, Ibiza's renowned White Isle was the epicenter of partying in the Balearics. And while I still like dancing, I yearn for Formentera, the smaller sister island, because of its more laid-back atmosphere. This Green Isle has mostly been kept beneath the radar since the 1970s, when hippies and creatives first discovered it.
Formentera, which has resisted calls to construct an airport, is only reachable from Ibiza by swift ferry or, if you're lucky, private yacht, though be aware that yachts cannot anchor due to the region's tight regulations safeguarding the seagrass. The priceless seagrass provides the surrounding seas an exquisite turquoise tint that rivals any stranded island in the Indian Ocean in vibrancy.
Thanks to a prohibition on plastic bags, Anderson notes, "all hotels are required to have a circularity plan that addresses issues like water use and clean energies." In order to prevent traffic and pollution and to maintain the harmony between locals' everyday lives and visitors during the peak season, there are vehicle restrictions. A Sustainable Tourism Tax is another option. To take the initial steps toward UNESCO certification as a Starlight Tourist Destination, Formentera signed the Declaration in Defense of the Night Sky and Right to Starlight this year.
Formentera's 32 'Rutas Verdes' or 'Green Routes' that round the island are among its top draws. When you slow down, their distance of more than 100 km makes them appear to be a much greater landmass. All are bike-friendly, with bird viewing and photo opportunities around every corner as you pass lighthouses, beaches, and powerful defense towers along the coast or swing inland past dry-stone walls close to salt flats, windmills, vineyards, and historic archaeological sites. Anderson suggests taking an e-bike trip with Formentera Ebikes Tours, which is handled by a local named Bartolo Torres who will supply you with aniseed-soaked figs from his family's farm to keep you going.
Anderson continues, "My best advice is to travel during the shoulder seasons of May/June and September/October when it's quieter, less expensive, and a little cooler—the ideal climate for walking and cycling—and stay at Hotel Casbah, a gorgeous rural boutique hotel with local baskets in the room for you to use while you're there.
"At the Pilar de la Mola hippie market, you may discover one-of-a-kind souvenirs like costumes created from ancient linen, lace tablecloths and old towels by Coser I Cantar, or jewelry designed in the style of seagrass by Enric Majoral. If you're interested in the solar system, have a look at the upcoming dates for the Formentera Astronomica stargazing event.
Destination: Greece Paros
This column's author and travel specialist Laura Begley Bloom.
Santorini and Mykonos often garner the majority of media attention when it comes to Greek islands. But Paros is quickly becoming as the preferred location for genuine insiders in the Cyclades. Without the crowds and the exorbitant rates, you'll still enjoy the classic whitewashed towns, gorgeous white-sand beaches, and crystal-clear Aegean waters.
The harbor city of Parikia (sometimes spelled Paroikia) is where most visitors first arrive because of its meandering alleyways. The jet set, meanwhile, prefers to stay in the quaint town of Naoussa in the island's north. Don't miss the renowned Yemeni, which has tables that flow out into the winding cobblestone streets at night. In the meanwhile, busy outdoor dining establishments like Tsachpinis Ouzeri Ton Naftikon change the yacht-filled bay.
Cosme, a Luxury Collection Resort, is a new addition to the hotel industry in Naoussa. It is located outside of the city. This opulent retreat offers a private beach club and 40 rooms with clean interior designs. Parlio, a 33-suite hideaway distinguished by timelessly simple design and surrounded by pastoral vistas, is another alluring Paros destination.
Want to take a bit of Paros with you when you go home? Visit Anthologist, which has jewel-box stores in both Cosme and Parlio. Anthologist creator Andria Mitsakos sources its limited-edition merchandise and handcrafted goods to capture the true spirit of the Greek islands.
Best destinations to visit in 2023: Asia and EuropeEurope carte
Travel Destination: Istanbul, TurkeyIstanbul, Turkey
Anya von Bremzen, a three-time James Beard Award winner and a regular contributor to AFAR magazine. Anya is the author of Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, a memoir, and six highly regarded cookbooks. In June 2023, her latest novel, National Dish, will be released. She has an apartment in Istanbul and divides her time between there and New York.
"Istanbul has long been associated with romance because to its rich history, enchanted rivers, and beautiful panoramas. However, this city, which borders both Europe and Asia, is also a dynamic modern metropolis that has lately been rejuvenated by a number of ambitious new initiatives, according to Anya von Bremzen. "One is Galataport, a mixed-use development with a beautiful waterfront promenade, acres of shopping, a futuristic subterranean cruise port, and hotspots for eating like the seafood-focused Sait, fashionable fusiony Roka, and the Populist bar, which offers up local craft brews and has amazing views. Additionally, the soon-to-be-opened Istanbul Modern Museum by Renzo Piano and the Peninsula Istanbul, which debuted last month spanning many ancient structures and offers spectacular rooms with views of the Bosporus, are both here.
The Ciragan Palace Kempinski, the biggest hotel in Istanbul, has an Ottoman palace from the 19th century on its grounds. According to von Bremzen, "it is a local institution and an icon, and by summer it will unveil a super-opulent renovation of its guest rooms and public spaces oversaw by designer du jour, Serdar Gulgun."
Von Bremzen recommends the two-Michelin rated Turk, the brand-new Avlu restaurant in the remodeled Four Seasons Sultanahmet, and classics like Mikla for exhilarating modern twists on Turkish food. Von Bremzen adds, "I also like the city's talented female chefs, like Burcak Kazdal, who creates incredible locavore cuisine at her adorable Apartiman.
Von Bremzen seeks refuge at Bodrum on the Aegean coast during the summer. There, on one of the prettiest sections of beach in the region, "I've fallen for a new hotel called Kaya Palazzo Le Chic," claims von Bremzen. The restaurant on its private pier is excellent, and the treatments at the spa are fantastic.
Another incentive to travel to Istanbul in 2023? Istanbul has never been more accessible, claims von Bremzen. Turkish Airlines, the elegant, award-winning national airline, just added Newark, Dallas, and Seattle-Tacoma to its list of U.S. vacation destinations. Hot tip: The airline is now providing the new Istanbul Stopover Program, which includes two complimentary nights at a four-star hotel for passengers traveling in economy class and three complimentary nights at a five-star hotel for customers traveling in business class, for travellers with extended transfer periods at its Istanbul hub. Oh, and the airline's corporate lounge in Istanbul has some of the best Turkish cuisine in the city, according to von Bremzen.
Best Travel Destinations in 2023: AsiaAsia
Alyssa Ramos, founder of My Life's a Movie and a single female travel blogger, content producer, businesswoman, and social media influencer, was the one who recommended these places. Ramos travels often and aims to highlight uncommon destinations through her distinctive photography and frank, thorough travel advice. Her guiding principle is "Dreams Don't Work Unless You Do."
The reason is According to Alyssa Ramos, "With travel almost entirely back to normal, it opens up a whole new contender list for best places to go in 2023." Top on the list is Japan, where I am right now. The wonderful nation has finally reopened its gates after nearly three years of closure, and it is even greater than before.
The Japan National Tourism Organization reports that tourism has increased significantly since the nation's reopening in October. Ramos is enthusiastic about places like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Okinawa. "Despite news of foreigners flocking here, or of it being overcrowded, I'm currently finding it quite spaced out and as always, organized—even during the first Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Festival Season since pre-pandemic," he adds.
Aman Residences, Tokyo, the company's first residence-only development, the launch of Aman's sister wellness-focused brand at Janu Tokyo, and the inauguration of Japan's first Bulgari hotel are just a few of the major 2023 developments in Tokyo. Another significant opening is the Tokyu Kabukicho Tower, which will be the biggest hotel and entertainment complex in Japan when it is completed by Tokyu Corporation. Two new hotels will be located there: the opulent Bellustar Tokyo (a Pan Pacific Hotel), which will be on the 39th to 47th stories, and the trendy Hotel Groove Shinjuku, which will be on the 18th to 38th floors.
Tokyo has a lot going on when it comes to entertainment, including the soon-to-open Animate Ikebukuro (the largest anime store in the world), the new immersive Turandot production by the digital art collective teamLab, a new Japanese Cultural and Innovation Center next to Haneda International Airport, and the Sunshine 60 Observatory in Ikebukuro (which is reopening as an indoor park). Want to explore Tokyo more? To organize a self-guided city trip by rail, go to Ramos's instructions.
There is a ton of news in Kyoto's hotel sector, including the Ace Hotel, Marufukuro, which is housed in the former Nintendo headquarters, and the Park Hyatt Kyoto, which is adjacent to Kodai-ji Temple and has an outlet of Michelin-starred chef Wes Avila's Piopiko restaurant.
The Okinawa Islands are another one of Ramos' favorite locations. It was comparable to French Polynesia, but far less expensive, she explains. The brand-new Hoshinoya Okinawa, an island resort on the beach near the Yomitan coastal hamlet, is one option for lodging. In addition, Ramos suggests visiting the Zamami Islands for their stunning beaches.
Destination: Sri Lanka
Juliana Broste is a travel host and filmmaker who has won 12 Heartland Emmy Awards. Her shows highlight experiences and entertaining activities throughout the globe. Visit travelingjules.com or follow @TravelingJules on Instagram to join in the fun.
What is the reason? According to Juliana Broste, "Sri Lanka has had a difficult period. "Visitors will find Sri Lanka to be an amazing, reasonably priced destination worth the lengthy journey, even with inflation. You can circle the island to discover why it will keep you guessing—from the bustle of Colombo, the nation's capital, to the breathtaking beaches, rice farms, waterfalls, plains, and mountains."
Have your camera at the ready because there is a lot to view in a very short amount of time. "Spotting the wildlife in Sri Lanka is really special," said Broste, who was there on a picture vacation. You may go on a safari to an elephant sanctuary, witness whales in the Indian Ocean, and observe animals in a mangrove, including birds, lizards, jellyfish, and monkeys. Broste has a goal to see leopards in Yala National Park the following time.
There are several cultural sites to visit in Sri Lanka, including the historic cities of Anuradhapura and Kandy. "When visiting religious sites, bring an all-white outfit that covers your shoulders and legs," advises Broste. "Seeing men and women in traditional dress telling stories through dance is a highlight of seeing a traditional Kandyan dance performance."
Nuwara Eliya, sometimes known as "Little England," is a cold climate hideaway where a notable Sri Lankan product, ceylon tea, is cultivated. "Winding roads reveal rows and rows of tea bushes on the hillside—be sure to stop in for a cup of tea on your visit to a tea factory and plantation," Broste recommends. "Also enjoyable: sampling a king coconut on the side of the road while on your adventure."
Head to the top of the shimmering pink Lotus Tower for a bird's eye perspective of the city for a magnificent view of Colombo. "It's a symbol of the city, and it's just a hair taller than the Eiffel Tower," Broste explains. "Another famous viewpoint worth the hike is Lion's Rock in the ancient city of Sigiriya, which features the ruins of an ancient stronghold perched atop a dramatic rock outcrop." It's mind-boggling to consider how a whole society existed here centuries ago."
Hong Kong is a great place to visit.
Currently traveling around South East Asia, India-Jayne Trainor is a travel writer and photographer who has written for publications such as AFAR, Atlas Obscura, and Reader's Digest. Her trips and tips may be found on Instagram at @exploringwithindia.
"The motto 'Asia's World City' could not be more apt. "Every time I visit, I wish I'd spent more time exploring—but with diverse cuisine, a thriving arts and culture scene, and over 200 jungle- and beach-covered islands, there's always something new to see and do," says India-Jayne Trainor.
There has never been a better time to visit Hong Kong, since the city is giving free 500,000 airfares this year. The area recently abolished its remaining Covid limitations, and the last three years have seen the establishment of new luxury hotels like as The Regent, The Hari, and Fullerton Ocean Park, which are all helping to elevate Hong Kong's gastronomic profile.
Local teahouses and street food remain popular, but cuisines from Asia, Europe, and North America can be found at restaurants such as Jade, Heimat, and Mosu. "Mosu is located in one of my favorite districts, the West Kowloon Cultural District." "It's a constantly growing arts and culture hub, with theaters, performance spaces, cafes, and stunning views of Hong Kong's skyline," adds Trainor of the new M+ Museum and Hong Kong Palace Museum. From the vivid street paintings in Sheung Wan to the new Tai Kwun towers, art can be seen everywhere in Hong Kong, which recently finished Art Basel 2023.
Despite popular belief that Hong Kong is tightly packed with skyscrapers, its hundreds of islands are only a short boat journey away. Lamma and Cheung Chau offer a relaxed vibe, with golden beaches and waterfront cafés. Hiking on Sharp Island or across Hong Kong Island to Repulse Bay offers mountain views and enticing beaches for those seeking a bit more challenge. "I love that you can go from a bustling city to waterfalls and jungle in less than an hour," Trainor adds. "However, whenever I visit, I always return to Hong Kong's most famous attractions, such as Happy Valley."
The Star Ferry and The Peak—take the Peak Tram to the top for the greatest views in the city before walking down to Hong Kong Park."
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is a great place to visit.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Alyssa Ramos, founder of My Life's a Movie and a single female travel blogger, content creator, entrepreneur, and social media influencer who travels the world full-time and tries to promote unusual locations through her unique photographic style and honest, thorough travel suggestions, was chosen to represent the site. Her catchphrase is "Dreams Don't Work Unless You Do."
Prior to the epidemic, Kuala Lumpur was the world's sixth-most-visited city, and now, after being closed for two and a half years, Malaysia's capital is back and better than ever, with a historic flood of tourists and exciting news for 2023. "I've had many layovers in Kuala Lumpur and have always loved the fabulous airport with the mini rainforest complete with waterfall in the middle," Alyssa Ramos adds. "However, Malaysia, and particularly Kuala Lumpur, is a destination I have been guilty of grossly underrating for many years."
According to Ramos, Kuala Lumpur is a "mini Singapore, but for a fraction of the price, with brand-new luxury high rises stretching towards the sky, many with stunning rooftop pools and direct views of the Petronas Towers."
The Park Hyatt Kuala Lumpur will occupy the top 17 floors of a 118-story skyscraper overlooking Stadium Merdeka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where Malaysia achieved independence in 1957.
"There are also fantastic restaurants serving a diverse range of cuisines from around the world," Ramos adds. Sushi Mew at The Westin KL, Jwala for spicy Northern Indian food (the name of the restaurant means "flame" in Sanskrit), and the Latin American Mano Restaurant are among the most recent attractions.
The Batu Caves, located on the outskirts of town, are not to be missed. "Just a short ride with Grab (the local rideshare company) will get you to the famous Batu Caves, with their hundreds of colorful steps leading up to cave temples," Ramos explains.
Visit Ninh Binh, Vietnam.
Ninh Binh, Vietnam
Chosen Brazilian-born, San Francisco-based author Catarina Mello (@professionaltraveler) is a photographer, entrepreneur, and online educator who has created award-winning luxury travel material. Catarina has increased her audience to over 800k followers across platforms since leaving her digital marketing job at Google for a life as a travel maker.
"Ninh Binh has been named one of the most underrated destinations in Asia, and it's often referred to as one of the most beautiful hidden gems on the Asian continent," Catarina Mello explains. "It's becoming more popular on social media, so it won't be a hidden gem for long." Visit while it still provides a truly authentic Northern Vietnam experience."
A interesting fact: Ninh Binh province was the setting for the 2016 blockbuster Kong: Skull Island. "Only two hours away from the busy capital city, Hanoi, Ninh Binh is an authentic and fascinating place known for its giant limestone karst mountains, lush valleys, miles and miles of rice fields, and winding rivers," Mello adds. "It's so beautiful that you'll immediately fall in love with it."
Travelers spend their days riding through rice fields, trekking limestone mountains for magnificent vistas, seeing pagodas, and drifting through caverns on a traditional rowing boat. "In Ninh Binh, the cliffs emerge from valleys covered in rice fields and rivers, giving the province the nickname 'Ha Long Bay on Land,'" Mello explains. "It's truly magical."
Where should I stay? "Tam Coc Garden Resort is situated in an idyllic setting, surrounded by limestone peaks and lush rice fields," Mello adds. "The hotel gardens are lovely, the swimming pool has stunning views, and the rooms and villas are charming." Not to add the exceptional service—they can arrange or do anything for visitors.
Mountain goat meat is one of Ninh Binh's specialty dishes. "The most famous dishes include goat soup, grilled goat meat with five spices, and steamed goat meat with ginger," Mello explains.
Rajasthan, India is a great place to visit.
Alyssa Ramos, the founder of My Life's a Movie and a single female travel blogger, content creator, entrepreneur, and social media influencer who travels the world full-time and tries to promote unusual locations through her unique photographic style and honest, thorough travel suggestions, was chosen by. Her catchphrase is "Dreams Don't Work Unless You Do."
"In two words, I would describe India as'beautiful chaos,'" Alyssa Ramos explains. "After years of it being closed due to the pandemic, I put India back on my travel to-do list this year, and after my recent trip, I was even more impressed than ever."
Ramos, a lone female tourist, says she has never felt safer in India and enjoys visiting sites such as Delhi's Kahn Market ("you can find upscale shops and a lot of cute restaurants and bars") and the Andaman Islands ("one of my top secret gem locations").
However, Rajasthan tops Ramos' India list for 2023. "It has beautiful architecture, palaces, a huge fort, tons of market shopping, and, of course, delicious food," Ramos explains. "Stop by The Tattoo Cafe & Lounge, where the most famous photo of the Wind Palace can be taken, and say 'hi' to the owners Juhi and Karan on my behalf." Order something to support your café, or get a tattoo like I did."
Jaipur's Villa Palladio is the talk of Rajasthan. The colorful high-design hotel on a charming rural estate is the brainchild of the same people who brought you the city's famed Caffé Palladio and Bar Palladio. Johri & Sons, a lively cocktail bar built in conjunction with gin maker Stranger & Sons and boutique hotel The Johri at Lal Haveli, is another intriguing new addition. The recently constructed 3,765-acre Amagarh Leopard Reserve, located on the outskirts of town, is home to 16 leopards, 250 kinds of birds, hyenas, foxes, and other wildlife.
Ramos particularly appreciates traditional hotels such as Udaipur's Taj Lake Palace ("a former summer palace floating in the middle of a lake") and Jodhpur's Umaid Bhawan Palace ("the royal family of Jodhpur lives in a wing there"). "If you want to feel like royalty, you have to stay at one of these properties," she recommends.
Caribbean, Central and South America are the best places to visit in 2023.
Manizales, Colombia is a good place to visit.
Peggy Bree, a Toronto-based digital nomad, resides in Colombia with her malti-poo, Chilli, and is expanding her customized creative outlet, blank room. Follow her on Instagram for updates on her spirituality, digital nomad life, and brand/business life.
Cartagena, Bogota, and Medellin have all had their moments of fame. Manizales, a peaceful central Colombia town renowned as the "City of Open Doors" because to its hospitable population, is currently trending for 2023.
"Off the beaten path," adds Peggy Bree, "Manizales is the place to go." "If I had to describe Manizales in one word, it would be'epic.'"
Manizales is located in the Andes coffee-growing area, surrounded by the enormous volcanoes of Los Nevados National Park. There are coffee farms to tour, hot springs to relax in, and a cloud forest to discover. "It's a more unique and wild side of Colombia," adds Bree. "I've never seen as much greenery—including large waterfalls surrounded by bamboo trees."
Attraversiamo, a bamboo boutique hotel (watch Bree's film here), is the place to stay. "It was inspired by Bali, which the scenery in Manizales matched," Bree explains. "It's the ideal spot for reading, studying, and journaling."
Grenada is a great place to visit.
St George's, Grenada
Chosen Nneya Richards is a travel writer and speaker at 'N A Perfect World, a curated nexus of travel, cuisine, fashion, and geopolitics inspired by the millennial's global-citizen lifestyle. Richards wants to encourage young people, especially those of color, to travel because she feels that doing so will help us bridge cultural barriers and misconceptions.
Because Grenada, known as the Caribbean's Spice Isle, has world-class beaches, beautiful waterfalls, and lots of news for 2023. "The Grenadians have kept their beautiful green isle a secret." "But I understand—it's paradise," Nneya Richards explains.
It is now simpler than ever to go to Grenada. "With Jet Blue offering more direct flights to Grenada, you can expand your Caribbean horizons," adds Richards.
Six Senses at La Sagesse will be the brand's first resort in the Caribbean, and will open this year. As part of its commitment to sustainability, the resort will offer a mix of indoor and outdoor restaurants and bars that will serve fresh foods farmed nearby and seafood caught by local fisherman. The Beach House by Silversands Grenada, which is set to open shortly, is a small luxury boutique hotel offering one-bedroom villas and two-bedroom apartments on the cliff or overlooking Portici Beach.
Richards is especially pleased about Sandals Grenada, which is located on the exclusive Pink Gin Beach. "Imagine swimming pools in the sky and living rooms in swimming pools." She describes private plunge pools, cascading waterfalls, meandering river pools, and butler service. "Speaking of waterfalls, a trip to the island would not be complete without a waterfall hike."
Grenada also produces some of the world's greatest chocolate. "When you go to a chocolate factory in Grenada, you can pick the cacao pod off the tree," Richards explains. "That's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how well you'll eat in Grenada."Grand Anse Beach, Morne Rouge, Grenada
Destination: Caribbean Coast, Costa Rica
This column is written by Laura Begley Bloom, a travel specialist.
In 2023, the perfect location for eco-travelers seeking a one-of-a-kind journey with a low environmental impact? The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.
This less-traveled coast is gaining popularity due to its unique blend of culture and wildlife—without the crowds. It's the perfect place for vacationers looking for a one-of-a-kind experience with a low environmental effect, with eco-lodges, rainforest bungalows, and boutique hotels as common as sloths.
Culture enthusiasts will like Limon, a little coastal town that has become a hub for visitors looking for snorkeling, surfing, and Afro-Caribbean music. Alternatively, for a really immersive experience, visitors may stay with the Bri Bri—Costa Rica's biggest indigenous community—in Talamanca and learn more about their history and traditions.
Beaches worth visiting include Playa Punta Uva, Puerto Viejo, Playa Cahuita, Playa Cocles, and Manzanillo. Tortuguero National Park (a nesting site for green turtles), Cahuita National Park (home to sloths and monkeys), Gandoca-Manzanillo Natural Wildlife Refuge (home to natural mangrove oyster beds), and Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge (the country's second largest rain forest preserve) are among the national parks along the coast.
Best Places to Travel in 2023: Canada
Edmonton, Alberta is a good place to visit.
Edmonton, Canada's greatest northernmost metropolis and capital, is a lively metropolitan hub in the thick of the wilderness. During the summer, there are 18 hours of daylight, while during the winter, there are icicle castles. There's always something new to discover in Edmonton's culinary scene, from the edgy and inventive Chinese fusion at Fu's Repair Shop to the greatest prairie food at RGE RD.
"At RGE RD, I had one of the most incredible meals." "This place is phenomenal, from the decor to the plating," says Kelsey Marie. "Another RGE RD must-try: the Road Trip." Your palate will be taken on a voyage, and you'll have no idea what's next on this blind-tasting multi-course excursion."
Edmonton's craft beer sector is also thriving. Happy Beer Street, a new unofficial brewery area, has seven craft brewers, including The Monolith, which offers mixed-fermentation beers that take a few years to make. Ale Architect, the eighth brewery on Happy Beer Street, will open in April 2023.
Amiskwaciy Waskahikan, popularly known as Edmonton, is home to several Indigenous communities, and the region has a rich and colorful history. In and around the city, visitors may explore Indigenous experiences such as art at Whiskeyjack Art House, Bearclaw Gallery, and the Indigenous Peoples Experience at Fort Edmonton Park. Don't forget about Elk Island National Park. "On a snowshoe adventure with Talking Rock Tours, you'll learn about indigenous culture and surrounding wildlife, and you'll have a chance to become one with nature," Marie explains.
Visit Victoria, British Columbia.
The Victoria skyline at night.
Corinne Whiting is a Seattle-based journalist who has contributed to publications such as USA Today 10Best, Seattle Times, Seattle Refined, and others.
"One of the unexpected joys of living in the Pacific Northwest turned out to be frequent jaunts to charming Victoria," Corinne Whiting explains. "I enjoy the convenience of this compact, walkable city, and each time I visit, I discover new treasures."
Sustainability, as well as honoring and appreciating local First Nations, will be priorities in 2023. Learn about the Songhees Nation at the Songhees Wellness Centre, which brings people and traditions together, before embarking on a cultural canoe or walking tour from the Inner Harbour.
Victoria takes "green" to another level as a worldwide pioneer in environmental projects, thanks to her outstanding natural settings. Greater Victoria just received Biosphere status, which is a significant achievement for the destination. Visitors to Victoria can witness additional sustainable efforts in action by staying at a carbon neutral hotel like Inn at Laurel Point or Parkside Hotel, dining at Big Wheel Burger (Canada's first carbon-neutral fast-food restaurant), or seeing the iconic Orca Whales with a carbon neutral and ocean-friendly tour operator like Orca Spirit or Eagle Wing Tours.
Fairmont Empress will unveil a multi-million dollar refurbishment to its hallmark Fairmont Gold level (the brand's premier lifestyle hotel experience) in June 2023. The rebuilt Fairmont Gold will have 22 additional guest rooms as well as a completely remodeled Fairmont Gold Lounge with a larger internal lounge and outdoor terrace with panoramic sea views.
Other Victoria favorites for Whiting include First Nations-led tours and paddling experiences, as well as spectacular bicycling rides interspersed with wonderful food and drinks. "Of course, it doesn't hurt that Canadians are some of the nicest people," she adds.
Victoria, BC, Canada
Best Places to Travel in 2023: Africa and the Middle East
Namibia is a great place to visit.
Chosen Melissa Klurman is a travel specialist who has written for Reader's Digest, The Points Guy, and Travel Awaits.
"The rolling red sand dunes and remote Skeleton Coast landscapes of Namibia have long been on my Africa bucket list," writes Melissa Klurman, a travel journalist and African travel specialist who has covered the continent for more than two decades. "This year, I was finally able to fully immerse myself in the wonders of Namibia, and it was well worth the wait," she adds.
What makes 2023 the ideal year to visit? "Natural Selection, a safari company that runs stellar, eco-friendly lodges such as the fabulous Shipwreck Lodge, added a flying safari to reach their camps for the first time," Klurman says, adding that "this is a true game changer for visiting the visually stunning, and very isolated, desert regions of the country."
While flying safaris are the standard and quite required in other safari areas of Africa, such as Botswana, driving has long been the most preferred mode of transportation in Namibia. The ability to fly instead of drive, according to Klurman, made all the difference in her schedule and makes the off-the-beaten-path safari area much more accessible to vacationers.
"I was able to visit Etosha Heights in the northern reaches of the country to see wildlife such as elephant, lion, and giraffe, and then fly to the wildly remote Skeleton Coast Shipwreck Lodge, where life seems all but impossible in the massive sand dunes," Klurman explains. "For the rest of the Natural Selection itinerary, a private pilot flew my group to what is now my new favorite lodge anywhere, Hoanib Valley, which is comprised of just six tents in what feels like another planet, and then on to the Dark Sky Reserve of Kwessi Dunes all the way in the southern NamibRand."
An schedule like this may take 13 days to complete by car, but with the assistance of the travel gurus at Audley Travel who assisted Klurman in planning her itinerary, "Flying, I was able to do the entire thing in half that time," Klurman adds.
Oman has been chosen as the destination.
Brazilian-born, San Francisco-based author Catarina Mello (@professionaltraveler) is a photographer, entrepreneur, and online educator who has created award-winning luxury travel material. Catarina has increased her audience to over 800k followers across platforms since leaving her digital marketing job at Google for a life as a travel maker.
"If I had to bet on a destination skyrocketing in popularity in the coming years, I'd pick Oman," Catarina Mello adds. "I've visited 57 countries, and to say Oman is the most underrated country I've ever visited would be an understatement." Oman is stunning in every sense. The surroundings are amazing and diverse, ranging from clean blue beaches with great underwater life to breathtaking gorges, mountains, and wadis, a brilliant orange desert with massive sand dunes, and much more."
There are beautiful castles, gorgeous mosques, picturesque mountain towns, souks and markets filled with local treasures. "Not to mention the rich culture, cuisine, and the kindest and most welcoming people you'll ever meet traveling," Mello adds.
What's the best part?
"It's an extremely safe, welcoming, and relatively small country, making it easy to explore all of its different landscapes by car," Mello explains. "It's the ideal destination for a road trip."
Mello's favorite spots in Oman are the Daymaniyat Islands just west of Muscat, Wadi Shab, Bimmah Sinkhole, Sultan Qaabos Grand Mosque, Wahiba Sands desert, Nizwa Fort, and Jabreen Castle.
Best Places to Travel in 2023: Oceania
Tasmania is a great place to visit.
Chloe Sachdev, a freelance travel and lifestyle journalist, was chosen. She has lived all over the world, from Singapore to London to Hong Kong, and now calls Bondi Beach in Sydney home. Her work has appeared in a variety of international magazines, including Conde Nast Traveller, Travel + Leisure, The Telegraph, The Times, and others, both in print and online.
"Tasmania is wild and untouched, with a landscape of wind-battered mountains that tumble into a frothy blue ocean, and a world-renowned food and drinks scene steered by this provenance," explains Chloe Sachdev.
Omotenashi, located in the centre of Hobart, is a superb representation of Tasmania's cuisine culture. "It's a set-menu experience with only 12 seats that riffs on the Japanese omakase experience while highlighting Tasmania's best produce," Sachdev adds. Another must-see is Institut Polaire, a wine bar and cuisine devoted to Tasmania's cold climate biodynamic and natural wines, with a seasonal culinary menu sourced from local growers, fishermen, and farmers. "They've recently opened The Polaire Suite, a sleek one-bedroom short-stay apartment in Hobart's waterfront precinct," Sachdev explains.
The newly established Waubs Harbour Distillery in Bicheno is located on the east coast in an ancient oyster hatch. "It's the world's closest distillery to the ocean, producing a unique maritime Tasmanian single malt whisky," Sachdev explains. "If possible, plan your visit to coincide with The Great Eastern Wine Week festival in September, a 10-day food and drink festival showcasing the best of the best from the east coast region."
Tasmania has traditionally been recognized for its epic grandeur, which is best enjoyed on foot on a variety of overland multi-day walks such as the Wukalina Walk, a four-day/three-night guided walk owned and maintained by First Nations people. "For something shorter but with the same Indigenous significance, there's also Blak-led tours, a tourism company based on Tasmanian Aboriginal stories through guided tours and story-telling projects across Tasmania," Sachdev explains.
Aside from the scenery, Tasmania offers an exciting artistic culture, owing to the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart. "Although it opened a decade ago, it still pushes the boundaries; the effect can be seen in its Dark Mofo festival, held annually in June for two weeks with bonkers public art, live music, performances, and nocturnal revelry around the city of Hobart," Sachdev explains.
Tasmania has a wide range of accommodation options, from carefully maintained coastal shacks to shipping containers and luxury lodges. "A recent discovery of mine is Kittawa Lodge on King Island, off the northwest coast of Tasmania," Sachdev explains. "It's a stylish boutique lodge on the outskirts of the wilderness." They have teamed with The Tasman Hotel in Hobart to create an itinerary for travelers to experience the cultural attractions of Hobart before traveling to King Island."
Northern Territory, Australia is a great place to visit.Uluru, Petermann NT, Australia
Jen Rose Smith, a journalist who freelances for CNN, Virtuoso, and National Geographic, was chosen.
Since Australia's borders reopened to international tourists in February, travellers have begun to return to the country Down Under. The Northern Territory is an excellent choice for individuals seeking an off-the-beaten-path outdoor adventure location. The Northern Territory is unlike anywhere else on the planet, with its outback desert scenery, secret swimming holes, colorful outdoor markets, Aboriginal rock art, camel rides, traditional art galleries, and stunning Uluru in the red core.
"Visiting the Northern Territory challenged every notion I had about Australia—it's a mind-expanding encounter with cultures dating back tens of thousands of years," Jen Rose Smith says.
Visitors will be able to see the famous Uluru in a whole new light in 2023, thanks to a cutting-edge drone and laser light display that will brighten the desert sky with over 1,000 drones swirling and weaving in a kaleidoscope of color. The exhibition, Wintjiri Wiru, tells the Anangu Community's and Uluru's traditional owners' Mala tale. "Indigenous traditions and creativity are woven into every part of the landscape," Smith claims.
In addition, world-renowned artist Bruce Munro will unveil Light Towers, a new lit art installation at Kings Canyon Resort in Watarrka National Park.
Finniss River Lodge, Australia's newest adventure lodge near Darwin in the Northern Territory, is also new to the area. The resort has only six suites and provides activities such as air boating, fishing, and heli-guides, as well as a restaurant serving food produced from local ingredients.
"Everything I encountered left me wanting more," Smith explains. "The landscape changes constantly, from red-rock desert to lush, tropical floodplains where I saw crocodiles, wallabies, and dozens of bird species." This is a place to calm down, listen, and take in some genuinely amazing sights."