Lonely Planet has released its list of the best travel destinations for 2023, divided into five categories: Eat, Learn, Journey, Unwind, and Connect. Each destination on the list was chosen for its uniqueness, sustainability, community, and diversity.
For foodies, Umbria, Italy is a top destination, known for its black truffles, pecorino cheese, prosciutto, and braised pigeon. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is also a top destination, with a variety of street food options including nasi lemak, Penang-style curries, and Peranakan classics like fish maw soup. Fukuoka, Japan is known for its Hakata ramen and Mentaiko, a spicy salted version of tarako roe. South Africa is a top destination for meat lovers, with its biltong and droewors sausage. And, Peru’s world-famous ceviche, made with fresh fish, lime, peppers, onions, corn, and sweet potatoes, is a must-try.
For travelers looking for an epic journey, Istanbul to Sofia, Nova Scotia, Canada, Bhutan, Zambia, Western Australia, Parque Nacional Naturales in Colombia, and New Zealand’s South Island are all top destinations. Istanbul to Sofia offers a journey through the Balkans, with a mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. Nova Scotia, Canada is known for its stunning coastline, lighthouses, and whale watching. Bhutan is a unique destination, with its focus on Gross National Happiness and commitment to sustainability. Zambia is a top destination for nature lovers, with its national parks and wildlife. Western Australia spans a third of the continent, with diverse landscapes including deserts, wine country, clifftops, and Rottnest Island. Parque Nacional Naturales in Colombia is home to a variety of ecosystems, including the Amazon rainforest, Andes mountains, and Caribbean coast. And, New Zealand’s South Island is known for its stunning landscapes, including mountains, lakes, and glaciers.
For those looking to learn, Gdansk, Poland; Manchester, England; and Penang, Malaysia are top destinations. Gdansk is a city with a rich history, including its role in the Solidarity movement and World War II. Manchester is known for its cultural and artistic history, with a variety of museums, galleries, and music venues. Penang, Malaysia is a top destination for its cultural diversity and history, with a mix of Chinese, Indian, and Malay influences.
The Azores, Portugal; Hawaii; and Thessaloniki, Greece are top destinations for relaxation. The Azores, a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, are known for their stunning landscapes, including beaches, waterfalls, and hot springs. Hawaii is a top destination for its beautiful beaches and unique culture. And, Thessaloniki, Greece is a top destination for its Mediterranean climate, history, and cuisine.
Finally, Quebec, Canada; Utah; and Cuba are top destinations for connecting with nature and culture. Quebec is known for its stunning natural beauty, including forests, lakes, and mountains. Utah is a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with its national parks and outdoor activities. And, Cuba is a top destination for its history, culture, and music.
Wherever this year might bring you, we hope you have time to check out some of these destinations.