As previously closed areas of the world begin to reopen, 2023 is gearing up to be the year when international travel goes from being a distant pipe dream to a realistic possibility for many. In light of this, we have compiled a list of 10 travel destinations for 2023, ranging from tried-and-true locations worth revisiting to off-the-radar locales.
This list has something for everyone, from bustling art scenes and spectacular adventures into rainforests to glittering cultural itineraries complete with world-class shopping and music festivals—the best places to travel to in 2023 range from traveling around Greenland to meeting locals in Ghana.
10 Cairo, Egypt
The Grand Egyptian Museum, which has been under construction for almost a decade, is expected to open this spring, a short distance from the Great Pyramids of Giza. Visitors will explore more than a million square feet of exhibit space, see priceless artifacts like a statue of Ramses II that stands forty feet tall, stroll through beautiful gardens, and take in breathtaking views of the desert from the museum’s colossal plaza. In 2023, Cairo will unquestionably be a hotspot, so make sure to visit the city.
Where to stay:
The St. Regis Cairo
1189 Corniche El Nil, Downtown Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
Outdoor pool, Indoor pool, Spa and wellness center, Fitness center, Restaurant, Bar/Lounge, Room service, Free Wi-Fi
9 Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand’s successful containment of the COVID-19 epidemic has earned the country praise and made it a popular tourist destination since it lifted its travel restrictions in September 2022. Six flights currently depart daily from the United States; in September, Air New Zealand began its roughly 17-hour flagship route from New York City. Stay in the city and enjoy the Pacific Islands’ main cultural celebration, Pasifika, which will return in March 2023 after a two-year absence. In addition, nine locations in New Zealand and Australia will host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in July.
8 Accra, Ghana
Ghana remains one of the best destinations to visit in 2023, especially for those who want to immerse themselves in the local culture to the fullest extent possible. Visitors in Accra can have a pleasant experience buying in the capital city’s markets thanks to the helpful and chatty merchants that work there. Accra is also home to a thriving music culture, with numerous live music venues and a diverse collection of performers performing genres like hi life, hip life, Afrobeat, and more. Republic Bar and Grill is the place to be, with its colorful outdoor pub decor and a steady stream of events and DJ-led sets on Wednesdays.
7 Liverpool, England
Liverpool, England’s dockyard city and cultural epicenter, is writing another page in its musical history books. The Eurovision Song Contest 2023, a glittering musical spectacular that attracts thousands of flag-waving fans from all over Europe, will be held there in May. It’s a chance to redeem the city after the shame of losing its UNESCO World Heritage title in 2021. Stay in the city and enjoy as more than thirty international artists and collectives will take over places in the city beginning in June for the Liverpool Biennial contemporary visual arts festival, which will run through the end of the year in September.
6 Benguerra Island, Mozambique
Five islands make up the Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique and are known for their pristine beaches and rich marine life. Benguerra, the second largest, has evolved as a wild high-end vacation destination. Enjoy a genuinely secluded tropical escape at the brand-new Kisawa Sanctuary or the equally pristine Bahia Mar Boutique Hotel, where the beach goes on for miles, and the sunsets are like something out of a movie.
5 Naoshima, Japan
Of 2023’s trendiest destinations in Japan is Naoshima, a little island in the Seto Inland Sea. Known as Japan’s art island, Naoshima was a peaceful island off the coast of Japan until a visionary Japanese businessman saw its potential as a destination for art enthusiasts and those seeking genuinely one-of-a-kind experiences. A ferry trip away from Japan’s main island of Honshu, Naoshima has a vibe unlike anywhere other but is often overlooked by first-time tourists. In addition to its quaint, traditional fishing villages of Miyanoura and Honmura, the island is home to museums, colorful galleries and installations, charming cafes, and scenic lodges.
4 Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Historical events in Charleston attract thousands of visitors yearly. The International African American Museum, slated to open in January, has promised to announce a new opening date in 2023. The Cooper River waterfront, which was the entry point to North America for many Africans, will be the museum’s site. The Spoleto Festival, held in late May and early June, is a must-see for any culture enthusiast staying in the city. The festival features performances and conversations spanning opera, theater, dance, and music.
3 Douro Valley, Portugal
In 2023, visit the lush, dramatic hills of northern Portugal’s Douro Valley for some of Europe’s most jaw-dropping views and excellent wine. Passing through the lovely vineyards and charming villages that dot its slopes on the winding roads that descend from the highlands is like stepping into another universe. The old pilgrimage town of Lamego, with its vast tiled stairs and majestic buildings, is a must-see. There is also an increasing number of high-end hotels, including the beautiful Six Senses.
2 Manaus, Brazil
Although Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo tend to steal the spotlight when it comes to Brazilian tourist destinations, Manaus is worth a visit for its proximity to the Amazon and its charming historic district, which features restored buildings from the 19th century. Additionally, lodges around Manaus are becoming even more eco-friendly, meaning no cutting of trees in the Amazon.
1 Nuuk, Greenland
Nuuk, Greenland, is a city in the Sermersooq region and one of the best places to stay in 2023. Nuuk is home to the Greenland National Museum and Archives and the Nuuk Art Museum, two of the city’s most visited landmarks. Plus, since 2015, it has been the site of the Nuuk Nordic Culture Festival, which gives people access to one of the most open, focused, and welcoming spaces for creative growth, interaction, and innovation. The next festival, with the subject “UNITY,” will be held from May 25th to May 28th, 2023.