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The Best 15 Top Destinations to Visit this Year

Are you considering a bucket list of top destinations you can travel to this year? You’re just in the right place.

With an estimated 975 million international tourist travels recorded between January and September 2023, a 38% increase on the same months in 2022, this year promises to witness more tourist turn-out that may exceed the recorded numbers for last year.

Europe is at the centre of global tourism, this is where over 60% of tourists go. North America/Caribbean and Asia/Pacific are also major tourist hotspots.

From the pristine beaches of the Caribbean islands, the decadence of Paris, the rich culture of Polynesia, the sparkle and bustle of Dubai to the vibrant nightlife of Ibiza in Spain, here are the 15 top destinations to visit this year.

Venice, Italy
Venice, Italy

1. France

Paris, the capital of France, was the undisputed most visited destination in the world for the year 2023. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). France welcomed 79.4 million international tourists with the majority absorbing the glamour of Paris.

France is a world-known destination for love, fashion, wines and cruises.

Besides exploring the most romantic city in the world, Paris, you can also tour one or more of the leading wine regions on the planet including Bordeaux, Champagne and Burgundy.

An itinerary through the French Riviera will take you to internationally renowned destinations like Cannes and Monaco as well as exotic French towns such as Antibes, Nice, Eze, Menton, and St. Tropez.

Food tours, wine tasting, river cruises, fashion shopping, sightseeing and world-class attractions offering lifetime experiences are a few of the highlights of a visit to France.

Top attractions in France include the Eiffel Tower, Musee d’Orsay, Luxembourg Gardens, Louvre Museum, Chateau de Versailles, the River Seine, and Hardin des Tuileries.

Cruising through Paris on the Seine River, France
Cruising through Paris on the Seine River, France

2. Maldives

Home to some of the best high-end island resorts in the world, Maldives is a popular destination among discerning island lovers. A great place for romance, family and a private island getaway.

Male, the vibrant capital of Maldives is a touristy gem in South Asia.

Some of the other beautiful islands of Maldives you can explore are; Alimatha – a diver’s paradise, Biyadhoo and Vaadhoo – breathtaking natural wonders in the Maldives, Laamu Island – amazing for families, Sonevi Fushi – best for foodies, and the COMO Cocoa Island – perfect for a serene and tranquil escape.

In Maldives, enjoy your stay in one of the upscale resorts with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. This is the place where you will find some of the most luxurious overwater bungalows in the world.

Visit some of the local markets and shop for local produce and souvenirs, especially in Male. Revel on the stunning beaches of Maldives and savour their natural beauties. And you should also indulge in exciting water sports and activities including diving, swimming and jet skiing.

Veligandu Island, Maldives
Veligandu Island, Maldives

3. Spain

As one of the top destinations to visit, Spain aggregated 71.7 million international tourist receptions in 2022. The country is the second most visited in the world after France according to the UNWTO data.

The cities and destinations in Spain are spectacular.

Madrid, Tenerife, Marbella, Ibiza, Menorca, Valencia, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Seville, Bilbao and Granada top the list of the most visited cities in Spain.

Popular tourist activities in Spain include Spanish Wine tasting, different beach activities (experience the beach parties of Ibiza or beach soccer/volleyball), watching a flamenco show or a football march, visiting the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, and exploring Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Sites.

In Spain, you can also delve into the arts, culture and history of the capital – Madrid, embrace Catalan culture in Barcelona, attend Las Fallas in Valencia, taste the Pintxos of San Sebastian, and explore the bars, beaches and barrios of the Balearics.

Sant Antoni Port, Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
Sant Antoni Port, Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain

4. Mexico

Mexico is an increasingly popular destination among tourists across the world recording 38.3 million foreign tourists in 2022.

A country of rich history, lush forests, colourful towns and cities, vibrant culture, delicious cuisines, pristine beaches and ancient ruins, Mexico is one of the top destinations to visit this year.

Cancun, Mexico City, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, and Guadalajara are the five (5) most visited cities in Mexico according to TravelOffPath. Mexico is home to several resort towns and historical sites.

Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Isla Mujeres and Riviera Maya are the most popular destinations on Mexico’s Caribbean side. And, bordering the Pacific Ocean is Baja California, a peninsula in Northwest Mexico and the location of Cabo San Lucas or simply Los Cabos, a famous Mexican resort city.

Other cities and towns to visit in Mexico include Mexico City, Merida, Oaxaca, Monterrey, San Miguel de Allende and Acapulco.

The most well-known tourist attractions of Mexico are the Mexico City Historic Center, Chichen Itza – home of the most popular Mayan ruins, the ancient forest of Tulum, Teotihuacan and Cenote Dos Ojos.

You should also taste some tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, mole and burritos while in Mexico.

Read Also: Mexico, Should You Visit? An In-depth Country Review and Analysis

Cancun Mexico
Cancun, Mexico

5. Turkey

As one of the best countries to visit in Europe, Turkey is a desired travel destination having cities and towns such as Cappadocia, Istanbul, Bodrum, Marmaris, Kas, Dalyan Valley, Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Alanya and Oludeniz as the hotspot for its visitors.

Turkey is most known for its incredible wonders like Cappadocia or the Pamukkale Cotton Castle. The kebabs, yummy foods, pulsating bazaars and historical sites or towns like Ephesus are some of the attractions that make Turkey popular.

Turkey is also straddled between two continents – Europe and Asia.

In Turkey, you can dig into Turkish culture and history in Istanbul (the capital of the Ottoman Empire), explore Cappadocia from the sky in a hot-air balloon, soak in thermal baths in Pamukkale, book a cruise in the Black Sea, and shop for souvenirs in the Grand Bazaar.

You can also relax on one of Turkey’s invigorating beaches including the Kabak and Oludeniz beaches, hike through the refreshing and tranquil coast of the Lycian, and explore the Bosphorus on a cruise.

External Link: Best Places to Visit in Turkey

Sailboats in Bodrum, Turkey
Sailboats in Bodrum, Turkey

6. Italy

Italy is one of the best countries to go on a European tour. The country is popular for its breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, historical sites and monuments, foods, wines and fashion.

Rome, Positano, Venice, Florence, Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Sardinia, Umbria, Bologna, Ischia, and Lake Como are some of the best places to visit and explore in Italy.

From a Gondola cruise in Venice, exploring the hills of Tuscany on an Italian vintage car, taking a thermal bath, touring the colourful villages of Cinque Terre, visiting the Colosseum, fashion shopping in Milan, relaxing on one of Italy’s best beaches, to enjoying some authentic Italian cuisines and wines, Italy is undoubtedly one of the top destinations to visit this year.

Recommended Read: The Top 10 Best Luxury Destinations in Europe

Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

7. The United Kingdom (UK)

In 2022, over 30 million international tourists arrived in the United Kingdom (UK) and London, the capital of the UK is one of the most visited destinations in the world.

A country and top destination of historic landmarks, great architecture and peaceful countryside, the United Kingdom is a glorious destination characterized by amazing museums and galleries, restaurants, castles, gardens and parks, cafes, towers, palaces, piers and lots more.

Spanning England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, some of the best attractions to experience in the UK are; Stonehenge in Wiltshire, the Tower of London, Natural History Museum London, Chester Zoo, The Warwick Castle, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, Edinburg Caste, Snowdon Mountain Railway in Wales, and Titanic Belfast.

The British Museum, the London Eye, Roman Baths, The Needles of Isle of Wight, Cheddar Gorge and Caves in Somerset, the National Museum of Scotland, and Glenoe Waterfall are also popular among tourists to the UK.

The Thames River and London Cityscape, London, UK
The Thames River and London Cityscape, London, UK

8. United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Located in the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, the UAE is one of the sensational destinations to visit this year. The country comprises seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain.

Dubai, one of the most sought-after cities in the world is the richest and largest city in the UAE.

UAE have a lot to offer its visitors that balances its rich history and culture, desert topography and decadence-filled modernity.

Some of the most popular attractions in the UAE are the Dubai Marina, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain – the Garden City, the Palm Jumeirah, Yas Island, Arabian Desert, Burj Khalifah, Al Noor Mosque in Sharjah, the Dubai Mall, and Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi.

UAE is the destination where you experience the best of Arabian culture and traditions, desert fun, relaxing beaches, sparkling cityscape, and lots of fun and upscale shopping.

See Also: The Best of the Arabian Gulf Region – Countries, Cities and Attractions! And Why You Should Visit?

Dubai City, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Dubai City, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

9. The Caribbean Islands

If you are a cruise lover, the Caribbean islands will be one of the destinations you must have experienced. The region is a world-known cruise escape popular for its tranquil and naturally stunning tropical islands.

With pristine beaches, gourmet foods, lush tropical forests, turquoise sea waters and amazing people, the Caribbean is the place you go to relax, refresh and rejuvenate.

From the Bahamas to the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Turks and Caicos, St Lucia, Grenada, Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, and St Vincent and the Grenadines among others, Caribbean islands are paradises on Earth.

Numerous sun-fueled activities characterized this heavenly tropical abode.

You can hike in the El Yunque Rainforest in Puerto Rico, visit the Brimstone Hill Fortress in St. Kitts, surf at Bathsheba Beach in Barbados, snorkel at Sapphire Beach in St. Thomas, trek to Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica, encounter exotic wildlife at Habitation Latouche in Martinique, and swim with stingrays at Stingray City on Grand Cayman [Source].

Recommended Read: The 10 Best Travel Destinations in the Caribbean

Road Town, Tortola, the British Virgin Islands - The Caribbean
Road Town, Tortola, the British Virgin Islands – The Caribbean

10. Greece

Greece offers some of the most spectacular destinations in the world. This is the place where relics of ancient civilization meet modernity; a top destination of history, sunshine and extraordinary islands!

Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Rhodes, Crete, Paros, Zakynthos and Naxos are amazing places to visit in Greece.

You can explore ancient Athens, hop around the Greek islands, eat the best of Greek food, visit the Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, enjoy culture and history in Thessaloniki, take in a Cycladic sunset, climb Mount Olympus and sit back while you enjoy Greece’s café culture.

Apart from Athens the capital city of Greece, most tourists to Greece usually prioritize Santorini and Mykonos. Santorini is known for its great wineries and iconic blue and white-painted luxury hotels. Mykonos is renowned for its vibrant nightlife and clubs such as Scorpios and Paradise.

Beautiful Blue & White Oia Town, Santorini Island, Greece
Beautiful Blue & White Oia Town, Santorini Island, Greece

11. Thailand

Known for its capital city – Bangkok, food, temples, Buddhas, islands, beaches and nature, Thailand is a destination in Southeast Asia that has been wowing its visitors for years.

Wat Phra Chetuphon, The Grand Palace, Chatuchak Weekend Market, Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), Big Buddha Phuket, and the BTS Skytrain are popular attractions in Thailand.

An ideal Thailand visit would include exploring the capital city – Bangkok, a visit to Ko Kood Island, exploring the ruins at Ayuttaya, relaxing on some of Thailand’s beaches like Ko Lanta, experiencing the vegetarian festival in Phuket, and enjoying a traditional Thai massage.

You can also take a cookery lesson, especially in Chiang Mai, check out the Khao Yai National Park, sea kayaking in Krabi and sample some amazing Thai delicacies such as Khao Kluk Kapit (fried rice with shrimp paste) and Kai Jeow Nam (fried omelette with fermented Thai sausage).

Pattaya Bay, Pattaya, Thailand
Pattaya Bay, Pattaya, Thailand

12. French Polynesia

The French Polynesia is an archipelago (islands cluster) of astonishing blue ocean waters, stunning beaches and resorts, and rich traditions.

With Tahiti (nicknamed the Island of Love) and Bora Bora being the most famous of the French Polynesian islands, you will most likely be staying on one of these two islands first during a visit to this naturally and culturally endowed archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

Tetiaroa, Fakarava, Tikehau, Rangiroa, Mo’orea and Maupti are some of the best islands in French Polynesia that will leave you clamouring for more adventures [Source]. This is where you will find some of the best luxury resorts, overwater bungalows and private beaches in the archipelago.

Cruising, scuba diving, jet skiing, snorkelling and sea kayaking are among the coolest activities to experience in French Polynesia.

You should also enjoy delicious seafood, learn about the culture and traditions of the Polynesians, shop for fresh fruits and souvenirs in the local markets, visit some of the Museums and archaeological sites on the archipelago and relax on pristine tropical beaches.

Overwater Bungalows in Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Overwater Bungalows in Bora Bora, French Polynesia

13. Morocco

From colourful cities and medinas to the mountains and the desert, Morocco is a northwestern African destination in the Maghreb region that offers rich Berber-Arabian culture, and attractions that can not be found elsewhere in the world.

Explore the city of Casablanca where you’ll find the incredibly beautiful Hassan II Mosque, see the medina in Fez (Fes), experience Ait Benhaddou, tour the vibrant city of Marrakech and explore its markets and souks, visit the Blue Village of Chefchaouen, and walk the desert at Merzouga.

Rabat, the capital of Morocco is a city you should see and absorb. You can also spend a few days in Tangiers, hike the gorges of Dades or in the Atlas Mountains, visit the Moula Idriss Zerhoun, marvel at the spectacular Ouzoud Waterfall, and see the arches of Legzira beach.

Morocco is one of the most thrilling Destinations in Africa.

Chefchaouen, the Blue City, Morocco
Chefchaouen, the Blue City, Morocco

14. Vietnam

With hazy mountains, gleaming rice fields and mesmerizing waterfalls of northern Vietnam, and the soft white sand and clear turquoise waters of the southern beaches, Vietnam is a spectacular paradise with some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the world.

Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Hoi An, Sapa and the Tonkinese Alps, Hanoi, Nha Trang, Cat Ba Island, Phu Quoc Island, Mue Ne and Con Dao Island are among the best places you can visit in Vietnam [Source].

Locally known as the “descending dragon”, the Halong Bay is a cluster of flourishing green islands. This is one of the best places in Vietnam where you can enjoy a scintillating cruise and water fun such as kayaking.

You can cruise the Mekong Delta showcasing some of the rural sides of the country, shop for the best silk materials in Hoi An, explore the Cu Chi Tunnel Network, and feast on traditional Vietnamese cuisine like the popular Pho – rice noodle soup.

Experience the upbeat nightlife of Ho Chi Minh City, embark on hiking and cycling in Mai Chau, and shop for local merchandise such as souvenirs, handicrafts, silk cloth, pearls, cosmetics, spices and ceramic products in several Vietnamese traditional markets.

Recommended Read: The 6 Most Popular Cruise Destinations in the World

Sea Port in Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Sea Port in Phu Quoc, Vietnam

15. Indonesia

Having over 17,000 islands and more than 1,300 ethnic groups, Indonesia is a destination of nature and cultural diversity.

For international tourists, Bali is probably the first place that resonates when it comes to Indonesia.

Indonesia is home to some of the most endemic wildlife in the world. You can watch Orangutans in Sumatra, witness the mischievous Macaques of the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud and encounter the Komodo dragons in the Komodo National Park or in their wild nature on Rinca.

You should also visit the Tana Toraja of Sulawesi, the Borobudur Temple in Yogyakarta – the largest Buddhist temple in the world or ascend active volcanoes like Mount Rinjani in Lombok or Mount Bromo.

From exploring some of the best beaches in Indonesia such as Nusa Dua Beach in Bali, Pink Beach on Komodo, Kelingking Beach in Nusa Penida, Koka Beach in Flores and the beaches of Lombok, to surfing on Java, Indonesia is a destination of ever-fresh experiences for nature and culture lovers.

Swimming, snorkelling and diving in Raja Ampat are also among the top activities to indulge in Indonesia.

Also try out some yummy Indonesian delicacies such as Bubur Ayam (chicken porridge), Ayam Betutu, Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice), Satay, Gado Gado and Nasi Padang.

Piaynemo, Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Indonesia is one of the top destinations to visit this year.
Piaynemo, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best top destinations to visit this year?

  1. France – the most visited country in the world and best for romance, shopping, wines and cruises.
  2. Maldives – a foremost island destination with breathtaking beaches, overwater bungalows, luxury resorts and private islands.
  3. Spain – is known for the beach party haven of Ibiza, delicate wines, yummy foods, flamenco shows and beach soccer or volleyball.
  4. Mexico – a destination with vibrant culture, lush forests, ancient Mayan ruins, pristine beaches and delicious cuisines like tacos, enchilada and tostada.
  5. Turkey – straddling Asia and Europe, Turkey is known for its bazaars, Istanbul (the capital of the Ottoman Empire), beaches and cruises, especially in the Black Sea or across the Bosphorus.
  6. Italy – a destination of scenic landscapes, fashion, beaches, great food, Italian wines and spectacular villages and towns especially the Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast.
  7. United Kingdom (UK) – London is the travel hotspot of the UK. The country is characterized by historic landmarks, peaceful countryside, museums and galleries, castles and towers.
  8. United Arab Emirates (UAE) – renowned for luxury shopping and opulent lifestyle of Dubai, cultural vibes of Abu Dhabi, relaxation on Yas Island and other attractions like the Palm Jumeirah, Burj Khalifah as well as souks and beautiful mosques.
  9. The Caribbean Islands – best known for its tranquil islands, lush tropical forests, friendly locals and spectacular beaches.
  10. Greece – a destination where relics of ancient civilization meet modernity. Aside from Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete and Rhodes are some of the great Greek destinations to experience.
  11. Thailand – Thailand is known for its capital Bangkok, foods, temples, Buddhas, islands, beaches, ancient ruins like Ayuttaya, and its traditional massage style.
  12. French Polynesia – an archipelago of culture and traditions, blue ocean waters, stunning beaches, posh resorts, overwater bungalows and private beaches.
  13. Morocco – a cross-cultural destination exhibiting rich Berber-Arabian traditions popular for its Mosques, Medinas, souks and the Atlas Mountain. Rabat, Casablanca, Fes, Ait Benhaddou, Marrakech, and Chefchaouen are renowned Moroccan places to visit.
  14. Vietnam – is popular for its hazy mountains, rice fields, traditional foods like the Pho, flourishing tropical islands and local markets.
  15. Indonesia – a naturally diverse destination known for its amazing islands, vibrant and endemic wildlife like the Komodo dragons, macaques and Orangutans, temples and volcanic mountains.
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