Every year, Tripadvisor selects some of the top global destinations predicted to be popular during the year ahead. This year’s list of 25 includes some legendary cities, including Copenhagen, Bucharest, and Vienna, as well as lesser-known hotspots, such as Lombok, Ilha do Sal, and Panay Island.
There’s a little bit of everything on this list, so you’re sure to find somewhere magical. No matter which of these destinations you choose in 2023, you’re in store for a vacation to remember.
That said, a list of 25 destinations can be overwhelming. So we’ve narrowed it down a little bit for you – here are our ten top picks of the Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Trending Destinations for 2023.
Imagine the blue skies, retro cars, son Cubano music, and old-world architecture – you’re walking through the streets of Havana. Now picture the crashing waves, clear aquamarine water, tropical cocktails, and white sand – you’re on the beaches of Cayo Coco or Varadero.
No matter where you travel in Cuba, you’ll experience unrivaled hospitality, vibrant culture, and stunning scenery. It’s no secret that this Caribbean Island nation has a tumultuous past, but it’s easier than ever for Americans to vacation here.
While package beach vacations are popular here, Cuba has so much more to offer than its gorgeous beaches. If you really want to see something unique, make sure you head inland. We recommend the small town of Trinidad, known for its charming Spanish colonial architecture. Like the capital, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a perfect home base for tours to the Valley of the Sugar Mills, the former heartland of the sugar industry.
2. Kathmandu, Nepal
Equal parts mystical and chaotic, spiritual and wild, Kathmandu is a must-visit destination for any intrepid traveler. Though rocked by a massive earthquake in 2015, the Nepali capital is back, better than ever – and it’s so much more than a stopover on your way to the Himalayas.
Located in a valley filled with other historic and ancient sites, Kathmandu and its sister cities Patan, and Bhaktapur, are loaded with things to see and do. Visit all three Durbar Squares (Royal Squares)– home to temples, monuments, and wonder.
Next, marvel at the Buddhist stupas at Swayambhunath and Boudhanath, both on the outskirts of town. Pashupatinath is another jaw-dropping site – it is the most important Hindu temple in the country.
This is also a shopper’s dream – stroll through the crowded streets of Thamel to check out singing bowls, prayer wheels, handmade carpets, elaborate thangkas (Buddhist wall hangings), and locally-made paper products. When you’re hungry, dhal bhat is a filling meal of lentils, rice, and vegetable curries, or you can snack on Tibetan momos or thukpa (noodle soup). International cuisine is exceptionally good in Kathmandu – thanks to the large expat community.
3. Krakow, Poland
While the name Poland might have evoked Cold War strife even ten years ago, today the country is a modern and dynamic place to experience the best of Europe. Much more affordable than even fellow former Soviet Prague, Krakow is equally magical and conveniently located. While the capital city of Warsaw was leveled in WWII, Krakow retains all of its medieval charm.
Home to pastel houses lining the picturesque Main Square, the 14th century gothic St. Mary’s Church, and the majestic Wawel (Vavel) Castle, the streets of Krakow feel straight out of a fairy tale. However, make sure you also visit the formerly Jewish Kazimierz District for a sobering look at how the Holocaust destroyed the city’s once-thriving Jewish population.
This is also a place to eat well – very well – for a fraction of the cost of other European cities. In 2019, the European Academy of Gastronomy awarded Krakow the European Capital of Gastronomic Culture title. Smacznego! (*Bon Appetit)
4. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The city formerly known as Saigon will blow all of your expectations out of the water. Modern and edgy yet traditionally Vietnamese, don’t be surprised if Ho Chi Minh City becomes one of your favorite cities.
It’s a cultural and economic powerhouse, and while it is known for its heavy traffic, it is also home to beautiful French colonial architecture, wide boulevards, and pleasant parks. Today, it boasts a thriving craft beer and dining scene, in addition to traditional street food offerings.
Be sure to hire a cyclo (bicycle taxi) to experience it like a local! Ask your driver to wheel you to the bustling Ben Thanh Market, where you can buy fabric, flowers, food, and much more. Then, visit the War Remnants Museum to grapple with the not-so-distant horrors of the war and tour the impressive Jade Emperor Pagoda.
Ho Chi Minh City is also the gateway to the Mekong River Delta, so it’s easy to organize and meet rice paddy tours and houseboat river cruises at the many tourist agencies throughout the city. After the wild ride of the city, you’ll appreciate the tranquillity of the Delta.
5. Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Home to a blend of Spanish and African cultures with a unique flavor all of their own, the Canary Islands have long been a beloved vacation destination. Lanzarote is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful Canary Islands, known for its spectacular beaches that range from black volcanic sand to pure white powder. Some of the most famous include Playa Blanca and Playa de Papagayo, perfect for a day playing in the surf.
This is a craggy, rough landscape perfect for exploring on the back of a camel or with a good pair of hiking boots. If you’re up for the challenge, head up to the Mirador del Rio lookout point or down into the Cueva de los Verdes underground caves. Of course, you won’t be alone if you choose to relax by the water’s edge and take in all the beauty.
The volcanic landscape has also made the island a top destination for divers and snorkellers, drawn to the abundant aquatic life and underwater vistas. After a long day of adventure (or relaxing), dig into fresh seafood with a Moroccan/Spanish twist, and wine from the island’s many vineyards.
6. Juneau, Alaska
From Lanzarote’s hot sun to Alaska’s arctic splendor, number six on our list is Juneau, the state capital. Thanks to its advantageous location between the Gastineau Channel and Mount Juneau, the city is a popular base for journeys into the Alaskan wilderness. Tours meet here for ice fishing, kayaking, glacier hiking, dog sledding, and dozens of other activities.
However, the charming city, often called the Crown Jewel of Alaska, is worth your time as a destination in its own right. For a look into the state’s cultural heritage, explore the Alaska State Museum, founded in 1900, which explores the area’s Native American traditions, Klondike Gold Rush history, and “Seward’s Folly” purchase from Russia.
After touring a historic gold mine and even trying your hand at gold panning, it’s time to enjoy the lively waterfront, lined with cruise ships and fishing boats. You can stroll through downtown and admire Klondike-era saloons, Russian onion-dome churches, and dainty Victorian houses. Juneau is also known for great craft beer, fantastic food, and warm hospitality.
7. Panay Island, Visayas, Philippines
While you might be in a rush to get to the tropical paradise of Boracay, a small island in the Philippines, you shouldn’t rush past Panay. This island is home to many different attractions and landscapes, from rugged mountains to rushing rivers, and BayBay Beach, known for its fresh seafood.
In the island’s northwest, you’ll find Aklan Province, home to the quaint town of Kalibo, often a jumping-off point for Boracay. It’s home to the wild and colorful week-long Ati-Atihan Festival each January, a raucous celebration of both Christ and a local peace pact. On the west coast, you’ll find the less-developed province of Antique, home to an emerging ecotourism industry.
Finally, head to Iloilo Province in the east. It’s home to Iloilo City, the biggest city on the island, as well as Guimaras island, known for its sweet mangos and fish farms. We don’t blame you if you head to Boracay next – but don’t miss the hidden gems of Panay.
8. Ilha do Sal, Cape Verde
Number eight on our list is another island located off the coast of Africa – Ilha do Sal, one of the ten islands that make up the country of Cape Verde. Home to the most significant tourist infrastructure, Sal is known for its stunning beaches and turquoise waters.
Most tourists head to Santa Maria, the heart of the resort area, when they get off the plane. Here, you’ll find world-class resorts, more modest hotels, and everything in between. Once you’ve settled into your accommodation, head out for some water sports – the snorkeling and diving are legendary. Look out for sea turtles, dolphins, and plenty of fish.
If you’d prefer adventures on land, visit the Terra Boa mirage – you won’t believe your eyes as the mirage of a calm lake appears out of nowhere on a flat plain. The climate is warm and dry all year round, so you’ll likely experience clear skies and pleasant temperatures.
9. Vienna, Austria
Long regarded for Mozart, Sachertorte, and Freud, the Vienna of the 21st century might surprise you. Today, the Austrian capital is defining culture yet again as a culinary and art hotspot attracting visitors from all over the world. It’s perfect for a short break or as a stop on a longer European tour.
Enjoy a coffee at one of the many coffeehouses – UNESCO has rated this part of the city’s cultural heritage! And if you like museums, Vienna is the city of your dreams. Home to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, one of the world’s finest art collections, and the strangely compelling Josephinium, home to medical history and an anatomical wax collection.
Even better, just wander the streets and marvel at the architecture and overall vibe – this is one of the prettiest cities in all of Europe.
10. Marmaris, Turkiye
From a European capital back to the beach – number ten on our list is Marmaris in the recently renamed Turkiye (formerly Turkey). This seaside resort is a hopping cruise ship port known for its resorts, popular amongst British vacationers but making waves on international lists.
In addition to its sunny beaches and luxury resorts, Marmaris has a quaint cobblestoned Old Town and tons of dining options, focusing on its abundant seafood. The pine-covered hills and deep blue sea give this destination a Mediterranean charm unlike anywhere else on our list.
Make sure you visit the restored castle of Suleyman the Magnificent and schedule a boat trip to the coves and bays of the Datça Peninsula. Sun, sand, food, and culture – Marmaris has something for everyone.