Lonely Planet releases top 30 destinations to visit in 2023

Latest list divides destinations up for foodies, adventurers and those wanting to learn something

Lucy Thackray
Wednesday 16 November 2022 10:26 GMT
The US state of New Mexico topped the “Learn” category
The US state of New Mexico topped the “Learn” category (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Lonely Planet has unveiled its pick of the best cities, countries and regions to travel to in 2023.

Thirty destinations made the annual “Best in Travel” list, which this year is divided up into five categories: eat, learn, journey, unwind and connect.

Designed to spark holiday inspiration for the year ahead, the list’s “Learn” category included a city break in Manchester, as well as the borderlands of southern Scotland.

Meanwhile, the Peruvian capital of Lima led the “Eat” list as a “gastronomical delight centuries in the making”, followed by the Umbria region of Italy and the Japanese city of Fukuoka.

In the “Unwind” list, the Caribbean island of Dominica is in the spotlight, along with the Raja Ampat region of Indonesia - most famous for its diving - and Halkidiki in Greece.

The “Journey” list, aimed at adventurers, showcases recently reopened Bhutan along with Colombia’s Parques Nacionales Naturales (protected national parks), calling them “some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world”.

The recently restored overnight Istanbul to Sofia train also got a shout-out in the Journey catgeory.

The “Connect” destinations - recommended for meeting locals and exchanging knowledge - included the underrated Mediterranean country of Albania, as well as the city of Accra, Ghana and the off-the-tourist-map city of Boise, Idaho.

Boise was recommended for its “year-round natural beauty, combined with terroir and culinary scene” as well as its adventure activities.

Latin America provided some of the most off-the-beaten-track choices: as well as Lima and Guyana (a new route for British Airways from spring), Montevideo in Uruguay was listed for its “laid-back beaches and under-the-radar food and wine scene”, while El Salvador cropped up for its “stunning volcanoes, colourful handicrafts, low prices and arguably the finest cuisine in Central America”.

“This year, we really wanted to try something new and we wanted to reflect the way that we saw travellers looking for travel, which was about the destination, but also about the experience,” said executive editor Nitya Chambers.

Vice president Tom Hall added: “2023 is shaping up to be the year to get out and explore. With much of the world firmly on the road to recovery, travellers are looking for different locations and experiences.”

Dominica made the cut for its lush scenery (Michael Lees)

Lonely Planet’s best in travel 2023


  • Lima, Peru
  • Umbria, Italy
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Fukuoka, Japan
  • South Africa
  • Montevideo, Uruguay


  • Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Bhutan
  • Zambia
  • Western Australia
  • Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia
  • Istanbul to Sofia Train


  • Jordan
  • Halkidiki, Greece
  • Jamaica
  • Dominica
  • Raja Ampat, Indonesia
  • Malta


  • Accra, Ghana
  • Albania
  • Sydney
  • Guyana
  • Alaska
  • Boise


  • New Mexico, USA
  • Marseille, France
  • Manchester, UK
  • Dresden, Germany
  • El Salvador
  • South Scotland, UK

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in