Lonely Planet reveals its high locations for 2023

Editor’s Observe — Join Unlocking the World, CNN Journey’s weekly e-newsletter. Get information about locations…

Lonely Planet reveals its high locations for 2023
Editor’s Observe — Join Unlocking the World, CNN Journey’s weekly e-newsletter. Get information about locations opening, inspiration for future adventures, plus the newest in aviation, food and drinks, the place to remain and different journey developments.

The 2023 version is in a barely completely different format than it has been in years previous. Fairly than a easy checklist, the locations are break up up into 5 classes — eat, study, journey, unwind and join.

“This 12 months, we actually needed to attempt one thing new and we needed to replicate the way in which that we noticed vacationers in search of journey, which was concerning the vacation spot, but in addition concerning the expertise,” explains Nitya Chambers, govt editor and senior vp of content material at Lonely Planet.

Editors start work on the checklist as early as April. Chambers says that — as a lot as they’d prefer to — not each staffer can go to every place on the checklist personally.

As a substitute, she explains, Lonely Planet reaches out to its extensive community of contributors world wide and asks them to appoint locations they consider must be on the checklist.

From there, editors at Lonely Planet HQ start to ask extra questions, work their sources and slim down the choices till it’s launched in November.

Chambers sums up the proper vacation spot as “anticipated however sudden.”

That may imply taking an opportunity on a brand new nation, like Malta or Guyana, that every one your mates have not been to but. It would imply selecting a less-visited place in a favourite vacation spot, like Marseille somewhat than Paris or Fukuoka as a substitute of Tokyo. All 4 spots are among the many 30 locations of the 2023 checklist.

The Lonely Planet journey started in 1972 after Maureen and Tony Wheeler traveled from the UK to Australia and subsequently printed a information to recreating their overland journey.

Take a look at CNN Journey’s award-winning characteristic The Hippie Path to study extra concerning the firm’s story.
The Mediterranean country Malta was chosen as one of the best places to unwind.

The Mediterranean nation Malta was chosen as the most effective locations to unwind.

Calin Stan/Adobe Inventory

Culinary delights

It is no shock that Lima seems as one of many picks below the “eat” part of Lonely Planet’s checklist — Peru’s capital has been racking up the popularity for years on the World’s 50 Finest Eating places checklist.

Nevertheless, its South American sibling Montevideo — one other “eat” entry — is just not as excessive profile. Guests to the Uruguyan capital would possibly acknowledge dishes which can be standard elsewhere on the continent, like dulce de leche, asado steaks and yerba mate.

Uruguay can be coming into its personal as a wine vacation spot, with each reds and whites on supply. Plus it is way more reasonably priced and fewer crowded than Argentina’s Mendoza wine nation.
Avenue meals lovers ought to head to Kuala Lumpur. The capital is an ideal location for an introduction to meals from throughout Malaysia, like nasi lemak (the unofficial nationwide dish), Penang-style curries and Peranakan classics like fish maw soup.

In the meantime, it is onerous to search out an Italian delicacies that is not beloved.

Stanley Tucci visited Umbria on an episode of his present, “Trying to find Italy,” feasting on black truffles, boar ragu and braised pigeon. It is on Lonely Planet’s checklist, too.

Get linked

Because the world opened up after lengthy Covid restrictions, many vacationers felt the urge to attach or reconnect with others.

A method to try this is by wanting into our personal backyards.

Boise, the capital of Idaho, is residence to the largest Basque group on the planet outdoors of Spain, and make’s Lonely Planet’s “join” checklist. Some native residents nonetheless converse the Basque language, study conventional dances and make paella large enough to feed your entire city.
In the meantime, on the opposite facet of the world, Sydney additionally makes the checklist. The Australian metropolis is understood for its pleasant inhabitants, in addition to for its lovely seashores, top-notch meals scene and … oh yeah, a fairly cool opera home.
Folks with African heritage might wish to head to Accra, Ghana, for their very own sense of connection. The nation, additionally on the checklist, noticed a Yr of Return in 2019, which introduced individuals from everywhere in the diaspora to Ghana for fellowship and group.

Simply because the 12 months handed does not imply that the sense of connection has gone: Ghana desires to hit a objective of eight million vacationers per 12 months.

Ghana is a superb vacation spot for ecotourism and out of doors vacationers — due to its array of wildlife and exquisite shoreline.

Be taught to let go

The pandemic spurred one other highly effective need, too: the stress of working from residence whereas homeschooling the children over Zoom means many vacationers simply wish to take an extended break.

Island locations, like Jamaica and Dominica within the Caribbean, are simply the place to unwind, in keeping with Lonely Planet.

The previous is excessive on Chambers’ private checklist for 2023.

“There’s simply a possibility with our children in the summertime (to) spend some extra time, go immerse and have the expertise of dwelling someplace the place you possibly can actually really feel modified and reworked by being a part of one other place.”

Whereas 2022’s summer season of “revenge journey” might need made it appear to be Europe is overtouristed, Malta — one other “unwind” vacation spot — is a lesser-known gem with the local weather of Italy and the panorama of the Center East.

And in Asia, the Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat may be one of many final paradises left on Earth.

Situated within the nation’s West Papua Province, this spot is beloved for eco-tourism and is residence to a massively profitable coral restoration challenge.

Be taught a lesson

Did you begin baking sourdough or studying a brand new language throughout lockdown? If you wish to hold the spirit of studying alive past the pandemic, Lonely Planet suggests visiting a vacation spot for the sake of deepening your information.

These embody New Mexico, the US state nicknamed the “Land of Enchantment,” the place guests can study concerning the nation’s Native American historical past and Spanish heritage whereas consuming purple and inexperienced chiles and attractive biscochito cookies.

Visiting a few of Europe’s second cities can develop your horizons as properly. In Marseille, learn to say extra than simply “merci beaucoup” whereas sunning your self on France’s Mediterranean coast. Over in England, Manchester is an underrated cultural vacation spot, with artwork galleries, efficiency areas and an annual tradition pageant all on supply.

For New Mexicans, chile is not only a meals, it is a lifestyle. Chiles are so essential, New Mexico is just state to have an “official” query, “Purple or inexperienced?”

The journey is the vacation spot

Finally, whether or not you hit the street seeking an ideal meal or a surprising cityscape, journey is simply as a lot about exploring alongside the way in which as what’s in your itinerary.

With that in thoughts, Lonely Planet designated six “journey” spots, locations for probably the most wanderlust-y of vacationers.

It is no shock that the central Asian kingdom of Bhutan made the reduce. In 2022, the nation lastly reopened to tourism and unveiled its crown jewel — the Trans-Bhutan path, which connects 9 dzongkhags (districts), 28 gewogs (native governments), two municipalities, one nationwide park and 400 historic and cultural websites.

Zambia, one other “journey” vacation spot, may be finest identified for Victoria Falls, which UNESCO describes as “(plunging) noisily down a sequence of basalt gorges and raises an iridescent mist.”

However even when the world’s most spectacular waterfall is not a compelling cause to go to, the wild variety of animal life — giraffes, elephants, lions, hippos, cheetahs and extra — make it an ideal decide for a safari trip.

This is the total checklist of 30 locations:

Lonely Planet’s Finest in Journey Listing 2023


Umbria, Italy

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Fukuoka, Japan

Lima, Peru

South Africa

Montevideo, Uruguay


Istanbul, Turkey to Sofia, Bulgaria

Nova Scotia, Canada



Western Australia

Parque Nacional Naturales, Colombia


Halkidiki, Greece



Raja Ampat, Indonesia






Accra, Ghana

Sydney, Australia


Boise, USA


Manchester, UK

New Mexico, USA

Dresden, Germany

El Salvador

Southern Scotland

Marseille, France