After you chose the destination and take care of the practicalities like flights and accommodation, the most pressing question when planning a holiday is “What are we going to do there?”. Some people are comfortable enough to just “wing it” on the spot, others prefer to have a well-defined plan in advance. Regardless of the strategy, some suggestions are always welcomed and TripAdvisor’s best travel experiences for 2023 might be the place to get some inspiration from.
Analysing 12-months of TripAdvisor review data (1 May 2022 – 30 April 2023) from millions of travellers across the globe, the guide suggests the best activities and excursions this year – from bookable tours and experiences to top attractions to visit along the way.
Experiences turn travellers into adventurers, connecting them with the local community and giving them unforgettable stories for years to come.Kate Urquhart, General Manager, Experiences at TripAdvisor
According to TripAdvisor’s most recent Seasonal Travel Index, almost a third (28%) of travellers are motivated by the opportunity to experience something new and just under half (44%) want to make memories with family and friends on holiday.
“With more than 300,000 bookable experiences in over 250,000 destinations worldwide, TripAdvisor helps people access the best things to do globally, and we’re committed to expanding that number of tours and attractions across every destination”, said Kate Urquhart, General Manager for Experiences at Tripadvisor. “These awards are a testament to the businesses dedicated to ensuring the TripAdvisor community enjoys the most memorable trips, and we’re grateful to everyone who took the time to share their reviews and help fellow travellers plan their next escape.”
From sampling Iceland’s culinary delights on a Reykjavik food walk to a guided tour of Korea’s Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) which separates South Korea from North, there are an array of new experiences awaiting travellers this summer.
With no further ado, here are the best travel experiences to discover in 2023, according to TripAdvisor users’ reviews:
1. Grand Circle Island and Haleiwa 9-hour tour – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Delving into the collective wisdom of the travel community, this year’s best experience in the world is a full day tour of the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. On the Grand Circle Island and Haleiwa Tour, travellers will visit all the island’s top sights including the impressive Hālona Blowhole and the Byodo-In Temple, as well as the island’s most beautiful beaches and surf spots.
2. Half-day Thai cooking course at farm – Chiang Mai, Thailand
The half-day tour visit to an organic farm includes lessons on how to make local dishes from scratch, as well as how to grow herbs and vegetables.
3. Best of Ubud day tour – Ubud, Indonesia
The tour includes stops at the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, Tegenungan Waterfall, Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, an art market where you can shop for souvenirs, Puri Saren Palace (Ubud Palace) and Tirta Empul Temple, known for its natural springs.
4. Red dunes ATV circuit – Dubai, UAE
After a 1 hour ATV circuit in on the dunes of the Lahbad desert, a Bedouin-style retreat at the 5-star Al Khayma camp offers coffee, camels rides, an Arabic-costume photoshoot, barbecue-buffet, dance shows and a stargazing session before returning to Dubai.
5. Best DMZ 3rd Infiltration Tunnel tour – Seoul, South Korea
The tour starts off with the Imjingak Pyeonghwa-Nuri Park and the Bridge of Freedom, then goes to the DMZ, Third Tunnel and Dora Observatory.
6. Local foodie adventure in Iceland – Reykjavik, Iceland
This walking tour promises visits to a variety of Reykjavik eateries, from restaurants to food trucks, offering a sample of traditional dishes and street food favourites, including Icelandic cheeses, lamb, homemade ice cream and the famous Icelandic hot dogs. Some sightseeing is also guaranteed, the tour passing by landmarks such as Hallgrimskirkja, the Harpa concert hall and Parliament House.
7. Guided sightseeing canal cruise with onboard bar – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Boat cruises are definitely the best way to discover a new city, but when the boat also has a bar onboard, the experience gets that much better.
8. Angkor Wat sunrise tour – Siem Reap, Cambodia
The tour of the UNESCO-listed complex ensures visits to the Terrace of the Elephants, South Gate of Angkor Thom and the Ta Prohm Temple, as well as the possibility of watching the sunrise over the ancient temples.
9. Guided snorkel tour – San Juan, Puerto Rico
After a lesson from a professional diver, you can swim through the tropical waters off Guaynabo and see brilliantly coloured tropical fish, sea turtles and other marine creatures.
10. Vietnam army jeep tour – Hanoi, Vietnam
See a mix of city highlights and hidden gems while going about Vietnam’s capital in a Soviet-era GAZ-69 jeep.