These Are Lonely Planet’s Top 30 Destinations For 2023

Photographed by Meg O'Donnell
The travel experts at Lonely Planet have named their top destinations for 2023, and they're packed with fascinating places near and far.
This year's list is split into five categories reflecting different types of holidays: Eat, Unwind, Journey, Connect and Learn.
Staycation fans will be pleased to know that two Australian destinations make the list — Western Australia, in the 'Journey' category, and Sydney, Australia, in the 'Connect' category.
According to the Lonely Planet, Western Australia's wide-open spaces, city adventures, amazing reefs, beaches, gorges, lakes and monoliths provide the wondrous backdrop to a plethora of road trips.
“The antidote to years of suffocating-feeling pandemic life is a visit to one of the planet’s most serene and sparsely populated places. WA covers more land than England, Spain, France, Italy, and Germany combined, yet is home to less than 1% of their collective population. Space, serenity and scenery: this is the holy trinity of WA,” says Lonely Planet writer Ronan O’Connell, who created the itinerary.
As for Sydney, Lonely Planet says "it's back on the map and highlighted with Sydney WorldPride that will bring the city even more alive from February 17 — March 5, 2023". If you're keen, check out what's on in Sydney.
Other destinations that make the list include Accra in Ghana – home to "frenetic, bustling markets, new community spaces like skate parks and creative spaces for artists" – and El Salvador in Central America. According to Lonely Planet, the latter has "idyllic beaches" and is "quietly becoming the place where those in the know come to catch waves and hone their surfing skills".
Meanwhile, the Istanbul to Sofia train ride – a trip of around 400 miles – features in the Journey category. This "recently restored overnight service" is said to "whirl two adventures into one, leaving the place where east meets west in Istanbul and depositing you in Bulgaria’s laid-back capital city 11 hours later". It sounds pretty awesome, to be honest.
Check out the full top 30 below.
Lima, Peru
Umbria, Italy
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Fukuoka, Japan
South Africa
Montevideo, Uruguay
Novia Scotia, Canada
Western Australia
Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia
Istanbul to Sofia Train

Halkidiki, Greece
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Accra, Ghana
New Mexico, USA
Manchester, UK
Dresden, Germany
El Salvador
Southern Scotland
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