23 Destinations for UK Travellers in 2023
Here are 23 destinations that are sure to be a hit with UK travellers in 2023.
Here are 23 destinations that are sure to be a hit with UK travellers in 2023.
One of the joys of a new year is the chance for reset and renewal - and for travel lovers, the opportunity to chart new territories and rediscover old favourites. With a world full of inspiring places and experiences to write home (or Instagram!) about, assembling the top destinations we believe our customers will most want to explore over the next 12 months is an exercise we take seriously here at Flight Centre. Plus, with travel restrictions eased in many places, and pent-up demand not showing any signs of abating, we daresay the world is more open than ever for those who want to see. And, from flights to tailor-made holidays, cruises, tours and everything in between, we’re only too glad to play our part in that magic of (re)discovery.
Here are the 23 places we’re predicting will be a hit with our UK travellers in 2023.
1. Sydney, Australia
We can’t get enough of down under - and it’s not just because we’re born and bred there. Lively Sydney is the stuff of sunny vibes and unforgettable highlights. Accounting for 11% of flights in our travel trends report, this cosmopolitan city has an evergreen draw that we don't anticipate will abate anytime soon for our customers who flock there for its heady mix of city, beach and nature.
2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
A city of superlatives and surreal moments, Dubai’s man-made islands, high-end shopping and ostentatious luxury primes it for new and return visits. 2023 will see a slew of luxury hotels taking off in earnest, among them the wow-inducing Atlantis the Royal. Those in search of a more authentic side will be rewarded in the streets of Old Dubai and the traditional souks selling everything from lavish gold jewellery to handwoven fabrics and colourful spices. If you haven’t been yet, habibi, come to Dubai.
3. Melbourne, Australia
From colourful lanes and Victorian architecture to vibrant markets and buzzing cafe culture, Australia’s creative city welcomes you into a thriving arts and culture scene. Hop on the city circle tram and discover hotspots including vast Flinders Street Station and Federation Square. Go treasure-hunting in vintage shops, brunch your way through trendy foodie spots and soak up local vibes in over 40 laneways and arcades. Ah, Melbourne, we can see why you’ll have plenty of fans travelling your way this year!
4. Brisbane, Australia
A melange of outdoor adventures, cultural highlights and culinary delights, Queensland’s capital is a draw for locals and visitors alike. It’s not hard to see why - who can resist the charm, excursions and small-town ambience, after all? Travelling with the family in tow? You’ll be catered for in Brisbane with animal attractions, playgrounds and a man-made beach, while cultural attractions, shopping and dining options will keep even the most discerning travellers wanting more. What’s not to love?
5. Auckland, New Zealand
One of New Zealand’s most diverse cities, Auckland is poised for sporting highlights as one of the host cities of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Throw in its alluring mix of trendy cafes, harbours and postcard-perfect rural landscapes, and we can see why it’s up there for Antipodean adventures among UK travellers.
6. New York, United States
Art, creativity, food, unbeatable shopping…we never get tired of taking a bite of the Big Apple. From catching shows on Broadway to summiting architectural landmarks, timeless New York is always in season, giving you good reasons to return again and again. Explore charming neighbourhoods, stroll across Brooklyn Bridge, sip your favourite tipple at funky bars and simply let the city get under your skin as you discover its avenues, squares and parks.
Singapore may be a small country, but it sure packs in a lot. This island nation thrives on a diverse mix of cultures from a melting pot of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European influences, and the buzz of it all will stay with you long after you’ve left. From iconic highlights such as Gardens by the Bay and the Botanic Gardens to foodie hotspots in Chinatown and Little India, and the beaches of Sentosa, Singapore is ideal for every type of traveller. If a fascinatinating food scene, shopping opportunities and outdoor fun set in lush gardens, marinas and islands are your thing, you’ll love jetting off to this corner of the world.
8. Bangkok, Thailand
From zigzagging tuk-tuk rides to tasty bites on twinkling street corners, frenetic Bangkok is an assault on all the senses. Go with the proverbial flow and let your wanders take you through buzzing night markets, gold-hued temples and rooftop cocktail bars. For a taste of the old way of shopping, hop on a boat and bargain your way through floating markets selling everything from clothes and crafts to food and veg, and be sure to ease the day’s stiff muscles away with a classic Thai massage.
9. Perth, Australia
Blessed with a generous helping of coastline, high-end shopping and top restaurants, cosmopolitan Perth is laidback, friendly and popular. Plus, its location as the gateway to the gourmet delights of the Margaret River Region and aquatic adventures along the Coral Coast means you’ll have your hands enticingly full. Don’t miss catching the ferry to Rottnest Island, one of the few places you’ll find friendly-looking quokkas (sure to be quite the selfie moment!)
10. Johannesburg, South Africa
A fusion of past and present, lively Jo’burg has food and wine delights, wildlife and nature adventures, and history and cultural encounters. Our top three recommendations? Visit the World Heritage-listed Cradle of Humankind, a paleoanthropological site said to have the largest concentration of the earliest known life forms on earth. Learn about South Africa’s story and apartheid history at the Apartheid Museum. Explore the safari wilderness of Lion Park where you can see incredible wildlife from the safety of a guided game drive or your own vehicle.
11. Cape Town, South Africa
As far as cities go, Cape Town ticks all the boxes. It might be that scene-stealing location between the rugged Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps it’s the plethora of foodie options, great beaches and wildlife opportunities. Or, the perfect jumping-off point to explore South Africa in-depth. Whatever it is, Cape Town is sure to be a winner in the year of epic travels.
12. Phuket, Thailand
Known as the “Pearl of the Andaman”, Phuket’s fusion of beaches, nightlife and jaw-dropping views remain must-visit parts of any Thailand holiday. Spend leisurely days relaxing on soft sands, visit Big Buddha and take in bird’s eye island views, eat and shop in bustling markets, and wander the colourful streets of Old Phuket Town with its Sino-Portuguese architecture.
13. Los Angeles, United States
Brimming with an energy of its own, the city of big-budget cinema is one iconic attraction after another, from designer shopping in Rodeo Drive to The Walk of Fame, the Hollywood sign, Venice Beach and beyond. Plus, with a sprawling reach and eclectic appeal, there’s always a new world to explore in Los Angeles. Head to the rock venue haven of the Sunset Strip for music, catch sporting highs (The Lakers, the Dodgers, the Rams, the Chargers, anyone?), and visit studios to glimpse the world of cinema.
14. San Francisco, California
The laidback bayside city of San Francisco never disappoints - in fact, we think it’s a great place to kick off your USA adventure! Start at the Fisherman’s Wharf, the iconic neighbourhood where you can sample the freshest catch of the day and grab some souvenirs. If shopping’s your thing, head to Union Square to browse department stores, designer boutiques and trendy eateries. Tap into your arty side with a visit to SoMa (South of Market) and explore museums, art galleries and alternative culture, before refueling with a stop in Chinatown, one of the largest in America. Naturally, you can’t miss the big hitters on a trip to San Fran, including the Golden Gate Bridge, a tour of Alcatraz and wander on winding Lombard Street.
15. Miami, United States
Cuban influences, Art Deco architecture, miles of feel-good beaches - oh, Miami, you never disappoint. Water lovers will be in for thrilling times as Miami is the perfect gateway for amazing water experiences in Florida - like searching for crocs in the Everglades and snorkelling in Biscayne Bay - not to mention a key departure point for Caribbean cruises. Throw in a wealth of shopping options, pulsing nightlife and cultural flair, and you have a place that’s ideal for a city break or as part of a multi-stop adventure.
16. Las Vegas, United States
A shimmering oasis in the heart of the Nevada desert, Las Vegas is the bright, fabulous and opulent playground for visitors of all ages. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the Strip, try your luck at famous casinos, dine in world-class restaurants and shop in designer boutiques. Expect entertainment on a mind-blowing scale, from some of the biggest names in music to stunning stage productions. What happens in Vegas…will be one for the books.
17. Orlando, United States
An evergreen one for the young, and the young at heart, Orlando is the ultimate mix of adventure, family fun and beach break. Roller coasters, 3D rides and animals parks from both Universal Studios and Disney - there’s a reason Orlando comes tops as the world’s theme park capital. Add in a visit to the Kennedy Space Center and you might catch a rocket jetting skywards if you’re lucky enough!
Vancouver’s forests, ocean, mountains and beaches make it the perfect jaunt for any time of the year. Head north of the CBD to explore Stanley Park, a stunning green space crisscrossed with coastal and forest trails you can easily traverse by foot or pedal. For fresh air and natural vistas, VanDusen Botanical Garden gives you all the things British Columbia is famous for.
Fun fact about Vancouver: Japanese immigrants have made it the "sushi capital of North America", serving up the delights of rolled rice for over 50 years. For the best of the best check out Tom Sushi downtown in Davie Street
19. Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch is New Zealand at one of its most charming. A city full of artistic expression and natural beauty, Christchurch is the culmination of regeneration, innovation and heritage. It's the base camp for South Island exploration, while the surrounding Canterbury region offers scenic towns, quiet retreats, active adventures and wildlife-watching opportunities. Everything there is to love about New Zealand, you’ll get it in spades here.
20. Bali, Indonesia
Bali's legion of travel lovers grows every day, whether they're solo, couples or group travellers - and for good reason. From the incredible beaches and lush landscapes, to the looming mountains and fascinating cultures, this island is perfect for adventure, romance, and relaxation. 2022 saw beach clubs and attractions such as Waterbom water park and tours of the traditional Tegallalang Rice Terraces welcome a steady stream of visitors enjoying some tropical downtime. In December 2022, Bali's governor was quick to dampen down any concern that Indonesia's new laws banning sex outside of marriage could prove a downer for tourists.
"Those who visit or live in Bali would not need to worry with regard to the entry into force of the Indonesian criminal code," he reassured ABC.
It looks like Bali's popularity won't be waning anytime soon.
21. Toronto, Canada
Toronto’s numerous multinational neighbourhoods - including Little Italy, Little Portugal, Chinatown and Koreatown - is just the beginning of the draw to this diverse city. Browse your way through the Old Town which offers a peek into a past era, manicured green spaces and food and drink options (we recommend eating your way through St Lawrence Market, one of the best food markets in the world). Explore Toronto Islands for some beach fun, amusement park thrills and hikes in nature. And of course, you can’t leave without taking on the 553-metre CN Tower - the tallest freestanding structure in the western hemisphere - and a day trip to the world-famous Niagara Falls
22. Kuala Lumpur
Beneath the towering skyscrapers, Kuala Lumpur pulses with energy, delicious street food and a laidback atmosphere - three of our favourite ingredients for a memorable holiday. A visit to here can take on any number of forms, from a stopover city break to a luxurious stay or unforgettable cultural experience. Whichever one you are, there's a Kuala Lumpur suitable for you.
23. Adelaide, Australia
Lover of wine and wildlife? Enter Adelaide, Australia’s wine capital and gateway to island safari adventures bursting with wildlife-watching opportunities. With no less than 200 cellar doors within easy driving distance, Adelaide has established itself as a flavour-full city of rich cultural and artistic heritage. From here, it’s an easy sail to the wildlife-rich paradise of Kangaroo Island (or KI as the locals call it), where you can explore numerous intriguing geological formations and encounter native kangaroos, penguins and birds.