Lonely Planet names Manchester, Sydney and New Mexico among the places you must explore next year

Lonely Planet’s travel experts have published a list of the best places to visit in 2023, with Manchester, southern Scotland, Sydney and New Mexico all making the cut.

The list includes a total of 30 must-see destinations, and this year is sorted by the type of experience you can enjoy there: Eat, Travel, Connect, Learn and Relax.

The Food category includes Peru’s capital, Lima, for “diverse dining options,” South Africa for “affordable, world-class dining,” and Umbria, Italy for “a rich dining scene.” Intrepid “journeys” include the reinstated overnight train between Istanbul and Sofia, Bulgaria, and a road trip through Nova Scotia, Canada’s dramatic Atlantic Ocean.

Western Australia is also nominated in the Journey list. Lonely Planet says: “It covers more land than England, Spain, France, Italy and Germany combined, but is home to less than one percent of their total population. Explore not only exciting Perth, but also national parks, beaches and characterful cities with fantastic food scenes in the southwest of the state.’

Another top spot for an unforgettable trip, says Lonely Planet, is the Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia, which includes 59 protected natural areas that are home to some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world. The “overlooked” peninsula of Halkidiki in Greece, the “historic sunny island” of Malta, and “forward-looking” Jamaica all offer “enticing opportunities to unwind,” says Lonely Planet.

Also in this category is Dominica (pronounced Domi-nee-kah), known as the “Nature Island”. Lonely Planet says: “It is often confused with the Dominican Republic. We anticipate that this will not be the case for much longer as the Caribbean island opens up to more visitors.”

Travelers looking to “connect with distinctive local scenes” are being directed by Lonely Planet to vibrant, arts-centric Accra, Ghana, as well as Sydney – “back on the map after the forced separation of recent years”.

Alaska also graces the Connect ranking. Lonely Planet states, “Since a settlement agreement in the 1970s between the US government and indigenous groups in Alaska returned millions of acres of land, this is a great example of indigenous groups managing authentic tourism experiences that also embrace sustainability.”

Manchester is highlighted in the Learning category, with Lonely Planet describing it as “an accessible destination that also does a lot for sustainability”.

The Guide continues: “Some exciting things are happening in Manchester in 2023. The Manchester Museum is undergoing a major refurbishment, the Manchester Jewish Museum is expanding and the historic Castlefield Viaduct is being transformed into a green walking trail.

“Delicious food, world-class sport, exquisite art, cool industrial-age architecture. It has grown in size and prestige in recent years, morphing into a brilliantly creative, proudly musical and gastronomically diverse hub. Quite simply, it’s one of the best – if not the best – city in the UK with something for everyone.’

Southern Scotland is also a destination in the learning category, with Lonely Planet urging travelers to “explore the ancient Borders town of Melrose, the Tweed Valley Country Park and the almost secret fishing villages of Eyemouth and St Abbs before heading south-west to the historic market town Dumfries and the Beyond Crawick Multiverse”.

Southern Scotland is joined on the Learn list by New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment”. Lonely Planet says: “The state lives up to its nickname. Home to 23 Native tribes, this is an ideal place to learn about Native American culture, art and music while enjoying the food and natural beauty of the American Southwest.’ Marseille is also a Learn destination. Lonely Planet describes it as “both beachfront and urban, French and Mediterranean, modern and historic,” adding, “Walk to the beach but also with its diverse neighborhoods, street art and architectural tours like 20,000-year-old cave paintings in a new museum.” , there’s a lot to learn here too.” Lonely Planet’s Tom Hall said: “Next year seems to be the year to get out and explore. With much of the world firmly on the mend, travelers are looking for other places and experiences. “The list celebrates the world in all its wonderful, alluring diversity. Each of the itineraries featured in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023 demonstrates how to beat the crowds and truly capture the heart of a destination.”