Travelers have long-held travel dreams, and our 12 most popular travel destinations for 2023 bring historically popular destinations back to the forefront.
For 2022 travel, some destinations were closed, while others saw a surge thanks to open borders. With the majority of countries open for travel in 2023, the list has returned to pre-pandemic popularity.
Italy takes the top spot, followed closely by Greece. While several iconic countries returned to the list, like Japan and Australia, the list of our most popular destinations for our Zicasso travelers share ideas that may surprise you.
Italy has always been popular with Zicasso travelers and when its borders reopened in 2020, it rose to the number-one spot and has stayed there ever since. 2023 travelers are drawn to the combination of ancient ruins, a culture that focuses on lived experiences, and the natural beauty of cities and landscapes. From Venice to the Amalfi Coast, Florence to Cinque Terre, it is easy to understand Italy’s allure.
Whether interested in traveling through ancient Rome at the Colosseum or Pompeii, eager to walk the canals of Venice, or view the priceless works on display in Florence’s Uffizi and Accademia galleries, or the museums in Vatican City, travelers to Italy enjoy the slower pace, engaging with the cuisine on food tours or cooking classes, and exploring a combination of architectural and artistic masterpieces.
Top Places to Visit: Rome • Florence • Venice • Amalfi Coast • Sicily
Our 10-day Best of Italy Tour: Rome, Florence, Tuscany and Venice highlights the classic beauty of Italy with a focus on the most popular cities to visit.
Learn more: Italy Tours & Vacations • Italy Travel Guide
Ancient ruins that reflect the birth of western civilization, gorgeous beaches, and iconic islands that capture the spirit of the Mediterranean make Greece our second-most popular destination for travel in 2023. The country’s natural spirit combines with scenery shaped by millennia of myths, legends, and traditions for a unique perspective of the region.
From the Parthenon in Athens to Santorini’s iconic cliffs, Mykonos’s beaches to the hanging monasteries of Meteora, Zicasso travelers to Greece find joy in viewing the remains of ancient civilizations, island hopping for immersive walks through medieval towns and inviting sands, or sampling the flavors of dishes with experiences tailored to their preferences.
Top Places to Visit: Athens • Santorini • Mykonos • Crete • Naxos
A Perfect Greece Vacation Package: Mykonos, Santorini, and More is a nine-day getaway bringing the wonders of the mainland and islands to life, from the glory of Athens to the glitz of Mykonos and the charms of Santorini.
Learn more: Greece Vacations & Tours • Greece Travel Guide
France portrays an image of glamor and rich heritage, and Zicasso travelers have been eager to explore its diverse landscapes and iconic monuments. With promises of chocolates and pastries, lavender fields and elegant boulevards, France offers a variety of activities, from cooking classes and wine excursions to visits to palaces and storybook towns.
Embrace views of the Eiffel Tower, wander along Nice’s stunning seaside esplanade, witness the elaborate chateaux of the Loire Valley, or indulge in the decadent flavors of French cuisine when visiting Michelin-starred restaurants. Heritage in France can be tasted, touched, seen, and heard.
Top Places to Visit: Paris • Provence • Côte d'Azure • Loire Valley • Normandy
Bask in the finer details of life with a combination of sensory experiences that embraces the beauty of tradition, art, scenery, and cuisine with our 14-day Highlights of France Tour: Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, and Nice.
Learn more: France Vacations & Tours • France Travel Guide
Spain exudes passion and sophistication, with each day an experience to be savored. Zicasso travelers enjoy the combination of epic landscapes and unique architectural charms that range from Moorish palaces to surrealist urban designs. The country offers a feast for the senses, combining a number of the most celebrated restaurants, wineries, and culinary traditions in the world with flamenco traditions and museums displaying the works of masters.
Explore Madrid’s renowned Triangle of Art, find the joys of Gaudi expression in Barcelona, and discover the impressive dichotomy of Seville’s Moorish and Christian architecture. Spain brings to life many pleasures that visitors from around the world can embrace.
Top Places to Visit: Barcelona • Madrid • Seville • San Sebastian • Mallorca
Magical Highlights of Spain: Culture, Cuisine, Countrysides is a 13-day tour tailored around food, art, and history across Madrid and the Basque region that offers an unforgettable experience for all the senses.
Learn more: Spain Tours & Vacations • Spain Travel Guide
England is new to our list of most popular destinations as travelers look ahead to their 2023 vacation. Centuries of regal history, lush green pastures, preserved castles, and quintessential rural villages provide endless enticement. With traditional afternoon teas and visits to world-class museums, walks down medieval cobblestone streets to towns that housed English literary masters, and moody cliffs to lively cities, England can feel innovative and historically elegant.
Thatched-roof cottages, historical universities, Stonehenge, and Georgian architecture only scratch the surface of the beauty for which England is known. Michelin-starred restaurants, gregarious pubs, and living history help feature the joys of visiting England.
Top Places to Visit: London • Bath • York • The Cotswolds • Oxford
From Big Ben to the White Tower, the River Thames to the British Museum, our Best of Legendary London One-Week Tour features the exceptional layers of history and culture in England’s capital city.
Learn more: England Tours & Vacations • England Travel Guide
Last year, visitors could not visit Japan due to the country’s closed borders, but with a reopening, the country quickly returned to being one of our most popular destinations with brisk bookings to enjoy both the spring cherry blossom season and the fall foliage. The ambiance can quickly take visitors from the hum and bustle of Tokyo to the peaceful trees of the Aokigahara Forest, the traditional walkways of Kyoto to soothing thermal baths near a customary ryokan. Visit fascinating temples, enjoy culinary experiences, or plan for the changing seasons by viewing the drifting cherry blossoms.
Japan offers unique visions of the future, while preserving the traditions of its past. With opportunities to attend sumo matches, learn the art of making sushi, partake in a classic tea ceremony, or meet local artisans, Japan is a whirlwind of wonder.
Top Places to Visit: Tokyo • Kyoto • Hiroshima • Kanazawa • Takayam
Classic Japan: Cities, Country, and Culture Tour is a 14-day trip focused on the authentic culture across the country that’s shaped by a shared national heritage and culture specific to each city.
Learn more: Japan Tours & Vacations • Japan Travel Guide
With promises of stunning beaches, remote desert, tropical coral gardens, and welcoming urban settings, Australia is often one of our most popular destinations and returns to the list after having reopened its borders to travelers. Tour the underwater ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef, witness the majesty of the changing colors of the Uluru monolith, embrace the cosmopolitan ambiance of cities like Sydney and Melbourne, or enjoy the exceptional flavors of renowned wine regions.
White, powdery sands blanket the beaches, art and concert venues reflect contemporary culture, and pubs unveil the entangled connection to imperial English heritage. With unrivaled wildlife and untouched wilderness, Australia is a continent of new experiences and perspectives unlike anywhere else in the world.
Top Places to Visit: Sydney • Uluru • The Great Barrier Reef • Melbourne • Darwin
Celebrate exceptional coastline, the world’s largest barrier reef, cafe culture, beachside neighborhoods, and the wonders of the desert during our 15-day Top Experiences of Australia: City Glitz to Outback Adventures.
Learn more: Australia Vacations & Tours • Australia Travel Guide
Ireland is small, but makes a lasting impression, with travelers eager to embrace the legends, stay in refurbished historic castles, and enjoy the locals’ friendly nature. The landscape resembles a postcard in its beauty and drama, featuring emerald hills and brooding moors. Pubs sing with stories, cliffs portray the entangled dances of the elements, and small countryside towns contrast the crowds in Dublin’s vibrant shopping streets.
Cultural history, elaborate traditions, scenic trails, and tangible histories share new insights into Ireland’s past and present, exceeding the expected to provide breathtaking experiences.
Top Places to Visit: Dublin • Cork • Kerry • Dingle • Limerick
Luxurious Exploration of the Emerald Isle is an encompassing immersion into the depths of history, heritage, and culture across Ireland, highlighting natural beauty with charming towns and fascinating castles.
Learn more: Ireland Tours & Vacations • Ireland Travel Guide
Portugal is a marvelous connection to the past and a beautiful embrace of Atlantic beaches that often surprises unsuspecting travelers. A place to embrace the Iberian sunshine, enjoy the sounds of traditional music, or witness the treasures of explorers found inside museum galleries or as architectural monuments, Portugal invites visitors to delight in flavorful expressions of life as seen in the vineyards of the Douro Valley, delicious cuisine representing centuries of trade, and enchanting storybook castles.
Portugal is a collection of cobblestone villages, colorful cities lining elegant riverbanks, and stunning beaches, all hiding the idyllic surrounding scenery and ancient history.
Top Places to Visit: Lisbon • Porto • Algarve • Alentejo • Vinho Verde
Our 12-day Lively Adventures of Portugal Tour: Island Getaway to Cultural Hallmarks represents Portugal’s charm and beauty on the mainland and beyond, with unforgettable adventures and opportunities for relaxation.
Learn more: Portugal Tours & Vacations • Portugal Travel Guide
Costa Rica is often one of our most popular destinations because of its ability to seamlessly attract couples looking for romance, families interested in adventure, seniors eager to balance exploration and comfort, and travelers who wish to combine wildlife and coastal experiences. With exceptional biodiversity, unique microclimates, and exciting activities that range from surfing the Pacific to zip lining across the rainforest, searching for colorful birdlife to learning to make chocolate, Costa Rica brims with excitement.
Outdoor adventures, marvelous wildlife, exceptional coffee, and an incredible coastline provide great opportunities for unparalleled experiences that speak to Costa Rica’s celebrated adage, pura vida.
Top Places to Visit: Arenal • Manuel Antonio • Monteverde • Tortuguero • Osa Peninsula
Handcrafted Costa Rica Tour: Finest Tropical Escape demonstrates how sustainability can accentuate luxury on an 11-day trip filled with relaxation and adventure, from thermal springs to zip lining, wildlife spotting to lounging on secluded beaches.
Learn more: Costa Rica Tours & Vacation Packages • Costa Rica Travel Guide
With epic landscapes, ancient heritage, and action-packed adventures, New Zealand’s open borders return the country to our list of most popular destinations. Welcoming and exhilarating, New Zealand connects visitors to the traditions of Maori culture, great walks showcasing the marvels of nature, and local passion for flavorful food, wine, and beer.
Sail through the fiordlands to find waddling penguins and splashing waterfalls. Walk along the colorful coastline of Abel Tasman. Step onto moving ice at Fox Glacier. Relax with views of a reflective lake at Queenstown. Step into the dramatic movie sets of Middle-earth at Hobbiton. Romantic, safe, and family-friendly, New Zealand is a fantastic destination for any kind of traveler.
Top Places to Visit: Queenstown • Auckland • Rotorua • Abel Tasman National Park • West Coast • Fiordland National Park
Glacial summits, delicious wines, and adventure become the focus on this 14-day Luxury Escape to New Zealand: Enthralling Nature and Delightful Cities Tour, during which natural wonder and urban culture converge.
Learn more: New Zealand Tours & Vacations • New Zealand Travel Guide
Croatia embodies the dreamlike beauty of the Mediterranean, combining ancient history with island splendor, and contemporary culture with treasured local flavors. Travelers enjoy the richness of Croatia, which features truffle hunts, wine, medieval towns along the Istrian peninsula, elaborate Roman architecture, Adriatic views of Split, the dramatic walls of Dubrovnik, and access to the fabulous shores of the Dalmatian archipelago. Contemporary culture weaves through the remains of the past, where ruins house boutiques and restaurants serve seafood using customary recipes.
Travel between historical empires, witness how mountains, caves, rivers, and waterfalls connect and divide regions, and enjoy mouthwatering feasts that highlight local wines and olive oils. Croatia exceeds the dreams of Mediterranean life.
Top Places to Visit: Zagreb • Split • Dubrovnik • Rovinj • Zadar
8-Day Croatia Explorer: Nature and Timeless Beauty features the collective charm of Croatia’s highlights, with introductions to the culture of Zagreb and the waters of Plitvice Lakes National Park, the ancient ruins of Split to the medieval landmarks of Dubrovnik, and so much more.
Learn more: Croatia Vacations & Tours • Croatia Travel Guide
Our remaining top 20 countries reflect the diversity of tastes and the possibility of exploring the world’s far corners, depth of cultures, and surprising local experiences.
Switzerland Tours & Vacations inspire travelers with storybook historical centers, views of the snowcapped alpine peaks, and terraced vineyards accentuated by exceptional views.
Argentina Tours & Vacations captures the hearts and minds of travelers with the passionate ambiance of Buenos Aires, the extreme wilds of Patagonia, and the thundering mist of Iguazu Falls.
Thailand Tours & Vacations features natural beauty and cultural allure, taking visitors from the tropical island beaches to the trails of the northern mountains, exciting cooking classes to fascinating views of local wildlife.
Egypt Tours & Vacation Packages brings thousands of years of heritage to light and life with introductions to the pyramids, visions of pharaohs' tombs, and elegant cruises down the Nile River.
Scotland Tours & Vacations are discoveries of cities paved with cobblestones and highlands harboring ancient myths, with the landscape as captivating as the preserved castles, fiery scotch, and mysterious lochs.
South Africa Tours and Vacations inspires travelers with traditional safari excursions, gorgeous beach opportunities, delicious wines, and unique community visits for a different perspective of bush, beach, and human-centric experiences.
Peru Vacations & Tours reveal the opulent engineering of the Incan empire, the history of Spanish colonization, the diversity of national culture, and spectacular ecosystems that connect desert coastline, Amazon rainforest, and Andean peaks.
Iceland Tours & Vacations can be an adventurous search for the Northern Lights or a relaxed panorama of the erupting geysers, a view of active lava flow or a plunge in natural hot springs, as well as a vision of galloping horses returning from mountain pastures.
From truffle hunting in Croatia to witnessing the stars twinkle above the Australian monolith of Uluru, lounging on a secluded beach in Costa Rica to viewing the petals drift from the branches of a cherry tree in Japan, 2023 has open borders and travelers eager to enjoy experiences across the world.
Our Best Places to Travel by Month can give you more ideas on where to visit depending on your timeline in the coming year. You can also find more inspiration on where to go when with our Spring Vacation Ideas, Summer Vacation Ideas, Fall Vacation Ideas, and Winter Vacation Ideas. Speak with a local Zicasso travel specialist to help plan your trip when you are ready.