Must-See: Top Travel Destinations Around the World in 2013

What are the top destinations for 2013?

We combined the data from searches on Tripping with the top travel destination picks from National Geographic, Travel Channel, Lonely Planet, Budget Travel, The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveller, and to make a short list of the world's top destinations this year.

Without further ado, here are the top destinations for 2013! Which one will you choose?


This year will mark the 400th anniversary of its iconic canal ring and the 160th anniversary of Vincent Van Gogh's birthday in March. In addition, the city's concert hall and famous orchestra turn 125 years old. The Artis Royal Zoo, Holland's most famous zoo, turns 175. The Rijksmuseum national museum of Netherlands art and history will reopen after a decade of being closed for extensive renovation. 2013 is definitely an epic year for Amsterdam!

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Ecuador's capital city of Quito made this year's National Geographic Best Trips 2013 list. The city has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since the 1970s, though it has been traditionally overlooked by travelers heading to the Galápagos Islands. Over the past ten years, however, the city has invested almost $500 million to restore its historic quarter.

And the country's railroad network is set to be dramatically revamped this year, linking the capital to the coastal port of Guayaquil as well as the country's renowned 5,900 meter high volcano (Cotopaxi) and the Nariz del Diablo (Devil's Nose) via the western world's steepest stretch of train tracks.

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Two cities a year are awarded the designation European Capital of Culture, and this year Marseille has been awarded the title. The role is given to cities which in the last few years have demonstrated they are an up-and-coming destination. And Marseille certainly fits the bill. The ancient Mediterranean port town is a vibrant melting pot of cultures, with a bustling art scene and urban improvement projects, including major renovations of its nearly two dozen museums.

If Marseille's on your must-visit destination list for 2013, take a look at some great Marseille vacation rentals from €18/night!


Twice as many people as live in Montenegro visited the country in 2011. Its natural beauty is a big draw. Along the coast you can enjoy the stunning coastline and Riviera beaches. In the interior you'll find wild terrain, with a growing network of trails for biking and hiking.

Lonely Planet dubbed the destination an "Emerging superstar with wild beauty." Though it hosts over 1 million travelers a year, it is still relatively affordable and still considered off the beaten track. Find the perfect Montenegro vacation rental from €10/night.


Even the name conjures a sense of excitement. Though Marrakesh, Tangier and the charming beachside town of Essaouira are most frequently top destinations for travelers, cities like Casablanca (or simply "Casa" in local speech) are becoming popular for their architecture and modern art scenes. Another increasingly popular place is Rabat, the country's often overlooked capital, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July of 2012.

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New Zealand

Whether you're searching for fairytale village settings like those found in the Waikato region of North Island or rugged landscapes with volcanoes, steam vents and emerald-colored lakes (in Tongariro National Park), New Zealand is a hot destination in 2013. Those looking for urban excitement can head to Christchurch, South Island's big city. Though it was devastated by earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, it is back in full swing, with new galleries, bars and restaurants, plus a $2-billion park that will surround the city currently under construction.

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If you're looking for idyllic white sand beaches and incredible coral reefs, the Philippines is the destination for you in 2013. Consisting of over 7,000 tropical islands, the country is a divers and beach lovers' paradise. Though it has plenty of luxury accommodations, it still has enough affordable options that budget-conscious travelers can find a great place to stay. The Philippine island of Boracay, for example, was named a best budget destination for 2013 by Budget Travel.

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It's no surprise Rio de Janeiro, Brazil makes this year's top destinations list. As the host of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, it's one of 2013's hottest destinations. This year's carnival, which takes place in February, is predicted to be the largest and most popular carnival event yet.

In addition to a series of art and culture events, the city will host the Confederations Cups, a sort of dress rehearsal for the World Cup, on June 30th in its newly upgraded stadium, the iconic Estádio do Maracanã.

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South Africa

If you're looking for an unparalleled diversity of natural terrains, South Africa is the destination for you. From the Kalahari desert to the wildlife-filled savannah of Kruger National Park and the over 1,500 miles (over 2,500 km) of stunning coastline, this country at the tip of the African continent has it all.

So whether you're looking forward to wildlife photography or navigating the urban jungle of Cape Town, South Africa's the perfect spot for you. If you're headed there, you should check out our South Africa vacation rentals from €16/night.

Sri Lanka

After enduring a civil war from 1983 to 2009, the conflict has ended and the country is getting back on its feet. With low-cost airfare from Bangkok and affordable prices, Sri Lanka is becoming an increasingly popular destination for travelers. Its beautiful stretches of coastline and budget pricing have contributed to Sri Lanka's emergence "as one of the planet's best-value destinations," according to Lonely Planet.

Headed to this beautiful, value destination? Take a peek at our Sri Lanka vacation rentals from $16/night.


Thailand has hundreds of islands and deciding which ones to visit can be a challenge. The New York Times recommends the island of Koh Phangan, the location of the most notorious full moon party in Thailand. In recent years it has seen an increase in family-friendly accommodations. Also, its first airport and flights direct from Bangkok begin in 2013, so it's more accessible than ever.

Or you might consider visiting Ko Phi Phi, with its iconic longtail boat filled tourquoise waters and white sand beaches. Though the setting for the film The Beach is increasingly a luxury travel destination,the rates of nightly accommodations dropped by 27% in 2012, making the island a top 2013 destination for Budget Travel.

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2013 is the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic. Visitors to Istanbul will be treated to cultural celebrations including the reopening of the home of Istanbul's state ballet, opera and orchestra, the Ataturk Cultural Center. And with Turkey now part of the Eurail system, it's easier to visit than ever.

For those who prefer the beach, try visiting Antalya on the beautiful Turkish Riviera. Long popular with Eastern Europeans, the city beat NYC in 2011 to become the world's third-most visited city by international travelers. And with a drop in hotel rates from last year, it's a hot spot for travelers looking for value and sunny beach holidays.

If Turkey's your destination of choice, take a look at our beautiful Turkey vacation rentals from €7/night.

What destination's on your list for 2013? Wherever you choose, you can find the perfect place to stay on Tripping. Start planning your travels by browsing top vacation rentals in over 36,000 cities around the world today!