TripAdvisor reveals travellers picks for the world’s best experiences

Tour Code: 3731VATICAN. Tour Guide Francesca in the Gallery of Maps inside the Vatican Museum, seen during the tour at the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy.

Visits to Vatican City, architecture tours of Chicago and snorkelling between the tectonic plates of Iceland were among this year’s highest rated experiences by TripAdvisor users.

A tour of the Vatican with skip-the-line access was named the top experience globally, while a guided jet ski tour through the Whitsundays from Airlie Beach took top honours in Australia for this year’s awards.

The number of bookable experiences has more than doubled in the last year, reportedly to more than 200,000, with 2019’s winners “reflecting travellers’ appreciation for the broad range of options around the world,” according to TripAdvisor.

A multitude of architectural styles are seen from an open decked boat during the Chicago Architecture Boat Tour along the Chicago River in Chicago, Illinios.

A multitude of architectural styles are seen from an open decked boat during the Chicago Architecture Boat Tour along the Chicago River in Chicago, Illinios.

The top 25 experiences in the world illustrate that the perfect vacation looks different for every traveller.

This year’s top global awards showed that travellers had spent the last year doing a diverse range of activities, including snorkelling between tectonic plates in Iceland, white-water rafting in New Zealand, exploring the local food scenes in Hanoi, Chiang Mai, and Xi’an, enjoying balloon rides over Cappadocia, and sightseeing in cities like Chicago, Prague and Athens.

“In the last year, TripAdvisor has doubled the number of bookable tours, attractions and experiences offered to travellers, because we know experiences are often the most fun and memorable parts of a trip,” TripAdvisor spokesperson Laurel Greatrix said.

“The breadth of winners … reflects the incredible selection available to travellers.”

Art, history, countryside, food. A Tuscany day trip from Florence to Siena, San Giminiano and Pisa, to discover the region’s highlights with a local guide. San Giminiano, 5th June 2019

Art, history, countryside, food. A Tuscany day trip from Florence to Siena, San Giminiano and Pisa, to discover the region’s highlights with a local guide.

TripAdvisor’s 2019 Experiences Trends Report showed that outdoor activities are also on the rise, with global bookings in the category jumping 56 per cent in the last year.

Here’s the full list of the world’s highest-rated experiences, as well as a list of Australia’s best.

Snorkelling Silfra tour in Reykjavik, IcelandThe Snorkelling Silfra tour in Reykjavik, Iceland offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience of diving between the country’s tectonic plates, as pictured.

Top 10 experiences in the world:

  1. Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica Tour – Rome, Italy
  2. Chicago Architecture River Cruise – Chicago, Illinois, USA
  3. Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour – Florence, Italy
  4. Snorkelling Silfra Tour with Pick up – Reykjavik, Iceland
  5. Red Rock Canyon Electric Bike Tour – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  6. Private Guided Tour on a Vintage Sidecar from 1 Hour to 7 Hour – Paris, France
  7. 1-Hour Canal Tour starting at Anne Frank House Amsterdam – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  8. Best of Ubud Tour with Jungle Swing – Ubud, Indonesia
  9. Xi’an Evening Food Tour by TukTuk – Xi’an, China
  10. Kaituna River White Water – Okere Falls, New Zealand

Top 10 Experiences in Australia:

  1. Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour – Airlie Beach, Queensland, bookable from $110 per person
  2. The Best of Melbourne Bike Tour – Melbourne, Victoria, bookable from $59 per person
  3. Hervey Bay Premium Whale Watching Cruise – Hervey Bay, Queensland, bookable from $100 per person
  4. Perth East Foreshore and City Segway Tour – Perth, Western Australia, bookable from $96.75 per person
  5. Atherton Tablelands Waterfalls Tour from Cairns – Cairns, Queensland, bookable from $109
  6. Hobart Kayak Tour – Hobart, Tasmania, bookable from $95 per person
  7. Ocean Rafting Tour To Whitehaven Beach – Whitsundays, Queensland, bookable from $164 per person
  8. Mooloolaba Seafood Lunch Cruise – Sunshine Coast, Queensland, bookable from $45 per person
  9. Sydney Beer and Brewery Tour – Sydney, New South Wales, bookable from $130 per person
  10. 2-Day Camping and Surfing Great Ocean Road Trip from Melbourne – Melbourne, Victoria, bookable from $249 per person

Latest News

  • Destinations
  • Events

World Surf League picks Cloudbreak in Fiji for the 2025 WSL Finals

Tourism Fiji has announced that the World Surf League (WSL) has selected Cloudbreak, located close to the island of Tavarua, as the prestigious venue for the 2025 WSL Finals. The event is part of the Championship Tour and will determine the men’s and women’s World Champions in a one-day, winner-takes-all competition. Fiji is renowned for […]

  • Cruise

Silversea’s Silver Ray heads for Rome on her maiden voyage

Silver Ray, the second Nova Class ship and the 12th in the Silversea fleet, has now embarked on her maiden voyage, departing Lisbon on June 15 and scheduled to arrive in Civitavecchia (Rome) on June 27. Stops along the way include Cadiz, Malaga, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca before the main port of  Barcelona then […]

  • Destinations

Malolo Island Resort Fiji launches its own resort app

Guests at the Malolo Island Resort can now get a better experience even before they arrive with the resort’s newly launched mobile app. Guests are encouraged to download and use the app ahead of their stay to build their itinerary. They can check-in prior to their arrival and make dinner and spa reservations all from […]

  • Tour Operators

France on foot holiday savings

Walking up a steep incline may be painful, but it is all worth it when you see that incredible view.

  • Cruise

Seabourn introduces enhanced groups programs for travel advisors

Leading ultra-luxury cruising and expedition travel company, Seabourne, proudly announces the “Seabourn Enhanced Groups Program” to elevate business prospects for travel advisors. This program introduces a revamped Tour Conductor Credit that offers shipboard credits or bonus commission for bookings. It also eliminates the need for deposits for small group allotments and increases group capacity. “Seabourn […]

  • Cruise

Ponant’s latest luxury cruise expeditions for 2024 and 2025

Head out to see the beauty of unique destinations on three bucket-list explorations of Australia with Ponant Cruise’s new luxury expeditions. Known for their luxury cruises, Ponant offers unique and truly exceptional sea voyage aboard sleek and intimately sized cruise yachts. They offer a range of discovery expeditions, and launched new cruises that take guests […]