Tourism

TripAdvisor reveals travellers picks for the world’s best experiences

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, Iceland
The 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


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