The best places to visit in the Middle East in 2023

The best places to visit in the Middle East in 2023

The best places to visit in the Middle East in 2023

Visiting the pyramids, staying in a glass tent in the desert, and climbing to the top of the world’s tallest building are items that should be on your bucket list. The only thing they have in common? They are all in the Middle East. (ICYDK: The Middle East consists of 18 countries in the lands around the Mediterranean Sea.)

Over the past few years, visits to the Middle East have skyrocketed, with hotspots such as Dubai and Tel Aviv leading the way. But did you know that there are plenty of great places in the Middle East that are growing in popularity fast? Places like Cairo, Istanbul and Petra are packed with tons of history, fun experiences and delicious food, making them popular destinations in the Middle East.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy Tel Aviv’s nightlife or looking for one of the seven wonders of the world in Petra, these Middle Eastern hotspots are definitely worth a visit in 2023…and beyond. Oh, and if you’re looking to escape to a warmer climate in the middle of this cold winter, it’s all the more reason to book a flight to one of these regions, which tend to be hot and dry. Check out the wish list below for all your travel inspo.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Shutterstock

It seems impossible to name Middle Eastern hotspots without mentioning Dubai. The vibrant city is loved for its luxurious hotels, unique tourist attractions and historic past. “An intriguing mix of old and new, Dubai is a hot spot in the Middle East,” explains Zara Skehavati, editor of Lonely Planet. “The Burj Khalifa is a must see – it is the tallest building in the world at 828 meters.” Choose to stay at the Burj Al Arab, dubbed the world’s first 7-star hotel, or at Atlantis the Palm, a destination beloved by The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Tel Aviv, Israel

Shutterstock

“As one of the most popular cities in the Middle East, Tel Aviv has it all – beaches, culture, nightlife, restaurants and much more,” says Zach Griff, Senior Reporter at The Points Guy. Spend the day lounging on one of the city’s pristine beaches, enjoying local Israeli cuisine, or heading out for the nightlife as the sun goes down. Griff recommends staying at the David Kempinski Tel Aviv Hotel, the city’s new seaside crown jewel.

Petra, Jordan

One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Petra is a city beloved for its world-renowned archaeological sites. “Enjoy Petr’s show at night and head to the treasury, where more than 1,500 candles light up the place,” advises Skehavati. After a few days in the historic city, sneak out into the desert of Wadi Rum to the viral TikTok Aicha Luxury Camp – where visitors stay in luxurious glass tents – and enjoy fantastic stargazing. While there, take a jeep tour, hike over rock bridges, and watch the breathtaking sunset and sunrise.

Istanbul, Turkey

Shutterstock

Located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, Istanbul is a melting pot of cultures, so it’s worth visiting. “With its rich history, eye-catching landscapes and magnificent structures along the Bosphorus Strait, you definitely don’t want to miss it,” says Griff. Take some time to browse the over 3,000 stalls in the Grand Bazaar, enjoy local Turkish cuisine on a walking tour of the Beyoğlu District, and visit the top of the Galata Tower on a tour. Griff advises staying at the Four Seasons Istanbul At The Bosphorus for a rich experience, and at the JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus for another luxury alternative.

Cairo, Egypt

Shutterstock

Full of history, cool experiences and tasty local cuisine, Cairo is a city often overlooked by tourists. It is close to the pyramids of Giza, offering a great city to retreat to after a long day admiring the ancient sites in the sun. Explore the labyrinth of Khan el-Khalili, a bazaar dating back to 1400 AD, and grab an Arabic coffee and tea at Fishawis, the city’s most famous coffee shop, or enjoy the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts at the Egyptian Museum. Spend your free time at The Nile Ritz-Carlton, a luxury property nestled among all the dining, shopping and cultural venues, with spectacular views of the famous river.

Muscat, Oman

Shutterstock

According to Skehavati, Muscat is a lovely city with plenty to do, so it’s a good thing this hidden gem should be next on your list. “Don’t forget to visit the Sultan Qaboo Grand Mosque, which features arched walkways, vibrant mosaics, a Swarovski crystal chandelier and the world’s second largest hand-knotted Persian rug,” he says. Other activities you may want to consider include watching a show at the Opera House or taking time out for retail therapy. Chedi Muscat is a fantastic hotel offering a range of amazing views, from colorful gardens to the beautiful Gulf of Oman.

Jerusalem, Israel

Shutterstock

“As one of the holiest cities for the three monotheistic religions, Jerusalem offers a mix of cultural experiences for everyone,” explains Griff. While you can easily spend your time visiting the holy places, be sure to take advantage of the restaurants, shops and wide range of cultural events in the city itself. To complete your stay, add a day trip to the Dead Sea, which is the lowest point on earth and is said to have healing powers in its mud, or to Masada, an archaeological ruin and viewpoint. Also, make sure you book your stay at the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem or the Villa Brown in Jerusalem to maximize your time in the city.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *