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6 Flip Flop-Friendly Places to Visit in 2023

Dreaming of your 2023 vacation but tired of your usual haunts? Then you’re in luck. Airbnb recently released a report on where to visit in 2023, and it includes Bangkok, Thailand, and Queenstown, New Zealand. Six of the ten top destinations were in Brazil and Australia this year: Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Florianópolis, Porto Seguro and Salvador. There are wine countries, sweeping vistas, rich history, outdoor activities, and sumptuous local food to explore-what are you waiting for? Get your bags ready. Here are our top choices for the 6 best, flip flop friendly places to see in 2023! 

1. Málaga, Spain  

Located south of Seville, this coastal Andalusian city boasts plenty of attractions. Málaga was the birthplace of Picasso. Located on the Costa del Sol, it is the second-largest city in the Spanish region of Andalusia. Along with Marbella, Malaga is one of the most popular destinations on the Costa del Sol. 

Each year, this port city enjoys 300 days of sunshine. There are 3,800 hectares of vineyards in Malaga, which is one of the world’s oldest wine regions. There is something for everyone in Malaga, a city known for its beautiful beaches, historical city sights, and beautiful rural scenery. 

Málaga is home to sixteen dazzling beaches, as well as Alcazabra, one of the largest Arab fortresses in the region. From art enthusiasts to beach lovers, Malaga, Spain has something for everyone. Enjoy summer evenings ambling through lively neighborhoods and eating your way through tapas bars like Bodega El Pimpi. Climb the Gibralfaro Castle for spectacular city views. Interested in experiencing local life? Explore Málaga’s markets and contemporary art. Be sure to visit Picasso’s museum and home during your stay – you wouldn’t want to miss this.  

Where to stay:  

The best areas to stay in are Centro, Calle Larios, Maria Zambrano, Soho, La Malagueta, Pedregalejo, El Palo, and Ciudad Jardin in Malaga. Several attractions and amenities are available in these popular and safe neighborhoods.  

Those who are visiting Malaga for the first time should stay in the Old Town Malaga because of its proximity to some of the city’s top attractions and a wide selection of accommodations. Staying here puts you in the middle of everything, close to hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops. 

The downtown area is walkable, so you can explore on foot easily. You can use the Malaga Metro if you are tired of walking. Both metro lines end at El Perchel, the mainline train station, with line 1 from Andalucia Tech and line 2 from Sports Stadium. 

2. Sydney, Australia  

Why not live up 2023 with an adventure down under? Although Sydney is known for its iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge, if you look a little closer, you’ll find a vibrant metropolis full of rooftop bars (The Glenmore will take your breath away with its Opera view), theater performances, and Paramount Coffee. Are you ready to hit the beach? There are over 100 beaches in Sydney where you can snorkel, kayak, canoe, paddle board, and surf. There are over 1,000 feet of underwater nature trails at Gordon’s Bay with reefs, sand flats, and kelp forests (although if you want the full experience, head to Bondi Beach.)  

Where to stay:  

Sydney is a very large, spread out city. Major attractions and hotels are located around the harbour and central business district, as well as in the inner-city suburbs, which the city council refers to as villages. 
Surry Hills, Elizabeth Bay, Potts Point, Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, Chippendale, Redfern, and Newton are some of these villages. Then there are beach suburbs like Bondi and Manly. 

It’s best to stay at Darling Harbour if you’re a first-time visitor. Previously a working-class port, Darling Harbour and adjacent Pyrmont were redeveloped for the 1988 Bicentennial. In recent years, it has become a popular spot for family dining and weekend festivals. The city is also home to several popular attractions, such as the Star Casino and the Maritime Museum, plus more cafes and restaurants than you can possibly consume in a week! 

With so many activities and kid-friendly dining options available on site, this is a fantastic place for families to stay. Darling Square, at the southern end, is now a foodie hotspot as well! 

3. Auckland, New Zealand  

One of the best places to visit if you love the outdoors is Auckland, New Zealand. As an International Dark Sky Sanctuary, Great Barrier Island is an ideal place to observe the stars. Beaches with black sand offer an oceanside escape, and hiking trails lead to waterfalls. In case you’re not the outdoorsy type, there are plenty of glamping experiences that go well beyond a cabin. A spa, gourmet food, beauty treatments, and ocean views are all on the menu. Alternatively, you can go for a whale safari or visit Waiheke Island, known as the “island of wine.”  

Where to stay:  

Auckland has dozens of great suburbs and neighbourhoods. Outside the city center, there are not many hotels to choose from. 

When you visit Auckland, you’ll likely want to stay downtown or near the waterfront. This is the main tourist area with the greatest variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options in the city.  

Auckland’s central area is also home to many of the city’s best attractions. Several historic sites and landmarks, including museums and old churches, are located here. Auckland’s Sky Tower offers bungee jumping for adventurous travelers. Are you interested in historical sightseeing? You’ll enjoy exploring century-old buildings in Auckland. 

4. Bangkok, Thailand  

In 2022, Bangkok, Thailand was among the most searched destinations, and Airbnb predicts that trend to continue into the new year. It’s easy to understand why. Bangkok is referred to as the “Venice of the East,” thanks to the Chao Phraya River, the Grand Palace, and temples with ornate architecture such as Wat Saket Ratchaworamahawihan (which holds some of Buddha’s relics). Weapons, clothing, and precious stones can all be examined there. You should also visit Chatuchak Market, which boasts 8,000 stalls of food and goods over 27 acres, the largest market in the country.  

Where to stay:  

First timers will want to stay in Sukhumvit. Bangkok’s Sukhumvit neighborhood is centrally located with easy access to other districts. The area is ideal for first-time visitors because it offers a number of historical and cultural attractions, as well as great bars, restaurants, and shopping. 

In this district, you’ll find Sukhumvit Road. Sukhumvit is one of Bangkok’s longest streets and home to luxury shops, world-class restaurants, and excellent entertainment. 

Sukhumvit is a popular area for expats and westerners in Bangkok, and there are restaurants from around the world here. When it comes to dining and clubbing, Sukhumvit offers it all! There are countless restaurants, bars, clubs, and nightclubs on Soi 11, Bangkok’s famous party street. 

Sukhumvit hotels are available at various price points in this area. 

Since the Skytrain (BTS) and Subway (MRT) lines cross Sukhumvit Road, this area is well connected to public transportation. 

5. Florianópolis, Brazil  

Looking for a South American getaway? Instead of Sao Paulo, head to Florianópolis, a striking coastal city in southern Brazil. The nightlife scene at Lagoa da Conceiço is exciting, and you can find plenty of monuments and historical sites in the historic center, such as Fernando Machado Square, Metropolitan Cathedral, and S). Getting to know Florianópolis by bus is a great (and efficient) way to explore it. Be sure to stop at the Mercado Municipal (public market) and walk the Lagoinha do Leste Trail, which provides stunning views of the ocean.  

Where to stay:  

One of the best places to stay in Florianópolis is the area around the scenic lake Lagoa da Conceiço. Lagoa da Conceição area is easily the most popular with tourists. The town of Lagoa itself is where you will find many excellent dining, nightlife and entertainment options to suit a variety of tastes. 

Despite its status as the tourism hub of the city, it is also one of the most budget-friendly. 

As one of Floripa’s most developed areas, it has pubs, restaurants, a good nightlife, and many accommodations along the lakefront. 

It is, without a doubt, one of the most pleasant areas in Floripa to stay, since there are numerous activities to do here. Additionally, it is strategically located near the Downtown, the airport, and the main beaches in Florianópolis, Campeche, Joaquina, and Mole. The lagoon has become one of the most buzzing places on the island especially during the high season. 

6. Porto Seguro, Brazil  

Porto Seguro is one of the most beautiful regions on the Atlantic coast of Bahia, Brazil. Porto Seguro is an oceanside village north of Florianópolis, famous for its nightlife and the bar-lined Passarela do Licool (which translates to alcohol catwalk). Are there any other must-sees? There are many colonial and indigenous artifacts on display in the Porto Seguro Museum. Restaurants and eateries line O Beco, an open-air galleria, while Rabanete sells food by the pound. In Old Town, head to Cidade Histórica for views and photo ops of Porto Seguro’s colorful buildings.  

When you’re planning your next trip to Brazil, Porto Seguro is a must-see. But finding the right place to stay can be a challenge! With about half a dozen small villages scattered along the coast, it’s hard to tell which village has the best beaches by looking at a map alone. 

Where to stay:  

Wouldn’t it make sense to stay in Porto Seguro’s city center? Not exactly. To get to the best beaches, you must cross the Buranhém River to the south of Porto Seguro. If you’re heading south, you can take a public ferry, but it could add half an hour to your trip. 

Porto Seguro is a good choice if you need easy access to the airport or bus station. Apart from that, I wouldn’t recommend staying here.  

The village of Arraial d’Ajuda is the largest south of the Buranhém River. There are a lot of dining options, and it’s got a great vibe. The beaches of Arraial are also within walking distance (unlike Porto Seguro). The prices of accommodation are generally reasonable, there are lots of restaurant choices, and you can easily arrange transportation to beaches further south.  

It’s time to Do Life Right!  

What are you waiting for? We hope these destinations inspire the spirit of adventure in you. If you want to add some spice to your routine, say goodbye to the city and hello to the island, let’s go!   

Don’t forget to pack appropriately. You won’t need those stuffy business suits or constricting dress shoes. A comfy and stylish pair of flip flops will do.   

Check out our flip flop reviews and recommendations here on Flip Flop Daily to find your perfect pair to take along on your island adventures.