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TripAdvisor Reveals the World’s Best Travel Experiences

TripAdvisor recently announced the first Travelers' Choice Awards for Experiences. (Winners were determined based on reviews and ratings from millions of users.) If these tours and activities don't spark some serious wanderlust, we're not sure what will!

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Cooking ClassCourtesy TripAdvisor

Local Market Tour, Cooking Class, and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse (Florence, Italy)

We’re getting hungry just thinking about this deep-dive into Tuscan cuisine. It begins with a trip to a local market in Florence to scope stalls of fresh produce, cured meats, olives, and balsamic vinegar as well as select ingredients for the cooking class. Next up, is a scenic drive to a farmhouse, where travelers are taught how to prepare traditional dishes—while sipping a glass of Chianti—before sitting down to taste the fruits of their labor. Discover the other best foodie cities in the world.

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Berlin Bike TourCourtesy TripAdvisor

Berlin Bike Tour (Berlin, Germany)

Germany’s capital is a vibrant metropolis filled with history and culture. The best way to explore all that Berlin has to offer? We’ll give you a hint: It has two wheels. This bike tour is a great opportunity to learn about the city’s complex past and visit top sights like Alexanderplatz, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Berlin Wall Memorial. These unique travel experiences might put all of these destinations to shame.

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New York sightseeingCourtesy TripAdvisor

New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour (New York, New York)

So much to do, so little time! When you want to maximize every minute in the Big Apple, this sightseeing tour via bus and boat is a fantastic solution. With commentary from knowledgeable guides, it takes tourists to all the key spots—including Federal Hall, South Street Seaport, the 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. Check out these hidden gems most New Yorkers don’t know about.

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Sydney BridgeClimbCourtesy TripAdvisor

Sydney BridgeClimb (Sydney, Australia)

One of Australia’s largest cities, Sydney is brimming with iconic landmarks—and there’s no better place to see ’em all than atop the Harbour Bridge. This unforgettable climb is completely customizable (ascend to the halfway point inside the inner arch or go up the summit). No matter which route you choose, there are ample photo opportunities and plenty of pauses to soak in the sweeping panoramas. If this sounds more thrilling than terrifying, scope out these epic vacations for adrenaline junkies.

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VaticanCourtesy TripAdvisor

Vatican VIP Experience (Rome, Italy)

Included in this VIP experience is an exclusive breakfast at the Vatican with early access to museums. Peep enchanting architecture, classical sculptures, and Renaissance masterpieces, including Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Stanze di Raffaello, before members of the general public set foot inside Prepare for your trip with a deeper look inside the Vatican.

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New Orleans cookingCourtesy TripAdvisor

New Orleans Cooking Class (New Orleans, Louisiana)

The Big Easy serves up a scrumptious medley of French, Spanish, African, Caribbean, and Cajun influences in its cuisine. Culinary enthusiasts consistently rave about this cooking class, set in a converted 19th-century molasses warehouse. Students whip up classic Creole specialties such as gumbo, jambalaya, and pralines alongside expert chefs. Of course, the highlight is digging into all the deliciousness.

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RotoruaCourtesy TripAdvisor

Rotorua Maori Hangi Dinner and Performance (Rotorua, New Zealand)

Ask anyone who has been to Rotorua and they’ll tell you that watching a traditional performance, discovering local customs, and joining in a hangi feast at Tamaki Maori Village is an absolute must. The immersive evening commences with a welcome ceremony by New Zealand’s indigenous people, followed by haka song and dance as well as delectable food.

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Niagara FallsCourtesy TripAdvisor

Niagara Falls Tour (Niagara Falls, Canada)

Niagara Falls wows with its gushing waters, hypnotic cascades, and mesmerizing mist. The first stop on this epic tour is the famous Skylon Tower. Next, head to Journey Behind the Falls. Then, set sail on a Hornblower Cruise (April through November) or visit the Butterfly Conservatory and Niagara Fury (December through March). And did we mention hotel pick-up/drop-off and skip-the-line tickets are part of the package?

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VictoriaCourtesy TripAdvisor

Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour by Bus (Vancouver, Canada)

Be sure to bring your camera! Picture-perfect moments abound on this round-trip excursion from Vancouver to Victoria. It all starts with a scenic ferry across the Strait of Georgia and around the Gulf Islands. After docking in British Columbia’s capital, hop on a bus to the many landmarks, neighborhoods, and parks. Afterward, enjoy three hours to roam free. The pièce de résistance is a 90-minute stroll through the exquisitely landscaped Butchart Gardens. Planning a getaway to the Great White North? Brush up on the top travel destinations in Canada.

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Wicklow County TourCourtesy TripAdvisor

Wicklow County Tour from Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)

Witness the beautiful Irish countryside, get an overview of the wild landscape, partake in a complimentary whiskey tasting, and savor authentic cuisine on this full-day tour of Wicklow County from Dublin. Soak in the vistas as you pass through Dalkey and Sandycove, stop at Avoca Handweavers to purchase handmade goods, commune with nature at Wicklow Mountains National Park, live out your Braveheart fantasies at Lough Tay (where scenes from the film were shot), and recharge at a pub before venturing to Glendalough.

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Bike tour in barcelonaDmitri Fedorov/Shutterstock

Barcelona Half-Day Bike Tour (Barcelona, Spain)

Barcelona is a mecca of art, culture, and cuisine with everything from Michelin-starred eateries to low-key tapas bars and the monumental Sagrada Familia. When in Barna (as the locals call it), this half-day bike tour is the move. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what one reviewer had to say: “Our guide was knowledgeable and shared lesser-known stories that kept us entertained while we got to know the city.”

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A sightseeing train travels on the famous Jungfrau Railway from Jungfraujoch (Top of Europe) to Kleine Scheidegg by a green grassy hillside on a sunny summer day, in Bernese Oberland, SwitzerlandCHEN MIN CHUN/Shutterstock

Jungfraujoch Day Trip from Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland)

Situated at an elevation of 11,371 feet above sea level, Jungfraujoch (a saddle in the Bernese Alps) is among Europe’s highest rail stations. Getting there can be, well, quite the complicated process. This day trip from Zurich takes the hassle out of transit and timing. So, you can forget worrying about schedules and just focus on the eye-popping alpine views.

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Gates to Auschwitz Birkenau Concentration Camp, PolandTaiftin/Shutterstock

Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour (Krakow, Poland)

The Holocaust is a painful yet important part of our collective history. Explore two of Poland’s most important UNESCO-listed sites on this super saver combination tour. See prison barracks of the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau and investigate underground tunnels and majestic formations at Wieliczka Salt Mine.

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Amazing Nature of Twelve Apostles by the Great Ocean Road in Australia.Yunsun_Kim/Shutterstock

Great Ocean Road Ecotour from Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia)

Australia is blessed with dramatic landscapes. Case in point: Great Ocean Road in Melbourne. This ecotour gives adventurers a front-row seat to all the highlights of this striking coastal drive. Visit the seaside town of Torquay, observe wild koalas at Kennett River, stand in awe of The Twelve Apostles, gawk at Loch Ard Gorge, and get up close to Gibson Steps.

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Pena National Palace. Palacio Nacional da Pena, Sintra, Portugal.Vlada Photo/Shutterstock

Sintra and Cascais Small-Group Day Trip from Lisbon (Lisbon, Portugal)

Sintra impresses with a grand castle and gorgeous natural scenery, while Cascais wins points for its sandy stretches. Unless you rent a car, getting to these coastal enclaves can be tough. Insert this small-group excursion that makes the journey a breeze. Along the way, you’ll stop at the UNESCO-listed Pena Palace, Cabo da Roca (Europe’s westernmost point), and Boca da Inferno. Love soaking up the sun? Here are 11 amazing beaches to add to your bucket list ASAP.

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FUKUOKA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 19: Unidentified Sumo wrestlers ready to engage in the arena of the Fukuoka Tournament on November 19, 2010 in Fukuoka, Japan.J. Henning Buchholz/Shutterstock

Tokyo Sumo Wrestling Tournament (Adachi, Japan)

Sumo dates back nearly 2,000 years. The chance to witness an exhilarating tournament IRL is impossible to pass up. Through this cultural experience, you’ll ride the train to the museum, housed inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall, and learn about the ancient origins of the sport, before venturing to the stadium. Then it’s up to B-class reserved seats on the second floor to watch the opening ceremony and wrestling matches. Hungry? Afterward, feast on chanko hot pot at a local restaurant. P.S. These are the unique destinations you’ll only find in Japan.

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Stonehenge, the UNESCO world heritage site in UKGiancarlo Liguori/Shutterstock

Inner Circle Access of Stonehenge including Bath and Lacock Day Tour from London (London, United Kingdom)

Stonehenge landed on our list of tourist traps that are actually worth checking out for good reason. Book this day trip from London, and you’ll be one of the lucky few to view the mysterious prehistoric monument from inside its inner circle. That’s not all! On top of that, there’s dining (and drinking) at a 14th-century pub in the medieval village of Lacock plus time in the historic city of Bath.

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KZ-Gedenkstaette Dachau, Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site near Munich, Bavaria, Germany, Europe, 1. August 2007footageclips/Shutterstock

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site Tour from Munich by Train (Munich, Germany)

World War II and the Holocaust are a chapter of Germany’s story that can’t be ignored. Thus, no trip to Munich would be complete without a tour of Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. What can you expect? One reviewer said this of the experience: “Powerful and informative. The subject matter is heavy and heart-breaking. Our guide did an excellent job educating us and describing the conditions suffered by so many.”

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Old town Dubrovnik Croatia - Game of Throne location set for King’s landingSittipong Sirimaskasem/Shutterstock

Game of Thrones Walking Tour of Dubrovnik (Dubrovnik, Croatia)

Calling all Game of Thrones fans! Discover all the fantastical locales where the show was filmed in Dubrovnik on this exclusive walking tour. Hear behind-the-scenes stories as you traverse Old Town with fellow Thronies. Walk the path of King Joffrey I Baratheon at Lovrijenac Fortress, stand in Arya Stark’s footsteps, and gaze at the red-roofed skyline (perhaps you know it better as King’s Landing).

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Canal cruise in the city of Amsterdam by night - AMSTERDAM / THE NETHERLANDS - JULY 19, 20174kclips/Shutterstock

Amsterdam Evening Canal Cruise with Four-Course Dinner and Drinks (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Want to whisk your sweetie off somewhere special? Consider the Netherlands’ atmospheric capital. With scenic canals, cycle paths, and colorful houses, Amsterdam is tailor-made for romance. Speaking of, this evening cruise—complete with a four-course dinner and unlimited wine—is date night done right. TripAdvisor reviewers emphasized the excellent food, plentiful drinks, and attentive crew. Find out the other places around the world that you need to visit this year.

Lindsay Cohn
Lindsay is an avid traveler who has visited 45 countries across six continents. At, she covers both domestic and international travel. When she's not writing, you can find her doing yoga and adding to her ever-growing list of future adventures.