The 23 Best Places to Go in India in 2023

For just-opened wellness retreats, luxury river cruises, and crowd-free beaches, according to the editors of Condé Nast Traveller India.
Extreme long exposure image showing milky way with Namgyal Tsemo Gompa main buddhist monastery centre in Leh Ladakh India

This is part of our global guide to the Best Places to Go in 2023—find more ideas on where to travel in the year ahead in the U.S., Spain, the U.K., and beyond.

If 2022 was the year of get-it-all-in travel, let 2023 encourage you to slow down and soak it all in. From immersive art exhibitions to quaint homestays and stylish boutique hotels that offer truly localized experiences, our list of where to go in India in 2023 will inspire you to engage with resident communities, and travel slower but deeper, and in more meaningful, magical ways.

Here, are the 23 destinations—as vetted by Condé Nast Traveller India editors.

All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Guests at Tilar Siro can take scuba diving courses or go on sea safaris.

Georgette Douwma

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Go for: A new island hotel and outdoor adventures

For the longest time, a trip to the Andamans meant picking between homestays or the only premium boutique hotel on the island. That’s changed in the past few years, with resorts like Taj Exotica Resort & Spa and Jalakara. The most recent entrant to the mix is Tilar Siro, a CGH Earth outpost on Havelock Island (now, Swaraj Dweep). The 25-key property is breezy, green, and immersive. You can learn about the island’s history and food, take scuba diving courses, and enjoy guided walks through the dense rainforests. There’s a lot to do beyond Havelock, including sea safaris at Cinque Island and kayaking expeditions with stargazing thrown in. Take a day trip to Barren Island to visit India’s only active volcano or take a ferry to Little Andaman Island for pristine beaches and lagoons. —Arundhati Ail

The new Biodiversity Heritage Site at Arittapatti village has over 75 species of birds.

Thanit Weerawan

Arittapatti, Tamil Nadu

Go for: Tamil Nadu’s first Biodiversity Heritage Site

A first for the state, Arittapatti village—roughly 143 miles from Coimbatore—has been declared Tamil Nadu’s first and India’s 35th Biodiversity Heritage Site. As green spaces across the globe shrink, this move by the state government is a step towards a greener future, and an attempt to preserve the unique landscape of rocky hills that supports 72 lakes, 200 natural spring ponds, and three reservoirs, apart from the 75 species of birds, raptor species, megalithic structures and rock-cut temples that date back 2,000 years. While the state government prepares to build the area’s tourism potential, go before the crowds surge—birdsong, gushing streams and a biodiverse ecosystem await. —Smitha Menon

Cruises on the Brahmaputra River incorporate art and cultural experiences.

Subhendu Sarkar


Go for: Cruises on the Brahmaputra River

Cruises across the mighty Brahmaputra River, and an exploration of its riverine culture, have thrown a new spotlight on Assam’s culture, history, and biodiversity. These river cruises are offered both by Assam Tourism and by private operators like the Assam Bengal Navigation Company, which have upped the ante on luxury travel with vessels that encapsulate the heritage and culture of the region and tours that provide a window into the history, culture, and crafts of the state. The latest of these is the soon-to-be-launched Ganga Vilas Cruise, the world’s longest cruise from Varanasi to Assam via Bangladesh that will embark on its maiden voyage in January 2023. These cruises offer a unique perspective of the land from the water and provide access to islands and national parks and include craft tours, local food experiences, tea garden trails, village walks, visits to age-old temples and a chance to see the greater one-horned rhino in the wild. —Diya Kohli

Travelers can trek through untouched fields near Tawang Monastery, the largest in India.


Arunachal Pradesh

Go for: The newfound accessibility, Ziro Festival, untouched nature

Arunachal Pradesh is the ideal destination for a retreat into silence. Jaw-dropping sunsets take over the valleys here, more than 500 species of birds call the wooded landscape of this state their home, and the gush of a hidden waterfall will be the only sound to break your chain of thought. Until now, the state’s natural beauty remained unexplored for the lack of accessibility. But in November 2022, the inauguration of the Donyi Polo airport opened gateways to the possibility of a novel getaway. With this airport located in Hollongi, some nine miles from Itanagar, travelers finally have direct access to the capital city and a new entry point into the state. Visit Tawang Monastery—the largest monastery in India—while you’re here, trek through the untouched fields of Bomdila, or make plans to drop by for the Ziro Festival for a weekend of music and eco-conscious living against the stunning Himalayan backdrop. —Ria Gupta

Restaurants offering a variety of dosas, new museums, and hip bookshops will draw travelers to Namma Bengaluru.


Bengaluru, Karnataka  

Go for: The Museum of Art & Photography, benne dosa, Cubbon Park promenade

Namma Bengaluru has something new to offer you every time you visit it. If you are an art lover, the city’s latest offering, the Museum of Art & Photography—which will go public in early 2023—will open up a whole new world encompassing photographs, ancient and modern art, sculptures, textiles and more. Let the colors of contemporary artist Jangarh Singh Shyam’s Portrait of a Barasingha wash over you or marvel at the intricacies of the bronze sculptures from decades ago at the cultural space that is located in the heart of the city on Kasturba Road. Once you have had your fill of art, head to the Airlines Hotel less than 500 yards away and enjoy a plate of crispy masala dosa with piping hot sambar, coconut chutney, and a freshly brewed tumbler of filter coffee—all under a lush green tree canopy. Then take a leisurely walk at Cubbon Park just a few yards away and head to the good old Blossom Book House or its newer, hipper contender, Champaca to pick up your next read. —Sneha Kanchan

The region's sacred temples have been nominated as a new UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Amith Nag Photography

Belur and Halebid, Karnataka

Go for: The sacred temples of the Hoysala Empire—India’s official nomination for the UNESCO World Heritage Site tag in 2023

Why should you visit 12th-century temples in 2023? For starters, these magnificent structures, about 124 miles from Bengaluru, are intricately carved and shockingly well-preserved reminders of the Hoysala dynasty, a secular family that ruled across the Deccan region from 1006 to about 1346 CE. The Hoysaleswara temple in Halebid, which loosely translates to old capital or ruined city, demonstrates how the rulers of yore encouraged the intermingling of religions and ideologies: the structure follows the Shaivism Hindu tradition but includes themes and motifs from Vaishnavism and Shaktism, along with images from Jainism. Inside, painstakingly hand-carved sculptures depict scenes from ancient epics like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Bhagavata Purana. Along with this temple, the nearby Kesava temple in Belur has also been proposed to be listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The ensembles blend Dravidian-style design with Bhumija and Nagara traditions of temple architecture from central and northern India, respectively. —SM

During Goa Carnival, the city's streets come alive with performers of all kinds.



Go for: New hotels and restaurants, the Goa Carnival

Spanish tapas at Mystras in Assagao, a taste of spiced Indian fare at Juju in Colva, and cocktails and mushroom cakes at Fig & Maple—these are only some of the new delights on Goa’s burgeoning food and drink scene. Helming the revolution of South Indian cuisine in Goa is the newly opened Hosa, a Portuguese-styled outpost set up by Rohit Khattar of Indian Accent, Comorin, and Koloman. With JW Marriott’s new property slated to pop up in Vagator next year, there’s enough to keep you hooked to the sunny state. For a taste of the spirit of Goa, make sure you witness the processions of the Goa Carnival 2023. Come February, the streets of Panjim, Mapusa, Margao, and Vasco will come alive with dancers, acrobats, musicians, and the escorts that tail the carnival’s King Momo. It’s the time of year when pranksters come knocking on doors, street plays celebrate the art of mockery, and everyone unites for the love of food, drink, and merriment. Don’t leave without taking back a souvenir in the form of one of the many homegrown alcoholic spirits the state is known for. —RG

Hanle is set to be named India's first Dark Sky Reserve in 2023.

Krishna Hemant . / EyeEm

Hanle, Ladakh

Go for: India’s first Dark Sky Reserve, Hanle Monastery

Experience a starry night like never before at Hanle, a picturesque hamlet in Ladakh. Hanle is set to be the main character in India’s astronomical tourism story as the site of the country’s first Dark Sky Reserve, which will be operational by early 2023. Situated 4,500 metres above sea level as part of the Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary, the reserve aims to lower light pollution for better observation of the inky night sky dotted with stars and planets. Once there, do not forget to visit the 17th-century Hanle Monastery located on a hilltop for some inner peace and a panoramic view of the village and its unique landscape. —SK

Jaipur's Literature Festival draws travelers from all around the globe.

Hindustan Times

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Go for: Safaris, the Jaipur Literature Festival, new hotel and bar openings

Safari enthusiasts can now go on a leopard game drive just 30 minutes away from Jaipur city. In May 2022, the Rajasthan state government opened up the Amagarh Leopard Reserve, which sprawls across 3,765 acres and is home to 16 cats and 250 species of birds. Besides the leopard, keep your eyes peeled for hyenas, jackals, wild cats, foxes, civets, nilgai, sambar, and birds including peacocks, parakeets, and woodpeckers. Amagarh is also home to an 18th-century fort built by Maharaja Jawai Singh II, which is worth a visit. Time your trip to one of India’s most exciting literature festivals: The Jaipur Literature Fest is slated to take place from January 19 to 23 and will feature speakers like Anthony Sattin and Sudha Murty. Stay at the newly opened Villa Palladio, a nine-room boutique hotel that looks straight out of a jewel box, from the duo behind the famous Bar Palladio. For a drink, check out Johri & Sons, a slick new bar concocting smashing cocktails with a twist, and a side of ker sangri samosas and roomali khakra. It’s a fitting end to a day spent in the wilderness. —Shradha Shahani

Srinagar will see some vibrant new hotel openings in 2023—and a boost in accessibility to the best slopes in the region.

Christian Aslund

Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

Go for: New infrastructure for easier road tripping, elevated nature retreats

In the heart of the Kashmir Valley, the gem of Srinagar—with its winding waterways and colorful houseboats—is equally alluring and challenging to plan a visit to. Yet the destination seems to be shifting gears, with the government greenlighting development projects that will benefit travelers.

Srinagar has some vibrant new openings: Karan Mahal, a swanky, intimate stay in the historic residence of Kashmir’s former rulers and amid nearly 60 acres of orchards and woods, launched last year, while Qayaam Gah, a stylish, Sufi-inspired nature retreat in the Zabarwan Hills, with unfettered bird’s-eye views of Dal Lake, opened this summer. Additionally, Indian Hotels Company Limited (also behind the Taj Hotels) will bring its affordable brand, Ginger Hotels, to Srinagar in the first half of 2023.

The capital is also about to get a boost in accessibility, with a spate of highways and tunnels planned to open in 2023 that will, among other connections, make it easier to drive from Kashmir—across breathtaking landscapes—to neighboring Ladakh, even in winter. Other side trips that will be easier to reach, thanks to the new infrastructure: Sonamarg (which translates to “golden meadow”), a stunning hill station that is poised for substantial tourism development in the years to come, and Pahalgam, an idyllic getaway that has long drawn travelers to its pastoral charms. The latter will see, in early 2023, the opening of Shepherd’s Barn, a cottage stay by Ramneek Kaur (whose family owns the Bollywood-favorite Pahalgam Hotel), which will add rooms to an existing program of craft tours and local activities under the auspices of the Shepherd Crafts Cultural Centre. With so much change underfoot, there is no better time to experience the area— and before everyone else starts to do the same. —Saumya Ancheri

Jeypore is an ideal retreat for nature lovers.


Jeypore, Odisha

Go for: New trekking trails

Amid the heritage structures and urban strongholds of Odisha, Jeypore poses as a fine repository of all things natural. From caves hidden in the depths of forests to bold waterfalls, there’s plenty to see and discover here. Thanks to the local administration’s efforts, one of its key areas—the Nakti Dangar hill of Jeypore’s Pangi forest reserve—will soon have a designated trail route for travelers. This means that you will now be able to navigate through the wild at a height of 4,600 feet. On the way, you can spot various endangered species such as the Jeypore Hill Gecko. The project is expected to be completed towards the end of 2023 and will present a resting stop at the top of the hill to complement the trail. The city also packs within it a host of cultural outposts; think: temples, palaces, and the forts that let you in on the city’s past as a trading hotspot—all surrounded by the Eastern Ghats and blanketed in a cool breezy climate. —RG

The city's Biennale will stretch until April 2023.


Kochi, Kerala

Go for: Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Chinese fishing nets, history lessons

Come December this year, the bright bylanes of fort Kochi will don different expressions of art as Kochi-Muziris Biennale returns physically after a brief pandemic-induced hiatus. The Biennale, an international contemporary art exhibition, will spill into the next year and end in April 2023 with installations and events set up in and around several locations of the scenic Fort Kochi. Be sure to set aside a couple of days to cover as many locations and artworks as you can while taking in the beauty of the place and its architecture on foot. For history buffs, there is both the 16th-century Mattancherry Palace built by the Portuguese and the Paradesi Synagogue in Jew Town that will transport you back to that era. As the sun sets, Kochi's famous Chinese fishing nets beckon with a lively and fun fish auction experience. —SK

Devgad is known for slow and leisurely surfing.


Go for: The coast’s newest surf school and beach zipline in Devgad

In 2021, the Chipi Parule Airport in Sindhudurg was finally inaugurated after a wait of more than 20 years. This year brought another reason to visit the Konkan coast. Adventure company Flying Konkan has just launched the Flying Konkan Surfing School, the very first board surfing school on the coastline, at the Devgad and Taramburi beaches, where beginners and experienced surfers are invited to catch some waves. The coast at Devgad (about 100km from Ratnagiri, towards Goa) is less crowded and less explored than most shores, creating an ideal atmosphere for slow, leisurely surfing. Waves are typically three to five feet in April and can reach up to 10 feet in May. If you’re not interested in surfing, you can always enjoy the school’s very own coastal zipline over the beach. —AA

Cheetahs have returned to Kuno, 70 years after being declared extinct.

Martin Harvey

Kuno, Madhya Pradesh 

Go for: The comeback of cheetahs

When you draw up your travel calendar for 2023, do not forget to squeeze in a quick trip to the center of India for a very special reason. Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park recently became home to cheetahs that have made a comeback in India seven decades after being declared extinct. By 2023, you should get a chance to spot the Namibian cheetahs (all eight of them if you’re lucky!) roaming in their spotted glory in the lap of the Vindhyas mountain range. If the cheetahs are elusive, you can always hop onto a safari jeep and let the park’s flora and fauna—close to 30 mammals, 200 birds and 14 species of fish—whisk you away from the fast pace of city life. —SK

Inside Van Gogh 360

Charles McQuillan

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Go for: Lollapalooza, Van Gogh 360, an exciting sports scene

There are ample reasons to visit the city of dreams on any given day. It could be for the serendipity of catching your favorite movie stars shooting in the middle of Kala Ghoda, or for the miraculous urban forest where leopards roam in midst of all things manmade. But in the coming year, some never-before moments will accentuate the bustling world that is Mumbai. Chicago’s international music festival Lollapalooza (January 28-29, 2023) is making its Asian debut in the city in 2023. Indigenous artists such as AP Dhillon, Prateek Kuhad, Bombay Brass, and others will share the space with international hit bands Imagine Dragons, Cigarettes After Sex, Zhu, and Diplo. While here, pop in to experience Van Gogh 360 (January 20 to February 17, 2023), an immersive art show that’ll display 300 artworks by the Dutch painter in a never-before setting. The floors and ceilings of Mumbai’s World Trade Centre will be drenched in color, complemented by audio-visual elements for a dreamy experience. 2023 is also a big year for sports in the country. With India hosting the 2023 Cricket World Cup, Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium is expected to run at least a few of the matches on the roster. —RG

The Hornbill festival displays the traditions of the tribes of Nagaland.



Go for: Off-roading, the Hornbill Festival

In an effort to promote off-roading tourism in Nagaland, the state’s government has been urging travelers to head off the beaten track. Nagaland Offroad, an initiative by the Government of Nagaland with Wander Beyond Boundaries, encourages travel beyond conventional destinations like Kohima and Dimapur. This is a land where between the slush and ridges, local communities welcome you with open arms and a jungle of wilderness awaits exploration. As part of the initiative, you can stay in local homestays, eat at regional restaurants, and discover craft shops on your way. You can choose a track across 13 districts, each presenting unique topographies, flora and fauna, and local culture to interact with. After a brief hiatus, the famous Hornbill Festival, held near Kohima, also sprung back in 2021. If you haven’t yet, watch the tribes of Nagaland display the best of their traditions in wrestling matches, bamboo festivals, walkathons, heritage walks, loin loom events, and more. —RG

Pune's food scene is well worth traveling for.

Pune, Maharashtra 

Go for: The indie food scene

Butchers, brewers, bakers, and even candlemakers: this hip city is home to all of them. Pune has a combination of things going for it like its proximity to Mumbai and a laidback but driven attitude. Its chill vibe has long attracted young working professionals and entrepreneurs looking to start up in a city that has access to green spaces, and want the cool of Mumbai minus its hustle. And now, there's an exciting food scene that speak to that community. There’s Dohiti, which churns out not just warm, flaky croissants but also cinnamon rolls with local ingredients like jaggery and finger millet, and swaps blueberry for local kokum fruit in its cheesecakes; Niket Drego of The Daily Cut, which focuses on small-batch experimental cold cuts such as vindaloo chorizo; and WeIdliwale, a restaurant and delivery kitchen that zooms into regional cuisine from Karnataka. There are a range of happy-hour (and beyond) options to choose from as well: craft brewery Great State Aleworks collaborates with farmers for new brews while others like Yavasura, Kimaya Brewing Co., Doolally and Moonshine Meadery, believed to be Asia’s first meadery, are all based out of the city. Experimental food pop-ups with brewers, chefs, bakers, and mixologists add to the inventive dine-out scene. —SM

The river Ganga outside Rishikesh is the perfect backdrop to a slew of immersive wellness experiences.

by Marc Guitard

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Go for: A truly luxurious wellness circuit

Rishikesh, often referred to as the birthplace of yoga, became a port of call this year for travelers looking to meld wellness with classic luxury. Vana, a wellness retreat near Dehradun, Uttarakhand, announced a rebrand as Six Senses Vana that offers everything from a four-day fast fix-up to complete detoxification of body and mind during a month-long Ayurvedic Panchakarma retreat. At Ananda in the Himalayas, situated around a restored Maharaja's palace in the hills above Rishikesh, guests can pick from Eastern healing philosophies—Ayurveda, Vedanta, yoga—blended with Western techniques. And Taj Rishikesh, which sprawls over 12.5 acres of lush gardens on the slopes of the Garhwali Himalayas along the banks of river Ganga, offers spa treatments influenced by the characteristics of the mighty river. Think sensitivity, calm, energy, generosity, and strength. —SM

Viswa Bharati University

Veena Nair

Santiniketan, West Bengal

Go for: The Baul Festival, art and culture

Santiniketan, home to the acclaimed Viswa Bharati University and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, is a hub of literature, art, and culture in West Bengal. This prestigious university, set up by Tagore in 1921, was an extension of the ashram and school started by his father Maharishi Debendranath Tagore. Envisioned as a space of learning, scholarship, and propagation of the arts, the university is the green heart of the town of Bolpur and it is surrounded by the idyllic surrounds of the Birbhum countryside, complete with picturesque rivers, red earth, and forests of mango, sal, and golden acacia trees. Its history and heritage structures are likely to be inscribed into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2023: These include the stunning Kanch Mandir, a prayer hall made of Belgian glass and the Kala Bhavana or fine arts faculty with sculptures, frescos and murals by its illustrious faculty including modern Indian art and sculpture pioneers Nandalal Bose and Ramkinkar Baij. Unhurried tours on foot or cycle rickshaw allow visitors to take it all in and stop for an occasional tea break at any of the charming cafes in the area. Apart from Tagore’s own legacy of poetry and music, Santiniketan also straddles the region’s folk culture, food, and craft—from baul musicians to local food and cotton weaving—all of which are showcased in community-run spaces and weekly fairs or haats under the trees. Visit between winter and spring to participate in the Poush mela (December), the Baul mela (January) and the Basanta Utsav (March)—festivals during which songs reverberate through the land and men and women dance in joyous celebration. —DK

Cherry blossoms in Shillong

bambam kumar jha


Go for: New hotels, cherry blossoms, music and food festivals

If you consider nature a luxury, there was never a dearth of luxury in Shillong. The Meghalayan capital, with its pink winter and green trekking trails, holds an abundance of wild escapades. But to add to that, the state-owned Crowborough Hotel also opened its doors as Vivanta Meghalaya in September 2022. Being Meghalaya’s first five-star property, this hotel is the state’s first take on a luxury getaway. The next big thing on the cards is the opening of Courtyard by Marriott next year. Travelers will now have a host of stay options for when they visit to explore the city’s indie rock scene or wild forests. While you’re here, catch the Shillong Autumn Festival as the banks of Umiam Lake turn into a hub of local food, crafts, and music, and watch the landscape bloom with flowers at the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival. 12 miles away in Umbir, every November, the eco-friendly Hills Festival presents an opportunity to camp under the stars, learn about local foraging, and feast on local cuisine. —RG

A view of the Tons Valley

anand purohit

Tons Valley, Uttarakhand

Go for: Idyllic mountain views and a truly local experience

After setting up an online shop in 2020 to enable city dwellers to buy produce like fresh apples and kidney beans from farmers in the Tons Valley in rural Uttarakhand, the Tons Shop is under threat, due to a steep rise in shipping prices. One way to help bring capital back to the locals in the idyllic rolling hills and lush green valleys of Uttarakhand is to sign up for a trail organized by Tons Trails, a social enterprise promoting sustainable tourism in the region. In the spring, instead of crowding Dehradun, tourists should head to its mystical grasslands, drink from its glacial streams, and learn about seasonal flowers and medicinal plants from locals that double up as guides. —SM

Karnataka's Maravanthe, Mattu, and Malpe beaches are crowd-free and pristine.

Amith Nag Photography

Udupi, Karnataka

Go for: A new pet-friendly homestay, birdwatching, untouched beaches

Most people would associate the word "Udupi" with India's many Udupi restaurants—a genre of restaurants across Indian cities serving South Indian classics like idlis, vadas, dosas, and more. But there's a lot more to the region in Karnataka. About an hour's drive from Mangaluru, Udupi is home to several vibrant temples, the most popular of which is the Udupi Sri Krishna Temple. In 2022, traveling pet parents Priyanka Jena and Tanveer Taj set up Praana Experience, their three-bedroom homestay, on a parcel of land right by the sea. The homestay also has a studio home that recently opened for long-term rentals. You're welcome to bring your pets, of course, and there are chirping birds and sounds of waves to keep you company. An observatory within, and a forest nearby, allow for some quiet birdwatching that includes spotting hornbills and peacocks. There are more than a few beaches to explore—Maravanthe, Mattu, and Malpe are the closest—and most are crowd-free and pristine. —AA

Decadent trains like the Rajasthan’s Palace on Wheels and the Deccan Odyssey are returning to India.

Jason Edwards

India’s luxury trains

Go for: A timeless travel experience

After a temporary halt due to COVID, two of India’s most luxurious trains are set to return to action. The carriages of Rajasthan’s Palace on Wheels, launched in 1982, once belonged to maharajas and nizams. The eight-day journey starts in Delhi and takes you to all the best sights of Rajasthan, from the palaces of Udaipur and Jaipur to the nature and wildlife of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, before heading to Agra for a glimpse of the iconic Taj Mahal. The Deccan Odyssey, which is likely to restart operations in 2023, is counted among the world’s most opulent trains. Pick from six-week-long journeys that go through Maharashtra, Ranthambore National Park, Goa, Hyderabad, Gujarat, or Agra. You will, of course, be well taken care of onboard both trains—at their massage centers, bars, and restaurants. —AA

This article originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveller India.