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Birthdays are a time to celebrate, and luckily for us, we get one every year. Traveling can be a fantastic way to spend a birthday, especially if it’s the start of a new decade—turning 40 or 50 is certainly a reason to celebrate!

Getting away on your birthday can be about more than just having a good time. It’s a chance to reflect on the last year, look forward to the next one, and take a few days to focus on yourself.

Even if your birthday is months away, it’s never too early to start thinking about birthday trip ideas. Here are some romantic, exciting, and beautiful places to go for your birthday all around the world.

Barcelona, Spain

Historic Sagrada Familia reflecting on water

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

Ask world travelers what cities they love the most, and Barcelona will often be top of mind. This Catalonian city has it all: beaches, history, amazing food, romance, fantastic architecture, art, and more. This is not a city where you have to work very hard to fill your days.

Barcelona is one of the best places to go for your birthday to fit many activities in one trip. You could start your day with a sightseeing tour past the most famous buildings from architectural genius Antoni Gaudí, including Casa Battló, Park Güell, and La Sagrada Familia.

People walking along the Gothic Quarter with small shops

Gothic Quarter

Or, you may choose to spend the morning relaxing on the beach, or leisurely strolling through the historical Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter.) When it’s time for lunch, take a tapas-and-wine-pairing tour, or swing by one of the small cafes on Las Ramblas. The options are endless, so if Barcelona tops your list of birthday trip ideas, here’s the perfect way to spend three days in Barcelona.

Venice, Italy

Couple on a romantic gondola ride in Venice

Gondola ride in Venice

Romance is always in the air in Venice; after all, is there anything more romantic than a sunset gondola ride on the city’s famous canals?  If your ideal birthday revolves around a romantic getaway with your spouse or partner, consider planning a getaway for two to the Italian city. Of course, you’ll also be drawn to this beautiful city if you’re a history or art lover.

Be sure to visit Doge’s Palace, a 14th-century palace once owned by the leader of the Venitian Republic. Then, walk through the hidden and twisting streets of Venice, exploring centuries-old glass-blowing studios, before heading to St. Mark’s Square.

The city feels as though it was custom-designed for people in love. Of course, it’s hard to find a more romantic place for dinner than a candlelit cobblestone street in the heart of Italy.


Couple walking towards Jobson’s Cove Beach

Jobson’s Cove Beach, Bermuda

Perfect for east coasters looking for a quick tropical getaway, Bermuda is truly a one-of-a-kind destination. Thanks to the blend of British influence and tropical surroundings, it feels more luxurious than other destinations.

While amazing shopping and dining experiences are a given, Bermuda is one of the best birthday trips for another reason: it’s signature pink sand. Some of the best Bermuda beaches are famous not just for their beauty—bright blue water and rocky coves assure that nearly all the island’s beaches are stunning—but for the pink sand you won’t find in too many other places in the world.

Aerial view of Horseshoe Bay Beach

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

One of Bermuda’s most famous beaches is Horseshoe Bay, which beckons travelers with its gentle waves and picture-perfect vistas. In Bermuda, you can spend your birthday relaxing on the beach with a rum swizzle in hand, then spend the next day exploring an underground crystal cave or touring the coastline on a catamaran.

Vancouver, Canada

Scenic pathway in Stanley Park in autumn

Stanley Park, Vancouver

If you live in California or the PNW and are looking for great birthday trip ideas, put away the tropical clothing and consider heading north to jaw-droppingly beautiful Vancouver.

The seaside city is bordered by the beach on one side and mountains on the other, with an actual tropical rainforest not too far away. That makes it an excellent blend of urban elegance and outdoor adventure—perfect for anyone who likes to hike during the day and enjoy a gourmet tasting menu at night.

Woman walking on Capilano Suspension Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver

Crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of British Columbia’s most memorable experiences and a must if you’re visiting the city. The long suspension bridge hangs more than 100 feet above the rainforest floor and offers a chance to get a bird’s-eye view of the lush surroundings. It’s suitable for nearly all ages and ability levels, so it’s a fantastic way to connect with Vancouver’s nature without a strenuous hike.

Another excellent way to experience Vancouver’s wild side is to take the Sea-to-Sky Gondola, which rises more than 2,000 feet into the air in the mountains of nearby Squamish. If you have time, visit nearby Shannon Falls, where a short walking path will take you to one of the most impressive (and roaring) waterfalls in western Canada.

Key West, Florida

Famous Duval Street on a sunny day

Duval Street in Key West, Florida

Florida’s Key West is one of the best places to go for your birthday if you’re traveling with a group of friends. In the Keys, you can have a great time and enjoy the finer things in life, with low-key bars located just steps away from upscale spas and cafes.

Though the colorful seaport area near Duval Street is lively and happening, it’s actually a National Historic Landmark once frequented by famous Key West locals like Ernest Hemmingway.

Dolphins swimming near shoreline

Bottlenose dolphins in Key West, Florida

Since Key West is one of the most tropical places in the U.S., be sure to get out on the water for your birthday. If you’re spending time with family, some of the best things to do in Key West with kids include snorkeling and swimming with dolphins. Dozens of tours and boat rentals are available, ranging from catamarans sails to see dolphins in the wild to snorkeling tours that will guide you across Key West’s best coral reefs.

Read: What Is Key West Known for?


Couple walking towards yacht in Bonaire


If you love snorkeling or scuba diving, you should strongly consider a trip to Bonaire, an island recognized as one of the best diving locations in the world. There are more than 50 spots on the island where you can scuba dive or snorkel right from the beach. Grab your gear and swim out to get face-to-face with some of the most colorful creatures in the Caribbean.

What’s a more exciting place to go for your birthday than a coral reef? There’s plenty to do out of the water, too. Some of the best things to do in Bonaire include kayaking through a mangrove river, learning to windsurf, and spotting flamingos in the wild.

Bonaire is a small island, so whether you want to spend your birthday riding an ATV, relaxing on the beach, or cruising on a catamaran, you’ll find a place to do it within a few minutes of Kralendijk, the capital.

Cozumel, Mexico

Historical ruins of Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico

If you only have a few days to celebrate your birthday, consider heading to Cozumel. The always-popular beachside city in Mexico is affordable, welcoming, and filled with opportunities to explore Mexico’s rich heritage and culture.

History buffs may want to spend their birthdays exploring the pyramids, temples, and tombs of Chichen Itza, the Mayan Empire’s former capital. Or to experience Mexico’s modern culture, sign up for a couple’s or small-group cooking class.

People scuba diving in Cozumel

Cozumel, Mexico

If you want to spend your birthday in Cozumel’s warm water, snorkeling and catamaran tours are always on offer. If you want to challenge yourself to try something new for your birthday, you could sign up for an intro to scuba class or try an underwater trek, wearing an astronaut-style helmet that supplies air from the surface as you stroll along the ocean floor.

Quebec City, Canada

Horse-drawn carriage in Quebec with view of Chateau Frontenac

Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City

For the charm of a European city, consider visiting Old Quebec on the shores of Canada’s St. Lawrence River. Distinctly more French than the rest of Canada—and one of the things Quebec is known for—don’t be surprised when you’re greeted with bonjour instead of hello, and menus come in both Francais and Anglais. Old Quebec is stunning and perpetually covered in white lights, flower boxes hanging from windows, and outdoor seating in front of every cafe.

Some of the best things to do in Quebec City include taking a funicular down to wander the old city’s cobblestone streets, or taking a romantic horse-drawn trolley ride through the heart of the city.

Beautiful historic street of Old Town, Quebec

Old Quebec City

A food tour is a great way to experience something new on your birthday, especially as Quebec City is known for its unique and modern blend of French and Canadian cuisines. Make sure to try poutine if you never have.

Read: Why Visit Quebec City in the Fall


Colorful houses in Willemstad

Willemstad, Curaçao

Curaçao is a slightly more metropolitan version of Bonaire—in fact, the islands are right next to each other. While Curaçao still has the fabulous beaches and amazing watersports of Bonaire, it also has a bit more of a downtown area in Willemstad, the capital city.

Some of the best things to do in Curaçao include taking Caribbean food cooking classes (perhaps to host a belated birthday party when you get home?), visiting an ostrich farm, or touring the 300,000-year old Hato Caves.

Curaçao isn’t nearly as popular as other islands, so it’s one of the best places to go for your birthday if you want to be a bit off-the-beaten path and enjoy an excellent mix of beachside relaxation and unusual discoveries.

Costa Maya, Mexico

Mahahual Beach with boardwalk

Mahahual Beach, Costa Maya

If your upcoming birthday is all about letting off steam and trying to de-stress from a challenging year, Mexico’s Costa Maya is the perfect place to celebrate. The small town is south of Cancun and doesn’t attract nearly the same crowds—which is good for people who love smaller villages and more laid-back travel experiences.

The port at Costa Maya isn’t a big city, but it does have a swim-up bar and pool, local boutiques, and a few excellent bars and restaurants. Some of the best things to do in Costa Maya are within walking distance to town, like dolphin encounters and educational sessions with practitioners of Mayan traditions.

Just a few minutes from town are the beaches of Mahahual, where you can do everything from fly fishing to diving and snorkeling on the world’s second-largest reef. If you take just a short drive inland, you’ll have access to newly discovered Mayan ruins, river tubing, or ATVing through the jungle. The town may be small, but there are plenty of activities to make your next birthday an incredible experience.

Cayman Islands

Seven Mile beach with white sand and clear, blue water

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

For the perfect birthday celebration not far from home, consider a trip to the Cayman Islands to celebrate your most recent trip around the sun. Grand Cayman is where you’ll find the world-famous Seven Mile Beach, a fabulous stretch of soft, sandy beach that offers some of the Caribbean’s best recreation.

Seven Mile Beach is a wonderful place to give scuba diving a try if doing something adventurous tops your list of birthday trip ideas. If that’s a little too daring, you can go on your own Grand Cayman snorkeling adventure, whether it’s above a shipwreck or the island’s reefs. When it’s time for a celebratory cocktail, head to one of Grand Cayman’s modern Caribbean restaurants, or watch the sunset from a low-key beachfront grill.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Scenic view from Reykjavik, Iceland

View from Reykjavik, Iceland

For an otherworldly experience to celebrate an upcoming landmark, one of the best places to go for your birthday has to be the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik.

Set among a craggy lunar landscape of solidified lava fields as part of one of the world’s great geothermal locations, the city always seems to be swathed in an atmospheric haze rising from the various fissures and naturally heated pools that surround it.

Couple enjoying Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

A dip in the milky, steamy Blue Lagoon offers the kind of birthday bathing experience that just has to be captured for social media—especially when the lake’s natural mineral mud can provide such an image-friendly face mask.

Depending on the time of year, other natural experiences are high on the agenda, too. During summer in Iceland, there’s near 24-hour daylight, while winter brings super-short days and the chance to perhaps spot the northern lights.

Iceland, one of the best places to go on your birthday

Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

A drive to see Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park on a Golden Circle Tour is another unmissable thing to do in Reykjavik. Those looking for a birthday meal should pay a visit to Perlan, the city’s iconic domed fine-dining restaurant with 360-degree views of the city and its surrounds.

Tokyo, Japan

View of Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

The bustling capital of Japan offers a unique mix of traditional culture combined with hyper-modern life. It’s the kind of place where neon-lit skyscrapers sit side-by-side with historic temples, and bustling fish markets contrast with stores packed to the brim with the latest gadgets and gizmos.

For those looking to splash the cash on some new gear as a birthday treat, there are chic boutiques in Omotesando and cutting-edge fashion houses on the streets of Harajuku.

Historic Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan

Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan

Traditionalists can take in the historic Meiji Shrine and the ornate Senso-ji Temple, while thrill-seekers will love the Akihabara neighborhood in Tokyo, with its gaming arcades and comic shops.

Tokyo is a hit to the senses and no more so when it comes to places to celebrate a significant birthday. From the street food stalls of Asakusa, to high-end dining (Tokyo is the city with the most Michelin stars), the city really does cater for all tastes.

Rome, Italy

Couple exploring the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

For art, culture, and history lovers, Rome is the one of the best places to go for your birthday, steeped in more than 2,500 years of history. A stroll around its bustling streets is like a walking checklist of iconic sights: the Colosseum, Vatican City, and the Roman Forum.

Rome is a world of ancient ruins, art-filled churches, and incredible Renaissance architecture. Once you’ve marveled at the art treasures in the Vatican Museums and gazed at St Peter’s Basilica, throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, contributing to the €3,000 collected here daily for charities.

Later, wander the lively neighborhoods of Trastevere and Monti, and tuck into birthday treats such as pizza bianca, carbonara, and gelato at a piazza-side café.

Sydney, Australia

Beautiful waterfront of Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

With its unique, sail-inspired Opera House and majestic Harbour Bridge, Australia’s largest city hosts one of the world’s greatest skylines, perhaps only matched by those of New York and Hong Kong.

One of the best places to see the Sydney skyline for an unforgettable birthday experience is from the BridgeClimb, a thrilling tour to the apex of its famed arch, from where there are views stretching from The Rocks (where the original city stood) as far as famed Bondi Beach.

White sands of Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia

Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia

Visit Darling Harbour for incredible food, the Queen Victoria Building for exciting shopping, and aforementioned Bondi for its gorgeous beach and surfer-chic culture.

It’s unlikely boredom will set in, but for a break from urban life, head to the nearby Blue Mountains for hiking and the chance to see kangaroos. There’s also the Hunter Valley for wine tasting.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Colorful district of La Boca in Buenos Aires, Argentina

La Boca in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital simply smolders with passion. Famed for its European architecture, historic neighborhoods, and amazing cuisine, it’s the kind of place you go to live the good life.

While in Buenos Aires, you can learn how to tango, wash down thick steaks with fruity Malbec at a classic parrilla grill restaurant, cuddle up on a park bench in Palermo, or head to La Recoleta Cemetery. Famed as one of the most beautiful in the world, it’s the resting place of famed freedom fighter and national heroine Eva Perón.

Elsewhere you can visit Feria de San Telmo for antiques and artisanal goods and, if you’re staying overnight, try late-night cocktails at the speakeasies of Florería Atlántico.

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, one of the best places to go on your birthday

Santorini, Greece

If you’ve ever gazed at images of the Greek islands with whitewashed buildings, blue-domed churches, and infinity pools seemingly dropping over the edge of a cliff with a backdrop of deep ocean blue, it was probably taken on Santorini.

To say this horseshoe-shaped island in the Cyclades group is photogenic is an incredible understatement. Set around a sunken caldera, the buildings of the main town Fira and a number of other villages along the coast seemingly cling to the edge of the clifftop as two volcanic islands smoke away in the bay below.

Shop in Santorini, Greece

Oia in Santorini, Greece

The winding streets of the island capital are lined with goldsmiths and silversmiths, while there are hip bars and restaurants looking over those incredible views. Santorini’s beaches are unique too, some with black or bright red sand, thanks to the volcano.

The volcanic nature of the island also makes for a unique terroir, and the local Assyrtiko wine has been made here for more than 3,000 years. Little wonder it’s been perfected and is a great choice to toast another turn around the glaring sun.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, one of the best places to go on your birthday

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The unique (almost) anything-goes party feel of Amsterdam makes it an excellent party place for a unique birthday.

But there are more sedate ways to celebrate too. Visit some of Amsterdam’s best museums, such as the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and Rijksmuseum, or you can hop on a private boat for a tour of the many canals.

Outside the city itself, there’s also much to see: take in the windmills of Zaanse Schans, or in spring, head to the tulip fields of Keukenhof for fabulous displays of Holland’s famous flower.

Istanbul, Turkey

Unique architecture of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

Sitting at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and with a foot in both camps, storied Istanbul is rich in culture and history.

Icons are seemingly on every corner here thanks to incredible Byzantine and Ottoman landmarks, but there’s also a vibrant street life with a buzz unlike that of many other cities.

Ceramics inside the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey

No visit is complete without exploring Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace, some of the best places to visit in Istanbul, all world-renowned for their architectural beauty. Or bartering for souvenirs and spices in the Grand Bazaar or the Egyptian Bazaar.

Bosphorus cruises offer the best views from the water, while the colorful Balat district offers a taste of old Istanbul. Head to a rooftop restaurant for a meze platter of freshly grilled kebabs, washed down with raki, the local firewater that’s guaranteed to add a spark to any birthday party.

Read: Best Neighborhoods in Istanbul

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, one of the best places to go on your birthday

Old Town Dubrovnik, Croatia

A favorite of Hollywood movie location scouts, the coastal Croatian city of Dubrovnik is one of Europe’s best places to go for your birthday.

The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a stroll along the city walls with their panoramic views is the best way to take it all in. Or take a walk around the charming, cobbled streets to explore and discover the main sights such as the baroque St. Blaise Church, the Renaissance Sponza Palace, or the Gothic Rector’s Palace.

The city’s seaside location adds to the allure and if the weather is too hot, there are great Dubrovnik beaches at Banje, or Lokrum Island to cool down. The city’s seafront restaurants offer incredible sea food and great wines, too.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal, one of the best places to go on your birthday

Lisbon, Portugal

The coastal capital of Portugal is one of Europe’s most underrated destinations—but it’s a perfect spot to celebrate a special anniversary.

Set on the scenic Tagus River, Lisbon is known for its colorful architecture, historic sites, and its famous azulejo tiles, some of which date from the 15th century.

Lisbon is the kind of city that begs to be explored. Wander through the picturesque old neighborhoods of Alfama and Bairro Alto. Ride historic Tram 28 in a 1930s streetcar as it winds through the main tourist district. Visit Jerónimos Monastery, or take the Santa Justa Lift for city views.

Exterior of Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal

Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal

Shopping in Lisbon is amazing: the city is home to the Bertrand Bookstore, said to be the oldest in the world still operating, while markets such as LxFactory push the boat out with hipster designer gear.

The city’s Belém Tower, overlooking the Tagus, offers great views of the Vasco da Gama Bridge (at eight miles long, Europe’s longest) and also gives its name to Lisbon’s iconic custard tart. Sitting in the Time Out Market with a strong coffee and a Pastéis de Belém is one celebratory birthday treat you’ll never forget.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, one of the best places to go on your birthday

Copenhagen, Denmark

New Nordic cuisine has been all the rage in culinary circles for the last decade and there’s no greater place in which to choose a celebratory birthday meal than in the Danish capital.

Copenhagen is home to some of the greatest restaurants in the world. Geranium is by former world’s best chef Rasmus Kofoed, while Alchemist offers a 50-course tasting menu. Naturally, they book out in advance, so it pays to plan well ahead of a visit for a birthday treat.

The celebrations don’t end with food though. Whimsical Tivoli Gardens is an old-style amusement park with rides and shows. There’s world-class shopping on Strøget and incredible architecture to discover.

Couple inside the Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark

Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark

Some of the best things to do in Copenhagen include visiting the 18th-century rococo district Frederiksstaden, the royal family’s Amalienborg Palace, the Christiansborg Palace parliament building, and the Renaissance-era Rosenborg Castle, where the crown jewels are housed, to get the best highlights.

Then finish off a birthday visit with a walk around Nyhavn harbor, lined with colorful buildings and boats, and a stop for pictures at the city’s wistful Little Mermaid statue.

Read: 50th Birthday Trip Ideas

Family aboard Cayman Explorer

George Town, Grand Cayman

No matter how you choose to celebrate your birthday—or where you ultimately decide to go—just remember what’s important: spending your day surrounded by the person or people that make your life special.

Celebrate your next birthday with an incredible cruise vacation to one of these unforgettable destinations. Browse cruise itineraries online and book your birthday trip today.

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Free Vacation Planning Services