Your 30th birthday should be one to remember. The perfect way to celebrate this milestone is by treating yourself with a 30th birthday trip. Now you’re past your partying 20s and you probably have a bigger budget than years ago before you started working, this is the moment to splurge on this special birthday. We teamed up with other travel bloggers to give you some inspiration for the best places to celebrate your 30th birthday. From a museum hopping, bungee jumping and bucket list items to climbing a volcano, these are the best 30th birthday travel ideas.
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30 best 30th birthday travel ideas
#1 Climbing the Acatenango volcano in Guatemala
Celebrating your 30th birthday on top of a volcano would definitely be a fun way to make something special out of your birthday. The Acatenango volcano in Guatemala would be the perfect fit, as you can climb it with any fitness level and it will offer you the most spectacular views.
The Acatenango volcano is close to Antigua, one of the most-visited destinations in Guatemala and your starting point for your Acatenango tour. Your guide will bring you to the base of the volcano where you will start the climb, until you reach the base camp where you’ll spend the night in their tents. The hike is beautiful, but up there is where the real magic happens. You can book a guided hike with multiple tour guides. We opted for Old Town Outfitters, they hike with a maximum of 8 people and the guides were truly fantastic.
The Acatenango volcano base camps all offer the most beautiful views of two other volcanos, the Agua and Fuego. The Fuego is still very active, erupting about every 15 minutes. When the sun sets, you’ll slowly notice the glowing red lava in the smoke clouds you already saw when arriving at the base camp.
Don’t get too comfortable for a long night’s sleep, as you’ll wake up in the middle of the night to climb to the top. You’ll start a new decennium with the most picture-perfect sunrise you could imagine.
#2 Explore San Diego
By Maria from San Diego Explorer
San Diego, California is a great place to celebrate your 30th birthday. The best part about San Diego is that there are so many things to do, no matter what your interests are. Also known as America’s Finest City, San Diego has so much to offer, whether you are in the mood for a beach getaway or a fun time in the city, or a mix of both. Here are some of the best things to do in San Diego.
Celebrate your birthday in the Gaslamp Quarter. This is the oldest part of San Diego and you will find plenty of restaurants, bars, and clubs. One of my favorite clubs is “Trailer Park after Dark”, an underground club with vintage camping trailers as booths. I also recommend staying at one of these fabulous hotels in the Gaslamp Quarter. The Gaslamp Quarter is located right in the heart of Downtown San Diego and you’ll find many of the main attractions within walking distance.
Go wine tasting: San Diego has over 100 wineries and lots of tasty wines to try. For even more variety, you could plan a day trip to Temecula, another great wine tasting region in Southern California.
Beach Day: San Diego has some of the best beaches in California. Some of the most popular ones are Mission Beach, Coronado, and the beaches in La Jolla. What better way to ring in the new decade than a relaxing day on the beach.
San Diego has so much to offer and is simply a fun city, no matter how you want to celebrate your big 3 – 0.
#3 Bungee Jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand
By Trisha from TryWanderingMore.com
How does bungee jumping into your 30’s sound? Does it scare you? Well, there is no better way to enter your 30’s than to conquer your fear and experience something new and exciting. Queenstown, a vibrant town flanked by a lake and mountains in New Zealand’s South Island, is perfect for this as it is the birthplace of commercial bungee jumping. You can choose from three bungee options with varying heights or jump all three if you’re daring. Known as the adventure capital of the world you can also indulge in jetboating, ziplining, paragliding, river rafting, canyoning, sky diving and more. Do take a day trip to Milford Sound for a breathtaking fjord cruise, have lunch in quaint Arrowtown and tour the nearby vineyards to taste internationally renowned wine of the Otago Region. Queenstown has a thriving nightlife so you can either chill in a bar or go bar hopping by eve. You can easily spend 4-7 days here!
That said, if you go as far as New Zealand, you should take a road trip through the spectacular South Island besides visiting Queenstown. Visit Mt.Cook National Park to hike around New Zealand’s highest mountain by day and see a brilliant milky way in this dark sky reserve at night. Further, visit Wanaka for more beautiful hikes and Franz Josef Town to heli-hike on a glacier. New Zealand has much to offer, so consider a 2-3 week road trip but do plan in a way that you end up at Queenstown to bungee on your big day!
#4 Visiting the famous pyramids of Egypt
When you think of Egypt, you think of the pyramids and the Sphinx. The pyramids in Egypt are probably on everyone’s travel bucket list. Make your 30th birthday one to remember and book a ticket to Egypt’s capital to make this wish come true.
The pyramids are at the edge of capital Cairo, in the Giza district. You don’t need to stay in Giza, but can just take a taxi to the pyramids from the city center and spend a day or half a day exploring the famous world wonders. The pyramids are at the edge of Cairo, right where the desert starts. You can take a short walk into the desert for the best viewpoint to soak in this famous view.
The sight is more than just the three large pyramids, as there are also some smaller pyramids and many tombs of nobles. We visited a smaller pyramid inside and saw hieroglyphs for the first time in the tomb of a nobleman. And did you know that you can buy an entrance ticket with access to the great pyramid? A unique experience for this special birthday!
#5 Las Vegas for 30’ers
By Andrea from BeaUTAHful World
An awesome and fun place to go for your 30th birthday celebration is Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Las Vegas is best known for its casinos, gambling, shows, spas, epic pool parties and nightlife that are centered around “The Strip” – the city’s main section of hotels and tourist area. Staying on the Strip can be expensive for a suite at one of the more posh hotels, or very cheap for an older casino. For all of these options to be combined into one city, it’s the making of an incredible birthday bash.
If clubs and the party scene are not exactly the vibe you want for your 30th birthday, there are many things to do in Las Vegas off The Strip. If you are into art, Vegas has a neon sign museum which is a cool way to see the historical neon signs, and the Seven Magic Mountains art installation. Vegas is home to Red Rock Canyon National Park, an excellent escape from the city to a desert paradise. If you want to venture slightly farther away, you could visit Valley of Fire State Park, the Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon. The hotels located off the Strip will also likely be more budget-friendly as well.
Regardless of spending your time on or off The Strip, you can hang out for a long weekend or pack in more activities on a week-long trip. As it’s a popular destination, there are many well-priced, direct flights from destinations around the world.
#6 Roadtripping Sapa in Vietnam
By Rose from Where Goes Rose
What better way to spend a 30th birthday than submerging in glorious nature, escaping the crowds and learning about new cultures in one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful destinations?
While there are many places you should add to your Vietnam itinerary, few are better suited to a 30th birthday trip than Sapa. This misty land of rice terraces and mountains is easily accessible by bus or train from Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi. Unlike other parts of the country known for low-cost backpackers hostels and nights out, Sapa is renowned for ecotourism, bespoke accommodation (although there are bargains to be had) and cultural excursions.
Not only is the scenery beautiful in Sapa but there are some fantastic hikes to be done. The best way to access the Sapa countryside is with a local guide who knows the area inside out. You can take a day hike or a multi-day hike, staying overnight with Hmong village people. Learning about their unique culture, language and dress might be dissimilar to birthdays in your 20s but it’s sure to be a memorable experience, especially if you raise a local beer during the evening!
If you’d rather splash out in style, stay instead at Topas Ecolodge known for its infinity pool and views of the misty mountains!
#7 Gorilla trekking in Congo
By De Wet & Jin from Museum of Wander
If you are looking for an epic adventure to enter your thirties with a bang, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is hard to beat. This national park in the eastern DRC is where you’ll find two of the most awe-inspiring experiences in the world, as well unique accommodation inside the park.
Gorilla trekking in the DRC is quite possibly the best wildlife experience you’ll ever have! After trekking through the jungle, you’ll spend a magical hour in the company of a mountain gorilla family. Being within a few meters of these magnificent animals is something that you’ll treasure for years to come. As our closest relatives, it’s a very intimate experience.
Another highlight of Virunga is Mount Nyiragongo. This active volcano, 3470 m high, is home to the largest lava lake in the world, and you’ll get to sleep on the rim of the volcano on a stunning overnight hike. The hike is just challenging enough, and takes you from the forest, up to the Afro-Alpine zone before reaching that incredible crater filled with bubbling lava.
Virunga National Park has three luxury lodges inside the park where you’ll be pampered in true African hospitality and style. Two lodges are in the forest, while Tchegera tented camp is on an island in Lake Kivu.
You need at least three full days in the DRC to go gorilla trekking and to climb the volcano. But why rush? Take an extra few days to really enjoy staying at one of the luxury lodges, or hop across the border to Rwanda for big game safari or some good nightlife.
#8 Enjoy sunny Rio de Janeiro
By Daniel & Ilona from Top Travel Sights
Rio de Janeiro is the perfect place to spend your 30th birthday. The city is diverse enough that no matter what your interests are, you will find something that you enjoy.
If you like sunny beaches, then you can discover multiple in Rio de Janeiro where you can celebrate. Copacabana and Ipanema are both great beaches, but you can also find a few lesser-known and more quiet bays.
For outdoor lovers, Rio de Janeiro is perfect, too. Head to the Tijuca National Park, where you can spend the day hiking and exploring the jungle. You can encounter monkeys and other wildlife, not just in the national park but also in the city’s green spaces.
If you enjoy culture, you should spend the day exploring Rio de Janeiro’s museums. The National History Museum is a great starting point, as well as the National Museum of Fine Arts. Or take a walk through the historic centre, sample Brasilian food and go on to explore Rio de Janeiro’s forts afterwards.
One of the best things to do in Rio de Janeiro is taking a cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain. If you get the timing right, you can end your birthday on top of the mountain, watching as the sun sets behind the city.
#9 Food and thermal baths in Budapest
By Giulia from Travelling Sunglasses
There are so many things to do in Budapest to celebrate your 30th birthday. The Hungarian capital has a lot to offer, whether you wish to relax, to discover, to have fun, or to eat your way through the weekend.
Let’s start with your accommodation. Choose the side of Pest, East of the Danube, more lively than residential Buda. You could splurge at the historical New York Palace and enjoy a luxurious breakfast at the famous New York Café, or choose a room with Danube view at the Marriott Hotel or Intercontinental Hotel.
Two or three days are a good amount of time to spend in Budapest. Discover the Parliament, Heroes Square and the splendid 19th century architecture on Pest side, as well as the landmarks of Buda side, such as Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion. Follow this one-day Budapest itinerary to visit all the most famous and beautiful landmarks.
The thermal baths are perfect to relax and get pampered with a massage. The Szechenyi Baths and Gellert Baths are the most famous ones, with multiple pools and saunas, but also the Turkish-era Rudas Baths are very special.
As a couple or with friends, escape rooms are a fun way to spend time together. You will feel so thrilled and satisfied after solving the logic and numerical games! Continue at the 7th district: explore the eccentric Szimpla Kert bar and the ruin pubs, or choose one of the numerous bars and eateries at the Gozsdu Udvar Gallery.
The hearty Hungarian cuisine is delicious both in the street and in Michelin-star restaurants. Try the fried langos bread and the sweet kürtöskalács chimney cake at street trucks! Enjoy traditional dishes with a twist at Zeller, or book in advance a wonderful culinary experience at Borkonyha.
#10 Wildlife spotting on the Galapagos Islands
By James from Travel Collecting
The perfect birthday destination for your 30th has to be the Galapagos Islands. 30 is a special day and you will want your celebrations to be especially memorable. So forego a night out on the town and instead head to the premier nature park in the world. What better way to see in a new decade than diving with hammerhead sharks, walking on a beach with sea lions playing around you, or hiking through volcanic lava fields. This is something special you will never forget.
What wildlife you will see changes with the Galapagos seasons, so will depend on when your birthday is, but there are always plenty of incredible things to do in the Galapagos Islands. The islands are home to many unique species, including marine iguanas and equatorial penguins, and snorkeling with them is a delight. On land, you won’t want to miss enormous tortoises and bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs. You will also become an avid birder during your trip as you see florescent pink flamingoes, blue-footed boobies, frigate birds with bright red neck sacks and snowy waved albatrosses.
To visit the Galapagos, you can choose for a guided multi-day tour of 4, 5 or 6 days. Or you can choose between a live aboard, where you will sleep on a boat and travel between islands overnight, or a land-based experience, with day trips to different locations. The three main inhabited islands, where there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from, are Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal. A top pick for your 30th is Hotel Acacia on Santa Cruz. You will need at least a week for a trip to the Galapagos (though 2 weeks are even better!)
#11 Hiking Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
By Ali from Our Mama Days
Whilst your 21st birthday tends to be the time to party big, celebrating with every second person you have ever met, and all the alcohol you can stomach, by your 30’s, you’re looking for something a little more low key and intimate. That doesn’t mean it needs to be any less memorable however, so why not celebrate by taking a trip with your nearest and dearest to a tiny island at the bottom of the world, and visit Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, Australia.
Nestled within the ancient rainforest and alpine region and part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Cradle Mountain boasts all the best Tasmania has to offer, epic scenery, amazing walks and hikes, diverse flora and an abundance of native wildlife, including the famous Tassie Devil. There are hikes for all fitness ranges, including the popular 2-hour Dove Lake Circuit, or for the more adventurous the 6-day Overland Trek (this hike is seasonal and requires a permit).
Horse riding and helicopter tours are also available and for those wanting a little more luxury, the Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge is the perfect place to stay, and houses a beautiful day spa that overlooks a lake, which if you visit in the Australian winter, may be covered in snow. Stay a weekend or a week, but if you are looking for a little outdoor adventure, and nice lodge to stay and have some wine and cheese, then Cradle Mountain is a perfect choice.
#12 Combine comfort and adventure in the Dominican Republic
By Chris from Punta Cana Travelblog
The Dominican Republic is a great destination for a birthday trip as it
is a much-underrated country and offers something for every type of
If you feel you’d like to relax and enjoy quality time with your
friends while getting pampered with food and drinks, why not considering
an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. You’ll have fantastic
beaches, elegant hotels and a perfect setting to celebrate your birthday
in style. And the best: nobody has to take over the bill for the
birthday party, as all drinks and meals are included in the room rate.
Depending on the resort, you can usually pick from at least 5
restaurants and 5 bars, guaranteeing you enough variety for a couple of
But what to do if you are not the resort type of person? Head on a road
trip! Especially when it comes to natural attractions and things to do
in the countryside, the Dominican Republic is one of the most underrated
countries in the world (as it is widely known only as an all-inclusive
destination). Discover secluded waterfalls, learn dancing with the
Dominicans, conquer pristine beaches without any single tourist, go
snorkeling at a surreal sandbar, hike through majestic mountains or get
your dose of adrenaline while river rafting, canyoning, cliff jumping,
rappelling or ziplining. There is so much to do in the Dominican
Republic that you can easily fill two weeks or more – long-lasting
memories for you and your friends. And for celebrating your birthday,
just head to a local beach bar (for example in Cabarete or Las Terrenas)
and sip on Cuba Libres or Mojitos for 2-3 USD.
Can’t decide on either option? Why not combine a road-trip for a week
with a couple of days in an all-inclusive resort at the end?
#13 Museum hopping in London
By Dymphe from Dymebroad.com
Going to London for your 30th birthday is a great thing to do. London is such an amazing city with lots of historical sights, beautiful places and an enjoyable atmosphere.
What’s specifically great to do is museum hopping. Now that you are 30, knowing more about history and art is something you just have to do! Besides that, this is such a cool experience, that it’s perfect for celebrating your birthday! Moreover, the city is a perfect place for that. There are countless of museums in London and most of them are free to visit.
Arguably the best museum of London is the British Museum. This museum contains so many diverse items from lots of periods in time. For example, there are Egyptian mummies, Roman statues and old porcelain from China. Another museum that you should check out is the Natural History Museum. Here you’ll find all kinds of fossils and dinosaurs. Also, if you are into modern art, then Tate Modern is the place to go. There are lots of modern art exhibitions here throughout the year!
How long you should go to London depends on how much of the city and how many museums you want to see. You can spend one day in London and enjoy it, but you can also stay for a longer period of time.
London has many areas that are lovely to stay in. However, to have the best experience, staying in the city centre or the South Bank is recommended as you can more easily explore London from there. Furthermore, there are many lovely hotels there.
#14 Shopping and eating in Tokyo
By Cecily from Groovy Mashed Potatoes
Tokyo is a happening city with an amazing nightlife, exceptional cuisine and a wondrous culture, making it a great place to celebrate your 30th birthday. It’s a chance to spoil yourself on once-in-a-lifetime experiences that the city has to offer.
There are many unique things to do in Tokyo for your 30th birthday. Stay at The Peninsula, one of the top luxury hotels in the world where it’s common to have celebrity sightings. The hotel has a world-class spa and is located across from the Imperial Palace.
During the daytime, go shopping for a fabulous birthday outfit. Japan has incredible boutique shops and vintage stores. For boutique shopping, check out the Daikanyama neighbourhood. You will find tons of well-dressed people and hip boutiques here. For vintage shopping, visit the Koenji neighbourhood, known as the underground capital of Tokyo. Tons of vintage stores line the streets and you can find designer brands for a great price.
It’s not a secret that eating out in Tokyo is expensive. Splurge for your birthday on sushi, omakase style, and live out your “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” fantasy. Omakase means chef’s choice. You sit in front of the chef at a bar table where you are served nigiri sushi piece by piece. It’s a great way to try different types of fish you’ve never heard of, making it a culinary adventure.
For night time, drink cocktails at New York Bar, where the movie “Lost in Translation” was filmed. The lively and dimly lit jazz bar is located on the 52nd floor and has one of the best views of the city. You can also smoke some celebratory cigars indoors to cap off the night.
#15 Enjoy beautiful St Kitts and Nevis
By Steph from Book It Let’s Go
St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean is the perfect place to celebrate a 30th birthday. There are many things to do on both islands from relaxing on the beautiful beaches of St Kitts to unwinding in the hot springs or strolling through the botanical gardens on Nevis. For cultural experiences visit the National museum of St Kitts and learn about the history of the islands and their involvement in the slave trade or visit Brimstone Hill fortress UNESCO world heritage site, on Nevis, visit the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton or any of the old sugar plantations turned boutique hotels.
If you are looking for more adventure, then hike the dormant volcano Mount Liamuiga and admire the rainforest and the waterfalls around the islands. If hiking isn’t for you then venture into the warm Caribbean sea for some fantastic snorkelling and scuba diving.
Stay for at least a week in one of the fabulous high-end hotels on St Kitts and Nevis or for a more intimate experience visit one of the boutique hotels where you can stay in a converted sugar mill at the Golden Rock or embrace your royal side at the Montpellier which was a favourite hotel of the late Princess Diana.
Whatever you decide to do, it would be a crime to visit the Caribbean and not have some rum punch. Try the infamous Killer Bee at Sunshine’s bar on Nevis or the oldest rum punch in the Caribbean at The Hermitage.
#16 Canal cruising Amsterdam
Book a city trip to Amsterdam in the Netherlands for a culture trip to visit the famous Amsterdam canals. As you’ll reach the age of 30th, you can probably skip the red light disctrict and coffee shops this time and indulge yourself with famous musea, charming canals and great sights.
The Amsterdam canals surround the city center and offer the best Amsterdam attractions. You can visit the famous Anne Frank Museum to learn about this Jewish girl and her family hiding behind a bookcase during the Second World War, take a boat tour along the canals and visit historic canal houses. Some of the best Amsterdam museums are in those historic buildings, showing you what it was like to live in an Amsterdam city palaces during the Dutch Golden Age. Willet-Holthuysen, Van Loon and Geelvinck are the best canal houses to visit.
You might have heard about this golden time for Amsterdam, when reading the famous book The Miniaturist about the dollhouse of wealthy Petronella Oortman living in one of the Amsterdam canal houses. You might want to visit the Rijksmuseum as well. Not just for the famous Rembrandt paintings, but also to see this dollhouse in real life.
Make your Amsterdam canal trip even more perfect, by staying in one of the old bridge houses. The historic small buildings are now renovated and used as hotel rooms by Sweets Hotels.
#17 Extreme sports in Cape Town
By Alya & Campbell from Stingy Nomads
Cape Town is an amazing place to visit for your 30th birthday. There are hundreds of amazing things to do in and around Cape Town. The location of the city between the ocean and the mountains creates a great variety of outdoor activities from hiking and mountain biking to diving and surfing. Hiking up Table Mountain is a must-do in Cape Town. There are some pretty challenging trails that require climbing and scrambling such as the India Venster trail. A sunset hike up Lion’s Head is another not-to-miss activity here. The views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean from the top are truly spectacular. Paragliding at the sunset from Lion’s Head with landing on the beach is also a great activity to do to celebrate your birthday.
Water sports are widely practiced in Cape Town. If you like surfing, the winter months May to September are the best time to come here. There are several great spots around Cape Town that are good for surfers of different levels. Kitesurfing is another activity that attracts thousands of tourists. Summer months between December and February are the windiest months in Cape Town when you can kitesurf almost every day. Don’t worry if you have never done it before, there are plenty of surf and kitesurf schools in the city.
For a birthday night out you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants in Long Street, Bree Street, or V&A Waterfront. These areas are the best to stay in Cape Town to be close to the main city attractions, coffee shops, and bars.
You can stay for a couple of days in Cape Town to celebrate your birthday or extend your stay to one week. There are more than enough things to do here to keep you busy.
#18 Culture trip to New Orleans
By Derek & Mike from Robe Trotting
A perfect 30th birthday travel destination is the enchanting American city of New Orleans. While the town has a reputation for parties and debauchery, a birthday trip to New Orleans will include much more than drinking on Bourbon Street. The city offers countless experiences for those willing to explore the history, music, and culture of New Orleans.
You immediately notice the blend of culture in New Orleans with Spanish architecture, French street names, the Creole dialect spoken by locals, and influences from the Caribbean and African cultures in the foods and even voodoo. New Orleans is a wonderful destination for those who enjoy live music and visiting a jazz bar is a must-do outing. While you can find plenty of jazz bars in the French Quarter, a more authentic neighborhood to experience jazz is the Marigny District. Frenchman Street is home to rows of local watering holes with live jazz and friendly crowds. Exploring the Garden District is also a perfect activity. There you can walk the oak-lined streets to visit antique shops, boutiques, and high-end restaurants that are mixed into the historic mansions. The north end of the French Quarter is also home to gay New Orleans where you can enjoy karaoke, drag BINGO, and enjoy the diverse nightlife of this progressive city. Make sure to pop into Cafe Lafitte in Exile, the oldest gay bar in the United States.
You’ll love immersing yourself in the culture, the history, the music, and more or an incredibly memorable birthday trip.
#19 Bathing in the Iceland hot springs
If you like visiting spas, you’ll love to celebrate your birthday at probably the most famous spa in the world: the Blue Lagoon hot springs in Iceland.
The warm water is heated up to 38 °C by natural hot springs; Iceland has many of them because of the volcanic activity deep underground. The unique blue color is the result of the water composition. It is a mix of salt and fresh water with silica, algae and minerals. The silica causes the blue color. Not because it itself is blue, but because of the way it reflects the daylight. The minerals are said to give the Blue Lagoon spa its healing qualities.
This famous Iceland tourist attraction is close to the airport in Kevlavik and capital Reykjavik, so you could easily visit the Blue Lagoon as part of a small Iceland city trip.
But if you feel a bit more adventurous or want to keep an eye on your birthday budget, you might want to visit one of the more natural and less-visited hot springs around Iceland like Hveragerði, Landmannalaugar or Mývatn. Some of them are just as close to Reykjavik as the Blue Lagoon.
#20 Road trip down the dramatic east coast of Taiwan
By Nick from Spiritual Travels
For an epic 30th birthday, embark on the road trip of a lifetime! Taiwan’s wild, sparsely populated east coast offers rugged scenery, aboriginal culture, and adventure activities.
Hop on a train from Taipei to Hualien, where you can rent a scooter or car. Spend a whole day cruising through mighty Taroko Gorge. Don’t miss Qingshui Cliffs, a series of dramatic coastal bluffs. Take a second day to explore the historical and cultural sights of Hualien City. Alternatively, sign up for sea kayaking, whale watching, or an aboriginal cooking course. For your first two nights, there are great hostels in Hualien City to choose from, like the Nin Hao Hostel.
On day three, take highway 9 south through the Great Rift Valley, a rice paddy-filled expanse between the Central and Coastal Mountain Ranges. Stop to photograph waterfalls, a mountain covered in tiger lilies, and to soak in hot springs. Adventure possibilities include hot air ballooning, paragliding, and white water rafting. Spend the night at Wisdom Garden Guesthouse in Yuli, the best in the area.
On day four, you’ll pass the Tropic of Cancer, leave Hualien and enter Taitung. Continue on to Taitung City, then return via winding, coastal Highway 11. Stop in Dulan for surfing, then visit the incredible Sanxiantai or “Platform of the Three Immortals.” The dramatic coastal scenery continues all the way back to Hualien City, where your road trip comes to an end.
#21 Discover the rich traditions of Penang
By Marco from Penang Insider
Penang island is a perfect destination to spend your 30th birthday because, even if it’s firmly on the backpacker trail of Southeast Asia, it’s very easy to avoid the gap-year lunatics and engage in discovering this island’s rich traditions. Truth be told there are at least 60 great things to do in Penang, and none of these really cater to the most wild party crowd.
You should consider staying in Penang for at least 3 days and up to a week — if culture and food is what you fancy, base yourself in one of the charming (and very affordable) boutique hotels of George Town, such as Ren-I-Tang or Chulia Heritage Hotel, where all the action — and the food — is. You’ll still be able to see century-old trades juxtaposed to modernity, like Penang street art, for example. At Hikayat, a big bookstore cum event space, you’ll be able to catch screening of cinema d’essai or literary workshops, and rub elbows with the island’s creative. Also don’t miss out the Sunday’s Pop Up Market at Hin Bus, a former bus park turned hip central, where local creatives come together to sell and promote their stuff, from handmade pendants to funky clothes and art.
And if you like nature, Penang Hill, a former British colonial hill station, is criss-crossed by many hiking trails that will take you into the Malaysian rainforest without leaving the island — and in very close distance to the city. Camping out on one of the trails, and waiting for a beautiful sunset and ethereal sunrise, could be perfect things to do to kick off your fourth decade.
#22 Adventure in fairytale Cappadocia
By Roxanne from Far Away Worlds
Cappadocia is one of my dream destinations for a birthday – and your 30th is a perfect time to go. With fairytale landscapes studded with strangely-shaped rock formations, hidden cave churches, beautiful hikes and underground cities, travelling through Cappadocia is the best kind of adventure. From sunset tours of hidden valleys to luxurious cave hotel rooms, there’s something to suit all budgets and temperaments.
Be sure to stay for a few days and splurge on a nice hotel, somewhere that has the traditional carved cave rooms and beautiful views of Cappadocia’s surreal landscape. Instead of rushing around trying to see everything in a couple of days, take your time and don’t plan every moment. Yes, go hot air ballooning, see the museums and do day trips to the underground cities, but also leave enough free time to relax and experience a slower pace of life in this extraordinary region.
Walk the streets in the afternoon, when everyone is out and about and revel in the quiet. Enjoy a Turkish bath and possibly a massage – it is your birthday after all. Make time for an afternoon drink on a hotel terrace with a beautiful view. And then have dinner in one of the excellent restaurants in Göreme or Ürgüp. With its remarkable landscapes, interesting history and friendly people, your 30th birthday in Cappadocia is one you’ll never forget.
#23 Foodtrip to Lviv, Ukraine
By Kami from My Wanderlust
If you are looking for a city break that is perfect for the 30th birthday celebrations Lviv, the city located in the western part of Ukraine, is a perfect choice. It offers a great mix of culture, history, and fun and everything is available for a very affordable price. The food and drink scene is exceptional – not only you will find plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars but many of them focus on a certain theme.
You can eat in “The Most Expensive Galician Restaurant” where you need to bargain for the prices (that’s part of its experience), explore coffee mine before sipping the aromatic black drink, or head for the night out in SM bar (named after Leopold von Sacher-Masoch who was the father of the term “masochism”). And these are only a few options you can choose from in Lviv! If you are interested in culture you can visit the local opera – one of the most stunning buildings in the city where for a very good price you can attend a fine show.
The accommodation options in Lviv are diverse too and you can easily find fancy yet affordable hotels, like the Art Deco Central Rooms. There are so many ways you can make your 30th birthday trip to Ukraine unforgettable and the list of awesome things to do in Lviv will definitely keep you occupied and entertained.
#24 Roadtrip to Leh Ladakh, India
By Rachita from MeanderWander
One of the best places to visit in your 30s is Leh Ladakh in India. A road trip from Manali to Leh is the best way to celebrate your birthday as you get a memorable and adventurous journey along with some beautiful landscapes to admire. It takes around 18 hours on road to reach Leh from Manali. On the way, you will see landscapes change from greenery to snow to barren land. And as you slowly gain entry into the Leh region, you will start noticing the clear skies at night with a complete view of the Milky Way Galaxy.
That’s not all, once you reach Leh, there is a lot to explore around here too. From the majestic Shanti Stupa which was built as a part of the Peace Pagoda Mission to the beautiful Leh Palace, you will find a lot of culturally rich places to visit here. Furthermore, the ride to the Khardungla Pass, one of the highest motorable roads in the world, is another beautiful experience to add to your trip. You will not get any network in this region but you will get lots of beautiful lakes, monasteries, etc. to visit on the road trip.
You can easily plan a 20-day road trip to Ladakh and stay in resorts and luxury camps at different locations. Camping beside Pangong Lake is a must to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the clear, blue lake being surrounded by barren mountains. Honestly, your 30th birthday will turn out to be an epic and once-in-a-lifetime experience if you choose to embark on the road trip from Manali to Leh.
#25 Soak in the views from the Eiffel Tower
Another one to cross off your travel bucket list, now you’re turning 30: visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We can’t imagine there’s anyone in the world who hasn’t heard of the Eiffel Tower. There can’t be a traveler without this famous landmark in Paris on their wish list. Book your ticket to Paris, stay in a hotel with Eiffel Tower view and finally visit the Eiffel Tower.
The views from the Eiffel Tower are amazing, showing you all the famous Paris landmarks with the river Seine meandering through it. You’ll see the famous Seine bridges like the iron Pont Bir-Hakeim and the more classic Pont Alexandre III. But also Paris highlights like the Arc de Triomph, Sacré-Coeur, Louvre museum, Notre-Dame de Paris and Napoleon’s Dôme des Invalides. The views are especially spectacular at night, when many famous Paris attractions are beautifully lightened.
But there’s more to visit in Paris than just the Eiffel Tower. We love strolling down the streets of the Le Marais district, admire the architecture of the Dome des Invalides, visiting the Montmartre church and museum hopping at the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay. Just make sure climbing the most famous Paris attraction is the highlight of your 30th birthday.
#26 Havana, a city of contrasts
By Agnes from The Van Escape
Havana is a city that never sleeps, a teeming city with life, amazing energy, and music. This place is captivating with its atmosphere. So, it is the perfect city for the 30th birthday.
Havana offers various activities. So, you can take salsa or rumba classes or Spanish classes. A few days can be spent exploring the city. Visit Old Havana, Revolution Museum, the famous Hotel Nacional, the house of Ernest Hemingway. Walk along the Malecon promenade.
It’s your 30th birthday, so make yourself a gift and take the Vintage Classic Car Tour. You can take a car in front of Hotel Inglaterra at Parque Central. Finally, to celebrate your 30th birthday, you can choose one of the best rooftop bars in Havana. They offer spectacular views, atmosphere, great music, and delicious rum cocktails.
Cuba is a developing country with a difficult history and communist regime. Havana is a city of contrasts. Therefore, a great idea to support Havanese is to take advantage of private accommodation that is best to find on Airbnb. The prices are affordable. However, you need to know that not every apartment will have hot water. There is also no Internet. The Internet is only available in public places and hotels. So, if you need higher standards and amenities, choose one of the hotels in the center or along the Malecon promenade.
To visit Havana, 3 days is a minimum, but I recommend at least a week. It will allow you to visit the area. If you have a week, you can go on a trip to Viñales, Trinidad, or relax on the beach of Varadero.
#27 Back in time in ancient Rome
By Jiayi from The Dairy of a Nomad
Rome, the stunning capital of Italy, is an amazing place to celebrate a 30th birthday if you’re interested in history, culture, and delicious cuisine. In fact, the Eternal City is filled with ancient monuments and museums with magnificent art — offering plenty of things to do in Rome in 3 days.
For starters, head over to Galleria Borghese to see the artistic masterpieces of Raphael, Tiziano, Caravaggio, and Botticelli. You’ll also find some amazing sculptures and art in the Vatican Museums, home to the famous Sistine Chapel. Of course, there are plenty of gorgeous fountains and ancient monuments in the historic center of Rome, and no trip to Rome would be complete without a visit to the Colosseum to learn about the history and culture of Ancient Rome.
Some other amazing places to see on a cultural trip to Rome are the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Patheon, Piazza Venezia, and Piazza Navona. Once you’re ready to take a break from sightseeing, you can also join one of the many food tours in the city. This is an amazing way to learn about Italian culture and cuisine from local experts. You’ll also get to learn interesting food tips on these tours, such as how to tell real gelato from fake ones!
Delicious food, breathtaking monuments, and one of the most ancient cities on earth — what more could you ask for on your 30th birthday?
#28 Island hopping in Croatia
By Ella from Many More Maps
If you’re looking for an unforgettable and unique way of celebrating your 30th birthday, it doesn’t get much better than going island hopping in Croatia! Croatia has been anup-and-coming destination for international travellers for a few years now, and it’s clear to see why – it has amazing local wine, a fun party scene, and dreamy islands!
To go island hopping in Croatia, you can either plan a DIY trip using the local ferries to travel between islands, staying overnight on a few of them, or you can join a tour (or hire a boat!) from either Split or Dubrovnik to sample a range of the islands over the course of a day.
Some of the highlights of island hopping in Croatia include visiting the blue cave, going for a swim in the blue lagoon, visiting the windsurfing paradise of Bol, and wandering around Vis town, where Mamma Mia 2 was filmed!
To celebrate your birthday, I highly recommend spending at least one day in Hvar, a gorgeous island with a thriving party scene with tonnes of glamorous beach bars. This is where the people of Croatia come to let their hair down, and it’s perfect for a special occasion like a 20th birthday.
On an island hopping trip to Croatia you absolutely have to pack your swimsuit and towel, as the ocean in Croatia is the bluest and clearest you’ll ever see. Plus, it can get so hot in summer that taking a dip becomes a necessity!
#29 Trekking in Patagonia, Argentina
By Lora From Explore With Lora
Heading into your 30’s, you’re probably looking to find some peace and tranquillity in your 30’s rather than party the night away. There’s no better place to do that than in the mountains! South America is known for its incredible trekking opportunities, especially at the southern tip in Patagonia, shared between Argentina and Chile.
The options for trekking in Patagonia are endless. For a multi-day trek, head to Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile, where you can embark on the epic 9-day O-circuit itinerary, taking you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world.
If you prefer to stick to day trekking and come back to the comfort of a bed at night, check out El Calafate in Argentina. This gorgeous town is home to the incredible Perito Merino glacier with many nice hotels to spend the night after a day of exploring. Nearby El Chalten is another destination that’s great for day treks, including the famous Fitz Roy mountain.
If you plan to go on a multi-day hike or travel between places in Patagonia, aim to spend at least two weeks here as the distances are vast between places and travel times can be lengthy. With so much natural beauty around, Patagonia is the perfect destination to spend your 30th birthday if you’re looking to get in touch with nature.
#30 Experience the vibrant New York City
By Ketki from Dotted Globe
When it comes to bucket list-worthy destinations to celebrate a milestone birthday, New York City is a top favorite. There is something incredibly special about experiencing the vibrant city life and madness that is New York just as you hit the thirties, an unforgettable mark!
A truly epic birthday experience is to see a show on Broadway. The sheer talent and imagery are sure to leave you amazed. Or you can explore the city’s museums. Spend a day admiring artwork at the MET or make the child inside you happy by seeing the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History. This one is sure to delight cultural fans.
Shop for your memorable birthday gift in Manhattan and while you are there, see the skyline from the top of the Empire State Building with your friends or loved ones. Indulge in a food fest at the food carts or at the Chelsea Market Food hall in Meatpacking District.
Have a truly epic party to celebrate your 30th! Head to the many rooftop nightclubs in Manhattan or attend a block party in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Make sure you book a hotel close to Times Square to stay near all the attractions and keep aside a minimum of 2 to 3 days to enjoy this amazing city.