LONDON, UK, 18 June, 2019 – TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, today announced the winners of its Travellers’ Choice® awards for Experiences. The awards recognise the world’s top bookable experiences - tours and activities - as decided by travellers.
Kaleidoscope of experiences capture travellers’ hearts
A tour of the Vatican with skip-the-line access was named the top experience globally, whilst a pub crawl including some of London's most historic bars took top honours in the UK in this year’s diverse awards. The number of bookable experiences has more than doubled in the last year - to over 200,000 - and 2019’s winners reflect travellers’ appreciation for the broad range of options around the world.
The top 25 experiences in the world illustrate that the perfect holiday looks different for every traveller. This year’s top global awards show that travellers have spent the last year snorkelling between tectonic plates in Iceland, whitewater rafting in New Zealand, exploring the local food scenes in Hanoi, Chiang Mai, and Xi’an, enjoying balloon rides over Cappadocia, and sightseeing in cities like Chicago, Prague and Athens.
“We know experiences are the best part of any trip, so over the last year we’ve doubled the bookable experiences offered to more than 200,000 - giving travellers even more of what they want and love,” said Hayley Coleman, a TripAdvisor spokesperson. “This year’s winners - like a Balinese jungle swing, a Harry Potter walking tour, or even faster than ‘skip-the-line’ Vatican access - are an incredible sampling of the kaleidoscope of experiences travellers can book on our site.”
Themed walking tours step-up at home
Our 2019 Experiences Trends Report showed that classic sightseeing remains a staple among travellers’ itineraries, and that wellness experiences are on the rise, with global bookings in the category jumping 90% in the last year*. It comes as no surprise, then, that half of the top experiences in the UK offer the perfect opportunity to combine those trends.
Travellers in the UK are getting their steps in, as walking tours make up five of the top ten UK experiences and cover a wide range of interests, including a London pub tour, a historical tour of Belfast, guided tours of Oxford University and Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, and a Harry Potter walking tour (muggles welcome) around the city.
The awards recognize 375 experiences, tours, and activities globally, highlighting the world’s best “Things to do”. They’re also broken down by country, and by category, including day cruises, cultural tours, day trips, multi-day tours, hop-on-hop-off tours, and food, beer, and wine experiences. Winners were determined using an algorithm based on reviews and ratings for bookable experiences over a 12-month period.
With the world’s largest selection of bookable tours and activities around the world, TripAdvisor is a one-stop destination for planning all of your travel activities. From traditional sightseeing to food tours, day trips, and local experiences, travellers can find and book great things to do wherever they are on the TripAdvisor app and site.
Top 10 Experiences in the UK:
- Small-Group Tour: Historical Pub Walking Tour of London – London, England, bookable from £25
Get a local's perspective of London on a guided walking tour that introduces you to several of the city's most historic alehouses. Try local brews (own expense), see city sights, and hear stories of the legendary figures who were known to enjoy a few pints in the very same spots. “If you enjoy history and pubs and beer and gin and laughs and making new friends, then this tour is for you,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Private Tour of London in a Classic Car – London, England, bookable from £245 per car
See London with your own private driver who shows you around the city in a classic Mini Cooper. During your two-hour tour, your driver-guide shows you both top attractions including St Paul's Cathedral, Houses of Parliament (aka the Palace of Westminster) and Big Ben, and foodie favourites such as Borough Market — the oldest food market in London. Get an insider’s perspective on the best places to go in London and enjoy the fun of seeing the city in your own private car. “If you want a very personalised London tour in a gorgeous little vintage Mini by someone who will do all they can to make it special and memorable then I'd absolutely recommend,” raved one TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Mayfair Chocolate Ecstasy Tour – London, England, bookable from £50 per person
Experience London’s sweet side on this insider tour of the city’s best chocolate shops. You won’t just be visiting the best-known locales: instead, you’ll sample hot chocolate at one of the city’s most exclusive restaurants, visit many high-end chocolatiers, and learn from your guide how chocolate is made. As you indulge, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore four popular neighbourhoods: Mayfair, Piccadilly, St. James’s, and Soho. “We visited a number of Chocolatiers and learned heaps about chocolate, it’s history, production and tasting with a good sprinkling of London facts thrown in,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer. “I’d recommend this tour to anyone who likes chocolate and wants a closer look at Mayfair and Soho from a local’s perspective.”
- Belfast Troubles City Centre Walking Tour (10.30AM) – Belfast, Northern Ireland, bookable from £18 per person
Since the official end of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Belfast has flourished, though the impact of the 30-year conflict is still keenly felt by those who live there. On this walking tour, you'll visit locations where key events took place and get an insider perspective on the conflict, its lingering effects, and Northern Ireland’s path to peace. “I’d highly recommend this tour if you want to know more about ordinary people living in Belfast during the troubles. The guide draws from personal experience, experiences from people close to him (his mother, and a friend), excessive professional experience, and extensive research to explain the complex, ongoing history of Belfast,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Harry Potter Walking Tour for Muggles in London – London, England, bookable from £16 per person
Whilst in London, journey beyond Warner Bros. Studio for an alternative behind-the-scenes experience of the making of Harry Potter. This guided tour takes you to key filming locations in the city with a guide who knows the quickest ways around. “Excellent tour of Harry Potter set locations, as well as places that were inspirations for JK Rowling's writing,” wrote one TripAdvisor reviewer.
- High-Speed Thames River RIB Cruise in London – London, England, bookable from £43 per person
If you’re looking for an exhilarating way to see London’s riverside sights, then opt for a high-speed RIB cruise on the Thames River. In a rigid inflatable boat, soar past the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, and Shakespeare’s Globe whilst listening to a high-octane soundtrack. Once you reach Tower Bridge, your skipper accelerates to speeds of 35 miles-per-hour (55 km-per-hour) and performs sharp turns guaranteed to increase adrenaline levels. “A simply brilliant experience and a completely different view of London from the water and at high speed...What more could you ask for?” said a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh – Edinburgh, Scotland, bookable from £23 per person
Edinburgh's Royal Mile is a must-see, and there's no better way to check this landmark off your list than on a guided walking tour. As you explore, listen to in-depth commentary on famous former residents and discover hidden areas you may have missed if exploring alone. A small group limited to 10 guarantees personalised attention from your guide. “We absolutely loved our guided walking tour. The guide was extremely knowledgeable, with lots of information given out in a manner that kept our attention the whole time,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- 3-Day Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh – Edinburgh, Scotland, bookable from £249 per person
Journey into the Scottish Highlands—famed for picturesque hills, lakes, and centuries of history—and then onwards to the Isle of Skye on this 3-day tour from Edinburgh. The small group size makes this trip feel more intimate, and it includes round-trip transit from Edinburgh via luxury coach, so you can focus on admiring the scenery instead of navigating your own way through the countryside. “Unlike other tours, this trip was really personalized. Our guide took our ideas and expectations into consideration and really made sure we all got to experience something great,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Oxford University Walking Tour – Oxford, England, bookable from £17 per person
Let a guide bring one of the world’s oldest universities to life on an Oxford University walking tour. Unlike other tours, your guide is a university student with first-hand knowledge of the prestigious campus. Receive information crucial to understanding the history of the institution, and explore in a small group for a personalised experience. “Truly the most informative and fascinating way to see the Oxford that everyone wants to see!” said a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Game of Thrones and Giant's Causeway Full-Day Tour from Belfast – Belfast, Northern Ireland, bookable from £35 per person.
The huge popularity of the final series of Game of Thrones has driven fans to try this epic experience which combines a comprehensive Game of Thrones–themed tour with a visit to the Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on a full-day tour from Belfast. Leave the navigation and driving to someone else while you enjoy the scenic ride and listen to behind-the-scenes gossip and filming facts from your guide. “A ‘must do’ even if you’ve never seen Game of Thrones,” touted a TripAdvisor reviewer. “The coastal drive was beautiful as were the filming locations for GoT, and we soon got caught up in the excitement of it all.”
Top 10 Experiences in the World:
- Faster Than Skip-the-Line: Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica Tour – Rome, Italy
- Chicago Architecture River Cruise – Chicago, Illinois, USA
- Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour – Florence, Italy
- Snorkelling Silfra Tour with Pick up – Reykjavik, Iceland
- Red Rock Canyon Electric Bike Tour – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Private Guided Tour on a Vintage Sidecar from 1 Hour to 7 Hour – Paris, France
- 1-Hour Canal Tour starting at Anne Frank House Amsterdam – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Best of Ubud Tour with Jungle Swing – Ubud, Indonesia
- Xi'an Evening Food Tour by TukTuk – Xi’an, China
- Kaituna River White Water – Okere Falls, New Zealand
For all of the 2019 Travellers’ Choice award-winning experiences, as well as the latest reviews, go to www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Experiences. Travellers can also follow the conversation on Twitter at #travelerschoice.
*Increase based on year-over-year growth in bookings in 2017 vs 2018.
Prices may vary due to seasonality and are accurate as of 17 June 2019.
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