City breaks 2023: six exciting urban escapes to plan now

Plan your city breaks 2023 with our must-see urban guides, from Paris to Miami, Abu Dhabi to Quito and more

shelves miscellaneous items in the Inventarium shop in Oslo, part of Wallpaper’s city breaks 2023 series
The Inventarium shop, one of our Oslo must-sees
(Image credit: Photography: Fin Serck-Hanssen)

City breaks 2023 are firmly on our agenda. Now that the world has fully embraced the return of international travel, what better way to celebrate the new year than by pulling out our passports? Tapping the knowledge of Wallpaper* writers the world over, we’ve prepared a series of travel guides to inspire your 2023 travel. Here are urban guide to six cities, from our ongoing series…

City breaks 2023: Wallpaper* recommends…


Fabula at the Musée Carnavalet gardens

Fabula, an exclusively summertime restaurant in the gardens of the Carnavalet Museum in Paris

(Image credit: Maki Manoukian)

Wallpaper* Paris editor Amy Serafin surveys the French capital, where Claude Monet’s intricate and dream-like gardenscapes sit alongside Joan Mitchell’s frantic observations of colour at Fondation Louis Vuitton, chocolatiers are chic, an embroiderer and a jeweller are elevating haute cuisine, and an Italian luxury brand is leading the way in wellness. 



view of Quito city with small house in the foreground

Casa Parasito, a structure built in San Juan neighbourhood, Quito

(Image credit: Photography: Andrés Villota)

The relaxation of height restrictions for towers in Quito, the relocation of the city’s airport and the upcoming inauguration of its metro system have heralded a new era of densification for the Ecuadorian capital. Trying to steal some of the equatorial shimmer is a new crop of scintillating skyscrapers by global names, and a school of resourceful locals thriving in their lofty shadows. Rainbow Blue Nelson, our roving Latin American travel writer, finds out how this rejuvenated cityscape is helping to reboot the country’s ambitions.



poolside at The Goodtime Hotel, Miami

Poolside at The Goodtime Hotel, launched by David Grutman and Pharrell Williams

(Image credit: Alice Gao)

Urbanites of NYC, LA, SF and beyond are flocking in droves to the metropolitan paradise of Miami to seek a cure for their post-pandemic blues. This new luxury crowd is bringing more wealth and energy to the Magic City. With them comes an army of new restaurants and cultural spaces. The recent Design Miami 2022 and Art Basel Miami Beach 2022 prove that the city’s cultural cachet continues to grow, while residential towers attached to A-list architects such as Piero Lissoni, Frank Gehry, and Rem Koolhaas outline the iridescent evening landscape. Miami resident Maria Sobrino tells us more.



Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects

(Image credit: press)

Seoul’s summer monsoon season brings with it a biblical rain that doesn’t shower but saturates. Each time the rain clears, a new Seoul is born; umbrellas become parasols and the muted urban vista makes way for a vibrant, old-meets-new vernacular, accentuated by a lush, mountainous backdrop.

In recent years, Seoul has undergone another sort of rebirth. After the international phenomena of K-pop, K-beauty, K-style and K-cinema, it now seems to be the moment for K-art, thanks to the rise of local players and the arrival of international cultural titans. Our arts editor, Harriet Lloyd-Smith, explores how, with new museums and galleries, bustling bars and restaurants, all eyes are on the South Korean capital. 



shot of oslo with water in foreground

Cityscape of Oslo, with Snøhetta-designed Oslo Opera House to the right

(Image credit: Photography: Mats Anda)

Oslo is rapidly ascending the list of destinations for cultural and design-minded visitors. The enormous National Museum – currently home to a playful Laure Prouvost installation – opened in June 2022, less than a year after the newly relocated Munchmuseet, home to a top-floor cocktail bar that offers views onto the Snøhetta-designed opera house, and across the Oslofjord – a shoreline home to the modernist Henie Onstad Art Centre.

Beyond the visual arts, design saturates the city, and can be experienced throughout the culinary and cocktail scene, with emerging sustainable fashion designers, and as ever in the quality of Scandinavian furniture and products.


Abu Dhabi

Jean Nouvel Louvre Abu Dhabi travel guide

Exterior view of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel

(Image credit: Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi. Photography: Yiorgis Yerolymbos)

Abu Dhabi is a city of four base ingredients: sun, sea, sand and safety (in 2022, it was crowned the world’s safest city for the sixth time). With immaculate beaches, jaw-dropping architecture, a climate that rarely goes south of 22 degrees, and a burgeoning cultural scene, there’s something for every mood, taste and traveller. 

Like other cities in the GCC region, including its close (but very distinct) neighbour Dubai, the UAE capital’s rapid urbanisation from desert to global destination (underpinned by abundant oil and gas resources) has transformed the city into a majestic metropolis of retail, commerce, hospitality and industry. 


Also see our guides to Athens, Doha, Helsinki, Hong Kong, London, and Mexico City.

Martha Elliott is the Junior Digital News Editor at Wallpaper*. After graduating from university she worked in arts-based behavioural therapy, then embarked on a career in journalism, joining Wallpaper* at the start of 2022. She reports on art, design and architecture, as well as covering regular news stories across all channels.