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40th Birthday Trip Ideas for Couples in 2024

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Turning 40 is a significant milestone, a perfect occasion to step out of the daily routine and embark on an adventure with your significant other.

Whether you’re looking for a tranquil getaway, a cultural escapade, or an adrenaline-filled adventure, I’ve handpicked destinations that promise to cater to all tastes and preferences.

As someone who’s been writing about travel destinations for several years, I’ve had the joy of exploring and discovering places that not only offer breathtaking views and unique experiences but also have that special something to make a couple’s celebration truly unforgettable.

In this post, we’ll journey through places that are not just tourist spots, but magical settings that offer romance, excitement, and the chance to create lasting memories.

From the serene beaches of Krabi to the historic streets of Paris, and the adventurous landscapes of Queenstown, New Zealand, each destination has been chosen for its unique ability to make a 40th birthday celebration extraordinary.

40th Birthday Trip Ideas for Couples:

Paris, France

people walking on street during daytime
Paris, France – The city of love, ideal for romantic strolls and fine dining.

Paris, France, often hailed as the epitome of romance, is a dream destination for couples celebrating a milestone like a 40th birthday. This iconic city is not just about the Eiffel Tower; it’s a canvas of artistic beauty, culinary delights, and timeless charm.

Stroll along the Seine River at sunset, where the city’s monuments light up, creating a magical backdrop. For art-loving couples, a visit to the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay is a must, housing masterpieces that span centuries. Indulge in a romantic dinner at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants, savoring French cuisine at its finest.

Don’t miss the chance to explore charming neighborhoods like Montmartre, known for its artistic history and the stunning Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

For a unique birthday experience, enjoy a Seine River cruise, offering a different perspective of Paris’s landmarks.

Santorini, Greece

white and brown concrete houses on mountain near sea during daytime
Santorini, Greece – Famous for its stunning sunsets and beautiful blue waters.

Santorini, Greece is a slice of paradise, perfect for a memorable 40th birthday celebration. Renowned for its breathtaking sunsets and stunning caldera views, this island offers a romantic setting like no other.

Imagine wandering through the whitewashed streets of Oia, hand in hand, as you soak in the spectacular views of the Aegean Sea. For a taste of history, explore the ancient ruins of Akrotiri, often referred to as the Greek Pompeii.

Couples can enjoy a wine-tasting tour at one of Santorini’s famed wineries, savoring unique volcanic wines. A must-do is a sunset cruise around the caldera, providing an unparalleled view of the island from the water – it’s a truly magical experience.

Don’t forget to indulge in the local cuisine at a seaside taverna, where the fresh seafood and Greek specialties will tantalize your taste buds.

Kyoto, Japan

two women in purple and pink kimono standing on street
Kyoto, Japan – Rich in history and traditional Japanese culture.

Kyoto, Japan, is a treasure trove of cultural wonders, making it an enchanting choice for a 40th birthday celebration. Known for its historic temples, traditional tea houses, and beautiful gardens, Kyoto offers a serene and culturally rich experience.

Couples can immerse themselves in history by visiting the iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates. Strolling through the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is another must-do, offering a surreal and peaceful experience.

For a taste of traditional Japan, participate in a tea ceremony in Gion, the city’s geisha district. Here, you can also enjoy an evening walk, possibly catching a glimpse of a geisha in traditional attire.

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Don’t miss the chance to explore Kinkaku-ji, the renowned Golden Pavilion, set against a picturesque pond.

Even if you decide to visit Japan in winter, there is still much to see and do. Temples, Onsen hot springs, and many other traditions in Japan are especially charming at this time of year.

Cape Town, South Africa

aerial view of green mountains and body of water during daytime
Cape Town, South Africa – Offers a blend of beautiful beaches and impressive mountains.

Cape Town, South Africa, is a vibrant and diverse city, perfect for an adventurous 40th birthday celebration. Known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and cultural diversity, it’s a destination that offers something for every couple.

Start your adventure by visiting the iconic Table Mountain. You can either hike up or take the cable car for breathtaking views of the city and ocean. For a taste of history and culture, explore the colorful streets of Bo-Kaap, known for its brightly colored homes and cobblestone streets.

Wine-loving couples should not miss the opportunity to visit the nearby Cape Winelands, where you can indulge in some of the world’s best wines amidst picturesque vineyards.

For a unique experience, take a ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, to learn about South Africa’s poignant history.

End your day with a romantic sunset at Camps Bay Beach, watching the sun dip below the Atlantic Ocean.

Barcelona, Spain

skyscraper view at daytime
Barcelona, Spain – Known for its vibrant culture, architecture, and lively beaches.

Barcelona, Spain, is a city where vibrant culture, architectural marvels, and Mediterranean charm converge, making it an ideal spot for a 40th birthday getaway. Famous for its Gaudí masterpieces and lively streets, Barcelona is a feast for the senses.

Couples can marvel at the surreal architecture of Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, and wander through the whimsical Park Güell, enjoying panoramic views of the city. Strolling down the bustling Las Ramblas, you’ll experience the heart of Barcelona’s social life, lined with cafes, markets, and street performers.

For a taste of local flavors, visit the La Boqueria Market, where you can indulge in fresh seafood, tapas, and Spanish delicacies.

Art enthusiasts should not miss the Picasso Museum, showcasing an extensive collection of Picasso’s works.

As the sun sets, head to the Gothic Quarter for a romantic dinner in one of its charming restaurants, followed by a night exploring Barcelona’s vibrant nightlife.

Queenstown, New Zealand

aerial view of lake and mountains during daytime
Queenstown, New Zealand – A haven for adventure seekers with breathtaking scenery.

Queenstown, New Zealand, is a haven for adventure and natural beauty, making it a thrilling choice for a 40th birthday celebration. Known as the “Adventure Capital of the World”, it’s a paradise for thrill-seeking couples.

Start your adventure with a bungee jump or skydive for an adrenaline rush with stunning views of the landscape. For a more serene experience, take a scenic cruise on Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by majestic mountains.

Hiking enthusiasts can enjoy the numerous trails around Queenstown, including a walk up to Bob’s Peak for panoramic views of the town and its surroundings.

As the evening sets in, relax in one of Queenstown’s many fine dining restaurants, offering local and international cuisine.

Istanbul, Turkey

aerial view of buildings and flying birds
Istanbul, Turkey – A city that beautifully blends Asian and European cultures.

Istanbul, Turkey, is a city where East meets West, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and stunning architecture – a captivating setting for a 40th birthday trip. Known for its historic sites, bustling bazaars, and delicious cuisine, Istanbul is a city that never fails to enchant.

Couples can explore the magnificent Hagia Sophia and the majestic Blue Mosque, marveling at their architectural beauty and historical significance. A visit to the Topkapi Palace provides a glimpse into the opulent lives of Ottoman sultans.

Strolling through the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world is an experience in itself. Here, you can shop for unique souvenirs, from intricate carpets to handcrafted jewelry.

For a truly romantic experience, take a Bosphorus cruise at sunset, enjoying the city’s skyline from the water. End your day with a delightful meal at a rooftop restaurant, offering panoramic views and a taste of traditional Turkish cuisine.

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Dubai, UAE

a view of a city with a lot of tall buildings
Dubai, UAE – A modern city known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture, and a lively nightlife scene.

Dubai, UAE, is a city of luxury, innovation, and cultural fusion, making it an exhilarating choice for a 40th birthday celebration. Known for its sky-high architecture, opulent lifestyle, and vibrant nightlife, Dubai is a city that dazzles.

Couples can marvel at the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and enjoy a meal at one of its high-end restaurants with stunning city views.

For a taste of traditional Dubai, visit the Gold and Spice Souks, where you can haggle for jewelry and spices.

Exploring the Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping centers globally, offers not just shopping but also an indoor aquarium and ice rink.

Don’t miss the chance to see the Dubai Fountain Show, a spectacular display of water, music, and light.

Marrakech, Morocco

assorted-color textiles hanged beside concrete buildings
Marrakech, Morocco – Offers a taste of North African culture with bustling markets and historic sites.

Marrakech, Morocco, is a city that captivates with its vibrant colors, rich history, and sensory experiences, making it an exotic choice for a 40th birthday celebration. Known for its bustling souks, stunning palaces, and lush gardens, Marrakech is a feast for the senses.

Couples can wander through Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site, exploring the maze of markets filled with spices, textiles, and handcrafted goods. A visit to the Bahia Palace and the Saadian Tombs offers a glimpse into the city’s royal past.

For a tranquil escape, the Majorelle Garden, with its exotic plants and cobalt blue accents, is a peaceful haven.

Experience the traditional Moroccan culture with a visit to a Hammam for a relaxing spa treatment.

As the sun sets, head to the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, where the city comes alive with street performers, food stalls, and storytellers.

Sydney, Australia

people sitting on chairs near body of water during daytime
Sydney, Australia – Famous for its Sydney Opera House, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture.

Sydney, Australia, is a dynamic and picturesque city, perfect for a 40th birthday celebration. Known for its iconic landmarks, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture, Sydney offers a diverse range of experiences.

Couples can start their adventure with a visit to the Sydney Opera House, an architectural marvel, and perhaps catch a show. Just a stone’s throw away is the Sydney Harbour Bridge – for the adventurous, a bridge climb offers breathtaking views of the harbor and city.

For a taste of local life, explore the trendy cafes and boutiques in the Surry Hills neighborhood.

Relaxing on the famous Bondi Beach is a must, where you can also take a scenic coastal walk to Coogee Beach. A ferry ride to Manly Beach provides a lovely view of the city from the water and a more laid-back beach experience.

As the evening sets in, enjoy a meal at one of Sydney’s waterfront restaurants, offering fresh seafood and exquisite views.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

gray concrete building
Buenos Aires, Argentina – Known for its European-style architecture and rich cultural life.

Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a city that pulsates with passion and energy, making it an exhilarating destination for a 40th birthday celebration. Known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant tango scene, and exquisite cuisine, Buenos Aires is a city that embraces life.

Exploring the colorful streets of La Boca offers a glimpse into the city’s artistic side, with its brightly painted houses and street performers.

A visit to the historic San Telmo Market is a must for couples who love antiques and unique finds. For a taste of local flavors, enjoy a traditional Argentine asado (barbecue), where the quality of the meat is unparalleled.

Couples can immerse themselves in the local culture by attending a tango show or even taking a tango lesson, experiencing the dance that is the heart and soul of Buenos Aires.

Strolling through the elegant Recoleta neighborhood, with its Parisian-style architecture, adds a touch of romance.

Charleston, South Carolina, USA

cars parked in front of white and red concrete building during daytime
Charleston, South Carolina, USA – A charming city known for its rich history and well-preserved architecture.

Charleston, South Carolina, USA, is a city steeped in history and Southern charm, making it a delightful pick for a 40th birthday celebration. Known for its well-preserved architecture, historic landmarks, and culinary scene, Charleston offers a blend of elegance and warmth.

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Couples can explore the cobblestone streets of the Historic District, taking in the beautifully preserved antebellum homes.

A visit to the Battery Promenade and Waterfront Park provides stunning views of the harbor, perfect for a leisurely stroll.

Don’t miss the chance to browse the Charleston City Market, where you can find local crafts and souvenirs.

For history enthusiasts, a tour of the Fort Sumter National Monument, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, is a must.

Charleston’s culinary scene is a highlight, with opportunities to savor Lowcountry cuisine at its finest – think shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and other Southern delicacies.

Cusco, Peru

green mountain under cloudy sky
Cusco, Peru – The gateway to Machu Picchu and rich in Incan heritage.

Cusco, Peru, is a city that’s a gateway to adventure and ancient history, ideal for a 40th birthday trip. Renowned as the former capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is a blend of pre-Columbian history and colonial charm.

Couples can start their journey by exploring the historic center of Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its cobblestone streets and Spanish colonial architecture.

The Sacsayhuamán fortress, with its massive stone walls, offers a glimpse into the Incan architectural genius.

A must-do is a trip to the Sacred Valley, where you can visit traditional markets and Inca ruins, like Ollantaytambo.

For the ultimate adventure, you can embark on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, a once-in-a-lifetime experience leading to the iconic ancient city.

Don’t miss trying the local cuisine, including dishes like alpaca steak and ceviche.

Krabi, Thailand

people riding on boat on beach during daytime
Krabi, Thailand – Known for its stunning limestone cliffs and clear waters.

Krabi, Thailand, is a tropical gem that offers a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure, ideal for a 40th birthday getaway. Famous for its stunning limestone cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and idyllic beaches, Krabi is a paradise for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts.

Couples can explore the iconic Phi Phi Islands, where the movie “The Beach” was filmed, enjoying the spectacular scenery and vibrant marine life.

A visit to Railay Beach, accessible only by boat, offers a secluded and romantic setting, surrounded by towering cliffs and turquoise waters.

For an adventurous day, try rock climbing or kayaking around the limestone formations. Alternatively, unwind with a traditional Thai massage on the beach, embracing the serene atmosphere.

As the sun sets, enjoy a romantic dinner at a beachfront restaurant, savoring the fresh, local seafood.

Travel tips and tricks:

  • Save big on flights with Skyscanner.com – This incredible tool lets you find the most affordable airfare to your dream destination. You’ll love their “Whole Month” feature, which displays the best prices for the entire month. If you’re flexible with travel dates, this is a game-changer for scoring the cheapest tickets.
  • Stay in the heart of the action – I always find the perfect accommodation on Booking.com. Their map view lets me filter hotels by my budget and select ones that are right in the center of it all. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this easy way to book your ideal stay!
  • Go beyond the resort – I’m all about making the most of my trips, and GetYourGuide.com has been a lifesaver for booking unforgettable tours and day trips. It’s the most hassle-free way to dive into the local culture and explore the hidden gems in every new place.
  • Hit the road with DiscoverCars.com – There’s no better way to explore your destination than by car! Renting a vehicle has never been easier, and with their competitive prices, you’ll have the freedom to create your own adventures.

I highly recommend trying these tools for yourself – not only will you save money, but you’ll also create memories that last a lifetime. Happy travels!

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