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The best countries in the world: 2022 Readers' Choice Awards

By Rick Jordan

The best countries in the world 2022 Readers' Choice Awards

The survey for the 2023 Readers' Choice Awards is open, vote now for your favourite places, hotels, airports, cruise ships, travel fixers and more.

Among the many phrases to have emerged from the pandemic is “revenge travel” – not as sinister as it sounds, but merely a desire to make up for lost time and go large on bucket-list experiences. Perhaps that’s one reason  New Zealand  and  Asian countries  such as  Japan  did well – even though both only reopened to visitors this summer. This wanderlust, though, was tempered with a concern for safety, criteria that helped Denmark onto the list. A rare appearance by the UK was partly down to its culture, but when it comes to food, the highest-rated destinations read like the cookery section of a bookshop: Italy, Thailand, Japan, India and France. Portugal, meanwhile, the overall winner for the second year running, was appreciated for the friendliness of its people, whom you rated only second to those of Ireland.

These are the best countries in the world, according to the 2022 Readers' Choice Awards , counting down from 20-1.

South Africa

20. South Africa. Score 87.96

Nestled on the southernmost tip of the Mother Continent, the stunning ocean pools peppered along its coasts, undeniably exciting scenes in Cape Town and the Western Cape and the lively shopping streets in Johannesburg are just some of the reasons why South Africa seems to be on the top of many travellers' bucket list.

Where to stay: In Cape Town, we love Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel , a pink palace with the best pool in the city.  For a more rural stay, check out Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch, a private lodge with hard-to-beat views of Table Mountain.


19. Turkey. Score 87.97

With the arrival of glamourous new hangouts in Bodrum and the Orient Express resuming its legendary train journeys to Istanbul soon, it's no wonder Turkey has been getting a lot of airtime lately – the buzzing bazaars, magical hot air balloon rides, mosaic architecture and glistening riviera await.

Where to stay: The best hotels in Turkey include Alavya in Alacati, stitched together from six houses that feel like a home-from-home, as well as a clutch of grand hotels in Istanbul such as Six Senses Kocatas Mansions created from two refurbished Ottoman mansions. 


18. Israel. Score 87.98

A lush Mediterranean oasis, Israel reopened to foreign travellers earlier this year with a clutch of exciting new offers, particularly in the country's coastal city of Tel Aviv. Check out the vibrant beaches, learn about the fascinating history and tuck into the incredibly under-rated food scene.

Where to stay: We recommend The Jaffa in Tel Aviv , an astonishing hotel set in a restored 19th-century complex. 

Sri Lanka

17. Sri Lanka. Score 88.01

Often reffered to as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, the untouched wonders of Sri Lanka set the stage for incredible adventures. From thrilling surf sessions on a secret beach village to serene spa retreats deep in the jungle, there's so much to explore. Discover the best places to visit in Sri Lanka according to an expert .

Where to stay: Check into sustainable, waterfront property Cape Welligama , a clifftop hangout with astonishing views of the Indian Ocean. 


16. Sweden. Score 88.11

A Scandanavian nation bordered by Norway and Finland , Sweden is a swoon-worthy destination with twinkling lakes, picturesque fjords and an abundance of saunas. The forward-thinking capital, Stockholm , appeals to foodies and boozy-loving crowds – it houses some of the best bars on the planet .

Where to stay: In Stockholm, Ett Hem is a wonderfully individual, homespun stay. Further afield, Arctic Bath in Swedish Lapland offers vast areas of untouched wilderness. 


15. Morocco. Score 88.23

A kaleidoscopic country where old juts up against new,  Morocco  is one of Africa's most beautiful corners. Moorish designs and energetic hues paint the streets of  Marrakech  from head to toe while its  fashion  is as tasteful as the  forward-thinking creatives  keeping traditional crafts alive. 

Where to stay: Some of the  best hotels in Africa  can even be found here, including hotels in Marrakech such as Royal Mansour , an imperial palace owned by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and L’Hotel , a 19th-century property made over by Jasper Conran. 


14. Croatia. Score 88.33

Located in the Balkans, Croatia is an ideal summer hotspot for good reason – pretty seaside spots , stunning villas and Dubrovnik's abundant offerings are just some of them. For a tropical getaway, this is our edit of the best Croatian islands to visit. 

Where to stay: The best hotels in Croatia include Grand Park Hotel in Rovinj, with Michelin-star food across six restaurants and bars, and Villa Nai 3.3 , which houses only eight rooms. 


13. Ireland. Score 88.53

Home to dramatic rugged coasts, cliff-hugging hiking trails, and more importantly, Guinness beer, Ireland is a hedonist's paradise. Plan to stay in one of the best hotels in Ireland on your next trip to the Emerald Isle and add these amazing things to do in Dublin to the itinerary.

Where to stay: The gorgeous Cashel Palace , reopened this year, is the most exciting stay in Ireland right now. Exemplary hotels in Dublin include The Westbury , a Dublin landmark and also a 2022 Readers' Choice Awards winner. 

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12. Netherlands. Score 88.65

With its beautiful tulip fields, striking architecture and infamous cycling routes by Amsterdam canals, this is a country that never sleeps. Its impressive transformation of Rotterdam is best experienced by strolling down the art-centric streets while the unmissable food and bar scene in the capital is paired best with the shops nearby.

Where to stay:

The top hotels in Amsterdam are peppered with townhouse delights such as The Dylan , Pulitzer Amsterdam and The Hoxton Amsterdam . 


11. Spain. Score 88.76

A Catalonian culinary hotspot, some of the best tapas and paella can be found here. The Balearic islands of Ibiza and Formentera are not one to miss either along with the villas that accompany them. Discover the best things to do in Barcelona and check out the best hotels in San Sebastiàn .

Where to stay: Take over one of the most beautiful villas in Spain with the whole crew, or see our round up of the best hotels in Spain . 

New Zealand

10. New Zealand. Score 89.01

Situated on the south-west Pacific, New Zealand is divided by two islands with stunning glaciers, gentle rolling hillsides,  captivating Māori culture and plenty of sheep – there are quite literally more sheep than there are humans. The active volcanoes make it an ideal hot spot for geothermal activity, allowing natural hot springs to form and the geographical location has allowed native flora and fauna to flourish. Discover the most beautiful places to visit in New Zealand .

Where to stay: We love The Farm at Cape Kidnappers , a 6,000-acre working farm in a rolling coastal landscape. 


9. Italy. Score 89.12

Adventures through the Dolomites, stays at Florence's extravagant boutique boltholes and meals by the pool in Tuscany , Italy has no shortage of exciting activities. Explore the best places to visit in Italy .

Where to stay: Check out our edits of the best hotels in Venice and Florence's loveliest stays for inspiration – we like recent opening Ca'di Dio in Venice and Villa San Michele in Florence. 


8. UK. Score 89.12

The UK is where you'll find some of our favourite city breaks including Edinburgh , Cambridge and Aberystwyth . Come autumn, the cosy cabins and spas in Somerset and the Cotswolds call but London and Manchester are where all the bustle happens.

Where to stay: The UK is home to some of the best hotels anywhere in the world – from country idylls such as The Newt in Somerset , The Fife Arms and Heckfield Place to city slickers such as The Connaught in London. 


7. Denmark. Score 89.62

A gastronomic powerhouse, Denmark is home to some of the world's best restaurants , including multi-award-winning Noma 2.0 and current title holder, Geranium in Copenhagen . While its food scene makes it a bucket-list destination in its own right, this Scandinavian country seemed to have inherited the equivalent of a royal flush with the castles, coastlines and culture packed in its tiny size.

Where to stay: At Scandi design star Hotel Sanders in Copenhagen . 


6. Greece. Score 89.79

With over 200 inhabited Greek Islands , these starkingly white buildings with azure blue domes that blend with the sky are easily one of Santorini 's most recognisable landmarks – paired with the stunning villas and romantic Caldera sunsets. Hop over to Mykonos and it's the drool-worthy Mediterrnean menus and beautiful beach clubs that attract travellers while the promise of postcard perfect beaches, considered among the best in the Aegean, are what draws globetrotters to the luminous Cycladic island of Milos.

Where to stay: The best hotels in Greece are spread across the mainland and the coveted islands – consider sugar-pink mansion Aristide in Syros , classic Perivolas in Santorini or Four Seasons Astir Palace in Athens on your next visit. 


5. India. Score 90.01

Home to the world's second most populated country, India is a beautifully chaotic nation where the technicolour tuk-tuks that crowd the streets and the pungent aromatic spices that fill the space are wonderfully juxtaposed by the myriad of serene yoga retreats and secret sanctuaries hidden in the hilltops. During monsoon season, the sights seen in Goa and Kerala can be best enjoyed in these hotels while Jaipur , easily one of India's most beautiful cities, is a year-round destination with so much to offer.

Where to stay: Umaid Bhawan Palace took the top spot in the 2022 Readers' Choice Awards.


4. Singapore. Score 90.09

Fitting for its glitzy reputation, this diamond-shaped island is one of South East Asia's most celebrated destinations. Nestled on the tip of the Malay Peninsula , the city-state has quite an impressive shelf of trophies for its small size. Not only is Singapore a shopaholic's haven , but the flagship airline is also the best in the world , along with the food served on board. To top it off, the city is one of the greenest out there with nearly half of its land allocated to parks and gardens.

Where to stay: At Raffles Singapore , the city's original grand dame, meticulously restored a few years ago. 


3. Thailand. Score 90.46

Thailand is a tropical hotspot that can truly do both. The buffet of secluded boltholes , jaw-dropping tropical islands and spas all radiate rest and rejuvenation. Meanwhile, the bustling nightlife and the fantastic street food in the capital, Bangkok , can respark joy in any jaded traveller. For adrenaline junkies, Chiang Mai is a must-visit but Phuket should also be on the radar.

Where to stay: The best hotels in Thailand range from destination hotels to under-the-radar stays. Chiva Som is the undisputed queen of the Thai wellness scene, while Six Senses Yao Noi is the perfect place to cast away. 


2. Japan. Score 91.17

Japan has had some of the strictest travel restrictions during the pandemic, having only opened its doors to foreigners halfway through 2022. Now, the Japan's hotels are ready to check into, while the streets and cafés of Kyoto are craving to be dined in. In late March to mid-April, sakura season is what draws the crowds in but come winter, it's the frosty snow-capped mountains in Niseko. Head south to the subtropical archipelago of Okinawa for a beach escape and if moving to Japan sounds appealing, choose Osaka – it was named one of the best places to live in the world for a reason.

Where to stay: We love The Tokyo Edition , a playful place to stay, as well as Ace Hotel in Kyoto. See our favourite hotels in Japan for more inspiration. 


1. Portugal. Score 91.22

It's easy to see why Portugal took first place on this list – the best hotels in Portugal are some of the most astonishing places to stay, and the glistening golden beaches sprinkled throughout the coastline are a sight for sore eyes. Lisbon's restaurant scene is also a foodies paradise and the Portuguese countryside boasts some incredible retreats . 

Where to stay: The hotel scene here is ever-evolving – see our edit of Lisbon's prettiest hotels and where to stay in Porto for city-break recommendations, or discover the top family hotels in Portugal for ideas for the whole gang.

Top 10 Most Visited Countries in the World

Photo of author

January 7, 2024

Here are the 10 most visited countries in the world, according to the last issue of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer – January 2023:

  • France : 48.4 million visitors
  • Mexico : 31.9 million visitors
  • Spain : 31.2 million visitors
  • Türkiye : 29.9 million visitors
  • Italy : 26.9 million visitors
  • United States : 22.1 million visitors
  • Greece : 14.7 million visitors
  • Austria : 12.7 million visitors
  • Germany : 11.7 million visitors
  • United Arab Emirates : 11.5 million visitors

Most of these countries saw an increase in tourist arrival compared to the previous year, the exceptions being Austria and Germany.

Most Visited Countries Chart

International tourism saw a strong recovery in 2022 and 2023, with Europe and the Americas leading the way.

Europe recorded 585 million international tourist arrivals in 2022 , reaching nearly 80% of pre-pandemic levels (-21% over 2019), which makes it the world’s largest destination region and home to the most famous country in the world (more on that later) .

The Middle East enjoyed the strongest relative increase across regions in 2022 with arrivals climbing to 83% of pre-pandemic numbers (-17% versus 2019).

Africa and the Americas both recovered about 65% of its pre-pandemic visitors, while Asia and the Pacific reached only 23%, as a result of stronger pandemic-related restrictions.

International Tourism Statistics Map

By subregions, Western Europe (87%) and the Caribbean (84%) came closest to their pre-pandemic levels.

The recovery was uneven across regions, with Europe and the Middle East outperforming the other regions due to their more successful implementation of coordinated travel measures. The recovery is expected to consolidate in 2023 , with pent-up demand particularly in Asia and the Pacific, as destinations and markets open up.

International tourism was able to recover 63% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022, and recovered 84% of pre-pandemic levels in the period January-July 2023 (-16% versus 2019).

According to the World Tourism Organization’s publication “ World Tourism Barometer “, a total of 917 million international tourists travelled the world in 2022. And between January and July 2023, 700 million tourists travelled internationally , 43% more than in the same months of 2022.

While not yet achieving pre-pandemic levels, this is considered a notable recovery and one which bodes well for 2023 as it sets out to consolidate its comeback.

It’s time to grab your passport and explore the world again!

Below more data and details about the top 10 tourist countries in the world.

1. France: 48.4 Million Visitors

2. mexico: 31.9 million visitors, 3. spain: 31.2 million visitors, 4. türkiye: 29.9 million visitors, 5. italy: 26.9 million visitors, 6. united states: 22.1 million visitors, 7. greece: 14.7 million visitors, 8. austria: 12.7 million visitors, 9. germany: 11.7 million visitors, 10. united arab emirates: 11.5 million visitors.

France is the most visited country in the world with a record breaking of 48.4 million visitors!

Its capital, Paris, is the second most visited city in the world .

Patched up with idyllic villages and romantic cities, France wears its culture in both iconic landmarks and ordinary settings. Few have the audacity to gild everything in gold, but the country’s noble castles, villas and cathedrals pull off ostentatious decor with a nonchalance attributed to its long centuries of royal history.

France is the Most Visited Country in the World

As if to match, the village-square markets, café terraces, and the daily rituals of a coffee and croissant presents a genteel sort of luxury. Don’t overlook its outdoors either; the lyrical forests of Corsica and the warm waters of the French Riviera are well-sought retreats for city-dwellers.

France’s reputation as the most popular country in the world is not only due to its stunning architecture and picturesque scenery but also its exquisite cuisine. French cuisine is renowned worldwide for its unique flavors, techniques, and presentation, and travelers flock to France to indulge in the country’s culinary delights.

From Michelin-starred restaurants to cozy cafes, France delicacies make it a top destination for foodies and travelers alike.

Attractions: Eiffel Tower , Palace of Versailles , French Riviera, Chamonix, Mont St-Michel, Paris Bridges .

Vivid and steamy Mexico can barely contain the life of its people. Maybe that’s why Mexico wins the 2nd place for the most visited countries in the world with almost 40 million visitors.

Fiesta loving in crowds and philosophical in the quiet, the local community is empathetic hosts with fierce pride in their country. It is this pride and expressive nature that allowed for architectural triumphs (in both Teotihuacan pyramids, Maya temples and colonial towns) as well as masterful art, home to the likes of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Underground artistic movements have also brought dance and street art to the fore.

Beyond the city’s endless cultural riches are also eye-catching jungles, volcanoes, deserts and coast. Mexico’s boundless nature offers adventures for both hikers and divers. Scale Oaxaca’s mountainous ridges or dive deep into the Caribbean to embrace all it has on platter.

Attractions: Tulum, Cabo Pulmo, Palenque Ruins, Teotihuacan, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Edzna, Oaxaca City.

Passion flares here, a country crafted for the good life. This is the beautiful Spain, the 3rd most popular country on earth !

Sevilla, Spain

Embark on an epic road trip looping from Barcelona to Madrid – glimpses of Spain’s enduring landscapes pass by like a photographer’s reel. Gather around the Gothic quarters of Barcelona and browse the experimental works of Gaudi before taking off for the mysterious Alhambra in Granada, or the flamenco halls of Seville.

There is also Bilbao and San Sebastian in the north, ready to satiate your hunger with delicious pinxtos and avant-garde architecture.

For nature that transforms every season, visit the hills of Picos de Europa and snow-capped Sierra Nevada, the sandy reaches of Menorca. From coast to mountains and dry in-land outposts you’ll sense that for all the history lurking in the corners, Spain lives in the moment.

Attractions: La Familia Sagrada, Park Guell, The Alhambra, El Retiro, Guggenheim Museum, Real Alcazar, Mallorca’s beaches.

Sultry Turkey smolders with desert heat and sun-beaten ruins, backed by the enticing thrum of bustling cities. Having been conquered by the Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans, Turkey treks its story from fervent Istanbul to the romantic Mediterranean coast.

Sultan Ahmet Camii in Istanbul, Turkey

On the way are magical landscapes that range from jutting rock formations to glittering lakes and olive groves, Kacker Mountains, Patara Beach, and Lake Egirdir only few of its lyrical ruralscapes. Explore these settings via canyoning, kayaking, paragliding, hiking and more adventurous means; they’re lessons in the physical and cultural, and make Turkey one of the most visited places in the world.

As if Turkey wasn’t alluring enough, its culinary specialties draw from both inland and coastal sources. Spiced kebabs, oil-cooked vegetables and sweet baklava barely skim the trove of local eats.

Eat hearty and smile plenty.

Attractions: Topkapi Palace, Suleymaniya Mosque, Aya Sofya, Bergama Acropolis, Caves of Heaven and Hell, Nemrut Dagi National Park.

The arts come to mind when we think of Italy, the 5th most visited country in this world; of the Byzantine architectures, Padua’s frescoes, Michelangelo’s David and the greatest of Da Vinci’s works.

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy

Heritage sites are the norm and not minority, remnants of ancient Rome and subsequent empires left in form of ruins, archeological sites, churches and manors. Attention to aesthetics translates in to the everyday details too – Italy is home to some of the biggest fashion minds.

On the more natural spectrum is extraordinary geological diversity. From the turquoise coral-reefs to icy Alps, Italy flourishes in blues and greens. Where nature is abundant, culinary delights follow. Indulge in the powdery dough of pizzas and pastry, filling the stomach with oysters and ricotta and topping it off with heady wines.

Attractions: Roman Forum, Tuscany’s Vineyards, Ruins of Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, St. Peter’s Basilica, Duomo.

America has always been a popular travel destination due to its sprawl of metropolis and small town charms; last year, it welcomed a rounded-down number of 22.1 million inbound tourists. With travel patterns trending towards city hopping and road tripping, America’s endless highways are a siren’s call.

Empire State Building in New York, Usa

New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Boston are all cities of transience, ever-evolving urban spaces that broils over with mixed cultures and cuisines.

There is then musical Austin and free-spirited Portland, a San Francisco as dynamic as its coastal waves, and Miami which entertains with beaches and nightlife.

There is also the quiet heat of the Grand Canyon, the miles of lush rainforests and country lanes. And when you tune into the radio, the jazz, country, hip-hop, rock and pop keep you company through this mish-mash of sights.

Attractions: New York City, Yellowstone National Park, Arizona National Parks and Monuments , Grand Canyon, New Orleans, Miami beaches.

Greece is steeped with the footprints of ancient empires, a country whose gentle coastline gives away to grand cities and humble villages now become UNESCO sites.

top 10 countries for tourist

This is a country of infinity smiles, one where hospitality swells from multi-storey restaurants and home-cooked tavas as if part of some divine agenda.

In the mainland is a swirl of mountainous shapes, one that carries on to its hundreds of islands, each offering its own flavor – from romantic Mykonos perched high above cobblestones, to Santorini’s seas of whitewashed cliffs.

The ruins are abundant here too; don’t skip out on Athens’ well-preserved Acropolis or the Temples of Phaistos and Knossos built during the Minoan period.

Every twist and turn in Greece is an invitation to connect with stories older than time itself.

Attractions : Acropolis of Athens, Poseidon Temple, Parthenon, Meteora Monasteries, Knossos Palace, Delphi National Archaeological Museum.

Austria, a country with a rich history and culture, and is the 8th most visited country in the world with 12.7 million visitors.

Hallstatt Lake in Austria

From lush Alpine landscapes and breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks to majestic Baroque architecture, Austria offers visitors a unique vacation experience.

Tantalize your taste buds by indulging in traditional Austrian delicacies from Wiener Schnitzel to Apfelstrudel. Explore Vienna’s historic old city filled with Baroque architecture and classical music, or take a romantic stroll along the Danube River.

Take the plunge in Salzburg and soak up the personality of the beautiful town, made famous by the movie ‘The Sound of Music’, or explore an enchanting Austrian lakeside village.

Attractions : Schönbrunn Palace, Hohensalzburg Castle, Salzburg Cathedral, Giant Ice Caves Hallstatt, St. Stephen’s Cathedral of Vienna, Belvedere Palace.

Germany may be remembered as the set of horrific tragedy, but it is also the birthplace of great thinkers, inventors and creatives who ushered in the modern era. From the contemporary architectures by Frank Gehry and Daniel Libeskind to lofty museums and automobile factories, you can track the country’s cultural footprints.

Historical Town of Quedlinburg in Harz Germany

Cast your eyes beyond the Romanesque and Baroque build of Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg to see the swaying path into rural Germany. The valleys unfold into imposing forests and vast vineyards, reaching towards northern dunes and chilly Alps. Stretch your senses – eyes and tongue – to taste Germany’s regional diversity.

Attractions: Pergamon Museum, Schloss Neuschwanstein, Zwinger, Kolner Dom.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a rapidly growing touristic destination for its luxurious lifestyle, extravagant architecture and abundance of attractions.

white yacht sailing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

With 11.5 million foreign tourist arrival, the UAE is the 10th most visited country in the world.

Its sun-soaked cities are full of majestic landmarks, buzzing shopping souks, pristine beaches, Wild Wadi waterparks and some of the world’s most luxurious hotel chains.

Whether you’re taking a timeout from city life or seeking unique cultural experiences, the UAE has somewhere that you can explore.

Put on your explorer spirit in Dubai and explore iconic attractions like the Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah Mosque and Bastakiya in its ancient districts. Take your journey even further to Abu Dhabi to explore Ferrari World, grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque or Louvre Abu Dhabi.

On your vacation, indulge yourself with glitzy shopping experiences at the Dubai Mall or the Abu Dhabi Mall, where you can find the latest trends from around the world.

And last but not least, get to know the Emirati culture through vibrant festivals and handicrafts markets.

Attractions : Burj Khalifa, Bastakiya, Ferrari World, Sheik Zayed Mosque, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Dubai Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall.

Related article : the most visited cities in the world.

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World’s 30 Best Travel Destinations, Ranked

Best places to visit in the world.

Bali, one of the best travel destinations

The ultimate ranking of travel destinations aims to solve a serious problem: so many places to visit, so little time.

But even in a world with a trillion destinations, some manage to stand out and rise to the top. From the sleek skyscrapers of Dubai to the emerald-green waters of the Bora Bora lagoon, you’re sure to find at least one vacation that piques your interest (and likely several!).

These are the 30 best places to visit in the world. Which ones have you already been to? And which ones stoke your wanderlust most?

Note: We may earn money from affiliate partners if you buy through links on our site.

30. Argentine Patagonia

Traveler in Argentine Patagonia

In this region of the Andes, you’ll find glaciers, evergreen trees, deep blue lakes and clear skies everywhere you look. For a trip full of adventure and discovery, there are few better destinations on the planet.

No trip is complete without a visit to the craggy Mount Fitz Roy, the historic (and mysterious) Cave of the Hands, the Punta Tombo wildlife preserve, the Peninsula Valdes marine wildlife refuge and the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier. Be sure to bring your camera and your sense of wonder.

*Rankings are based on the 2021 U.S. News & World Report's " World's Best Places to Visit ," traveler ratings and our own editorial input.

What to Know Before You Go to Argentine Patagonia

Argentine Patagonia Glacier National Park

Where to stay: Cyan Soho Neuquen Hotel

Hot tip: Since springtime occurs in the southern hemisphere in October and November, those months are your best bet when planning a trip.

Fun fact: The largest dinosaur fossils ever unearthed were found in Argentine Patagonia. They belong to the largest-known titanosaur, believed to have weighed about 83 tons. 

29. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Campania, Amalfi Coast

Set in the Sorrentina Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast has long been renowned for its natural beauty and idyllic coastal towns. During the golden age of Hollywood, it was a preferred vacation spot for glamorous movie stars.

Days here are spent eating Italian food, drinking wine and walking around colorful cobblestone streets. You can also expect to drink copious amounts of wine as you look out into the Mediterranean Sea.

The best way to see the coast is to rent a car , then drive to different towns each day.

What to Know Before You Go to the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast road

Where to stay: Hotel Marina Riviera

Hot tip:  If you're planning on using a beach chair to work on your tan, make sure you wake up early, as they are usually first come, first served.

Fun fact:  The Amalfi Coast is featured in Sofia Loren's 1995 Film, "Scandal in Sorrento."

28. Cancun, Mexico

Beach sunset in Cancun

For years, Cancun has been the preferred getaway for East Coast Americans (particularly Floridians) who want an international getaway that's still close to home. But despite the droves of tourists, the area has managed to keep the charm that attracted people in the first place.

The city is known mostly for its luxury hotels, wild nightlife and warm beaches. Definitely indulge in all of these — as well as the Mexican food! — but also consider other activities like visiting Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes and snorkeling. One thing is certain: You won't run out of things to do in Cancun .

What to Know Before You Go to Cancun

Cenote Zaci, Mexico

Where to stay: Hyatt Zilara Cancun

Hot tip:  While you're in Cancun, make a plan to visit one of Grupo Xcaret's six eco-tourism parks, with the best ones being Xcaret and Xelha. The Mexican-owned company is credited with starting the eco-tourism trend in the Yucatan Peninsula, and the parks offer incredible and varied local experiences.

Fun fact:  The Yucatan Peninsula, where Cancun is located, was the cultural, political and economic center of the Mayan civilization. Many locals have Mayan ancestry and Mayan continues to be widely spoken in the area.

27. San Francisco, California

Close up of Golden Gate Bridge

Everyone should visit San Francisco at least once in their lives. Though tech companies grab all the headlines these days, it remains down-to-earth, diverse and packed with things to do.

Where to start? No matter your style, you’ll want to check out the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, see the sunbathing sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, take a tour of the historic prison Alcatraz and relax in one of the city’s many parks, especially Dolores Park for its epic people-watching on the weekends. 

For dinner, treat your tastebuds and make a reservation at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the Bay Area .

What to Know Before You Go to San Francisco

San Francisco houses

Where to stay: The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

Hot tip: Want similarly beautiful landscapes and rich cultural attractions, but at lower prices and with (slightly) fewer crowds? Head to Oakland just across the Bay Bridge, named one of the most exciting places on earth to travel by National Geographic. 

Fun fact: The fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco by a Japanese resident. Random!

26. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls in autumn Canadian side

Niagara Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the world . The power with which water storms down cliffs on the border between the United States and Canada has captivated the imagination of humans for centuries. 

This natural wonder is comprised of three awe-inspiring falls. One of the best ways to experience them is on a boat tour.

What to Know Before You Go to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls boat tour

Where to stay: Sheraton Niagara Falls

Hot tip: There is some debate about which side of the falls is better, but the general verdict is that the Canadian side offers better views. This is because you can (ironically) get a better view of the American Falls as well as get up close to Horseshoe Falls. 

Fun fact:  Established in 1885, Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the U.S.

25. Yellowstone National Park

Bison at the Great Prismatic Spring

Located mostly in Wyoming as well as Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone is America’s first national park and remains one of the most popular in the country, welcoming more than around 3.8 million people last year . With unpredictable geysers, rainbow-colored hot springs, craggy peaks, shimmering lakes and tons of wildlife — from elk to boars to bison — it’s easy to see why so many people flock here. 

The park makes for an awesome family trip and is well-suited to budget travelers since it offers so many campsites ( over 2,000! ). 

What to Know Before You Go to Yellowstone

Old Faithful Geiser erupting, Yellowstone

Where to stay: Stage Coach Inn

Hot tip: You’ll never fully beat the crowds at this wildly popular park, but April, May, September and November are your best bets for finding some solitude.  

Fun fact: Yellowstone is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.  

24. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

snorkle Destinations: Great Barrier Reef, Australia

As the largest reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of marine species. This makes it a paradise for scuba diving or snorkeling. 

The reef system is truly gigantic, with over 600 islands and about 2,900 individual reefs. This is one of Australia's greatest prides, but it's also a planetary national treasure. Seeing it with your own two eyes is an experience that is incredible beyond words.

What to Know Before You Go to the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef from above

Where to stay: Crystalbrook Flynn

Hot tip: Though going underwater to see the reef is a must, we also recommend booking a helicopter tour to experience the magic of it from above.

Fun fact:  Made of corals, which are animals that live in collectives, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet.

23. Santorini, Greece

White washed houses in Santorini

With its picturesque blue-domed churches, whitewashed buildings and colorful beaches, the island of Santorini is a photographer’s paradise. If you want to snap photos to post to Instagram and make everyone back home jealous, this is the place to go. 

Also make sure to experience some of Santorini’s archaeologically significant sites, like Ancient Akrotiri (an ancient city preserved by volcanic ash) and Ancient Thera (where humans lived as early as the 9th century BC). And don’t forget to visit the smaller islands that surround it, including Thirassia, Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni. 

What to Know Before You Go to Santorini

Santorini houses

Where to stay: Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Santorini

Hot tip: To optimize your vacation, U.S. News recommends visiting in September and October or April and May, when the weather is still warm but there aren’t as many other tourists milling around.

Fun fact: While it’s difficult to prove, locals like to say there’s more wine than water on this island where it hardly rains (and vino abounds).

22. Florence, Italy

Florience center, Italy

For art and history buffs (and anyone who appreciates delicious Italian food), Florence is a must-visit city. 

As the birthplace of the Renaissance, it’s home to some of the most iconic artworks by the world’s premier artists throughout history — Michaelangelo, Brunelleschi and Donatello, just to name a few. In addition to art museums and architectural wonders, Florence is also home to chic shops, quaint cafes and spectacular gardens. 

What to Know Before You Go to Florence

Il Duomo, Florence

Where to stay:  NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa

Hot tip: Keep Florence in mind if you want to spend your honeymoon in Europe without spending a fortune, says U.S. News.

Fun fact: The city’s famed “El Duomo” cathedral took over 140 years to build .

21. Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite, one of the most-visited national parks in America with more than 4 million annual guests, encompasses 750,000 acres of wilderness just waiting to be explored.

It’s home to scenic waterfalls, like the 317-foot Vernal Fall and the 617-foot Bridalveil Fall, as well as iconic rock formations like El Capitan and Half Dome, two popular spots for the world’s best rock climbers to test their mettle.

Not surprisingly, the wildlife here also impresses. Dozens of species of butterflies, marmots, bobcats and mule deer are just some of the animals that call Yosemite home. And keep your eyes peeled for black bears; some 300-500 roam the park . 

What to Know Before You Go to Yosemite

Yosemite National Park

Where to stay:  The Ahwahnee

Hot tip: Summer can get really busy here, so if you want to camp, be sure to book a spot early. Want to beat Yosemite’s notoriously bad traffic? Ditch the car and take advantage of the park’s extensive free bus system.

Fun fact: This is one of the only places in the country where you can catch a moonbow — like a rainbow, but created by the light of the moon instead of the sun. 

20. St. Lucia

St. Lucia Les Pitons

Whether you’re visiting on a cruise ship or just relaxing at an all-inclusive resort or boutique hotel, stunning St. Lucia is a clear winner. This Caribbean island offers diverse terrain for vacationers, from its pristine beaches to its lush rainforests to its volcanic peaks, the Pitons, that loom over the landscape. 

Adrenaline-junkies love hiking, climbing and zip-lining, while newlyweds (and soon-to-be-married couples) enjoy the romantic mix of fine dining, adults-only resorts and exotic activities. 

What to Know Before You Go to St. Lucia

St. Lucia boats

Where to stay: Rabot Hotel From Hotel Chocolat

Hot tip: Visit when temperatures are moderate, which is typically in May and June.

Fun fact: St. Lucia is the only country named after a woman: Christian martyr Saint Lucia of Syracuse.

19. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai skyscrappers

Everything is bigger and better in Dubai, home to one of the world’s largest shopping malls, the world’s tallest tower, one of the world’s largest man-made marinas — and the list goes on. 

This Las Vegas-like urban center in the United Arab Emirates has an eclectic mix of activities for visitors to enjoy, including beaches, waterparks, tons of shopping and even an indoor ski resort. Outside the skyscraper-filled city, the vast desert awaits, best enjoyed via quad-biking or sandboarding.

What to Know Before You Go to Dubai

Dubai beach

Where to stay:  Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Hot tip: Though you’re likely to pay a pretty penny for a trip to Dubai no matter when you visit, you can save a little cash by visiting during the scalding-hot summer months and by booking your hotel room two to three months in advance.

Fun fact: Dubai’s man-made Palm Islands were constructed using enough imported sand to fill up 2.5 Empire State Buildings . 

18. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Many travelers describe their visit to Machu Picchu as life-changing. Why? It’s an archaeological wonder, the remains of an ancient Incan city dating back more than 600 years. No wonder this is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most-visited attraction in all of Peru. 

Be sure to visit significant sites like Funerary Rock, where it’s believed Incan nobility were mummified, and Temple of the Condor, a rock temple sculpted to look like the impressive bird in its name.  

What to Know Before You Go to Machu Picchu

Llamas in Machu Picchu

Where to stay: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Hot tip: If you’re planning a trip, be sure to get your ticket in advance, as only 2,500 people can visit Machu Picchu each day. (And a lot of people have this destination on their bucket list.)

Fun fact: The site contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs . 

17. Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbor with boats

With its iconic Opera House and lively Bondi Beach, Sydney is the perfect spot to vacation if you’re looking for a blend of culture, arts, nightlife and relaxation. 

Spend the day on the water at Darling Harbour, then head to the Royal Botanic garden for even more fresh air. Want to travel like a local? Get a ticket to a rugby match and order a Tim Tam, a popular chocolate-covered cookie that pairs well with coffee. 

What to Know Before You Go to Sydney

Sydney Opera House in the evening

Where to stay: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Hot tip: You can make your trip more affordable by visiting during Sydney’s shoulder seasons, which are typically September through November and March through May.

Fun fact: In 2007, Bondi Beach was the site of the largest ever swimsuit photoshoot ; 1,010 bikini-clad women participated, enough to earn it a spot in the Guinness World Records book.

16. Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon from observation point

The Grand Canyon is truly massive (277 river miles long and up to 18 miles wide!), which helps explain why so many people feel the urge to see it in person. 

Last year, 6.4 million people visited, making the Grand Canyon the second-most popular national park in the country (behind Great Smoky Mountain Nationals Park). Established in 1919, the park offers activities for all ability levels, whether you want to do an intense hike down into the canyon and sleep under the stars (with a backcountry permit, of course) or simply want to saunter along the South Rim Trail, an easy walking path with views that wow.

What to Know Before You Go to the Grand Canyon

Family in the Grand Canyon

Where to stay:  The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon

Hot tip: If you’ve wanted to visit the Grand Canyon for a while now, this is the year to do it. The park is celebrating its 100th birthday with musical performances, lectures, screenings and other special events.

Fun fact: The most remote community in the continental U.S. can be found in the Grand Canyon. At the base of the canyon, Supai Village — part of the Havasupi Indian Reservation — has a population of 208. It’s inaccessible by road, and mail is delivered by pack mule. Want to see it for yourself? The village houses a collection of campsites , accessible via a hiking trail.

15. Bali, Indonesia

Landmark Temple Gates in Bali

In recent years, Bali has become a popular expat destination, where groups of "digital nomads" work and play. 

But the island hasn't lost its original charm to this added tourism and continues to be an incredible destination. Divide your time between swimming in the beach, hiking active volcanoes, visiting temples and enjoying views of tiered rice terraces.

What to Know Before You Go to Bali

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple in Bali

Where to stay: Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach

Hot tip:  Though shoulder season (January to April and October to November) means fewer crowds and cheaper prices, it also means rain. Tons of it. We'd recommend avoiding the rainy season if possible.

Fun fact: On the Saka New Year, Balinese people celebrate Nyepi. This Hindu celebration is a day of silence when everything on the island shuts down and no noise is allowed.

14. New York, New York

New York City Manhattan

As the saying goes, New York City is “the city that never sleeps” — and you won’t want to either when you visit, lest you run out of time to take it all in. 

Be sure to check out newer attractions, like the High Line (an elevated park) and Hudson Yards (a mega-mall along the Hudson River), but also make time for some New York City classics, like catching a Broadway show or standing under the lights of Times Square. 

Foodies will have a hard time choosing where to eat (the city is home to 93 Michelin stars !), which is why an extended trip is always a good idea.

What to Know Before You Go to New York City

New York City Broadway

Where to stay: The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel

Hot tip: Yes, January and February get cold here, but this is also the best time to lock in relatively reasonable hotel rates. You can spend your time eating in the city’s restaurants, exploring its fabulous museums and catching its world-class theater shows, without needing to spend much time in the chilly outdoors. 

Fun fact: There’s a birth in New York City every 4.4 minutes — and a death every 9.1 minutes. 

13. Banff National Park, Canada

Banff Lake Louise

Some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery and vistas are located in Banff, the tiny Canadian town located at 4,537 feet above sea level inside the national park by the same name. Banff is the highest town in Canada, and Banff National Park was Canada’s first, established in 1885.

Shred some powder at Banff’s three ski resorts in the winter, then come back in the summer for activities like hiking, biking, fishing and scrambling (scaling steep terrain using nothing but your hands).

What to Know Before You Go to Banff

Kayaking in Banff National Park

Where to stay: Fairmont Banff Springs

Hot tip: June to August and December to March are the best times to visit if you want to take advantage of summer and winter activities. 

Fun fact: Banff National Park has more than 1,000 glaciers .

12. Maldives

Sunset in the Maldives

You can look at picture after picture, but you still really need to visit the Maldives to believe its beauty. If rich sunsets, flour-like beaches and vibrant blue waters are your style, this is the destination for you. 

Though it’s somewhat difficult to get to this small island nation southwest of Sri Lanka, that also means it’s incredibly private and secluded, which makes it the perfect spot for a honeymoon or romantic beach getaway. 

And don’t worry about getting bored, either — explore the water by snorkeling or scuba diving, relax in the spa or wander around the bustling Male’ Fish Market.

What to Know Before You Go to Maldives

Maldives overwater bungalows

Where to stay: Velassaru Maldives

Hot tip: May to October is the island-nation’s rainy season — but that also means it’s the best time to go for fewer crowds and better rates.

Fun fact: In 1153 AD, the nation’s people converted to Islam. Today, the Maldives remains the most heavily Muslim country on earth.

11. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Sagrada Familia

Soccer, architecture, shopping, nightlife, world-class food and wine, arts and culture — is there anything Barcelona doesn’t have? If there is, we honestly can't think what it would be. 

This cosmopolitan Spanish city is home to some awe-inspiring architecture, including several buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi, so be sure to book tours of his whimsical creations like Park Guell and the yet-to-be-finished Church of the Sacred Family (La Sagrada Familia). 

For nightlife and shopping, Las Ramblas is always bustling; for an enriching arts experience, follow the progression of famed artist Pablo Picasso at Museo Picasso.

What to Know Before You Go to Barcelona

Barcelona Park Guell

Where to stay:  Hotel Bagues

Hot tip: It can get really humid here, so U.S. News suggests planning your trip in May and June, before things really heat up.

Fun fact: In preparation for its 1992 hosting of the Olympics, the city flew in sand from as far afield as Egypt to make Barceloneta Beach a place where people would want to go. Though largely man-made, the beach remains a wonderful spot for seaside R&R. 

10. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park in the winter

The crown jewel of beautiful Montana, Glacier National Park is every outdoors traveler's dream.

Of course, the most defining natural feature of the park are its glaciers, which provide spectacular views as well as a number of pristine lakes. There are hundreds of trails that will take you up peaks, down through valleys and across some of the most beautiful landscapes you'll ever see.

What to Know Before You Go to Glacier National Park

Mountain goats at Glacier National Park

Where to stay: Firebrand Hotel

Hot tip:  Plan to spend a day or two in the nearby town of Whitefish. This gateway to Glacier National Park is one of the best small towns in America and a destination in its own right. 

Fun fact: During your visit, you're very likely to run into mountain goats, which are the official symbols of the park.

9. Tokyo, Japan

Akihabara Tokyo

The Japanese capital is one of the most exciting cities on the entire planet. It is notoriously fast-paced, with neon lights illuminating the multitudes that are constantly rushing to their next destination. 

But Tokyo is also a city of temples, of taking time to picnic under the cherry blossoms and of making sure you enjoy the abundance of delicious food that can be found on basically every corner.

What to Know Before You Go to Tokyo

Sensoji temple , Tokyo

Where to stay: The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Hot tip: Visit between the months of March and April or September and November for more comfortable temperatures. Of course, spring is when the city's cherry blossoms are famously in full bloom.

Fun fact: Tokyo happens to be the largest metropolitan area in the world, with more than 36 million people calling it home.

8. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket boats

If you’re looking for a vacation destination that feels luxurious but won’t break the bank, start searching for flights to Phuket now. 

This island in southern Thailand, which is just an hour flight from Bangkok, is surrounded by the Andaman Sea, so white sandy beaches abound. If a stunning sunset is what you’re after, head to Promthep Cape, the southernmost point on the island and a popular spot for photo-ops. For views of the island and beyond, climb to the top of the massive alabaster statue called Big Buddha.

You can even learn something during your vacation by visiting the Soi Dog Foundation, an innovative animal shelter that’s fighting the meat trade and taking care of the thousands of stray cats and dogs in the area.

What to Know Before You Go to Phuket

Phuket temple

Where to stay: InterContinental Phuket Resort

Hot tip: Visit between November and April for the best weather — and ideal conditions for beach activities like swimming and boating. 

Fun fact: The island is not pronounced in the rather colorful way it appears to be. The correct way to say it is “poo-ket” or “poo-get.”

7. Rome, Italy

Rome, Colosseum

Though Rome’s historic significance cannot be overstated, don’t assume that this Italian city is stuck in the past. On the contrary, you’ll find posh storefronts and luxurious hotels not far from iconic structures like the Pantheon (built in 120 AD) and the Colosseum (built in 80 AD).

And then, of course, there’s the city’s art. Stroll through Rome, and you’ll stumble upon some of the greatest treasures the world has ever seen — an astonishing collection of frescoes, paintings, ceilings and fountains created by icons like Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael and Bernini.

After all that exploration, take advantage of ample opportunities to eat and drink, including at several Michelin-starred restaurants. City staples include suppli (deep-fried balls of risotto, mozzarella and ragu meat sauce) and cacio e pepe (a deceptively simple mix of al-dente pasta, pecorino romano and fresh black pepper). 

What to Know Before You Go to Rome

Rome Spanish Plaza at dawn

Where to stay: Radisson Blu Ghr Hotel

Hot tip: Tourists congregate here in the summer when temperatures are also sweltering. Go instead between October and April, when there are thinner crowds, better rates and cooler temps. Just make sure to bring a light jacket.

Fun fact: Each year, travelers throw about $1.5 million worth of coins into the Trevi Fountain. The money is donated to Caritas, a Catholic nonprofit that supports charities focused on health, disaster relief, poverty and migration.

6. London, England

Modern bridge London

U.S. News quotes English writer Samual Johnson when making the case for London as one of the best places to visit in the world: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” 

From live performances of Shakespeare to truly world-class (and free!) museums like the National Gallery, London will enrich your mind and enliven your senses. Of course, no visit would be complete without a stop at Buckingham Palace to see the famous stone-faced guards outside and the 19 lavish State Rooms inside (though, unfortunately, you can’t see the queen’s private quarters). Another must-see landmark is the Tower of London, the historic castle on the north side of the River Thames.

What to Know Before You Go to London

London in the spring

Where to stay: Vintry & Mercer

Hot tip: Many U.S. cities now offer direct flights to London, so set a price alert and act fast when you see fares drop.

Fun fact: London’s pubs are worth a visit for their names alone; fanciful monikers include The Case is Altered, The Pyrotechnists Arms, John the Unicorn and The Job Centre. 

5. Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti, French Polynesia

Flavorful French cuisine, top-notch resorts, warm waters — need we say more? Though Tahiti can be pricey, travelers say it’s so worth it. 

The largest of the 118 French Polynesian islands, Tahiti is split into two main regions (connected by a land bridge). Tahiti Nui, the larger region, is home to the island’s capital Papeete and surfing hotspot Papenoo Beach, while Tahiti Iti, the smaller region, offers more seclusion and the bright white sands of La Plage de Maui.

What to Know Before You Go to Tahiti

Tahiti bungalows during sunset

Where to stay: Hilton Hotel Tahiti

Hot tip: Visit between May and October, Tahiti’s winter, when there are less humidity and rain. 

Fun fact: Overcrowding is not a concern here; Hawaii gets more visitors in 10 days than all of French Polynesia does in a year.

4. Maui, Hawaii

Rocky beach in Maui

If you’re short on time or you just can’t decide which Hawaiian island to visit, Maui is right in the sweet spot: not too big, not too small, but just right.

There are five regions to explore on Maui, including the popular West Maui and South Maui, home to some of the island’s best-known attractions and beaches (Wailea Beach is in South Maui, for example). But don’t overlook East Maui, where you can travel along the Road to Hana, or the Upcountry, where you can explore the world’s largest dormant volcano, Haleakala. 

What to Know Before You Go to Maui

Maui cave

Where to stay:  Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Hot tip: This is Hawaii we’re talking about, so your trip will be on the pricey side. Be sure to budget for add-ons if you need them (think gym access and WiFi at your hotel), and do some research on insurance before you head to the car-rental counter.

Fun fact: How’s this for a selling point? Maui has more beach than any other Hawaiian island — 60 miles of it , with red, white and black sand.

3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora overwater bungalows

Don’t write off the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora just because of its size. Though it’s a little more than 2 miles wide and just 6 miles long, Bora Bora packs in an abundance of natural beauty. To start, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the island’s turquoise lagoon surrounded by lush jungle.

If you’re looking for more than relaxation on your trip, consider hiking or booking a 4X4 tour of Mount Otemanu, part of an extinct volcano that rises 2,400 feet above the lagoon. You can also snorkel among the coral reef of Coral Gardens, where you might catch a glimpse of reef sharks, eels and stingrays.

Because of its remoteness, flying into Bora Bora Airport will be quite a journey, no matter where you're departing from. But you'll forget everything as soon as you see this Polynesian paradise that is beautiful beyond words.

What to Know Before You Go to Bora Bora

Bora Bora Island

Where to stay: Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Hot tip: Though Bora Bora can be wildly expensive to visit, you can cut costs by visiting between December and March (though you should avoid the Christmas holiday) and by bringing your own alcohol and sunscreen with you.

Fun fact: Bora Bora is one of the countries that no longer exists . The Kingdom of Bora Bora was an independent state until it was forcefully overtaken and annexed by France in 1888.

2. Paris, France

Paris from the Arc de Triumph

Paris has it all — incredible cuisine, legendary landmarks and centuries of history. Those are just some of the reasons it’s the second-best place to visit in the world.

Though you’ll want to spend your time hitting up popular tourist spots like the Eiffel Tower and the Musee d’Orsay, you should also carve out time to explore other parts of Paris — the city’s 20 diverse neighborhoods, called arrondissements, for instance. Standouts include the 2nd arrondissement, which touts covered passages and some of the city’s hippest restaurants, and the romantic 18th arrondissement, with charming squares, cafes and bars, set apart from the city’s more tourist-packed areas.

What to Know Before You Go to Paris

Paris Montmartre at dawn

Where to stay: Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal

Hot tip: Yes, summer in Paris is busy, but the weather is also ideal — average highs are in the 70s.

Fun fact: Built for the 1889 World Fair, the Eiffel Tower was originally meant to be temporary , and was almost torn down in 1909. Luckily, local officials saw its value as a radiotelegraph station, preserving the future tourist icon for generations to come. 

1. South Island, New Zealand

Milford Sound

Instead of choosing just one city or region, U.S. News selected an entire island for the coveted top spot. South Island, the larger but less populated of the two islands that make up New Zealand, earned the honor for its “breathtaking scenery, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and affordable activities."

They really weren’t kidding about those once-in-a-lifetime activities, either. The 33.5-mile hike on Milford Sound, which is limited to 90 people at a time, is considered one of the world’s best treks, with stops at Lake Te Anau, suspension bridges, a mountain pass and the tallest waterfall in the country, Sutherland Falls.

For a heart-pumping experience, you can jump out of a helicopter while flying over the Harris Mountains with skis on your feet. Still not satisfied? Roam Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage area, and explore the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, two of the most accessible glaciers in the world.

What to Know Before You Go to New Zealand

South Island, New Zealand

Where to stay: QT Queenstown

Hot tip: Book your trip for the fall, when South Island is temperate, not overcrowded and offers great rates. Bonus: This is also when the island is at its most stunning.

Fun fact: New Zealand natives, called Kiwis, are among the most hospitable you’ll ever meet. The local saying “He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata” translates , appropriately, to “What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people.”

Honorable Mention: British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands beach

Sadly, we can't include every destination in the world here. But to make the ruling a bit fairer, we've included two places that were included in previous U.S. News & World Report lists. They may not be in the top 30, but they're incredible destinations everyone should plan to visit at least once.

The British Caribbean is one of the most enjoyable and exclusive vacation destinations in the world. With some 60 islands and cays to explore, the British Virgin Islands offer a little something for everyone — granite boulders, mountainous cliffs and, of course, the gorgeous Caribbean Sea. 

What to Know Before You Go to the British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands cave

Where to stay:  Sugar Mill Hotel

Hot tip: Because of the warm weather, travelers tend to flock to the islands around the holidays, so plan your visit in the fall to avoid large crowds. Looking to save a few bucks? U.S. News suggests staying on Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, then making a day trip to the British Virgin Islands.

Fun fact: BVI’s Norman Island was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, “Treasure Island.”

Honorable Mention: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam with tulips

Sometimes, Amsterdam gets a bad rap for its Red Light District and marijuana-peddling coffee shops , but there’s so much more to this European city than those two sound bites. 

Amsterdam offers plenty of opportunities to delve into history and culture, too, from the home where Anne Frank wrote her journal during the Holocaust to the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and drawings at the Van Gogh Museum. 

It’s also a surprisingly kid-friendly destination, with spots like the NEMO Science Museum and the spacious Vondelpark for little ones to explore.

What to Know Before You Go to Amsterdam

Amsterdam sign

Where to stay: citizenM Amsterdam South

Hot tip: Avoid the high tourist season by planning your visit for just before summer (between April and May) or just after it (between September and November).

Fun fact: Amsterdam is home to what is surely one of the only cat-focused houseboats in the world: a floating feline sanctuary aptly named Catboat .

A wide river runs through the base of an immense canyon, which steeps cliffs leaving down to the water far below. The sky is a gradient of blues and pinks, and the light colors the canyon walls, giving the entire picture a rich and warm tone.

The Path of Totality North America

Dance, gawk or run in the dark, but don’t look directly at the sun.

location on map

From the beaches of Mazatlán, Mexico, to the rugged coves of Maberly, Newfoundland, the sky will be the stage on April 8 as a total solar eclipse sweeps across North America. This year, the moon will be near its closest point to Earth, resulting in an unusually wide swath and long-lasting totality.

Mexico, Canada and 13 U.S. states will greet the darkness with celebrations. The Portal Eclipse Festival in Mazatlán promises “spiritual growth” through D.J.s, yoga and more. NASA will be broadcasting from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where $15 will get you admission to a festival and eclipse glasses called, fittingly, the Greatest Spectacles. On the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, Cosmologists Without Borders will offer space-themed programs. And if you’re game to run with a headlamp, consider a race in Millinocket, Maine.

You can find an interactive map at and a list of activities at .

— Danielle Dowling

Paris France

Preparing for the olympics, and millions of sports lovers.

location on map

Already one of the most visited cities in the world, Paris is preparing to welcome millions of travelers this summer as host of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games . It will be the biggest sporting event in the city’s history, and to mark the occasion many well-known monuments are being transformed into sports and entertainment venues.

In a first, the Olympics opening ceremony will not be held in a stadium but outdoors, along the River Seine and near the Eiffel Tower. Outdoor swimming and the para-triathlon will be set against the backdrop of the Pont d’Iéna. The Grand Palais , renowned for its vast glass dome, is undergoing an extensive renovation to stage the fencing and taekwondo events. The grand gardens of the Château de Versailles, just outside Paris, will be transformed into a gallery and course for the equestrian events. La Concorde will stage the Olympic debut of break dancing and other sports like skateboarding and three-on-three basketball.

If that weren’t enough, Paris, along with Normandy, is also celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition. “Paris 1874: The Impressionist Moment” will feature 130 works at the Musée d’Orsay (March 26 to July 14), tracing the artistic movement and how it captured a changing city. The reconstructed Notre-Dame Cathedral, which was ravaged in a fire in 2019, is also scheduled to open to visitors on Dec. 8, 2024.

— Ceylan Yeginsu

Yamaguchi Japan

Savor the temples and the cuisine and skip the crowds.

location on map

Yamaguchi is often called the Kyoto of the West, though it’s much more interesting than that — and it suffers from considerably less “tourism pollution.” A compact city of about 190,000, it lies in a narrow valley between the Inland and Japan seas.

With its impeccable gardens and its stunning five-story pagoda , Rurikoji Temple is a national treasure. The city’s small winding lanes offer an assortment of experiences: pottery kilns like Mizunoue , situated on the grounds of Toshunji Temple; chic coffee shops like Log and Coffeeboy , and older-style options like Haraguchi ; and wonderful counter-only shops that serve oden, or one-pot dishes. Just a 15-minute walk south is the hot-springs village of Yuda Onsen.

Given the tourist crush in Kyoto, Yamaguchi has also been offering a smaller scale — but no less historic — alternative to Kyoto’s Gion summer festival for some 600 years. Yamaguchi’s Gion Festival, which features parades, costumes and dancing, also takes place in July; 2024 will be its first year operating again at full tilt since the pre-Covid era.

— Craig Mod

New Zealand by Train

Riding the rails through vineyards, volcanoes and snow-capped peaks.

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Road-tripping across New Zealand via camper van is a free-spirited traveler’s dream. But a simpler and more sustainable way to go is by train. Opt for a 17-day journey on the Northern Explorer, Coastal Pacific and TranzAlpine trains offered by Great Journeys , the tourism division of KiwiRail, New Zealand’s national rail operator.

The journey starts in Auckland and explores transcendent sites like the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park and Te Papa Tongarewa Museum . Guests ferry across the Cook Strait to the South Island and board the Coastal Pacific for a ride through world-class vineyards and along the jagged coast, stopping to whale- and dolphin-watch before ending in Christchurch. The last leg on the TranzAlpine starts on the lush Canterbury Plains then climbs over the Southern Alps, with views to white-capped peaks, rushing rivers and alpine lakes. Accommodations are in four-star properties at stops along the way. Coming in spring: carriages with luxurious reclining seats, panoramic windows and partial glass ceilings.

— Stephanie Pearson

Maui Hawaii

A mindful resurgence of tourism after a catastrophic fire.

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Maui, Hawaii’s second largest island and one of its most popular among visitors, was dealt a devastating blow last summer when wildfires blazed across its western shores , killing at least 100 people and razing the town of Lahaina . Nonessential travel to the affected areas was paused for two months; with such tragedy came concerns among travelers and residents about the resurgence of tourism, Maui’s top economic sector.

Though Lahaina remains closed, the island is once again welcoming visitors and still brimming with an abundance of activities and lush landscapes to enjoy: In the community of Kihei, Kamaole State Beach Park is ideal for snorkeling and spotting sea turtles. Farther north in Kapalua, a gentle walking trail meanders through lava fields and along the sea. And some of Maui’s most cherished natural attractions, like Haleakala National Park , are far removed from the fire zone. Travelers can also go a step further by volunteering to help people displaced by the wildfires.

— Christine Chung

Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Arizona

Honoring the sacred indigenous land around the grand canyon.

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While Grand Canyon National Park is no stranger to travel bucket lists, there’s a new reason to visit the southwestern United States. The recently designated Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni , or Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, now conserves around 900,000 acres of plateaus, canyons and other land surrounding the Grand Canyon. Considered the ancestral homelands of more than a dozen Indigenous tribes, the monument also preserves more than 3,000 Native cultural and historic sites, reflecting the area’s deep spiritual and sacred significance.

Support the local Native American community by booking a Colorado River adventure with the Hualapai River Runners , a white-water rafting company led by Hualapai Tribe river guides. But whether above or below the rim, be sure to look up: The California condor, the largest bird in North America and once facing extinction, now has a population of more than 100, thanks to recent conservation efforts.

— Gina Rae La Cerva

New hotels and advanced biometric technology enhance visits

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Singapore hasn’t stopped racing toward modernization since its independence in 1965. Now the cosmopolitan city-state, already known for its cuisine , architecture and world-class airport, is transforming itself with a luxury hotel boom. Edition recently opened a 204-room property in the downtown Orchard Road district, while the Standard will open later this year. Famed hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental and Grand Hyatt , which closed in recent years for major renovations, will also return.

Changi Airport has also undertaken a major expansion. In November, Terminal 2 fully reopened with new automated check-in kiosks, bag drops and immigration lanes, more than quadrupling the terminal’s capacity to 28 million passengers per year. And many passengers will be moving through Changi even more efficiently this year, as the airport plans to adopt the latest biometrics and facial recognition technology for passport-free departures.

O’Higgins Chile

Sample delectable local foods while connecting with rural farmers.

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This overlooked region south of Santiago has been facing a changing climate, wildfires that are threatening hundred-year-old grapevines, frequent earthquakes and undervalued traditions. So a group of local cooks, winemakers and artisan growers have joined to preserve their campesino, or rural farmer, identity. In late 2023 their initiative, known as Ruta de los Abastos, began offering rural culinary experiences to connect visitors to local beekeepers, oyster farmers and other producers.

Markets and restaurants — like El Abasto in the city of Rancagua and the vineyard-based restaurants at Food and Wine Studio and Viña Vik — are highlighting regional ingredients like locally raised lamb, salt from the coast at Cáhuil and a rustic, low-alcohol wine called chacolí, produced by area growers. On the coast around Pichilemu and Punta de Lobos, amid minimalist beach lodges like Hotel Alaia , locavore seafood with natural wine lists — like those found at Mareal — dominates the scene.

— Nicholas Gill

Ladakh India

Trek to mountaintop monasteries and savor a stark and rugged landscape.

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Ladakh, a mountainous region known as the Land of High Passes, is nestled between the Himalayas to the south and the Karakoram range to the north. This rugged land, with its stark beauty and remote villages, is a place where time seems to have stood still.

In recent years, though, administrative changes have greatly improved infrastructure and accessibility. The Atal Tunnel , a remarkable feat of engineering, allows visitors to sidestep the infamous Rohtang Pass , turning a treacherous ride — lasting several hours in the best of weather — into a brisk 20-minute one. That makes it easier than ever for visitors to experience the area’s stunning landscapes, pristine lakes, Buddhist monasteries and other cultural attractions, which in Leh (Ladakh’s largest city) include markets, several museums and an extraordinary nine-story palace . New hiking and trekking routes in Leh and the Zanskar Valley round out the options for those in search of adventure.

— Poras Chaudhary

Geneva Switzerland

Satisfy your curiosity about quantum physics, and your cravings for chocolate.

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The tiniest bits of nature are the biggest attraction at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, and its 17-mile-long particle accelerator on the outskirts of Geneva. But until recently, visitors had limited options for nerding out. Open since October, the family-friendly, Renzo Piano-designed CERN Science Gateway changes that with activities like quantum karaoke, quantum air hockey and miniature magnetic accelerators modeled after the Large Hadron Collider, where in 2012 physicists discovered the elusive Higgs boson , seen as a key to understanding the universe’s origins.

Less mind-blowing but still satisfying to hungry scientists and laypeople alike, the Choco Pass , a self-guided chocolate tour that debuted in 2022, lets visitors sample Geneva’s famous truffles, bonbons and pralines. And if you want to explore the nature of time — or timepieces — book a table at Breitling Kitchen , the Swiss watch brand’s fourth crossover restaurant, which features menus designed by Juan Arbelaez of “Top Chef.”

— Adam H. Graham

Dominica The Caribbean

A bird’s-eye view of rainforests, reefs and a boiling lake.

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A patchwork of volcanoes, rainforests, waterfalls and hot springs has earned Dominica, a 290-square-mile independent nation in the West Indies, the nickname the Nature Island. Later this year, visitors will be able to get a bird’s-eye view of the wild landscape thanks to a $54 million, 4.1-mile cable car line that will whisk passengers from the lush Roseau Valley up to Boiling Lake , a roughly 200-foot-wide fumarole flooded with nearly 200-degree water, which currently requires a demanding hike to reach.

The island is also a playground for eco-adventurers: Hiking trails crisscross its three national parks , its crystal cascades make for ideal waterfall rappelling , pristine coral reefs offer some of the best diving in the world, and more than 20 species of whales and dolphins abound along the island’s west coast — including a resident population of sperm whales, which will get their own dedicated sanctuary this year.

— Nora Walsh

Manchester England

New concert venues open in a music-mad city.

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Music has long been at the core of Manchester’s gritty soul, from Joy Division and the Stone Roses to Oasis and, now, Harry Styles, who is backing Britain’s largest new music arena, Co-op Live , set to open in April. Stars like Liam Gallagher, Eric Clapton and Barry Manilow are booked to inaugurate the 23,500-capacity space, which will complement the reopening of concert halls like the post-punk incubator Band on the Wall and New Century , where the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Tina Turner have all graced the stage.

For those interested in emerging talent, the city will host two major music conferences this year, including Worldwide Music Expo , a behemoth packed with concerts, speakers, films and an awards ceremony, and Beyond the Music , a smorgasbord of performances, parties, workshops and more. In November, Laurie Anderson will headline the Factory International arts center with “ARK,” a multimedia “dark comedy for the end of the world.”

Craters of the Moon Idaho

Celebrate a centennial amid cinder cones and star parties.

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Between 15,000 and 2,000 years ago, outpourings of lava blanketed what would become eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho, creating a surreal landscape with gaping craters, steep-sided cinder cones and underground lava tubes. President Calvin Coolidge established the area as a national monument in 1924; for its centennial, Craters of the Moon will unveil new and rehabilitated trails, wayside exhibits developed in partnership with Shoshone-Bannock tribal elders, and a packed calendar of events.

Marvel at this Dark Sky Park at a centennial Star Party with telescopes from the Idaho Falls Astronomical Society, or camp out under one of the largest remaining “pools” of natural nighttime darkness in the United States. And enjoy it all in relative solitude. Expanded to 750,000 acres to cover the Great Rift, a 52-mile-long crack in the Earth’s crust, Craters of the Moon is about the size of Yosemite National Park but receives just 6 percent of the visitors.

— Ratha Tep

Baltimore Maryland

Explore urban waterways and an array of native artwork.

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It’s an enormous year for Charm City. The 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is bringing in a new Justice Thurgood Marshall Amenity Center ; the Baltimore Museum of Art is increasing the presence of Native artists with solo shows, thematic exhibitions and changes to displays and labels across the museum; and Baltimore Peninsula , a place for visitors and locals to shop, dine and play, will breathe new life into a long-neglected port area.

For outdoor enthusiasts, a network of waterways called the Baltimore Blueway — open to kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and rowboats — will connect visitors throughout the waterfront to cultural, historic and natural sites. And movie buffs take note: The director John Waters will be in his hometown shooting a film based on his first novel, “Liarmouth.”

— Daniel Scheffler

Salar de Uyuni Bolivia

Crunching or splashing across the world’s largest salt flat, under starry nights and mirrored skies.

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Like all the best places, Salar de Uyuni, 12,000 feet high in the Andes, can be demanding. Getting there means a rough overland journey, nights in dusty hotels and the threat of altitude sickness, but when you walk on the world’s largest salt flat, your crunching footsteps are often the only sound on this blanched, 4,000 square miles of salt crust, left behind when prehistoric lakes evaporated. Geometric striations lace the crystalline surface, while the rainy season only amps up the wonder, turning the salt flat into a liquid mirror that reflects otherworldly cloud formations, sunsets and starry nights.

There’s also an appetite for what lies beneath it: Earth’s second-largest stash of lithium. Demand for the “white gold” — used in electric-car and smartphone batteries — is surging. Last year Bolivia authorized two Chinese companies to begin extracting about 50,000 tons annually from the Uyuni salt flats. The mining efforts could affect the area’s beauty and ecosystem. Better go to the Salar soon.

— Lucinda Hahn

Negombo Sri Lanka

A fishing village with stunning temples and plenty of seaside delights.

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Tourism in Sri Lanka has long focused on Dambulla’s astonishing cave temple and the beaches of the southern coast. But travelers in search of less-trafficked destinations are paying newfound attention to Negombo, a fishing village. Less than 25 miles up the western coast from the capital, Colombo, the village of Negombo offers a nearby international airport, hiking and plenty of beaches.

Had enough sun? Visit stunning temples and landmark cathedrals then unwind in one of the dozens of seafood restaurants — chefs here make good use of local prawns and crabs — in the charming downtown, known for its colonial-style buildings and Dutch canals.

Sustainability is a focus for businesses, especially the just-opened Uga Riva , a luxe hotel in a refurbished manor house that once welcomed Mohandas K. Gandhi and diplomats from around Asia. Tourism in Sri Lanka took a hit in recent years because of political unrest, followed by the coronavirus pandemic — but the country is back on track, and your money goes a long way.

— Liza Weisstuch

Massa-Carrara Italy

See the home of the marble that makes the masterpieces.

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In an effort to reduce the crowds that fill the galleries of the Uffizi in Florence , the renowned museum has been transferring some of its masterpieces to lesser-known locales across Tuscany. As part of the latest initiative in the ever-expanding program known as Uffizi Diffusi , a collection of works, including paintings from the studio of the Italian Baroque painter Carlo Dolci, will be exhibited this spring in the town of Massa, at the Palazzo Ducale , which also houses the government offices of the Massa-Carrara province in northwestern Tuscany.

Art enthusiasts can also explore the surrounding Apuan Alps from which the marble for so many masterpieces — including Michelangelo’s David — was sourced, tour marble quarries and maybe even meet a working sculptor carving on the side of the road.

— Ingrid K. Williams

Bannau Brycheiniog Wales

Conserving welsh culture among scenic mountains.

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Reclaiming the name Bannau Brycheiniog for a beloved national park in Wales last year was more than a linguistic change to Welsh from English ; it was a shift to spotlight the Welsh culture of the 520-square-mile park, formerly known as Brecon Beacons. The park’s emphasis on the relationship between nature and local culture is also shown in a new logo. Instead of the burning brazier of Brecon Beacons, the logo now has an ancient Welsh crown set within a green forest under stars, a reflection of the park’s commitment to a future where planting native trees restores temperate rainforest, the revegetation of peatland captures carbon and the dark sky is protected from light pollution.

While visiting Bannau Brycheiniog, “the peaks of Brychan’s kingdom,” make use of the park’s public transport and bike rentals, including the Explore Wales Pass for trains and buses, or take in the views by hiking through waterfall country from the village of Pontneddfechan.

— Susanne Masters

Support local recovery in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake

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Before the earthquake that killed almost 3,000 people in September, the Ourika Valley in Morocco seemed like the dreamiest of escapes: silvery-green olive groves that give way to the dramatic reddish ridges of the Atlas Mountains, simple guesthouses and luxurious boutique hotels, farm-fresh cuisine, hiking, horseback riding — and all just an hour’s drive from Marrakesh.

Those retreats are staffed almost entirely by people who live in the valley’s villages, which have long experienced government neglect. The earthquake pulverized mud-brick homes around Ourika, killing many residents. Nearly all hospitality workers were forced to move into makeshift tents, yet within days they were back on the job at several lightly damaged hotels.

That’s because the whole region depends on tourism, and it — along with Marrakesh and Morocco as a whole — needs visitors now more than ever. But locals hope visitors will understand that there’s more to Morocco than its glossy surface. Khalid Ait Abdelkarim, a hotel worker whose home was destroyed, said Ourika welcomed tourists because “that’s what Moroccan people do.” But, he added, “We also deserve good lives.”

— Vivian Yee

Valencia Spain

Contemporary art with a side of paella.

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Spain’s third-largest city has long been overshadowed by Barcelona, despite sharing similar characteristics: miles of velvety sand beaches along the country’s east coast, a vibrant cultural scene and a rich gastronomic tradition (Valencia is considered the birthplace of paella). But Valencia, which was named the European Commission’s “ green capital ” for 2024 — an award that recognizes cities for their environmental efforts — stands apart for travelers seeking more sustainably minded, less crowded destinations. The city has been revitalizing its historic center with leafier, pedestrian-only spaces, most recently with Plaza de la Reina , its lively public square, and is on track to be climate-neutral by 2030.

Valencia’s cultural landscape has also received a major boost with the Hortensia Herrero Art Center. Opened in November in the restored Valeriola Palace, the space houses the Spanish billionaire Hortensia Herrero’s private contemporary-art collection and includes more than 100 works by artists like Anish Kapoor , Andreas Gursky and Mat Collishaw .

— Vivian Song

Kansas City Missouri

Women’s soccer takes center stage in a heartland hub.

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No doubt, soccer reigns supreme: In March, the Kansas City Current will unveil the first stadium built for a National Women’s Soccer League team, and Kansas City holds bragging rights as the sole Midwestern host for the FIFA World Cup 2026 . But other headliners abound, with new lures for budding bookworms and adventurers.

Opening in March, the Rabbit hOle museum will showcase a century’s worth of American children’s literature with immersive and interactive exhibits. (In the case of the towering installation for “The Funny Thing,” by Wanda Gág, children will be scrambling to feed “jum-jills” to the “aminal.”) Young thrill-seekers can soar up the new 150-foot-tall KC Wheel at Pennway Point , a new entertainment district. And beginning in April, visitors can get their kicks at Rock Island Bridge , a reimagined railway bridge that will offer dining above with kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding below.

Antananarivo Madagascar

Textiles and contemporary art flourish on an island known for natural wonders.

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Most tourists to Madagascar come to see wildlife or luxuriate on the beautiful islands off its northern coast, but the country’s teeming capital is developing a vibrant arts scene, and La Fondation H , a contemporary arts center that opened last April, was created to showcase Malagasy talent. It occupies a restored French colonial brick building, and the first exhibit is dedicated to one of the world’s greatest textile artists: Madame Zo, who died in 2020 and whose weavings were inspired by traditional Malagasy fabrics and basketry.

La Fondation H is the latest addition to Madagascar’s rapidly growing number of institutions specializing in contemporary art, including the Musée de la Photographie de Madagascar and Hakanto Contemporary , an arts center with a calendar of group shows and solo exhibitions by artists from Madagascar and beyond and also an artists-in-residence program. Maison Gallieni , which also houses the consulate of Monaco, offers four comfortable rooms in a house in a pretty garden with a pool.

— Alexander Lobrano

Yucatán Peninsula Mexico

A new train makes remote sites more accessible.

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The Maya Train , a new service that began partial operations in December, will connect popular destinations on the Yucatán Peninsula — including beachy Cancún, historical Mérida and the Maya ruins of Chichén Itzá — to more distant sites, like Calakmul, a once powerful and still relatively intact Maya city near the Guatemalan border, and Palenque, gateway to the famous archaeological park in Chiapas state.

While the estimated $20 billion project, which began in 2020, has been criticized for threatening water quality and wildlife habitat, it is hoped that the service will benefit less-touristy destinations like the gulf port town of Campeche, a UNESCO World Heritage site, recognized for its 16th-century fortifications. Intended to bring jobs and investment and spread tourism beyond Mexico’s Caribbean beaches, the train will eventually ring the peninsula, traversing five states over nearly 1,000 miles of track and connecting directly with the new airport in Tulum.

— Elaine Glusac

Lake Toba Indonesia

Bask in the serenity of the world’s largest crater lake.

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The value of simply sitting in a vast hole in the earth and stirring condensed milk into a cup of Sumatran coffee is difficult to overstate. About 74,000 years ago, one of the planet’s most significant volcanic explosions blew a 60-mile-wide gash into Sumatra, creating the foundation for Lake Toba, the world’s largest crater lake. It is curious to consider that a place where one can listen to the clink of a spoon inside a coffee cup once rocketed ash and gas 30 miles into the stratosphere.

Unlike Indonesia’s more popular destination, Bali, Lake Toba is without the crowds. It’s also far from the din of the country’s audacious plans to move its sinking capital . On the Tuk-Tuk peninsula, where most travelers base themselves, take a hike to learn about the Batak people who call the area home. Pass terraced rice paddies and churches with rusty sheet-metal roofs and then dive into the lake — into this cathartic space that once knew cataclysm but now knows calm.

— Joel Carillet

Almaty Kazakhstan

Luxe baths, kaleidoscopic cathedrals and hyper-contemporary food.

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Kazakhstan’s largest city, with a population of two million, has the feel of a peaceful but active rural town. The underground metro gleams with intricate tile work. The Arasan baths are the apotheosis of bathing pleasures: massages atop marble slabs, cold plunges, unbearably hot saunas. Walk the leafy streets in an attentive mood and you’ll find endless delights — like a mustachioed man playing the accordion in front of the kaleidoscopic Ascension Cathedral .

Almaty’s status as a cultural hub, though, is increasingly evident in its food scene. “Neo-nomad” cuisine — focused on flour, water and meat — is being championed in hyper-contemporary style; sample it at Auyl or Tör . Cuisine from northwest China is on offer at Lanzhou Noodle , and great coffee at Sensilyo Coffee or JumpinGoat . Gaze upon the patchwork quilt of fruits and nuts splayed out at the Green Bazaar — and then try PlatformA , a large food hall that recently opened inside a Soviet Modernist building.

Quito Ecuador

Ride a brand-new metro line through nearly 500 years of history.

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Updated Jan. 10, 2024: Ecuador declared a nationwide state of emergency . Please heed travel warnings, including advisories from the U.S. Department of State , before visiting.

When the brand-new 14-mile Metro line in Quito, Ecuador’s high-altitude capital, becomes fully operational this year, its 15 stations will connect the city from north to south, making it easier for travelers to explore — from the exquisitely preserved churches of the UNESCO-listed historic center to modern districts flaunting avant-garde towers designed by the likes of Bjarke Ingels and Moshe Safdie .

Although parts of Ecuador have made headlines for cartel-related violence , crime rates in Quito are down, according to the National Police, and a dedicated police force patrols areas popular with tourists. Check out San Francisco Market in Old Town to see traditional curanderas (female healers) who offer cleanses (from stress relief to fertility support) using bouquets of flowers and herbs. And grab a table in the hip La Floresta neighborhood, where homegrown chefs like Rodrigo Pacheco, whose farm-to-table restaurant Foresta is set to reopen after a hiatus, are getting creative with Ecuadorean ingredients.

Mingan Archipelago Quebec

Sea-sculpted monoliths, puffins and indigenous heritage.

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In the wild Côte-Nord region of Quebec, the Mingan Archipelago , a national park reserve on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, unfolds ethereally. Hike amid Canada’s largest concentration of erosion-sculpted monoliths, which rise like fossilized works of art; kayak on the misty sea; and explore secluded beaches framed by marshes and forests. And watching over the land are the people of the Innu First Nations group .

Last summer, the Canadian government pledged to create new initiatives to support the Innu connection with the lands and waters, and to ensure the transfer of knowledge between generations. Visitors can share in that knowledge with new programs offered by the Mingan reserve, including spiritual and wellness workshops led by the Innu Nutashkuan community . For full coastal immersion, head to the Île aux Perroquets , where you can watch puffins and bed down under handcrafted quilts in a lighthouse keeper’s quarters.

— AnneLise Sorensen

Montgomery Alabama

A new sculpture park is dedicated to both slavery and emancipation.

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When it comes to conversations about race in America, few destinations are as engaged as Montgomery, the former capital of the Confederacy and the birthplace of the civil rights movement. In 2018, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice became the first site of its kind to address racial terror across America, represented by 800 suspended steel pillars, one for each county where a lynching was known to have taken place.

This year, the Equal Justice Initiative, the nonprofit that opened the memorial, will debut a companion site: Freedom Monument Sculpture Park . On the banks of the Alabama River, the 17-acre park will exhibit works by Kehinde Wiley and Theaster Gates; artifacts, including dwellings relocated from a cotton plantation and a pen where enslaved people were held; and the 43-foot-tall National Monument to Freedom. Dedicated to the millions of enslaved Black people who were emancipated at the end of the Civil War, the steel-walled monument, which resembles an open book, will be engraved with more than 120,000 of their surnames.

Tasmania Australia

Where foraging for ingredients is part of the local flavor.

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Venture outside and help protect vulnerable species in Tasmania, Australia’s southernmost state, with several new guided walks . Tasmanian Walking Company , in partnership with the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, offers a three-day trek across rugged Bruny Island to map flora and collect seeds for the garden’s seed bank.

To get a taste of the island’s Indigenous culture, join members of the local Palawa community on multiday treks through the powder white sands of Wukalina (Mount William National Park) and orange-lichen-covered rocks of Larapuna (Bay of Fires). Or to get an actual taste of the island, forage for ingredients like wattle seeds and pepperberries with guides from Palawa Kipli , a company that is Indigenous-owned and operated — the experience ends with a tasting menu that includes smoked payathanima (wallaby).

Locavore menus are the norm throughout Tasmania, and the chef Analiese Gregory , a wild-cooking expert, will be showcasing ingredients like hand-gathered abalone and sea urchin at her yet-to-be-named restaurant set to open early this year.

Waterford Ireland

Viking history and a newly expanded rail path.

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Yes, Waterford is synonymous with crystal, but the city, founded in 914, also sparkles with history and natural treasures. In the Viking Triangle, Waterford’s cobblestone core, a new digital story trail brings the past to life at stops like the medieval landmark Reginald’s Tower . The city also offers less-ancient attractions, including the new Irish Wake Museum , dedicated to the funeral ritual, and the Irish Museum of Time , which showcases grandfather clocks, watches and more.

Waterford’s natural riches rival its historical ones, notably the Copper Coast, hemmed by towering cliffs and scalloped coves. The coast forms part of the Waterford Greenway , a nearly 30-mile path along a disused rail line. In 2023, a new section linked the Greenway to the center of Waterford. Top off your Greenway adventure with afternoon tea amid one of Ireland’s largest collections of plants at Mount Congreve Gardens , which reopened in 2023 after a multimillion-dollar refurbishment.

Tsavo National Park Kenya

Celebrate africa’s most successful elephant rehabilitation program.

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In 2021, African savanna elephants went from vulnerable to endangered , putting them on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list for possible extinction. But in Kenya, the elephant population has grown by 21 percent since 2014, to a total of 36,280. Almost half live in Tsavo, home to Africa’s most successful elephant rehabilitation program, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust .

At its heart are several core conservation projects, including an elephant orphanage, rehabilitation units and mobile veterinary clinics that have treated more than 11,000 animals, including some 3,500 elephants, since 1977. The organization has rehabilitated and released 200 elephant orphans (120 are still in their care) and runs anti-poaching teams, builds water sources and secures vulnerable boundaries. The wildlife trust also manages six small eco-lodges, which provide local jobs and help its conservation work. In 2024, the trust will open the first lodge next to the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary , dedicated to saving the critically endangered black rhino.

— Danielle Pergament

Brasília Brazil

A modernist capital reopens its architectural gems.

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Brasília, Brazil’s capital since 1960, is often overshadowed by more flamboyant destinations like Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. But Brasília, a planned city famous for its futuristic, Modernist white buildings that rise from the Brazilian highlands, is opening up in new ways. The Palácio da Alvorada , the presidential residence, which had been closed to visitors for a decade, will reopen early this year.

Another symbolic change is the recent removal of the barriers that since 2013 had surrounded the Palácio do Planalto , the presidential office, offering greater access to its reflecting pools and arches. The Planalto was one of the government buildings stormed by supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro last year. Its expanded accessibility signals a return to the original vision of Brasília’s architects, Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa, of an open and integrated city.

— Paulo Motoryn

El Salvador

Savor local flavors of corn, coffee and more in a fast-changing country.

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While questions remain about how it was accomplished , El Salvador’s security situation has drastically improved, opening up large areas of the country. Long-ignored hotels and restaurants are experiencing renewed interest along the Ruta de las Flores, a 20-mile string of rural villages in the western highlands that are surrounded by coffee fincas and pine forests, culminating in the ever-expanding night market in Nahuizalco, home of the Nahua, an Indigenous group.

In San Salvador, the capital, the dining scene is charging beyond fast-food chains, led by the fine-dining hot spot El Xolo , which champions local varieties of corn in its restaurant inside the Museo Nacional de Antropología . Coffee shops like Carajo and Crafters promote small farms growing native varieties like pacamara.

Along the coast, government initiatives like the new pier and seafood market at Puerto de la Libertad receive the most attention, but more deserving are the riverbed oyster bar Chepe Aleta , in the town of El Zonte, and the beach camps and eco-lodges outside the Playa El Tunco surf bubble.

Koh Ker Cambodia

A vast 10th-century temple complex gains unesco status.

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For anyone put off by the constant throngs and overly Instagrammed images of the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia — a bucket list destination for seemingly everyone on Earth — a millennium-old sprawl of ruins in a nearby region offers a more remote and adventurous alternative. Built in the 10th century, some two centuries before Angkor Wat, the sacred city of Koh Ker was recognized with UNESCO World Heritage status in the fall of 2023.

The heart of the site is a 4.5-square-mile cluster of temples — notably a seven-tiered pyramid known as Prasat Thom — along with statues, stone carvings, artificial ponds and vast trees whose roots entwine many of the crumbling structures.

Siem Reap, Cambodia’s second-largest city, is the best base for travelers. Roughly 70 miles from Koh Ker (around two hours by taxi), Siem Reap is home to a brand-new international airport and a crop of stylish new homegrown crash pads like Babel Boutique Hotel . And if you’re not intimidated by the crowds, Angkor Wat is just down the road.

— Seth Sherwood

Vestmannaeyjar Iceland

Take a battery-powered boat to the world’s largest puffin colony.

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A new electric ferry has helped connect Iceland’s mainland to this small archipelago — also called the Westman Islands — off the country’s south coast, where the world’s largest puffin colony has turned many residents into active conservationists . (The archipelago was unaffected by the mid-December volcanic eruptions elsewhere in Iceland.)

From May to September, Heimaey, the main island, becomes a favorite weekend destination for Icelanders, who fill up sleek new villas during the frequent concerts and festivals, while cruise ship passengers can be seen racing around the outer islands on rib boats, visiting the Beluga whale sanctuary and riding A.T.V.s into the crater of the Eldfell volcano, which nearly wiped out the town during a 1973 eruption. Home to one of the country’s most important fishing communities, with a new seafood festival and a wave of culinary offerings like an artisan bakery and a craft brewery , Vestmannaeyjar has been hailed by the local media as the “ food capital of Iceland .”

Montevideo Uruguay

South america’s most laid-back capital turns 300.

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Although it is the capital of one of South America’s most progressive nations (weed and same-sex marriage are legal, and its electrical grid is almost entirely powered by renewable sources ), Montevideo has a reputation for being on the quieter side. But as the city of 1.4 million celebrates 300 years , this is a perfect time to fall for Montevideo’s more subtle, easygoing charms.

Among the tree-lined boulevards of Pocitos, Cordón and Centro, shuttered neighborhood diners that once served simple Uruguayan fare are being lovingly restored as stylish yet affordable eateries. One is Pantagruel , a corner bar that preserved its midcentury furnishings when it reopened last year (try a glass of tannat , Uruguay’s specialty wine). Montevideo also has the world’s longest Carnival, with 40 nights of parades and block parties, from Jan. 25. It’s more affordable and family-friendly than Rio’s, and no less glittery.

— Laurence Blair

Mustang Nepal

A remote citadel of tibetan culture cracks open the gate.

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Nestled high on the Tibetan plateau in the northern reaches of Nepal, the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Mustang is a bastion of traditional Tibetan culture, preserved for centuries by its remoteness. Now, a new 183-mile road linking the region to China as well as the gleaming but debt-saddled and increasingly contentious international airport in Pokhara — both projects backed by Beijing — will give travelers easier access to sites like the well-preserved medieval fortress of Lo Manthang in Upper Mustang, which was a restricted area for tourists until the early 1990s.

Wilderness treks through the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges traverse river gorges, glacial lakes and rugged trails dotted with yaks and sheep. While budget-friendly hotels abound, the new, luxury Shinta Mani Mustang makes Nepal’s new trekking rules , which require hikers to use a local licensed guide or porter, easier to follow by offering a range of tours with certified guides.

Vienna Austria

A grand reopening in the city where the waltz became famous.

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After a three-year, 100-million-euro makeover, the Wien Museum , dedicated to Vienna’s history, recently reopened with a free permanent exhibition that chronicles its hometown’s rise from a Roman military camp to an imperial capital to a city that consistently ranks among the world’s most livable . Along with additional floors, there’s a new entrance, a plaza, a Viennese restaurant and a terrace overlooking Karlsplatz, a square with connections to the painter Gustav Klimt .

Fans of Johann Strauss, who composed “The Blue Danube,” an unofficial anthem of the city, can waltz over to the House of Strauss, a sparkling new museum opened on Oct. 25, what would have been Strauss’s 198th birthday. And for the competitive dancers, July’s EuroGames , one of several L.G.B.T.Q. events planned in the city this year, will draw thousands of queer athletes to face off in the ballroom as well as in other sports like tennis and basketball.

Brisbane Australia

Food, art and vertiginous views in a city gearing up for its olympic moment.

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Scheduled to host the Summer Olympics in 2032, Brisbane is undergoing a face-lift with a $3.6 billion expansion of the Queen’s Wharf area, set to partly open in 2024. The development includes the restoration of historic buildings, four new hotels, parks and public spaces, and an 820-foot-long Sky Deck with bars and restaurants overlooking the Brisbane River.

But there’s more than big development: At Agnes, a restaurant with a rooftop bar, chefs are renowned for their skill in cooking over an open flame. The Calile Hotel, with balconied rooms overlooking a palm-lined pool, feels like an oasis in the middle of the city. Rounding out the cultural experience is Brisbane Powerhouse, a 1920s power station reborn as a cultural hub, the site of the Melt Open , a celebration of queer arts and artists, and Vertigo , a restaurant where harnessed and clipped-in diners eat while dangling four stories above the ground. After dinner, they can abseil down the building’s exterior.

Pasadena California

An artsy, walkable corner of los angeles county that’s worth the metro ride.

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Pasadena’s natural beauty is clear as soon as you roll into town — maybe on the Los Angeles Metro, where the just-opened Regional Connector project makes possible a one-seat ride from the sands of Long Beach to the stands of the Rose Bowl. The San Gabriel Mountains preside over Pasadena like a sylvan crown, and hiking and biking trails framed by forested valleys and tumbling waterfalls abound in places like the Angeles National Forest .

The leafy city center is eminently strollable, with a vibrant main street and the nearby Norton Simon Museum , which features a sculpture garden inspired by Monet’s grounds at Giverny. The Tony Award-winning Pasadena Playhouse offers serious drama as well as youth-focused programming. And PST Art , a Getty museum project, will include exhibitions at Pasadena museums and art centers this year. To fuel up, try the innovative newcomer Bar Chelou (its name means “weird” in French) or a new wave of Asian restaurants, notably the Cantonese-influenced Colette .

Hurghada Egypt

Dive in the rich underwater world of the red sea.

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An hour’s flight from Cairo and just off the coast of Hurghada, Egypt, the Great Fringing Reef remains an abundant marine ecosystem that includes 40 types of sharks and 400 coral species.

The reef’s resiliency is often credited to the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association , a nongovernmental organization founded by divers in 1992. The group has since installed one of the world’s largest mooring systems (to reduce the harms of dive-boat anchors), instituted a local ban on single-use plastics and made snorkel tours and beach cleanups social events for residents and tourists. Last year, the organization opened three long-awaited dive sites to help minimize the impact on other reefs.

On land, the recently opened Serry Beach Resort , overseen by one of Egypt’s first female hotel directors, offers 453 rooms and suites decked out in locally made textiles fronting an infinity pool and the crystalline Red Sea. Egypt remains a relatively safe destination despite its proximity to the Israel-Hamas war.

— Michele Bigley

Boundary Waters Minnesota

A protected watershed, but for how long.

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Last January, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland signed an order that bans toxic mining on 225,504 federal acres within the Rainy River Watershed in northern Minnesota for 20 years. That was good news for the 150,000 annual visitors who paddle the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a network in the watershed of more than 1,200 miles of canoe routes that connect 1,100 freshwater lakes.

This roadless wilderness is pristine, a place to fish for walleye, hear the haunting call of a loon and camp in thick boreal forest — it’s also a habitat for bears, wolves and lynx. A suit by a local conservation group seeks to expand the ban on mining. But the area’s future remains uncertain: A bill has been introduced in Congress to reverse the order, and a subsidiary of a Chilean mining company has received approval to conduct exploratory drilling on state land next to the wilderness.

Thessaloniki Greece

An ancient seaside city gets decked out in rainbows.

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The squat, round White Tower is to Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, as the Acropolis is to Athens. The structure, built in the 15th century under Ottoman rule and once known as the Tower of Blood, was renamed and painted white in the late 1800s by a prisoner in exchange for his freedom. The tower will glow with rainbow colors representing a different kind of liberation this year as thousands of L.G.B.T.Q. travelers gather from June 21 to 29 to celebrate EuroPride — the city’s chance for a redo after the pandemic scuttled its turn to host the event in 2020.

Thessaloniki, founded in 316 B.C. and named for a sister of Alexander the Great, is renowned for its Byzantine mosaics as well as its clubs, cafes and bars. Savor a glass of ouzo along the bay — unlike Athens, Thessaloniki is right on the water — and see if you can spot Mount Olympus.

— Danial Adkison

Normandy France

Celebrating a region’s role in the impressionist art movement.

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The revolution began quietly, a century and a half ago, with a canvas depicting a port in this region in northern France. Painted in 1872 by Claude Monet and displayed two years later at a pioneering Paris exhibition of iconoclastic artists — including Renoir, Degas and Pissarro — “Impression, Sunrise” was a hazy, color-soaked view of Le Havre that gave birth to perhaps the 19th century’s most famous artistic style. For the 150th anniversary of that show, the Normandy Impressionist Festival (from March 22 to Sept. 22) will celebrate the region’s centrality in the lives and works of the movement’s major figures. (Paris will also host numerous events.)

Rouen, whose cathedral was famously portrayed by Monet , will take center stage. Events there will include a lighted projection on the cathedral’s facade by the avant-garde stage director Robert Wilson and an exhibition of the painter David Hockney’s Normandy-inspired work at the city’s Musée des Beaux-Arts . Impressionist-themed exhibitions and events are also expected in Giverny (where Monet lived), Honfleur (home to the Eugène Boudin Museum ), Le Havre and other Normandy spots.

Grenada The Caribbean

White sands and underwater art on an island of timeless charm.

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More flights from JetBlue , Virgin Atlantic and Air Canada promise easier access to this Caribbean island nation, but you may never want to leave. Grenada’s verdant terrain, bountiful farms and uncrowded white-sand beaches entice with culinary delights, natural attractions and new luxury accommodations.

The 28-room Silversands Beach House will open in February on Portici Beach, and later this year, the Six Senses La Sagesse will offer 56 suites and 15 villas, each with a private pool. All the better to relax after a submarine visit to Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park , the first of its kind, where a recent upgrade includes 31 new pieces of art .

Grenada and its smaller islands, Petite Martinique and Carriacou, offer plenty of places to snorkel, fish, dive and sail, but don’t miss a tour of a rum distillery , chocolate company or spice garden : There’s good reason Grenada, which celebrates 50 years of independence this February, is known as the Spice Isle.

— Elisabeth Goodridge

El Camino de Costa Rica

A coast-to-coast trek with cloud forests, local chocolate and more.

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With new signage, the Camino de Costa Rica , a 174-mile cross-country hiking trail that connects the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, became easier to navigate last year. Organized into 16 sections, the trail knits together 25 rural communities and terrain that ranges from beaches to cloud forests. The full hike can take from 11 to 16 days, and along the way, travelers passing through Indigenous areas can hire members of the Cabécar community as guides. The trail also traverses national parks and sanctuaries that host dazzling birds like the resplendent quetzal .

Trekkers can camp, book hotels or stay overnight with families, sampling homegrown coffee and chocolate as well as dishes like gallo pinto (beans and rice prepared with coconut milk). Local outfitters offer custom itineraries, including accommodations and luggage transfers, and activities like rafting, horseback riding and canoeing — all ways to help support areas off the tourist track.

Albanian Alps

Rugged peaks where hikers wander and shepherds roam.

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The remote mountain range in northern Albania, known as the Accursed Mountains, or the Albanian Alps (although it also reaches into Montenegro and Kosovo), has for years entranced hikers seeking serenity among its peaks. It may not be peaceful for long: Budget airlines like Ryanair and Wizz announced new routes to Albania, making its glassy lakes and miles of relatively untouched trails more accessible for explorers looking for an affordable paradise.

Once reachable only with a four-wheel drive, northern villages like Theth are now accessible by a narrow but paved mountain road, although drivers may still need to wait for a passing cow or two. Visitors can stay with locals in guesthouses or farm stays to get a glimpse of rural life before hiking the Valbona Pass within a national park encompassing some 200,000 acres to gaze across wildflower-strewn valleys and see shepherds tending to their flocks.

— Isabella Kwai

Whitehorse Yukon

For northern lights viewers, a warm welcome in a remote capital.

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In the current 11-year solar cycle, magnetic activity in space will peak between January and October, expected to prompt more frequent and active northern lights. In the clear skies around Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon territory in northwest Canada, aurora-viewing tours have become a draw, taking place via canoe, snowshoe and fat-tire bike.

Surrounded by mountains and boreal forests, Whitehorse offers a warm welcome from the wilds in flourishing small businesses, including Yukon Brewing , offering “beer worth freezin’ for,” Gather Cafe & Taphouse , which shares space with a glassblowing studio, and Woodcutter’s Blanket , serving craft cocktails and microbrews in a 1930s log cabin.

Nature is never far from the city, where you can stay in a cabin built to blend into the landscape at Black Spruce resort, or soak under starry skies at Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs .

Choquequirao Peru

An archaeological wonder reachable only on foot, for now.

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As its tourism industry was recovering from pandemic losses, Peru was gripped by antigovernment protests that led to the shutdown of Machu Picchu , the country’s most famous attraction, and caused travelers to leave or cancel trips in droves. Now, as tourism is rebounding, efforts are gaining steam to direct visitors to lesser-known archaeological sites .

One site being considered for expanded tourism infrastructure is Choquequirao . Another spectacular Incan citadel, it receives fewer than 10,000 visitors a year. The catch: It’s a three- to four-day trek to get there. The government last year announced a $200 million investment in the site, with a plan to build a cable car and improve trails to boost tourism. A window may slowly be closing to reward a spirit of adventure with an enigmatic, ancient complex, surrounded by snowy peaks and wilderness, that feels entirely your own.

— David Feliba

Dresden Germany

Romantic landscapes and an avant-garde treasure trove in a city long on the mend.

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All but leveled in the Allied firebombing of 1945, Dresden has been rebuilding for decades. Now, with the historic center’s major restoration projects nearly complete, the city is ready to fete a favorite son: the archetypal Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich .

Born 250 years ago in September, he’s being celebrated across Germany, though Dresden — where he spent most of his creative years — is throwing the biggest party. Starting in August, the Albertinum and the Kupferstich-Kabinett museums will pay tribute with a joint exhibition. Serious fans — whether of his work in particular or Romantic landscapes in general — will want to follow in his footsteps along the Elbe Valley’s trails with Friedrichian-lore-loving guides.

If your tastes lean modern, no fewer than 1.5 million works of 20th-century art await at the Archiv der Avantgarden-Egidio Marzona , set to open May 5, in the restored Blockhaus, a new raw-concrete jewel housed in an opulent 18th-century shell.

— Abbie Kozolchyk

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve Mexico

Welcoming endangered insects in verdant forests.

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As many as a billion monarch butterflies overwinter every year in this green forest of fir, juniper and pine trees in Central Mexico. After decades of falling population numbers , the beloved black, orange and white insect was classified as endangered in 2022 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

This 139,000-acre reserve has six sites where visitors can hike into the forest and see the clusters of butterflies perched high in the tree canopy. Each sanctuary has a different appeal: The Rosario sanctuary is near the historic mining town of Angangueo, with quaint hotels like Rancho Cumbre Monarca , while Piedra Herrada is a two-hour drive from Mexico City.

Overwinter season is from November to March, and the ideal time to visit is midweek, when the sanctuaries are less crowded and less noisy, so you may be able to not only see the butterflies, but also hear their collective flutter.

— Jorge Valencia

Flamingo Florida

Rediscover a beloved lodge in the heart of the everglades.

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The vast beauty of the Florida Everglades is perhaps best appreciated at night, when the national park is all constellations and creatures. But for those who don’t care to brave the elements (or the mosquitoes) while camping outside or in an R.V., it has been impossible to stay anywhere with air-conditioning since two hurricanes destroyed the park’s only hotel in 2005.

That changed in November with the reopening of the Flamingo Lodge , now elevated and made out of sturdy shipping containers. A renovated visitor center and restaurant have been built to better withstand sea level rise caused by climate change.

The return of the beloved facilities, along with glamping “eco-tents,” has given birders, stargazers and anglers a reason to reconnect with the outpost of Flamingo, on mainland Florida’s southernmost tip and less than two hours by car from Miami.

And if you’re lucky, you may spot flamingos in Florida Bay.

— Patricia Mazzei

Open Up Your World

Considering a trip, or just some armchair traveling here are some ideas..

Italy :  Spend 36 hours in Florence , seeking out its lesser-known pockets.

Southern California :  Skip the freeways to explore the back roads between Los Angeles and Los Olivos , a 100-mile route that meanders through mountains, canyons and star-studded enclaves.

Mongolia : Some young people, searching for less curated travel experiences, are flocking to the open spaces of this East Asian nation .

Romania :  Timisoara  may be the most noteworthy city you’ve probably never heard of , offering just enough for visitors to fill two or three days.

India: A writer fulfilled a lifelong dream of visiting Darjeeling, in the Himalayan foothills , taking in the tea gardens and riding a train through the hills.

52 Places:  Why do we travel? For food, culture, adventure, natural beauty? Our 2024 list has all those elements, and more .


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Most Visited Countries 2024

European countries, often rich in history, culture, beautiful beaches, and ocean views, attract the highest number of tourists.

France, leading in tourism for over 30 years, offers attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Disneyland Paris, drawing 38 million tourists to Paris alone in 2019.

Global travel and tourism, an $8.9 trillion industry in 2019, suffered a loss of $4.5 trillion and 62 million jobs in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Global travel and tourism was an $8.9 trillion (US$) business in 2019 . Moreover, though the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced that number to roughly a quarter of its previous value, all signs point to tourism continuing to grow, expand, and evolve. Every country on Earth has something to offer international visitors, from the pyramids in Egypt to the rainforests of Brazil or the sidewalk cafes of Paris —but which countries attract the most visitors of all? Most of the countries with the highest tourism rates are located in Europe , whose rich history, architecture, and cultural influence make it an appealing destination for many travelers. Countries positioned on or near a body of water are also very popular, particularly those that offer a relaxed, low-key atmosphere mixed with beautiful beaches and ocean views.

Top 10 Countries Most Popular with Tourists (by number of 2019 visitor arrivals)

The most popular tourist destination in the world for more than 30 years, France offers a myriad of attractions: the Eiffel tower, countless world-class restaurants, the Musée du Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, the Notre-Dame cathedral, the beaches of the Côte d'Azur, and of course, Disneyland Paris. Moreover, the lushly beautiful countryside is full of storybook villages, mountains, vineyards, and the occasional castle. One can even view prehistoric cave paintings in Lascaux. Paris, France's capital, is the most visited city in Europe, receiving 38 million tourists in 2019.

Spain is another tourist destination overflowing with interesting attractions. Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia cathedral and other works in Barcelona , the Guggenheim museum, the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, Europe's largest aquarium (the lily-shaped L'Oceanogràfic), the beaches of Gran Canaria, and La Rambla in Barcelona. Spain is also home to El Teide, an ancient—but not entirely dormant—volcano, which visitors can hike around at the Parque Nacional del Teide on the Spanish island Tenerife.

England's capital city, London , attracts visitors with a wide range of sights including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and the British Museum, which includes the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo . Beyond London, England offers the mysterious Stonehenge, the Beatles' birthplace in Liverpool , the quaint beauty of the Cotswolds, the sci-fi botanical gardens of the Eden Project, and more. Speaking of more, the UK also includes three additional subdivisions. First is Scotland, with the charming city of Edinburgh , moody Loch Ness and Inverness , the scenic highlands, and the historic St. Andrews golf course. Next comes charming Wales and its castles, scenery, and capital city of Cardiff . Finally, Northern Ireland boasts attractions including Belfast 's bubbling nightlife, the glens and coastline of Antrim, and one of Europe's most compelling natural wonders: the Giant's Causeway.

The Mediterranean nation Turkey balances captivating man-made attractions such as Hagia Sophia mosque and Topkapı Palace with archaeological wonders such as the Biblical city of Ephesus, the fairy city of Cappadocia, and the desolate fallen splendor of Mount Nemrut. It also has more than its share of natural wonders, including the famous beaches at Ölüdeniz and Patara, the mineral pools at Pamukkale, and the Mediterranean coastline itself.

The South Asian country of Thailand is also known as the "Land of Smiles", and offers both modern comforts and wild adventure. Thailand's capital, Bangkok , receives over 20 million visitors every year. Popular attractions include the Grand Palace in Bangkok; beaches including Railay, Long, and Monkey beach; the ancient city Ayutthaya and ornate Buddhist wat Coi Suthep, and national parks including Khao Yai (where wild elephants roam) and the otherworldly Khao Sok.

The impact of COVID-19 on travel and tourism

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21 had a devastating effect on the travel and tourism industry. According to a report released by the World Travel & Tourism Council , the pandemic cost the industry an estimated US$ 4.5 trillion in 2020, which resulted in the loss of 62 million tourism-dependent jobs. Data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization backs this up. Consider the following table:

International tourist arrivals (in thousands of visitors):

Compared to 2019, tourism dropped by approximately 74% in 2020, with a total of a billion fewer travelers over the course of the year--making 2020 the worst year on record for tourism. The UNTWO's own estimates registered a loss of US$ 1.3 trillion in lost revenues and 100-120 million jobs either lost or at risk.

The impact has been particularly damaging in countries that rely heavily upon tourism as part of their GDP. Lost tourism in Macau, one of China 's special administrative regions, led to a 79.3% drop in year-on-year gambling revenues , which caused overall GDP for 2020 to fall 43.1% compared to the previous year.

While tourism has picked up slightly in 2021, they still fall far short of the pre-pandemic numbers. Late 2020 projections were hopeful that the industry would be back on track by late 2021, but the ongoing nature of the pandemic has thwarted that optimism. As of late 2021, most estimates do not expect the industry to rebound to 2019 (pre-COVID) levels until sometime in 2023 at the earliest.

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What are the top 5 most visited countries?

The top five most visited countries are France, Spain, the United States, China, and Italy.

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Top 10 Most Visited Countries in the World

Most Visited Countries in the World

Table of Contents

From awe-inspiring cultural marvels to breathtaking natural wonders, the most visited countries in the World have embraced the hearts of intrepid travelers from every nook and cranny. Our journey traverses through diverse landscapes and rich heritage, offering an enchanting tapestry of experiences and cherished memories. After creating a page about the least traveled countries in the World , we could not just stay put without writing about the most visited tourist destinations.

Whether you seek iconic landmarks, gastronomic delights, or an immersion in diverse cultures, this curated collection will ignite your wanderlust, sparking an insatiable desire to explore. Brace yourself for an exhilarating journey through the top 10 most visited countries, where the world’s tourism rankings meet treasures that await to be unraveled.

10 Most Visited Countries – Ranking

  • Spain – Europe
  • France – Europe
  • United States – North America
  • Turkey – Asia/Europe (Transcontinental)
  • Italy – Europe
  • Mexico – North America
  • United Kingdom – Europe
  • Germany – Europe
  • Greece – Europe
  • Austria – Europe

The 10 Most Visited Countries in the World

Spain, officially established as a nation in 1492 following the Reconquista, is a country known for its rich history, diverse culture, and beautiful landscapes. The best time to visit Spain is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September and October) when the weather is pleasantly warm. Top attractions include the Alhambra in Granada, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and the Prado Museum in Madrid. Spain’s unique blend of history, art, and lifestyle makes it a favorite among tourists.

France, known as the “Hexagon” and founded in 843 AD, is renowned for its culture, gastronomy, and history. The best time to visit is during spring (April to June) or fall (September to November) when the weather is mild and tourist crowds are smaller. Iconic attractions include the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and the Palace of Versailles. The promise of experiencing world-class art, cuisine, and a certain “joie de vivre” attract millions to France each year.

United States

The United States, founded in 1776, is a vast and diverse nation offering a variety of experiences for travelers. The best time to visit depends on the region due to its size, but generally, spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) offer the most pleasant weather. Must-see landmarks include the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Yellowstone National Park. Its expansive landscapes, cultural diversity, and influential cities make the United States a popular destination.

Turkey, established as a nation in 1923, is a unique blend of Eastern and Western cultures. The best time to visit is during spring (April to May) and fall (September to mid-November) when temperatures are moderate. The country’s top attractions include the historic city of Istanbul, the unique landscapes of Cappadocia, and the ancient ruins of Ephesus. The country’s rich history, diverse landscapes, and incredible cuisine are among the reasons why tourists are drawn to Turkey.

Italy, unified as a nation in 1861, is a country steeply rooted in history, culture, and culinary traditions. The best time to visit is during spring (April to June) and fall (September and October) when the weather is comfortable and the crowds are fewer. Italy’s must-see attractions include the Colosseum in Rome, the canals of Venice, and the Duomo in Florence. Italy’s blend of antiquity, art, and “la dolce vita” (the sweet life) make it a top destination for many.

Mexico, which gained independence in 1821, is a country known for its vibrant culture, delicious food, and diverse landscapes. The best time to visit is during the dry season between December and April. Highlights include the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, the beaches of Cancun, and the bustling capital city, Mexico City. The country’s rich heritage, beautiful beaches, and colorful festivities attract tourists to Mexico.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, formed in 1707, offers a blend of historic landmarks, royal palaces, and diverse culture. The best time to visit is during the spring (April to June) when the weather is mild and the countryside is in bloom. Top attractions include the Tower of London, Edinburgh Castle, and Stonehenge. The combination of history, culture, and beautiful landscapes make the United Kingdom a fascinating destination for travelers.

Germany, unified in 1871, is a country known for its rich history, technological achievements, and hearty cuisine. The best time to visit is during late spring (May to June) and early autumn (September to October). Top sights include the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the fairy-tale Neuschwanstein Castle, and the historic town of Heidelberg. Germany’s blend of old-world charm and modern innovation draws millions of tourists each year.

Greece, recognized as a country since 1821, is the cradle of Western civilization and offers a rich blend of history, culture, and stunning landscapes. The best time to visit is spring (April to early-June) and fall (September and October). Key attractions include the Acropolis in Athens, the beautiful islands of Santorini and Crete. The country’s ancient ruins, beautiful islands, and vibrant culture make Greece a top choice for many travelers.

Austria, established in 1955, is a country famous for its beautiful architecture, musical heritage, and mountainous terrain. The best time to visit is in the summer (June to August) and during the winter (December to March) for skiing. Top attractions include the historic city of Vienna, the beautiful town of Salzburg, and the stunning Hallstatt village. Austria’s combination of natural beauty and cultural experiences make it a popular destination for tourists.

International Tourist Arrivals Chart

This table provides a clear overview of the top 10 international tourism destinations in 2022, along with the corresponding number of international tourist arrivals for the years 2022 and 2021. The percentage change columns have been removed to simplify the presentation.

The Most Visited Country in the World

Amidst the enchantment, we unravel the ultimate gem of global tourism—the most visited country in the world. Drawing travelers like a magnetic force, this exceptional destination has taken the crown for welcoming the highest number of globetrotters. Brace yourself as we reveal the identity of this exceptional nation, which stands as an epitome of travel allure. This most visited country comes in contrast to the least visited country in the world .

What is the Most Visited Country in the World?

In 2022, Spain topped the chart as the most visited country in the world with an impressive 71.7 million international tourist arrivals. This is a remarkable increase from the 31.2 million tourists who visited in 2021. Known for its rich history, diverse culture, beautiful landscapes, and delectable cuisine, Spain offers an array of experiences that attract travelers from all corners of the globe.

Top 10 Attractions in Spain

Based on popular tourist choices, the top 10 tourist attractions in Spain are:

  • The Alhambra : This stunning palace and fortress complex located in Granada is a shining example of Moorish architecture in Spain.
  • The Sagrada Familia : An iconic basilica in Barcelona, designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí. It has been under construction since 1882.
  • The Prado Museum : Located in Madrid, this museum is one of the world’s greatest art galleries, with a vast collection of European art.
  • Park Güell : Another Gaudí masterpiece in Barcelona, this public park is filled with beautiful, whimsical structures.
  • The Royal Palace of Madrid : The official residence of the Spanish royal family, used mainly for state ceremonies.
  • The City of Arts and Sciences : A futuristic cultural complex in Valencia, featuring an opera house, a science museum, and an oceanarium.
  • The Mezquita of Cordoba : Once a mosque, now a cathedral, this unique building reflects the diverse religious history of Spain.
  • Seville Cathedral and the Giralda : The largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and its famous bell tower, the Giralda.
  • The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona : A traditional festival that involves running in front of a group of bulls let loose on the town’s streets.
  • La Tomatina in Buñol : A world-famous event where participants throw tomatoes at each other in a giant, fun-filled food fight.

Join us on this once-in-a-lifetime global adventure to uncover the world’s most beloved destinations. From the historical marvels of ancient civilizations to the dazzling allure of modern metropolises, these countries promise an unforgettable journey filled with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Embrace the magic of travel and let your wanderlust soar to new heights. You can now stop asking yourself what is the most visited country in the World.

What is the Second Most Visited Country in the World?

The suspense lifts, and the answer stands clear—the second most visited country in the world is none other than France. With an allure that transcends time, France captivates hearts with its romantic ambiance, artistic masterpieces, and iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum. An epitome of sophistication, France casts a spell on travelers, leaving them spellbound and yearning for more. You can now stop asking yourself what is the second most visited country in the World.

Top 10 Attractions in France

Based on popular tourist choices, the top 10 tourist attractions in France are:

  • Eiffel Tower: The Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol of France. It provides a panoramic view of Paris, and visitors can dine in style at its high-end restaurant.
  • Louvre Museum: The world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, the Louvre is renowned for housing numerous works of art, including the Mona Lisa.
  • Palace of Versailles: This royal château in Versailles, a city in the Île-de-France region, is known for its opulent architecture, beautiful gardens, and the Hall of Mirrors.
  • Mont Saint-Michel: This island commune in Normandy is best known for its stunning medieval architecture and its picturesque views over the bay.
  • The French Riviera (Côte d’Azur): Known for its glamorous beach resorts like Saint-Tropez and Cannes, and the independent microstate of Monaco.
  • The D-Day Landing Beaches, Normandy: These are the historic sites of the Allied invasion of Western Europe during World War II.
  • Château de Chambord: Located in the Loir-et-Cher department, this is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world due to its distinctive French Renaissance architecture.
  • The Puy de Dôme: This large lava dome and one of the youngest volcanoes in the Massif Central in central France, it’s known for its beautiful, panoramic views.
  • Gorges du Verdon: A deep river canyon that is considered by many to be one of Europe’s most beautiful. It is located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Var departments.
  • Sainte-Chapelle: Known for its magnificent stained glass windows, it is a royal chapel in the Gothic style, located near the Palais de la Cité, on the Île de la Cité in the center of Paris.

Most Visited Countries in Europe

Here’s the table with the top 10 destinations based on international tourist arrivals in 2022 and 2021:

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  • The World's Most Visited Countries

Paris, France is the most visited country in the world. Source: Shutterstock

  • France is the world's most visited country with 89 million tourists.
  • In 2019, 1.5 billion tourist arrivals were recorded around the world.
  • Tourism accounts for 12% of Spain's economy.

The World Tourism Organization recently reported that international tourism is continuing to grow and is "outpacing the global economy". In 2019, 1.5 billion tourist arrivals were recorded around the world, a 4% increase on 2018's figures. The Middle East is currently the fastest-growing region for international tourism, but European countries such as France, Spain and Italy remain the most visited. Find out the top 10 world's most visited countries below:

10. United Kingdom: 36 million tourists

top 10 countries for tourist

In 2019, the United Kingdom welcomed 36 million tourists to its towns and cities. London is the country's most visited city, with approximately 12 million visitors each year. Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester are also popular city destinations. Tourism produces around USD 131 billion for the country and provides over two million jobs. American residents are the most frequent visitors, followed by those who live in France. Some of the UK's most popular tourist attractions include Big Ben, the Tower of London and Stonehenge .

9. Thailand: 38 million tourists

top 10 countries for tourist

Thailand has been a popular tourist destination for decades thanks to its white-sand beaches, delicious cuisine and hot weather. Bangkok , Thailand's capital, frequently holds the top spot as the world's most visited city. It attracts around 22 million visitors each year. The 1,430 islands of Thailand draw in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, some of the islands are heralded as being some of the best in the world. Thailand's most popular spots include Railay Beach, Koh Phi Phi and The Grand Palace of Bangkok. 

8. Germany: 39 million tourists

top 10 countries for tourist

Germany is famous for its beer, sausages and picturesque castles. The country welcomes around 39 million tourists each year, with approximately 13 million visiting Berlin, Germany's capital city. Tourism in Germany generates two million jobs for its residents and contributes over 4% towards the country's GDP. 

7. Mexico: 41 million tourists

top 10 countries for tourist

Mexico , located in the southern part of North America, is rapidly becoming a favorite tourist destination. People from all over the world are visiting the vibrant country to enjoy the pristine beaches, explore the deep history and culture, and discover UNESCO World Heritage sites. Over the last decade, tourism has significantly contributed to Mexico's employment and economy. In 2019, the government announced a six-year strategy to boost tourism and improve conditions for workers within the industry. Some of the country's most visited destinations are Cancun, Mexico City, and Playa del Carmen. 

6. Turkey: 46 million tourists

top 10 countries for tourist

Located on two continents, Turkey offers a unique blend of East and West. Edged by the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, Turkey has an abundance of stunning coastlines and charming resorts. Tourists also enjoy visiting Turkey's capital, Ankara as well as the resort-city of Antalya. It was reported that over 15 million vacationers visited Antalya in 2019. Antalya is popular thanks to its proximity to beaches and remnants of Turkey's rich history. Famous tourist attractions in Turkey include the Blue Mosque , Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sofia Museum. 

5. Italy: 62 million tourists

top 10 countries for tourist

Italy has culture, history and cuisine in abundance, making it a very popular tourist destination for people all around the globe. Italy has a varied landscape that suits all traveler types; there are snow-covered peaks, sprawling vineyards and glittering coastlines. Not to mention the beautiful cities like Rome, Naples and Florence. There are 50 UNESCO World Heritage sites dotted throughout the country showcasing the best of Italian history. Some of Italy's best-loved attractions include the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum and the Pantheon.

4. China: 63 million tourists

top 10 countries for tourist

China , the third-largest country in the world, is in the world's top five tourist destinations because of its natural landscapes, expansive history and delicious cuisine. Tourism in China is a growing industry that is becoming a significant part of the country's economy. In 2018, tourism contributed 11.04% of China's overall GDP, which increased a further 1.2% in 2019. Famous attractions include The Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square . 

3. United States: 80 million tourists

top 10 countries for tourist

Tourism is one of the United States ' biggest contributors to the country's GDP. The industry supports over 7 million jobs, and in 2017, tourism generated USD 1.6 trillion in economic output. Cities such as New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles experience high numbers of tourists all year round, with New York being the most visited city in the country. Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan and China are the top five countries that make up the majority of US tourism. 

2. Spain: 83 million tourists

top 10 countries for tourist

Spain is the second most visited country in both the world and Europe. Tourism accounts for 12% of Spain's economy and provides 13% of jobs. The majority of tourists who visit the country come from Europe; it is the warm weather, pristine beaches and bustling cities that attract millions of vacationers. Some of Spain's most famous landmarks include La Sagrada Familia , Park Güell and Alhambra. 

1. France - 89 million tourists

top 10 countries for tourist

Attracting over 89 million tourists each year, France is the world's most visited country. Paris, France's capital city, draws in around 17 million tourists a year; 7 million of those visit the Eiffel Tower. Tourism in France represents 9.7% of the overall GDP and provides 2.9 million jobs. The majority of France's visitors come from other European countries, with over 12 million coming from the United Kingdom. Disneyland, the Louvre and the Notre Dame Cathedral are some of France's most visited attractions. 

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Unveiling The Global Tourism Leaders: Top 10 Countries In World Tourism Rankings

These 10 countries brought in more money through tourism than anywhere else in the world, drawing visitors with their architecture, food, and culture.

Travel is one of the driving forces of economies all over the world, bringing money into big governments and small mom-and-pop shops alike. As travelers make their summer plans, companies are exploring which countries bring in the most travelers each year.

Yahoo! Finance has compiled a list of the top tourism countries based on how much money they brought in through tourism throughout the 2019 year. While that may seem like outdated data to be using, 2019 is the last year that truly represented travel trends through consistent spending.

With 195 countries to choose from, travelers and their wallets have shown again and again that these 10 destinations are the best in the world.

This article is designed to highlight the top ten tourism destinations in the world and why they pull in so many visitors each year. Each entry includes just a few of the most popular attractions in the country, particularly those that are major contributors to the country’s tourism money intake. Additionally, each entry includes a highly-rated hotel recommendation located in the capital of the country in question, intended to help readers ready to start planning their popular summer getaway.

Related: Top 10 Experiences Around The World You Should Try This Summer

Grand Hyatt Macau, a by adina canberra, hilton tokyo, rome cavalieri, sheraton grand london park lane, the mandarin oriental, bangkok, park hyatt paris-vendôme, the madrid edition, hilton washington dc capitol hill.

A special territory of China, Macau (also spelled Macao) is a popular tourist destination thanks to its bustling gaming and casino industry. Often called the "Vegas of China," Macau is well known for its nightlife.

Macau even has its own strip called the Cotai Strip. Those less interested in the neon lights can enjoy some of the other attractions that make Macau one of the most visited destinations in the world, including the Venetian Macau Gondola rides, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Senado Square.

  • Reasons To Visit Macau: Casinos, Cotai Strip, St. Paul's Cathedral, Senatobia Square, Venetian Macau Gondola Rides, House of Dancing Water
  • International Tourism Receipts: $40.1 billion

City Of Dreams, Macau

Related: Bang For Your Buck: 10 Affordable China Spring Destinations You Should Visit

When discussing money spent on tourism, it's not surprising that many of the highest grossing destinations are in Europe. Germany offers visitors an in-depth look at history and ultra-modern architecture and amenities.

Visitors love traveling to Germany to see World War II landmarks and beautiful historic buildings and streets. Perhaps the most popular reason people visit Germany, however, is to enjoy the seasonal beer festivals and Weinacht Maerke, Germany's Christmas markets. These seasonal attractions are a major reason Germany continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

  • Reasons to Visit Germany: Berlin Memorial Wall, Cologne Cathedral, Berlin, Hamburg, Mercedes-Benz Museum, Gendarmenmarkt, Beer Festivals, Christmas Markets, Munich, Frankfurt
  • International Tourism Receipts: $41.6 billion

Oranienplatz 17, 10999 Berlin

Related: The Best City-Like Towns In Europe: Exploring The 10 Coolest Towns That Feel Like Cities

Known as the Land Down Under, Australia’s thriving metropolises and unique variety of wildlife make it an unsurprising addition to the list of most popular tourist destinations. As an island country, visitors are as fascinated by what’s off the coast of Australia as what’s on land. The Great Barrier Reef itself draws in millions of visitors each year.

Major cities like Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne also bring in their fair share of visitors from around the world, as does the famous Australian Outback, home to kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and hundreds of other unique species of animals.

  • Reasons to Visit Australia: Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, National Parks, Australian Outback, Canberra
  • International Tourism Receipts: $45.7 billion

1 Constitution Avenue, Canberra, ACT 2601

Japan is home to a number of truly ancient structures and natural formations, making it a fascinating destination for travelers from around the world. Japan is also a very modern destination that blends its historic culture with modern influences from around the world, making it a surprisingly friendly place for tourists to explore.

From the densely populated streets of Tokyo to the sprawling views of Mount Fuji, it’s unsurprising that tourists continue to spend billions of dollars on this unique archipelago.

  • Reasons to Visit Japan: Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Buddhist Temples, Shinto Temples, Soothing Hot Springs , Universal Studios Japan
  • International Tourism Receipts: $46.1 billion

6-6-2, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023

With beautiful Mediterranean beaches, picturesque historic towns, and some of the most famous art in the world, Italy is a powerhouse when it comes to facilitating tourism. Visitors can be found spending their money to enter one of the over 3,000 museums in Italy , as well as some of the most famous historical sites in the world.

Rome and Venice, as well as numerous other summer-vacation-worthy Italian destinations , offer even more reasons to visit, drawing in visitors with their cobblestone streets, local cuisine, and unique historic buildings.

  • Reasons to Visit Italy: Colosseum, Rome, Venice, Michelangelo’s Artwork, Brunelleschi's Artwork, Milan, Local Cuisine
  • International Tourism Receipts: $49.6 billion

Via Alberto Cadlolo 101, 00136 Rome

United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern Ireland

Based on the methodology used, the United Kingdom, which includes Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England, was studied as one location. With the beauty and history of these regions, it’s no surprise that the UK has made it into the top five tourist destinations in the world.

A number of travelers visit the UK to enjoy major landmarks like Big Ben and the Tower of London. The castles of Scotland and the rolling green hills of Ireland further add to the beauty of the region and lure in billions of dollars of tourism year after year.

  • Reasons to Visit the United Kingdom: Big Ben, Tower of London, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast
  • International Tourism Receipts: $52.7 billion

Piccadilly, London, W1J 7BX

Related: Unique United Kingdom: 10 Charming Places To Stay In Scotland, Wales, And England

The entire country of Thailand revolves around the tourism industry. The food, tours, sites, and nightlife all work together to create an unbeatable experience for tourists, and the money spent in this sector shows that this dedication is paying off.

Like many other Asian destinations, Thailand has a number of ancient but well-maintained Buddhist temples , as well as the internationally famous Wat Rong Khun, or White Temple. This art exhibit and architectural feat in Chiang Ra is one of the most beautiful destinations in all of East Asia and is just one more reason that visitors flock to Thailand for their international vacations year after year.

  • Things to Do in Thailand: Wat Rong Khun, Buddhist Temples, Bangkok, Snorkeling
  • International Tourism Receipts: $60.5 billion

The Jardine Matheson Group

48 Oriental Avenue, Bangkok 10500

Related: This Is How Far You Can Get With $100 USD In Thailand

With art and history museums and landmarks all over the country, situated comfortably alongside world-famous attractions like the Eiffel Tower, France undoubtedly earns its high position on the tourism leaderboard. Highlights like the Louvre, the city of Paris, and the Palace of Versailles, bring in millions of tourists each year, all on their own.

Most regions of France also offer a variety of guided tours to help visitors make the most of their vacation. Paris is even home to one of the most exciting outdoor experiences for 2023 , according to a study by TripAdvisor.

  • Things to Do in France: Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Paris, Palace of Versailles, Guided Tours, Luxembourg Gardens
  • International Tourism Receipts: $63.8 billion

5 Rue De La Paix, 75002 Paris

The capital of Spain, Madrid, is full of enough activities to create to fill an entire vacation itinerary on its own. Paired with the rest of the beautiful country, Spain easily reaches the second spot for tourism spending.

Spain is one of the most popular destinations for travel in the world, largely because of its beautiful architecture, extensive history, and delightful food options. Whether taking a bicycle tour of downtown Madrid, lounging on the white sand beaches, or wandering through the vineyards, there are plenty of worthwhile ways to spend the day in this Western European country.

  • Things to Do in Spain: Madrid, Public Beaches, Prado Museum, Wine Vineyards, Sagrada Familia Church
  • International Tourism Receipts: $79.7 billion

Marriott International

Plaza de Celenque 2, 28013 Madrid

United States Of America

With nearly four million square miles of land to explore across 50 unique states, it is hard for any other country to compete with the tourism spending that occurs in the United States. Nearly every state has a national park, making it easy to explore the outdoors and enjoy some wildlife watching.

Exciting cities like Las Vegas, Chicago, and New York offer a fun downtown experience and even more vibrant nightlife. There are also a number of popular city-like towns across the US which offer similar experiences and amenities without the crowds and further propel America to the top of travelers’ bucket lists.

  • Things to Do in the United States: National Parks, Las Vegas, New York, Houston, Savannah, San Francisco, Florida Keys, Washington DC
  • International Tourism Receipts: $214 billion

525 New Jersey Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., DC 20001

World Tourism Rankings by Country 2024

Published by on, world tourism rankings 2024, international arrivals per year.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that internationally there were just 25 million tourist arrivals in 1950. 68 years later this number has increased to  1.4 billion  international arrivals per year.

Every country on Earth has something to offer international visitors, from the pyramids in Egypt to the rain forests of Brazil or the sidewalk cafes of Paris but which countries attract the most visitors of all? Most of the countries with the highest tourism rates are located in Europe, whose rich history, architecture, and cultural influence make it an appealing destination for many travelers. Countries positioned on or near a body of water are also very popular, particularly those that offer a relaxed, low-key atmosphere mixed with beautiful beaches and ocean views.

According to the  World Tourism Organization’s  yearly highlights report, there was a growth of 7% in international tourist arrivals in the last 10 years. Europe makes up 51% of the 1,326 million figure, followed by Asia and the Pacific at 24%. Economic gain through tourism peaked at US$ 1,340 billion, divided up between Europe, Asia and the Pacific, and Americas.

While tourism has picked up slightly in 2021, they still fall far short of the pre-pandemic numbers. Late 2020 projections were hopeful that the industry would be back on track by late 2021, but the ongoing nature of the pandemic has thwarted that optimism. As of late 2021, most estimates do not expect the industry to rebound to 2019 (pre-COVID) levels until sometime in 2023 at the earliest.

Top 10 Most visited Country in the World

  • France – 90.0 million
  • Spain – 83.7 million
  • United States – 79.3 million
  • China – 65.7 million
  • Italy – 64.5 million
  • Turkey – 51.2 million
  • Mexico – 45.0 million
  • Thailand – 39.8 million
  • Germany – 39.6 million
  • United Kingdom – 39.4 million

The most popular tourist destination in the world for more than 30 years, France offers a myriad of attractions: the Eiffel tower, countless world-class restaurants, the Musée du Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, the Notre-Dame cathedral, the beaches of the Côte d’Azur, and of course, Disneyland Paris. Moreover, the lushly beautiful countryside is full of storybook villages, mountains, vineyards, and the occasional castle. One can even view prehistoric cave paintings in Lascaux. Paris, France’s capital, is the   most visited city   in Europe, receiving 38 million tourists in 2019.

Spain is another tourist destination overflowing with interesting attractions. Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral and other works in   Barcelona, the Guggenheim museum, the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, Europe’s largest aquarium (the lily-shaped L’Oceanogràfic), the beaches of Gran Canaria, and La Rambla in Barcelona. Spain is also home to El Teide, an ancient—but not entirely dormant—volcano, which visitors can hike around at the Parque Nacional del Teide on the Spanish island Tenerife.

  • UNWTO Tourism Data Dashboard – United Nations World Tourism Organization
  • World Tourism Barometer – United Nations World Tourism Organization
  • Trending in Travel – World Travel & Tourism Council
  • Economic Impact Reports – World Travel & Tourism Council

Atlas & Boots

The UK's most popular outdoor travel blog

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

10 most visited countries in the world

We profile some usual suspects plus one or two surprises in the top 10 most visited countries in the world

Have you dreamed of a romantic kiss atop the Eiffel Tower? Perhaps you’ve thrown a wish into the Trevi Fountain or stopped and stared at the Sistine Chapel. If so, you’re certainly not alone.

According to the last available pre-pandemic figures, France and Italy are two of the most visited countries in the world. Together with the rest of the top 10, they make up a whopping 41% of global tourist arrivals (i.e. overnight visitors). Here’s the complete list of the most visited countries in the world.

The below figures come from the 2020 edition of the UNWTO’s International Tourism Highlights report.

1. France           

Arrivals: 89.4 million (2018) Change: 2.9% (year on year)

France is one of the most visited countries in the world

It’s fair to say that there has been a long-standing rivalry between the French and the British, partly because we Brits think we’re better than them (deep down, we know we’re not).

In both joie de vivre and savoire faire , in culture, couture and cuisine, our Gallic cousins outclass us consistently – and why wouldn’t they? Their impeccable taste coupled with a natural hauteur lends them an inimitable sophistication. It’s this je ne se quois perhaps that keeps tourists coming to this land of romance – a whopping 89.4 million of them a year.

Arrivals: 83.5 million (2019) Change : 0.8%

Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world

Good food, good wine, amazing architecture and the ebullient nature of the natives are just some of the reasons why people flock to Spain (and subsequently get exhausted by the Spaniards… did we mention they’re ebullient?).

Spain is a popular destination not only for all the above but also as a place of worship. Camino de Santiago, a network of paths leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, is popular not only with pilgrims but also with hikers, cyclists and organised tour groups.

3. USA           

Arrivals: 79.3 million (2019) Change : -0.6%

The US is one of the most visited countries in the world

Despite the lowest increase in tourist arrivals year on year, the US holds strong as the third most visited country in the world. It has more famous cities than arguably any other country in the world – New York, LA, San Francisco, Miami and Chicago being just some of them. There’s plenty for culture vultures (New Orleans, Austin, Boston) and nature lovers too: Yosemite, Grand Prismatic Spring and Grand Canyon are just a few of the many national parks full of weird and wonderful things .

Arrivals: 65.7 million (2019) Change : 4.5%

 China is one of the most visited countries in the world

China is a behemoth on the world stage in size, population and economic strength. The world’s oldest continuous civilisation offers gleaming monuments to progress countered by rich threads of antiquity. Mist-shrouded mountains, sleepy water towns, archaeological wonders and world-class cuisine are just a few of the myriad reasons why over 60 million tourists flock to this country each year.

Arrivals: 64.5 million (2019) Change : 4.8%

The Colosseum in Italy is one of the Seven Wonders of the World

Ah, Rome, the place where legends are born, legacies shorn and gelato grants entry to heaven. And that’s just the beginning. There’s charming Verona, iconic Venice and the heart-stoppingly stunning Dolomites. If you have to be unoriginal, be unoriginal in Italy .

6. Turkey           

Arrivals: 51.2 million (2019) Change : 11.9%

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

It’s interesting that Turkey has had the biggest year-on-year increase on the list: 11.9% to be specific. This might be a sign that its fortunes are continuing to improve. During our visit back in 2016, we were told of slowing trade caused by local conflict. In fact, a day and a half after we left , there was a bombing in the glorious city of Istanbul.

Currently, Turkey is almost entirely trouble-free and the hope is that it continues to stay safe and open. If you’re considering a holiday to the Anatolian Peninsula, it’s worth double-checking the things you need to visit Turkey .

Arrivals: 45 million (2019) Change : 9.0%

Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World

In past years, Mexico has jostled with Thailand and Russia for a place on the list of the world’s most visited countries. This year, it sits comfortably mid-list with over 45 million tourist arrivals. Home to Frida Kahlo, the dazzling Day of the Dead celebrations and a Wonder of the World in the form of Chichen Itza, Mexico is only set to grow in popularity.

8. Thailand

Arrivals: 39.8 million (2019) Change : 4.3%

An idyllic scene in Thailand, one of the most visited countries in the world

Thailand – love it or hate it, it repeatedly appears on the list of the world’s most visited countries. A mainstay of the backpacker route through southeast Asia, Thailand benefits from strong tourist infrastructure, lashes of natural beauty and of course exquisite cuisine.

The iconic Maya Bay on Ko Phi Phi – made famous by the 2000 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio – has experienced a sustained explosion in tourism. In 2018, it was announced that the beach would be closed indefinitely to allow it to recover from tourist damage, a cautionary tale perhaps for the countries hoping to one day join this list.

9. Germany       

Arrivals: 39.6 million Change : 1.8%

Brandenburger Gate in Berlin, Germany

Germany was named by Lonely Planet as one of the best countries to visit in 2019, this being the 100-year anniversary of Bauhaus, a school of design that still today influences art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design and typography.

Beyond Bauhaus, there is plenty to do and see. The Reichstag, Brandenburger Gate and Berlin Wall are just some of the world-famous sights in the capital city. Further afield, the stunning Black Forest and its collection of fairytale castles are a major draw for international tourists.

10. United Kingdom

Arrivals: 39.4 million (2019) Change : 1.9%

Tower Bridge in London, UK

And so we come to our homeland of Britain, a green and pleasant land full of sedate sights like Stonehenge set to a backdrop of gloomy skies and seemingly endless drizzle. Still, there’s plenty here to draw tourists. World-class museums, dramatic forts and castles, charming countryside villages and a cheese-rolling competition have all helped the UK sneak into the top 10 most visited countries in the world.

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top 10 countries for tourist

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Fill your mind and soul: 2023’s 10 most visited countries in the world

most visited countries in the world

The most visited countries in the world are where millions of travellers flock each year to experience rich cultures, iconic landmarks and diverse landscapes.

Countries like France, Spain and the US consistently top the charts for international visitors. In 2019, France alone welcomed nearly 90 million tourists , drawn to its romance, world-renowned cuisine and iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower.

Their popularity can be attributed to a combination of factors, including well-established tourism infrastructure, extensive marketing efforts and a wealth of attractions.

Famous landmarks, cultural festivals and historical sites attract travellers worldwide. These countries often benefit from great transportation networks, making them easily accessible.

As a traveller, exploring the most visited countries in the world provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the diverse tapestry of global cultures, discover iconic landmarks and indulge in different cuisines.

That is, until the COVID-19 pandemic shut our borders.

most visited countries in the world

The COVID-19 crisis has hit the tourism economy hard, with unprecedented effects on jobs and businesses. Source: AFP

How COVID-19 affected travelling

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, bustling airports and crowded tourist spots were a common sight, but the virus brought a sudden halt to global travel. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global passenger traffic plummeted by 65.9% in 2020 compared to the previous year .

Lockdowns, travel restrictions and fear of infection created an unprecedented decline in tourism and business travel alike.

International students, once free to explore educational opportunities worldwide, faced uncertainty and disrupted plans.

The number of international students globally dropped by 8% in 2020, affecting the cultural exchange that these students bring to universities and countries.

Fast forward to the present, and the travel sector is undergoing a remarkable transformation.

With widespread vaccination campaigns and improved safety measures, the travel industry is experiencing a revival.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reported a significant rebound in global travel, predicting a 48.5% increase in international tourist arrivals in 2021.

Countries are easing entry requirements, and the aviation industry is witnessing a gradual return to pre-pandemic levels.

For international students, this means a renewed opportunity to pursue education abroad.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) reported a steady rise in the enrollment of international students.

As the world reopens its borders, the dreams of studying in foreign universities are once again becoming a reality for students worldwide.

And bringing back to life the biggest question for international students: which are the best countries to study abroad?

The list of most visited countries in the world — and the opposite — may hold some answers.

Least visited countries in the world

Venturing off on the road not taken can lead you to some of the world’s least visited countries, often hidden gems waiting to be explored.

According to  UNWTO, countries like Tuvalu, Nauru and Kiribati rank among the least visited countries in the world.

These remote nations often face challenges in terms of accessibility, with limited transportation options and fewer international flights.

Tuvalu, for instance, received only around 2,000 visitors in 2017 , and Nauru saw only 200 tourists the same year .

The most visited countries in the world boast the opposite features: many flights, easy transport links and many other great factors that draw millions of tourists every year — the same factors that can enhance your study abroad adventure.

top 10 countries for tourist

People walk in village Royal place displays with Christmas decorations, in Paris, on December 15, 2023. Source: AFP

10 most visited countries in the world

France is the most visited country in the world, boasting over 72.4 million visitors. While Paris, its capital, is securing the second spot among the world’s most frequented cities. 

The allure of France is undeniable. Its history is shown through its castles and cathedrals, which tell tales of royalty that span centuries.

Idyllic villages and romantic cities are inviting for those who want to indulge in markets, the quintessentially French café terraces and the timeless ritual of enjoying a coffee and croissant.

Beyond its architecture, France is known for its outdoors. This includes Corsica’s forests and the French Riviera’s sun-soaked shores.

The country’s reputation as a global favourite isn’t solely because of its scenic beauty but also its delectable cuisine. 

French food is celebrated worldwide for its unique and delicate flavours and presentation. From Michelin-starred restaurants to charming cafes, France provides a gastronomic journey defined by the world’s best wines, pastries and classic fine dining dishes.

Many international students are also drawn to France due to the many educational opportunities.

With esteemed institutions, a vibrant cultural scene and friendly visas , studying in France is a top choice for many.

The country’s educational system is renowned for its quality, allowing students to immerse themselves in the French language and culture. 

top 10 countries for tourist

People walk past a newly installed mural of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Manhattan’s East Village on November 19, 2020 in New York City. Source: AFP

The US remains one of the most visited countries in the world, enticing visitors with its diverse blend of metropolises and small-town charms.

D espite a projected decline in visitor numbers from 50.9 million in 2022 to 41.8 million in 2023, according to WTM data, the allure of the American Dream is still strong.

From the iconic skyline of New York City to the glitz of Las Vegas, the cultural melting pots of Los Angeles and Chicago, and the historical charm of Boston, American cities are vibrant, ever-evolving spaces that offer many cultures and cuisines.

I ts landscapes also add to its popularity, with attractions like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park and the lush rainforests.

Apart from being a sought-after travel destination, the US is also a hub for international students seeking quality education. From Harvard to Berkeley, renowned universities and colleges offer a wide array of academic and research opportunities, with no shortage of immersions in American life. 

most visited countries in the world

Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world, with millions of visitors each year coming to see the country’s beautiful beaches, historical landmarks, and cultural attractions. Source: AFP

Spain is the embodiment of passion and a good life. In 2022, Spain hosted over 71.6 million international visitors, and this year, it remains one of the most visited countries in the world, with over 70 million visitors. 

The country boasts a trove of captivating attractions. Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces like the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell in Barcelona, the awe-inspiring Alhambra, the serene El Retiro in Madrid and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao are just a sampling of the country’s cultural riches. 

Spain has become a hotspot for international students seeking educational opportunities. With a range of universities offering diverse programmes in English and Spanish, students from around the world are drawn to the quality of education and the cultural experience Spain provides.

According to UNESCO, Spain is one of the top destinations for international students, with many enrolled in higher education institutions. The opportunity to immerse oneself in Spanish, explore centuries-old libraries and museums and engage in a vibrant student life contributes to the country’s appeal.

top 10 countries for tourist

People are seen on a ferry across the Huangpu River in Shanghai on December 10, 2023. Source: AFP

China, standing as one of the most visited countries in the world, has an appeal beyond politics.

Historically, China boasts a legacy predating many nations, with universities established before schools even existed in England.

T he iconic attractions contribute to China’s popularity, including the majestic Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an and the modern skyline of Shanghai. 

Beyond the bustling cities, inner China has wonders such as Chengdu, Sichuan Province, Guilin and the island oasis of Hainan.

While currently many of its tourists come from other Asian nations, China’s tourism landscape is expected to change, and efforts to streamline the tourist visa process would undoubtedly contribute to this transformation.

China has become popular for international students with a growing number of top-ranking universities.

According to the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, over 500,000 international students have recently enrolled in Chinese universities. 

most visited countries in the world

Whether you prefer a classic margherita or pepperoni, Italy is the place to be for all pizza lovers. Source: AFP

Next on the list of most visited countries in the world is Italy. It is the epitome of culinary delights, rich history and artistic treasures. This comes as no surprise with cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, the Amalfi Coast and the picturesque island of Sicily.

The charms of Italy lies not only in its delicious cuisine of pizza, pasta, and wine but also in its cultural significance and beauty. 

Despite a slight dip in numbers to 25.9 million visitors this year, Italy remains a top destination in Europe and globally.

Whether exploring the ruins of Pompeii, strolling through Tuscany’s vineyards, or marvelling at St. Peter’s Basilica, Italy offers an enriching experience.

Italy hosts some of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities.

Here, t he chance to study art, history, fashion, and architecture in the very landscapes that inspired the masters of these disciplines is a dream come true for many.  

most visited countries in the world

Thanks to its compelling cuisine and beautiful architecture, Turkey was one of the most visited countries in the world. Source: AFP

Turkey is one of the most visited countries globally, luring travellers with its unique charm and diverse attractions. It has fairytale-like hot air balloons of Cappadocia, the cascading waterfalls of Pamukkale and the ancient marvels of Ephesus.

Endless beach resorts, including the stunning Mediterranean coastline, as well as culinary delights such as spiced kebabs, oil-cooked vegetables, and baklava increase Turkey’s appeal. 

Every year, more than 250,000 international students join its 207 universities. They come through both the Erasmus+ scheme and international partnerships with universities.

top 10 countries for tourist

The lifting of hot air balloons during the third day of the 21st International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Leon, Guanajuato state, Mexico, on November 19, 2023. Source: AFP

Mexico, welcoming nearly 40 million visitors this year, is one of the most visited countries in the world.

Of those who travel here, they can see that the Mexican spirit is unlike any other. 

Mexico’s diverse landscapes, including eye-catching jungles, volcanoes, deserts, and coastlines, offer adventures for both hikers and divers, from scaling Oaxaca’s mountainous ridges to diving deep into the Caribbean.

Mexico’s street tacos, enchiladas and guacamole create a tantalising journey for your taste buds.

The country’s festivals, from Dia de los Muertos to vibrant local fiestas, add a festive spirit to your exploration.

It also stands as an increasingly popular destination for international students. Over 70,000 international students have chosen Mexican universities, drawn by the academic quality , affordable tuition and the chance to immerse themselves in the Spanish language and Mexican culture. 

most visited countries in the world

People enjoy a drink at a bar along the popular tourist and nightlife strip Khao San Road in Bangkok. Source: AFP

8. Thailand 

Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the world, drawing 27.5 million visitors this year. The appeal of Thailand lies in its multifaceted charm – from having the best food in the world, pristine landscapes and endless beaches to friendly people and a cost of living that won’t break the bank. 

The vibrant atmosphere of Bangkok, the laid-back beauty of Koh Samui, the stunning landscapes of Phang Nga, and the breathtaking scenery of Krabi are all appealing in many and various ways.

Thailand’s nightlife, shopping, scrumptious street food and numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including ancient structures and dense forests, make it a perennial tourist favourite. 

Beyond drawing toursits, Thailand is becoming an increasingly popular destination for international students. The country’s universities offer a range of programmes in English, providing the opportunity to study in a tropical paradise.

The affordability of living expenses and the opportunity to experience Thai hospitality firsthand make Thailand an attractive choice for those seeking academic growth.

best online MBA programmes

People enjoy the sunset on the Admiralsbruecke in Berlin’s district of Kreuzberg. Source: AFP

9. Germany 

Germany, nestled at the heart of Europe, is one of the most visited countries in the world, boasting a rich tapestry of cultural, historical and natural wonders. The country’s allure is thanks to its 6,800 museums, including the Städel Museum, preserving 700 years of art history and many magnificent castles and palaces like Neuschwanstein Castle. 

With 16 natural landscapes, including the Black Forest Natural Park and Harz National Park, Germany attracts nature enthusiasts from around the world. Despite a dip in visitor numbers from 28.5 million to 19.8 million in 2023, Germany is still a popular destination.

Germany also stands out as a hub for education, attracting international students seeking academic excellence. The country boasts numerous universities known for their research output and high-quality education. The opportunity to pursue programmes in English, coupled with the absence of tuition fees in many public universities, adds to the appeal. 

10. United Kingdom 

Welcoming over 31.2 million visitors in 2020, with a projected increase to 37.5 million by the end of 2023, the UK is one of the most visited countries in the world. The UK’s popularity is attributed not only to its rich historical and cultural heritage but also to its exceptional Christmas markets, festivals and diverse attractions.

From Buckingham Palace to the lush green countryside, the UK has so much to offer. It is more than just London, with cities like Glasgow, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Edinburgh and Manchester just as exciting as its capital.

On the higher education front, the UK’s universities need no introduction. With esteemed institutions like Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London, the UK is home to some of the world’s brightest minds tackling the grand challenges of the 21st century.

That, ant the diverse range of programmes, the opportunity to learn English in an immersive environment, and the cultural vibrancy of cities like London make the UK a sought-after destination for those seeking a great study abroad adventure.

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Best Countries For Tourism in the World

Here is the list of 77 best countries for tourism in the world, 1. india - the land of diversity.

India - The Land of Diversity

Situated in South Asia, India is a country with deep cultural roots and a rich heritage. A great country for budget travel, India is popular for its forts and palaces. You can visit India to find yourself through yoga, to lose yourself in the mountains of Himalayas, to be mesmerised by the ancient temples. The crowded bazaars, blaring traffic, filmy music, the colour, the noise and not to forget, the chaos will leave you all amazed and overwhelmed. Best Time : December - March

2. Thailand - The Gateway to Southeast Asia.

Thailand - The Gateway to Southeast Asia.

Thailand, a dreamy beachside paradise, is a country that has managed to retain its cultural integrity in spite of being a major tourist destination. One can find everything here - from pristine beaches to dense forests, ancient monasteries to coral reefs, from Buddhist monks to floating markets and finally the fragrant and rich food to treat your taste buds. Best Time : November - March

3. Maldives, Maldives - A Tropical Haven For Honeymooners

Maldives, Maldives - A Tropical Haven For Honeymooners

Known For : Stay in an Overwater Bungalow Diving in Maldives Snorkelling in Maldives

The Maldives is an archipelagic state situated in the Indian Ocean known for its luxurious water villas. A tropical haven of white sand beaches, the Maldives is located in the south of Sri Lanka and is ideal for an adventure, honeymoon, or leisure holiday. Imagine having a room on a pier jutting out from the shore with a glass floor under which manta rays and reef sharks can be seen swimming, and step out from your overwater bungalow to the view of turquoise water.

Best Time: Mid December to April

103 Maldives Attractions

4. Singapore - The Quintessential Cosmopolitan

Singapore - The Quintessential Cosmopolitan

Known For : Gardens by the Bay Sentosa Island Universal Studios Singapore

Best described as a microcosm of modern Asia, Singapore is a melting pot of culture and history, and an extravaganza of culinary delights. Officially known as the Republic of Singapore, it is both a city and a country located in Southeast Asia. One of Asia's most visited destinations, Singapore is best described as an amalgam of a fast-paced life and an off-the-back-street inheritance.

Best Time: January to November

270 Singapore Attractions


Vietnam in south-eastern Asia is arguably one of the most beautiful countries on the continent. Known for its natural beauty and abundance of natural attractions such as the vast paddy fields, limestone islands in Halong Bay or the massive cave system in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, the country provides quite an unmatched experience. Add to that the ever-delightful authentic Vietnamese cuisine which is fast gaining popularity around the world and you have a wholesome experience like no other. Best Time : Spring (February to April) and Autumn (August to October)

6. Sri Lanka - A Land Like No Other

Sri Lanka - A Land Like No Other

Sri Lanka is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean known for its spectacular beaches, thousand-year-old Buddhist temples, an abundance of wildlife, and rich archaeological history. The plethora of water sports, breathtaking sunsets, sprawling tea gardens and of course, mouth-watering Sri Lankan food, are sure to make you fall in love with this gorgeous place.  Best Time : December - April

7. Mauritius - Indian Ocean's Island Paradise.

Mauritius - Indian Ocean's Island Paradise.

Known For : Black River Gorges National Park Seven Coloured Earth of Chamarel Scuba Diving in Mauritius

Mauritius, or the Republic of Mauritius, is a multi-cultural island nation located about 2,000 kilometres from Africa in the Indian Ocean and southeast of Seychelles. With palm-fringed beaches, aquamarine waters, imposing mountains and lush national parks, Mauritius is popular for a honeymoon as well as family holidays.

Best Time: July to October (winter)

146 Mauritius Attractions

8. Indonesia - Where Culture Meets Nature

Indonesia - Where Culture Meets Nature

Indonesia is a kaleidoscope of taste, sight, sound, and smells bottled up in the world's largest archipelago. Spread out over a mind-boggling 17,000 islands, the country offers a vast melange of experiences begging to be sampled by visitors from across the world. Ranging from the smouldering volcanoes of central Java to the verdant expanses of Bali's rice terraces, from Jakarta's sprawling luxury malls to the untouched marine biosphere of Rajah Ampat and the lush rainforests of Borneo, Indonesia is ripe for adventure for the eager tourist.  Best Time : April - September

9. New Zealand - The Land Where Adventures Wait

New Zealand - The Land Where Adventures Wait

New Zealand lies to the southwest of the Pacific Ocean and promises breathtaking landscapes adorned with picturesque coastlines and the mightiest mountains. One of New Zealand's highlights is its opportunities for adventure activities as well as its nice blend of museums, art galleries and heritage sites. Best Time : December - February

10. Bhutan - The Happiest Country in All of Asia

Bhutan - The Happiest Country in All of Asia

The ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ – Bhutan nestles in the mountainous regions of the Eastern Himalayas and is one of the cleanest countries in the South Asian territory. A remote kingdom that still clings to its Buddhist culture but embraces modernisation, Bhutan is a land with monasteries, traditional architecture, beautiful valleys, snow-clad mountain views and lush greenery. Being landlocked, the country enjoys a significant tourist influx from its neighbours, Tibet and India. Best Time : March to May, September to November

11. Australia - Land Down Under

Australia - Land Down Under

Home to the Great Barrier Reef and iconic beaches and surf spots, Australia is the perfect destination for adventure seekers and lovers of beach getaways. Popularly known as the land of Kangaroos, Australia is both the smallest continent and the largest island country in the world. An evergrowing multicultural marvel, the country is famous for its beautiful blend of cosmopolitan cities, wild and enchanting outbacks, thriving wildlife and mesmerising beaches along the eastern coast. Best Time : Spring (September to November) and Autumn (March to May)

12. Malaysia - Truly Asia

Malaysia - Truly Asia

A potpourri of all things Asian, Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. An intriguing blend of diverse wildlife, idyllic islands, magnanimous mountains, rainforests, and rich culinary landscape makes it one of the most visited tourist places in Asia.  Best Time : December - March

13. Nepal - On Top of the World

Nepal - On Top of the World

A hub for the adventure-lovers and home to Mt. Everest, the world's tallest peak, Nepal is a Himalayan country sandwiched between India and China. The mighty snow-capped mountains here such as Annapurna, Mount Everest, Manaslu, and Kanchenjunga are home to some of the best trekking trails in the world. It is also a major religious hub with its many pilgrimage sites for the followers of Buddhism and Hinduism like the Pashupatinath Temple and the Boudhanath Stupa. To make things better, the crime rates are very low, making it a very safe travel destination. Best Time : September - Late November

14. Seychelles, Seychelles - The Honeymoon Paradise

Seychelles, Seychelles - The Honeymoon Paradise

Known For : Anse Lazio Snorkeling in Seychelles Sunbathing in Seychelles

Seychelles is an island nation, located in the Indian Ocean close to the east of Africa. Known for its breathtaking beauty, It is an archipelago of 115 islands, 45 of which are granitic islands, while 74 are coralline islands. Its capital and largest city is Victoria. Popular as the island of love, Seychelles’ surreal beauty makes it a popular luxurious honeymoon destination. The most visited islands of Seychelles are Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.

Best Time: April to May, September to October

96 Seychelles Attractions

15. United Arab Emirates - The Centre of Culture and Modernity

United Arab Emirates - The Centre of Culture and Modernity

Once known for its fishing-based economy, today, UAE is much more than vast deserts and ancient forts. Immersed in its rich Emirati culture, the UAE is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world offering touches of modernity with its ever-expanding infrastructure. From its traditional souks to palm-shaped islands, glittering huge malls, luxurious hotels, grand architecture and theme parks, the country offers you a complete package to relax, rejuvenate and be adventurous, all at the same time. Best Time : October - April (Winters)

16. Turkey - A Land of Culture with Modern Twist

Turkey - A Land of Culture with Modern Twist

Settled on the border of Asia and Europe, Turkey is an archive of Islamic Middle East impact and the influence of Christian European West. Turkey at present represents a modern and westernised culture that exists along with its more exotic and esoteric side hidden from outside world. Explore the dual sides of the country with the natural panoramic landscape, historic places, fertile valleys, huge mountain ranges, rugged coastline and quaint villages.  Best Time : April - June (Spring) and October - November (Autumn)

17. Jordan - The Land of Mesmerizing Beauty

Jordan - The Land of Mesmerizing Beauty

Also known as the 'Lawrence of Arabia', Jordan is a spectacle of a destination. Jordan is packed with grand structures and hints of old civilisations. Petra, a city in Jordan, is said to be over 2000 years old. Apart from the old civilisations, another important aspect is the biblical evolution of the society that is evident in some of its structures. Hospitality is a very important part of the culture and thus, everywhere you go, you will receive a very warm welcome. Best Time : March-May and Mid-September to Mid-November

18. Philippines - Gateway to hidden beaches and exotic islands

Philippines - Gateway to hidden beaches and exotic islands

The Philippines is a nation studded with a myriad of islands in south-east Asia. It is home to many fantastic beaches, coral reefs and churches. It is also a very popular tourist destination offering plenty of options for tourists regarding nature, wildlife, adventure, entertainment and nightlife. The people are very warm and affable, and they will not hesitate to go an extra mile to see a smile on your face. Best Time : November - April


In just forty years, this Gulf state has grown from one of the poorest countries in the Gulf to the richest in the world. Mainly functioning on oil and natural gas revenue, Qatar is developing at breakneck speed, and everything from universities to shopping malls, 5-star hotels to football stadiums (in preparation for the 2022 World Cup) are springing up along the desert floor. Best Time : October-December

20. Cambodia - A Country Rich in Heritage & Natural Beauty

Cambodia - A Country Rich in Heritage & Natural Beauty

Cambodia is a country steeped in history. In spite of years and years of struggle, the country has emerged today as a nation with an infectious spirit seen in its people and a tourism business that is flourishing. Home of the famous Angkor Wat and numerous other temples, this country is intoxicating in its beauty, to say the least. Apart from the historical and the cultural, Cambodia is also urbane, boasting of beautiful Phnom Penh, its capital, and tonnes of restaurants serving delicious cuisine.  Best Time : November - January

21. Greece - All-Time Classic

Greece - All-Time Classic

Surrounded by crystal blue waters all around, Greece has 2000 islands among which only 160 are inhabited. It has everything that a traveller could ask for, starting from history and culture, huge mountains, golden beaches and ancient ruins. Along with the history, the culture in music, food and festivals is strongly held up high here. One can delve into the ancient times with splendours like Acropolis and Parthenon . Best Time : March - April (Spring) and September - October (Autumn)

22. Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Known For : Victoria Harbour A Symphony of Lights Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong, officially known as the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is a burst of culture and colour. Housing 18 districts, Hong Kong is one of the most heavily populous regions in the world and the city with the most number of skyscrapers in the world. A major port and shopping hub, Hong Kong is the land of an iconic skyline, delectable cuisine, and protected lush nature reserves. Best Time : October to early December (Autumn)

Best Time: October to December (Autumn)

337 Hong Kong Attractions

23. Oman - Gateway to the Charming Arab World

Oman - Gateway to the Charming Arab World

Oman is an Arab country located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Though there is no diversity in religion here, you will find a variety of tranquil landscapes and sceneries. The beauty of the emerald beaches, the rich Arab history in the ancient forts, the lush green mountains, unique wildlife and endless deserts will give you an Arabian adventure unlike any other country in the Gulf Coast. Best Time : November-February


Kenya is located along the eastern coast of the African continent. It is a large country that is a hotbed for tourists. Although it is largely known for its safaris, there is also a lot more to Kenya, such as Nairobi, which is its commercial capital. Wildlife, heritage sites, highlands and valleys -- the country truly has it all. Best Time : Late June to October

25. Saudi Arabia - Hub of Temples and Mosques

Saudi Arabia - Hub of Temples and Mosques

Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Arab country located in Western Asia and constituting most of the Arab Peninsula. Most of the citizens are Muslims, and freedom of religion is restricted by the laws of the country. Only Muslims are respected in the country but, people are very helpful and friendly towards tourists. The rich history, vast stretches of deserts, forts, mosques and temples spread throughout the country will fascinate you. Best Time : November - February

26. Switzerland


Switzerland is a land of stereotypes – expansive greenery, picturesque landscapes, chocolate, cheese, and watches. Switzerland’s lush green vistas are so perfect that they seem to be plucked out of a postcard. It truly is one of the most beautiful places on Earth – soaring Alpine mountains, medieval churches, a bucketful of fresh air, disarming landscapes, and green fields you would endlessly want to run through. It is one of those few places where everything runs on time, the chocolate is fantastic, the countryside is breath-taking and everything is as perfect as a dream! Best Time : Mid-December - Mid October


France is an irresistible assortment of picture perfect landscapes, cultural foible, remarkable fashion sense, historical bequest and of course gastronomic adventures. Basking in the glory of Mother Nature, France offers distinct geographical features from rolling countryside and majestic mountains to stunning white sand beaches and sun-drenched vineyards. With its dash of contemporary finesse and lavish lifestyle, this country will leave you in absolute awe. Best Time : March-May and September - November

28. England - Amalgamation of Royalty and Culture

England - Amalgamation of Royalty and Culture

One of the most popular countries in the world, England is located in Europe. It is also the dream destination for a lot of people for its beauty and grandeur. With a great history behind it, it has a rich heritage and culture. The English countryside is one of the most peaceful places in the country. The most famous historical sites include the old castles on the countryside, Roman sites and the royal palaces. Each city in the country has its own charm. Best Time : July - August

29. Germany - The Land of Festivals

Germany - The Land of Festivals

A country of superior intellect and rich culture, Germany offers its travellers a well-rounded experience of beautiful architecture, beautiful countryside, fun-filled festivals and the most brilliant, lip-smacking cuisine. Every time is a good time to visit - be it in Summer/ Spring when the country is blooming and shrouded in colour or Fall/Winter when everything is serene, calm and covered in snow. The air is infectious and always full of anticipation and festivities. Best Time : March to August

30. Scotland - An amalgamation of Culture, Nature and Music

Scotland - An amalgamation of Culture, Nature and Music

Scotland, a part of the UK, is located in northwestern Europe and is one of the most important countries in the continent. When one thinks of Scotland, the chequered kilts and bagpipes come to mind. However, there is a lot more to the country. From the lush green highlands to the coastal blue waters, from fine Scotch whiskies and brilliant food, you can experience all. Scotland also has a long history, and its magnificent castles can vouch for that. Best Time : May - September


Italy is a country situated in Europe with 20 regions, each having its own glorious history, culture and traditions. It is the place where the Renaissance started and the place which gave the world Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. The icing on the cake is the delicious food that you get to eat here. Best Time : December - March

32. Croatia


Located in Eastern Europe, Croatia is a coastal country that is not only beautiful to look at but also offers a variety of things to do for tourists. There is history interspersed with architecture, great opportunities for swimming, Balkan wine, some of the best seafood and more. The most regularly visited cities here are Dubrovnik and Zagreb, its capital. It also encompasses several islands that are breathtakingly beautiful. In a nutshell, this country offers pretty much everything under the sun for a great vacation. Best Time : April-May; September


Egypt is a country that brings to mind the exotic. Beautiful pyramids, mysterious mummies and lots of gold. That is what everybody perceives Egypt as. But it is so much more. There is Cairo, its most famous city, the river Nile, desert adventures, its temples and mosques and the general aura of history rooted in the culture that pervades the entire country. Best Time : September-April

34. United States of America - The Hub of Diversity and Opportunities

United States of America - The Hub of Diversity and Opportunities

Occupying a huge chunk of North America, the United States of America or USA is a Pandora Box full of surprises for all kind of travellers. From crowded mega-cities to serene small towns, breathtaking natural beauty, man-made wonders, and fast-paced, exciting and ever-changing environs, the country will leave anyone awe-inspired with its vividness. Best Time : March-May; September - November

35. Morocco - The Exotic Land of Spices & Stories

Morocco - The Exotic Land of Spices & Stories

Morocco is a country in North Africa. It is blessed with abundant natural beauty and is one of the top destinations for tourism. Majestic mountains standing tall in the distance, cities that are ancient, sprawling deserts and more characterise this country. Famous attractions here include the medina in Marrakesh, the Fort Kasbah of the Udayas, the dozens of souks and the Jemaa el-Fnaa. It is a truly beautiful country, with lots to offer to every kind of tourist. Best Time : March-May

36. Malta - The Island of Legends

Malta - The Island of Legends

Known For : Upper Barrakka Gardens HMS Maori Lascaris War Rooms

The island state of Malta is located in the Mediterranean Sea and falls south of the Italian island of Sicily. Temples, fortresses, sandy beaches, cliffs, and jutted coves is what makes this small island nation worth visiting, coupled with thrilling activities like scuba diving, snorkelling, and a long and fascinating history going back to the days before Christ.

Best Time: April to June

21 Malta Attractions

37. Austria - The Land of Music and Arts

Austria - The Land of Music and Arts

Basking in the glory of natural beauty, Austria is one of the most prominent attractions of central Europe. Rooted in its deep imperial culture, the country offers much more beyond the scenic beauty including neo-classical architecture, the craze for music, popular cafes, and the thrill of sports like skiing. From the rustic backdrops to colourful mismatched houses, Austria is a place to relax, savour and appreciate the culture of the country of many years of making. Best Time : June-August, September and October

38. Netherlands - The Land of Tulips

Netherlands - The Land of Tulips

Amongst one of the most developed and progressive nations of the world, the Netherlands offers an immersive and enriching travelling experience. With the most exquisite flowers blooming in the summer, refreshing showers in the fall, snowfall and nostalgia in the winter and the most colourful landscapes in the spring, the Netherlands has something to offer to everyone. From markets to gardens to the most absurd museums and shops, this country gives a 360-degree experience to its tourists, of a culture and lifestyle so diverse that it always stays with the traveller. Best Time : Spring and Autumn

39. Laos - The Land of Serenity and Bountiful Nature

Laos - The Land of Serenity and Bountiful Nature

Sitting cosily in Southeast Asia, the Republic of Laos is a landlocked country with a sparse population. Known for its spectacular landscape, the country comprises lofty mountains, lush jungles, glistening rice fields and tea leaves covering the mountain surface. The remote tribal villages, ancient Buddhist caves, rich cultural heritage, cafe culture in cosmopolitans, elegant colonial architecture and peaceful stupas add to the charm of this land of lotus-eaters. Best Time : November - February

40. Japan - Home To Great Architecture & Great Food

Japan - Home To Great Architecture & Great Food

Japan, located in Eastern Asia, is a sovereign nation. It is well known for its bustling cities, imperial palaces, national parks and lots of beautifully constructed temples. Tokyo, the capital of the country, is a much-visited tourist destination, home to tonnes of skyscrapers. There is a lot to do in Japan, from adventure sports to relaxing at the beach and discovering the real beauty of Japanese architecture. Best Time : March-May

41. South Africa - Where Natural Beauty Abounds

South Africa - Where Natural Beauty Abounds

South Africa is a country that is as well known for its wildlife and safaris as it is for its beaches and Winelands. It has been given the name of 'Rainbow Country', as it is very culturally diverse. South Africa has a lot of big, popular cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, which in turn have a lot to offer to tourists. It shares its northern borders with countries like Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The country has also been listed as one of the most megadiverse nations in the world, regarding its biodiversity. Best Time : May - September

42. Czech Republic - The Land of Art, Music and Beer

Czech Republic - The Land of Art, Music and Beer

The Czech Republic is a small country with a big package, offering something for its every visitor. Evolved as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, this country exhibits its enriched culture through its magnificent castles, museums, cathedrals, medieval towns and lying at its heart, the culture-crammed capital city, Prague. Often tagged as 'city of a thousand spires', Prague is adorned with incredible architecture, rustic cobblestone streets, noteworthy churches and medieval bridges. The city is also a haunt for night birds, offering fine dining, old breweries, zesty jazz clubs and buzzing markets. Best Time : May - October

43. Bahrain - Concoction of liberalism, diversity and prosperity

Bahrain - Concoction of liberalism, diversity and prosperity

Known For : Arad Fort Reef Island Al-Khamis Mosque

The Kingdom of Bahrain is a Middle-Eastern island nation, an archipelago of thirty-three islands bordering Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This desert island is a diverse society that brings immigrants from all the other six continents to live together harmoniously, boasting of a high standard of living and development, with sky-kissing million dollar buildings as well as two artificial islands. It is known for its petroleum reserves, offshore banking and tourism. Bahrain's biggest yearly event - Bahrain Grand Prix F1 race is held in the month of April each year. Best Time : February to April and October to December

Best Time: December to March

25 Bahrain Attractions

44. Brazil - Living the Carnival life

Brazil - Living the Carnival life

Brazil, the largest country in Latin America and the fifth largest country in the world is a land of great diversity, be it in culture, geography or ecosystems. From the wilderness of the great Amazon rainforests and sun-kissed tropical beaches to the Grand Carnival celebration in Rio, the country has it all. Visit the colonial-era towns in the state of Minas Gerais, blend in the culture of Bahia or visit the futuristic capital city of Brasilia. The plethora of options available in the country actually encapsulates the visitors in their charm. Best Time : November-March; June-September

45. Israel - Where the History Comes Alive

Israel - Where the History Comes Alive

Israel is considered a Holy nation bordered by Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. It is also home to Jerusalem ( the birthplace of Lord Jesus). It has a vibrant history and culture. It has ties to diversified religions, and this makes it an interesting place to visit for travellers. It is also a highly modernised country, and the regions are divided into cities which are further sub-divided into towns.  Best Time : December - April

46. Belgium - French and German Cultures Amalgamated

Belgium - French and German Cultures Amalgamated

Chocolates, beer, laces and porcelain are what you think of when you hear Belgium. All of this holds true, but there is a lot more to explore in this small country. Rich in art and culture, Belgium has a fine heritage with many monuments in various cities of the country. Being the centre of EU and NATO, the country holds a lot of prominence among other countries. From long beaches in the north to the highlands in the south, the country offers you everything. Best Time : Mid-April to Mid-October

47. Bahamas - An Ocean of Gorgeous Landscapes

Bahamas - An Ocean of Gorgeous Landscapes

Known For : Grand Bahamas Paradise Island Bimini Island

The Bahamas offers over 700 islands waiting for visitors to explore. It is considered to be one of the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. This Paradise of beaches is located 50 miles off the east coast of Florida and is heaven for beach lovers. The Bahamas provides the quintessential island experience, gorgeous beaches and numerous tours and activities. The breathtaking scenery and pleasant weather are one of the few reasons to plan a vacation to the Bahamas.  Best Time : December-February

Best Time: Anytime except the month of September

11 Bahamas Attractions

48. Kuwait - A Wonderful Mix of The Ancient & The Modern

Kuwait - A Wonderful Mix of The Ancient & The Modern

Located at the top of the Persian Gulf, Kuwait is a country that has often been well-known for being rich in oil. Its neighbouring countries include Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. Kuwait City is the capital of the country and is famous for its modern architecture. Kuwait includes modern-day skyscrapers as well as ancient, beautifully built mosques, so it truly is a mix of modernity and ancient times. Best Time : November - April

49. Spain - An explorer's paradise

Spain - An explorer's paradise

With amazing beaches and super fun nightlife, Spain is considered to be one of the most exotic countries in Europe. It is not just known for its beaches, but also its snowy mountains and deserts. The country is historically rich with the third rank in the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. It is also famous for the numerous festivals taking place. Spain is also architecturally marvellous with Islamic, Catholic and Renaissance architectural designs. Best Time : Spring and Fall are the Best Seasons to Visit Spain

50. Canada - The Epitome of Ethnic Diversity

Canada - The Epitome of Ethnic Diversity

Canada is the second largest country in the world, and it continues to attract tourists with its diversity, hospitality and magnetic. beauty. Whether you are a daredevil or a nature lover, Canada has something for everyone. It is considered to be one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. Blessed with all of its natural attractions, it is the ideal place for fishing, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, etc. making it every adventurer's paradise.  Best Time : March-May and September - November

51. Lebanon


Lebanon lies in the Middle East and is a sovereign. It is often called the Lebanese Republic. It shares its borders with countries like Syria, Israel and Cyprus. Lebanon is actually supposed to be the smallest country in the entire continent of Asia. It has a wonderful coastline that you can never get tired of and even boasts of a popular city - fashionable Beirut. Lebanon is home to a cuisine that we have all sampled at some point, in several different versions - Lebanese cuisine.  Best Time : June - September

52. Ireland - The Mythical Island of Europe

Ireland   - The Mythical Island of Europe

Located in northwestern Europe, the island of Ireland is famous for its ancient rocks and great legends. Apart from the natural beauty of the beaches, lakes, mountains and limestone deserts, the country is also known for its numerous festivals. It is also known as the Emerald Isle as it is rich in poetry, prose, painting as well as tourist literature. With proper warmth and hospitality, Ireland is very popular among tourists. Best Time : Summer (June-September)

53. Hungary - A fusion of traditional and modern Europe

Hungary - A fusion of traditional and modern Europe

Currently among the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world, Hungary offers a unique amalgamation of traditional European culture and modern-day practices. Here, you can take a trip through quaint, rural villages and enjoy a thriving nightlife in Budapest, both within a distance of a few miles. With a capital city regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world, Hungary is home to several World Heritage Sites, UNESCO Biosphere reserves and the second largest thermal lake in the world.  Best Time : April - September

54. Tanzania - The Canvas of Natural Beauty

Tanzania - The Canvas of Natural Beauty

Tanzania is one of the most ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse country in Africa. The people of Tanzania with their smiling faces and infectious spirits would give you a warm welcome. Tanzania continues to attract people with its beautiful ebony carvings and marvellous textiles. This country is the proud owner of Africa's tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro. Tanzania proudly flaunts its natural beauty whether it's the animals, the landscapes, the beaches or its coral reefs. Best Time : July-October, December-March

55. Portugal


With a rich culture, eccentric cities and an exquisite countryside, Portugal is among the best value destinations in Europe. The landscape is exceedingly diverse as one can see it changing as they travel from green mountains in the North to rocky cliffs and waterfalls in the Centre to the desert-like landscape in Alentejo and laidback beaches in Algarve. Surfing is another activity Portugal is sought after for. Portugal is the place to be if you desire the best of European landscapes and culture in one spot. Best Time : Summer (July-August)

56. Jamaica, Jamaica - The Land Rich in History and Natural Beauty

Jamaica, Jamaica - The Land Rich in History and Natural Beauty

Known For : Waterfalls Seven Mile Beach Ras Natango Gallery and Garden

Jamaica, the fourth largest island country in the Caribbean Sea is a tropical wonderland. Its warm weather is one of its many qualities making it an ideal destination especially for those who want to escape the cold. Its sun-kissed beaches with their crystal clear waters and white sands attract many visitors. Adventure lovers swoon at the country's water sports. Snorkelling, scuba diving, and surfing are some of the actvities visitors ot for.  Best Time : Mid-December through April

Best Time: November to December

8 Jamaica Attractions

57. Poland - The Country With a Quiet Charm

Poland - The Country With a Quiet Charm

Poland is a country in Eastern Europe, filled with big castles and ancient museums. It is a country that is rich in history and proud of it. Apart from the bustling cities like Warsaw and Krakow, Poland also offers unspoilt natural beauty in the forms of lakes, wooded areas, rivers and hills. It is as we mentioned, a historic destination on account of Poland being central to World War II. Memorials and synagogues abound in this country for a walk back in time.  Best Time : March to May and September to November

58. Mexico - Cradle of civilizations

Mexico - Cradle of civilizations

Mexico is a land of great cultural, ethnic and geographical diversity. Be it hiking in the rugged desert landscaped in the North or basking in the lush green tropical settings, the country has it all. From the historic ruins of the Mayans and Aztec in Chichn Itz and Teotihuacn to the beautifully preserved colonial cities of Puebla and Campeche, the country never ceases to amaze its visitors which flock from all over the world. Best Time : November to March

59. Denmark - The Scandinavian gem

Denmark - The Scandinavian gem

Danish pastry is synonymous with the country of Denmark. Other major attractions are fairy tales, football matches and the statue of the bronze mermaid sitting on a rock that looks over the city. With a long and interesting historical background, Denmark is rich in culture and heritage. Now, it is one of the most modern and developed nations in Europe and holds in store for you the best itineraries for travel lovers. Best Time : Mid-June to Mid-August

60. Brunei - A Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures

Brunei - A Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures

Known For : Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque Kampong Ayer

The Nation of Brunei, also known as Brunei Darussalam or the ‘Abode of Peace,’ is a small country located in Southeast Asia. Wedged in the island of Borneo next to the Malaysian state of Sarawak, this oil-rich country is also bordered by the South China Sea. With an interesting culture, spectacular architecture, and matchless biodiversity, Brunei is a bucket-list destination that can be visited on an impulse! Best Time:  January to May

18 Brunei Attractions

61. Sweden - For the experimental traveller

Sweden - For the experimental traveller

Known for its breath-taking landscapes, exotic dishes and notoriously eccentric culture, Sweden is indeed amongst the most diverse countries on the planet. Offering a 360-degree experience that includes both thriving city life and an exotic ride through the countryside, the country is a delight for both mountain lovers and beach junkies. With a rich history, astounding architecture and the most incredible sights, Sweden is a traveller's paradise. Best Time :  June - Mid August


Peru is a counry in South America. More than anything else, it's known for its lush Amazon rainforests as well as the ancient city of Machu Pichu. The country offers a lot of trekking opportunities for adrenaline junkies or those who wish to revel in the beauty of nature. Peru is also known for its variety of festivals that are celebrated with a lot of pomp and joy and which can last for days. The population is culturally diverse, just like the landscapes. Best Time : June - September

63. Iceland


Amongst the most coveted travel destinations, Iceland is one of the most surreal and magnificent countries in the world. Located close to the Arctic Circle, it offers amazingly dramatic and breath-taking landscapes and exotic natural phenomena. Summer is the best time to visit, owing to the mild temperatures and a plethora of available activities from hiking fjords to playing golf at midnight. However, no time is a bad time to visit this spectacular snow-covered country. Best Time: September to March and June to August

64. Uruguay - An Oasis of Peace

Uruguay - An Oasis of Peace

Uruguay is a country located in South America surrounded by Argentina nad Brazil on sides. The country is rich in flora and fauna and you will get to see the most amazing beaches here. Over half of the country's population lives in the capital city Montevideo making it the most populated city in the country. The celebrations and festivals are considered to be the main attractions of Uruguay. From legalising the production and use of marijuana to being one of the most literate countries in the world, Uruguay offers you experiences of all kinds. Best Time : Spring( October-November)

65. Chile - The Land of the Poets

Chile - The Land of the Poets

Chile is home to poets like Pablo Neruda and Isabella Allende. There are plenty of places to visit in Chile from the urban boulevards of Santiago, the Andean foothills and the Atacama Desert, the Pacific coastline and the National Parks, the guanaco and the glaciers. It is known to be the distinction of being the longest country in the world as also the narrowest - it is 4300 km long and just 175 km wide. Chile happens to have the world's largest swimming pool. Its Atacama desert is the driest place on earth. Chileans are friendly and hospitable. It is an ethnically diverse country which gives it vibrant culture and a multitude of flavours. Best Time : October-March

66. Timor-Leste


Known For : Dili Atauro islands Baucau

Timor Leste, also known as East Timor is a small country located northwest of Australia and east of Indonesia. A world in its own self, Timor Leste gives you the uninhibited version of things otherwise subverted in other locations. There is something so utterly challenging in its mountains and untouched reefs that pushes the visitor to explore more. AsiaÕs newest country offers some of the worldÕs last great off-the-beaten-track adventures. Best Time: April to July

Best Time: May to November

6 Timor Leste Attractions

67. South Korea - The land where Technology and Nature Goes Together.

South Korea - The land where Technology and Nature Goes Together.

Situated in South East Asia, South Korea is warm and welcoming with a rich heritage and culture. The capital city offers many other cultural and artistic attractions, such as the Museum of Art, the Seoul Fortress, and other old tombs. South Korea is not only rich in lakes, mountains, forests, and sanctuaries but also is the largest market for innovative cosmetics. Korea is also known for its excellence in cosmetic surgery. For shoppers, South Korea offers Korean antiques, artwork, traditional arts and crafts, clothing and accessories. Best Time : Spring (April - June)

68. British Virgin Islands - The Gem of Caribbean

British Virgin Islands - The Gem of Caribbean

Known For : The Baths Rhone Marine Park (Salt Island) Fallen Jerusalem National Park

An overseas territory of Britain, British Virgin Islands is nothing but beautiful and an enchanting place to be. With still a major chunk of the islands untouched, this archipelago features all the gorgeous things from rolling green hills, verdant mountainous landscape, reef-lined sparkling beaches and popular shipwrecks. Best Time:  September to November

Best Time: December to April

13 British Virgin Islan Attractions


Known For : La Citadelle Labadee Jacmel

Haiti is an exceptionally beautiful country located on the Hispaniola island in the Caribbean between the North Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean sea. A multitude of monuments, rugged mountain peaks, waterfalls, turquoise beaches and lush green vegetation dot the country's diverse landscape. Head to this fascinating country to discover its rich cultural heritage and be overwhelmed by the remarkable positive energy that runs within its residents. Best Time: November to March

Best Time: November to March

11 Haiti Attractions

70. Colombia - The Land Of Many Lives

Colombia - The Land Of Many Lives

Known as the Gateway to South America, Colombia is one of the most culturally and geographically diverse countries in the world. Blessed with a rich cultural heritage and a variegated mixture of flora and fauna, Colombia caters to all kinds of visitors. Visit the historical Bogota or treat yourself to the eternal spring of Medellin, immerse yourself in the exuberance of Cali or simply head for a trek in the Andes and the Amazon. Best Time : December - March

71. Argentina - Eclectic Argentia

Argentina - Eclectic Argentia

Argentina, the second largest country in Latin America is blessed with vast and varied landscapes that range from rugged peaks of the Andes to the glaciers in Patagonia and grasslands of the Pampas, making it a scenic retreat for all kinds of travellers. Be it exploring the mesmerising beauty of its natural wonders, breathing in the air of Buenos Aires and dancing to the tunes of Tango or tasting some of the finest wines in Mendoza, Argentina is a country worth your admiration. Best Time : March-May for Buenos Aires, December - March for Patagonia

72. Taiwan - The Charming Land of History & Architecture

Taiwan - The Charming Land of History & Architecture

Taiwan is a little island that lies towards the east of China. To its northeast lies Japan and the Philippines are towards the south. Taiwan is very well-known for urban cities such as Taipei, its capital as well as hot springs resorts and beautiful Chinese temples. The nation also boasts of some beautiful landscapes. Cycling along the highway with the Pacific ocean on one side of you is just one of the ways in which you can bask in Taiwan's beauty. Best Time : April - May; October - December

73. Dominica- Land of Natural Treasures

Dominica- Land of Natural Treasures

Known For : Cabrits National Park Kalinago Barana Aute Trafalgar Falls

The raw and rugged beauty of nature will sway away your breath; such is the very essence of the Caribbean Island of Dominica. Brimming with all sorts of natural assets from thick forests and thick forests and looming volcanic peaks to snaking mountain streams and pristine lakes, this country is a dream for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility. Best Time: February to April

Best Time: February to May

9 Dominica Attractions

74. Myanmar


Officially known as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, this country is the largest of the mainland Southeast Asian states by area. Nestled at the base of the Himalayas and bordered by India, Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, China, and the Bay of Bengal, Myanmar promises a beautiful journey of culture, history, and adventure. Best Time: November to February

75. Zimbabwe - Your Dose of Adrenaline

Zimbabwe - Your Dose of Adrenaline

Zimbabwe is the country of wonders. Known to be every adrenaline junkie's dreamland, this country has a lot to offer.Despite the struggles it has faced, Zimbabwe is still one of the most popular tourist locations in Africa. Zimbabwe proudly displays its rare blend of music, art, and dance. One cannot help being mesmerized by its beautiful landscapes, captivating art, and exotic wildlife. This majestic wonderland doesn't fail to give its visitors a thrill of a lifetime while making sure that the experience is worth every penny. Best Time : May-August

76. China - China: A Land of Mysteries and Beyond

China - China: A Land of Mysteries and Beyond

China or officially known as the People’s Republic of China is a country nestled in Eastern Asia housing world’s largest and about one-fifth of the population. The country is one of the world’s four great ancient civilisations dazzling world with its deep-rooted culture, classic cuisine, kung fu, fine silk, pagodas, paintings, porcelains, Ming vases and tea. China never failed to amuse the people around the world with their key attractions including the Great Wall of China, Terracotta Warriors and the Forbidden City.  Best Time : March - April (Spring), September - October (Autumn)

77. Russia - A Place Where History Meets Modernity

Russia - A Place Where History Meets Modernity

Russia has been popular for being the largest nation in the world. A lot of famous museums such as The Hermitage Museum also have their homes in this country. Apart from the beauty of its architectural works, Russia is also blessed with abundant natural beauty. Nature lovers will fall in love with Lake Baikal and the rest of the beautiful mountains, trees and rolling meadows. Best Time : March-August

This post was published by Rohit Shroff

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Countries With the Most International Tourists

As tourism rebounds from pandemic lows, the United Nations reports these countries welcomed the most visitors last year.

Couple with passport in hands looking at blurry flight information screen at the airport

(Getty Images) |

Tourism is Rebounding

Two years after the COVID-19 pandemic essentially shut down international travel worldwide, the tourism industry is bouncing back as summer arrives in the northern hemisphere.

International tourism saw a close to 200% year-over-year increase in the first quarter of 2022, and although several related statistics are still well below 2019 levels, gradual recovery is expected to continue throughout the year, according to June analysis from the United Nations World Tourism Organization . Nearly 50% of experts surveyed by the organization said they expect international tourism to return to those pre-pandemic levels from three years ago in 2023, while 44% said it could be 2024 or later.

This is especially good news for countries whose economies are the most reliant on the tourism industry. Those countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba and St. Lucia, according to 2021 gross domestic product data released in June by The World Travel & Tourism Council.

[ RELATED: These Countries Are the Best for Tourism ]

But the countries most supported economically by tourism aren't necessarily the ones that welcome the most visitors. The United Nations compiles several metrics related to inbound tourism by country , including international tourist arrivals, with the most recent data being from 2021. The statistics show that industry recovery still has a ways to go: The most-visited country in 2021 had about 32 million international arrivals. France, the top-ranked country in 2019 – before the pandemic hit – had 90 million.

Here are the countries that welcomed the most international tourist arrivals in 2021, according to the U.N. Included for each are other pieces of tourism-related data, such as GDP contribution percentages from the WTTC.

top 10 countries for tourist

10. Hungary

2021 international tourist arrivals: 7.9 million 2019 international tourist arrivals: 16.9 million 2021 percentage contribution of tourism to GDP: 4.6%

top 10 countries for tourist

2021 international tourist arrivals: 10.6 million 2019 international tourist arrivals: 17.4 million 2021 percentage contribution of tourism to GDP: 16.1%

top 10 countries for tourist

2021 international tourist arrivals: 11.7 million 2019 international tourist arrivals: 35.2 million 2021 percentage contribution of tourism to GDP: 6.4%

top 10 countries for tourist

2021 international tourist arrivals: 12.7 million 2019 international tourist arrivals: 22.7 million 2021 percentage contribution of tourism to GDP: 7.1%

top 10 countries for tourist

2021 international tourist arrivals: 14.7 million 2019 international tourist arrivals: 31.3 million 2021 percentage contribution of tourism to GDP: 14.9%

top 10 countries for tourist

5. United States

2021 international tourist arrivals: 22.1 million 2019 international tourist arrivals: 79.4 million 2021 percentage contribution of tourism to GDP: 5.5%

top 10 countries for tourist

2021 international tourist arrivals: 26.9 million 2019 international tourist arrivals: 64.5 million 2021 percentage contribution of tourism to GDP: 9.1%

top 10 countries for tourist

2021 international tourist arrivals: 29.9 million 2019 international tourist arrivals: 51.2 million 2021 percentage contribution of tourism to GDP: 7.3%

top 10 countries for tourist

2021 international tourist arrivals: 31.2 million 2019 international tourist arrivals: 83.5 million 2021 percentage contribution of tourism to GDP: 8.5%

top 10 countries for tourist

2021 international tourist arrivals: 31.9 million 2019 international tourist arrivals: 45 million 2021 percentage contribution of tourism to GDP: 13.1%

Two teenage girls sitting on bridge holding city map in front of them. Copenhagen city center.

The Countries With the Most International Tourist Arrivals in 2021:

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16 Countries That Travel The Most (And Their Top Destinations)

Posted: July 16, 2023 | Last updated: July 16, 2023

As more people become more interested in places different from their countries of birth, there has been an increase in international travel. Whether it’s for work, school, adventures, or other reasons, there are certain countries around the world that travel the most. This is an interesting thing to study, especially since most people traveling from one place are usually headed for the same destination. This piece aims to inspire travelers by revealing the top countries that travel the most according to the latest outbound travel report by Research and Markets and also reveal the destinations they mostly travel to.

UPDATE: 2023/07/10 20:42 EST BY REENA JAIN

Countries That Travel The Most (And Their Top Destinations)

As mentioned in the UNWTO study, the first half of 2023 saw a revival in international travel, and the same pattern is anticipated for the months ahead. Two more countries that travel the most and spend the most on international tourism have been added to the list to reflect current trends.

The happiest country in the world , Finland, also deserves to be on this list for spending a lot on outbound travel. The Finnish people like exploring their own country as the nation is full of natural beauty, history, stunning water bodies, and modern marvels, but they prioritize traveling to different international destinations. Sweden is the most popular foreign travel destination for them followed by Estonia, Spain, and Norway.

From eateries where travelers can try tasty cuisine to fun and exciting activities and attractions that leave visitors amazed, there is so much to do and see in Denmark . Yet, residents travel to neighboring countries for leisure and to explore new international destinations. As mentioned in GlobalData’s report, there is a steep rise in international tourism in Denmark. And Danish residents travel the most to other European countries, specifically Sweden, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy.

Even though China has eased some of its COVID restrictions and is moving toward a tourism recovery, outbound travel has recovered more quickly than inbound travel to the area. Although China has countless beautiful beaches, mountains, islands, cities, and many natural and modern wonders , Chinese people also love to travel abroad. They prefer visiting nearby Japan, Thailand, and Korea for a short international trip, though other popular destinations include the Philippines, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.

According to GlobalData's report , outbound travel from Canada in 2022 increased by 312% to reach 22.3 million, the highest number since 2019. Although Canada is full of fantastic destinations, Canadians, after the pandemic, prefer to spread their wings and travel to distant regions, particularly in the United States, Thailand, Indonesia, and Europe. However, the majority of Canada's top ten international travel destinations are in the United States.

Following the Japanese government's decision to lower its travel warning for 34 countries and territories, Japan's outbound market is regaining strength, with an increasing number of people traveling abroad. According to data from Japan's Immigration Service Agency, there were 1045.7% more Japanese tourists abroad in February 2023 than in the same month in 2002. Furthermore, South Korea, the United States, Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan are among the top international destinations for Japanese travelers.

Singapore is a traveler's dream destination with numerous breathtaking natural beauties as well as of man-made marvels . However, the people of this lovely nation also look for chances to travel to nearby countries for a short trip and faraway destinations for a long break. According to the e-Conomy SEA 2022 report , 52% of Singaporeans intend to travel abroad in 2023, an increase of 13% from 2022. And the majority of them spend three to four days on vacation in Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Taiwan, which are their preferred international vacation destinations.

Since restrictions were lifted, outbound travel in Austria has continued to skyrocket. It now seems more people are trying to get out of the country than ever. For Austrians, Croatia is the favorite destination for outbound travel, although Italy and Germany are also favorite destinations for according to Statista’s outbound tourist numbers for Austria in 2021 .


There are plenty of interesting things to enjoy in Switzerland , but that does not stop millions of people from leaving the country every year and spending their vacations in European destinations. In 2019 before the pandemic, approximately 19.8 million people traveled abroad, and their favorite destinations are France and Germany.

Related: Switzerland Vs Austria: Which Has The Better Alps?

Italy has everything a person needs, from a destination, from archaeological sites to beautiful beaches and delicious food , and while those are popular among Italian travelers, they also love to travel abroad and check out some of their favorite destinations. In July, outbound travelers from Italy amounted to 3.2 million, and Romania was the country’s most beloved travel destination. Spain and France, however, are popular destinations among Italian travelers.

France has been responsible for the most outbound travels from Belgium. In 2019, approximately 4.5 million trips originating from Belgium landed in France, and although the number may have reduced, one can still expect this trend as more people resume outbound travel.

Russian outbound travel may be on a downward trend, but it remains a country with huge outbound tourism numbers. In 2022, Turkey was the main place of interest for Russian outbound travelers , and the UAE is also popular among Russian travelers.

The Netherlands

Before the pandemic hit, outbound trips from the Netherlands in 2019 were 22 million, and even though the country may not recover its previous number till 2024, the Netherlands remains one of the countries where people travel the most. Wellness travel is popular among travelers from the Netherlands; Germany is the country’s favorite destination, while Spain and Belgium are also popular among Dutch travelers.

United Kingdom

The Royals , castles, museums, and delicious food are not enough to keep people in the UK from being among the top outbound travelers in the world. In 2019, the country saw an outbound tourism number of 84.7 million, and according to GlobalData , this number is set to reach 86.9 million by 2024, and Spain remains the favorite holiday destination for UK travelers.

Being the most visited country in the world does not mean people in France just sit around and let other people do the traveling. They also travel in huge numbers, and French people typically prefer to visit other European destinations such as Spain, the U.K., and Germany.

Related: Want To Know A Secret? Here Are Some Strange France Facts

Germany’s numerous natural and man-made attractions have made it one of the most visited countries in the world, but it has not prevented people from traveling to other destinations for more experiences. In 2019, German travelers took up to 99.5 million trips abroad , placing the country at the top of the list of outbound tourism worldwide. Even though the pandemic reduced global travel, outbound tourism in Germany remains on the high side. German travelers love destinations in the Baltic Sea, although Spain and Italy also rank among the top destinations for German travelers.

United States

Inbound travel in the US is high as the country has some of the world’s most sought-after attractions. Americans, however, also love visiting other destinations in the world, which is why outbound tourism in the country is on the high side, making it the country that travels the most. US travelers love Europe and the Caribbean, but Mexico has remained at the top of the US favorite destination list as it received approximately 24 million US travelers as of September 2022.

16 Countries That Travel The Most (And Their Top Destinations)

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This North American country tops the list of the safest countries for travelers

top 10 countries for tourist

A new year means new destinations.

When looking at where to go, travelers will consider the usual factors such as weather, cost and available activities. This year, safety is also top of mind as more people want to go off the beaten path and take solo trips.

To help, travel insurance provider Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection just released its ninth annual State of Travel Insurance report, which includes the safest countries in the world for travelers.

"The definition of safe destination has evolved,” Carol Mueller, vice president at Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, told USA TODAY in an email. "In our most recent survey, travelers lean in on countries they believe as safe destinations they can move about freely without discrimination or harassment."

To determine the list, the travel insurance provider surveyed 1,702 people on their own travel experiences in different countries and also pulled data from third-party resources that evaluate safety concerns such as terrorism, weather emergencies, health measures and the safety of underrepresented groups. This included the  Global Peace Index  and the State Department’s own  travel safety ratings .

Learn more: Best travel insurance

While these countries are considered to be overall safe for people to visit, the company noted the report doesn't mean every part of the country is safe nor account for the possibility of natural disasters. And as always, don't let your guard down when it comes to petty theft against tourists.

'It's like your local bestie': This startup helps make solo travel as a woman feel safer

Read below to see the 15 countries determined to be the safest for all travelers.

The Great White North tops this year's list of safest countries in the world for travelers, thanks to its low violent crime and strict gun laws. Last year, the country, known for its high standard of living and political stability, made sixth on the list.

2. Switzerland

Known for its security and low crime rates, Switzerland made second place for the safest nations to visit. The country is known for its high quality of living and beautiful nature, such as Lake Geneva and Lake Zurich.

Besides having some of the best views of the dancing northern lights , Norway is also one of the safest places when it comes to crime rates, terrorist activity and violent demonstrations. According to the report, Oslo, the capital of Norway, was the country's safest area.

Those wanting to see Ireland's Cliffs of Moher or sip on some Guinness can rest assured in going through with those travel plans. The country had fewer homicides in 2022 than 16 U.S. cities, according to the report.

5. Netherlands

Last year, the Netherlands took the top spot for safest destinations to visit, and this year, it made fifth. Survey respondents repeatedly said they felt safe in the country and its capital Amsterdam. Just beware of the tourist tax increase as the city continues to crack down on reckless partiers.

6. United Kingdom

With a beautiful countryside and cities with low murder and theft rates, the United Kingdom is a safe bet for travelers. Unfortunately, the country is soon going to implement a fee to enter its borders .

7. Portugal

There's a reason digital nomads flock to this sunny coastal country, and it's not just the delicious seafood and wine. Portugal's cities are secure and orderly, and the rural areas are peaceful. In 2022, the country was determined to be one of the best places for solo female travelers too.

Last year, Denmark was the second safest country in the world for travelers, and its low crime rates continue to help it be a safe choice for travelers. The northern European country typically steals the spotlight for its happy residents and its politics.

Like its Nordic neighbor Denmark, Iceland is often regarded as the world's most gender-equal country and the safest country in the world when it comes to crime. To entice travelers even more, the country is home to otherworldly landscapes featuring glaciers, geysers, hot springs, waterfalls and volcanic terrain.

10. Australia

Rugged wilderness and cosmopolitan cities make Australia a desirable country for travelers, especially female solo travelers since the Land Down Under also has low homicide rates. In 2022, there were 377 recorded homicides, about half of what Chicago experienced, according to the report.

11. New Zealand

Although expensive, New Zealand is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts who want to explore its coastlines, mountains, fjords and more, or for those who are big "Lord of the Rings" fans. With low crime rates, the country is also considered to be quite peaceful and great for female solo travelers.

Along with low crime rates, Japan offers travelers a blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge modernity. Think robot servers in restaurants amongst ancient shrines. In Japanese culture, politeness and orderliness are also highly valued, making it a safe place for travelers, solo or not. However, the report doesn't consider natural disasters, such as the earthquakes that recently shook the western part of the island nation.

Home to the City of Light, France has stood the test of time as one of the world's most popular destinations. Thankfully, for travelers, the country has relatively safe transportation (well, minus petty theft, which is common on the metro) and safety from disease epidemics, according to the report. However, violent demonstrations mean travelers should be cautious and check local media for updates.

Another popular European destination, Spain is known for petty theft like pickpocketing. Overall, the Mediterranean country has a low crime rating for how heavily touristed it is, the report said. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection recommends people especially watch out for passport thefts, so as always, travel cautiously.

This year, Brazil made the list of safe countries to visit. The survey respondents who identified as women, people of color and LGBTQ+ especially felt safe in the South American country, known for its beautiful beaches. However, Brazil's borders are notably dangerous for crime activity.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at [email protected] .

International tourism, number of arrivals - Country Ranking

Definition: International inbound tourists (overnight visitors) are the number of tourists who travel to a country other than that in which they have their usual residence, but outside their usual environment, for a period not exceeding 12 months and whose main purpose in visiting is other than an activity remunerated from within the country visited. When data on number of tourists are not available, the number of visitors, which includes tourists, same-day visitors, cruise passengers, and crew members, is shown instead. Sources and collection methods for arrivals differ across countries. In some cases data are from border statistics (police, immigration, and the like) and supplemented by border surveys. In other cases data are from tourism accommodation establishments. For some countries number of arrivals is limited to arrivals by air and for others to arrivals staying in hotels. Some countries include arrivals of nationals residing abroad while others do not. Caution should thus be used in comparing arrivals across countries. The data on inbound tourists refer to the number of arrivals, not to the number of people traveling. Thus a person who makes several trips to a country during a given period is counted each time as a new arrival.

Source: World Tourism Organization, Yearbook of Tourism Statistics, Compendium of Tourism Statistics and data files.

See also: Thematic map , Time series comparison

More rankings: Africa | Asia | Central America & the Caribbean | Europe | Middle East | North America | Oceania | South America | World |

Development Relevance: Tourism is officially recognized as a directly measurable activity, enabling more accurate analysis and more effective policy. Whereas previously the sector relied mostly on approximations from related areas of measurement (e.g. Balance of Payments statistics), tourism today possesses a range of instruments to track its productive activities and the activities of the consumers that drive them: visitors (both tourists and excursionists). An increasing number of countries have opened up and invested in tourism development, making tourism a key driver of socio-economic progress through export revenues, the creation of jobs and enterprises, and infrastructure development. As an internationally traded service, inbound tourism has become one of the world's major trade categories. For many developing countries it is one of the main sources of foreign exchange income and a major component of exports, creating much needed employment and development opportunities.

Limitations and Exceptions: Tourism can be either domestic or international. The data refers to international tourism, where the traveler's country of residence differs from the visiting country. International tourism consists of inbound (arrival) and outbound (departures) tourism. The data are from the World Tourism Organization (WTO), a United Nations agency. The data on inbound and outbound tourists refer to the number of arrivals and departures, not to the number of people traveling. Thus a person who makes several trips to a country during a given period is counted each time as a new arrival. The data on inbound tourism show the arrivals of nonresident tourists (overnight visitors) at national borders. When data on international tourists are unavailable or incomplete, the data show the arrivals of international visitors, which include tourists, same-day visitors, cruise passengers, and crew members. Sources and collection methods for arrivals differ across countries. In some cases data are from border statistics (police, immigration, and the like) and supplemented by border surveys. In other cases data are from tourism accommodation establishments. For some countries number of arrivals is limited to arrivals by air and for others to arrivals staying in hotels. Some countries include arrivals of nationals residing abroad while others do not. Caution should thus be used in comparing arrivals across countries.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Statistical information on tourism is based mainly on data on arrivals and overnight stays along with balance of payments information. These data do not completely capture the economic phenomenon of tourism or provide the information needed for effective public policies and efficient business operations. Data are needed on the scale and significance of tourism. Information on the role of tourism in national economies is particularly deficient. Although the World Tourism Organization reports progress in harmonizing definitions and measurement, differences in national practices still prevent full comparability. Arrivals data measure the flows of international visitors to the country of reference: each arrival corresponds to one in inbound tourism trip. If a person visits several countries during the course of a single trip, his/her arrival in each country is recorded separately. In an accounting period, arrivals are not necessarily equal to the number of persons travelling (when a person visits the same country several times a year, each trip by the same person is counted as a separate arrival). Arrivals data should correspond to inbound visitors by including both tourists and same-day non-resident visitors. All other types of travelers (such as border, seasonal and other short-term workers, long-term students and others) should be excluded as they do not qualify as visitors. Data are obtained from different sources: administrative records (immigration, traffic counts, and other possible types of controls), border surveys or a mix of them. If data are obtained from accommodation surveys, the number of guests is used as estimate of arrival figures; consequently, in this case, breakdowns by regions, main purpose of the trip, modes of transport used or forms of organization of the trip are based on complementary visitor surveys.

Aggregation method: Gap-filled total

Periodicity: Annual

Note: This page was last updated on December 28, 2019

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Top 10 Tourist Attraction Countries in the World

Photo of H. M. Kotb

Tourism has been one of the most lucrative and profitable industries which have emerged with lots of scopes and extensive career opportunities in the last decade. The industry has flourished massively, attracting millions of tourists across the world to different popular locations. Besides, it has also become a trend among tourists to look for remote and isolated locations . This tendency has led the least recognized tourism destinations to come to limelight.

 Tourism Trends and Industry 

Moreover, according to a study conducted recently by the UNWTO, almost one out of every eleven people across the world is working in the tourism industry. And the industry, in turn, is also playing a vital role in the global economy, being responsible for almost 9% GDP. The UN World Tourism Organization calculates the scale of international tourists across the world every year. According to its study and records, there has been a massive growth in the number of international tourists across the world compared to the last decade’s result.  In the year 2000, the count of international tourists across the globe was 674 million which rose to almost 940 million in the year 2010, and today in 2017, there has been an overwhelming growth of the recorded number which estimates as 1,235 millions of international tourists.

The countries which have topped the list issued by this organization as the most tourist attraction countries are hugely benefitted from the tourism industry. A huge amount of the population of these countries is dependent on the tourism industry. UNWTO issues a list of the most visited countries. Since the last decade, the European countries have been presiding over the top ranks while countries like Mexico and Thailand are catching on with the race.

The myriad of World Heritage Sites along with the largest urban footprint in Europe and the Middle East, have made Istanbul a major attraction in Turkey along with series of other sites.

top 10 countries for tourist

The exotic range of marine life, ravishing coastline beauty, and quintessential vibrancy of nightlife in the cities have made Thailand one of the roaring countries attracting more tourists with their exclusive tourism promotions. The country already attracts 32.6 million tourists.

top 10 countries for tourist

Mexico is one of the latest inclusions in the list of top ten most attractive destinations around the world for tourists. Lively nightlife, exotic beaches, lush green forests and the Mayan ruins stand among the top attractions for the tourists who reach 35 million.

top 10 countries for tourist

While the country ranks 7th position among the most tourist attracting countries in the world, it is the number one country as per UNWTO’s ranking list for tourism expenditure. The country seems to have spent the money in a worth industry since it has recorded to gain an increasing number of tourists since 2014. Germany is a favorite destination in the summers as well as during the Christmas festival; Oktoberfest is a prime attraction among tourists.

top 10 countries for tourist

6 United Kingdom

Though the United Kingdom wins over the sixth position, its difference from Italy’s tourist count is quite a lot. The magnificent landscape of Scotland , the beauty of the London Tower, the magic of old wine and coastline is the major attraction of this country which attracts 35.8 million tourists. In the recent few years, from the record of 2014, UK has gone up a few numbers in its ranking.

top 10 countries for tourist

Starting from historical legacies to the romantic canals of Venice, the exotic sight of the Piazzas to oriental climate, exquisite cuisine to the dramatic coastline, Italy has a lot to offer , and undoubtedly it is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Besides Venice, Rome and Florence are also world’s popular hit destinations for tourism, and this is the reason why Italy takes the 5th position with 52.4 million tourists.

top 10 countries for tourist

China has emerged as one of the most prominent economies in the world. It’s the largest exporter and the second largest importer. Its important role in the trade and business and influential economic role in the global economy has made its global relations better. Moreover, after opening its gate for tourism, it quickly received a havoc response. Today it’s the fourth most tourist visited country, attracting 55.6 million tourists across the world.

top 10 countries for tourist

Considered to be the major trade and business hub for its former colony Latin America, Spain already attracts a lot of tourists from Latin America. Besides, owing to the country’s unique geographical advantage of boasting both the coastal lime of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the country attracts millions of tourists. The count of tourists last year was 65 million. Next, only to the US, it is also the second country receiving the maximum spending with each tourist spending at least $1000 and making up for the country’s 5% GDP.

top 10 countries for tourist

2 The United States

The diversity of tourism scopes which the US accommodates within its 3.79 million square miles right from California in the West to New York in East, has a lot to offer to tourists. The US is exceptionally popular amongst tourists for its extravagant tourism diversities, a large reserve of natural scenic spots to the most vibrant lifestyles in cities, Nature Parks to mountains. One of the other records which the country bags the record of tourist spending the maximum amount in the country while their visits and the amount was 177.2 billion dollars in 2014.

top 10 countries for tourist

Paris is one of the most popular and the fifth most visited location in the world. France always had an advantageous edge on the world tourism ranking. However, in spite of the fifth rank of Paris, France as a country tops the list of most tourist attraction countries with its huge reserve of exquisite coastal locations, enticing wine regions, vineyards, scenic beauty spread across its land even in small villages. This country is known to attract almost 83.7 million tourists across the world. It tops over the US with 10 million tourists for the first rank.

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Top 10 Tourist Countries in the World 2023

  • 4 months ago
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  • by Manoj Kumar
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Top 10 Tourist Countries in the World 2023

There are some places in our beautiful world that you must see if you want to learn more about it. In this article, we are going to tell you about the top 10 tourist countries in the world in 2023. We’re going to use simple, easy-to-understand terms to tell you about these places. So, whether you want to travel the world or just travel with your family. Keep reading to know about the top 10 tourist countries in the world to visit in 2023.

Table of Contents


International tourism grew by a huge 102% between 2021 and 2022. This is because people want to try new things and have fewer restrictions on where they can go. Even though things are better than they were before the pandemic. But this comeback is a good sign and means that interesting trips can be planned for 2023. Now is the time to get your ticket and get ready to go somewhere. The 2023 World Tourism Rankings by Country list the top 10 tourist countries in the world. Let’s go on this road trip together.

World Tourism Rankings by Country 2023

The United Nations World Tourism Organization does something interesting. They compile a list of the world’s most sought-after destinations, cherished by travelers from across the globe, known as the “World Tourism rankings.” This list is published multiple times a year as part of the “World Tourism Barometer”.

Now, in this list, they rank these places based on a few things. First, they look at how many people from other countries go to these places. Then, they look at how much money these tourists bring in and how much money the locals spend when they go to other countries. In 2022, a massive 963 million people traveled around the world! That’s a huge increase of 111% from the year before, but still a bit less than what it was in 2019.

Top 10 Most Visited Countries in 2023:

In the exciting world of travel, 2022 was a remarkable year. Even though the COVID-19 outbreak caused problems, more people went abroad. In 2017, a staggering 963 million people traveled the world, which is a 111% rise from the year before. But when we go back to 2019, there was a slump of -34.3%, which serves as a reminder of the road to recovery. Let’s now look at the top 10 international tourist locations in 2023. Places where people from all over the world have left their mark and where new adventures are waiting. Now, let’s talk about the top 10 most visited countries that people loved to visit in 2023:

Top 10 Tourist Countries - France

France take the lead as the top travel destination among the world’s top 10 tourist countries in 2023. It is undeniably one of the most sought-after places to visit globally, drawing a vast number of travelers. Because of this, in 2023 it will be one of the top 10 tourist countries in the world.

It had 48.4 million international visitors in 2022, which is a 16.1% increase from the year before. People can’t get enough of its beautiful cities, culture, and delicious food. In France, tourism is a big deal! In 2013, it gave their economy a huge boost of 79.8 billion euros, most of which came from money sent from other countries. This part of tourism is very important. It makes up about 9.7% of France’s total income and gives jobs to about 2.9 million people.

Now, when you think of France, you might picture the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but there’s so much more! They have 45 places that are so special they’re on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Beautiful cities, like Bordeaux and Lyon, and lovely rural spots are popular too. They also want to keep and show off places like Collonges-la-Rouge, which has lovely towns and beautiful parks. France is just full of amazing places to explore! France proves itself as a top destination in the World Tourism rankings by country for 2023.

Top 10 Tourist Countries - Spain

Spain is ranked number two on the list of the top 10 tourist countries in the world. This country takes second place with a whopping 71.7 million tourists. That’s a huge 130% increase from 2021. It’s famous for its sunny beaches, vibrant cities, and tasty cuisine. Spain is always in the top 20 most visited countries in the world. Its rich history and beautiful scenery make it a popular destination.

Spain, a beloved destination, shines as one of the top 10 tourism countries in the world for 2023. Its fascinating appeal isn’t new. Since the 1960s and 1970s, it has been a favorite summer vacation spot for people from all over the world, including the UK, Ireland, Turkey, France, Germany, Italy, the Benelux, and the US. Spain’s tourism sector is a powerhouse, contributing a significant 11.8% to its GDP in 2017. It was the second most visited country in the world in 2019 with 83.7 million people. While 2020 had problems with pandemics, Spain is making a return. More than 71 million foreign tourists will visit the country in 2022, showing its strength and attractiveness.

3. United States:

United States - Top 10 most popular country in the world

The United States is third on the list and is one of the top 10 most visited countries in the world. The United States is third with 50.9 million tourists. It also had a 130% increase from the previous year. From the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon, there’s so much to see! Tourism is a big deal in the United States. It brings in millions of people from all over the world and from all over the country. People come to the U.S. to see its beautiful natural sights, busy towns, historic sites, and fun places to spend time. Americans, too, enjoy these attractions and look for relaxing vacation spots. Around the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s, places like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago began to see more tourists.

The 20th century brought even more travelers, thanks to cars and later, airplanes. The attacks on September 11 hurt the travel business in a lot of ways. Tourism is still a big job creator in many states, though. People from all over the world like to visit the United States of America. In 2018, New York City was also the most popular tourist city in the world. Visitors here spend a lot of money, making the U.S. a top tourism country, even if it doesn’t have the most tourists. So, if you like to travel and see cool places, the U.S. should be on your list of the top 10 tourist countries in the world in 2023.

Top 10 Tourist Countries - Turkey

On this list of the top 10 tourist countries in the world in 2023, Turkey is fourth. It is a unique place where East and West meet. Turkey is now one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the world.

This country is fourth, attracting 50.5 million visitors. That’s a 69% increase from 2021. It’s known for its unique blend of history and stunning landscapes. Turkey is one of the top 10 tourist countries in the world, which shows how many different things there are to do there.

Turkey is a place that attracts people who love history, taking care of themselves, and going to the beach. They have amazing historical sites and beautiful cities by the sea in the Aegean and Mediterranean. Its tourism scene has changed over the past few years, with a peak of 51 million foreign guests in 2019. Even though 2020 was hard, Turkey was the fourth most visited place in the world in 2021. This trend will keep going up until 2023 when Turkey will be back to where it was before the pandemic. This will show that Turkey is strong and attract tourists from around the world once more.

Top 10 Tourist Countries - Italy

Italy, a popular place to visit, is one of the top 10 tourist countries in the world, coming in at number five on the list. Its rich culture, art, and food enthrall visitors. Italy takes the fifth spot with 49.8 million tourists. It saw an 85% increase from the year before. The country is famous for its rich history, art, and, of course, delicious pasta! Italy, a top 10 tourism country in the world in 2023, welcomes a whopping 65 million tourists annually. This makes Italy the fifth most visited country for international tourists. The tourist business makes up more than 5% of the country’s GDP. And this number goes up even more when you think about other effects.

For a long time, folks have been traveling to Italy. But things got exciting in the 17th century with something called the Grand Tour. This was a special trip that rich folks from Europe took to see Italy’s cool old stuff, its unique culture, and its beautiful nature. Tourists love Italy because it has yummy food, cool history, pretty art, and awesome places to see! Italy has a lot to offer, from the Alps to the Mediterranean coast. This makes it a top choice for tourists from all over the world. With famous towns like Rome, Venice, and Florence, Italy is still one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the world.

Mexico - Top 10 most popular country in the world

Mexico is sixth among the top 10 tourist destinations in the world. The area’s attractive surroundings attract visitors. Mexico had 38.3 million visitors in 2022, and it grew by 20%. With its beautiful beaches, rich culture, and tasty tacos, it’s no wonder people flock there. Mexico is a top destination for travelers worldwide and a big deal for its economy. Since the 1960s, the Mexican government has been happy about tourists. The term for this is “smoke-free industry.” It is one of the most traveled places in the world.

After the United States, Mexico is the second most visited country in the Americas. In 2017, it ranked sixth in the world for tourism. There are many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mexico, like old ruins and lovely Spanish towns. People love its mix of European and Mesoamerican culture and the nice weather. Lots of folks from the U.S. and Canada visit, along with some from Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Mexico is in the top 10 tourism destinations due to its rich history and stunning beauty.

7. United Kingdom:

Top 10 Tourist Countries - United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, a top 10 tourism country in the world, holds a notable position at number 7 in this list. This country saw 6.3 million tourists, but it had a decrease of 41.3% from the previous year. Even yet, its historical sites and attractiveness entice tourists. Tourism is a significant business in the UK, which contributed £234 billion to its economy in 2019. Foreign visitors spent £23.1 billion in 2017 on 40.1 million visits. Europe had 21.5 million visitors compared to North America’s 3.5 million. Even though the Americans were the most valuable. In 2019, Britain had more than three times as many foreign tourists as it did before the pandemic.

The UK’s key destinations include London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge, York, and Canterbury. It’s home to 32 World Heritage sites, ranking 8th globally. People really liked England in 2020. It was the second-best country to visit! People flocked to cities like London, Edinburgh, and Manchester. They went to see cool places like the Palace of Westminster, the London Eye, and Edinburgh Castle. England sure has a lot of exciting stuff to offer! Tourists love to go to the United Kingdom because it has a lot of great posts and lots of different things to see and do.

8. Germany:

Germany - Top 10 most popular country in the world

Germany, a top 10 tourism country, holds the 8th spot globally, captivating travelers with its charm. Welcoming 28.5 million visitors, it experienced a significant increase of 144% in tourist numbers. Its picturesque towns, castles, and efficient transport system make it a great destination. Germany is the eighth most visited country globally. In 2012, more than 30.4 million people from other countries visited, bringing in a huge $38 billion! Germany is one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the whole wide world. Travelers flocked to experience German culture, outdoor adventures, charming countryside, and vibrant cities.

Moreover, Germany ranks high for safety in World Tourism rankings by country. Germany’s tourism is like a shining star in its economy, making up about 4.5% of all the money it earns. This helps provide jobs for two million people. Furthermore, Germany is known for its ITB Berlin tourism show. Which makes it a top choice in 2023 for those who want to visit the best tourist countries in the world. Germany is one of the 10 most visited countries in the world. Its history, scenery, and culture make it a great place to visit. So, if you’re planning to travel, Germany’s a great place to check out!

Top 10 Tourist Countries - Greece

Greece is one of the top 10 tourist countries in the world. It has 27.8 million people, which is an increase of 89% from last year. Ancient history, stunning islands, and Mediterranean cuisine make it a top choice. Greece has been a top-notch tourist hotspot for quite some time. It is famous for its long history and has 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making it a cultural treasure chest. Also, Greece has a beautiful shoreline, a lot of islands, and beaches that draw people there. In 2019, 31.3 million tourists went to Greece, which helped the country’s income in a big way. Greece is one of the most visited places in Europe and the world, and it’s easy to see why.

But Greece isn’t just about history and beaches; it’s a great place to visit for many reasons. It is a well-known place for LGBT people, travelers, eco-lovers, workshops, and medical tourism. Greece has something for everyone, whether you want to see Athens, relax on Santorini, party on Mykonos, or soak up the sun on Crete. So, it’s no surprise that Greece is a top contender in the World Tourism rankings by country for 2023. In the world of travel, Greece stands out as one of the top 10 tourist destinations, enticing travelers from all around.

10. Austria:

Austria - Top 10 most popular country in the world

Austria is number 10 on the list, with 26.2 million tourists. Even though it went down 15.7% from the year before, it grew by 106%. The alpine scenery and charming towns of the country are just beautiful. Austria is a beautiful place, and people love going there. Even though it is a small country, almost 9% of the money it makes comes from tourists. People come here from all over the world, and there are more guest beds than you could ever think. Even wealthy countries, make the most money from tourists.

In 2007, Austria made a huge 18.9 billion US dollars from tourists, which put it in ninth place. There were also 30.8 million guests there. Most of them go straight to Vienna, which is known for its beautiful Cathedral and charming wine pubs. Mozart was born in Salzburg, and the beautiful Alps circle Innsbruck. Both are great places to visit. From big towns to farms along the Danube, Austria has it all. Austria, a captivating destination, proudly secures its spot as a top 10 tourism country in the world. The most popular places to go are Schonbrunn Palace, Tiergarten Schönbrunn, and Mariazell Basilica. Austria is definitely a great place to visit.


In conclusion, these top 10 tourism countries in the world for 2023 offer a world of adventures. Every place has its own special charm, from the beautiful streets of France to the sunny beaches of Spain. Even though there are problems, foreign tourism is on the rise again, inviting people to explore and learn. So, pack your bags and go on exciting trips. In 2023, the World Tourism Rankings showcase the most-visited countries. These top destinations attract travelers with their unique charms and experiences. In these amazing places, you’ll have experiences that will last a lifetime. It’s time to explore our beautiful world!

France is the most visited country in the world in 2023, attracting 117,109,000 international tourists.

In summer 2023, some of the most visited countries include France, Spain, the United States, China, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, and Germany.

Hong Kong holds the title of the most visited city in the world in 2023, with 26.6 million international visitors.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the least-visited country globally in 2023 is Tuvalu, a remote Pacific island nation.

India is ranked 54th out of 117 countries overall in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Development Index 2021.

Europe saw significant recovery in tourism in 2022, with nearly USD 550 billion in tourism receipts. Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas also showed recovery, while Asian destinations faced challenges due to border shutdowns.

During January-June 2023, India welcomed 43.80 lakh (4.38 million) foreign tourists, marking a 106% increase compared to the same period in 2022.

China is projected to overtake France as the world’s number one tourist destination by 2030, according to a report from Euromonitor International.

In 2023, international tourist arrivals are expected to reach 80 to 95 percent of pre-pandemic levels, depending on various factors like economic recovery, travel patterns in Asia-Pacific, and geopolitical tensions.

Vatican City is the smallest city in the world, known for its small geographical area and unique status as an independent city-state.

Agra, India, is known for being home to the world-famous Taj Mahal, making it the top tourist destination in India. Other attractions in Agra include Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, Akbar’s tomb, Ram Bagh, and Sikandra Fort.

Yes, the Indian tourism sector is among the fastest-growing economic sectors in the country. It contributes significantly to employment, regional development, and related industries.

According to studies, 2023 is considered a year of “no-normal travel.” Travelers are open to various experiences, and optimism about traveling is on the rise, making it a favorable year for travel.

top 10 countries for tourist

Manoj Kumar

Manoj Kumar is an experienced SEO expert. Who has launched Trip Guru Go, a trusted website for travel destinations. Visit this site at, which is its URL. With over 11 years of experience as an SEO Manager. Manoj gives reliable information and insights by combining his knowledge with his love of travel. Through Trip Guru Go, Manoj World shares valuable details about various destinations. Which helps readers plan their adventurous trips with confidence. Trip Guru Go is your go-to source for information about places to visit. Follow them on social media and their blog to read their most recent posts and get helpful travel tips.

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