Just what are the most popular tourist destinations in the world? Unless you focus solely on one specific statistic, you’ll find that no two sources are in total agreement. Nevertheless, a surprisingly high number of travel destinations appear on almost every list out there. Thus, we present this list of popular tourist destinations in the world.
Popular Tourist Destinations in the World 2023
Thailand in South Asia is nicknamed the “Land of Smiles.” It offers visitors both wild, exciting adventures and modern creature comforts too. Bangkok, the capital, hosts more than 20 million travelers annually. Popular attractions here include Khao Sok National Park, the Grand Palace, the ancient city of Ayutthaya, the floating markets, Monkey Beach, the Buddhist wat Coi Suthep, and the Phi Phi Islands.
2. Bali, Indonesia
In Bali, you can discover volcanoes, Komodo dragons, and jungles complete with tigers, elephants, and orangutans. If you’re a bargain hunter, visit in the off-season. It might rain a bit in March and April, but airfare and accommodations are cheaper. Veteran visitors note you’ll still enjoy “plenty of sunshine.” There’s no charge to explore the temples, mountains, beaches, palaces, and rice paddies either!
3. The Philippines
A visit to the Philippines can be comparatively inexpensive. A three-course meal for two is under $16.00. An inexpensive meal is less than $4.00.
See Manila, the capital. Visit the popular ancient walled city Intramuros and the free museum. Explore the mysterious Tabon Caves. Hit the beach. Take a dip in the natural pool at the popular Estrella Falls for free too.
France has many attractions. For over three decades, many sources list Paris, the capital of France as the number one tourist destination and the most visited city in Europe too. They include the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Palace of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, the Musee du Louvre, Disneyland Paris, the beautiful beaches of the Côte d’Azur, storybook villages, vineyards, the occasional castle, and numerous world-class restaurants. You can even see prehistoric cave paintings in Lascaux.
5. The United Kingdom
The UK is consistently a top tourist destination. Highlights in England include the capital, London, which includes Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, and Westminster Abbey. Don’t miss the Beatles’ birthplace in Liverpool, and Stonehenge either. Scotland features charming Edinburgh, the highlands, Inverness, and moody Loch Ness. Wales has Cardiff and castles, and Northern Ireland includes Belfast and its nightlife, the Antrim coastline, and the Giant’s Causeway.
Spain is fairly overflowing with attractions. There’s the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona, the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Europe’s largest aquarium, L’Oceanogràfic, and the El Teide volcano. Looking for fun in the sun? Mallorca, the largest of all of Spain’s Balearic Islands, has room for romantic strolls along the beach but is surprisingly unspoiled. Additionally, a cozy three-course meal for two with a bottle of nice wine costs under 63 Euros.
This nation in Southeast Europe is also a frequent favorite tourist destination. The sunny isle of Crete offers strolls through the historic old town of Chania and great beaches too. In Santorini, you and your partner can enjoy a cocktail as you watch the sunset from the intimate privacy of your personal terrace. Other highlights of Greece include the Acropolis in Athens, Corfu Town, Delphi, and an island cruise.
8. Florida, USA
Florida’s for everyone. If you’re looking for family-friendly attractions don’t miss Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld Atlanta. Feeling artsy? Head for the Art Deco Historic District.
If you’d prefer to avoid the Spring Break college crowds, visit Florida’s famous Key West. It’s got a Caribbean flavor and comes complete with towering palm trees, a balmy breeze, and fragrant flowers. Enjoy the historic architecture, bars, cafes, and beaches too.
9. California, USA
If you’re visiting California in search of family-friendly fun, here you will find Disneyland, Universal Studios, Legoland, SeaWorld, and city zoos too. If you like cities with sand, sun, and fun, there’s Huntington Beach and Venice Beach. Visit Griffith Park, Hollywood, and Santa Barbara. See San Francisco, The Presidio and Alcatraz Island. Outdoor lovers must see Big Sur, Mariposa Grove, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Yosemite National Park, and Napa Valley.
10. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai is always a popular tourist destination. It’s an ultramodern city that has golden beaches, gorgeous hotels, world-class dining, and more. Specific highlights here include the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa; the distinctive and decorative Dubai Fountain Display, the Dubai Aquarium, and the Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark. Shopaholics will enjoy the Dubai Mall which not only includes stores but an assortment of indoor activities to keep kids occupied.
Next on our list of popular tourist destinations is the epicenter of the Western World, Italy. Here you can visit historic Rome. It’s rife with history.
This place is loved for its food and urban energy as well. Milan is the chic modern capital of wealth and fashion. There’s also the romantic charm of the Venice canals, Florence’s famous “David”, and the natural beauty of Tuscany too.
Japan is another popular tourist destination. See the Imperial Palace. Check out Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Osaka Castle, the Island Shrine of Itsukushima, the temples in Nara, and the city of Kyoto to visit the Golden Pavilion.
Enjoy the great outdoors? Explore Chūbu-Sangaku National Park and the Japanese Alps. Visit Mount Fuji as well. Visit in April and see the cherry blossom trees in bloom!
Last but not least, is Australia. Here you can cruise the Great Ocean Road and see the limestone stacks known as the Twelve Apostles, and the rainforests too. Conquer your acrophobia by strolling up the towering Sydney Harbour Bridge’s 1,332 steps. Other highlights here include the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and Bondi Beach.
There you have it, fellow travelers, our list of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. How many of these are on your bucket list? How many have you already seen? Let us know!