Researching for the most exciting and welcoming travel destinations worldwide, right?
You should check out the most visited cities in the world this time, their stats and what’s so special about these places, and why you need to make some memories there.
What better way to figure them out on the most visited cities in the world than through people’s foreign spending and other public data combined?
That’s precisely what Mastercard did, and most of the results were almost as anticipated.
While most travelers would kill to experience nature at its incredibleness, history, and wonders away from home, it is also worth it to experience human diversities, structures, and cultures.
For this, there is no better place to get your bucket of lust for an adventure whole than within the scope of the world’s remarkable cities, especially the most visited ones.
I’m inspired to discuss with you a compilation of the 20 most visited cities in the world that may fall on your radar for places you may want to visit in the future.
What Are The Most Visited Cities In The World?
1. Bangkok, Thailand (22.78 Million)
As the Thais would call it, Thai Krung Thep, and foreigners like me would rather say “Bangkok” is the capital of Thailand, and with approximately 22 million international visitors this year, it is the most visited city in the world.
If I’m on a family trip to Bangkok, I must create memories at the Dream World Amusement Park. As an art enthusiast, Art In Paradise would surely top my list of “places to visit in Bangkok,” Regardless of my interests, Bangkok Floating I will still include Market in my list (just like most first-timers visiting the city).
Historical and religious sights such as the I Grand Palace and impressive temples attract many tourists. You asked why traveling to Bangkok has generated so much interest among travelers even before the pandemic. It is due to many reasons.
It is a unique place, even among the most exciting travel destinations out there, and to top it off, Thais are very welcoming and accessible to friendship.
2. Paris, France (19.10 Million)
The year 2020 marked Paris as the 34th most densely populated city in the world, and let’s also not forget it is the capital of France.
While London has been on this spot as the second most visited city in the world in the past few years, it always returns to its second position in the force. With the well-known Eiffel Tower that almost all Hollywood movies are decorated with, the Arc De Triomphe, The Louvre, and many other sights with impressive buildings designed by the best architectures history has seen, being in second place for Paris should not come as surprise.
I expected it to top the list if I did my research, but I had yet to have a chance with Bangkok around for the time being.
3. London, England (19.09 Million)
The capital of England, London is the third among the 20 most visited cities in the world, with a good portion of its international visitors coming from the United States and France. Given the numbers, Paris outperformed London in the 2nd spot by low numbers. No thanks to the recent pandemic, London had been nailing it significantly, considering the 21.7 million visits it got in 2019.
So the post-pandemic numbers in the coming years will be interesting, and can’t wait to write you another article that mixes the cities’ positions in different places.
There are so many notable attractions here in London, and no matter how extensive your list is, I fear you will expand it to a second visit, so be prepared to stay for a little while.
The London Eye, Tate Modern, Tower of London, and the National Gallery are just a few of the top attractions in London.
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates (15.93 Million)
Capital of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai has become a city on the cutting edge of global tourism through its magnificent architectural structures and monuments, such as the highest building in the world, Burj Khalifa.
Dubai is home to some of the most beautiful buildings in the world, and not just for sightseeing, many people recognize the city for its incredible malls for their shopping, and their delicacies are second to none.
While in most parts of the world, we consider weekends to include Saturdays and Sundays, it is entirely different in the Emirates, as Fridays are also significant.
Some of the most memorable activities for travelers here are visits to the Dubai Desert Safari, the Museum of the future, the Miracle Garden, and the Underwater Zoo & Aquarium.
5. Singapore, Singapore (14.67 Million)
From the word “Singapura,” the Lion City Singapore has been named. While you may not hear much about the city, the number of international visits it has received, especially in 2022, is extraordinary, thanks to its breathtaking tourist destinations and the growing innovations that bring the interests of foreign investors.
For a vacation to this Island City, there is no dull moment touring the sights in Singapore.
Suppose it’s not the Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Flyer, the Isle of Sentosa, or the Universal Studios. In that case, it could be Merlion Park that would make for a memorable experience.
Singapore is worth visiting if you want to get exposed to nature in its ordinary form, history, or diversity. With Singapore’s recent trend among travelers from around the globe, it is a matter of time before it tops up its numbers and possibly ranks higher among the list of the 20 most visited cities in the world.
6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (13.79 Million)
Being one of the fastest-growing cities in Asia, Kuala Lumpur is also the largest in Malaysia and also its capital.
A city with mixed heritages that account for its diversities and dominating is the Malays, Chinese, and Indians, all sharing their respective beliefs. A glance at the city would tell you more about the Influence of religion, especially with the designated buildings erected amidst beautiful skyscrapers, some of which had once been among the world’s tallest buildings, particularly the Petronas Twin Towers.
Some famous tourist attractions include Sunway Lagoon Themes Park, Aquaria KLCC, Batu Caves, Forest Eko Park, and other exciting locations.
The most popular attractions are close to each other in Kuala Lumpur, so a few days could get you the most coverage.
7. New York, United States (13.60 Million Visitors)
Proud New Yorkers would tell you, “it is the Capital City of the World,” and I’d agree that it is a city full of opportunities, Influence, and human capacity and blessed with natural harbors. It’s like the entire world in one place, as many would see from an economic and cultural perspective.
The famous Statue of Liberty resides here, the most iconic view in the United States, beautiful architectural works you can’t find in any other part of the world, historical museums, and renowned landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge. It has what it takes to attract so many visits.
New York has so much to see, but if you want to cover the main attractions, you can purchase a few tours since they are primarily a couple of rides from each other.
Read Also; 25 Best Places to Visit in the USA and Why
8. Istanbul, Turkey (13.40 Million)
Speaking of ancient civilizations, Turkey has inhabited some of the earliest settlements in history. Interestingly, this transcontinental country connects two continents, South-Eastern Europe and South-West Asia.
Not to mention the biggest city in Turkey and Europe as a whole, Istanbul is an ideal destination for tourists, as you can admire magnificent religious buildings, royal palaces, and astonishing monuments.
Some of the most attractive tourist attractions in Istanbul include the Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, the Galata Bridge, and the Tower name a few.
Pocket sizes may vary, but compared to Traveling among a significant number of the 20 most visited cities in the world, Instanbul is more welcoming to travelers on a budget.
9. Tokyo, Japan (12.93 Million)
Formerly called Edo until 1868 and now Tokyo, it is one of the most famous cities in the world, and its domination extends even further when one gets closer to Asia.
Influenced by tradition, religion, and modern lifestyle, the city, is a meeting point for all Japanese, making it the capital city.
Most people who have been to Tokyo would like to express how busy it can be, but what can you expect in a place as beautiful, cultural, historical, and futuristic as Tokyo?
Some of the highly rated sights for tourists in Japan include Meji Sanctuary, Ueno Park, Tokyo Skytree, Imperial Palace, National Art Centre, National Garden, and so many others.
When visiting Tokyo, get ready to experience a mix of traditional and modern lifestyles under one umbrella.
10. Antalya, Turkey (12.41 Million)
Do you remember our number eight on the list? Well, here’s another magnificent city in Turkey, Antalya, with a million fewer visitors than Istanbul. So surprising that Turkey ranks two times in our top ten, but given the role of its cities come ancient civilizations, it’s worth the spot.
On a visit here, you should explore the ancient city of Antalya, relax on the beach of Konyaalti or embark on a ferry tour for a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean coasts.
This is the fastest-growing city in Turkey, so don’t expect things to stay the same on your next trip to the city, and if you’re a newcomer, by all means, try to draft a well-planned trip so that you don’t add additional days of what you planned earlier because there are just enough exciting places to go.
11. Seoul, South Korea (11.25 Million)
South Korea is proud to claim its tourist attractions as the best in the world and, interestingly, the number of visits it receives, especially in Seoul, which happens to be one of the liveliest cities you can find on this planet, climbed on the roof over the years.
One of the most exciting things about this place is that its cultures and traditions are well preserved, and as far as the modern lifestyle is concerned, it ranks well here too.
Hot spots for tourists in the South Korean city of Seoul include Gyeongbokgung Palace, Heunginjimun Gate, Namsan Park, Lotte World, and many more.
Believe me when I say that aside from sightseeing, a meal in Seoul should be one of the key highlights of your journey here.
12. Osaka, Japan (10.14 Million)
Outside of Tokyo, which happens to be the capital of Japan, here is another city that made it to the list of our 20 most visited cities in the world, Osaka.
It also happened to be Japan’s first capital and business hub centuries ago, and with that kind of history, Get ready to explore places that add to the beauty and success of today’s Japan.
The distance between Tokyo and Osaka isn’t that much, so boarding a bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka would get you right into its metropolis.
The Osaka Castle, Shitenoji Temple, Kobe Port Towers, and Aquarium Maiyukan are some tourist destinations most travelers cannot leave the city without a visit.
13. Mecca, Saudi Arabia (10 Million)
Driven by modernization, and historical Influence, while not the political capital of Saudi Arabia, Mecca is the most popular city in the country.
A city backed by its religious Influence and it is the birthplace of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), the foundational root of the Islamic religion, and where the famous Masjid Al-Haram, which contains the Ka’abah, resides.
Because all non-disabled Muslims have to visit the city on pilgrimage at least once in their lives, this made the city especially lively during the pilgrim season, as it hosts visits by Muslims from all over the world.
Besides the Ka’abah, where most of the attraction of Mecca originates, the city also contains unique modern architecture such as the Hilton Suites, Raffles Makkah Palace, and other sights such as the Abraj Al-Bait Towers, Black Stone, Mount Arafat, and many other places.
As much as many people would like to visit the city of Mecca, not everyone can as it is designated to only Muslim visitors.
14. Phuket, Thailand (9.89 Million)
From small towns full of amazing stories to a natural environment and delicate waterways, Phuket is a paradise perfect for vacations.
It is an island city located just inland from the coast of the Indian Ocean side of Thailand, surrounded by the waters of the Andaman Sea. When it comes to the world’s top-rated beaches, Phuket hosts some of them.
From Island hopping & snorkeling to Thai Jungle activities, there are many more to give you an enjoyable stay here; some of the main sights include Coral Island, Racha Island, Big Buddha, and many others, thanks to the Island’s tourist orientation.
15. Pattaya, Thailand (9.44 Million)
We’re still in Thailand, and here comes Pattaya, hundreds of thousands fewer visitors than Phucket, and hopefully, you remember our number one coming from the same country as well.
Another tourist hub, Pattaya, is a modern city with natural sides that make it handy for the holidays. While the city center has many sites that attract visitors, it is also dynamic and busy, so the most fun comes when you are away from the central area.
Noteworthy sights for tourists in the city of Pattaya include the Sanctuary of Truth, Jomtien Beach, Koh Larn, Wat Yanasangwararam, and Nong Noch Tropical Garden, to mention just a few.
Most of the delicious local specialties here wouldn’t hurt your pockets.
16. Milan, Italy (9.10 Million)
This is the world seat of fashion because it has raised some of the most famous artists that the world has ever seen. If you’re a fan of Art, it’ll interest you that Leonardo da Vinci spent about 18 years of his life in Milan, creating many of his masterpieces.
Not only for Art and Fashion, but Milan also attracts tourists’ attention with its superb sights such as Milan Cathedral, Sforza Castle, Teatro Alla Scala, and more.
Considering its history that has contributed to the development of the whole nation and its contribution to Art in general, visiting some museums is definitely worth the effort.
17. Barcelona, Spain (9.09 Million)
Now we arrive in Spain, and though Madrid is its capital, Barcelona has taken 17th place among the 20 most visited cities worldwide.
The city of Barcelona is a popular destination for its intense beauty. The buildings in the streets are well placed, along with an interesting historical background dating back to the Neolithic era. Historians here have done a great job, and with the many museums down here, you can learn a lot about the old city. The National Art Museum of Catalonia, Picasso Museum, and the MUHBA Museum, to name a few, are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Barcelona if you want to learn more about its past.
The sporty nature of the city also contributes to its number of visits. It is the home of the well-known Barcelona football club, with fans in just about every corner of the globe.
18. Palma de Mallorca, Spain (8.96 Million)
The Island of Majorca in Spain has Palma as its capital, an ideal place to spend your holidays. It is a colorful city with many places for relaxation and enjoyment.
Established by the Romans and with a history of periodic raids, Palma has its fair history to tell, and a tour of the city would give you its highlight.
From hundreds of beaches to landmarks such as Cathedral de Mallorca, Bellver Castle & Museum, L’Olivar Food Market, and Marineland, you will have a lot to schedule when visiting the city.
19. Bali, Indonesia (8.26 Million)
Developed with tourism in mind, Bali, though not the country’s capital, has made it to our list.
Perfect for vacations, the city is a heaven on earth all by itself. Thanks to its attractions, the city of Bali generates about 80% of its gross revenue from tourism, and this percentage of visitor expenditure tells us how touristic this place can be.
Whether solo, with family, friends, or acquaintances, it is a place everybody would appreciate their stay.
Some things that would activate your traveling antenna to the tropical heaven include Its spectacular Temple buildings, Tegenungan Waterfall, Tirta Gangga, Ubud Monkey Forest, Mount Batur, etc.
20. Hong Kong (8.23 Million)
What a big city we have here. It’s about six times the size of Washington, DC, and one and a half the size of the Singaporean Nation. Hong Kong is an administrative region of the Chinese.
It has a distinctively modern look all around, but not without a fair share of the natural abundance that becomes leverage for the city to provide its best to tourists.
However, because of the recent pandemic, tourism in Hong Kong is no longer what it once was .it might be somewhere at the top of our list of 20 most visited cities in the world. Still, fortunately, tourism is now regaining momentum in Hong Kong, so anything can happen to our numbers in due course.
Talking about the city’s attractions, we have the Hong Kong Disney land, Tian Tan Buddha Monument, Ocean Park, Star Ferry, Victoria Peak, Dragon’s Back, Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, and other places.
Year after year, the list of the 20 most visited cities in the world surprises us by flipping the cities’ positions in different patterns. With the recent pandemic hitting the travel industry somewhat hard, our cities are still recovering. In no time, the number of visitors in each city will increase considerably.
Furthermore, we ranked our study on the information by Mastercard in its list of global destination cities that identifies the most visited cities in the world based on publicly available data, which includes their expenditure. They’re also counting on overnight visits to these cities. If not, we’ll have higher numbers than now.
Never forget, “Of the books in the world, the best stories are between the pages of a passport.”
Among the 20 most visited cities in the world that we discussed, which one would you like to visit in the future?
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