Thinking about where to travel to next? These countries have consistently welcomed the most number of visitors worldwide for the past few years. Let us tell you why, and maybe you’ll also find some inspiration for your next trip!
No. of visitors: 35.4 million per year
One of the most popular travel destinations among Singaporeans also happens to be one of the most visited countries in the world. No matter what you’re looking for, you can definitely find it in Thailand. If you’re looking to relax on sandy beaches, you can visit Phuket. There are more beaches than you could’ve ever asked for on this island and plenty of space to make sure you can rest and recharge in peace.
But if you’re looking for a holiday in the city, there’s always Bangkok. There is simply so much to do here – from the shopping malls to the sky bars, and let’s not forget the most important thing, which is, of course, the FOOD. And the best part is, everything comes at a reasonably cheap price for amazing quality too, which is one of the reasons why it’s so popular among tourists.
No. of visitors: 37.5 million per year
Lonely Planet named Germany as their second-best travel destination of 2019. It’s pretty well-deserved, considering that this is the country which spends the most money on tourism according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. Many people visit cities like Berlin, pictured above, for its museums, its rich history and of course the Berlin Wall.
Munich is the second most visited city in Germany. It’s famous for Oktoberfest, a beer festival and travelling funfair. Despite its name, Oktoberfest actually takes place in September. Millions of tourists from all over the world flock to Munich during these two weeks to have a fun time.
No. of visitors: 37.6 million per year
Turkey’s appeal comes from its fascinating blend between Western and Eastern cultures that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world. Istanbul, as you see above, is the only city in the world that’s considered to be part of both Asia and Europe. It is truly a one-of-a-kind city, which is why it attracts so many curious visitors every single year.
I’m sure you’ve probably seen this picture before, but have you ever wondered where you can find it? Well, it’s in Turkey too. To be specific, it’s in Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey. Here is where you can ride in a hot air balloon and be mesmerised by the otherworldly view of the rock formations below you. It almost looks like it came straight out of a fantasy movie!
#7: United Kingdom
No. of visitors: 37.7 million per year
When you think of the United Kingdom, it’s all about London. The list of famous tourist attractions in this city seems to go on forever. From Big Ben to Buckingham Palace, London is filled with cultural gems that are widely appreciated by people all around the world. For us Singaporeans, the UK also has the added advantage of being an English-speaking country, which helps a lot when it comes to finding our way around.
But of course, the UK isn’t actually all about London. The United Kingdom also consists of Scotland, where many underrated destinations lie for you to explore. Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is one of them. The Gothic-style architecture here is truly special and makes for beautiful pictures like the one you see above. Another must-visit attraction is Edinburgh Castle, which is home to museums, chapels, cannons and even prisons.
No. of visitors: 39.3 million per year
In recent years, Mexico’s tourism industry has been seeing substantial growth. More and more people from all around the world are visiting Mexico for their holidays. One of the most popular destinations is Mexico City, which is home to much of the country’s rich history. It’s also known as the “City of Palaces“. The one you see in the picture above is the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts), a prominent cultural centre in the city.
However, Mexico’s tourism boost is arguably mainly thanks to its beaches on the Yucatan Peninsula. The luxurious resort you see above is located in Riviera Maya, next to the Caribbean coastline. Looking to relax and take your mind off everything? This would be the perfect place to go.
No. of visitors: 58.3 million per year
Italy is home to over 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which is pretty impressive. But honestly, you don’t have to visit one of these sites to appreciate the beauty of this country. Take Rome, for example. One of the most visited cities in the world is filled with gorgeous buildings and you’ll run out of time before you run out of things to see.
Another Italian city that’s very popular with tourists is Milan. The fashion capital of the world is famous for, of course, its fashion. Luxury brands like Prada and Versace were born and have headquarters in this very city. Other than fashion, people also go to Milan to visit Teatro Alla Scala, one of the most famous opera houses in the world.
No. of visitors: 60.7 million per year
Believe it or not, China is becoming more and more popular among tourists. The country is rapidly developing and its appeal to the world of tourism is only growing stronger. Take Shanghai for example. Disneyland is already attracting a ton of families from all around the world. Shanghai itself is also becoming a bustling metropolis full of life and definitely worth a visit.
But did you know that China’s natural landscapes are absolutely stunning too? In the picture above you can see Zhangjiajie, which is the filming location of the famous movie Avatar. There is even a glass bridge connecting between the canyons that you can talk a walk across if you’re brave enough.
Also check out: Travel China on a BUDGET! (Guangzhou Edition)
#3: United States
No. of visitors: 76.9 million per year
It’s difficult to generalise the USA as a whole because every state and every city is just so different. But that’s part of the appeal to visitors from all over the world. For example, New York City is an icon of the country with its tall skyscrapers and busy streets. There is never a moment of quiet in this city and there will always be something for you to see, be it the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty.
On the other hand, San Francisco on the West Coast offers something different. The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz Island are must-visits, but San Francisco – or California in general – is also known for its amazing weather with sunshine and clear blue skies.
No. of visitors: 81.8 million per year
Tourism contributes to nearly 11% of the national GDP of Spain. And that’s perfectly understandable once you visit. Whether you’re heading to the big cities or the small towns, there’s something for everyone in this country. Like Barcelona, which is full of surprises such as La Sagrada Familia, its famous unfinished cathedral, delicious Catalan cuisine and it’s unique street planning as you can see above.
Seville may not be as big of a city as Barcelona or Madrid, but that’s part of its appeal. The capital of Andalusia is famous for its culture, bullfighting and its narrow streets in Barrio de Santa Cruz (that are absolutely perfect for taking pictures) just to name a few. Don’t forget to visit their tapas bars while you’re there!
No. of visitors: 86.9 million per year
We’ve saved the best for last. This is the most visited country in the world, and it may come as no surprise to you, but it’s France. The city of Paris and all its wonders is, of course, the main reason why so many people pick this country as their holiday destination. It arguably tops the world in terms of quality of food and shopping. And we must not forget the Eiffel Tower and Seine River, classic tourist destinations that are worth every second of your visit.
Isn’t this a Nice view? Yes, indeed it is because that’s the name of the city. Nice (pronounced like “niece”) is France’s fifth-largest city and borders the Mediterranean Ocean to the south, giving it perfect (or should I say Nice) weather at any time of the year. For art lovers, Nice also has the second-most number of museums in any French city after Paris.
So, have you figured out where your next holiday is going to be?