The World’s 10 Most Popular Attractions Based On Traveler Interest.
If you're looking to start your own checklist of places to visit during your life, try this list of the most visited tourist attractions in the world.
Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy
St. Mark’s Square is the principal public square of Venice, where it is generally known just as la Piazza. All other urban spaces in the city (except the Piazzetta and the Piazzale Roma) are called campi ("fields"). The Square forms the social, religious and political centre of Venice. A remark usually attributed to Napoleon calls the Piazza San Marco "the drawing room of Europe".
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is one of the most recognizable icons of South America and its tourism numbers reflect it. After receiving over 1 million visitors in 2016, tourism officials decided to cut back on the entrance allowance in efforts to save the precious ruins from crumbling.
The set of historic stone monuments, known as Stonehenge, date from 2000 to 3000 BC. The iconic landmark is one of the most famous sites in the UK, and one of the most visited tourist attractions. Since Stonehenge was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage site in 1986, yearly visitors have skyrocketed to over 1.5 million.
Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
This unfinished Roman Catholic basilica is perhaps Gaudi’s best work. Construction on this basilica started in 1882, and while it’s still yet to be completed, this is one spot no traveler to Barcelona will miss. Its popularity among travelers means there’s always long queues, so plan ahead and book a fast track guided tour or one with optional tower entry to breeze your way to the front.
Acropolis of Athens, Greece
These ancient ruins of Athens dangle above the scenic cliff-side of Greece. Despite ongoing restoration projects, hoards of onlookers continue to flock to the site year after year. The community saw close to 4 million tourists in 2019.
Eiffel Tower, France
Located in the heart of Paris, the most romantic city in the world, the Eiffel Tower has become a universal symbol of travel and a popular tourist destination. A visit to the Eiffel Tower tops many travel lists, and it’s no surprise considering the 7 million visitors who are snapping selfies under the 81-story building.
The Great Wall of China
Considered one of the greatest man-made structures in the world, the Great Wall of China stretches over 13,000 miles. Receiving 10 million tourists every year, it is beneficial to know the best time to visit. Autumn is arguably the prettiest season in which to arrive, but unfortunately, it is still the peak time for tourism. Surprisingly, June is best if you’re hoping to avoid the crowds, especially if you want to visit when it isn’t snowing.
The Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
It might be surprising to learn that a desolate desert in Egypt has now become one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world — unless you consider the number of people who desperately want to see the Great Pyramid of Giza! One of the official Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Pyramid is a bucket list destination for many. Built around 2500 B.C., the world-famous tomb is now responsible for a spectacular 14.7 million visitors per year.
Niagara Falls, USA/Canada
And then, we arrive in North America at a tourist destination that’s frequented more than all of the other sites, by over double the visitors. Niagara Falls, located on the border of New York and Ontario, Canada is a massive set of three waterfalls, with an astounding 6 million cubic feet of water gushing over the falls every minute. The site is currently estimated to host 30 million tourists annually, making it the most visited tourist attraction in the world.
The Colosseum, Rome
The most famous and largest structure still standing from the Roman Empire, the Colosseum is also the biggest attraction of modern-day Rome. It's been a bucket-list destination of travelers for generations. And it does not disappoint.
Set in the heart of the city, the Colosseum is an easy place to visit. Direct flights from around the world land in Rome daily, making it a destination you can visit in a weekend if you choose. Wander through Rome's ancient streets, tour the colosseum, and if time allows, plan a trip to other areas of Italy.
The New 7 Wonders of the World
The New 7 Wonders of the World was a campaign started in 2000 to choose Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments.
The popularity poll via free Web-based voting and small amounts of telephone voting was led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New 7 Wonders Foundation (N7W) based in Zurich, Switzerland, with winners announced on 7 July 2007 in Lisbon, at Estádio da Luz.
- Great Wall of China - China
- Petra - Ma'an, Jordan
- Colosseum - Rome, Italy
- Chichén Itzá - Yucatán, Mexico
- Machu Picchu - Cuzco Region, Peru
- Taj Mahal - Agra, India
- Christ the Redeemer - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Giza Pyramids (honorary status) - Giza Necropolis, Egypt