World’s Most Popular Tourist Attractions To Visit Once In A Lifetime
Tourist Attractions Around The World You Must Watch: We all love to travel and this is the reason why millions of tourists go from place to place every year in search of new experiences and adventures. The world is full of incredible and wonderful tourist attractions, of which some are man-made masterpieces while others are the great wonders of nature.
We defined “tourist attractions” as cultural and historical sites, natural landmarks, religious shrines, and officially designated spaces. Every country has landmarks and natural wonders that are internationally recognizable. For example, you can’t visit France without seeing the historical Eiffel Tower, or Iceland without swimming in the amazing Blue Lagoon.
All these tourist attractions have something unique in their design and structure that allure a visitor time and again. Many of these tourist attractions have broad cultural appeal and honor the local heritage. That’s why some of these attractions are popular UNESCO World Heritage sites.
So what are the top most-visited tourist attractions in the world? We have gathered the most recent data supplied by the attractions themselves or from government agencies, industry reports, and reputable media outlets. Some of these attractions are well-known and they require no explanation to identify the location: the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal.
But some places are less well known to new travelers, however, they are amazing models of architecture. We have categorized these tourist attractions on the basis of the number of visitors they attract annually. So it’s no wonder that many popular and wonderful destinations may not find a place on this list. However, we will try to cover all these popular places in the next articles. We hope you will enjoy the list.
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1. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turki
Annual Visitors: 91.25 Million
Grand Bazaar is the most popular tourist attraction in the world as it attracts millions of visitors annually. It is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, encompassing more than 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops on a total area of 30,700 m2. You can get everything from hand-painted ceramics, lanterns, and silk carpets to gold Byzantine-style jewelry, and more eye-catching products.
The 15th-century Grand Bazaar is a thriving complex today, and one of the major landmarks of Istanbul. It is often regarded as one of the first shopping malls in the world and can easily be reached from Sultanahmet and Sirkeci by trams. The Grand Bazaar is open each day except Sundays and bank holidays from 9:00 until 19:00.
2. The Zócalo, Mexico City, Mexico
Annual Visitors: 85 Million
The Zócalo or Plaza del Zócalo Constitución is the common name of the main square in central Mexico City and it is the most popular tourist attraction in North America. Prior to the colonial period, it was the main ceremonial center in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. The plaza used to be known simply as the “Main Square” or “Arms Square”, and today its formal name is Plaza de la Constitución.
It has been a gathering place for Mexicans since Aztec times, having been the site of Mexican ceremonies, the swearing-in of viceroys, royal proclamations, military parades, Independence ceremonies, concerts, exhibitions, fairs, and modern religious events such as the festivals of Holy Week and Corpus Christi.
The modern Zócalo is bordered by the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral to the north, the National Palace to the east, the Federal District buildings to the south and the Old Portal de Mercaderes to the west, the Nacional Monte de Piedad building at the north-west corner, with the Templo Mayor site to the northeast, just outside the view.
3. Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA
Annual Visitors: 67 Million
Grand Central Terminal or Grand Central Station is a commuter rail terminal located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The distinctive architecture and interior design of Grand Central Terminal’s station house have earned it several landmark designations, including as a National Historic Landmark. Its Beaux-Arts design incorporates numerous works of art.
Grand Central Terminal is one of the world’s ten most visited tourist attractions. The terminal’s Main Concourse is often used as a meeting place and is especially featured in films and television. Grand Central Terminal contains a variety of stores and food vendors, including upscale restaurants and bars, two food halls, and a grocery marketplace.
Grand Central covers 48 acres and has 44 platforms, more than any other railroad station in the world. Two of the grandest venues are the Campbell Apartment, serving craft cocktails, and the historic Oyster Bar—featured on AMC’s Mad Men. In general, the best time to see Grand Central is late evening or in the wee hours of the morning.
4. Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, USA
Annual Visitors: 61 Million
The Walt Disney World Resort, also called Walt Disney World and Disney World, is an entertainment complex in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in the United States, near the cities of Orlando and Kissimmee. The complex covers nearly 25,000 acres or 101 sq. km of area, of which half has been used. Widely considered the most magical place on earth, the resort is high on virtually every family’s to-do list and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world.
Disney World comprises four theme parks (consisting of Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom), two water parks, 27 themed resort hotels, nine non-Disney hotels, several golf courses, a camping resort, and other entertainment venues, including the outdoor shopping center Disney Springs. Today Walt Disney World is the most visited vacation resort or theme park on the earth.
5. Times Square, New York City, USA
Annual Visitors: 50 Million
Times Square is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, entertainment center, and neighborhood in the Midtown Manhattan section of New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Brightly lit by numerous billboards and advertisements, it stretches from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. Times Square is sometimes referred to as “the Crossroads of the World”, “the Center of the Universe”, and “the Heart of the World”.
One of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas, it is also the hub of the Broadway Theater District and a major center of the world’s entertainment industry. Times Square is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 50 million visitors annually.
Formerly known as Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in 1904 after The New York Times moved its headquarters to the then newly erected Times Building, now One Times Square. It is the site of the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop, which began on December 31, 1907, and continues to attract over a million visitors to Times Square every year.
6. The Strip, Las Vegas, USA
Annual Visitors: 42.5 Million
The Las Vegas Strip is a stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada, that is known for its concentration of resort hotels and casinos. The Strip is about 6.8 km long and is immediately south of the Las Vegas city limits in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester, but is often referred to simply as “Las Vegas”.
Many of the largest hotel, casino, and resort properties in the world are on the Strip, known for their contemporary architecture, lights, and a wide variety of attractions. Its hotels, casinos, restaurants, residential high-rises, entertainment offerings, and skyline have established the Strip as one of the most popular and iconic tourist attractions in the world and is one of the driving forces for Las Vegas’ economy.
7. Central Park, New York, USA
Annual Visitors: 42 Million
Central Park is an urban park in New York City located between the Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan. It is the fifth-largest park in the city by area, covering 843 acres. It is the most visited urban park in the United States with an estimated 42 million visitors annually and is the most filmed location in the world. Its influence earned Central Park the designations of the National Historic Landmark in 1963.
Main tourist attractions include landscapes such as the Ramble and Lake, Hallett Nature Sanctuary, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, and Sheep Meadow; amusement attractions such as Wollman Rink, Central Park Carousel, and the Central Park Zoo; formal spaces such as the Central Park Mall and Bethesda Terrace; and the Delacorte Theater. Its size and cultural position make it a model for the world’s urban parks.
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8. Union Station, Washington, D.C., USA
Annual Visitors: 40 Million
Union Station is the second-largest station in the USA after the Grand Central Terminal. It was designed by the famous architect Daniel Burnham and completed in 1908. DC’s main transit station sees more than 100,000 commuters every day. But it also handles millions of tourists who pass through to take in the impeccably mixed architectural styles throughout the colossal building: from Classical to Beaux-Arts to Baroque.
More than 70 retail outlets make Union Station a great shopping destination for visitors. The station is a stop on just about every DC tour, including the many school group tours. If you want to enjoy some quality time at this popular tourist attraction, come in spring or winter instead, avoid rush hour, and you might just get a glimpse of what it was like back in the 1940s.
9. Tirupati Tempe, Chittoor, India
Annual Visitors: 32 Million
Venkateswara Temple is a Hindu temple situated in the hill town of Tirumala at Tirupati in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. The Temple is dedicated to Venkateswara, a form of Vishnu, who is believed to have appeared here to save mankind from the trials and troubles of Kali Yuga. The temple is also known by other names like Tirumala Temple, Tirupati Temple, Tirupati Balaji Temple.
The Temple is constructed in Dravidian architecture and is believed to be constructed over a period of time starting from 300 AD. The temple is located on seven hills. Hence the temple is also referred to as the “Temple of Seven Hills”. It is the richest temple in the world in terms of donations received and wealth. Tirupati is a popular tourist attraction as there are many ancient temples nearby Tirumala.
This temple is visited by about 50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims daily on average, while on special occasions and festivals, like the annual Brahmotsavam, the number of pilgrims shoots up to 500,000, making it the most-visited holy place in the world. Tirumala Sri Venkateswara Temple is a paradise of Festivals where over 433 festivals are being observed 365 days a year.
10. Sensoji Temple, Tokyo, Japan
Annual Visitors: 30.1 Million
Sensō-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. It is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and one of its most significant tourist attractions. Formerly associated with the Tendai sect of Buddhism, it became independent after World War II. Adjacent to the temple is a five-story pagoda, the Asakusa Shinto shrine, as well as many shops with traditional goods in the Nakamise-dōri.
The Sensoji Kannon temple is dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu, the Bodhisattva of compassion, and is the most widely visited spiritual site in the world with over 30 million visitors annually. The temple has a titanium tiled roof that maintains the historic image but is stronger and lighter.
Sensō-ji is the focus of Tokyo’s largest and most popular festival, Sanja Matsuri. This takes place over 3–4 days in late spring and sees the surrounding streets closed to traffic from dawn until late evening.
11. Niagara Falls, USA, and Canada Border
Annual Visitors: 30 Million
Probably, Niagara Falls is the most famous waterfall in the world. It is located between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York. Niagara Falls is actually a group of three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge, spanning the border between the province of Ontario in Canada and the state of New York in the United States.
The largest of the three is Horseshoe Falls, also known as Canadian Falls is located on the Canadian side while the other two, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls are located in New York. Niagara Falls is famed for its incredible beauty and is a valuable source of hydroelectric power.
Niagara Falls with more than 30 million visitors each year is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world and it has attracted honeymooners, families, and daredevils of all kinds. Peak visitor traffic occurs in the summertime when Niagara Falls is both a daytime and evening attraction. From the Canadian side, floodlights illuminate both sides of the falls for several hours after dark (until midnight).
12. Meiji Jingu Shrine, Tokyo, Japan
Annual Visitors: 29.9 Million
Meiji Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Shibuya, Tokyo, that is dedicated to the divine souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. The shrine does not contain the emperor’s grave, which is located at Fushimi-momoyama, south of Kyoto. It was built in the traditional nagare-zukuri style, using primarily Japanese cypress and copper.
Built more than 100 years ago, Meiji Shrine is located in a forest that covers an area of 70 hectares. This shrine is a peaceful haven surrounded by an evergreen holy forest that consists of 120,000 trees of 365 different species, which were donated by people from all parts of Japan when the shrine was established. If you are visiting Japan don’t forget to visit this beautiful tourist attraction.
13. Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, USA
Annual Visitors: 23.5 Million
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a U.S. National Recreation Area protecting 82,027 acres of ecologically and historically significant landscapes surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. The park is as diverse as it is expansive; it contains beaches, cliffs, hills, forts, towering redwood trees, and famous tourist attractions such as Muir Woods National Monument, Alcatraz, and the Presidio of San Francisco.
Many visitors come to embrace the outdoors, whether hiking, biking, swimming, birding, riding horses, or whale-watching. But this scenic area is also rich in history and is home to over 3,000 plant and animal species, encompassing 95 km of bay and ocean shoreline.
14. Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City, Mexico
Annual Visitors: 20 Million
Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe, is a Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary associated with a series of five Marian apparitions in December 1531, and a venerated image on a cloak enshrined within the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The basilica is the most-visited Catholic shrine in the world and the world’s third most-visited sacred site.
The Old Basilica, begun in the 16th century and completed in 1709, stands in stark contrast to the massive new basilica, designed by the Mexican architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, which was built in the mid-1970s and looks like a sports arena. If you are in Mexico City, this tourist attraction is a place worth seeing.
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15. Forbidden City, Beijing, China
Annual Visitors: 19.1 Million
The Forbidden City is a palace complex in Dongcheng District of Beijing in China. Like the Great Wall, the Forbidden City in Beijing is one of the top places to visit in China. The sprawling complex dates from the 14th and 15th centuries and is a spectacular example of historical China. Beijing’s Ming Dynasty palace is the largest ancient palace in the world still in existence with a total area of 720,000 square meters.
This tourist attraction lies at the center of the Imperial City of Beijing, and the city is built around the palace complex. It is surrounded by numerous opulent imperial gardens and temples including 54-acre Zhongshan Park, the sacrificial Imperial Ancestral Temple, the 171-acre Beihai Park, and the 57-acre Jingshan Park. The Forbidden City is a dream destination for millions of tourists and you must watch this once in a lifetime.
16. Disneyland Park, Anaheim, USA
Annual visitors: 19 Million
Disneyland Park, originally Disneyland, is the first of two theme parks built at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, which opened on July 17, 1955. It is the only theme park designed and built to completion under the direct supervision of Walt Disney. Walt Disney initially envisioned building a tourist attraction adjacent to his studios in Burbank to entertain fans who wished to visit.
Disneyland was the first Disney theme park and within two years, more than 4.5 million people visited this amazing place. However, the original 85-acre Disneyland Park is not as massive as its Orlando counterpart, it has retro charm and some better features. Disneyland consists of nine themed “lands” including favorites like Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland.
Also, it has added New Orleans Square in 1966, Bear Country or Critter Country in 1972, Mickey’s Toontown in 1993, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019. The park is consistently busy, especially on weekends, during the summer, and over school holidays, when crowds surge at the happiest place on earth.
17. Tokyo Disneyland, Urayasu, Japan
Annual Visitors: 18.5 Million
Tokyo Disneyland is a 115-acre theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu, near Tokyo in Japan. It was the first Disney park to be built outside the United States, and it opened on April 15, 1983. The park was constructed by WED Enterprises in the same style as Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland in California. Since its inception, it has been a major tourist attraction for visitors.
The park has seven themed areas: the World Bazaar; the four traditional Disney lands: Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland; and two mini-lands: Critter Country and Mickey’s Toontown. Many of these areas mirror those in the original Disneyland as they are based on American Disney films and fantasies.
Fantasyland includes Peter Pan’s Flight, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, based on Disney films and characters. Tokyo Disneyland is the world’s third-most visited theme park behind the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort.
18. Bourbon Street, New Orleans, USA
Annual Visitors: 18 Million
Bourbon Street is a historic street in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans. Extending thirteen blocks from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue, Bourbon Street is one of the most iconic streets in the world which is famous for its many bars and strip clubs. With 17.74 million visitors in 2017 alone, New Orleans depends on Bourbon Street as the main tourist attraction.
Tourist numbers have been growing yearly after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the city has successfully rebuilt its tourist base. For millions of visitors each year, Bourbon Street provides a rich insight into New Orleans’ past.
Largely quiet during the day, Bourbon Street comes alive at night – particularly during the French Quarter’s many festivals. The most heavily visited section of Bourbon Street is “upper Bourbon Street” toward Canal Street, an eight-block section of visitor attractions including bars, restaurants, souvenir shops, and strip clubs.
19. Disneyland Park, Paris, France
Annual Visitors: 15.67 Million
Disneyland Paris, formerly Euro Disney Resort, is an entertainment resort in Chessy, France, a town located 32 km east of the center of Paris. Disneyland Park is the original theme park of the complex, opening with the resort on 12 April 1992. A second theme park, Walt Disney Studios Park, opened in 2002, 10 years after the original park.
It’s Disney’s first European theme park and when it was completed many French denounced what they considered to be the cultural imperialism of Euro Disney. Today it’s one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Europe and the most visited theme park in Europe.
Disneyland encompasses two theme parks, many resort hotels, Disney Nature Resorts, a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, and a golf course, in addition to several additional recreational and entertainment venues. You can enjoy popular rides like It’s a Small World, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast here.
20. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, USA
Annual Visitors: 15.5 Million
The Golden Gate Park is located in the beautiful city of San Francisco in California. It’s the second most-visited city park in the world after Central Park. The Golden Gate Park is the largest urban park in the USA sprawls over 1,000 acres. It is home to several of the city’s iconic attractions and best museums, including the deYoung Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Japanese Tea Garden, and Conservatory of Flowers.
This Park also consists of several windmills, a botanical garden, sporting fields and courts, playgrounds, many beautiful lakes, a carousel, and even a bison paddock. The rich diversity of Golden Gate Park makes it a popular tourist attraction in the city. It is best to visit the park on weekends and during popular events like the Bay to Breakers race and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and Outside Lands music festivals.
21. Tokyo DisneySea, Tokyo, Japan
Annual Visitors: 14.65 Million
Like it or not, theme parks clearly have worldwide appeal. Tokyo’s DisneySea draws more visitors than any popular wonder of the world. Believe it or not, five of the world’s 20 most-visited tourist attractions are Disney parks. Tokyo DisneySea is the second theme park within the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Japan, just outside Tokyo. It opened on 4 September 2001, at a cost of 335 billion yen.
DisneySea focuses more on themed attractions tied to recent movies. This 176-acre park currently has seven themed lands, or “ports of call”. The entrance to the park is Mediterranean Harbor, which opens up to six more nautically themed ports: American Waterfront, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, and Mysterious Island.
But it’s not all fountains and bubbles—the park also has scary rides like the Tower of Terror, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull. It is better to visit the park in the off-season as it is busy during the warmer months of May to September. Weekends may be a good option also.
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22. Universal Studios, Osaka, Japan
Annual Visitors: 14.5 Million
Universal Studios Japan, located in Osaka, is one of six Universal Studios theme parks. The park is similar to the Universal Orlando Resort since it also contains selected attractions from Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood. The park opened on 31 March 2001. Over 11 million guests visited the park in its opening year, making it the world’s fastest amusement park to have achieved the 10 million milestones at the time.
Since then, Universal Studios Japan has been a famous tourist attraction and millions of visitors pay a visit every year. Most visitors are Japanese tourists and tourists from other Asian countries such as South Korea and China. It is also very popular among Western tourists and expatriates.
Studio highlights include a Jaws-like shark encounter, Jurassic Park roller-coaster ride, Sesame Street in 4-D, and now the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which includes a series of shops, rides, and restaurants based on the books and movies. The Studio is more crowded during Spring and Summer seasons and during holidays.
23. San Antonio River Walk, San Antonio, USA
Annual Visitors: 14.2 Million
The San Antonio River Walk is a city park and network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, one story beneath the streets of San Antonio, Texas, United States. The River Walk is 15 miles long including the Downtown, Mission and Museum Reaches. Lined by bars, shops, restaurants, nature, public artwork, and the five historic missions, the River Walk is an important part of the city’s urban fabric and a tourist attraction in its own right.
During the annual springtime Fiesta San Antonio, the River Parade features flowery floats that float down the river. The River Walk is a successful special-case pedestrian street, one level down from the automobile street. The River Walk winds and loops under bridges as two parallel sidewalks lined with restaurants and shops.
It connects the major tourist draws from the Shops at Rivercenter to the Arneson River Theatre, to Marriage Island, to La Villita, to HemisFair Park, to the Tower Life Building, to the San Antonio Museum of Art, to the Pearl and the city’s five Spanish colonial missions, which have been named a World Heritage Site.
24. Great Wall of China, Beijing, China
Annual Visitors: 14.1 Million
Built over centuries starting as early as the 7th century BC, the Great Wall of China is a series of stone, brick, wood, and earthen fortifications that stretch more than 13,000 miles from east to west across the country. The wall was built to protect the borders of the Chinese empire against attacks from nomadic tribes of the North and West. Today, the Great Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s recognized as one of the world’s most impressive man-made structures.
While much of what is visible today was built during the Ming dynasty, credit goes to the million slaves and prisoners of war who carried blocks of granite, bricks, stones, and dirt on their backs up to the top of the ridgelines. The Great Wall is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and the second most visited tourist attraction in China.
The Badaling section, near Zhangjiakou, is the most popular stretch of the wall with tourists, just two hours outside Beijing. A stroll along the top of the wall provides an incredible view of the structure snaking off into the distance. Peak time in Badaling tends to be 11 a.m.-2 p.m., so going earlier or later will help you avoid some of the frays.
25. Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
Annual Visitors: 14 Million
Notre-Dame de Paris (meaning “Our Lady of Paris”) is a medieval Catholic cathedral in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral was consecrated to the Virgin Mary and considered to be one of the finest masterpieces of French Gothic architecture. Its pioneering use of the rib vault and flying buttress, its enormous and colorful rose windows, as well as the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration set it apart from the earlier Romanesque style.
Major components that make Notre Dame a great tourist attraction include its large historic organ and its immense church bells. The cathedral’s construction began in 1163 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. The cathedral is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the city of Paris and the French nation.
26. Gardens by The Bay, Marina Bay, Singapore
Annual Visitors: 13.7 Million
The Gardens by the Bay is an urban nature park spanning 270 acres within the Marina Bay district of the Central Region of Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden (in Marina South), Bay East Garden (in Marina East), and Bay Central Garden (in Downtown Core and Kallang). The largest of the gardens is the Bay South Garden at 130 acres designed by Grant Associates.
Its Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse in the world. Being a popular tourist attraction in Singapore, the park received 6.4 million visitors in 2014, while topping its 20 millionth visitor mark in November 2015 and over 50 million in 2018. Bay Central Garden will act as a link between Bay South and Bay East Gardens.
Bay East Garden provides visitors with an unobstructed view of the city skyline while Bay South Garden is designed to show the best of tropical horticulture and garden artistry. The main attraction of the park is the incredible Supertrees, which are the 18 tree-like structures that dominate the Gardens’ landscape with heights that range between 25 meters and 50 meters.
27. Balboa Park, San Diego, USA
Annual Visitors: 13.5 Million
Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre historic urban cultural park in San Diego city of California in the United States. In addition to open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths, it contains 15 accredited museums, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo with three crowd-pleasing giant pandas.
There are also many recreational facilities like nine performing arts groups, a miniature railroad, a golf course, tennis courts, lawn bowling, a gymnasium, a historic carousel, a Super Sonic Samba School, and several gift shops and restaurants within the boundaries of the park.
Placed in reserve in 1835, the park’s site is one of the oldest in the United States dedicated to public recreational use. Balboa Park is a great tourist attraction and it is managed and maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of San Diego.
28. Pike Place Market, Seattle, USA
Annual visitors: 13 Million
Pike Place Market is a public market in Seattle, Washington, United States. It opened on August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States. Overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront on Puget Sound, it serves as a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople, and merchants. Named after the central street, Pike Place runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street.
Pike Place Market is Seattle’s most popular tourist destination and the 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world, with more than 10 million annual visitors. The Market is built on the edge of a steep hill and consists of several lower levels located below the main level.
Each features a variety of unique shops such as antique dealers, comic book and collectible shops, small family-owned restaurants, and one of the oldest head shops in Seattle. The upper street level contains fishmongers, fresh produce stands, and craft stalls operating in the covered arcades.
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29. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, USA
Annual Visitors: 12.55 Million
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an American national park in the southeastern United States, with parts in Tennessee and North Carolina. The park straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The park contains some of the highest mountains in eastern North America, including Clingmans Dome, Mount Guyot, and Mount Le Conte.
The park encompasses 522,419 acres or 2,114.15 sq. km, making it one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a major tourist attraction in the region. With 12.55 million visitors in 2019, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States.
The park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, and an International Biosphere Reserve in 1988. As the most visited national park in the United States, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park anchors a large tourism industry adjacent to the park. Major attractions include Dollywood, Ober Gatlinburg, and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
30. Sacré Coeur Basilica, Paris, France
Annual visitors: 11.5 Million
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a Roman Catholic church in Paris, France, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This tourist attraction is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a popular landmark and the second-most visited monument in Paris. The basilica was designed by Paul Abadie.
Construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1914. The basilica was consecrated after the end of World War I in 1919. The overall style of the structure shows a free interpretation of Romano-Byzantine features. Many design elements of the basilica symbolize nationalist themes: the portico, with its three arches, is adorned by two equestrian statues of French national saints Joan of Arc (1927) and King Saint Louis IX.
The basilica complex includes a garden for meditation, with a fountain. The top of the dome is open to tourists and affords a spectacular panoramic view of the city of Paris and the Eiffel Tower, which is mostly to the south of the basilica. Sacré-Cœur is open from 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. every day. The dome closes at 7 p.m. in the summer and 6 p.m. in winter. The use of cameras and video recorders is forbidden inside the basilica.
31. St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Italy
Annual Visitors: 11 Million
The Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is a church built in the Renaissance style located in Vatican City, the papal enclave that is within the city of Rome. Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Peter’s is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world.
St. Peter’s is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines It has been described as “holding a unique position in the Christian world” and as “the greatest of all churches of Christendom”. Catholic tradition holds that the basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, chief among Jesus’s apostles and also the first Bishop of Rome (Pope).
St. Peter’s is one of the four churches in the world that hold the rank of the major basilica, all four of which are in Rome. It is famous as a place of pilgrimage and for its liturgical functions. The church teems with ornate gold, marble columns, paintings of angels, and many iconic statues. Every year millions of people come to see this wonderful tourist attraction.
32. Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
Annual Visitors: 10.9 Million
The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts center at Sydney Harbour located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is one of the 20th century’s most famous and distinctive buildings. The building and its surroundings occupy the whole of Bennelong Point on Sydney Harbour, between Sydney Cove and Farm Cove, adjacent to the Sydney central business district and the Royal Botanic Gardens, and close by the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
An architectural wonder designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, but completed by an Australian architectural team, the building was formally opened on 20 October 1973. The building covers 4.4 acres of land and is 183 m long and 120 m wide at its widest point. It is supported on 588 concrete piers sunk as much as 25 m below sea level. In 2007, the Sydney Opera House became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Like many other tourist attractions around the world, the Sydney Opera House is one of those places that is easy to identify and obviously associated with Australia. Visitors can tour several performance spaces inside and out, join dawn exercise classes on the steps, hear world-class symphonies, watch light shows and capture its elegant lines through a lens.
33. Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, USA
Annual Visitors: 10.38 Million
Universal’s Islands of Adventure is a theme park located in Orlando, Florida. It opened on May 28, 1999, along with CityWalk, as part of an expansion that converted Universal Studios Florida into the Universal Orlando Resort. Islands of Adventure is modeled after a journey of exploration, where guests embark on an adventure to visit a variety of themed islands. Initially, the park featured six islands.
A seventh, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, was added in 2010, themed to the highly successful Harry Potter franchise. The expansion led to a significant increase in attendance, and in 2016, The eighth island, Skull Island themed around King Kong, opened for the public. Islands of Adventure ranked seventh domestically and eleventh internationally after hosting approximately 8.1 million guests.
34. Pier 39, San Francisco, California, USA
Annual Visitors: 10.2 Million
Pier 39 is a shopping center and popular tourist attraction built on a pier in San Francisco, California. It is located at the edge of the Fisherman’s Wharf district and is close to North Beach, Chinatown, and the Embarcadero. The area is easily accessible with the historic F Market streetcars. At Pier 39, there are shops, restaurants, a video arcade, street performances, the Aquarium of the Bay, virtual 3D rides, and views of California sea lions hauled out on docks on Pier 39’s marina.
A two-story carousel is one of the pier’s more dominant features, although it is not directly visible from the street and sits towards the end of the pier. The family-oriented entertainment and presence of marine mammals make this a popular tourist location for families with kids. From the Pier, one can see Angel Island, Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Bay Bridge. Blue & Gold Fleet’s bay cruises leave from Pier 39.
The World’s Best Tourist Attractions With Wonderful Images
35. Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Annual visitors: 10.1 Million
Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade is one of the busiest and most crowded spots in a busy and crowded city. It is an urban area in southern Kowloon, Hong Kong. The area is administratively part of the Yau Tsim Mong District. Tsim Sha Tsui East is a piece of land reclaimed from the Hung Hom Bay now east of Tsim Sha Tsui. The area is bounded north by Austin Road and in the east by Hong Chong Road and Cheong Wan Road.
Tsim Sha Tsui is a major tourist attraction in Hong Kong, with hundreds of high-end shops and restaurants that cater to tourists. Approximately half of the major museums in Hong Kong are located in the area including the Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art, and Hong Kong Science Museum. It’s also an ideal place to admire the view of the Hong Kong skyline and Victoria Harbour.
36. Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles, USA
Annual Visitors: 10 Million
The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises more than 2,690 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. The stars are permanent public monuments to achievement in the entertainment industry, bearing the names of a mix of musicians, actors, directors, producers, musical and theatrical groups, fictional characters, and others.
The Walk of Fame runs 2.1 km east to west and 0.64 km north to south and the stars are spaced at 6-foot intervals. The monuments are coral-pink terrazzo five-point stars rimmed with brass inlaid into a charcoal-colored terrazzo background. It is a popular tourist attraction, with an estimated 11 million annual visitors in 2019.
It has played an important role in making tourism the largest industry in Los Angeles County. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce holds trademark rights to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and it is maintained by the self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust.
37. Palace of Versailles, Paris, France
Annual visitors: 9.9 Million
The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometers southwest of the center of Paris. The opulent castle famed for its magnificent architecture, lavish furnishing, and sprawling gardens, is now a historical monument and UNESCO World Heritage site.
As one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe, the palace is notable, especially for the ceremonial Hall of Mirrors, the jewel-like Royal Opera, and the royal apartments; for the more intimate royal residences, the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon located within the park; the small rustic Hamlet created for Marie Antoinette; and the vast gardens of Versailles with fountains, canals, and geometric flower beds and groves, laid out by André le Nôtre.
38. Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Annual Visitors: 9.6 Million
The Louvre or the Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city’s 1st arrondissement. Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square meters. The Louvre is a great tourist attraction and it is owned by the French government.
In 2019, it received 9.6 million visitors, making it the most visited museum in the world. The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property.
The Louvre exhibits sculptures, objets d’art, paintings, drawings, and archaeological finds. It has appeared in countless movies, including “The Da Vinci Code” and “Wonder Woman,” and is home to one of the world’s most iconic paintings, the “Mona Lisa.” Even if you are not a fan of museums, this one is worth the trip to Paris to see.
39. National Museum of China, Beijing, China
Annual Visitors: 8.61 Million
The National Museum of China flanks the eastern side of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The museum’s mission is to educate about the arts and history of China. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China. It is one of the largest museums in the world. With 8.6 million visitors in 2019, the National Museum of China was the second-most visited art museum in the world, just after the Louvre.
The museum was established in 2003 by the merging of the two separate museums. It has a total floor space of nearly 200,000 sq. m to display. The museum, covering Chinese history from the Yuanmou Man of 1.7 million years ago to the end of the Qing Dynasty has a permanent collection of 1,050,000 items, with many precious and rare artifacts not to be found in museums anywhere else in China or the rest of the world.
The museum has a permanent exhibition called The Road to Rejuvenation, which presents the recent history of China since the beginning of the First Opium War, with an emphasis on the history of the Communist Party and its political achievements.
40. Smithsonian National Museum of History, Washington DC, USA
Annual Visitors: 8 Million
The National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., United States. This tourist attraction has free admission and is open 364 days a year. In 2016, with 7.1 million visitors, it was the eleventh most visited museum in the world and the most visited natural history museum in the world.
Opened in 1910, the museum on the National Mall was one of the first Smithsonian buildings constructed exclusively to hold the national collections and research facilities. The main building has an overall area of 1.5 million square feet with 325,000 square feet of the exhibition. The United States National Museum was founded in 1846 as part of the Smithsonian Institution.
The museum was initially housed in the Smithsonian Institution Building, which is better known today as the Smithsonian Castle. The museum’s collections contain over 145 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts, the largest natural history collection in the world.
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