20 of the world’s top tourist destinations

Whether you choose to travel out of curiosity or to unwind, the world has thousands of tourist attractions for you to choose from. From tropical islands and national parks to great monuments and ancient cities, it all comes down to where you want to explore.

Hard to say that one particular location is the best tourist destination. However, we will pinpoint the top tourist destinations if you’re looking to take a vacation soon.

Best Tourist Destinations in the World to Visit

1. Paris

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Paris, popularly known for the Eiffel Tower, the city of romance is a favorite to many. It is no surprise that it is among the top tourist destinations. The magnificent Eiffel Tower is what puts Paris out there. However, that’s not all you get to experience.

There is the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre for the history buffs out there. Wander along the cobblestone streets of Paris to will find one of the best cuisines and breathtaking art culture. From beautiful museums, art galleries, and old churches to the natural beauty of trees along the River Seine. Among the best thing to do in Paris is to join the River Seine cruise.

The city is also famous for shopping, especially branded clothes, bags, and accessories. The perfect time to visit the city is between June and August. So, all in all, a visit to the city is a perfect dream come true.

2. London

Best Tourist Destinations, London, England
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

London is a class city, and once you enter this beautiful city, you will never want to leave it. The famous writer Samuel Johnson said, “a man is tired of London; he is tired of life.” London is a historical archive thanks to its museums. Visit the Tate Modern to experience the city’s historical culture and contemporary art.

Other museums in London you can visit include The Tower of London, The Churchill War Rooms, The British Museum, where an excellent museum tour is available, The National Gallery, and Tower Bridge.

London is home to the royal family residence, the famous and magnificent Buckingham Palace, where tickets for a tour are available online. London is also known for its eccentric nightlife, thanks to the pubs and bars along the streets of London.

Be sure to enjoy the highly classic English tea flavors, cuisines from all over the world, cute cafes, and picnic sites. You might want to add London to your bucket list for all it offers.

3. Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest and most complex coral reef system in the world, stretching from shallow waters to deep oceans. It’s located off the East Coast in Queensland, Australia, extending a whopping 1250 miles into the Pacific Ocean from the north of Cape York to the south of Bundaberg.

Its vast expanse hosts 900 islands, over 2900 individual reefs, and thousands of incredibly diverse species hence its complexity. Although the reef faces danger from environmental changes, the reef is still a beautiful place to visit.

Apart from learning about the ecosystem, scuba diving in the great barrier reef is every diver’s dream. Enjoy a reef tour for $150, a pontoon adventure for $195, a premium snorkeling tour for $189, or a 2-day liveaboard tour for $460.

Other attractions include the Kuranda Scenic Railway and the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. This place is a treasure to visit. Although many people prefer visiting this world wonder in the summer, the temperatures are also habitable during winter.

4. Rome

Roman Ruins, One of Best Tourist Spots in Rome
S.Borisov / Shutterstock

This Eternal City is a significant tourist attraction as it holds several emblematic monuments thanks to the ancient roman empire. It is the capital of Italy and the Lazio region.

It is famous for its historic and ancient built-up structure, which makes the city’s view incredibly magical. The city’s various attractions include the Vatican City and the Colosseum, famous for their extensive history.

The most famous has to be the Colosseum. Being a world wonder, it is one of the most iconic sites in Rome. It has survived several earthquakes, modern pollution, and the fall of the great Roman Empire. The Pantheon is also an iconic structure that stands about 2,000 years old and is among the best places to visit while in Rome. To see the beauty of the Pantheon, you can join a guided tour.

Other places include the Galleria Borghese, a haven for art lovers, the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Piazza Navona. It would be best to buy a pass that will cater for a guided tour and transport through these UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you want to see existing evidence of some of the greatest works of the Roman Empire, be sure to add Rome to your bucket list!

5. New York

Statue of Liberty and New York City

New York, famously known as the city that never sleeps, is more of an experience than a tourist destination. It is a major financial, commercial, and cultural center in the world. It offers first-class artwork, breathtaking views of skyscrapers, and the lush greenery of Central Park.

Central Park is one of New York’s must-visit destinations. Sprawling all over Manhattan, Central Park serves as a museum, zoo park, concert hall, and picnic site. The 850 acres of space are close to the city’s notable attractions, such as the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For the ultimate art experience, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will deliver just that. You can see memories of art exhibits; all you need is an entrance ticket!

Within Central Park’s limit, it showcases masterpieces from all over the world, including ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Islam art pieces. To internalize Manhattan’s scenic beauty from a skyscraper, you must stop by the Rockefeller Center and the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. Within it is everything you could imagine from a modern city; theme parks, skating rink restaurants, you name it.

Take a walk down Chinatown and Little Italy for the ultimate food tour if you’ve got an eye for designers and the latest fashion trends. Fifth Avenue is your go-to. Other top tourist attractions in the city that never sleeps are the Broadway walk, Newyork Public Library, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and the Museum of Modern Art.

6. Cape Town

Sunset view of the port in Cape Town South Africa

Cape Town is one of Africa’s best places to visit, from wild safaris penguins to a cable ride over table mountain. The port city is one of South Africa’s capital, with breathtaking views from the table mountains.

There is something for everyone in this beautiful city. Whether you want to taste rich wine from the vineyards, visit the national parks, or swim along the Indian Ocean, countless activities keep you busy.

To get an areal view of the beautiful city, go for the table mountain cableway to get you to the top. However, if you’re in a position to hike, enjoy the many hiking trails, with the most famous one being Lions’ Head Peak.

If you’d rather spend your day at the white sandy beaches, there are many in South Africa. Paired with the warm waters, it is perfect for spending your evening watching the sunsets. You can also opt for a trip to the beautiful vineyards and enjoy award-winning wines.

For nature lovers, Kruger National Park promises you the big five. Also, go whale watching at the Hermans and the penguins at Boulder. Cape Town itself is a tourist attraction on its own.

Shop for souvenirs and take in the local history if you’re in town. Dine out in the best restaurants, enjoy the best street meat, and party the night away! Other attractions are the famous Nelson Mandela jail and the District Six Museum.

7. Barcelona

Aerial view of one of the best tourist spots, La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
Vunav / Shutterstock.com

Although the city of Barcelona is known for football, the city provides you with an infinite choice of impressive buildings, food outlets, beautiful beaches, and entertaining nightlife to explore.

Antoni Gaudi has his name written all over Barcelona’s monumental buildings, and the most famous one is the Sagrada Familia. It is the tallest church in the world and nothing like any religious structure you’ve seen before, making it the best place to begin your Barcelona adventure.

Casa Balto is another of Antoni’s unique creations. Although he didn’t build it from scratch, he renovated it in the 20th century, and his fantastic quality and attention to detail stand out.

The Casa Mila is another of Gaudi’s masterpieces that stand out. Although it was designed as a residential building, it is among the many modernist works that have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To wind down, stretch down the La Boqueria, a famous pedestrian market. For food shopping, you’ll find anything you need: fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, cold meat, cheese, and cold beer in the surrounding pubs.

8. Sydney

Sydney Opera House and Harbour

Sydney is the capital of South Whales and is popularly known for its beautiful long natural harbor with white beaches like Bondi and the Coogee. This city is among the best places to visit with towering modern architecture.

Sydney has many tourist attractions, and the Sydney Harbor Bridge is among the most famous landmarks. It is among the world’s tallest steel arch bridges that you’d want to experience by going for a climb.

You’d manage to get amazing pictures of the most iconic landmarks and panoramic views of the beautiful Sydney skyline. Sydney Harbor is the most beautiful natural harbor that stretches over 150 miles. On it sits the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Royal Botanic Garden.

There are ready-to-explore restaurants and shops by the beach. If you’d rather be in the water, get a scenic ferry ride and catch it as the sunset colors the sky and the beautiful Sydney Opera House. If you want the ultimate experience, visit Sydney during New Year’s Eve or the Color Fest in May and June.

9. Washington, D.C.

Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC
Washington, D.C.

The capital city of the United States of America, Washington D.C., is famous for its highly well-governed culture, various monuments, and museums. The town is filled with a fantastic ambiance due to the famous cafes, boutique shops, restaurants, and clubs.

While the city is known for having political roots, there are many tourist attractions in Washington, DC. The city’s tourism lies in promoting its culture by launching the ‘DC COOL’ campaign.

The White House is among the neoclassical monuments that define Washington and among the city’s most popular attractions. The White House has housed the Presidents of the United States since the 18th century.

A tour to the White House is possible though arranged through congress members, and foreigners have to contact their embassy in Washington to help organize the tour.

The national hall is another must-stop location in Washington, D.C. It holds some of the United States’ most important monuments, such as the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol Building. Critical events have been hosted there, such as civil rights movements and presidential inaugurations.

Join monument tours to see Washington’s notable historic attractions. It is run by the National Park Service and is open 24/7. Entrance to the hall is free, and rangers’ services are available.

10. Bali

Bali Temple

Bali means heaven, and this place proves that heaven exists on Earth. Located in South Asia, this famous island is a bucket list destination for many travelers, thanks to its incredible scenery and beautiful beaches.

Bali will still give you many reasons to fall in love with it if you’re not serving or watching the sunset at Kuta beach. You could spend your time learning the rich history and legends and world-class dining to top it up.

Visit Ulun Danu temple and learn about the water goddess. This temple is the most tranquil location on the island. There are different shrines, and each is dedicated to a different god. While at it, take the time to learn about the various myths.

Balis’ Treetop Adventure Park is the perfect place to visit if you’re traveling with the kids, as they have activities for kids as young as four years. It’s the ideal way to spend your day, filled with a fantastic range of tree roping activities.

With a short boat trip, you can dive at Padang bai, where you’ve got a good chance of seeing sharks, coral gardens, and turtles. Tanjung Benoa has a variety of watersports, with jetpacking being the most exciting. Closest you could come to flying, perhaps?

11. Hong Kong

Skyline of Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the most demanded & best tourist destinations in the world. The city is surrounded by multiple islands and has a lot to offer you as a tourist, from vibrant art, luxurious shopping locations, and fantastic street food.

A must-do in Hong Kong is a visit to the big buddha at the Poling Monastery. Hong Kong is home to the biggest sitting Buddha, and it takes a whopping 268 steps to get to the statue. Experience the Hong Kong skyline on the star ferry that locals use from Hong Kong and Kowloon. To get different views yet beautiful, take both the day and night rides.

The city of Hong Kong bustles with life and different flavors that can be tasted in the local street food, from shredded chicken fish and duck meat to fried vegetables. You satisfy your hunger pangs at an affordable rate!

12. Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is a city which you must not miss visiting at any cost. If you haven’t been there, it is high time you plan a trip to this marvelous city soon. The town has an ancient history, back to Stone Age times, and is a combination of Roman, neo-Gothic, and Ottoman architecture. It is the capital city of Hungry, and people here follow the Jewish culture.

The city is famous for sites like Castle Hill, Fisherman’s Bastion, and the Pearl of Danube. It comprises three regions of Pest, Buda, and Obuda. You will find almost everything beautiful here. It is also one of the best affordable cities to visit in the entire world.

13. San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Even though it is geographically small, San Fransisco is “big” for attractions and exploring. Meaning you get to see a lot within a short period. The Golden Gate Bridge has to be San Francisco’s trademark. The bridge opened in 1937 and connects San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean. It is believed to be the most photographed bridge globally and a sight for many.

There are many views to take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge. However, a walk across the bridge is equally memorable. The bridge stretches for 1.6 miles and has six lanes, a pedestrian footpath, and a cycling path. It transports millions of people across on a daily.

Alcatraz Island has been one of the most visited tourist attractions since it opened in 1978. From a former federal prison to a military base to a significant tourist destination. Take a 15-minute ferry ride to the island and enjoy a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the ferry. There are several excellent Alcatraz Island tours available for you to join.

For the ultimate San Francisco experience, take a city tour on the cable car system, and visit the Aquarium of the Bay for an unforgettable marine life experience. Twin Peaks will give you just that if you want a view of the whole city.

The Walt Disney Family Museum gives you a miniature experience of Disney World, so if you’ve not yet been to Disney World, this gives you an idea of the actual image.

A day is never enough to experience San Francisco. To get a complete experience, most people visiting San Francisco have said they’ll need to plan another visit to explore the city!

14. Florence

Duomo in Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy is among the most romantic European gateway and is among the world’s best tourist places to visit, especially with a significant other. It is quite a small city situated in the Tuscan hills and is famous for Renaissance, Firenze or Florence, and renowned artists like David and the Duomo.

The atmosphere and the infrastructure will give you the feel of living in the 14th century. It has its romantic ambiance, and not to miss the Italian food out here. Visit the city between May and September to take in the sights and enjoy outstanding Tuscan weather.

15. Bora Bora

Bora Bora, French Polynesia
BlueOrange Studio / Shutterstock

Bora Bora is a tiny island approximately 6 miles long, but it is a beautiful place to visit and a palace to enjoy your vacation despite that fact.

It is known as the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’ due to the greenery and high peak dormant volcanoes surrounding the beautiful blue water. Bora Bora is a highly luxurious resort that provides amenities across the beach as the city’s income, just like Singapore, depends primarily on tourism.

Apart from the beach, you must explore the Bora Bora city called Vaitape and can even go on a hiking trip on Mount Otemanu. So, if you need to relax, then this is your destination.

16. Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan
Kyle Kroeger / Viatravelers

The capital city of one of the most advanced countries of the world, Japan, Tokyo, is one of the favorite tourist destinations of Asia. It is primarily famous for its temples, urban parks, tech-savvy locales, museums, and delicious sushi.

Tokyo is a perfect balance of ancient japan with the historical monuments and the buzzing neon streets to show the modern world. The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden would be the perfect spot to take you away from the city.

With over 100 acres of beautiful landscape and green trees, it makes it worthwhile to part ways with some change to enjoy the national garden.

Still, on cherry blossoms, visit Nakamugero, and you might catch them while they’re in season. You’ll find many independent stores where you can look for a couple of Japanese antiques. Grab some lunch in the serene cafes before heading back to the city.

Once in the city, you’ll run out of time before running out of activities. Enjoy the great appearance of Mt Fuji from the Tokyo Sky Tree, visit the Nezu museum, and enjoy Japan’s version of Disney World at Small Worlds Tokyo.

17. Rio De Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro

This Brazilian city is a must-visit as you will get to explore many things out there. It situates at the mouth of the bay Harbor; it is famous for its white-sand beaches, rainforests, and mountains, and not to forget the identity of Rio de Janeiro, the 125 ft tall statue of Christ the Redeemer.

The city is also famous for its fashion and lifestyle and love for sports. Surrounded by Brazilian culture, you may also experience various cultural festivals.

18. Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone is easily one of the best places to visit in the United States. The city is known for its natural wonders made of roaring canyon mountains, snowy peaks, lakes, and beautiful streams, surrounded by lush green forests and huge meadows.

It is home to the oldest national park in the U.S., Yellowstone National Park, which will allow you to experience wild animals in their habitats and fantastic hiking trails.

The Grand Prismatic Springs happens to be the second-largest hot springs in the world and the largest in the U.S. It is no surprise that this natural wonder is Yellowstone’s most photographed and recognized landmark.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is one of the most visited attractions in Yellowstone National Park, often confused with the Grand Canyon at Grand Canyon National Park.

It stretches over 39 kilometers and is about 1.2 kilometers wide. Some parts of the Grand Canyon go up to 1200 feet deep. It’s one of our favorite places to visit in Yellowstone since it is incredibly photogenic and showcases the force of the Yellowstone River.

It is advised to take a guided tour in groups mainly because a guide will take you through the best trails and there are bears in the area. Other things to do in Yellowstone National Park include watching geysers erupt, driving on the Yellowstone Grand Loop Road, stopping by (or staying at) Old Faithful Inn, going for a hike, going rafting, or camping.

19. Cairo

Cairo, Egypt

Situated in North Africa, Egypt’s Cairo is one of the must-visit places for adventure seekers. This ancient desert city is known for its rich history and culture and is among the best tourist spots.

The city is crowded with street vendors, livestock, and other chaos that bring a place to live. Be sure to buy the best fabric, natural honey, and artifacts along Cairo’s corridors.

To relax, you must visit the extremely magnificent and calm Nile River and enjoy a boat ride at sunset. A guided tour of the iconic sites and pyramids of Giza, Dahshur, and Saqqara will only make this trip more worth it. If you love scuba diving, not to worry because there’s the Red Sea just for that.

20. Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Amsterdam, which is the Netherlands’ capital, is among the most vibrant cities in the world. Known for its canal network and beautiful cultural scenes, it will leave you with an experience to remember forever.

You could start your day by visiting the museums or enjoying the waterfront art, music, and food scene. While there, be sure to visit the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, enjoy Europe’s largest flea market, and the independent shops along Amsterdam’s Nine Streets for retail therapy.

Wind your day up with a canal cruise along with the canal houses and bridge that has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amsterdam is known to have a vibrant food scene where you can enjoy cuisines from all over the world with locally brewed beers from the many bars and pubs.

The world has thousands of top tourist attractions with breathtaking experiences. Find your fit. Whether you want to try mountain climbing on the highest mountain, enjoy busy cities, or relax by the beach, enjoy the best tourist destinations across the world that one should visit!

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