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The most visited tourist attractions list is probably the most attractive for any keen traveler. Almost all the Travel destinations have at least one must-see attraction. Like the way, people treat the famous Eiffel Tower. Almost every visitor to Paris makes a trip to the age-old structure. And holidaymakers in New York visit the Statue of Liberty every now and then. These tourist attractions are so popular for a reason. Most probably these are the world’s most iconic destinations. They have been featured in countless films, television serious and books.
Most Americans have never been to the South Korean theme parks. One minute!! Have you ever heard of Everland or Lotto World?? Yet they comfortably rank among the world’s most visited tourist attractions. It is believed that because of the global economic crisis, we are traveling more than ever. Our average criteria for spending vacations indicate about what we value most. According to the World Tourism Organization, International tourist arrivals are growing more than 5 percent every year. Recently China has ousted Spain as the third most visited countries. France and U.S. are holding tight their first and second rankings in 2014.
Two of the world’s 10 most visited tourist attractions are Disney parks. And of course, American tourist attractions are dominating all our lists. Every day visitors are increasing in America. Maybe U.S. dollar is responsible for such increment. India and China are also bigger countries. But they still lack dependable visitor statistics and the domestic tourism market.
So which are the most-visited tourist attractions in the world? And how can we calculate it?
- Methodology: Finding out the World’s most visited tourist attractions
- 15 most-visited tourist attractions:
- 15. Forbidden City, Beijing
- 14. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
- 13. Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
- 12. Pier 39, San Francisco
- 11. Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo
- 10. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
- 9. Disneyland Park, Anaheim, CA
- 8. Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando
- 7. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston
- 6. Grand Central Terminal, New York City
- 5. Niagara Falls, New York, and Ontario
- 4. Las Vegas Strip
- 3. Union Station, Washington D.C.
- 2. Central Park, New York City
- 1. Times Square, New York City
Methodology: Finding out the World’s most visited tourist attractions
First, we have to collect all the recent data provided by the attractions themselves or from government agencies. Sometimes reputable media outlets and industry reports also help in making out a tally of tourist attractions.
And for tourist attractions don’t sell tickets, we have to estimate as best as we can. The Times Square Alliance estimates that about 80 percent of the 49 million tourists visiting New York, passed through it. While Berlin’s East Side Gallery and London’s Trafalgar Square were excluded as it is hard to differentiate the locals from tourists there.
Mostly we are finding tourist attractions like historical or cultural sites. Short walkways and waterfront promenades also fit our definition of tourist attractions. We also tried to exclude tourist spots that draw mostly religious pilgrims.
American tourist places take more than half the spots. Almost ten of the most visited tourist attractions in the world comes from America itself.
Various data statistics indicate how many people flock to the tourist spots every year. Here we are trying to make a short list of 15 most-visited tourist attractions in the world 2014:
15 most-visited tourist attractions:
15. Forbidden City, Beijing
Annual Visitors: 12,830,000
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty. Now it houses the Palace Museum. Nearly 500 years, the emperors lived here. The area covers almost 178-acre walled compound of opulent halls, winged pavilions, and gardens. The gates are now opened.
Forbidden City is considered the 15th most-visited tourist attractions in the world. Tourist can pour through Tiananmen Square to see it all for themselves. Estimated attendance is up by almost 6 million.
14. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Annual Visitors: 13,000,000
Golden Gate Park is located in San Francisco, California, United States. It is a large urban park consisting of 1,017 acres of public grounds.
Golden Gate Park is the 14th most visited tourist attraction in the world. The park is just three miles from the Panhandle down to the Pacific. It serves as playground and haven for the diverse San Francisco city.
There is a museum named the de Young Museum inside the park. Attracting things listed in the park are:
The academy of science
The Japanese Tea Garden
The Conservatory of Flowers
A Rhododendron forest
More than 75000 trees
A small herd of buffalo
Sporting fields and courts
13. Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
Annual Visitors: 13,650,000
Notre Dame de Paris or just Notre Dame is a historic religious cathedral. It is located on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris. Undoubtedly it is one of the most famous of cathedrals.
The cathedral was completed in 1345. And considered as a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. There are crouching gargoyles, soaring buttresses and magnificent rose windows inside the cathedral. Considered as the 13th of the most visited tourist attractions now a time.
Notre Dame de Paris had to survive so many attacks from occupying armies, sans-culottes, questionable renovations, and Huguenots. But still, visitors flock to the cathedral for the hushed peace. Locating even at the midst of Paris, France, it always had been providing a great reflection.
12. Pier 39, San Francisco
Annual Visitors: 14,000,000
Pier 39 is a shopping center, located in San Francisco, California. Alongside it is a popular tourist attraction. Maybe the 12th of the most visited tourist attractions of the world.
Mostly there are shops inside. Shops like – candy shops, T-shirt emporiums, fried food, and stuffed animals. The tourist magnet also offers great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. You can also find yourself lucky for the noisy community of the Sea Lions that bark and bask on the docks.
11. Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo
Annual Visitors: 14,452,000
Tokyo Disneyland is a 115-acre theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan. The main gate is directly adjacent to both Maihama Station and Tokyo Disneyland Station.
Mostly it is considered as a family-centric theme park. Still, it’s the third most visited theme park in the world.
At the time of 2011 earthquake ant Tsunami, Tokyo Disneyland was kept closed and reopened within a month. Noticeable and scary rides are available here.
Tower of terror
Indiana Jones Temple of the Crystal Skull
After all, it is a very comforting park, presently considered as the 11th most visited tourist attraction in the world.
10. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
Annual Visitors: 15,000,000
Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is a 15th-century bazaar. This age-old bazaar around 15 million visitors a year. It is quite an attractive shopping place for the locals as well as the tourists. The interesting part is the bargain hunt for jewelry, ceramics, carpets, and many more attractive things.
Different vendors are also found here, selling Turkish coffee and food too. After all, people need some break moving around the big bazaar. The bazaar is now considered as the 10th of the most visited tourist attractions in the world.
We can list out the eye-catching products vaulted in the walkways.
Intricately patterned carpets
Gold Byzantine-style jewelry
Almost 20 million bargain hunters can be calculated counting both the locals and tourists. The Bazaar is growing day by day and increasing immensely.
9. Disneyland Park, Anaheim, CA
Annual Visitors: 15,980,000
Disneyland Park, Anaheim can be considered as the second most visited theme park in the world. It brings nearly 16 million people per year.
The theme park is quite smaller than the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Still, it provides 85 acres of rides and thrills. The popular Indiana Jones Adventure is also found here. Possibly this theme park is now at the 9th of the most visited tourist attractions in the world.
Some other thrilling rides are-
16 foot rolling a boulder
Past swarms of beetles
Careening over lava
8. Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando
Annual Visitors: 16,972,000
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is the world’s most visited and best-known amusement park. Every year nearly 17 million people visit this park. In other words, we can say this is a must visit for any family.
There are so many classic sites and rides, but still, people come here mostly for the Cinderella’s castle. The castle is developed with a moat and built at special angles. It appears even grander than its actual height of 189 feet.
The theme park is now the world’s 8th most visited tourist attraction. Some say it the most magical place on Earth. Most notable features are –
The Mad Tea Party
Laugh Floor Comedy Club
7. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston
Annual Visitors: 18,000,000
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a downtown marketplace located not too far from Boston’s financial district and the harbor. It has a great history as well as a variety of shops and restaurants. Faneuil Hall attracts around 18 million people every year.
It is currently considered as the 7th of the most visited tourist attractions in the world. Tourists can get a bite to eat, buy souvenirs and be entertained by street performers.
The marketplace was established near around 1742. Above all it was the site of speeches by the likes of George Washington adds to Faneuil Hall’s allure.
Faneuil Hall means the Cradle of Liberty. The marketplace has more than specialty shops. There are eateries and pedestrian too.
6. Grand Central Terminal, New York City
Annual Visitors: 21,600,000
Grand Central Terminal attracts almost 21.6 million tourists each year. Most of the tourists take in the ceiling which is painted with night sky constellations as well as shops and events. There are historic and popular things around here.
The historic Oyster Bar is one of them. It is featured on an episode of AMC’s Mad Men. It serves two million fresh bivalves a year.
Tourists take their time in the main concourse of this Beaux-Arts landmark. The glittering ceiling painted with a map of the constellations from the night sky is truly a tremendous feature.
Grand Central Terminal is considered as the 6th most visited tourist attraction in the world. Shops and events are mainly to distract the attention.
5. Niagara Falls, New York, and Ontario
Annual Visitors: 22,500,000
There are almost 500 taller waterfalls in the world. But Niagara Falls is something you cannot believe until watch by yourself. It draws 22.5 million visitors every year.
Especially, tourists come here to watch the beauty with its massive power and volume. Data says around six million cubic feet of water flows down per minute. Niagara Falls ranges in height from 70 to 188 feet.
Actually, it is an easy location for both the American and Canadian people. Now that a time Niagara falls is considered the 5th of the most visited tourist spots in the world.
The falls are located at the border of the U.S. and Canada. Niagara Falls is spectacular for its sheer power. It has been always a more accessible than major falls. Especially for the regional tourists, it can be accessed only by a short flight or drive.
4. Las Vegas Strip
Annual Visitors: 29,467,000
From the last year statistics we get, around 30 million people stayed in hotels along the Las Vegas strip. And every single year the count is increasing.
There have been so many popular and blockbuster hit movies of Hollywood featuring the Las Vegas Strip. May this is another cause for the increment of the tourists.
The Vegas also attracts so many superstars for their nightly performances. Sometimes these continue for weeks at a time. Naturally, fans have to attend them from all over Las Vegas. The Vegas is actually an amusement park for the adults.
Currently, it is considered the 4th most visited tourist attraction in the world. Last year, 79 percent of tourists chose to stay at hotels right on the Strip, mostly Caesar’s Palace. Rolling out of bed and onto the strip, you can get the Bellagio fountains in action, gamble, shop and of course late night fun.
3. Union Station, Washington D.C.
Annual Visitors: 37,000,000
The Union Station at Washington D.C. was opened 1907. It has over 12000 daily passengers in and out from commuters and around 70 shops inside. This tourist attraction receives almost 37 million visitors every year.
The Station also provides architecture buffs with examples of Baroque, Classical styles and Beaux-Arts. Truly it is a jumping off point for many of the D.C. tours.
For so many of the tourists, the station is like a shopping destination. Now at a time, the Union Station is considered as the third of the most visited tourist attractions in the world.
2. Central Park, New York City
Annual Visitors: 38,000,000
The Central Park of New York attracts around 38 million visitors each year. This is nearly an 850-acre square park. Some say it as the big apple location. Probably this is one place what locals and tourists enjoy equally.
This park has something for each and every one –
John Lennon Memorial
Of course, New York has larger green spaces. But undoubtedly Central Park is the most famous one. Present statistics say this is the 2ns most visited tourist attraction in the world.
Anytime you can take a ride in one of the famous horse-drawn carriages, Belvedere Castle or take a break from pounding the pavement, gazing at the skyscrapers above.
1. Times Square, New York City
Annual Visitors: 39,200,000
Over 39 million visitors a year visit the heart of New York City. Most of them go shopping or to see a Broadway show. Some tourists are here to watch people only. But notably, you can even enjoy watching them at this very tourist spot.
Pedestrian-only areas with tables were added in 2009. So that people now can sit while taking in the complete spectacle. Time Square is undoubtedly the most visited tourist attraction in the world.
It is easier and more appealing to hang out here. Times Square can even be a convenient, chaotic, base place for everyone. Thanks to hotels at every price point and easy access to public transportation. There are actually countless rails, subways, buses and yellow taxies here.