Top 10 World’s Most-Visited Tourist Attractions

Number 10: Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Annual Visitors: 15,000,000

Source: Turkish Ministry of Tourism

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Traveling and adventure have encompassed my life; from white-water rafting, skydiving, paragliding, bungee jumping, rock climbing, biplane flying, dog sledding, base jumping, rappelling, and caving, I’ve tried every “bucketlist” item I could imagine. Rock climbing and a trapeze act were even part of my wedding day in Jamaica. I’ve been to 38 countries and I envision 100 more. Following my dreams of traveling and experiencing life to the fullest has taught me that the world is full of endless possibilities. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advanced English, a Bachelor of Education degree in Secondary Education, a Master's in Literacy, 8 years of teaching, and a vast imagination, I decided to put my writing and editing skills to the test. Bucket List Publications is the accumulation of all of my wildest dreams come true.

51 Comments to “Top 10 World’s Most-Visited Tourist Attractions”

  1. dauphiiine says:

    I’ve hit 9 out of 10, not that I’m proud of all of them! [Didn't get to Istambul, put that on my list!] If you’ve got a list of European cities, I’d wager I can check a few of those off too! [I have a TON of pictures as well.]

  2. Ewa says:

    I’m not sure if I can agree with that list. All of them are fantastic and popular but I’m quite sure if the most popular on the world, especially that 9 out of 10 are in the US. There are Paris, Rome and many other places on all continents visited by milions of tourists every year. But if stats say so…

    • Lesley says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more! I mean… The Colosseum isn’t even here! What about the Eiffel Tower? I checked the statistics though and these were the top ten. We need to figure out how to change this list for future travelers ;)

      • Ewa says:

        The question is if Americans were the statisticians ;) You know, everything is subjective ;) I already did my part on increasing Rome, Paris and some other european destinations stats. But still didn’t have occasion to increase those of the other side of Atlantic Ocean :)

  3. Ewa says:

    For now I’m doing my best to see all interesting european locations (stil a looooooot to do) and started to do the same with Asia. Life is short, but dreams come true. So wish you and myself to see everything or at least almost everything :)

  4. I have enjoyed most of these attractions, and notice it was submitted by the Time’s Square Alliance…whoever they are! One has to wonder what the criteria were…I suppose the number of yearly visitors? Surely the magnificence of experiencing Niagra Falls is a bit more exciting than seeing Union Station? All are worthy of a gander, though.

    • Lesley says:

      The list was based on yearly numbers (I put those numbers next to each pic). These wouldn’t be my first choice but I certainly thought it was worth posting based on the stats.

      If you had to come up with a top five, what would you say?

      • kristi says:

        I would have to disagree with this list (well most of it). I mean I understand why DisneyWorld is on there, but do we need both? And there seemed to be a lot of New York. I mean the Grand Central Station over say the Statue of Liberty.

        My top five: Time Square, Vegas Strip, Mt. Rushmore, Niagra Falls (haven’t been there though), and the Grand Canyon.

        • Lesley says:

          These are certainly not my top ten; they just had the numbers. The reason for posting was more reflective. It got me thinking about my top ten attractions and what I’d like to do next.

          I do think that Times Square and the Vegas Strip are amazing and worth visiting, but my list would include a lot more of Europe.

          Do you have an attraction next up on your list?

          Lesley

          • kristi says:

            Yeah, those were just the top 5 of America. I would even maybe add the Reflection Pool (including everything in that vacinity like the Lincoln Memorial) over Union Station anyday. Around the world is something a whole lot different and I haven’t been to everything.

            But on top of the World visits list that I have visit would be Normandy Beach, France where the troops landed during WWII. It was by far the most moving experience ever. I’m not a huge fan of Guiness, but the Guiness Factory in Dublin was the best brewery that I have been to and it was just structurally beautiful. I mean the inside is the world’s largest pint glass. And it had some really great food, too.

            Next on my list is The Rocks aka Stonehenge. I would imagine that would be first on my list when I move to England. And then German Christmas Markets in December.

          • Lesley says:

            Kristi,

            We seem to have a lot in common with travel goals and past experiences. I will never forget my two days on the beaches of Normandy. I’m not an emotional person, well I wasn’t before my baby was born, but being on those beaches and touring the museum brought tears to my eyes. It never felt as real until I was actually there. As for the Guinness Factory, the view from the top was heightened by several equally beautiful glasses of beer. I didn’t, however, feel as moved by Stonehenge but Giant’s Causeway would make the top of my list. Did you make it there when you were in Ireland?

            Thanks for chatting,

            Lesley

          • kristi says:

            I had to reply to this message.

            I’m not an overly emotional girl either and being at the American Cemetery brought me to tears. I haven’t been to the Rocks. It’s more of an inside joke with my boyfriend and of course, I’m going to act out scenes from European Vacation.

            We only had a day to spend in Dublin and we stupidly went on a Sunday not realizing that half the stuff was closed or opened late. I didn’t even see the Book of Kells. So, we were on a tight deadline starting around 1 p.m. (unless we chose to do the drinking first since the two factories were opened all day). We only made it to the 4th floor to learn how to make the perfect pint; so, didn’t even get to the top floor for the view. The view was nice from the 4th floor. I would love to drive to Galway and listen to the music.

          • Lesley says:

            Oh Galway… it might be my favorite place in the world! If you can go there during the Galway Races, it is the most fun you can have with some of the best people in the world.

            Love it!

          • kristi says:

            Thanks for the tip. I’m definitely checking it out. I would also love to see the Highland Games.

          • Lesley says:

            I don’t have that yet! I’m adding that to my list today :)

          • Lesley says:

            You should submit some of your stories to Bucket List Publications. You can read the guidelines at http://www.bucketlistpublications.com/submissions/. :)

          • kristi says:

            I’m on it! I even have my angle since we drove from Manchester, England to Normandy, France (did ALOT of research on this), then to Segur Le Chateau, France (Limoges area). There aren’t many topics on this cute little town and whole area.

            I will work on it this weekend. Thanks Leslie.

        • Richard Peters says:

          Mt. Rushmore is not even in the top 50.. These lists are legit they’re pretty close to the same every year and the numbers come direct from each source… The ones that DONT make the top 50 are the ones that surprise me..
          The Vatican
          Pompeii
          The Pyramids of Giza
          These same lists can be found by Travel + Leisure, Forbes, etc..
          Here is this years list of the top 50
          http://www.businessinsider.com/the-50-most-visited-tourist-attractions-in-the-world-2014-3

  5. Ewa says:

    I would say Rome, as whole. It’s amazing to see ancient city mixed with modern building; ancient column braided into building from XX century. Coloseum of course, but not only.

  6. Julie Rose says:

    Oh I have to get travelling!! So far only south Africa, auz and uk… Wow that’s a disgrace, will change that soon :-)

  7. Randy Golden says:

    I’m surprised so many sites I’ve seen made the list — Grand Central, Niagara Falls, Central Park, and Times Square. We were near Disney World in Orlando one year, but we opted for Universal Studios instead. Boston is on our short list for our 2013 road trip, so I might yet get to check off another one!

  8. Eve Meighen says:

    5/10…
    I am too really surprised that none of the European splendors where mentioned and what to say about the rest of the world… So many things to discover. Like you said, let’s fix this as soon as we can! ;)

  9. amelie88 says:

    Considering France is the most visited country in the world, I have a feeling this list isn’t 100% correct. I’m really surprised the Eiffel Tower isn’t up there. It’s possible the Eiffel Tower doesn’t get as many visitors as we think it does–the long line is definitely a turn off for many.

    I can’t keep track of how many times I’ve walked through Grand Central’s “main concourse” because that is where Metronorth, the commuter train, ends and the terminal for the thousands of suburban commuters who work in the city every day. So for a lot of people walking through there every day is more of a necessity to get home/to the city.

    And Times Square/Central Park–been there many times too. Times Square is close to Broadway and where a lot of the theaters are so it’s an easy trip from Grand Central on the direct “shuttle” train. And Central Park is just a pleasure to walk through any time of the year. :)

  10. Simon Ball says:

    I find it hard to believe that nine of the most visited places on Earth are in the USA and the top two are in the same city. Numbers can be crunuched in many ways and I’m sure that there must be places in Europe like London’s West End or Paris’s Eifel Tower that have at least equal numbers of genuine tourists.

    • Lesley says:

      And Rome? Everyone visits Rome, don’t they?

      I don’t agree with the list; just thought it was worth posting and thinking about. It has me dreaming again, which is always a good thing :)

      • Simon Ball says:

        I would have thought that St Peter’s Sqaure in the Vatican must be there if it is the sheer number of visitors that is recorded. however visitor numbers recorded as a statistic must be dubious for any city centre are difficult to quantify when there are large numbers of local people who live and work near places like say Central Park

  11. katt says:

    WOW! I’ve seen them all except Istanbul! I would LOVE toooo

  12. I’ve been to eight out ten. Not Istanbul. I didn’t realize I was such a traveler.

  13. Alec Smith says:

    Unfortunately I’ve not seen a great deal of the Americas but I still hope.
    A point I think worth noting is – in order to count the number visiting Central Park, for example you simply monitor the people entering. To count the number of people visiting the Eiffel Tower is very different. I would assume the 6-7million that visit there every year actually buy tickets to go up. But you can view it from all around, as well as many vantage points around Paris, even directly underneath the tower itself without being counted as a visitor. I reckon that could be a reason for its absence from this list.
    Just a thought :)

    • Lesley says:

      Good point. I would assume the same could be said for a lot of great places left off of the list.

      I loved touring Paris and seeing the grandeur of the the Eiffel Tower, but it was Notre Dame that truly captured my attention. I’m not one for seeking out old churches, but that’s one worth the experience. :)

  14. Neil says:

    Hmm. I was a little surprised at first as the list didn’t include some the places I’d seen like the Taj Mahal, some of the Mayan sites, Panama Canal, Royal Palace Bangkok, Angor Wat…but then it made sense. A visitor is a visitor even if its a local resident and New York has a huge population and most have probably been to Central Park once or twice in a year!

    Whilst it would be a challenge, I’d like to see a list which ranks per international visitor. ;)

  15. Karen says:

    Wow, a lot of these are indeed in the US! I have been 5 out of 10, not bad considering that I only stayed in the US for a couple of months.

    Somewhat surprised that no Asian city made it to the list. Bangkok and Hong Kong attract a LOT of tourists too. Just thinking :)

  16. Sian says:

    I’m just surprised, and a little disappointed that most of these are man made modern(ish) attractions. What about the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, Machu Picchu and all those other great places in the world. And how can Union Station & Grand Central Station be measured – surely lots of people are passing through there every day anyway!

  17. Istanbul and that’s it!

  18. Meg B says:

    Ah, statistics. I think Union Station, Central Park and Times Square, etc. are on the list because of the sheer number of people who pass through them every day not necessarily because they are the “best” things to see. So, if you are talking about # of people per year, possibly…that said, I need to finish the list with a trip to Istanbul. It looks amazing! Fingers crossed for this year!

  19. This is so ethnocentric! Only one Non-American site?! Hard to believe that the Great Pyramids of Egypt did not make the list; hard to believe that the Taj Mahal didn’t make the list. Sad really!

  20. Oh and I have been to all of them except Las Vegas – best one was the Grand Bazaar and I work around the corner from Fanueil Hall which probably shouldn’t have made the list but not sure how the list was compiled.

  21. That list is a little New York-centric. Since I do live in NYC, I’ve been to Grand Central thousands of times (it used to be the subway stop I got off at to go to work), and have visited Times Square and Central Park too many times to mention. Also been to Union Station hundreds if not thousands of times, as I used to live in D.C. Surprised to see Faneuil Hall on the list; I’ve been there too.

    Been to Las Vegas five times so far (going there again in August 2013), and each time I’ve stayed on the Strip.

    I’ll be visiting Istanbul in late December and the Grand Bazaar is definitely on my list!

  22. Angela says:

    I’ve been to 6! Without meaning to, even. ha ha.

  23. Carole says:

    I’ve been to 9 of them. Hhmmm, Union Station in DC. Probably should stop by. I like the less traveled ones best.

  24. Hmm…Disneyland twice as top ten–surely not for adults. I’d place Santorini, Greece, Tulum, Mexico, Yellowstone, and Big Sur right up there.

  25. Union Station is D.C. is the only one I haven’t been to. I was surprised that so many of them were in the U.S. Fun post, Lesley!

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