With a world so huge and filled with so many people, there are so many different places to visit and sites to see. People of diverse interests are inspired to visit different places, but there are international patterns that appear across the globe of cities that seem to meet a multitude of interests and inspire a large percentage of travelers. The numbers of visitors that travel through the following cities is actually quite astounding. Whether visited for business or for pleasure, for tourism or for diplomacy, the following ten cities see more visitors than anywhere else in the whole world:
10 Hong Kong, China S.A.R.
As a special administrative and semi-autonomous region of China, Hong Kong is reminiscent of the mainland country with some very distinct differences: most importantly for travelers though, is that citizens from many countries do not require a visa to visit. This makes Hong Kong the most accessible and visited port of greater China. Business Insider quotes this bustling metropolis as having 8.66 million international visitors in the year 2015. As one of the world’s financial and business centers, this super modern city is loaded with excellent shopping, rich culture, and delicious food. It is no wonder that this exotic Asian city is bursting with visitors from across the globe.
9 Seoul, South Korea
The magical capital of South Korea is a huge city teeming with fun places to explore. Prominent neighborhoods, beautiful parks, exotic cuisine, historic landmarks, and a vibrant hipster culture all make this city a wonderful place to visit and explore. EscapeHere sites Seoul as the financial, cultural, and political heart of South Korea and Conde Nast Traveler quotes 10.35 million visitors to the capital in 2015. A city that is teeming with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this palace and temple-shroud metropolis is also home to some of the most forward-thinking design architecture. Situated right beyond Mount Namsan, this beautiful and energetic city is cleverly tagged as “the soul of Asia.”
8 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The dynamic capital city of Malaysia houses the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world. These towers dominate the skyline and can be seen from almost anywhere within the city proper. As the eighth most visited city in the world, Business Insider claims an astounding 11.12 million international visitors in 2015, as tourism in the capital city is steadily increasing every year. A mixture of cultures in this city culminates in a multiethnic blend in architecture, religion, and cuisine making it a truly interesting and unique city to explore.
7 Singapore, Singapore
This ultra-modern city-state is what many refer to as “Asia-light.” Holding all the charm and culture of any Asian city, Singapore is also greatly influenced by the West offering many “comforts” to Western travelers that other places in Asia do not necessarily cater to. One of the cleanest and strictest cities in the world, Singapore offers something for every traveler. As both a mega financial center of Asia and a supreme shopping destination, Singapore is surprisingly likely best known for its food culture. A blending of Indian, Malay, and Chinese cultures creates a melting pot for cuisine, and according to EscapeHere, dining is said to be one of Singapore’s pastimes. With so much to offer, it is no surprise that Singapore ranks as the seventh most visited city in the world with 11.88 million visitors in 2015.
6 New York City, United States of America
“The Big Apple” and “The City That Never Sleeps” undoubtedly ranks high on the list of most visited places in the world. The number one tourist destination for international travelers visiting the United States, New York City hosted 12.27 million visitors last year. A true melting pot of cultures, this world-renowned city attracts tourists for countless reasons. With internationally famous sites and events such as Times Square, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Broadway, the Brooklyn Bridge, and New York Fashion Week, it is no surprise that this energetic and exciting city is the most visited city in the entire US.
5 Istanbul, Turkey
A blending of cultures between East and West meets in the beautiful and historic city of Istanbul, which is the only city in the world split between the European and Asian continents. Teeming with rich history, this energetic city planted along the Bosphorus Strait is the fastest growing tourist destination in Europe. Right at the heart of two major historic empires, Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) is brimming with a distinguished heritage and an illustrious culture. Travel and Leisure notes Istanbul as having the world’s number one most visited tourist attraction: The Grand Bazaar with an estimated 91.25 million visitors annually. The exotic and unique city of Istanbul itself received 12.56 million international tourists last year to see such sites as the Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosque, Galata Tower and, of course, the Grand Bazaar.
4 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The only place on the list from the Middle East, Dubai is a lavish city that is continuously growing in popularity for travelers. This modern city is known for its over-the-top luxury and extravagance. A center of world banking, this up-and-coming city has emerged on the global stage for luxury travel as a “playground” for the wealthy. Dubai is constantly growing and expanding to boast some of the world’s biggest: the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa), the world’s largest flower garden (Dubai Miracle Gardens), and the largest mall in the world (Dubai Mall). For continuity’s sake, Dubai continued growing numbers reaching into tourism with about 14.26 million international travelers in 2015.
3 Paris, France
“The City of Light” is home to the iconic Eiffel Tower. But far beyond that, Paris is a metropolis teeming with wonderful foods, romantic architecture, cultural arts, and historic buildings. Often named the most romantic place in the world, lovers, families, and solo travelers alike explore the amorous streets of this gorgeous city with rose-colored glasses. It is no great surprise that Paris boasted a whopping 16.06 million international tourists in 2015, as the city is a hotbed for culture, history, the arts, and cuisine. Hosting some of the most iconic tourist attractions internationally, Paris is home to the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, Versailles Palace, and so much more. Often named a bucket-list destination, it is no great mystery that Paris ranks as the third most visited city in the world.
2 Bangkok, Thailand
The bustling capital of Thailand ranks as the second most visited city in the world. This exotic destination is filled with ancient and lavish temples, grand palaces, unique street life, and delectable cuisine all at ridiculously low prices. Business Insider quotes an incredible 18.24 million international visitors in the year 2015 to Bangkok to partake in the world-class shopping, dynamic nightlife, and traditional Thai and Buddhist celebrations and festivals. The city is home to the Thai government and the royal family and attracts millions of visitors annually to enjoy the wonders that it holds.
1 London, United Kingdom
According to Business Insider, the number one tourist destination in the world in 2015 was none other than London, England claiming an amazing 18.82 million global tourists. This historic city is the seat of the British Parliament, the British royal family, and the financial and political center of the country. Home to an astounding number of landmarks and national monuments, London attracts tourism for its diverse cultural and artistic offerings. With such iconic sites as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, and Westminster Palace, there is no mistaking London as the most visited city internationally.