most visited countries

Top 10 Most Visited Countries in the World

As the world gradually transitioned out of the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the wanderlust of travelers has found new vigor. The number of internationally traveling tourists globally is now back to over a billion. While these numbers have not yet ascended to the zenith of pre-pandemic heights, a resurgence in travel is noticeable.

Each country in the world usually can offer tourists something interesting, exciting, or relaxing. That being said, some countries are significantly more popular to visit than others. The reasons for this may be the weather, the culture, or particular sights one particular country offers its guests. The following ranking lists the most visited countries on Earth.

Collectively, these countries are responsible for over 500 million of all global tourist destinations. This means these ten most visited countries alone generate well over half of all tourist travel around the world. Each of these countries welcomes tens of millions of foreign visitors into their country each year, while the absolute top most visited countries on Earth are even closer to the 100 million mark.

The ranking of the most visited countries in the world is based on the annual number of foreign tourists that spent at least one night in the respective countries. The most recent numbers are used for the ranking.

The Top 10 Most Visited Countries in the World 2024

most visited countries

1. France

france - mot visited country in the world

~ 86.9 million visitors

Most visited city: Paris, Ile-de-France
Most visited attraction: Disneyland Paris (in Chessy, Ile-de-France)

France is the most visited country in the world. The country is, among many other things, globally renowned and popular for its romantic ambiance, fine wines, and delectable cuisine. France’s by far most visited city is its capital Paris. The allure of the City of Love, with its iconic Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the charming streets of Montmartre and Champs-Elysees, lures millions of tourists each year. Disneyland Paris, located in the eastern Parisian suburbs, represents the most visited attraction in France and the biggest theme park in Europe overall.

Beyond the capital, France offers diverse landscapes and experiences. From the vineyards of Bordeaux to the lavender fields of Provence, and the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, there’s something for every type of traveler. The Cote d’Azur, also known as the French Riviera, in Southern France with its luxurious and glamorous resorts and azure blue waters, is considered another must-visit region for many people around the world seeking luxury and relaxation.

2. Spain

spain - third of the most visited countries in the world

~ 84.8 million visitors

Most visited city: Barcelona, Catalonia
Most visited attraction: La Sagrada Familia (in Barcelona, Catalonia)

Spain comes in second on the list of the most visited countries, attracting only slightly fewer tourists than France. Known for its sun-soaked beaches, rich culture, and mouth-watering tapas, Spain is a country that knows how to live life to the fullest. Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city and the capital of Catalonia, with its unique architecture and vibrant nightlife, is the country’s most visited city, followed by Madrid, the country’s capital and cultural heart. The Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s unfinished cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi, is the most visited attraction in the country.

Spain’s diverse landscapes, from the sunny Costa Brava and Andalusia on the mainland to Spain’s Balearic and Canary Islands, also attract a fair share of visitors. The Balearic islands of Mallorca and Ibiza are among the most visited islands in the world. History buffs also appreciate the country’s rich past, with numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit in Spain, for example, the Alhambra in Granada and the historic city of Toledo.

3. Italy

~ 68.0 million visitors

Most visited city: Rome, Lazio
Most visited attraction: Colosseum (in Rome, Lazio)

Italy follows as the third most visited country in the world. Italy is known all around the world for its incredibly rich history, mouth-watering cuisine, and absolutely stunning landscapes. The country’s eternal capital and largest city Rome is also the country’s most visited city and represents an absolute must-visit for any history buffs and lovers of ancient architecture. The ancient Roman Colosseum is the most visited attraction of Italy, alongside Vatican City (which technically is a separate entity, however).

Outside of Rome, other popular destinations include the romantic canals of Venice, the art-filled city of Florence, the rural areas of Tuscany, the fashion capital, Milan, the wild city of Naples and Mount Vesuvio, the sun-filled island of Sicily, and many other places all over the country. Italy’s diverse culinary scene, featuring world-renowned pizzas, pasta, and wines, is another major draw for tourists, alongside its many great Mediterranean beaches on the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Adriatic Sea.

4. USA

usa - second of the most visited countries in the world

~ 62.8 million visitors

Most visited city: New York City, New York
Most visited attraction: Times Square (in New York City, New York)

The United States ranks fourth among the most visited countries in the world. From the skyscrapers of New York City to the natural beauty of national parks like Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon, the USA offers an almost endless list of attractions. New York City, the most filmed and recognizable city in the world, and the by far largest one in the U.S., is the most visited city in the United States and NYC’s Times Square in Manhattan represents the single most visited attraction in the country.

The world’s entertainment capital in Los Angeles / Hollywood, the sun-kissed beaches of Florida, the architecture and political importance of the country’s capital of Washington, D.C., the tropical islands of Hawaii, and the unique French-inspired culture of New Orleans are just a few further highlights the U.S. has to offer, which attract millions of tourists from all around the world each year.

5. Turkey

~ 49.2 million visitors

Most visited city: Istanbul, Istanbul Province
Most visited attraction: Grand Bazaar (in Istanbul, Istanbul Province)

Turkey completes the Top Five of the most visited countries in the world. Turkey straddles both Europe and Asia and represents the bridge between the two continents. Its unique position therefore offers a blend of Middle Eastern and Western culture, reflected in its rich history, architecture, and food. Istanbul is the country’s by far most visited city. It is also the country’s by far most populous city and one of the most populous cities in the world. Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest markets in the world, is the country’s most popular attraction, followed by the ancient church turned mosque Hagia Sophia.

Beyond Istanbul, the ancient Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia, the White Travertine Terraces of Pamukkale, and the numerous beautiful sunny beaches along the Turkish Riviera also draw in millions of tourists from various regions in the world each year.

6. Mexico

Image result for mexico wiki

~ 41.8 million visitors

Most visited city: Cancun, Quintana Roo
Most visited attraction: Pyramid of the Sun (in Teotihuacan, State of Mexico)

Mexico comes sixth among the most visited countries in the world. The country’s coastal areas, particularly Cancun and the Riviera Maya, are renowned for their beautiful beaches and world-class resorts. Cancun, located on the Yucatan peninsula on the Atlantic coast is Mexico’s most visited city and a popular destination for tourists from many parts of the world. The most visited and perhaps best-known attraction is the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, near Mexico City, the country’s capital and largest city.

Furthermore, Mexico is also liked for its vibrant culture, flavorful cuisine, and stunning landscapes. Aside from Yucatan, the Pacific coastline in the west of the country also includes several tourist hotspots. The country’s rich history, evident in the many Aztec monuments and ancient Mayan ruins is another major draw for tourists.

7. UK

~ 37.5 million visitors

Most visited city: London, England
Most visited attraction: British Museum (in London, England)

The United Kingdom follows in the ranking of the most visited countries as the seventh most visited country in the world. The UK is home to many centuries-old institutions and iconic landmarks that are known the world over. The country’s capital and by far largest city, London, is also the country’s by far most visited city and the main attraction in and of itself. Historic sites in London like the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and especially the British Museum, the world’s largest museum, represent major draws for tourists from all over the world.

Beyond London, the United Kingdom offers various other experiences popular among tourists, from bustling cities like Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, to the ancient stone circles of Stonehenge and the picturesque landscapes of the Scottish Highlands.

8. China

Image result for china

~ 35.5 million visitors

Most visited city: Beijing, Municipality of Beijing
Most visited attraction: Forbidden City (in Beijing, Municipality of Beijing)

China comes eighth among the most visited countries on Earth. China can look back at a millennia-old history and civilization while having also experienced rapid modernization in more recent decades, which contributes to the country’s increased popularity among tourists from many parts of the world. From the world-famous Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors to the futuristic skylines of the world’s largest city Shanghai, China offers a fascinating blend of the ancient and the modern. China’s capital and second-largest city Beijing is the most-visited city in the country. Beijing’s Forbidden City complex, which features well-preserved ancient Chinese architecture, is the most popular attraction.

Other highlights include the spectacular port city of Hong Kong, the unique landscapes of Zhangjiajie, and the tranquil gardens of Suzhou. China is also increasingly becoming a destination for beach holidays, with the region in and around its southernmost city of Sanya being called the “Oriental Hawaii”.

9. Germany

Image result for germany wiki

~ 34.4 million visitors

Most visited city: Berlin, Berlin
Most visited attraction: Brandenburg Gate (in Berlin, Berlin)

Germany takes ninth place among the most visited countries in the world. Known for its rich history and wide cultural diversity across its different regions, Germany offers tourists a diverse range of experiences. Germany’s capital Berlin is the country’s largest city and also its most visited city, particularly popular for its vibrant nightlife and arts scene, but also valued for its many historical sites. The Brandenburg Gate represents Berlin’s and Germany’s most well-known attraction.

Outside of the capital, other popular destinations include the numerous castles all over the country, including the fairy-tale castle of Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, the beautifully romantic Rhine Valley, the bustling cities of Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt or Stuttgart, as well as many picturesque smaller towns. Germany’s numerous festivals, including the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich, also attract large numbers of visitors from all around the world each year.

10. Thailand

Image result for thailand wiki

~ 28.0 million visitors

Most visited city: Bangkok, Central Thailand
Most visited attraction: Grand Palace (in Bangkok, Central Thailand)

Thailand is rounding up the Top Ten of the most visited countries globally. Thailand is famous for its many golden beaches and lush tropical landscapes, through which the country offers tourists a mix of relaxation and adventure. The country’s capital and largest city Bangkok is Thailand’s by far most visited city and, on the other hand, offers tourists a vibrant nightlife and excitement of a different nature. Bangkok’s many bustling markets as well as ornate temples are extremely popular among tourists from many corners of the world. The capital’s Grand Palace represents the country’s single most popular sight.

Outside of Bangkok, other popular destinations in Thailand include the island paradises of Phuket and Koh Samui and the cultural hub of Chiang Mai.

The 10 Most Visited Countries in the World:

Annual visitors:Most visited city:
1. FRANCE~ 86.9 million Paris, Ile-de-France
2. SPAIN~ 84.8 million Barcelona, Catalonia
3. ITALY~ 68.0 million Rome, Lazio
4. USA~ 62.8 million New York City, New York
5. TURKEY~ 49.2 million Istanbul, Istanbul Province
6. MEXICO~ 41.8 million Cancun, Quintana Roo
7. UK~ 37.5 million London, England
8. CHINA~ 35.5 million Beijing, Municipality of Beijing
9. GERMANY~ 34.4 million Berlin, Berlin
10. THAILAND~ 28.0 million Bangkok, Central Thailand
Updated as of February 2024.

The ten most visited countries in the world based on the annual number of foreign tourists that spent at least one night in the respective countries. Business travels, layovers, drive-throughs, etc. are not counted in this ranking.

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