10 Most Traveled Places in the World

Most Traveled Places

Stumped for places to go on your next vacation? The United Nations World Tourism Organization 2018 Tourism Highlights Report reveals the most visited tourist destinations in 2017. Here are the top ten and a list of activities you can do while you’re there.

10. Thailand

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Number of international tourists in 2017: 35.4 million

Popular tourist attractions:
Phuket. This is Thailand’s most famous beach town. It’s known for its vibrant nightlife, which includes bars, cabaret shows, and tons of musical entertainment. Phuket is also home to Koh Ping-gan, or “James Bond Island,” where The Man With the Golden Gun was filmed.
Khao Yai National Park. This park is located in northeastern Thailand and is one of the few remaining places in Southeast Asia where you can still see wild elephants. Other sights include waterfalls and miles of hiking and biking trails.
Damnoen Saduak, or Floating Market. In Thailand’s Floating Market, hundreds of boaters make their way through narrow canals, selling fruits and vegetables along the way. You can shop for produce while sitting in a chauffeured boat or you can take a tour of the surroundings.

9. Germany

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Number of international tourists in 2017: 37.5 million

Popular tourist attractions:
East Side Gallery. Located in Berlin, the East Side Gallery contains graffitied segments of the Berlin Wall–101 panels, to be exact–totaling around 4,300 feet. The panels were painted by artists in 1990 to commemorate the demolition of the Wall.
Neuschwanstein Castle. This castle, which was home to King Ludwig II of Bavaria, has more than 1.4 million visitors annually and is said to be the inspiration behind the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.

8. Turkey

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Number of international tourists in 2017: 37.6 million

Popular tourist attractions:
Blue Mosque. This mosque, located in Instanbul, was built for Sultan Ahmet I in the 17th century. Blue-glazed tiles decorate the dome and walls, and there are layers of prayer rugs from the Muslim world and Sultan Ahmet’s tomb inside. NOTE: If you plan on visiting, there are some rules you must follow. For example, visitors are expected to dress modestly. They are also expected to remove their shoes and be respectful of the prayer times when the mosque is closed, briefly, to non-Muslims.
Library of Celsus. Located in the ancient port of Ephesus, this library commemorates the Roman governor Julius Celsus Polemaeanus. Construction on the library began in 110 A.D. It was reconstructed from ruins by archaeologists during the 1970s.

7. United Kingdom

United Kingdom
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Number of international tourists in 2017: 37.7 million

Popular tourist attractions:
The Crooked House. This restaurant and pub in Dudley, England, is actually crooked. In fact, one side of the eatery is four feet lower than the other–thanks to local mining, which caused the building to subside.
Loch Ness. This lake in the Highlands of Scotland is home to, you guessed it, the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Loch Ness is one of the largest and deepest expanses of water in the UK, with steep banks plunging to a depth of over 800 feet. It’s also the largest in a string of lochs (a.k.a. lakes) along the Great Glen.
Snowdonia, Gwynedd, Wales. Go hiking through Snowdonia National Park or take a tour of the park on a vintage steam railway.

6. Mexico

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Number of international tourists in 2017: 39.3 million

Popular tourist attractions:
Cancun. A popular Spring Break destination for college students.
Coahuila. Located in northern Mexico, Coahuila is home to the oldest winery in the Americas.
Chichen Itza. A large Mayan archaeological site, Chichen Itza is home to El Castillo (The Castle), a pyramid that rises 79 feet above the Main Plaza. Its four sides have 91 stairs each. Along with the step on the top platform, the pyramid has a total of 365 steps.
Agua Azul Waterfalls. These impressive waterfalls in southern Mexico get their name from the high mineral content found in the water, which gives it a bright blue hue. FYI, Agua Azul in English means “Blue Water.”

5. Italy

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Number of international tourists in 2017: 58.3 million

Popular tourist attractions:
Leaning Tower of Pisa. This iconic tower was built over several centuries–work began in 1173 and was completed in 1399. It has 294 steps, but you must be at least 8 years old if you want to climb them. FUN FACT: The tower leans because it’s sinking into the marshland.
Venice. Built over 100 small islands, you’ll need to ride in a gondola to explore this city. While many canals connect the city, you can also take a stroll across the famous Bridge of Sighs. Other sights include Piazza San Marco and St. Mark’s Basilica.
Pompeii. Although a volcano erupted and buried this ancient Roman city, the site is still preserved. Pompeii is one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions. In fact, nearly 2.5 million people visit every year.

4. China

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Number of international tourists in 2017: 60.7 million

Popular tourist attractions:
Anhui. This 900-year-old ancient village of Hongcun boasts distinctive architecture, a striking mountain backdrop and a tranquil vibe, making it a source of inspiration for art students over the years.
Singing Sand Bay. This 110-meter-high sand dune, also known as Yinken Sand Bay, is located in Inner Mongolia. It’s been said that the wind there sings in soft whispers.
Mount Wuyi. This major landmark in southeast China was the setting for the development and spread of neo-Confucianism. Mount Wuyi is also home to Nine Bend River, which tourists like to travel along on a bamboo raft.

3. United States

United States
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Number of international tourists in 2017: 75.9 million

Popular tourist attractions:
Statue of Liberty. A gift from France, the Statue of Liberty, also known as Lady Liberty, represents freedom and was the first landmark many immigrants saw when they came to the United States. FUN FACT: The original name of the Statue of Liberty was “Liberty Enlightening the World.”
Atlantic City, New Jersey. Take a stroll down the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the first boardwalk in America. Along the way, you can sample the boardwalk’s famous saltwater taffy. Or, you can try your luck at one of the area’s many casinos. FUN FACT: The boardwalk opened in 1870 to help hotel owners keep sand out of their lobbies.
Liberty Bell. Located in Pennsylvania, historians believe this symbol of American independence was rung to mark the public reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. These words are inscribed on the bell: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” FUN FACT: Pennsylvania is spelled with only one “n” on the bell. It was one of several acceptable spellings of the state at the time.

2. Spain

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Number of international tourists in 2017: 81.8 million

Popular tourist attractions:
Madrid. If you’re a party animal, then this capital city is for you! Other features include stunning parks and some of the best art institutions in Europe.
Barcelona. If you want to take in lots of culture, Barcelona is the place for you. You can explore whimsical architecture, museums (including the Picasso Museum), and centuries-old neighborhoods.
Canary Islands. Located off the northwestern coast of Africa, this cluster of islands is one of Spain’s premier beach destinations.

1. France

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Number of international tourists in 2017: 86.9 million

Popular tourist attractions:
Eiffel Tower. Located in one of Paris’ public parks, this iron tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel to be used as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair.
Louvre Museum. Located in Paris along the Seine River, this is the world’s largest museum. It covers an area of 782,910 square feet and houses over 35,000 pieces dating all the way back to prehistoric times. Famous exhibits include the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. FUN FACT: Nearly 9 million people visit the Louvre each year, making it the second most visited museum in the world.
Palace of Versailles. This palace was built in 1623. It served as the royal court from 1682 to 1789. It is 721,182 square feet and has 700 rooms, 1,250 fireplaces, 67 staircases, and over 2,000 windows. Tourists like to visit the main palace and the gardens, as well as catch an evening opera.


Have you ever visited any of these destinations? Do you have plans to visit them in the near future? Tell us your story in the comments below. Thanks!