Arts & Culture Booking Strategy

The World’s 10 Most Popular Tourist Attractions, According to Tripadvisor

Review and booking website Tripadvisor (SmarterTravel’s parent company) is out with its annual list of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. It’s dominated by iconic attractions, some of which you’re guaranteed to wait in a two-hour line for unless you can purchase skip-the-line passes. It’s also worth noting that almost every attraction on the list is in Europe.

Wait-times aside, the list is full of the sort of can’t-miss, absolutely-worth-the-line attractions that dominate many a traveler’s bucket list. “Iconic and historic sites from around the world will always be popular destinations for travelers, but they’re popular for a reason,” said Laurel Greatrix, a Tripadvisor spokesperson. She adds that there are lots of ways to experience these oft-visited attractions, including unique behind-the-scenes tours and activities that go beyond the traditional and sometimes assembly-line approach. And, of course, many of these tours are bookable on Tripadvisor itself.

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Here’s the list, in order.

  1. The Colosseum, Rome, Italy
  2. The Louvre, Paris, France
  3. The Vatican Museums, Rome, Italy
  4. The Statue of Liberty, New York, NY
  5. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
  6. Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
  7. French Quarter, New Orleans, LA
  8. Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  9. Skydeck at Willis Tower, Chicago, IL
  10. Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy

Not only does Europe dominate the list with seven out of 10 entries, but Italy and France alone make up half the list. No real surprise there, as Paris and Rome are among the most-visited cities in the world, but their dominion over the top of the list is still interesting to see. This is the second consecutive year that the Colosseum placed at the top.

Tripadvisor points out that the Skydeck at Willis Tower and New Orleans’ French Quarter are new to the list this year. It also notes that the Golden Gate bridge, which ranked seventh last year, fell off the list for 2020.

Readers, how many of these attractions have you visited? What would be your top ten? Comment below.

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By Carl Unger

Contributing Editor Carl Unger believes that every trip is worth taking. He loves an extended trip to Europe as much as he enjoys exploring the towns and landscape near home. Basically, you'll find him wherever there is good food, fresh air, and plenty of stories to bring home.

Carl has been writing for SmarterTravel since 2005. His travel writing has also appeared on USA Today and the Boston travel guide.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "It's not revolutionary, but a small Moleskine notebook is my one travel must-have. It's great for noting things you want to remember and it takes up hardly any space in your bag."

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