Top 10 Most Visited Countries in the World

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January 7, 2024

Here are the 10 most visited countries in the world, according to the last issue of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer – January 2023:

  • France : 48.4 million visitors
  • Mexico : 31.9 million visitors
  • Spain : 31.2 million visitors
  • Türkiye : 29.9 million visitors
  • Italy : 26.9 million visitors
  • United States : 22.1 million visitors
  • Greece : 14.7 million visitors
  • Austria : 12.7 million visitors
  • Germany : 11.7 million visitors
  • United Arab Emirates : 11.5 million visitors

Most of these countries saw an increase in tourist arrival compared to the previous year, the exceptions being Austria and Germany.

Most Visited Countries Chart

International tourism saw a strong recovery in 2022 and 2023, with Europe and the Americas leading the way.

Europe recorded 585 million international tourist arrivals in 2022 , reaching nearly 80% of pre-pandemic levels (-21% over 2019), which makes it the world’s largest destination region and home to the most famous country in the world (more on that later) .

The Middle East enjoyed the strongest relative increase across regions in 2022 with arrivals climbing to 83% of pre-pandemic numbers (-17% versus 2019).

Africa and the Americas both recovered about 65% of its pre-pandemic visitors, while Asia and the Pacific reached only 23%, as a result of stronger pandemic-related restrictions.

International Tourism Statistics Map

By subregions, Western Europe (87%) and the Caribbean (84%) came closest to their pre-pandemic levels.

The recovery was uneven across regions, with Europe and the Middle East outperforming the other regions due to their more successful implementation of coordinated travel measures. The recovery is expected to consolidate in 2023 , with pent-up demand particularly in Asia and the Pacific, as destinations and markets open up.

International tourism was able to recover 63% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022, and recovered 84% of pre-pandemic levels in the period January-July 2023 (-16% versus 2019).

According to the World Tourism Organization’s publication “ World Tourism Barometer “, a total of 917 million international tourists travelled the world in 2022. And between January and July 2023, 700 million tourists travelled internationally , 43% more than in the same months of 2022.

While not yet achieving pre-pandemic levels, this is considered a notable recovery and one which bodes well for 2023 as it sets out to consolidate its comeback.

It’s time to grab your passport and explore the world again!

Below more data and details about the top 10 tourist countries in the world.

1. France: 48.4 Million Visitors

2. mexico: 31.9 million visitors, 3. spain: 31.2 million visitors, 4. türkiye: 29.9 million visitors, 5. italy: 26.9 million visitors, 6. united states: 22.1 million visitors, 7. greece: 14.7 million visitors, 8. austria: 12.7 million visitors, 9. germany: 11.7 million visitors, 10. united arab emirates: 11.5 million visitors.

France is the most visited country in the world with a record breaking of 48.4 million visitors!

Its capital, Paris, is the second most visited city in the world .

Patched up with idyllic villages and romantic cities, France wears its culture in both iconic landmarks and ordinary settings. Few have the audacity to gild everything in gold, but the country’s noble castles, villas and cathedrals pull off ostentatious decor with a nonchalance attributed to its long centuries of royal history.

France is the Most Visited Country in the World

As if to match, the village-square markets, café terraces, and the daily rituals of a coffee and croissant presents a genteel sort of luxury. Don’t overlook its outdoors either; the lyrical forests of Corsica and the warm waters of the French Riviera are well-sought retreats for city-dwellers.

France’s reputation as the most popular country in the world is not only due to its stunning architecture and picturesque scenery but also its exquisite cuisine. French cuisine is renowned worldwide for its unique flavors, techniques, and presentation, and travelers flock to France to indulge in the country’s culinary delights.

From Michelin-starred restaurants to cozy cafes, France delicacies make it a top destination for foodies and travelers alike.

Attractions: Eiffel Tower , Palace of Versailles , French Riviera, Chamonix, Mont St-Michel, Paris Bridges .

Vivid and steamy Mexico can barely contain the life of its people. Maybe that’s why Mexico wins the 2nd place for the most visited countries in the world with almost 40 million visitors.

Fiesta loving in crowds and philosophical in the quiet, the local community is empathetic hosts with fierce pride in their country. It is this pride and expressive nature that allowed for architectural triumphs (in both Teotihuacan pyramids, Maya temples and colonial towns) as well as masterful art, home to the likes of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Underground artistic movements have also brought dance and street art to the fore.

Beyond the city’s endless cultural riches are also eye-catching jungles, volcanoes, deserts and coast. Mexico’s boundless nature offers adventures for both hikers and divers. Scale Oaxaca’s mountainous ridges or dive deep into the Caribbean to embrace all it has on platter.

Attractions: Tulum, Cabo Pulmo, Palenque Ruins, Teotihuacan, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Edzna, Oaxaca City.

Passion flares here, a country crafted for the good life. This is the beautiful Spain, the 3rd most popular country on earth !

Sevilla, Spain

Embark on an epic road trip looping from Barcelona to Madrid – glimpses of Spain’s enduring landscapes pass by like a photographer’s reel. Gather around the Gothic quarters of Barcelona and browse the experimental works of Gaudi before taking off for the mysterious Alhambra in Granada, or the flamenco halls of Seville.

There is also Bilbao and San Sebastian in the north, ready to satiate your hunger with delicious pinxtos and avant-garde architecture.

For nature that transforms every season, visit the hills of Picos de Europa and snow-capped Sierra Nevada, the sandy reaches of Menorca. From coast to mountains and dry in-land outposts you’ll sense that for all the history lurking in the corners, Spain lives in the moment.

Attractions: La Familia Sagrada, Park Guell, The Alhambra, El Retiro, Guggenheim Museum, Real Alcazar, Mallorca’s beaches.

Sultry Turkey smolders with desert heat and sun-beaten ruins, backed by the enticing thrum of bustling cities. Having been conquered by the Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans, Turkey treks its story from fervent Istanbul to the romantic Mediterranean coast.

Sultan Ahmet Camii in Istanbul, Turkey

On the way are magical landscapes that range from jutting rock formations to glittering lakes and olive groves, Kacker Mountains, Patara Beach, and Lake Egirdir only few of its lyrical ruralscapes. Explore these settings via canyoning, kayaking, paragliding, hiking and more adventurous means; they’re lessons in the physical and cultural, and make Turkey one of the most visited places in the world.

As if Turkey wasn’t alluring enough, its culinary specialties draw from both inland and coastal sources. Spiced kebabs, oil-cooked vegetables and sweet baklava barely skim the trove of local eats.

Eat hearty and smile plenty.

Attractions: Topkapi Palace, Suleymaniya Mosque, Aya Sofya, Bergama Acropolis, Caves of Heaven and Hell, Nemrut Dagi National Park.

The arts come to mind when we think of Italy, the 5th most visited country in this world; of the Byzantine architectures, Padua’s frescoes, Michelangelo’s David and the greatest of Da Vinci’s works.

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy

Heritage sites are the norm and not minority, remnants of ancient Rome and subsequent empires left in form of ruins, archeological sites, churches and manors. Attention to aesthetics translates in to the everyday details too – Italy is home to some of the biggest fashion minds.

On the more natural spectrum is extraordinary geological diversity. From the turquoise coral-reefs to icy Alps, Italy flourishes in blues and greens. Where nature is abundant, culinary delights follow. Indulge in the powdery dough of pizzas and pastry, filling the stomach with oysters and ricotta and topping it off with heady wines.

Attractions: Roman Forum, Tuscany’s Vineyards, Ruins of Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, St. Peter’s Basilica, Duomo.

America has always been a popular travel destination due to its sprawl of metropolis and small town charms; last year, it welcomed a rounded-down number of 22.1 million inbound tourists. With travel patterns trending towards city hopping and road tripping, America’s endless highways are a siren’s call.

Empire State Building in New York, Usa

New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Boston are all cities of transience, ever-evolving urban spaces that broils over with mixed cultures and cuisines.

There is then musical Austin and free-spirited Portland, a San Francisco as dynamic as its coastal waves, and Miami which entertains with beaches and nightlife.

There is also the quiet heat of the Grand Canyon, the miles of lush rainforests and country lanes. And when you tune into the radio, the jazz, country, hip-hop, rock and pop keep you company through this mish-mash of sights.

Attractions: New York City, Yellowstone National Park, Arizona National Parks and Monuments , Grand Canyon, New Orleans, Miami beaches.

Greece is steeped with the footprints of ancient empires, a country whose gentle coastline gives away to grand cities and humble villages now become UNESCO sites.

top 10 tourist countries

This is a country of infinity smiles, one where hospitality swells from multi-storey restaurants and home-cooked tavas as if part of some divine agenda.

In the mainland is a swirl of mountainous shapes, one that carries on to its hundreds of islands, each offering its own flavor – from romantic Mykonos perched high above cobblestones, to Santorini’s seas of whitewashed cliffs.

The ruins are abundant here too; don’t skip out on Athens’ well-preserved Acropolis or the Temples of Phaistos and Knossos built during the Minoan period.

Every twist and turn in Greece is an invitation to connect with stories older than time itself.

Attractions : Acropolis of Athens, Poseidon Temple, Parthenon, Meteora Monasteries, Knossos Palace, Delphi National Archaeological Museum.

Austria, a country with a rich history and culture, and is the 8th most visited country in the world with 12.7 million visitors.

Hallstatt Lake in Austria

From lush Alpine landscapes and breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks to majestic Baroque architecture, Austria offers visitors a unique vacation experience.

Tantalize your taste buds by indulging in traditional Austrian delicacies from Wiener Schnitzel to Apfelstrudel. Explore Vienna’s historic old city filled with Baroque architecture and classical music, or take a romantic stroll along the Danube River.

Take the plunge in Salzburg and soak up the personality of the beautiful town, made famous by the movie ‘The Sound of Music’, or explore an enchanting Austrian lakeside village.

Attractions : Schönbrunn Palace, Hohensalzburg Castle, Salzburg Cathedral, Giant Ice Caves Hallstatt, St. Stephen’s Cathedral of Vienna, Belvedere Palace.

Germany may be remembered as the set of horrific tragedy, but it is also the birthplace of great thinkers, inventors and creatives who ushered in the modern era. From the contemporary architectures by Frank Gehry and Daniel Libeskind to lofty museums and automobile factories, you can track the country’s cultural footprints.

Historical Town of Quedlinburg in Harz Germany

Cast your eyes beyond the Romanesque and Baroque build of Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg to see the swaying path into rural Germany. The valleys unfold into imposing forests and vast vineyards, reaching towards northern dunes and chilly Alps. Stretch your senses – eyes and tongue – to taste Germany’s regional diversity.

Attractions: Pergamon Museum, Schloss Neuschwanstein, Zwinger, Kolner Dom.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a rapidly growing touristic destination for its luxurious lifestyle, extravagant architecture and abundance of attractions.

white yacht sailing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

With 11.5 million foreign tourist arrival, the UAE is the 10th most visited country in the world.

Its sun-soaked cities are full of majestic landmarks, buzzing shopping souks, pristine beaches, Wild Wadi waterparks and some of the world’s most luxurious hotel chains.

Whether you’re taking a timeout from city life or seeking unique cultural experiences, the UAE has somewhere that you can explore.

Put on your explorer spirit in Dubai and explore iconic attractions like the Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah Mosque and Bastakiya in its ancient districts. Take your journey even further to Abu Dhabi to explore Ferrari World, grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque or Louvre Abu Dhabi.

On your vacation, indulge yourself with glitzy shopping experiences at the Dubai Mall or the Abu Dhabi Mall, where you can find the latest trends from around the world.

And last but not least, get to know the Emirati culture through vibrant festivals and handicrafts markets.

Attractions : Burj Khalifa, Bastakiya, Ferrari World, Sheik Zayed Mosque, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Dubai Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall.

Related article : the most visited cities in the world.

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  • The World's Most Visited Countries

Paris, France is the most visited country in the world. Source: Shutterstock

  • France is the world's most visited country with 89 million tourists.
  • In 2019, 1.5 billion tourist arrivals were recorded around the world.
  • Tourism accounts for 12% of Spain's economy.

The World Tourism Organization recently reported that international tourism is continuing to grow and is "outpacing the global economy". In 2019, 1.5 billion tourist arrivals were recorded around the world, a 4% increase on 2018's figures. The Middle East is currently the fastest-growing region for international tourism, but European countries such as France, Spain and Italy remain the most visited. Find out the top 10 world's most visited countries below:

10. United Kingdom: 36 million tourists

top 10 tourist countries

In 2019, the United Kingdom welcomed 36 million tourists to its towns and cities. London is the country's most visited city, with approximately 12 million visitors each year. Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester are also popular city destinations. Tourism produces around USD 131 billion for the country and provides over two million jobs. American residents are the most frequent visitors, followed by those who live in France. Some of the UK's most popular tourist attractions include Big Ben, the Tower of London and Stonehenge .

9. Thailand: 38 million tourists

top 10 tourist countries

Thailand has been a popular tourist destination for decades thanks to its white-sand beaches, delicious cuisine and hot weather. Bangkok , Thailand's capital, frequently holds the top spot as the world's most visited city. It attracts around 22 million visitors each year. The 1,430 islands of Thailand draw in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, some of the islands are heralded as being some of the best in the world. Thailand's most popular spots include Railay Beach, Koh Phi Phi and The Grand Palace of Bangkok. 

8. Germany: 39 million tourists

top 10 tourist countries

Germany is famous for its beer, sausages and picturesque castles. The country welcomes around 39 million tourists each year, with approximately 13 million visiting Berlin, Germany's capital city. Tourism in Germany generates two million jobs for its residents and contributes over 4% towards the country's GDP. 

7. Mexico: 41 million tourists

top 10 tourist countries

Mexico , located in the southern part of North America, is rapidly becoming a favorite tourist destination. People from all over the world are visiting the vibrant country to enjoy the pristine beaches, explore the deep history and culture, and discover UNESCO World Heritage sites. Over the last decade, tourism has significantly contributed to Mexico's employment and economy. In 2019, the government announced a six-year strategy to boost tourism and improve conditions for workers within the industry. Some of the country's most visited destinations are Cancun, Mexico City, and Playa del Carmen. 

6. Turkey: 46 million tourists

top 10 tourist countries

Located on two continents, Turkey offers a unique blend of East and West. Edged by the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, Turkey has an abundance of stunning coastlines and charming resorts. Tourists also enjoy visiting Turkey's capital, Ankara as well as the resort-city of Antalya. It was reported that over 15 million vacationers visited Antalya in 2019. Antalya is popular thanks to its proximity to beaches and remnants of Turkey's rich history. Famous tourist attractions in Turkey include the Blue Mosque , Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sofia Museum. 

5. Italy: 62 million tourists

top 10 tourist countries

Italy has culture, history and cuisine in abundance, making it a very popular tourist destination for people all around the globe. Italy has a varied landscape that suits all traveler types; there are snow-covered peaks, sprawling vineyards and glittering coastlines. Not to mention the beautiful cities like Rome, Naples and Florence. There are 50 UNESCO World Heritage sites dotted throughout the country showcasing the best of Italian history. Some of Italy's best-loved attractions include the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum and the Pantheon.

4. China: 63 million tourists

top 10 tourist countries

China , the third-largest country in the world, is in the world's top five tourist destinations because of its natural landscapes, expansive history and delicious cuisine. Tourism in China is a growing industry that is becoming a significant part of the country's economy. In 2018, tourism contributed 11.04% of China's overall GDP, which increased a further 1.2% in 2019. Famous attractions include The Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square . 

3. United States: 80 million tourists

top 10 tourist countries

Tourism is one of the United States ' biggest contributors to the country's GDP. The industry supports over 7 million jobs, and in 2017, tourism generated USD 1.6 trillion in economic output. Cities such as New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles experience high numbers of tourists all year round, with New York being the most visited city in the country. Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan and China are the top five countries that make up the majority of US tourism. 

2. Spain: 83 million tourists

top 10 tourist countries

Spain is the second most visited country in both the world and Europe. Tourism accounts for 12% of Spain's economy and provides 13% of jobs. The majority of tourists who visit the country come from Europe; it is the warm weather, pristine beaches and bustling cities that attract millions of vacationers. Some of Spain's most famous landmarks include La Sagrada Familia , Park Güell and Alhambra. 

1. France - 89 million tourists

top 10 tourist countries

Attracting over 89 million tourists each year, France is the world's most visited country. Paris, France's capital city, draws in around 17 million tourists a year; 7 million of those visit the Eiffel Tower. Tourism in France represents 9.7% of the overall GDP and provides 2.9 million jobs. The majority of France's visitors come from other European countries, with over 12 million coming from the United Kingdom. Disneyland, the Louvre and the Notre Dame Cathedral are some of France's most visited attractions. 

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Most Visited Countries 2024

European countries, often rich in history, culture, beautiful beaches, and ocean views, attract the highest number of tourists.

France, leading in tourism for over 30 years, offers attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Disneyland Paris, drawing 38 million tourists to Paris alone in 2019.

Global travel and tourism, an $8.9 trillion industry in 2019, suffered a loss of $4.5 trillion and 62 million jobs in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Global travel and tourism was an $8.9 trillion (US$) business in 2019 . Moreover, though the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced that number to roughly a quarter of its previous value, all signs point to tourism continuing to grow, expand, and evolve. Every country on Earth has something to offer international visitors, from the pyramids in Egypt to the rainforests of Brazil or the sidewalk cafes of Paris —but which countries attract the most visitors of all? Most of the countries with the highest tourism rates are located in Europe , whose rich history, architecture, and cultural influence make it an appealing destination for many travelers. Countries positioned on or near a body of water are also very popular, particularly those that offer a relaxed, low-key atmosphere mixed with beautiful beaches and ocean views.

Top 10 Countries Most Popular with Tourists (by number of 2019 visitor arrivals)

The most popular tourist destination in the world for more than 30 years, France offers a myriad of attractions: the Eiffel tower, countless world-class restaurants, the Musée du Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, the Notre-Dame cathedral, the beaches of the Côte d'Azur, and of course, Disneyland Paris. Moreover, the lushly beautiful countryside is full of storybook villages, mountains, vineyards, and the occasional castle. One can even view prehistoric cave paintings in Lascaux. Paris, France's capital, is the most visited city in Europe, receiving 38 million tourists in 2019.

Spain is another tourist destination overflowing with interesting attractions. Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia cathedral and other works in Barcelona , the Guggenheim museum, the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, Europe's largest aquarium (the lily-shaped L'Oceanogràfic), the beaches of Gran Canaria, and La Rambla in Barcelona. Spain is also home to El Teide, an ancient—but not entirely dormant—volcano, which visitors can hike around at the Parque Nacional del Teide on the Spanish island Tenerife.

England's capital city, London , attracts visitors with a wide range of sights including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and the British Museum, which includes the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo . Beyond London, England offers the mysterious Stonehenge, the Beatles' birthplace in Liverpool , the quaint beauty of the Cotswolds, the sci-fi botanical gardens of the Eden Project, and more. Speaking of more, the UK also includes three additional subdivisions. First is Scotland, with the charming city of Edinburgh , moody Loch Ness and Inverness , the scenic highlands, and the historic St. Andrews golf course. Next comes charming Wales and its castles, scenery, and capital city of Cardiff . Finally, Northern Ireland boasts attractions including Belfast 's bubbling nightlife, the glens and coastline of Antrim, and one of Europe's most compelling natural wonders: the Giant's Causeway.

The Mediterranean nation Turkey balances captivating man-made attractions such as Hagia Sophia mosque and Topkapı Palace with archaeological wonders such as the Biblical city of Ephesus, the fairy city of Cappadocia, and the desolate fallen splendor of Mount Nemrut. It also has more than its share of natural wonders, including the famous beaches at Ölüdeniz and Patara, the mineral pools at Pamukkale, and the Mediterranean coastline itself.

The South Asian country of Thailand is also known as the "Land of Smiles", and offers both modern comforts and wild adventure. Thailand's capital, Bangkok , receives over 20 million visitors every year. Popular attractions include the Grand Palace in Bangkok; beaches including Railay, Long, and Monkey beach; the ancient city Ayutthaya and ornate Buddhist wat Coi Suthep, and national parks including Khao Yai (where wild elephants roam) and the otherworldly Khao Sok.

The impact of COVID-19 on travel and tourism

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21 had a devastating effect on the travel and tourism industry. According to a report released by the World Travel & Tourism Council , the pandemic cost the industry an estimated US$ 4.5 trillion in 2020, which resulted in the loss of 62 million tourism-dependent jobs. Data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization backs this up. Consider the following table:

International tourist arrivals (in thousands of visitors):

Compared to 2019, tourism dropped by approximately 74% in 2020, with a total of a billion fewer travelers over the course of the year--making 2020 the worst year on record for tourism. The UNTWO's own estimates registered a loss of US$ 1.3 trillion in lost revenues and 100-120 million jobs either lost or at risk.

The impact has been particularly damaging in countries that rely heavily upon tourism as part of their GDP. Lost tourism in Macau , one of China 's special administrative regions, led to a 79.3% drop in year-on-year gambling revenues , which caused overall GDP for 2020 to fall 43.1% compared to the previous year.

While tourism has picked up slightly in 2021, they still fall far short of the pre-pandemic numbers. Late 2020 projections were hopeful that the industry would be back on track by late 2021, but the ongoing nature of the pandemic has thwarted that optimism. As of late 2021, most estimates do not expect the industry to rebound to 2019 (pre-COVID) levels until sometime in 2023 at the earliest.

  • Visitor totals are displayed in 1000s. For example, South Africa 's displayed total of 3886.6 equals 3,886,600 visitors.

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  • UNWTO Tourism Data Dashboard - United Nations World Tourism Organization
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  • Most Visited

Most Visited Countries

top 10 tourist countries

Travel Hotspots & Popular Destinations

Every year, millions of people across the globe pack their bags and set off to explore the diverse cultures, breathtaking landscapes, unique cuisines, and historic landmarks that the world's countries have to offer. Transnational tourism plays a monumental role in the global economy and significantly impacts the culture and environment of the countries it touches. Using data on international arrivals collected by the World Tourism Organization, we've compiled a list of the most visited countries across the globe and analyzed what makes these nations so attractive to travelers.

Key findings from the data include:

  • France tops the list with a whopping 89.4 million arrivals, corroborating its reputation as a global hotspot for its rich history, cultural heritage, fine wines, and exquisite cuisine.
  • Making an impressive appearance in the second place is Spain, boasting 83.7 million arrivals, thanks to its sun-soaked beaches, vibrant nightlife, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a rich festive tradition.
  • The United States, with its diverse topography, iconic landmarks, and multicultural cities, follows closely, welcoming 79.3 million visitors.
  • Interestingly, Asian countries like China, with 65.7 million, Turkey, with 51.2 million, and Thailand, with 39.8 million, emphasize the growing interest in Asian cultures, history, landscapes, and culinary delights.
  • Countries with a strong historical and cultural background like Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom boast high arrival numbers, with 64.5 million, 39.6 million, and 39.4 million respectively, demonstrating the global appetite for cultural tourism.

As we travel the spectrum of countries, from the lavender fields of Provence in France to the bustling cityscape of New York in the United States to the Great Wall of China, it's clear that each nation offers a unique array of experiences and attractions that draw people from around the world.

10 Most Visited Countries

Topping the chart, with a massive number of 89.4 million arrivals, is France. This is a testimony to its enduring popularity amongst tourists, drawn to its diverse regional cultures, historical sites, museums, gastronomy, and the romantic allure of Paris.

Stepping up to the second spot is Spain, counting 83.7 million arrivals. Its combination of historical richness, sundrenched coasts, architectural beauty, flamenco music, and the running of the bulls are among the experiences that keep tourists pouring in.

The United States, a country of vast landscape diversity and iconic cities, seizes the third spot with 79.3 million international visitors. From the swarming streets of New York City to California’s golden coasts and Florida’s amusement parks, there is an endless list of attractions for tourists.

In the fourth spot, we see China, an Asian giant that had an impressive 65.7 million arrivals. With its ancient history, diverse culture, and remarkable landmarks like the Great Wall, it continues to enthrall explorers from around the globe.

Italy marks the fifth position with 64.5 million arrivals. Famed for its art, history, fashion, food, and wine, Italy effortlessly captivates the heart of its visitors.

At the sixth spot, we have Turkey with 51.2 million arrivals. It's a fascinating mix of Eastern and Western culture, joining together Istanbul's grand history and the turquoise coastlines of Antalya.

Heading to the Americas, Mexico lands on the seventh spot with 45.0 million arrivals. Its vibrant culture, mouth watering food, sun-beaten beaches, and famous Mayan and Aztec ruins are a strong pull for tourists.

Thailand welcomes the world at number eight, with 39.8 million arrivals, giving them a taste of Asia through its royal palaces, ancient ruins, ornate temples, and folk traditions, not to mention the famed beaches.

Germany ranks ninth with 39.6 million visitors, who are often drawn towards its picturesque landscapes, historical sites, and of course, Oktoberfest.

The final spot in our list goes to the United Kingdom, with 39.4 million arrivals. Its wealth of history, notable landmarks, and the royal charm of London, added to the cultural riches of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, make it a bucket list regular.

10 Most Visited Countries:

  • France - 89.4M
  • Spain - 83.7M
  • United States - 79.3M
  • China - 65.7M
  • Italy - 64.5M
  • Turkey - 51.2M
  • Mexico - 45.0M
  • Thailand - 39.8M
  • Germany - 39.6M
  • United Kingdom - 39.4M 

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10 most visited countries in the world

We profile some usual suspects plus one or two surprises in the top 10 most visited countries in the world

Have you dreamed of a romantic kiss atop the Eiffel Tower? Perhaps you’ve thrown a wish into the Trevi Fountain or stopped and stared at the Sistine Chapel. If so, you’re certainly not alone.

According to the last available pre-pandemic figures, France and Italy are two of the most visited countries in the world. Together with the rest of the top 10, they make up a whopping 41% of global tourist arrivals (i.e. overnight visitors). Here’s the complete list of the most visited countries in the world.

The below figures come from the 2020 edition of the UNWTO’s International Tourism Highlights report.

1. France           

Arrivals: 89.4 million (2018) Change: 2.9% (year on year)

France is one of the most visited countries in the world

It’s fair to say that there has been a long-standing rivalry between the French and the British, partly because we Brits think we’re better than them (deep down, we know we’re not).

In both joie de vivre and savoire faire , in culture, couture and cuisine, our Gallic cousins outclass us consistently – and why wouldn’t they? Their impeccable taste coupled with a natural hauteur lends them an inimitable sophistication. It’s this je ne se quois perhaps that keeps tourists coming to this land of romance – a whopping 89.4 million of them a year.

Arrivals: 83.5 million (2019) Change : 0.8%

Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world

Good food, good wine, amazing architecture and the ebullient nature of the natives are just some of the reasons why people flock to Spain (and subsequently get exhausted by the Spaniards… did we mention they’re ebullient?).

Spain is a popular destination not only for all the above but also as a place of worship. Camino de Santiago, a network of paths leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, is popular not only with pilgrims but also with hikers, cyclists and organised tour groups.

3. USA           

Arrivals: 79.3 million (2019) Change : -0.6%

The US is one of the most visited countries in the world

Despite the lowest increase in tourist arrivals year on year, the US holds strong as the third most visited country in the world. It has more famous cities than arguably any other country in the world – New York, LA, San Francisco, Miami and Chicago being just some of them. There’s plenty for culture vultures (New Orleans, Austin, Boston) and nature lovers too: Yosemite, Grand Prismatic Spring and Grand Canyon are just a few of the many national parks full of weird and wonderful things .

Arrivals: 65.7 million (2019) Change : 4.5%

 China is one of the most visited countries in the world

China is a behemoth on the world stage in size, population and economic strength. The world’s oldest continuous civilisation offers gleaming monuments to progress countered by rich threads of antiquity. Mist-shrouded mountains, sleepy water towns, archaeological wonders and world-class cuisine are just a few of the myriad reasons why over 60 million tourists flock to this country each year.

Arrivals: 64.5 million (2019) Change : 4.8%

The Colosseum in Italy is one of the Seven Wonders of the World

Ah, Rome, the place where legends are born, legacies shorn and gelato grants entry to heaven. And that’s just the beginning. There’s charming Verona, iconic Venice and the heart-stoppingly stunning Dolomites. If you have to be unoriginal, be unoriginal in Italy .

6. Turkey           

Arrivals: 51.2 million (2019) Change : 11.9%

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

It’s interesting that Turkey has had the biggest year-on-year increase on the list: 11.9% to be specific. This might be a sign that its fortunes are continuing to improve. During our visit back in 2016, we were told of slowing trade caused by local conflict. In fact, a day and a half after we left , there was a bombing in the glorious city of Istanbul.

Currently, Turkey is almost entirely trouble-free and the hope is that it continues to stay safe and open. If you’re considering a holiday to the Anatolian Peninsula, it’s worth double-checking the things you need to visit Turkey .

Arrivals: 45 million (2019) Change : 9.0%

Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World

In past years, Mexico has jostled with Thailand and Russia for a place on the list of the world’s most visited countries. This year, it sits comfortably mid-list with over 45 million tourist arrivals. Home to Frida Kahlo, the dazzling Day of the Dead celebrations and a Wonder of the World in the form of Chichen Itza, Mexico is only set to grow in popularity.

8. Thailand

Arrivals: 39.8 million (2019) Change : 4.3%

An idyllic scene in Thailand, one of the most visited countries in the world

Thailand – love it or hate it, it repeatedly appears on the list of the world’s most visited countries. A mainstay of the backpacker route through southeast Asia, Thailand benefits from strong tourist infrastructure, lashes of natural beauty and of course exquisite cuisine.

The iconic Maya Bay on Ko Phi Phi – made famous by the 2000 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio – has experienced a sustained explosion in tourism. In 2018, it was announced that the beach would be closed indefinitely to allow it to recover from tourist damage, a cautionary tale perhaps for the countries hoping to one day join this list.

9. Germany       

Arrivals: 39.6 million Change : 1.8%

Brandenburger Gate in Berlin, Germany

Germany was named by Lonely Planet as one of the best countries to visit in 2019, this being the 100-year anniversary of Bauhaus, a school of design that still today influences art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design and typography.

Beyond Bauhaus, there is plenty to do and see. The Reichstag, Brandenburger Gate and Berlin Wall are just some of the world-famous sights in the capital city. Further afield, the stunning Black Forest and its collection of fairytale castles are a major draw for international tourists.

10. United Kingdom

Arrivals: 39.4 million (2019) Change : 1.9%

Tower Bridge in London, UK

And so we come to our homeland of Britain, a green and pleasant land full of sedate sights like Stonehenge set to a backdrop of gloomy skies and seemingly endless drizzle. Still, there’s plenty here to draw tourists. World-class museums, dramatic forts and castles, charming countryside villages and a cheese-rolling competition have all helped the UK sneak into the top 10 most visited countries in the world.

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Lead image: Samet Guler/Shutterstock

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World’s 30 Best Travel Destinations, Ranked

Best places to visit in the world.

Bali, one of the best travel destinations

The ultimate ranking of travel destinations aims to solve a serious problem: so many places to visit, so little time.

But even in a world with a trillion destinations, some manage to stand out and rise to the top. From the sleek skyscrapers of Dubai to the emerald-green waters of the Bora Bora lagoon, you’re sure to find at least one vacation that piques your interest (and likely several!).

These are the 30 best places to visit in the world. Which ones have you already been to? And which ones stoke your wanderlust most?

30. Argentine Patagonia

Traveler in Argentine Patagonia

In this region of the Andes, you’ll find glaciers, evergreen trees, deep blue lakes and clear skies everywhere you look. For a trip full of adventure and discovery, there are few better destinations on the planet.

No trip is complete without a visit to the craggy Mount Fitz Roy, the historic (and mysterious) Cave of the Hands, the Punta Tombo wildlife preserve, the Peninsula Valdes marine wildlife refuge and the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier. Be sure to bring your camera and your sense of wonder.

* Rankings are based on U.S. News & World Report's " World's Best Places to Visit ," traveler ratings as well as our own editorial input.

What to Know Before You Go to Argentine Patagonia

Argentine Patagonia Glacier National Park

Where to stay: Cyan Soho Neuquen Hotel

Hot tip: Since springtime occurs in the southern hemisphere in October and November, those months are your best bet when planning a trip.

Fun fact: The largest dinosaur fossils ever unearthed were found in Argentine Patagonia. They belong to the largest-known titanosaur, believed to have weighed about 83 tons. 

Note: We may earn money from affiliate partners if you buy through links on our site.

29. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Campania, Amalfi Coast

Set in the Sorrentina Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast has long been renowned for its natural beauty and idyllic coastal towns. During the golden age of Hollywood, it was a preferred vacation spot for glamorous movie stars.

Days here are spent eating Italian food, drinking wine and walking around colorful cobblestone streets. You can also expect to drink copious amounts of wine as you look out into the Mediterranean Sea.

The best way to see the coast is to rent a car and then drive to different towns each day.

What to Know Before You Go to the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast road

Where to stay: Hotel Marina Riviera

Hot tip:  If you're planning on using a beach chair to work on your tan, make sure you wake up early, as they are usually first come, first served.

Fun fact:  The Amalfi Coast is featured in Sofia Loren's 1995 Film, "Scandal in Sorrento."

28. Cancun, Mexico

Beach sunset in Cancun

For years, Cancun has been the preferred getaway for East Coast Americans (particularly Floridians) who want an international getaway that's still close to home. But despite the droves of tourists, the area has managed to keep the charm that attracted people in the first place.

The city is known mostly for its luxury hotels, wild nightlife and warm beaches. Definitely indulge in all of these — as well as the Mexican food! — but also consider other activities like visiting Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes and snorkeling. One thing is certain: You won't run out of things to do in Cancun .

What to Know Before You Go to Cancun

Cenote Zaci, Mexico

Where to stay: Hyatt Zilara Cancun

Hot tip:  While you're in Cancun, make a plan to visit one of Grupo Xcaret's six eco-tourism parks, with the best ones being Xcaret and Xelha. The Mexican-owned company is credited with starting the eco-tourism trend in the Yucatan Peninsula, and the parks offer incredible and varied local experiences.

Fun fact:  The Yucatan Peninsula, where Cancun is located, was the cultural, political and economic center of the Mayan civilization. Many locals have Mayan ancestry and Mayan continues to be widely spoken in the area.

27. San Francisco, California

Close up of Golden Gate Bridge

Everyone should visit San Francisco at least once in their lives. Though tech companies grab all the headlines these days, it remains down-to-earth, diverse and packed with things to do.

Where to start? No matter your style, you’ll want to check out the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, see the sunbathing sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, take a tour of the historic prison Alcatraz and relax in one of the city’s many parks, especially Dolores Park for its epic people-watching on the weekends. 

For dinner, treat your tastebuds and make a reservation at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the Bay Area .

What to Know Before You Go to San Francisco

San Francisco houses

Where to stay: The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square

Hot tip: Want similarly beautiful landscapes and rich cultural attractions, but at lower prices and with (slightly) fewer crowds? Head to Oakland just across the Bay Bridge, named one of the most exciting places on earth to travel by National Geographic. 

Fun fact: The fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco by a Japanese resident. Random!

26. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls in autumn Canadian side

Niagara Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the world . The power with which water storms down cliffs on the border between the United States and Canada has captivated the imagination of humans for centuries. 

This natural wonder is comprised of three awe-inspiring falls. One of the best ways to experience them is on a boat tour.

What to Know Before You Go to Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls boat tour

Where to stay: Sheraton Niagara Falls

Hot tip: There is some debate about which side of the falls is better, but the general verdict is that the Canadian side offers better views. This is because you can (ironically) get a better view of the American Falls as well as get up close to Horseshoe Falls. 

Fun fact:  Established in 1885, Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the U.S.

25. Yellowstone National Park

Bison at the Great Prismatic Spring

Located mostly in Wyoming as well as Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone is America’s first national park and remains one of the most popular in the country, welcoming more than around 3.3 million people in 2022. With unpredictable geysers, rainbow-colored hot springs, craggy peaks, shimmering lakes and tons of wildlife — from elk to boars to bison — it’s easy to see why so many people flock here. 

The park makes for an awesome family trip and is well-suited to budget travelers since it offers so many campsites ( over 2,000! ). 

What to Know Before You Go to Yellowstone

Old Faithful Geiser erupting, Yellowstone

Where to stay: Stage Coach Inn

Hot tip: You’ll never fully beat the crowds at this wildly popular park, but April, May, September and November are your best bets for finding some solitude.  

Fun fact: Yellowstone is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.  

24. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

snorkle Destinations: Great Barrier Reef, Australia

As the largest reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of marine species. This makes it a paradise for scuba diving or snorkeling. 

The reef system is truly gigantic, with over 600 islands and about 2,900 individual reefs. This is one of Australia's greatest prides, but it's also a planetary national treasure. Seeing it with your own two eyes is an experience that is incredible beyond words.

What to Know Before You Go to the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef from above

Where to stay: Crystalbrook Flynn

Hot tip: Though going underwater to see the reef is a must, we also recommend booking a helicopter tour to experience the magic of it from above.

Fun fact:  Made of corals, which are animals that live in collectives, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet.

23. Santorini, Greece

White washed houses in Santorini

With its picturesque blue-domed churches, whitewashed buildings and colorful beaches, the island of Santorini is a photographer’s paradise. If you want to snap photos to post to Instagram and make everyone back home jealous, this is the place to go. 

Also make sure to experience some of Santorini’s archaeologically significant sites, like Ancient Akrotiri (an ancient city preserved by volcanic ash) and Ancient Thera (where humans lived as early as the 9th century BC). And don’t forget to visit the smaller islands that surround it, including Thirassia, Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni. 

What to Know Before You Go to Santorini

Santorini houses

Where to stay: Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Santorini

Hot tip: To optimize your vacation, visit in September and October or April and May — when the weather is still warm, but there aren’t as many other tourists milling around.

Fun fact: While it’s difficult to prove, locals like to say there’s more wine than water on this island where it hardly rains (and vino abounds).

22. Florence, Italy

Florience center, Italy

For art and history buffs (and anyone who appreciates delicious Italian food), Florence is a must-visit city. 

As the birthplace of the Renaissance, it’s home to some of the most iconic artworks by the world’s premier artists throughout history — Michaelangelo, Brunelleschi and Donatello, just to name a few. In addition to art museums and architectural wonders, Florence is also home to chic shops, quaint cafes and spectacular gardens. 

What to Know Before You Go to Florence

Il Duomo, Florence

Where to stay:  NH Collection Firenze Porta Rossa

Hot tip: Keep Florence in mind if you want to spend your honeymoon in Europe without spending a fortune, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Fun fact: The city’s famed “El Duomo” cathedral took over 140 years to build .

21. Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite, one of the most-visited national parks in America with more than 4 million annual guests, encompasses 750,000 acres of wilderness just waiting to be explored.

It’s home to scenic waterfalls, like the 317-foot Vernal Fall and the 617-foot Bridalveil Fall, as well as iconic rock formations like El Capitan and Half Dome, two popular spots for the world’s best rock climbers to test their mettle.

Not surprisingly, the wildlife here also impresses. Dozens of species of butterflies, marmots, bobcats and mule deer are just some of the animals that call Yosemite home. And keep your eyes peeled for black bears; some 300 to 500 roam the park . 

What to Know Before You Go to Yosemite

Yosemite National Park

Where to stay:  The Ahwahnee

Hot tip: Summer can get really busy here, so if you want to camp, be sure to book a spot early. Want to beat Yosemite’s notoriously bad traffic? Ditch the car and take advantage of the park’s extensive free bus system.

Fun fact: This is one of the only places in the country where you can catch a moonbow — like a rainbow, but created by the light of the moon instead of the sun. 

20. St. Lucia

St. Lucia Les Pitons

Whether you’re visiting on a cruise ship or just relaxing at an all-inclusive resort or boutique hotel, stunning St. Lucia is a clear winner. This Caribbean island offers diverse terrain for vacationers, from its pristine beaches to its lush rainforests to its volcanic peaks, the Pitons, that loom over the landscape. 

Adrenaline-junkies love hiking, climbing and zip-lining, while newlyweds (and soon-to-be-married couples) enjoy the romantic mix of fine dining, adults-only resorts and exotic activities. 

What to Know Before You Go to St. Lucia

St. Lucia boats

Where to stay: Rabot Hotel From Hotel Chocolat

Hot tip: Visit when temperatures are moderate, which is typically in May and June.

Fun fact: St. Lucia is the only country named after a woman: Christian martyr Saint Lucia of Syracuse.

19. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai skyscrappers

Everything is bigger and better in Dubai, home to one of the world’s largest shopping malls, tallest towers, largest man-made marinas — and the list goes on. 

This Las Vegas-like urban center in the United Arab Emirates has an eclectic mix of activities for visitors to enjoy, including beaches, waterparks, tons of shopping and even an indoor ski resort. Outside the skyscraper-filled city, the vast desert awaits, best enjoyed via quad-biking or sandboarding.

What to Know Before You Go to Dubai

Dubai beach

Where to stay:  Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Hot tip: Though you’re likely to pay a pretty penny for a trip to Dubai no matter when you visit, you can save a little cash by visiting during the scalding-hot summer months and by booking your hotel room two to three months in advance.

Fun fact: Dubai’s man-made Palm Islands were constructed using enough imported sand to fill up 2.5 Empire State Buildings . 

18. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Many travelers describe their visit to Machu Picchu as life-changing. Why? It’s an archaeological wonder, the remains of an ancient Incan city dating back more than 600 years. No wonder this is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most-visited attraction in all of Peru. 

Be sure to visit significant sites like Funerary Rock, where it’s believed Incan nobility were mummified, and Temple of the Condor, a rock temple sculpted to look like the impressive bird in its name.  

What to Know Before You Go to Machu Picchu

Llamas in Machu Picchu

Where to stay: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Hot tip: If you’re planning a trip, be sure to get your ticket in advance, as only 2,500 people can visit Machu Picchu each day. (And a lot of people have this destination on their bucket list.)

Fun fact: The site contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs . 

17. Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbor with boats

With its iconic Opera House and lively Bondi Beach, Sydney is the perfect spot to vacation if you’re looking for a blend of culture, arts, nightlife and relaxation. 

Spend the day on the water at Darling Harbour, then head to the Royal Botanic garden for even more fresh air. Want to travel like a local? Get a ticket to a rugby match and order a Tim Tam, a popular chocolate-covered cookie that pairs well with coffee. 

What to Know Before You Go to Sydney

Sydney Opera House in the evening

Where to stay: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Hot tip: You can make your trip more affordable by visiting during Sydney’s shoulder seasons, which are typically September through November and March through May.

Fun fact: In 2007, Bondi Beach was the site of the largest ever swimsuit photoshoot ; 1,010 bikini-clad women participated, enough to earn it a spot in the Guinness World Records book.

16. Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon from observation point

The Grand Canyon is truly massive (277 river miles long and up to 18 miles wide!), which helps explain why so many people feel the urge to see it in person. 

In 2022, 4.7 million people visited, making the Grand Canyon the second-most popular national park in the country (behind Great Smoky Mountain Nationals Park). Established in 1919, the park offers activities for all ability levels, whether you want to do an intense hike down into the canyon and sleep under the stars (with a backcountry permit, of course) or simply want to saunter along the South Rim Trail, an easy walking path with views that wow.

What to Know Before You Go to the Grand Canyon

Family in the Grand Canyon

Where to stay:  The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon

Hot tip: If you’ve wanted to visit the Grand Canyon for a while now, this is the year to do it. The park is celebrating its 100th birthday with musical performances, lectures, screenings and other special events.

Fun fact: The most remote community in the continental U.S. can be found in the Grand Canyon. At the base of the canyon, Supai Village — part of the Havasupi Indian Reservation — has a population of 208. It’s inaccessible by road, and mail is delivered by pack mule. Want to see it for yourself? The village houses a collection of campsites , accessible via a hiking trail.

15. Bali, Indonesia

Landmark Temple Gates in Bali

In recent years, Bali has become a popular expat destination, where groups of "digital nomads" work and play. 

But the island hasn't lost its original charm to this added tourism and continues to be an incredible destination. Divide your time between swimming in the beach, hiking active volcanoes, visiting temples and enjoying views of tiered rice terraces.

What to Know Before You Go to Bali

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple in Bali

Where to stay: Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach

Hot tip:  Though shoulder season (January to April and October to November) means fewer crowds and cheaper prices, it also means rain. Tons of it. We'd recommend avoiding the rainy season if possible.

Fun fact: On the Saka New Year, Balinese people celebrate Nyepi. This Hindu celebration is a day of silence when everything on the island shuts down and no noise is allowed.

14. New York, New York

New York City Manhattan

As the saying goes, New York City is “the city that never sleeps” — and you won’t want to either when you visit, lest you run out of time to take it all in. 

Be sure to check out newer attractions, like the High Line (an elevated park) and Hudson Yards (a mega-mall along the Hudson River), but also make time for some New York City classics, like catching a Broadway show or standing under the lights of Times Square. 

Foodies will have a hard time choosing where to eat (the city is home to almost 100 Michelin stars !), which is why an extended trip is always a good idea.

What to Know Before You Go to New York City

New York City Broadway

Where to stay: The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel

Hot tip: Yes, January and February get cold here, but this is also the best time to lock in relatively reasonable hotel rates. You can spend your time eating in the city’s restaurants, exploring its fabulous museums and catching its world-class theater shows without needing to spend much time in the chilly outdoors. 

Fun fact: There’s a birth in New York City about every 4.4 minutes — and a death every 9.1 minutes. 

13. Banff National Park, Canada

Banff Lake Louise

Some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery and vistas are located in Banff, the tiny Canadian town located at 4,537 feet above sea level inside the national park by the same name. Banff is the highest town in Canada, and Banff National Park was Canada’s first, established in 1885.

Shred some powder at Banff’s three ski resorts in the winter, then come back in the summer for activities like hiking, biking, fishing and scrambling (scaling steep terrain using nothing but your hands).

What to Know Before You Go to Banff

Kayaking in Banff National Park

Where to stay: Fairmont Banff Springs

Hot tip: June to August and December to March are the best times to visit if you want to take advantage of summer and winter activities. 

Fun fact: Banff National Park has more than 1,000 glaciers.

12. Maldives

Sunset in the Maldives

You can look at picture after picture, but you still really need to visit the Maldives to believe its beauty. If rich sunsets, flour-like beaches and vibrant blue waters are your style, this is the destination for you. 

Though it’s somewhat difficult to get to this small island nation southwest of Sri Lanka, that also means it’s incredibly private and secluded, which makes it the perfect spot for a honeymoon or romantic beach getaway. 

And don’t worry about getting bored, either — explore the water by snorkeling or scuba diving, relax in the spa or wander around the bustling Male’ Fish Market.

What to Know Before You Go to Maldives

Maldives overwater bungalows

Where to stay: Velassaru Maldives

Hot tip: May to October is the island-nation’s rainy season — but that also means it’s the best time to go for fewer crowds and better rates.

Fun fact: In 1153 AD, the nation’s people converted to Islam. Today, the Maldives remains the most heavily Muslim country on earth.

11. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Sagrada Familia

Soccer, architecture, shopping, nightlife, world-class food and wine, arts and culture — is there anything Barcelona doesn’t have? If there is, we honestly can't think what it would be. 

This cosmopolitan Spanish city is home to some awe-inspiring architecture, including several buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi, so be sure to book tours of his whimsical creations like Park Guell and the yet-to-be-finished Church of the Sacred Family (La Sagrada Familia). 

For nightlife and shopping, Las Ramblas is always bustling; for an enriching arts experience, follow the progression of famed artist Pablo Picasso at Museo Picasso.

What to Know Before You Go to Barcelona

Barcelona Park Guell

Where to stay:  Hotel Bagues

Hot tip: It can get really humid here, so it's best to plan your trip in May and June before things really heat up.

Fun fact: In preparation for its 1992 hosting of the Olympics, the city flew in sand from as far away as Egypt to make Barceloneta Beach a place where people would want to go. Though largely man-made, the beach remains a wonderful spot for seaside R&R. 

10. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park in the winter

The crown jewel of beautiful Montana, Glacier National Park is every outdoors traveler's dream.

Of course, the most defining natural feature of the park are its glaciers, which provide spectacular views as well as a number of pristine lakes. There are hundreds of trails that will take you up peaks, down through valleys and across some of the most beautiful landscapes you'll ever see.

What to Know Before You Go to Glacier National Park

Mountain goats at Glacier National Park

Where to stay: Firebrand Hotel

Hot tip:  Plan to spend a day or two in the nearby town of Whitefish. This gateway to Glacier National Park is one of the best small towns in America and a destination in its own right. 

Fun fact: During your visit, you're very likely to run into mountain goats, which are the official symbols of the park.

9. Tokyo, Japan

Akihabara Tokyo

The Japanese capital is one of the most exciting cities on the entire planet. It is notoriously fast-paced, with neon lights illuminating the multitudes that are constantly rushing to their next destination. 

But Tokyo is also a city of temples, of taking time to picnic under the cherry blossoms and of making sure you enjoy the abundance of delicious food that can be found on basically every corner.

What to Know Before You Go to Tokyo

Sensoji temple , Tokyo

Where to stay: The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Hot tip: Visit between the months of March and April or September and November for more comfortable temperatures. Of course, spring is when the city's cherry blossoms are famously in full bloom.

Fun fact: Tokyo happens to be the largest metropolitan area in the world, with more than 40 million people calling the greater metro area home.

8. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket boats

If you’re looking for a vacation destination that feels luxurious but won’t break the bank, start searching for flights to Phuket now. 

This island in southern Thailand, which is just an hour flight from Bangkok, is surrounded by the Andaman Sea, so white sandy beaches abound. If a stunning sunset is what you’re after, head to Promthep Cape, the southernmost point on the island and a popular spot for photo-ops. For views of the island and beyond, climb to the top of the massive alabaster statue called Big Buddha.

You can even learn something during your vacation by visiting the Soi Dog Foundation, an innovative animal shelter that’s fighting the meat trade and taking care of the thousands of stray cats and dogs in the area.

What to Know Before You Go to Phuket

Phuket temple

Where to stay: InterContinental Phuket Resort

Hot tip: Visit between November and April for the best weather — and ideal conditions for beach activities like swimming and boating. 

Fun fact: The island is not pronounced in the rather colorful way it appears to be. The correct way to say it is “poo-ket” or “poo-get.”

7. Rome, Italy

Rome, Colosseum

Though Rome’s historic significance cannot be overstated, don’t assume that this Italian city is stuck in the past. On the contrary, you’ll find posh storefronts and luxurious hotels not far from iconic structures like the Pantheon (built in 120 AD) and the Colosseum (built in 80 AD).

And then, of course, there’s the city’s art. Stroll through Rome, and you’ll stumble upon some of the greatest treasures the world has ever seen — an astonishing collection of frescoes, paintings, ceilings and fountains created by icons like Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael and Bernini.

After all that exploration, take advantage of ample opportunities to eat and drink, including at several Michelin-starred restaurants. City staples include suppli (deep-fried balls of risotto, mozzarella and ragu meat sauce) and cacio e pepe (a deceptively simple mix of al-dente pasta, pecorino romano and fresh black pepper). 

What to Know Before You Go to Rome

Rome Spanish Plaza at dawn

Where to stay: Radisson Blu Ghr Hotel

Hot tip: Tourists congregate here in the summer when temperatures are also sweltering. Go instead between October and April, when there are thinner crowds, better rates and cooler temps. Just make sure to bring a light jacket.

Fun fact: Each year, travelers throw about $1.7 million worth of coins into the Trevi Fountain. The money is donated to Caritas, a Catholic nonprofit that supports charities focused on health, disaster relief, poverty and migration.

6. London, England

Modern bridge London

English writer Samual Johnson once said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” 

From live performances of Shakespeare to truly world-class (and free!) museums like the National Gallery, London will enrich your mind and enliven your senses. Of course, no visit would be complete without a stop at Buckingham Palace to see the famous stone-faced guards outside and the 19 lavish State Rooms inside (though, unfortunately, you can’t see the queen’s private quarters). Another must-see landmark is the Tower of London, the historic castle on the north side of the River Thames.

What to Know Before You Go to London

London in the spring

Where to stay: Vintry & Mercer

Hot tip: Many U.S. cities now offer direct flights to London, so set a price alert and act fast when you see fares drop.

Fun fact: London’s pubs are worth a visit for their names alone; fanciful monikers include The Case is Altered, The Pyrotechnists Arms, John the Unicorn and The Job Centre. 

5. Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti, French Polynesia

Flavorful French cuisine, top-notch resorts, warm waters — need we say more? Though Tahiti can be pricey, travelers say it’s so worth it. 

The largest of the 118 French Polynesian islands, Tahiti is split into two main regions (connected by a land bridge). Tahiti Nui, the larger region, is home to the island’s capital Papeete and surfing hotspot Papenoo Beach, while Tahiti Iti, the smaller region, offers more seclusion and the bright white sands of La Plage de Maui.

What to Know Before You Go to Tahiti

Tahiti bungalows during sunset

Where to stay: Hilton Hotel Tahiti

Hot tip: Visit between May and October, Tahiti’s winter, when there are less humidity and rain. 

Fun fact: Overcrowding is not a concern here; Hawaii gets more visitors in 10 days than all of French Polynesia does in a year.

4. Maui, Hawaii

Rocky beach in Maui

If you’re short on time or you just can’t decide which Hawaiian island to visit, Maui is right in the sweet spot: not too big, not too small, but just right.

There are five regions to explore on Maui, including the popular West Maui and South Maui, home to some of the island’s best-known attractions and beaches (Wailea Beach is in South Maui, for example). But don’t overlook East Maui, where you can travel along the Road to Hana, or the Upcountry, where you can explore the world’s largest dormant volcano, Haleakala. 

What to Know Before You Go to Maui

Maui cave

Where to stay:  Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Hot tip: This is Hawaii we’re talking about, so your trip will be on the pricey side. Be sure to budget for add-ons if you need them (think gym access and WiFi at your hotel), and do some research on insurance before you head to the car-rental counter.

Fun fact: How’s this for a selling point? Maui has more beach than any other Hawaiian island — 60 miles of it, with red, white and black sand.

3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora overwater bungalows

Don’t write off the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora just because of its size. Though it’s a little more than 2 miles wide and just 6 miles long, Bora Bora packs in an abundance of natural beauty. To start, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the island’s turquoise lagoon surrounded by lush jungle.

If you’re looking for more than relaxation on your trip, consider hiking or booking a 4X4 tour of Mount Otemanu, part of an extinct volcano that rises 2,400 feet above the lagoon. You can also snorkel among the coral reef of Coral Gardens, where you might catch a glimpse of reef sharks, eels and stingrays.

Because of its remoteness, flying into Bora Bora Airport will be quite a journey, no matter where you're departing from. But you'll forget everything as soon as you see this Polynesian paradise that is beautiful beyond words.

What to Know Before You Go to Bora Bora

Bora Bora Island

Where to stay: Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Hot tip: Though Bora Bora can be wildly expensive to visit, you can cut costs by visiting between December and March (though you should avoid the Christmas holiday) and by bringing your own alcohol and sunscreen with you.

Fun fact: Bora Bora is one of the countries that no longer exists . The Kingdom of Bora Bora was an independent state until it was forcefully overtaken and annexed by France in 1888.

2. Paris, France

Paris from the Arc de Triumph

Paris has it all — incredible cuisine, legendary landmarks and centuries of history. Those are just some of the reasons it’s the second-best place to visit in the world.

Though you’ll want to spend your time hitting up popular tourist spots like the Eiffel Tower and the Musee d’Orsay, you should also carve out time to explore other parts of Paris — the city’s 20 diverse neighborhoods, called arrondissements, for instance. Standouts include the 2nd arrondissement, which touts covered passages and some of the city’s hippest restaurants, and the romantic 18th arrondissement, with charming squares, cafes and bars, set apart from the city’s more tourist-packed areas.

What to Know Before You Go to Paris

Paris Montmartre at dawn

Where to stay: Grand Hotel Du Palais Royal

Hot tip: Yes, summer in Paris is busy, but the weather is also ideal — average highs are in the 70s.

Fun fact: Built for the 1889 World Fair, the Eiffel Tower was originally meant to be temporary , and was almost torn down in 1909. Luckily, local officials saw its value as a radiotelegraph station, preserving the future tourist icon for generations to come. 

1. South Island, New Zealand

Milford Sound

South Island, the larger but less populated of the two islands that make up New Zealand, earn this top-spot honor for its gorgeous scenery, adrenelin-pumping experiences and affordability.

The 33.5-mile hike on Milford Sound, which is limited to 90 people at a time, is considered one of the world’s best treks, with stops at Lake Te Anau, suspension bridges, a mountain pass and the tallest waterfall in the country, Sutherland Falls.

For a heart-pumping experience, you can jump out of a helicopter while flying over the Harris Mountains with skis on your feet. Still not satisfied? Roam Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage area, and explore the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, two of the most accessible glaciers in the world.

What to Know Before You Go to New Zealand

South Island, New Zealand

Where to stay: QT Queenstown

Hot tip: Book your trip for the fall, when South Island is temperate, not overcrowded and offers great rates. Bonus: This is also when the island is at its most stunning.

Fun fact: New Zealand natives, called Kiwis, are among the most hospitable you’ll ever meet. The local saying “He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata” translates , appropriately, to “What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people.”

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World tourism rankings by country: top 20 countries.

In this piece, we will take a look at world tourism rankings by country. If you want to skip our analysis of the tourism industry and recent trends, head on over to World Tourism Rankings by Country: Top 5 Countries .

Tourism is one of the key determinants of global economic health. And it's an industry that has grown alongside advances in air transportation that have enabled people to travel to far flung destinations while traveling at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per hour.

This industry is also among the few that were left completely devastated in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Estimates from the United Nations' World Tourism Organization (WTO) show that international travel shrunk by an absolutely stunning 72% in 2020 as lockdowns and stay at home orders led to the closure of hospitality establishments and restrictions on the number of people that could be crammed inside an enclosed space such as an airplane. The impact of the pandemic was so severe that even by the end of 2022, the industry had recovered to 65% of previous levels despite more than a year of near normalcy.

Yet, tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world. For instance, according to research from Industry Arc, the global travel and tourism industry is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.1% between 2021 and 2026 to be worth an estimated $8.9 trillion by the end of the forecast period. Another report from Allied Markets Research estimates that the business travel market was worth $696 billion in 2020 and will grow at a CAGR of 13.2% to sit at $2 trillion by 2028.

At the same time, business and leisure travel are not the only constituents industries of tourism. Two additional markets are adventure tourism and luxury travel. Estimates suggest that the former was worth $282 billion in 2021 and after growing at a CAGR of 15.1% is estimated to be worth $1 trillion in 2030. As far as luxury tourism is concerned, it was quite lucrative, being worth $1.28 trillion in 2022, and should have a CAGR of 7.6% to be worth $2.32 trillion in 2030.

Building on this, the next logical question to ask is which countries are the most popular for tourists and which are the most visited overall as well as in continents such as Europe and Asia. Well, on this front, data from the World Tourism Organization once again answer all our questions. Its World Tourism Barometer report for December 2020 (the latest version that is publicly available) shows that France was the most visited tourist destination in the world and in Europe in 2019. Broadening our approach to see which are the top ten most visited tourist countries in the world, we find out that after France, the list is dominated by Spain, the U.S., China, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Astute readers will note that this also makes China as the most visited tourist destination in Asia. In terms of numbers, 83.5 million people visited Spain in 2019 - the second most popular tourist destination in Europe while China attracted 65.7 million people.

At this point, you might be wondering which is the most popular and most visited city in the world. Well, and perhaps unsurprisingly, just as France is the world's and Europe's most popular tourist destination, the most visited city in the world is its capital, Paris. This bit of information comes courtesy of Euromonitor International, which adds that in addition to Paris, some other popular cities for tourists are Dubai, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, and London. Crucially, Euromonitor's stats are for 2022, while the WTO's data shared above is from 2019, and these facts when taken together indicate that trends in the tourism industry tend to stay similar over the years - a crucial conclusion as you'll find out below.

China's role as the most popular tourist destination in Asia and a leading global economy merits a deeper look at what's in store for the country's tourist fortunes. China kick started 2023 by removing nearly all restrictions on travel and tourism, and after initially faltering, the pent up tourism demand roared back to life. Data compiled by McKinsey shows that visits to one of its most popular cities Shanghai nearly doubled to ten million visitors from the pre coronavirus 2019 peak. At the same time, China also has some of the biggest outbound tourism travelers in the world, and McKinsey estimates that pend up demand from these visitors as well carries with it a strong chance of injecting fresh vigor into the global tourism industry.

Finally, it's relevant to conclude our analysis of the global tourism industry by taking a look at what's happening on the ground. On this front, the management of Expedia Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE ) outlined during its first quarter of 2023 earnings call conference :

And I’m pleased to have started the year with strong performance. We posted our highest ever quarter for lodging gross bookings and free cash flow and our best first quarter for revenue. Throughout the quarter, we saw strong consumer demand with acceleration in international and big city travel and more of Asia reopening. The reemergence of major international cities has meant increased hotel demand, offset in part by flattening demand in vacation rentals as travel demand mix to urban destinations over extended beach and mountain trips. Similarly, air has continued to mix towards international travel and away from COVID era concentration in domestic. By and large, prices have held up quite well after several years of inflation. We’ve seen lodging ADRs hold fairly steady across geos. Air ticket prices, however, continued to increase as strong demand continues to outstrip capacity. The only area where we have seen any meaningful decline in average daily rate is in the car rental space where larger inventories have allowed rental companies to drive more volume at the expense of price. Overall, we are pleased to see broad travel demand remain strong in what appears to be a more structural post pandemic environment of people prioritizing travel above most other categories of spend. This has held up despite inflation and recession worries and even, more recently, bank system concerns. While economists continue to debate potential recession outcomes and clearly many unknowns are still out there, consumers have so far shaken it off and continue to travel.

With these details in mind, let's take a look at the world tourism rankings according to countries.

Pixabay/Public domain

Our Methodology

To compile our global tourism ranking by country, we used data from the 2020 version of the United Nations' World Tourism Barometer report. While it lists out international tourism receipts for 2019, this is actually helpful since 2019 was the last economically stable year for the global tourism industry which is still recovering. For our world tourism rankings, we have used international tourism receipts which is the amount spent by international visitors in a country. On a side note, both countries and special territories are included, since the spending is quite substantial.

World Tourism Rankings by Country

20. portuguese republic.

International Tourism Receipts: $20.6 billion

The Portuguese Republic is a Southwestern European country. It has a $257 billion economy and is famous for its Gothic architecture and diverse cuisine.

19. Republic of Korea

International Tourism Receipts: $21.6 billion 

The Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea is a technologically developed Asian country. South Korea is quite popular with visitors from China - with thousands flocking to the country each year.

18. United Arab Emirates

International Tourism Receipts: $21.8 billion 

The United Arab Emirates is not a surprising industry in our list of world tourism rankings. After all, its economic hub Dubai is one of the most highly visited cities in Asia.

17. Republic of Austria

International Tourism Receipts: $22.9 billion 

The Republic of Austria is a Central European landlocked country. Some of its most popular tourist destinations include its capital Vienna, known for the Schönbrunn Palace.

16. United Mexican States

International Tourism Receipts: $24.6 billion 

The United Mexican States, or Mexico, is a North American country. It is well known for historical tourism, being the birthplace of the Mayan civilization as well as beautiful beaches.

International Tourism Receipts: $28.0 billion 

Canada is a prosperous North American nation. Canada is best known for its Niagra Falls, which has been a popular tourist destination for more than a hundred years.

14. Hong Kong SAR

International Tourism Receipts: $29.0 billion 

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China. It is known for its vibrant nightlife, historic temples, and of course, Disneyland.

13. Republic of Türkiye

International Tourism Receipts: $29.8 billion

The Republic of Türkiye is an Asian and European nation. Its Istanbul International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world.

12. Republic of India

International Tourism Receipts: $30.7 billion

The Republic of India is one of the biggest countries in the world and is full of iconic tourist destinations such as the Taj Mahal, the Ganges River, and more.

11. People's Republic of China

International Tourism Receipts: $35.8 billion

The People's Republic of China is the most populous nation in the world. It has a centuries old culture lending it iconic destinations such as the Great Wall of China.

10. Macao SAR

International Tourism Receipts: $40.1 billion

Macao is another special territory of China. It is best known for its vibrant casino and gaming industry.

9. Federal Republic of Germany

International Tourism Receipts: $41.6 billion

The Federal Republic of Germany is Europe's largest economy It is known for its beer festivals and winter markets, that is quite a spectacle.

8. Commonwealth of Australia

International Tourism Receipts: $45.7 billion

The Commonwealth of Australia is a prosperous Oceanic country. It is known for having the world's largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef.

International Tourism Receipts: $46.1 billion

Like China, Japan is also a historic country full of ancient temples and a historic culture.

6. Italian Republic

International Tourism Receipts: $49.6 billion

Another unsurprising entry on our list is Italy. Known for its Roman culture and art galleries, it is one of the best destinations for cultural tourism.

Click to continue reading and see World Tourism Rankings by Country: Top 5 Countries .

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Disclosure: None.  World Tourism Rankings by Country is originally published on Insider Monkey.

These Countries Are the Best for Tourism

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top 10 tourist countries

#15 in Best Countries Overall

Italy is a south-central European country, whose boot-shaped borders extend into the Mediterranean Sea. The country’s historical cities, world-renowned cuisine and geographic beauty make it a popular destination for more than 40 million tourists each year. The nation is home to Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest and most active volcano, and houses two countries within its borders – the Vatican and San Marino.



top 10 tourist countries

#17 in Best Countries Overall

A number of independent kingdoms united in 1492 to form the Kingdom of Spain, a cultural patchwork that continues to shape the modern nation’s dynamic identity. Spain comprises much of the Iberian Peninsula, which it shares with Portugal on the southwestern edge of Europe. It also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and two enclaves in North Africa.

top 10 tourist countries

#12 in Best Countries Overall

It is difficult to overstate the influence  France has on the world, both in the past and today. Located in Western Europe, France is one of the world’s oldest countries, and its reach extends around the globe through science, politics, economics and perhaps above all, culture. Starting in the Middle Ages, France evolved through kingdom, empire and finally, into a republic. It was one of the first nations to champion the rights of the individual.

top 10 tourist countries

#27 in Best Countries Overall

Located in southeastern Europe, Greece as an independent nation is young, existing since the 19th century. Its civilization, however, is one of history’s oldest and most influential, credited with creating the concept of democracy as well as the ancient Olympic Games, and laying Western foundations in science, the arts and philosophy.

top 10 tourist countries

#4 in Best Countries Overall

The Commonwealth of Australia occupies the Australian continent. The country also includes some islands, most notably Tasmania. Indigenous people occupied the land for at least 40,000 years before the first British settlements of the 18th century.

top 10 tourist countries


#1 in Best Countries Overall

Switzerland, officially called the Swiss Confederation, is a small country in Central Europe made up of 16,000 square miles of glacier-carved Alps, lakes and valleys. It is one of the world’s wealthiest countries, and has been well-known for centuries for its neutrality.

top 10 tourist countries

New Zealand

#8 in Best Countries Overall

British and Polynesian influences course through picturesque New Zealand, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean southeast of Australia . Early Maori settlers ceded sovereignty to British invaders with the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, and European settlers flooded in. Today, 70 percent of Kiwis, a common term for the people of New Zealand after a native flightless bird, are of European descent. A sense of pride has surged among the Maori, the country’s first settlers who now account for about 14 percent, as homeland grievances become more openly addressed.

top 10 tourist countries

#29 in Best Countries Overall

Thailand, which translates to “land of the free,” is the only Southeast Asian nation that did not encounter European colonization. Located just above the equator, the nation is wedged into the Indochina peninsula with neighbors Myanmar , Laos and Cambodia and has an arm that extends out to Malaysia .

top 10 tourist countries

#34 in Best Countries Overall

Egypt, with vast swaths of desert in its east and west and the rich Nile River Valley at its heart, is site to one of the world’s earliest and greatest civilizations. Its location at the northeast corner of Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea has made it a cultural and trading center. But its location has also made it a prize to claim by empires and put it at the center of social and religious movements.

top 10 tourist countries

#6 in Best Countries Overall

Japan, one of the world’s most literate and technically advanced nations, is an East Asian country made up of four main islands. While most of Japan is covered by mountains and heavily wooded areas, the country’s roughly 126 million people lead a distinctly urban lifestyle. Long culturally influenced by its neighbors, today the country blends  its ancient traditions with aspects of Western life.

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The Best Destinations in the World: The Gold List 2022

By CNT Editors

Goa India

There are three great lists annually in  Condé Nast Traveler,  all of which have changed due to the events of the last two years: the Readers’ Choice Awards , which you, our beloved audience, select; the Hot List , which compiles the new and notable of the previous year; and this one, which is ultimately about the places and experiences our editors carry in their hearts. This year, when we say  our editors,  we mean  CNT ’s entire global crew, working in locations from California to Beijing ; we’ve also expanded the parameters of the list to include not just the hotels and cruises you’ve seen in years past, but also the destinations we treasure. The Gold List is, more than ever, made by humans for other humans—something we need more than ever in this day and age. Here, our favorite destinations in the world.

Read the complete set of Gold List winners   here .

All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Cholula Puebla Mexico

Puebla, Mexico

I love when I can feel familiar with a new place in 48 hours. In Puebla , Mexico’s historic, fourth-largest city, all the spots you want to hit are walking distance within its center, itself a tidy sprawl of bright pink and yellow villas and small plazas. That includes food markets for a crispy cemita (a schnitzel-­style sandwich with all the fixings); the gilded Capilla del Rosario and the city’s famed talavera, or ceramic houses; I stayed for close to an hour watching the row of artisans hand-paint and hand-fire their mugs, plates, and vases at Uriarte Talavera. Before the pandemic, tourism was just starting to happen here, and the city was in that sweet spot of supporting a new breed of traveler, like with the artisanal-inspired Cartesiano hotel, but without muting any of its essence for international business. I liked that I had to use my shoddy Spanish with barkeeps and store owners. And that sitting in those plazas meant a front-row seat to daily Poblano life: vendors selling sliced cucumber spices with cayenne, old-timers playing dominos. Puebla felt like a special somewhere on the verge of discovery in a country with pockets already turned over to the masses. My guess with all that’s happened this past year is that it still does. —Erin Florio

Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Rio de Janeiro

If you were to hook the city of Rio de Janeiro up to a cardiogram, the needle would swing off the page. The city thrums with live samba and bossa nova at all hours of the day; the bustling streets, bookended by the dramatic rise of granite monoliths on one end and the pounding waves of the Atlantic on the other, have a pulse all their own. It's easy to feel this when you're amid throngs of colorfully clad cariocas —I feel it most swaying to the live music at Pedra do Sal on Monday nights, or when, perched in the leafy hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa, I hear people in neighborhoods below lean out their windows to cheer when Flamengo scores a goal. It's a complicated city, with plenty of issues—insecurity, corruption, inequity, to name just a few—but there's a premium on joy and celebration that isn't reserved for Carnaval . There are few places in the world where you know you couldn't possibly be anywhere else, and whenever I hear the whole of Arpoador beach break into applause as the sun sets in summer, I'm reminded that Rio is one of them. —Megan Spurrell

Alentejo Vicente Coast

Alentejo, Portugal

I call the road to the sea through Portugal’s Alentejo region the place where the beatniks read Pessoa; you can imagine Kerouac breezing through its small hotels, surf camps, and villages scattered with craft shops, markets, and bohemian bars. For me it’s a place of happiness. There are boutique hotels like São Lourenço do Barrocal and Dá Licença and olive groves, cork oaks, and infinite horizons. The road ends at Vicentine Coast National Park, a wild, protected coastline in southern Europe. A paradise for surfers , it has electrifying sunsets, but the icy waters stop it from ever getting too crowded. —David Moralejo

Svalbard Norway

Svalbard, Norway

Arctic Svalbard —whose capital, Longyearbyen, is the world’s northernmost town—is like nowhere else I’ve been. On the one hand, it’s a deep-nature Scandi fantasy of snowmobiles, Northern Lights, ski-touring along glacial valleys, and surprisingly smart boutiques with stacked wine cellars. But there’s also a compelling strangeness to this international settlement, where no one is born and no one dies. There are the Soviet mining towns with their Lenin busts, whether abandoned or (even weirder) still working; the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which preempts a coming apocalypse; it’s advisable to leave Longyearbyen with a shotgun, in case of polar-bear attack. As much as a destination, it’s a journey into the heart of the climate crisis, with academics from across the world doing game-changing research here. I’m itching to go again—to escape but also to think and connect, which is what happens in all the best places. —Toby Skinner

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Goa India

My first trip to Goa as a college student was wrapped in dreams of homemade chorizo and reliving moments from the cult Bollywood coming-of-age film Dil Chahta Hai . Many trips and feni cocktails later, Goa remained a respite for my city-weary bones. The state straddles its multicultural past and present, trading up ’60s hippie markets for hipster boutiques while keeping its old-world Indian and Portuguese traditions intact. Simple fish-curry plates, aunties doing an impromptu jig to fado, old-timers squabbling over their favorite Goan soccer club, and the right freshness of bread coexist with edgy global menus, alt-music gigs, and all that is artisanal and arty. The ocean changes color from one season to the next, the multi-color sunsets never repeat, and like many travelers, I continue to return and find my salve in sunshine, sea, and susegad —the quintessential Goan idea of the slow, easy, and good life. —Diya Kohl

Plettenberg Bay South Africa

Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Plettenberg Bay is South Africa's summer playground, and I, a Capetonian, would drive the 186-mile coastal path along the scenic Garden Route each year to join the fun. The bohemian seaside town sits atop a sheltered bay, where a jumble of hipster coffee shops, seafood restaurants, and kitsch boutiques tumble down onto fynbos-covered cliffs—where a slew of new hotels like The Robberg Beach Lodge sit beside grandes dames like The Plettenberg Hotel . Pretty young things like to celebrate the end of matric student exams, where hedonism sweeps across the bay, while dolphin and whale watches come during the languid, warm winter months. Venture just outside Plett to find the luxury Tsala Treetop Lodge , a manicured Gary Player golf course, indigenous Keurbooms River Nature Reserve, the Plett Polo Club on the Kurland Estate, and a host of animal sanctuaries to meet cheetahs, elephants, and monkeys. But above all, come for the glorious golden beaches. Central Beach—dotted with bars—surfy Lookout Beach, and the eerie, mist-covered sands of Robberg Nature Reserve. Search hard enough and you might stumble on a sand dollar—the symbol of Plettenberg Bay, thought to bring eternal luck. —Isabella Sullivan

Scottsdale Arizona

When I can’t take another minute of winter, I head to Scottsdale. As, historically, do the day-drinking spring breakers and the far less rowdy snowbirds. Recently, though, the Valley of the Sun has come into its own, claiming its stunning desert setting and Southwest culture in new ways. If I’m bringing the kids, the 1929 Frank Lloyd Wright–designed grande dame The Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort (on the border of Scottsdale and Phoenix), is my place. It has sprawling grounds and seven pools, one with a legitimate waterslide, and just underwent a much-needed facelift. Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort , terraced into the side of its namesake adobe-hued mountain, has my favorite spa in town. Its adults-only pool on weekends and easy access to sunrise hiking give me plenty of excuses to leave the kids at home. Solo or with family, I can always bank on sunshine, a great exhibit at Phoenix’s nearby Desert Botanical Garden, and excellent Sonoran-style Mexican food. —Rebecca Misner

Tuscany Val Graziosa

Val Graziosa, Italy

I am a frequent traveler to Val Graziosa, a valley near the Pisan mountains and a part of Tuscany relatively unknown and terribly beautiful. Here there is Monte Pisano—“ che i Pisan veder Lucca non ponno, ” the poet Dante said, a small group of mountains that hides Lucca from Pisa and makes it impossible for the Pisan locals to see the city of Lucca. There are olive trees everywhere, producing the best olive oil on Earth in a splendid countryside. I love to walk around the surroundings of Montemagno—please read the book Maledetti Toscani, by Curzio Malaparte, and you will understand a lot about Italians from this region. I love to go to the grocery store in Patrizia for a glass of wine (the one and only épicerie of the village) and then to Certosa di Calci, a 14th-century monastery, and one of the many secret beauties in my crazy country of Italy. —Maddalena Fosati

Chiang Mai Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand

When I first went to Chiang Mai, I intended to stay a couple of nights and ended up staying more than a week; for me, that trip is a reminder of travel at its most impulsive and impetuous: the freedom to move on when you feel like it. There’s no beach pressure here, and inland Thailand always feels more interesting than the obvious hits of the beachfront. And, away from the beaches, there's the sense of a modern Thai city where young creatives are carving out a contemporary aesthetic, with the energy that a large student population gives a city. —Rick Jordan

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The best countries in the world: 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards

By Nicholas DeRenzo

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The survey for the 2024 Readers' Choice Awards is open, vote now for your favourite places, hotels, airports, cruise lines, travel fixers and more.

For years, we’ve asked our readers to tell us their favourite countries in the world via our annual Readers’ Choice Awards . The list continues to capture the travel experiences our readers love best, from the best hotels in the world to the top airlines, cruises, islands, and luggage. This year, you travelled farther and deeper; seeking out remote properties; sailing on smaller, more intimate ships; and prioritising destinations you’ve been waiting years to visit. At least that’s what a staggering 526,518 of you told us in our annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey. Now, you can use the results to decide where you’re going next. Here are the best countries in the world, as voted by Traveller readers.

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All eyes will be on Paris this year, as the city prepares to host the Summer Olympics. Following the reconstruction of Notre-Dame and this year's much-publicised battle with bedbugs, the City of Light is embracing the spirit of reinvention. That means playful design hotel openings, Dominique Crenn’s first restaurant in her home country, renewed efforts to clean up the Seine (with the goal of making it swimmable, no less), and a slew of French Asian artisans and chefs shaking up the cultural scene. Well beyond the confines of the capital, there are new adventures to discover, from the low-key surf scene in Hossegor to a buzzy African-inspired restaurant in Nîmes to a wave of modernist-tinged openings in the perma-chic French Riviera. And much, much farther afield, the overseas territory of French Polynesia made our list of the 24 best places to go in 2024 . The 118-island archipelago, which is reinvesting in its native flora and restoring coral, will play host to the Olympic surfing competitions this year.

Sri Lanka

18. Sri Lanka

This South Asian nation packs a wallop into a single teardrop-shaped island only slightly larger than the state of West Virginia: Think high-elevation tea plantations that are eye-vibratingly green, national parks where sloth bears and endangered elephants roam, and friendly surf towns that, if you squint, might remind you of Costa Rica or Nicaragua some decades years ago. (May we suggest Ahangama, with its indie-music venues, locavore cafés, and eco-boutiques?) And then there’s the capital city of Colombo, where you can shop for local spices, fly kites along the waterfront, or even charter a yacht. As Sri Lanka has worked in recent years to secure its spot as a global tourism contender, it has faced quite a few challenges, from the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings to the pandemic. Now, it’s looking to regain the trust of visitors with its trademark hospitality and warm nature – not to mention an ever-expanding roster of new hotels and resorts.

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17. Austria

Vienna has long been a favourite stop on European grand tours, but despite the city’s Hapsburg-era pomp and splendour, it’s far from a dusty museum piece. Leaders recently announced plans to be carbon neutral by 2040, led by a hyperlocal culinary scene that has welcomed such innovations as a city snail farm and an urban collective that uses grounds from the city’s famed coffee house scene to grow mushrooms. Outside the capital, visitors still flock to alpine ski villages and jewel-box-like Salzburg, but other destinations are bubbling to the surface. Making our Hot List recently is The Cōmodo , an artfully repurposed 1960s health resort on the edge of the country’s largest national park in the mountain village of Bad Gastein. And, this year, the country celebrated its third European Capital of Culture – following Graz in 2003 and Linz in 2009 – the spa town of Bad Ischl, where the healing salt waters have been attracting royalty and other elites since the early 1800s.

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16. South Africa

South Africa has always been a favourite first stop on the continent for international travellers, and it’s becoming increasingly accessible thanks to new direct routes. But even if you’ve visited before, you might not recognise the place: joining the illustrious ranks of the country’s famed safari resorts and wineries are a slew of new openings, including a revitalised weekend market in Johannesburg and buzzy beach clubs in the heart of Cape Town. Beyond the wildlife watching that has made South Africa a favourite destination for generations of safari-goers, new adventures await around every corner: Take lessons with the country’s first Black African free-diving instructor, the mermaid-esque Zandile Ndhlovu ; retrace Viola Davis’s footsteps in the filming locations from The Woman King (South Africa stood in for the former West African Kingdom of Dahomey); or collaborate on your own bespoke African-print bomber jacket with local Joburg fashion designer Sebo Marobela.

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15. United Kingdom

Thanks to Brexit and a new monarch, it’s safe to say that the United Kingdom hasn’t seen such an intense period of transition since perhaps the Margaret Thatcher era. But despite the changes, most of the things we all know and love about the country are still intact, such as London’s dazzlingly diverse restaurant scene and its wide array of free museums (the National Portrait Gallery reopened its doors last summer after a three-year renovation). History is always being reimagined and remixed in these parts: take, for instance, the landmark Old War Office, which has been transformed into Raffles London at The OWO , or the renovated 1511 Thornbury Castle, where you can now make like a Tudor-era noble and book an overnight stay. Up in the north of England, Yorkshire made it onto our list of the best places to go in 2024, thanks to its emerging culinary scene, and adventures await beyond the borders of England as well – foraging for mushrooms in Wales , tapping into maritime history in Northern Ireland, or hopping between swimmable tidal pools on the coast of Scotland.

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14. Germany

With its fairytale castles , charming small towns , and festive Christmas markets , Germany has always loomed large as a tourist magnet, whether you’re exploring it by train, river cruise, or road trip. While the country may seem tradition-bound, it’s also not afraid of trying something new, which might mean immersive art shows taking over unexpected spaces in Berlin or a $120 million, high-tech medi-spa opening in the pastoral North Frisian Islands. There are new contemporary-art-filled places to stay, buzzy neighbourhoods (like Munich’s meatpacking district, Schlachthofviertel), and even an expanding fleet of ultra-eco-friendly, hydrogen-powered passenger trains that emit only steam and condensed water. Of course, the classics are just as beautiful as they’ve always been: when, for instance, you enjoy the healing thermal springs of Baden-Baden , you’re taking part in a millennia-old tourist tradition that dates back to the pre-Roman Celts.

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13. Croatia

The secret’s out: this Balkan country may have been off-the-beaten path a decade or so ago, but it’s rapidly gaining in popularity, thanks to increased direct flights, an influx of cruises, and especially the popularity of Game of Thrones . Croatia is feeling the growing pains of its success, with spots like Dubrovnik and Split becoming every bit as overtouristed as Venice or Amsterdam, but there are plenty of areas around the country that reward exploration: dining at family-farm restaurants and sampling local olive oil in Istria , zipping around by speedboat off the coastline of Trogir, road-tripping through vineyards and oyster farms on the Dalmatian Coast, or sailing among the restful Kornati Islands, which are dotted with oak forests, centuries-old churches, and fortified villages. The result? What local Dalmatians call fjaka – that sweet feeling of doing absolutely nothing.

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12. Iceland

Long celebrated as a rugged adventure outpost, Iceland is the kind of edge-of-the-world place where your trip just might be interrupted or postponed by a volcanic eruption or mini-earthquakes – but is worth the wait. These days, urban life is just as alive and exciting as the geothermal activity bubbling underground: Think pilgrimage-worthy restaurants (like Ox, a speakeasy-style tasting-menu spot), see-and-be-seen design hotels (The Reykjavík Edition), and a robust roster of new natural wine bars, cocktail lounges, and innovative food halls.

As the Golden Circle becomes increasingly crowded with international visitors taking advantage of IcelandAir’s “stopover” program, the country is gently nudging travellers off the beaten path. The relatively new Diamond Circle, for instance, weaves a 155-mile loop through northeastern Iceland, stopping at waterfalls, mud pits, lava caves, and hot springs . And in 2023, the fan-favourite Blue Lagoon – which boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant of its own, Moss – expanded its footprint with the new Highland Base Kerlingarfjöll, a cosy retreat in a part of the country’s rugged interior that’s so remote even many Icelanders haven’t stepped foot there.


11. Australia

We’ll never stop loving Sydney and Melbourne and the Great Barrier Reef, but the overarching theme for Aussie tourism in the past few years has been a resounding: “But there’s so much more out there!” There’s almost a passing of the baton going on among the country’s creative-minded cities: way out west, Perth enjoyed its status as the country’s fast-growing boomtown, followed by Hobart, Tasmania, which welcomed a game-changing art museum and design hotel. Ready for its big close-up is Queensland’s oft-ignored capital city of Brisbane, which is newly accessible thanks to direct routes from the United States and will see such skyline-transforming additions as the Queen’s Wharf entertainment precinct (with a six-star Rosewood) and a $100-million performing arts venue. And when the first World’s 50 Best Hotels list was released back in September, Brisbane’s modernist-tinged The Calile ranked the highest in the region. On the exact opposite side of the country, Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region made our list of the world’s best places to go in 2024, thanks to increased cruise itineraries to the area and the newly launched Aboriginal Cultural Expedition.

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Istanbul has always sat at the crossroads of the world, where the thin ribbon of the Bosphorus divides Asia from Europe, and East from West. It's taken its position to new heights with a game-changing international airport that opened in 2019 and gained fandom among our readers for its modern design and impressive duty-free shopping zone. Returning visitors will find all the things they love about Istanbul still intact, from its minaret-filled skyline to its thrilling food scene, but there are plenty of fresh offerings, including a burgeoning contemporary gallery scene in artsy Karaköy . Farther afield, the Turquoise Coast attracts jet setters with its traditional hammams and party-centric resorts alike, while the surrounding Aegean region has seen an explosion of modern wineries amid its ancient ruins. And speaking of antiquity, there’s a brand new (yet very old) reason to head out east into Anatolia: In 2021, UNESCO inscribed the 8,000-year-old Arslantepe Mound on its list of World Heritage Sites.

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9. Switzerland

With its cow-studded green valleys, snow-capped peaks, and glitzy ski resorts, Switzerland is the kind of place that most people think they know. But this country in the heart of Europe is worth another look. Take, for instance, its notoriously expensive largest city, Zürich , which never seems to get enough credit for its progressive outlook, oft-overlooked art and music scenes, and a skyline shaped by staggeringly diverse architectural voices, including Le Corbusier, Santiago Calatrava, and Shigeru Ban. Its Alpine ski towns, with big names like Verbier, Davos, and Zermatt , meanwhile, are expanding their offerings beyond the snow season: The Engadin Valley, home to St. Moritz, has become a warm-weather hot spot, with hundreds of miles of hiking trails, electric mountain bikes for rent, and all manner of adventure sports, including paragliding, kitesurfing, and even class-4 whitewater-rapids rafting through Giarsun Gorge. But, of course, the classics still sing. After tackling the country’s rugged terrain, you’ve earned a stay in the new Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern, a stunningly remade Belle Epoque grande-dame hotel originally opened in 1906.

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Oslo has spent the past several years getting out of the shadow of its grander Scandinavian peers, like Stockholm and Copenhagen, with attention-grabbing openings like the Sommerro Hotel and the new National Museum and buzzy districts like harbour-side Bjørvika, home to the new Munch Museum. But the capital city is a mere gateway for exploring the country and its fjord-filled coastline – recently recalculated as the second-longest in the world after Canada. This year, a must-visit stop is Bodø, the first European Capital of Culture north of the Arctic Circle, which will see a lineup of cultural events celebrating Sámi culture and the opening of a new hotel made almost entirely out of wood. For the best way to get around these parts, you can’t beat Hurtigruten, a historic coastal ferry company that also doubles as a pleasure cruise line, a cargo vessel, a mail ship, and an expedition outfitter. The beloved institution celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2023 by partnering with renowned Norwegian chefs like Halvar Ellingsen for boundary-pushing onboard menus (think reindeer tartar and elk bone marrow) and introducing new itineraries to Svalbard and the North Cape.

Ferragudo. Lagoa Municipality. Faro district. Algarve. Portugal

7. Portugal

This Iberian Peninsula country has spent the past decade transforming from a budget-minded underdog destination to a major player that can rival the likes of Spain and Italy. From the start, even as it suffered under a forty-year authoritarian regime and a flailing economy, Portugal was brimming with delights that bordered on sensory overload: the intricate blue-and-white patterns of azulejo tiles, the intoxicating aroma of oven-fresh pastéis de nata, the mournful chords of live fado music, the bracing chill of a crisp vinho verde or the nectary sweetness of a port. With its jaunty yellow trams and hilltop São Jorge Castle, Lisbon is an easy-to-adore starting point for first-timers, but an increasing number of direct flights to Porto are inviting travellers to explore the second city’s contemporary cultural scene and must-try restaurants. And then? Portugal rewards repeat visitors with a choose-your-own-adventure that might include the terraced hillsides of the Douro Valley, the underrated wineries and burgeoning beach towns of the Alentejo region, the surfer havens of the Algarve , and the absurdly scenic hamlets scattered throughout. Now, thanks to new direct flights from the US, even the Hawaii-like volcanic landscapes of the Azores are right at your fingertips.

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When the World’s 50 Best Bars list was announced earlier this year, the top spot went to an innovative Barcelona cocktail lounge called Sips, and it shared the top five with fellow Barcelona speakeasy Paradiso, which is hidden inside a pastrami shop in the trendy El Born district. If you’ve spent any time in the country, especially after nightfall, you probably already know this obvious fact: the Spanish know how to party, and they love to do it in style, from the sherry and flamenco bars of Andalusia to the beach clubs of bohemian Formentera to the tapas bars of Barcelona . In an ironic twist, some of the country’s most notoriously party-hardy spots are moving in the opposite direction, shedding their reputations for debauchery to become serious cultural hubs. A new generation of creatives in Mallorca, for instance, are getting back to the land, with homey design hotels and natural wineries, while a host of boutique hotels and Michelin-star restaurants in Marbella is enticing visitors to explore beyond the (admittedly gorgeous) beachfront and into the previously underrated Old Town.

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5. New Zealand

Ever since Peter Jackson cast his home country as Middle-earth in the Lord of the Rings film franchise, visitors have viewed this island nation as a place of almost mythical beauty, from the crystalline mountains lakes and sweeping fjords to misty rainforests and geothermal valleys. Culturally diverse Auckland remains the most popular point of entry for international travelers, but new lodges and trails are making it easier than ever before to venture far out into the country’s vast wilderness. Among the most dazzling openings in recent years is Flockhill Lodge, a 36,000-acre high-country sheep station in the Southern Alps that now doubles as an ultra-luxe retreat, while other properties are finding clever ways to honour the land (such as regenerative farming) and especially the country’s Māori heritage. And for something wildly unique, consider a flight on the world’s first winery airline, Invivo Air, which flies between Auckland and Queenstown and includes an eight-step wine tasting at 18,000 feet.

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For American travellers, Ireland has always felt a bit like an old cardigan: cosy, easy, and comfortable – the kind of place you can take multiple generations of family members to trace your genealogical roots or to scope out centuries-old castles and fireplace-warmed pubs. But there’s also a decidedly youthful wind whipping across the Emerald Isle. The capital city is emerging as one of Europe’s most forward-thinking tech hubs, nicknamed Silicon Docks for the prevalence of tech giants and startups headquartered along the Grand Canal Dock. This infusion of big thinkers (with big wallets) has blown the dust off the island’s traditionalist culture. Now, in addition to crossing Trinity College’s Long Room off your bucket list, you might also find yourself foraging for nettles and pears with Takingaleaf founder Miceal Murray or sipping whiskey at Teeling, the first new distillery to open within the city in more than 125 years. Beyond the capital, Ireland is dotted with remote hotels and Airbnbs that allow you to spend the night everywhere from an island lighthouse in County May to a Scandi-chic cabin in County Monaghan. And if you’re in the mood for something farther afield, it doesn’t get much more rugged than the Aran Islands, the filming location and inspiration for The Banshees of Inisherin .

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Greece is attracting record-breaking tourist numbers, and the crystal Aegean waters are beckoning us back to some of your favourite islands in the world : postcard-perfect Santorini , mythology-steeped Mykonos , and massive Crete , with its reemerging viticultural scene. That roster of dreamy islands is ever-expanding, with more and more visitors venturing out to under-the-radar Paros , car-free Hydra , blissfully secluded Zakynthos, beach-filled Ios, and wild, windswept Tinos . And be sure not to ignore Athens. As it rebuilt itself after a paralysing debt crisis, the ancient city leaned into a scrappy, creative energy that has yielded forward-thinking restaurants, avant-garde galleries, and hip hotels that rank Athens among Europe’s unexpectedly coolest capitals. And for those really looking for an adventure – albeit a slow one – consider a journey into Zagorohoria, a collection of 46 traditional stone villages scattered around the Pindus Mountains in Greece’s rugged northwest. Here, you’re likelier to encounter truffle hunters, bubbling hot springs, and monasteries with Orthodox frescoes than sun-seeking partiers.

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As Stanley Tucci ’s popular CNN travelogue proved, there aren’t enough days in the year to uncover all the dolce vita that Italy has to offer. Beyond the hotspots in Florence , Venice , Milan , and Rome , the country is blessed with seemingly infinite villages and underrated cities to explore and fall in love with. Palermo ’s stunningly restored Villa Igiea , for instance, brought the glitterati back to Sicily, which is still riding high off its role in HBO’s The White Lotus , while Bergamo and Brescia – two former rivals who were epicentres of the early pandemic – put aside their differences to jointly hold the title of 2023 Italian Capital of Culture. Of course, one of Italy’s enduring legacies is its world-renowned cuisine, which the government has officially nominated for inclusion on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. And you don’t have to look far to see what all the fuss is about: Italy is a food lover’s paradise, where you can immerse yourself in the millennia-old Jewish cuisine of Rome, take part in a transformative cooking class in Tuscany, or try something completely new-to-you (like torta al testo ) in landlocked Umbria.

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Japan was dealt a bad hand, when its turn at the Summer Olympics fell during an international pandemic. And though they were much-delayed, the Games reminded viewers worldwide what they loved – and missed – about the island nation: the traditions, the design culture, the futuristic innovation. Now that the country has reopened for visa-free tourism, you’ll still find the incredible restaurants, the ultra-relaxing onsens, the Shinto temples, the cherry blossoms, and the impeccably clean and efficient high-speed trains, which run along some of the most scenic rail routes in the world. But there’s always something new popping up in this whizz-bang nation of the future. A buzzy gin scene? Sure. A hilltop castle from 1599 where you can book overnight stays? Check. Oh yeah, new galleries and exhibits on Naoshima Island, ultra-stylish glamping resorts, and a growing roster of sushi bars helmed by female chefs are still a major rarity in this tradition-bound country. And now there are fantastic excuses to venture far out to the country’s extreme north and south: New UNESCO World Heritage designees include the Jomon Prehistoric Sites in the north and a chain of islands in the archipelago’s southwestern stretches that are entirely uninhabited by humans and filled with endangered species.

Best Countries For Tourism in the World

Here is the list of 79 best countries for tourism in the world, 1. india - the land of diversity.

India - The Land of Diversity

Situated in South Asia, India is a country with deep cultural roots and a rich heritage. A great country for budget travel, India is popular for its forts and palaces. You can visit India to find yourself through yoga, to lose yourself in the mountains of Himalayas, to be mesmerised by the ancient temples. The crowded bazaars, blaring traffic, filmy music, the colour, the noise and not to forget, the chaos will leave you all amazed and overwhelmed. Best Time : December - March

2. Thailand - The Gateway to Southeast Asia.

Thailand - The Gateway to Southeast Asia.

Thailand, a dreamy beachside paradise, is a country that has managed to retain its cultural integrity in spite of being a major tourist destination. One can find everything here - from pristine beaches to dense forests, ancient monasteries to coral reefs, from Buddhist monks to floating markets and finally the fragrant and rich food to treat your taste buds. Best Time : November - March

3. Maldives, Maldives - A Tropical Haven For Honeymooners

Maldives, Maldives - A Tropical Haven For Honeymooners

Known For : Stay in an Overwater Bungalow Diving in Maldives Snorkelling in Maldives

The Maldives is an archipelagic state situated in the Indian Ocean known for its luxurious water villas. A tropical haven of white sand beaches, the Maldives is located in the south of Sri Lanka and is ideal for an adventure, honeymoon, or leisure holiday. Imagine having a room on a pier jutting out from the shore with a glass floor under which manta rays and reef sharks can be seen swimming, and step out from your overwater bungalow to the view of turquoise water.

Best Time: December to April

103 Maldives Attractions

4. Singapore - The Quintessential Cosmopolitan

Singapore - The Quintessential Cosmopolitan

Known For : Gardens by the Bay Sentosa Island Universal Studios Singapore

Best described as a microcosm of modern Asia, Singapore is a melting pot of culture and history, and an extravaganza of culinary delights. Officially known as the Republic of Singapore, it is both a city and a country located in Southeast Asia. One of Asia's most visited destinations, Singapore is best described as an amalgam of a fast-paced life and an off-the-back-street inheritance.

Best Time: January to November

270 Singapore Attractions


Vietnam in south-eastern Asia is arguably one of the most beautiful countries on the continent. Known for its natural beauty and abundance of natural attractions such as the vast paddy fields, limestone islands in Halong Bay or the massive cave system in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, the country provides quite an unmatched experience. Add to that the ever-delightful authentic Vietnamese cuisine which is fast gaining popularity around the world and you have a wholesome experience like no other. Best Time : Spring (February to April) and Autumn (August to October)

6. Sri Lanka - A Land Like No Other

Sri Lanka - A Land Like No Other

Sri Lanka is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean known for its spectacular beaches, thousand-year-old Buddhist temples, an abundance of wildlife, and rich archaeological history. The plethora of water sports, breathtaking sunsets, sprawling tea gardens and of course, mouth-watering Sri Lankan food, are sure to make you fall in love with this gorgeous place.  Best Time : December - April

7. Mauritius - Indian Ocean's Island Paradise.

Mauritius - Indian Ocean's Island Paradise.

Known For : Black River Gorges National Park Seven Coloured Earth of Chamarel Scuba Diving in Mauritius

Mauritius, or the Republic of Mauritius, is a multi-cultural island nation located about 2,000 kilometres from Africa in the Indian Ocean and southeast of Seychelles. With palm-fringed beaches, aquamarine waters, imposing mountains and lush national parks, Mauritius is popular for a honeymoon as well as family holidays.

Best Time: July to October (winter)

146 Mauritius Attractions

8. Indonesia - Where Culture Meets Nature

Indonesia - Where Culture Meets Nature

Indonesia is a kaleidoscope of taste, sight, sound, and smells bottled up in the world's largest archipelago. Spread out over a mind-boggling 17,000 islands, the country offers a vast melange of experiences begging to be sampled by visitors from across the world. Ranging from the smouldering volcanoes of central Java to the verdant expanses of Bali's rice terraces, from Jakarta's sprawling luxury malls to the untouched marine biosphere of Rajah Ampat and the lush rainforests of Borneo, Indonesia is ripe for adventure for the eager tourist.  Best Time : April - September

9. New Zealand - The Land Where Adventures Wait

New Zealand - The Land Where Adventures Wait

New Zealand lies to the southwest of the Pacific Ocean and promises breathtaking landscapes adorned with picturesque coastlines and the mightiest mountains. One of New Zealand's highlights is its opportunities for adventure activities as well as its nice blend of museums, art galleries and heritage sites. Best Time : December - February

10. Bhutan - The Happiest Country in All of Asia

Bhutan - The Happiest Country in All of Asia

The ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ – Bhutan nestles in the mountainous regions of the Eastern Himalayas and is one of the cleanest countries in the South Asian territory. A remote kingdom that still clings to its Buddhist culture but embraces modernisation, Bhutan is a land with monasteries, traditional architecture, beautiful valleys, snow-clad mountain views and lush greenery. Being landlocked, the country enjoys a significant tourist influx from its neighbours, Tibet and India. Best Time : March to May, September to November

11. Australia - Land Down Under

Australia - Land Down Under

Home to the Great Barrier Reef and iconic beaches and surf spots, Australia is the perfect destination for adventure seekers and lovers of beach getaways. Popularly known as the land of Kangaroos, Australia is both the smallest continent and the largest island country in the world. An evergrowing multicultural marvel, the country is famous for its beautiful blend of cosmopolitan cities, wild and enchanting outbacks, thriving wildlife and mesmerising beaches along the eastern coast. Best Time : Spring (September to November) and Autumn (March to May)

12. Malaysia - Truly Asia

Malaysia - Truly Asia

A potpourri of all things Asian, Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. An intriguing blend of diverse wildlife, idyllic islands, magnanimous mountains, rainforests, and rich culinary landscape makes it one of the most visited tourist places in Asia.  Best Time : December - March

13. Nepal - On Top of the World

Nepal - On Top of the World

A hub for the adventure-lovers and home to Mt. Everest, the world's tallest peak, Nepal is a Himalayan country sandwiched between India and China. The mighty snow-capped mountains here such as Annapurna, Mount Everest, Manaslu, and Kanchenjunga are home to some of the best trekking trails in the world. It is also a major religious hub with its many pilgrimage sites for the followers of Buddhism and Hinduism like the Pashupatinath Temple and the Boudhanath Stupa. To make things better, the crime rates are very low, making it a very safe travel destination. Best Time : September - Late November

14. Seychelles, Seychelles - The Honeymoon Paradise

Seychelles, Seychelles - The Honeymoon Paradise

Known For : Anse Lazio Snorkeling in Seychelles Sunbathing in Seychelles

Seychelles is an island nation, located in the Indian Ocean close to the east of Africa. Known for its breathtaking beauty, It is an archipelago of 115 islands, 45 of which are granitic islands, while 74 are coralline islands. Its capital and largest city is Victoria. Popular as the island of love, Seychelles’ surreal beauty makes it a popular luxurious honeymoon destination. The most visited islands of Seychelles are Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.

Best Time: April to May, September to October

96 Seychelles Attractions

15. United Arab Emirates - The Centre of Culture and Modernity

United Arab Emirates - The Centre of Culture and Modernity

Once known for its fishing-based economy, today, UAE is much more than vast deserts and ancient forts. Immersed in its rich Emirati culture, the UAE is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world offering touches of modernity with its ever-expanding infrastructure. From its traditional souks to palm-shaped islands, glittering huge malls, luxurious hotels, grand architecture and theme parks, the country offers you a complete package to relax, rejuvenate and be adventurous, all at the same time. Best Time : October - April (Winters)

16. Turkey - A Land of Culture with Modern Twist

Turkey - A Land of Culture with Modern Twist

Settled on the border of Asia and Europe, Turkey is an archive of Islamic Middle East impact and the influence of Christian European West. Turkey at present represents a modern and westernised culture that exists along with its more exotic and esoteric side hidden from outside world. Explore the dual sides of the country with the natural panoramic landscape, historic places, fertile valleys, huge mountain ranges, rugged coastline and quaint villages.  Best Time : April - June (Spring) and October - November (Autumn)

17. Jordan - The Land of Mesmerizing Beauty

Jordan - The Land of Mesmerizing Beauty

Also known as the 'Lawrence of Arabia', Jordan is a spectacle of a destination. Jordan is packed with grand structures and hints of old civilisations. Petra, a city in Jordan, is said to be over 2000 years old. Apart from the old civilisations, another important aspect is the biblical evolution of the society that is evident in some of its structures. Hospitality is a very important part of the culture and thus, everywhere you go, you will receive a very warm welcome. Best Time : March-May and Mid-September to Mid-November

18. Philippines - Gateway to hidden beaches and exotic islands

Philippines - Gateway to hidden beaches and exotic islands

The Philippines is a nation studded with a myriad of islands in south-east Asia. It is home to many fantastic beaches, coral reefs and churches. It is also a very popular tourist destination offering plenty of options for tourists regarding nature, wildlife, adventure, entertainment and nightlife. The people are very warm and affable, and they will not hesitate to go an extra mile to see a smile on your face. Best Time : November - April


In just forty years, this Gulf state has grown from one of the poorest countries in the Gulf to the richest in the world. Mainly functioning on oil and natural gas revenue, Qatar is developing at breakneck speed, and everything from universities to shopping malls, 5-star hotels to football stadiums (in preparation for the 2022 World Cup) are springing up along the desert floor. Best Time : October-December

20. Cambodia - A Country Rich in Heritage & Natural Beauty

Cambodia - A Country Rich in Heritage & Natural Beauty

Cambodia is a country steeped in history. In spite of years and years of struggle, the country has emerged today as a nation with an infectious spirit seen in its people and a tourism business that is flourishing. Home of the famous Angkor Wat and numerous other temples, this country is intoxicating in its beauty, to say the least. Apart from the historical and the cultural, Cambodia is also urbane, boasting of beautiful Phnom Penh, its capital, and tonnes of restaurants serving delicious cuisine.  Best Time : November - January

21. Greece - All-Time Classic

Greece - All-Time Classic

Surrounded by crystal blue waters all around, Greece has 2000 islands among which only 160 are inhabited. It has everything that a traveller could ask for, starting from history and culture, huge mountains, golden beaches and ancient ruins. Along with the history, the culture in music, food and festivals is strongly held up high here. One can delve into the ancient times with splendours like Acropolis and Parthenon . Best Time : March - April (Spring) and September - October (Autumn)

22. Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Known For : Victoria Harbour A Symphony of Lights Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong, officially known as the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is a burst of culture and colour. Housing 18 districts, Hong Kong is one of the most heavily populous regions in the world and the city with the most number of skyscrapers in the world. A major port and shopping hub, Hong Kong is the land of an iconic skyline, delectable cuisine, and protected lush nature reserves. Best Time : October to early December (Autumn)

Best Time: October to December (Autumn)

337 Hong Kong Attractions

23. Oman - Gateway to the Charming Arab World

Oman - Gateway to the Charming Arab World

Oman is an Arab country located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Though there is no diversity in religion here, you will find a variety of tranquil landscapes and sceneries. The beauty of the emerald beaches, the rich Arab history in the ancient forts, the lush green mountains, unique wildlife and endless deserts will give you an Arabian adventure unlike any other country in the Gulf Coast. Best Time : November-February


Kenya is located along the eastern coast of the African continent. It is a large country that is a hotbed for tourists. Although it is largely known for its safaris, there is also a lot more to Kenya, such as Nairobi, which is its commercial capital. Wildlife, heritage sites, highlands and valleys -- the country truly has it all. Best Time : Late June to October

25. Saudi Arabia - Hub of Temples and Mosques

Saudi Arabia - Hub of Temples and Mosques

Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Arab country located in Western Asia and constituting most of the Arab Peninsula. Most of the citizens are Muslims, and freedom of religion is restricted by the laws of the country. Only Muslims are respected in the country but, people are very helpful and friendly towards tourists. The rich history, vast stretches of deserts, forts, mosques and temples spread throughout the country will fascinate you. Best Time : November - February

26. Switzerland


Switzerland is a land of stereotypes – expansive greenery, picturesque landscapes, chocolate, cheese, and watches. Switzerland’s lush green vistas are so perfect that they seem to be plucked out of a postcard. It truly is one of the most beautiful places on Earth – soaring Alpine mountains, medieval churches, a bucketful of fresh air, disarming landscapes, and green fields you would endlessly want to run through. It is one of those few places where everything runs on time, the chocolate is fantastic, the countryside is breath-taking and everything is as perfect as a dream! Best Time : Mid-December - Mid October


France is an irresistible assortment of picture perfect landscapes, cultural foible, remarkable fashion sense, historical bequest and of course gastronomic adventures. Basking in the glory of Mother Nature, France offers distinct geographical features from rolling countryside and majestic mountains to stunning white sand beaches and sun-drenched vineyards. With its dash of contemporary finesse and lavish lifestyle, this country will leave you in absolute awe. Best Time : March-May and September - November

28. England - Amalgamation of Royalty and Culture

England - Amalgamation of Royalty and Culture

One of the most popular countries in the world, England is located in Europe. It is also the dream destination for a lot of people for its beauty and grandeur. With a great history behind it, it has a rich heritage and culture. The English countryside is one of the most peaceful places in the country. The most famous historical sites include the old castles on the countryside, Roman sites and the royal palaces. Each city in the country has its own charm. Best Time : July - August

29. Germany - The Land of Festivals

Germany - The Land of Festivals

A country of superior intellect and rich culture, Germany offers its travellers a well-rounded experience of beautiful architecture, beautiful countryside, fun-filled festivals and the most brilliant, lip-smacking cuisine. Every time is a good time to visit - be it in Summer/ Spring when the country is blooming and shrouded in colour or Fall/Winter when everything is serene, calm and covered in snow. The air is infectious and always full of anticipation and festivities. Best Time : March to August

30. Scotland - An amalgamation of Culture, Nature and Music

Scotland - An amalgamation of Culture, Nature and Music

Scotland, a part of the UK, is located in northwestern Europe and is one of the most important countries in the continent. When one thinks of Scotland, the chequered kilts and bagpipes come to mind. However, there is a lot more to the country. From the lush green highlands to the coastal blue waters, from fine Scotch whiskies and brilliant food, you can experience all. Scotland also has a long history, and its magnificent castles can vouch for that. Best Time : May - September


Italy is a country situated in Europe with 20 regions, each having its own glorious history, culture and traditions. It is the place where the Renaissance started and the place which gave the world Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. The icing on the cake is the delicious food that you get to eat here. Best Time : December - March

32. Croatia


Located in Eastern Europe, Croatia is a coastal country that is not only beautiful to look at but also offers a variety of things to do for tourists. There is history interspersed with architecture, great opportunities for swimming, Balkan wine, some of the best seafood and more. The most regularly visited cities here are Dubrovnik and Zagreb, its capital. It also encompasses several islands that are breathtakingly beautiful. In a nutshell, this country offers pretty much everything under the sun for a great vacation. Best Time : April-May; September


Egypt is a country that brings to mind the exotic. Beautiful pyramids, mysterious mummies and lots of gold. That is what everybody perceives Egypt as. But it is so much more. There is Cairo, its most famous city, the river Nile, desert adventures, its temples and mosques and the general aura of history rooted in the culture that pervades the entire country. Best Time : September-April

34. United States of America - The Hub of Diversity and Opportunities

United States of America - The Hub of Diversity and Opportunities

Occupying a huge chunk of North America, the United States of America or USA is a Pandora Box full of surprises for all kind of travellers. From crowded mega-cities to serene small towns, breathtaking natural beauty, man-made wonders, and fast-paced, exciting and ever-changing environs, the country will leave anyone awe-inspired with its vividness. Best Time : March-May; September - November

35. Morocco - The Exotic Land of Spices & Stories

Morocco - The Exotic Land of Spices & Stories

Morocco is a country in North Africa. It is blessed with abundant natural beauty and is one of the top destinations for tourism. Majestic mountains standing tall in the distance, cities that are ancient, sprawling deserts and more characterise this country. Famous attractions here include the medina in Marrakesh, the Fort Kasbah of the Udayas, the dozens of souks and the Jemaa el-Fnaa. It is a truly beautiful country, with lots to offer to every kind of tourist. Best Time : March-May

36. Malta - The Island of Legends

Malta - The Island of Legends

Known For : Upper Barrakka Gardens HMS Maori Lascaris War Rooms

The island state of Malta is located in the Mediterranean Sea and falls south of the Italian island of Sicily. Temples, fortresses, sandy beaches, cliffs, and jutted coves is what makes this small island nation worth visiting, coupled with thrilling activities like scuba diving, snorkelling, and a long and fascinating history going back to the days before Christ.

Best Time: April to June

21 Malta Attractions

37. Austria - The Land of Music and Arts

Austria - The Land of Music and Arts

Basking in the glory of natural beauty, Austria is one of the most prominent attractions of central Europe. Rooted in its deep imperial culture, the country offers much more beyond the scenic beauty including neo-classical architecture, the craze for music, popular cafes, and the thrill of sports like skiing. From the rustic backdrops to colourful mismatched houses, Austria is a place to relax, savour and appreciate the culture of the country of many years of making. Best Time : June-August, September and October

38. Netherlands - The Land of Tulips

Netherlands - The Land of Tulips

Amongst one of the most developed and progressive nations of the world, the Netherlands offers an immersive and enriching travelling experience. With the most exquisite flowers blooming in the summer, refreshing showers in the fall, snowfall and nostalgia in the winter and the most colourful landscapes in the spring, the Netherlands has something to offer to everyone. From markets to gardens to the most absurd museums and shops, this country gives a 360-degree experience to its tourists, of a culture and lifestyle so diverse that it always stays with the traveller. Best Time : Spring and Autumn

39. Laos - The Land of Serenity and Bountiful Nature

Laos - The Land of Serenity and Bountiful Nature

Sitting cosily in Southeast Asia, the Republic of Laos is a landlocked country with a sparse population. Known for its spectacular landscape, the country comprises lofty mountains, lush jungles, glistening rice fields and tea leaves covering the mountain surface. The remote tribal villages, ancient Buddhist caves, rich cultural heritage, cafe culture in cosmopolitans, elegant colonial architecture and peaceful stupas add to the charm of this land of lotus-eaters. Best Time : November - February

40. Japan - Home To Great Architecture & Great Food

Japan - Home To Great Architecture & Great Food

Japan, located in Eastern Asia, is a sovereign nation. It is well known for its bustling cities, imperial palaces, national parks and lots of beautifully constructed temples. Tokyo, the capital of the country, is a much-visited tourist destination, home to tonnes of skyscrapers. There is a lot to do in Japan, from adventure sports to relaxing at the beach and discovering the real beauty of Japanese architecture. Best Time : March-May

41. South Africa - Where Natural Beauty Abounds

South Africa - Where Natural Beauty Abounds

South Africa is a country that is as well known for its wildlife and safaris as it is for its beaches and Winelands. It has been given the name of 'Rainbow Country', as it is very culturally diverse. South Africa has a lot of big, popular cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, which in turn have a lot to offer to tourists. It shares its northern borders with countries like Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The country has also been listed as one of the most megadiverse nations in the world, regarding its biodiversity. Best Time : May - September

42. Czech Republic - The Land of Art, Music and Beer

Czech Republic - The Land of Art, Music and Beer

The Czech Republic is a small country with a big package, offering something for its every visitor. Evolved as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, this country exhibits its enriched culture through its magnificent castles, museums, cathedrals, medieval towns and lying at its heart, the culture-crammed capital city, Prague. Often tagged as 'city of a thousand spires', Prague is adorned with incredible architecture, rustic cobblestone streets, noteworthy churches and medieval bridges. The city is also a haunt for night birds, offering fine dining, old breweries, zesty jazz clubs and buzzing markets. Best Time : May - October

43. Bahrain - Concoction of liberalism, diversity and prosperity

Bahrain - Concoction of liberalism, diversity and prosperity

Known For : Arad Fort Reef Island Al-Khamis Mosque

The Kingdom of Bahrain is a Middle-Eastern island nation, an archipelago of thirty-three islands bordering Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This desert island is a diverse society that brings immigrants from all the other six continents to live together harmoniously, boasting of a high standard of living and development, with sky-kissing million dollar buildings as well as two artificial islands. It is known for its petroleum reserves, offshore banking and tourism. Bahrain's biggest yearly event - Bahrain Grand Prix F1 race is held in the month of April each year. Best Time : February to April and October to December

Best Time: December to March

25 Bahrain Attractions

44. Brazil - Living the Carnival life

Brazil - Living the Carnival life

Brazil, the largest country in Latin America and the fifth largest country in the world is a land of great diversity, be it in culture, geography or ecosystems. From the wilderness of the great Amazon rainforests and sun-kissed tropical beaches to the Grand Carnival celebration in Rio, the country has it all. Visit the colonial-era towns in the state of Minas Gerais, blend in the culture of Bahia or visit the futuristic capital city of Brasilia. The plethora of options available in the country actually encapsulates the visitors in their charm. Best Time : November-March; June-September

45. Israel - Where the History Comes Alive

Israel - Where the History Comes Alive

Israel is considered a Holy nation bordered by Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. It is also home to Jerusalem ( the birthplace of Lord Jesus). It has a vibrant history and culture. It has ties to diversified religions, and this makes it an interesting place to visit for travellers. It is also a highly modernised country, and the regions are divided into cities which are further sub-divided into towns.  Best Time : December - April

46. Belgium - French and German Cultures Amalgamated

Belgium - French and German Cultures Amalgamated

Chocolates, beer, laces and porcelain are what you think of when you hear Belgium. All of this holds true, but there is a lot more to explore in this small country. Rich in art and culture, Belgium has a fine heritage with many monuments in various cities of the country. Being the centre of EU and NATO, the country holds a lot of prominence among other countries. From long beaches in the north to the highlands in the south, the country offers you everything. Best Time : Mid-April to Mid-October

47. Bahamas - An Ocean of Gorgeous Landscapes

Bahamas - An Ocean of Gorgeous Landscapes

Known For : Grand Bahamas Paradise Island Bimini Island

The Bahamas offers over 700 islands waiting for visitors to explore. It is considered to be one of the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. This Paradise of beaches is located 50 miles off the east coast of Florida and is heaven for beach lovers. The Bahamas provides the quintessential island experience, gorgeous beaches and numerous tours and activities. The breathtaking scenery and pleasant weather are one of the few reasons to plan a vacation to the Bahamas.  Best Time : December-February

Best Time: Anytime except the month of September

11 Bahamas Attractions

48. Kuwait - A Wonderful Mix of The Ancient & The Modern

Kuwait - A Wonderful Mix of The Ancient & The Modern

Located at the top of the Persian Gulf, Kuwait is a country that has often been well-known for being rich in oil. Its neighbouring countries include Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. Kuwait City is the capital of the country and is famous for its modern architecture. Kuwait includes modern-day skyscrapers as well as ancient, beautifully built mosques, so it truly is a mix of modernity and ancient times. Best Time : November - April

49. Spain - An explorer's paradise

Spain - An explorer's paradise

With amazing beaches and super fun nightlife, Spain is considered to be one of the most exotic countries in Europe. It is not just known for its beaches, but also its snowy mountains and deserts. The country is historically rich with the third rank in the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. It is also famous for the numerous festivals taking place. Spain is also architecturally marvellous with Islamic, Catholic and Renaissance architectural designs. Best Time : Spring and Fall are the Best Seasons to Visit Spain

50. Canada - The Epitome of Ethnic Diversity

Canada - The Epitome of Ethnic Diversity

Canada is the second largest country in the world, and it continues to attract tourists with its diversity, hospitality and magnetic. beauty. Whether you are a daredevil or a nature lover, Canada has something for everyone. It is considered to be one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. Blessed with all of its natural attractions, it is the ideal place for fishing, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, etc. making it every adventurer's paradise.  Best Time : March-May and September - November

51. Lebanon


Lebanon lies in the Middle East and is a sovereign. It is often called the Lebanese Republic. It shares its borders with countries like Syria, Israel and Cyprus. Lebanon is actually supposed to be the smallest country in the entire continent of Asia. It has a wonderful coastline that you can never get tired of and even boasts of a popular city - fashionable Beirut. Lebanon is home to a cuisine that we have all sampled at some point, in several different versions - Lebanese cuisine.  Best Time : June - September

52. Ireland - The Mythical Island of Europe

Ireland   - The Mythical Island of Europe

Located in northwestern Europe, the island of Ireland is famous for its ancient rocks and great legends. Apart from the natural beauty of the beaches, lakes, mountains and limestone deserts, the country is also known for its numerous festivals. It is also known as the Emerald Isle as it is rich in poetry, prose, painting as well as tourist literature. With proper warmth and hospitality, Ireland is very popular among tourists. Best Time : Summer (June-September)

53. Hungary - A fusion of traditional and modern Europe

Hungary - A fusion of traditional and modern Europe

Currently among the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world, Hungary offers a unique amalgamation of traditional European culture and modern-day practices. Here, you can take a trip through quaint, rural villages and enjoy a thriving nightlife in Budapest, both within a distance of a few miles. With a capital city regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world, Hungary is home to several World Heritage Sites, UNESCO Biosphere reserves and the second largest thermal lake in the world.  Best Time : April - September

54. Tanzania - The Canvas of Natural Beauty

Tanzania - The Canvas of Natural Beauty

Tanzania is one of the most ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse country in Africa. The people of Tanzania with their smiling faces and infectious spirits would give you a warm welcome. Tanzania continues to attract people with its beautiful ebony carvings and marvellous textiles. This country is the proud owner of Africa's tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro. Tanzania proudly flaunts its natural beauty whether it's the animals, the landscapes, the beaches or its coral reefs. Best Time : July-October, December-March

55. Portugal


With a rich culture, eccentric cities and an exquisite countryside, Portugal is among the best value destinations in Europe. The landscape is exceedingly diverse as one can see it changing as they travel from green mountains in the North to rocky cliffs and waterfalls in the Centre to the desert-like landscape in Alentejo and laidback beaches in Algarve. Surfing is another activity Portugal is sought after for. Portugal is the place to be if you desire the best of European landscapes and culture in one spot. Best Time : Summer (July-August)

56. Jamaica, Jamaica - The Land Rich in History and Natural Beauty

Jamaica, Jamaica - The Land Rich in History and Natural Beauty

Known For : Waterfalls Seven Mile Beach Ras Natango Gallery and Garden

Jamaica, the fourth largest island country in the Caribbean Sea is a tropical wonderland. Its warm weather is one of its many qualities making it an ideal destination especially for those who want to escape the cold. Its sun-kissed beaches with their crystal clear waters and white sands attract many visitors. Adventure lovers swoon at the country's water sports. Snorkelling, scuba diving, and surfing are some of the actvities visitors ot for.  Best Time : Mid-December through April

Best Time: November to December

8 Jamaica Attractions

57. Poland - The Country With a Quiet Charm

Poland - The Country With a Quiet Charm

Poland is a country in Eastern Europe, filled with big castles and ancient museums. It is a country that is rich in history and proud of it. Apart from the bustling cities like Warsaw and Krakow, Poland also offers unspoilt natural beauty in the forms of lakes, wooded areas, rivers and hills. It is as we mentioned, a historic destination on account of Poland being central to World War II. Memorials and synagogues abound in this country for a walk back in time.  Best Time : March to May and September to November

58. Mexico - Cradle of civilizations

Mexico - Cradle of civilizations

Mexico is a land of great cultural, ethnic and geographical diversity. Be it hiking in the rugged desert landscaped in the North or basking in the lush green tropical settings, the country has it all. From the historic ruins of the Mayans and Aztec in Chichn Itz and Teotihuacn to the beautifully preserved colonial cities of Puebla and Campeche, the country never ceases to amaze its visitors which flock from all over the world. Best Time : November to March

59. Denmark - The Scandinavian gem

Denmark - The Scandinavian gem

Danish pastry is synonymous with the country of Denmark. Other major attractions are fairy tales, football matches and the statue of the bronze mermaid sitting on a rock that looks over the city. With a long and interesting historical background, Denmark is rich in culture and heritage. Now, it is one of the most modern and developed nations in Europe and holds in store for you the best itineraries for travel lovers. Best Time : Mid-June to Mid-August

60. Brunei - A Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures

Brunei - A Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures

Known For : Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque Kampong Ayer

The Nation of Brunei, also known as Brunei Darussalam or the ‘Abode of Peace,’ is a small country located in Southeast Asia. Wedged in the island of Borneo next to the Malaysian state of Sarawak, this oil-rich country is also bordered by the South China Sea. With an interesting culture, spectacular architecture, and matchless biodiversity, Brunei is a bucket-list destination that can be visited on an impulse! Best Time:  January to May

Best Time: January to May

18 Brunei Attractions

61. Sweden - For the experimental traveller

Sweden - For the experimental traveller

Known for its breath-taking landscapes, exotic dishes and notoriously eccentric culture, Sweden is indeed amongst the most diverse countries on the planet. Offering a 360-degree experience that includes both thriving city life and an exotic ride through the countryside, the country is a delight for both mountain lovers and beach junkies. With a rich history, astounding architecture and the most incredible sights, Sweden is a traveller's paradise. Best Time :  June - Mid August


Peru is a counry in South America. More than anything else, it's known for its lush Amazon rainforests as well as the ancient city of Machu Pichu. The country offers a lot of trekking opportunities for adrenaline junkies or those who wish to revel in the beauty of nature. Peru is also known for its variety of festivals that are celebrated with a lot of pomp and joy and which can last for days. The population is culturally diverse, just like the landscapes. Best Time : June - September

63. Iceland


Amongst the most coveted travel destinations, Iceland is one of the most surreal and magnificent countries in the world. Located close to the Arctic Circle, it offers amazingly dramatic and breath-taking landscapes and exotic natural phenomena. Summer is the best time to visit, owing to the mild temperatures and a plethora of available activities from hiking fjords to playing golf at midnight. However, no time is a bad time to visit this spectacular snow-covered country. Best Time: September to March and June to August

64. Uruguay - An Oasis of Peace

Uruguay - An Oasis of Peace

Uruguay is a country located in South America surrounded by Argentina nad Brazil on sides. The country is rich in flora and fauna and you will get to see the most amazing beaches here. Over half of the country's population lives in the capital city Montevideo making it the most populated city in the country. The celebrations and festivals are considered to be the main attractions of Uruguay. From legalising the production and use of marijuana to being one of the most literate countries in the world, Uruguay offers you experiences of all kinds. Best Time : Spring( October-November)

65. Chile - The Land of the Poets

Chile - The Land of the Poets

Chile is home to poets like Pablo Neruda and Isabella Allende. There are plenty of places to visit in Chile from the urban boulevards of Santiago, the Andean foothills and the Atacama Desert, the Pacific coastline and the National Parks, the guanaco and the glaciers. It is known to be the distinction of being the longest country in the world as also the narrowest - it is 4300 km long and just 175 km wide. Chile happens to have the world's largest swimming pool. Its Atacama desert is the driest place on earth. Chileans are friendly and hospitable. It is an ethnically diverse country which gives it vibrant culture and a multitude of flavours. Best Time : October-March

66. Timor-Leste


Known For : Dili Atauro islands Baucau

Timor Leste, also known as East Timor is a small country located northwest of Australia and east of Indonesia. A world in its own self, Timor Leste gives you the uninhibited version of things otherwise subverted in other locations. There is something so utterly challenging in its mountains and untouched reefs that pushes the visitor to explore more. AsiaÕs newest country offers some of the worldÕs last great off-the-beaten-track adventures. Best Time: April to July

Best Time: May to November

6 Timor Leste Attractions

67. South Korea - The land where Technology and Nature Goes Together.

South Korea - The land where Technology and Nature Goes Together.

Situated in South East Asia, South Korea is warm and welcoming with a rich heritage and culture. The capital city offers many other cultural and artistic attractions, such as the Museum of Art, the Seoul Fortress, and other old tombs. South Korea is not only rich in lakes, mountains, forests, and sanctuaries but also is the largest market for innovative cosmetics. Korea is also known for its excellence in cosmetic surgery. For shoppers, South Korea offers Korean antiques, artwork, traditional arts and crafts, clothing and accessories. Best Time : Spring (April - June)

68. British Virgin Islands - The Gem of Caribbean

British Virgin Islands - The Gem of Caribbean

Known For : The Baths Rhone Marine Park (Salt Island) Fallen Jerusalem National Park

An overseas territory of Britain, British Virgin Islands is nothing but beautiful and an enchanting place to be. With still a major chunk of the islands untouched, this archipelago features all the gorgeous things from rolling green hills, verdant mountainous landscape, reef-lined sparkling beaches and popular shipwrecks. Best Time:  September to November

13 British Virgin Islan Attractions


Known For : La Citadelle Labadee Jacmel

Haiti is an exceptionally beautiful country located on the Hispaniola island in the Caribbean between the North Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean sea. A multitude of monuments, rugged mountain peaks, waterfalls, turquoise beaches and lush green vegetation dot the country's diverse landscape. Head to this fascinating country to discover its rich cultural heritage and be overwhelmed by the remarkable positive energy that runs within its residents. Best Time: November to March

Best Time: November to March

11 Haiti Attractions

70. Colombia - The Land Of Many Lives

Colombia - The Land Of Many Lives

Known as the Gateway to South America, Colombia is one of the most culturally and geographically diverse countries in the world. Blessed with a rich cultural heritage and a variegated mixture of flora and fauna, Colombia caters to all kinds of visitors. Visit the historical Bogota or treat yourself to the eternal spring of Medellin, immerse yourself in the exuberance of Cali or simply head for a trek in the Andes and the Amazon. Best Time : December - March

71. Argentina - Eclectic Argentia

Argentina - Eclectic Argentia

Argentina, the second largest country in Latin America is blessed with vast and varied landscapes that range from rugged peaks of the Andes to the glaciers in Patagonia and grasslands of the Pampas, making it a scenic retreat for all kinds of travellers. Be it exploring the mesmerising beauty of its natural wonders, breathing in the air of Buenos Aires and dancing to the tunes of Tango or tasting some of the finest wines in Mendoza, Argentina is a country worth your admiration. Best Time : March-May for Buenos Aires, December - March for Patagonia

72. Taiwan - The Charming Land of History & Architecture

Taiwan - The Charming Land of History & Architecture

Taiwan is a little island that lies towards the east of China. To its northeast lies Japan and the Philippines are towards the south. Taiwan is very well-known for urban cities such as Taipei, its capital as well as hot springs resorts and beautiful Chinese temples. The nation also boasts of some beautiful landscapes. Cycling along the highway with the Pacific ocean on one side of you is just one of the ways in which you can bask in Taiwan's beauty. Best Time : April - May; October - December

73. Dominica- Land of Natural Treasures

Dominica- Land of Natural Treasures

Known For : Cabrits National Park Kalinago Barana Aute Trafalgar Falls

The raw and rugged beauty of nature will sway away your breath; such is the very essence of the Caribbean Island of Dominica. Brimming with all sorts of natural assets from thick forests and thick forests and looming volcanic peaks to snaking mountain streams and pristine lakes, this country is a dream for nature lovers and those seeking tranquility. Best Time: February to April

Best Time: February to May

9 Dominica Attractions

74. Zimbabwe - Your Dose of Adrenaline

Zimbabwe - Your Dose of Adrenaline

Zimbabwe is the country of wonders. Known to be every adrenaline junkie's dreamland, this country has a lot to offer.Despite the struggles it has faced, Zimbabwe is still one of the most popular tourist locations in Africa. Zimbabwe proudly displays its rare blend of music, art, and dance. One cannot help being mesmerized by its beautiful landscapes, captivating art, and exotic wildlife. This majestic wonderland doesn't fail to give its visitors a thrill of a lifetime while making sure that the experience is worth every penny. Best Time : May-August

75. China - China: A Land of Mysteries and Beyond

China - China: A Land of Mysteries and Beyond

China or officially known as the People’s Republic of China is a country nestled in Eastern Asia housing world’s largest and about one-fifth of the population. The country is one of the world’s four great ancient civilisations dazzling world with its deep-rooted culture, classic cuisine, kung fu, fine silk, pagodas, paintings, porcelains, Ming vases and tea. China never failed to amuse the people around the world with their key attractions including the Great Wall of China, Terracotta Warriors and the Forbidden City.  Best Time : March - April (Spring), September - October (Autumn)

76. Azerbaijan - The Land of Fire

Azerbaijan - The Land of Fire

Georgia is the most visited  country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Known for its diverse landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, Georgia is a destination that offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern vitality. The city's architecture reflects its complex past, with a mix of medieval, neoclassical, and Soviet-era structures. Ideal Duration : 7-10 days for exploring Tbilisi, Batumi, and Kazbegi; longer for exploring the wine region and mountains Best Time : May to September (Warmer months) Accommodation Cost (per night in USD) : Dorm bed: $10-20 Budget: $30-60 Mid-range: $80-120 Luxury: $150 and above Budget for Food & Drinks (per day in USD) : Budget: $10-20 Mid-range: $30-50 Visa Policy for Indians : eVisa available Visa Policy for Other Nationals : eVisa or Visa on Arrival for many countries Getting In : Tbilisi International Airport (TBS), Kutaisi International Airport (KUT) Getting Around : Marshrutkas (minibusses), trains, taxis, rental cars

77. Georgia - Caucasus Charms, Stories of History

Georgia - Caucasus Charms, Stories of History

5 Attractions

78. Armenia - A Journey into the Heart of the South Caucasus

Armenia - A Journey into the Heart of the South Caucasus

Slovenia, a European gem nestled between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, enchants with its natural splendor and picturesque towns. Ljubljana, the capital, exudes old-world charm alongside a vibrant arts scene.

79. Slovenia - Green Wonders, Alpine Delights

Slovenia - Green Wonders, Alpine Delights

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This North American country tops the list of the safest countries for travelers

top 10 tourist countries

A new year means new destinations.

When looking at where to go, travelers will consider the usual factors such as weather, cost and available activities. This year, safety is also top of mind as more people want to go off the beaten path and take solo trips.

To help, travel insurance provider Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection just released its ninth annual State of Travel Insurance report, which includes the safest countries in the world for travelers.

"The definition of safe destination has evolved,” Carol Mueller, vice president at Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, told USA TODAY in an email. "In our most recent survey, travelers lean in on countries they believe as safe destinations they can move about freely without discrimination or harassment."

To determine the list, the travel insurance provider surveyed 1,702 people on their own travel experiences in different countries and also pulled data from third-party resources that evaluate safety concerns such as terrorism, weather emergencies, health measures and the safety of underrepresented groups. This included the  Global Peace Index  and the State Department’s own  travel safety ratings .

Learn more: Best travel insurance

While these countries are considered to be overall safe for people to visit, the company noted the report doesn't mean every part of the country is safe nor account for the possibility of natural disasters. And as always, don't let your guard down when it comes to petty theft against tourists.

'It's like your local bestie': This startup helps make solo travel as a woman feel safer

Read below to see the 15 countries determined to be the safest for all travelers.

The Great White North tops this year's list of safest countries in the world for travelers, thanks to its low violent crime and strict gun laws. Last year, the country, known for its high standard of living and political stability, made sixth on the list.

2. Switzerland

Known for its security and low crime rates, Switzerland made second place for the safest nations to visit. The country is known for its high quality of living and beautiful nature, such as Lake Geneva and Lake Zurich.

Besides having some of the best views of the dancing northern lights , Norway is also one of the safest places when it comes to crime rates, terrorist activity and violent demonstrations. According to the report, Oslo, the capital of Norway, was the country's safest area.

Those wanting to see Ireland's Cliffs of Moher or sip on some Guinness can rest assured in going through with those travel plans. The country had fewer homicides in 2022 than 16 U.S. cities, according to the report.

5. Netherlands

Last year, the Netherlands took the top spot for safest destinations to visit, and this year, it made fifth. Survey respondents repeatedly said they felt safe in the country and its capital Amsterdam. Just beware of the tourist tax increase as the city continues to crack down on reckless partiers.

6. United Kingdom

With a beautiful countryside and cities with low murder and theft rates, the United Kingdom is a safe bet for travelers. Unfortunately, the country is soon going to implement a fee to enter its borders .

7. Portugal

There's a reason digital nomads flock to this sunny coastal country, and it's not just the delicious seafood and wine. Portugal's cities are secure and orderly, and the rural areas are peaceful. In 2022, the country was determined to be one of the best places for solo female travelers too.

Last year, Denmark was the second safest country in the world for travelers, and its low crime rates continue to help it be a safe choice for travelers. The northern European country typically steals the spotlight for its happy residents and its politics.

Like its Nordic neighbor Denmark, Iceland is often regarded as the world's most gender-equal country and the safest country in the world when it comes to crime. To entice travelers even more, the country is home to otherworldly landscapes featuring glaciers, geysers, hot springs, waterfalls and volcanic terrain.

10. Australia

Rugged wilderness and cosmopolitan cities make Australia a desirable country for travelers, especially female solo travelers since the Land Down Under also has low homicide rates. In 2022, there were 377 recorded homicides, about half of what Chicago experienced, according to the report.

11. New Zealand

Although expensive, New Zealand is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts who want to explore its coastlines, mountains, fjords and more, or for those who are big "Lord of the Rings" fans. With low crime rates, the country is also considered to be quite peaceful and great for female solo travelers.

Along with low crime rates, Japan offers travelers a blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge modernity. Think robot servers in restaurants amongst ancient shrines. In Japanese culture, politeness and orderliness are also highly valued, making it a safe place for travelers, solo or not. However, the report doesn't consider natural disasters, such as the earthquakes that recently shook the western part of the island nation.

Home to the City of Light, France has stood the test of time as one of the world's most popular destinations. Thankfully, for travelers, the country has relatively safe transportation (well, minus petty theft, which is common on the metro) and safety from disease epidemics, according to the report. However, violent demonstrations mean travelers should be cautious and check local media for updates.

Another popular European destination, Spain is known for petty theft like pickpocketing. Overall, the Mediterranean country has a low crime rating for how heavily touristed it is, the report said. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection recommends people especially watch out for passport thefts, so as always, travel cautiously.

This year, Brazil made the list of safe countries to visit. The survey respondents who identified as women, people of color and LGBTQ+ especially felt safe in the South American country, known for its beautiful beaches. However, Brazil's borders are notably dangerous for crime activity.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at [email protected] .

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Top 10 diamond producing countries in Africa

It is no secret that Africa is rich in valuable minerals crucial for economic development, ranging from extensive oil reserves to lush agricultural lands.


  • Business Insider Africa presents the top 10 diamond-producing countries in Africa.
  • Eight African nations have secured their prestigious positions within the top ten diamond-producing countries worldwide.
  • The list is courtesy of Kimberley Process.

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The continent possesses about 30% of the world's total mineral reserves, including gold, copper, platinum, cobalt, uranium, lithium , and more, all of which play pivotal roles in diverse industries, from electronics and infrastructure to energy production.

What is fascinating is that these mineral riches are not concentrated in one specific region but are spread across the continent, significantly contributing to the economic growth of many African nations.

Among this abundance of resources, diamonds stand out as one of the most sought-after treasures. The continent boasts several of the world's most prolific diamond-producing countries, each with its unique story within the global diamond industry.

Recent diamond production statistics from the Kimberley Process , a joint government, industry and civil society initiative that regulates the trade and production of diamonds, revealed the prominent role of African nations in the global diamond industry.

Globally, rough diamond production, also known as uncut, raw, or natural diamonds, is undertaken by only 22 countries extracting them from deposits within their borders.

Remarkably, eight African nations have secured their prestigious positions within the top ten diamond-producing countries worldwide in 2022.

Here are the top 10 diamond-producing countries in Africa:

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Vote for your favorite spa resort!

USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards

Imagine a serene escape where the world's worries melt away, and tranquility reigns supreme. Spa resorts offer just that — a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation. With treatments that blend modern wellness with natural beauty, visitors can indulge in a transformative experience that revitalizes both body and mind. Each of these resorts — nominated by an expert panel as the best in the U.S. — is a unique sanctuary, offering a bespoke escape into luxury and comfort. Which spa resort is calling your name? Vote once per day until voting ends on Monday, July 1 at noon ET. The 10 winners will be announced on Wednesday, July 10.  Read the official Readers' Choice rules .

Imagine a serene escape where the world's worries melt away, and tranquility reigns supreme. Spa resorts offer just that — a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation. With treatments that blend modern wellness with...   Read More

Best Spa Resort Nominees

Cal-a-Vie Health Spa

Photo courtesy of Cal-a-Vie Health Spa

Cal-a-Vie Health Spa

Vista, California

Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, an all-inclusive resort, features upscale suites and villas with balconies or private sundecks. Best known for their luxurious spa with a vast and unique treatment menu, the 200-acre property also offers fitness classes for all levels, healthy cuisine, and a large outdoor pool.

Canyon Ranch Tucson

Photo courtesy of Canyon Ranch

Canyon Ranch Tucson

Tucson, Arizona

The stunning Canyon Ranch Tucson resort is a popular retreat for visitors seeking to luxuriate in the warmth and peace of the desert. Rooms are designed to reflect the earth tones of the surrounding landscape while providing guests with a range of in-room amenities for a comfortable and luxurious stay. Programs focus on mindfulness, weight loss, and overall health, with access to spa facilities and wellness activities.

Castle Hot Springs

Photo courtesy of Castle Hot Springs

Castle Hot Springs

Morristown, Arizona

Castle Hot Springs offers dozens of unique treatments and activities, but what makes this property really stand out are the natural hot springs for which it’s named. The three mineral-rich thermal pools, with their healing properties, have been attracting weary travelers for more than a century and continue to take on a starring role. Today, the resort also boasts Arizona’s only Via Ferrata adventure course.

CIVANA Wellness Resort and Spa

Photo courtesy of CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa

CIVANA Wellness Resort and Spa

Carefree, Arizona

CIVANA, set in the Sonoran Desert outside Scottsdale, occupies over 20 acres of land where guests have access to wellness experts, complimentary daily programing, and a spa with 22 treatment rooms. Spa spaces and offerings are expansive, including therapeutic and rejuvenating treatments, a sundeck, an Aqua Vitality circuit, a Watsu therapy pool, and salon.

Destination Kohler

Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.

Destination Kohler

Kohler, Wisconsin

Destination Kohler offers visitors a choice of three different lodging options along with spa experiences, world-class dining, and award-winning golf. The destination resort focuses on health and wellness, offering a hydrotherapy circuit, steam room, relaxation pool, and menu of services at Kohler Waters Spa, in addition to yoga and Pilates classes and an array of outdoor activities. 

Golden Door

Photo courtesy of Tanveer Badal

Golden Door

San Marcos, California

A classic name in luxury, the Golden Door in sunny California is an all-inclusive experience. Nestled in the mountains, this private spa retreat that spans over 600 acres features two swimming pools, a tennis court, a bathhouse, and several modern fitness centers. A full service menu offers massage, skin and body care, salon services, and more.

Lake Austin Spa Resort

Photo courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort

Lake Austin Spa Resort

Austin, Texas

Lake Austin Spa Resort offers a tranquil wellness experience with a variety of spa treatments. Nestled in Texas Hill Country, the resort's LakeHouse Spa provides a serene escape with treatments that draw from both ancient traditions and modern practices. Guests can indulge in massages, facials, body treatments, and aquatic therapies designed to soothe and rejuvenate. The resort also offers unique experiences like boat charters and paddleboard outings, making it a comprehensive retreat for those seeking relaxation and adventure.

The Lodge at Woodloch

Photo courtesy of The Lodge at Woodloch

The Lodge at Woodloch

Hawley, Pennsylvania

The Lodge at Woodloch, an all-inclusive, adults-only spa resort in the heart of the Pennsylvania Poconos, invites guests to step away from the whirlwind of life to refocus. Guests enjoy a full-service spa and a wide range of classes and activities.

Mii amo

Photo courtesy of Douglas Friedman

Sedona, Arizona

Nestled in Boynton Canyon amidst Sedona vortexes, it's no surprise there is a special energy at Mii amo. The resort and destination spa offers themed "journeys" that are comprised of classes, spa treatments, lectures, all-inclusive meals, and other amenities. Spa offerings include services unique to the resort, as well as sound and light therapy and treatments enhanced by CBD.

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa

Photo courtesy of Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa's all-inclusive packages include access to its Life in Balance Spa. Situated in one of Tucson's most scenic open desert areas, gorgeous views can be enjoyed alongside an array of spa offerings, such as a diverse set of skin, salon and massage services, Ayurvedic therapies, and Eastern treatments. 

Miraval Austin Resort & Spa

Photo courtesy of Miraval Austin Resort & Spa

Miraval Austin Resort & Spa

Miraval Austin offers “wellness with a Texas twist” at its sanctuary in Texas Hill Country. Its Life in Balance Spa offers an array of services, from Eastern treatments and Ayurvedic therapies to massage and skin care. Accommodations feature rooms and suites in separate lodges, with contemplative spaces to pause and reflect, including an infinity pool and sensory gardens.

Murrieta Hot Springs Resort

Photo courtesy of Kevin Eassa

Murrieta Hot Springs Resort

Murrieta, California

After a recent renovation, the historic Murrieta Hot Springs Resort is ready to pamper guests at its 174-room hotel, which features healing hot springs throughout the property. Set across 46 acres, the resort is home to a full-service spa, which offers a range of treatments that amplify the effects of the springs' mineral water. Guests also enjoy several dining options and a state-of-the-art fitness center. 


Photo courtesy of BraunS / E+ Getty Images

Farmington, Pennsylvania

The beautiful Nemacolin resort stretches across 2,200 expansive acres in scenic Farmington, Pennsylvania. Their impressive Woodlands Spa and Salon features a large indoor pool, whirlpool, steam room, and sauna. After your relaxing treatments, settle in with a good book at the fireside lounge and allow the day to unfold. 

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

Photo courtesy of encrier // Getty Images

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

The beloved Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa is home to an historic bathhouse featuring reclaimed stones from the original, which was built in 1868. In addition, the spa is appointed with a Himalayan salt sauna and a eucalyptus steam room that you can enjoy in between body therapies and treatments. 

Omni Bedford Springs Resort

Photo courtesy of Omni Bedford Springs Resort

Omni Bedford Springs Resort

Bedford, Pennsylvania

Utilizing mineral-rich freshwater springs, the Omni Bedford Springs Resort features a health spa on 2,200 acres in Bedford, Pennsylvania. In addition to soaking in the healing waters of the property's eight natural springs, visitors can enjoy facial and body treatments, massages, and a Bedford Bath Ritual at the Springs Eternal Spa.

Red Mountain Resort

Photo courtesy of Red Mountain Resort

Red Mountain Resort

Ivins, Utah

Red Mountain Resort is home to the nature-inspired Sagestone Spa & Salon. Guests can enjoy exclusive and unique treatments, including customized massage therapy and facial experiences. The spa is an especially welcome place to relax after an outdoor adventure to nearby spots like Snow Canyon State Park.

The Ritz-Carlton, Naples

Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Naples

The Ritz-Carlton, Naples

Naples, Florida

Located in the idyllic town of Naples, Florida, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples is a luxury resort offering guests an extraordinary spa experience. The 51,000-square-foot spa includes an outdoor mineral pool, a steam room, and a spa restaurant, along with relaxation lounges.

The Springs Resort

Photo courtesy of The Springs Resort

The Springs Resort

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

With 25 mineral pools fed by the Mother Spring, the world’s deepest geothermal hot spring, this Colorado resort is like a wellness water park. Each pool has its own look and personality, offering a variety of temperatures and experiences. Although you’ll be tempted to soak all day, you’ll also want to try aqua yoga, aqua sound bathing, and a warrior plunge, and eventually get out of the water to enjoy their wonderful spa treatments and services.

Stanly Ranch

Photo courtesy of Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection

Stanly Ranch

Napa, California

The elegant Stanly Ranch is set across 712 acres in California's wine country. This working ranch features upscale rooms and suites with a focus on indoor-outdoor living spaces. Their Halehouse Spa features a spa pool, cedar sauna, and steam room. Luxurious spa offerings include facials, therapeutic bodywork, and massages.

Sundara Inn & Spa

Photo courtesy of

Sundara Inn & Spa

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Sundara is Sanskrit for “beautiful,” an apt description of the 80-acre pine forest in which this premier Wisconsin spa resort is set. But it goes deeper than that. Eco-friendly, adults-only, and electronics-free in all public areas, Sundara knows that beauty and wellness go hand in hand. They’ve created tranquil spaces throughout the property so you can rest and reflect, and their spa treatments incorporate age-old healing practices with modern technology to energize your soul.

About 10Best Readers' Choice Awards

Nominees are submitted by a panel of experts. 10Best editors narrow the field to select the final set of nominees for the Readers’ Choice Awards. Readers can vote once per category, per day. For any questions or comments, please read the FAQ or email USA TODAY 10Best .

The Experts

Amy bushatz.

Amy Bushatz

Amy Bushatz is the host and producer of the  Humans...   Read More

Amy Bushatz is the host and producer of the  Humans Outside podcast. A news reporter and editor based in Palmer, Alaska, Amy spends her time ultra running and recreating in the Alaskan wilderness, volunteering in her small town and experiencing everything Alaska has to offer. Her work on outdoors, travel and fitness has appeared in the Washington Post, Runner's World and Market Watch.  Find her at Humans Outside on Instagram. 

Amy Bushatz

Christopher Parr

Christopher Parr

Christopher Parr is the Founder and...   Read More

Christopher Parr is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of  Pursuitist , one of the world’s most influential luxury lifestyle and travel guides.  Named a "Top 10 Luxury Travel Blogger” by USA Today 10Best, Parr has also been selected as the official winner in Luxury Lifestyle Awards’ 2023 list of the “Top 50 Best Luxury Influencers and Bloggers in the World.” In addition to Pursuitist, Christopher is a contributor to numerous travel and luxury publications and TV shows, including being the host of Travel Tuesday on CBS. Follow along on  Twitter.

Christopher Parr

Jacky Runice

Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home...   Read More

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and editor specializing in separating the riff from the raff in culture, entertainment, food, travel and pure unadulterated fun. Jacky is a member of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). In her best Chicagoese, Jacky asks, "Who has the time or money to blow on hotels, attractions, restaurants, exhibits and activities that blow?"

Jacky Runice

Jamie Davis Smith

Jamie Davis Smith

Jamie is an attorney, writer and photographer. She...   Read More

Jamie is an attorney, writer and photographer. She was born with deeply ingrained wanderlust and has visited 45 countries and counting. She often brings her children along for the adventure and is passing her love of travel on to the next generation. Jamie has written for   Insider,   Fodor's Travel ,   Yahoo ,  the Huffington Post , the  Washington Post,   Viator  and  Reviewed  among many other publications. Jamie is from Philadelphia and now lives in Washington, DC, where she takes advantage of everything the region has to offer.    Jamie can be reached at  [email protected]  and can be found on  Twitter ,  Instagram  and  TikTok .

Jamie Davis Smith

Jean Chen Smith

Jean Chen Smith

Jean Chen Smith is a freelance journalist who has...   Read More

Jean Chen Smith is a freelance journalist who has been producing content for over 15 years. With a love of travel and storytelling, her intention is to create content to inspire and connect people to places, things, and experiences. Her articles have appeared in AARP, Travel and Leisure, 1859 magazine, Insider Travel, USA Today, Family Vacationist, The Oregonian, SFGATE,, and more. When not writing or teaching Pilates at her studio, she enjoys trail running, spending time with her pups Tonka and Paisley, and reading suspense novels.

Jean Chen Smith

Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los...   Read More

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, editor and party columnist specializing in travel, entertainment, film, food, wine, fashion and the other good things in life. She is a founding/voting member of the Critics Choice Association, who present the Critics’ Choice Awards every January. Her favorite places to be are on the beach in Southern California playing volleyball, scuba diving with the sharks in warm tropical waters or strolling the streets and soaking in the atmosphere of one of the world's great cities (New Orleans and Florence are her favorites).

Jenny Peters

Joanne and Tony DiBona

Joanne and Tony DiBona

Joanne and Tony DiBona know a thing or two about...   Read More

Joanne and Tony DiBona know a thing or two about creating photo galleries to share their personal travel experiences around the world with their readers.  Their articles have been featured on 10Best  for the past decade, as well as in national and international print and online media. Their awards for photography and journalism fill up an entire wall in their office, the most recent being a top national award for their US and international galleries published on 10Best. Follow their travel adventures on their scenic photography   website and travel blog . Have a question about travel? Contact them on their  Instagram and Facebook pages.

Joanne and Tony DiBona

Katie McElveen

Katie McElveen

Writer Katie McElveen began her travel career when...   Read More

Writer Katie McElveen began her travel career when a wrong turn on the way to a family vacation took her on an eleven hour odyssey that she thoroughly enjoyed. Today, more than 40 countries later, her work has appeared in Real Simple, Southern Living, Global Traveler, Fodor’s, Virtuoso, Bride’s, Islands, Reader’s Digest, AFAR and other publications.

Katie McElveen

Melissa Curtin

Melissa Curtin

Melisa Curtin is a travel and food writer who has...   Read More

Melisa Curtin is a travel and food writer who has documented her globetrotting adventures for over a decade. A Connecticut girl madly in love with California, her work has appeared in Lonely Planet, LA Weekly, Canadian Traveler, AAA, Roadtrippers, JohnnyJet, Travel Awaits, and many southern California print publications. Melissa is always on the hunt for the best local bites and destinations with few tourists, splitting her non-travel time between Malibu and Palm Springs with her husband and ever-growing collection of plants.    Traveling around the world at age 20 on Semester at Sea sparked Melissa's desire for learning about other cultures. As a 20+ year educator and new travel advisor with Fora, she inspires others to reach their goals and pursue their travel dreams. Some of her recent favorite jaunts include a Viking river cruise from Paris to Normandy with her mom, truffle hunting in Tuscany, and eating her way through Florence. Get to know the Best of L.A. and California by checking out her website  or following the @lalascoop on Instagram .

Melissa Curtin

Tamara Gane

Tamara Gane

Tamara Gane is an expert panel member for 10Best...   Read More

Tamara Gane is an expert panel member for 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. She's based in Reno/Lake Tahoe and in addition to USA Today 10Best, her work has been published in Travel & Leisure, Fodor's Travel, The Washington Post, SF Gate, Houston Chronicle, Lonely Planet, and more.

Tamara Gane

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

USA TODAY 10Best provides users with original,...   Read More

USA TODAY 10Best provides users with original, unbiased and experiential travel coverage of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world.

10Best Editors

Protect Your Trip »

Best u.s. national parks for 2024.

For more than 100 years, the National Park Service has managed millions of acres solely for the "enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations." Today, 63 designated national parks in the United States draw millions of visitors a year to witness jaw-dropping natural wonders and unforgettable terrains. To determine the best U.S. national parks, U.S. News considered scenic beauty, range of activities and the opinions of both travel experts and recent park visitors. Do you have a favorite park? Cast your vote below to help us determine next year's ranking. (Note: Some of the below destinations require reservations for timed entry. Plan ahead to ensure you can visit on your preferred date.)

Glacier National Park

Yellowstone national park, yosemite national park, grand canyon national park, grand teton national park, zion national park, denali national park and preserve, kenai fjords national park, bryce canyon national park, redwood national and state parks, arches national park, sequoia national park, olympic national park, hawai'i volcanoes national park, mount rainier national park, rocky mountain national park.

top 10 tourist countries

Considered one of the world's best places to visit , Glacier National Park spans two mountain ranges and includes more than 700 lakes across Montana. Take advantage of the park's expansive hiking trails, and be sure to hit traveler favorites like the Trail of the Cedars and Iceberg Lake Trail. Other activities include a ride along the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road and a trip to the unique Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Canadian border. What's more, Glacier National Park hosts plenty of free ranger-led activities like guided hikes and stargazing events ideal for visitors of all ages.

top 10 tourist countries

Even if Yellowstone didn't hold the incredible distinction of being the world's first national park, the 2.2 million-acre park, which stretches across Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, could easily stand on its own for its unique natural attractions and magnificent landscapes . Here, travelers can get lost in the splendor of Yellowstone's many lakes, mountains, bison-filled valleys and, of course, its unmatched hot springs and active geysers (of which the park boasts more than half of the world's supply). To avoid the crowds that often plague Yellowstone while also ensuring excellent weather, plan to visit in April, May or October.

top 10 tourist countries

One of California's most-visited national parks, Yosemite National Park stands out for its bevy of impressive waterfalls, such as Vernal Fall and Bridalveil Fall, as well as its unique granite rock formations like Half Dome and El Capitan. There are also ample scenic hiking and camping opportunities; just keep in mind that campsites sell out quickly after becoming available for booking, so make your reservations in advance. Whatever your itinerary may be, make sure to stop by the Tunnel View overlook, which offers showstopping panoramas of Yosemite Valley. What's more, the picturesque lookout spot is relatively easy to access (no hiking is required).

top 10 tourist countries

The Grand Canyon is so magnificent that even the highest quality photos don't do the Arizona park's vast beauty justice – you just have to see it in person. The 18-by-277-mile UNESCO World Heritage Site offers endless hiking opportunities with trails of various lengths and degrees of difficulty, as well as the chance to raft the Colorado River. For a slight break from the tourist crowds, head to the less-congested North Rim. And if you're looking for a different vantage point, consider a helicopter tour to learn more about Grand Canyon National Park and see it in all its glory from above.

top 10 tourist countries

Jackson Hole's backcountry is a wild wonderland begging to be explored. Once home to ranchers and fur trappers, this Wyoming park now offers more than 250 miles of trails that weave past forests, lakes and the jagged, snow-capped peaks of the Grand Teton mountain range. The Cascade Canyon Trail – which takes travelers past waterfalls, glacier-carved canyons and more – shows off the best of Grand Teton National Park's stunning topography. Don't forget to stop by the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center to stock up on maps, check out its informational exhibits and watch the interesting documentary film about the park.

top 10 tourist countries

Utah's Zion National Park is a paradise for thrill-seekers. Hike Angels Landing, which brings you up through a nearly 1,500-foot natural staircase (permits are required to hike this popular trail and are awarded through an online lottery system). You can also trek The Narrows, a roughly 10-mile hike through the thinnest section of Zion Canyon, which requires hikers to travel upstream through the Virgin River. For a less strenuous exploration of the park, join a shuttle bus tour to traverse the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, which takes you past many of the park's most famous landmarks.

top 10 tourist countries

Spanning six million acres of unspoiled Alaskan wilderness, Denali National Park and Preserve is as vast as it is fascinating. One-sixth of the park is covered in glaciers, and the tallest mountain in North America, Denali, stands within its bounds, towering at 20,310 feet high. The park appeals to true explorers as there isn't an abundance of marked trails. However, free ranger-led trail hikes are available seasonally. Visitors can also watch a sled dog demonstration, go snowmobiling or take a narrated bus tour of the 92-mile Denali Park Road to see scenic landmarks like Savage River and Wonder Lake.

top 10 tourist countries

Comprised of glaciers, coastal fjords and icefields, Kenai Fjords National Park transports guests to an age where ice covered large parts of the earth. The Harding Icefield – which was created more than 23,000 years ago – is one of this Alaska park's main features, extending for 700 square miles and viewable via the 8.2-mile Harding Icefield Trail. Visitors can also embark on the Glacier Overlook Trail and Glacier View Loop Trail to catch vistas of Exit Glacier, which flows from the famed icefield. Or, take a kayak or a boat tour to experience the awe-inspiring landscapes from the water.

top 10 tourist countries

Hoodoos are odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from forces of erosion, and Bryce Canyon National Park is home to the most extensive collection of hoodoos in the world. Located in southern Utah, the nearly 36,000-acre park offers an array of hiking opportunities. All trails offer a glimpse of the impressive red rock formations; visitors can also sign up for guided horseback riding tours. While Bryce Canyon is most popular in summer, the park's stark white snow-covered landscape juxtaposed with the orange-red rocks is an unforgettable sight. Winter is also a prime time for activities such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

top 10 tourist countries

As the name suggests, Redwood National and State Parks are best known for their sky-high redwood trees, which typically soar more than 300 feet tall. Along with exploring the old-growth redwood groves, travelers can hike past rivers, through prairies and along 40 miles of Pacific Coast shoreline, spotting wildlife like elk, sea lions and various species of birds as they go. If you can't stay long, scenic drives like Howland Hill Road and Enderts Beach Road showcase park highlights. But for those wanting to sleep under the stars and rise with the sun, there are four developed campgrounds.

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Established in 1929 and awarded national park status in 1971, Arches National Park covers nearly 77,000 acres in eastern Utah. Oddly shaped sandstone monuments occupy every view, and the formations make the park an excellent place for backpackers, rock climbers and hikers, not to mention photographers. Visitors will find a whopping 2,000-plus arches in the park – the world's densest concentration of these natural structures. The most popular to see are Landscape Arch, Delicate Arch and Double Arch. Plus, travelers will want to check out the visitor center, which features a wealth of information and exhibits outlining Arches National Park's history, geology and more.

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Sequoia National Park is defined by its beautiful, towering sequoia trees – the largest trees in the world. Travelers can hike through this unique California national park to admire its trees, rivers, meadows and wildlife. A visit here is not complete without seeing the Giant Forest's General Sherman Tree, which measures nearly 275 feet tall and more than 36 feet in diameter, making it the world's largest tree by volume. After you ogle the truly impressive evergreens, try some other adventurous activities like rock climbing, horseback riding or fishing.

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Among the nearly 1 million acres that make up Olympic National Park, visitors can wander through the enchanting Hoh Rainforest, trek to stunning overlooks and relax on more than 70 miles of Pacific Northwest coastline. One of North America's top hiking destinations , this Washington state gem features top trails like Mount Storm King and the Hall of Mosses. However, you will also want to save time for trying out one of Olympic National Park's other popular activities, which range from canoeing on Lake Crescent to birdwatching on Kalaloch and Ruby Beach.

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Visit Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park for a chance to get up close and personal with two of the world's most active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. The latter almost continually erupts, which visitors can witness from multiple points in the park, including Crater Rim Drive and the famous Chain of Craters Road (although eruption sightings are never guaranteed). While driving along Chain of Craters Road, set aside time to stop at the Kealakomo Overlook. The scenic lookout offers expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and the ancient village of Kealakomo.

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At 14,410 feet tall, Mount Rainer is the highest peak in the Cascade Range and the tallest volcano in the contiguous United States. Though thousands of travelers tackle the ambitious hike to the mountain's summit each year, it's far more popular to drive to Sunrise, the highest point accessible by vehicle, to soak in 360-degree views of the Cascade Range and Emmons Glacier. Numerous shorter hikes are also available at Mount Rainier National Park, so visitors can explore the temperate rainforests of Carbon River, admire the picturesque wildflower meadows at Paradise or search for the waterfalls in the old-growth forests at Ohanapecosh.

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The Rockies earn plenty of points for their convenience. Sitting about 70 miles northwest of Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park makes for an easy daytrip. However, you could also spend days exploring this Colorado park. The Rockies' magnificent landscape is one for the books, featuring more than 350 miles of scenic trails, plenty of lakes and numerous mountain peaks taller than 10,000 feet. If you're short on time, Emerald Lake Trail is a popular trek that's less than 5 miles round trip and promises spectacular alpine views. If you'd rather skip the hiking, opt instead for an auto tour of Trail Ridge Road.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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