The world’s most visited attractions

According to Forbes Traveler magazine, the following were the 50 most visited attractions in the world in 2007. I’m ashamed to say I’ve only done 31 of them, although I have done seven of the top nine.

Unfortunately it is yet another US-centric list with rather too much Mickey Mouse for my liking but I suppose this is what one would expect from an American magazine. I’m guessing this is a list of of places visited by Americans as opposed to being “the most visited” by all nationalities? In any event, I’m not sure I entirely trust this list. I understand they quite rightly left out the major religious sites, such as Mecca, but I’m shocked that Jerusalem does not register in one way or another. Another reason I suspect this is where Americans have visited, many of whom have a high sensitivity to “foreign places where we might get hurt or be served funny food!”.

How many of this list have you managed to visit so far? Which ones would you especially like to visit in the future and what which sites would you add to the list?

1) Times Square (New York City, NY) 35 million
2) National Mall & Memorial Parks (Washington, D.C.) 25 million
3) Disney World’s Magic Kington (Lake Buena Vista, FL) 16.6 million
4) Trafalgar Square (London, England) 15 million
5) Disneyland Park (Anaheim, CA) 14.7 million
6) Niagra Falls (Ontario, Canada & New York State) 14 million
7) Fisherman’s Wharf/Golden Gate National Recreation Area (San Francisco, CA) 13 million
8 ) Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea (Tokyo, Japan) 12.9 million
9) Notre Dame de Paris (Paris, France) 12 million
10) Disneyland Paris (Marne-La-Vallee, France) 10.6 million
11) The Great Wall of China (Badaling area, China) 10 million
12) The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Tennessee/North Carolina) 9.2 million
13) Universal Studios Japan (Osaka, Japan) 8.5 million
14) Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre (Paris, France) 8 million
15) Musee du Louvre (Paris, France) 7.5 million
16) Everland (Kyonggi-Do, South Korea) 7.5 million
17) The Forbidden City/Tiananmen Square (Beijing, China) 7 million
18) Eiffel Tower (Paris, France) 6.7 million
19) Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure (Orlando, FL) 6 million
20) Sea World Florida (Orlando, FL) 5.7 million
21) Pleasure Beach (pictured above) (Blackpool, England) 5.7 million
22) Lotte World (Seoul, South Korea) 5.5 million
23) Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise (Japan) 5.4 million
24) Hong Kong Disneyland (Hong Kong, China) 5.2 million
25) Centre Pompidou (Paris, France) 5.1 million
26) Tate Modern (London, England) 4.9 million
27) British Museum (London, England) 4.8 million
28) Universal Studios (Los Angeles, CA) 4.7 million
29) National Gallery (London, England) 4.6 million
30) Metropolitan Museum (New York, NY) 4.5 million
31) Grand Canyon (Arizona) 4.4 million
32) Tivoli Gardens (Copenhagen, Denmark) 4.4 million
33) Ocean Park (Hong Kong, China) 4.38 million
34) Busch Gardens (Tampa Bay, FL) 4.36 million
35) Sea World California (San Diego, CA) 4.26 million
36) Statue of Liberty (New York, NY) 4.24 million
37) The Vatican and its museums (Rome, Italy) 4.2 million
38) Sydney Opera House (Sydney, Australia) 4 million
39) The Coliseum (Rome, Italy) 4 million
40) The American Museum of Natual History (New York, NY) 4 million
41) Grauman’s Chinese Theater (Hollywood, CA) 4 million
42) Empire State Building (New York, NY) 4 million
43) Natual History Museum (London, England) 3.7 million
44) The London Eye (London, England) 3.5 million
45) Palace of Versailles (France) 3.45 million
46) Yosemite National Park (California) 3.44 million
47) Pyramids of Giza (Egypt) 3 million
48) Pompeii (Italy) 2.5 million
49) Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia) 2.5 million
50) Taj Mahal (Agra, India) 2.4 million

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9 thoughts on “The world’s most visited attractions

  1. Tokyo Disneyland? Universal Studios Osaka?

    What the heck?!?

    Why would you go to Japan to see stuff that’s too homogenised? Why not see some truly Japanese sights that you can’t get back home in the US? What’s the point of flying all that way and totally avoiding the sights and sounds and flavours of the other country?

    If you’re going to Japan try: the Meji Jingu shrine, visit the Shibuya crossings by Shibuya station, Roppongi at night. Then there’s Nara and Kyoto (with millions of shrines, beautiful architecture, maiko wondering the narrow streets between tea houses). Also Hokkaido (its ice sculpture festival in Feb(??) is meant to be amazing), Kyushu or even Hiroshima (really something to see if you are American).

    I didn’t actually count how many I’ve visited because I became a bit disgusted by the Americanisation of this list within the top 10.

  2. IMO a top 10 should look like that

    -Pyramids of Giza
    -Great wall of China
    -Himalaya mountains
    -Grand canyon
    -Acropolis of Athens
    -Vatican and its museums
    -Musee du Louvre
    -Times square
    -Ayers Rock
    -Stonehenge

    :)

  3. I find it extremely sad that Blackpool is number 21! Although I should think these figures are boosted somewhat by UK stag and hen nights and Saga Coach Holidays, for which Blackpool is famous for. I would think this is also the case for the Japanese Disneyland type location figures which probably comprise Japanese visitors only.

    Considering the Grand Canyon and Yosemite are much closer for Americans (although for some still classed as ‘abroad’), I would have thought these would have been higher up the list.

    26 for me and unfortunately this includes Blackpool (but only once when I was very young!).

  4. I’m not trying to excuse it, just explain it. The US is in many ways much like China: very inward looking, and for all our faults we react reflexively rather than thoughtfully if they are pointed out by foreigners. But that is by the numbers- something like only 25% of US citizens hold passports, although that may have increased since last official count because of new rules for Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada since 9/11.

    Yes, it’s a US centric list. Kinuk probably strikes closest to another reason for the miscount: domestic attractions in Japan (or China or other places) are probably not tallied properly relative to the others on the list. Although I have not done my homework, surely there are domestic places in China and Japan that belong on the list.

    Scatts, you are spot on when you cite “a high sensitivity to “foreign places where we might get hurt or be served funny food!” I don’t like it, but it is not unique. And it is not all Americans. Have you ever heard the tip not to eat in a Thai restaurant (in Thailand) that has a German language menu? It’s a reliable one – the food is crap. Perhaps something similar can be said for restaurants in many places in Asia catering to Japanese businessmen. I remember an article in Der Spiegel about German tourists from a few years back, but I’ll have to look it up.

    Anyway, enough ranting. My number is 18. It should be higher but I am not keen on amusement parks. Many notable absences in the US. What would I like to see added?

    Vancouver. The most beautiful natural setting for a city anywhere.
    Canadian Rockies – simply stunning.
    Somewhere in South America – how did they get left off? I haven’t travelled there enough to be informed.

    That’s my 2 cents.

  5. i DO NOT BELIEVE THE RANKING ABOVE… HOW CPOULD YOU MEASURE THE PEOPLE IN TIME SQAURE OR OXFORD LONDON OR eIFFEIL TOWER? tHERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE GOING IN EIFEEL TOWER… THEY MEASURE ONLY THE TICKET GOING TO THE eIFELL TOWER AND HOW ABOUT THE GROUND… THOUSANDS EVERYDAYS…

    tHE rANKING SHOULD BE LIKE THIS:

    1. EIFFEL TOWER
    2. gREAT WALL OF CHINA
    3. NIAGRA FALLS
    4. wESTMINSTER ABBEY lONDON
    5….
    2.

  6. My TOP ten attractions:

    1- Giza/Egypt
    2- Taj Mahal/India
    3- Eiffel Tower/France
    4- Vaticano
    5- Coliseo/Italy
    6- Great Wall/China
    7- Macchu Picchu/Peru
    8- Rio de Janeiro/Brazil
    9- Iguaçu Falls/Brazil
    10- Partenon/Greece

    TOP TEN Places I will visit soon:

    1- Basilio Church/Moscow
    2- Chichen Itza/Mexico
    3- London/England
    4- New York/USA
    5- Los Angeles/San Francisco/USA
    6- Grand Canyon/USA
    7- Opera House/Sidney
    8- Kilimanjaro/Tanzania
    9-Tehran/Iran
    10- Petra/Jordania

  7. Pingback: Senior Travelers: National Parks Must See Lists | Senior Citizen Journal

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