These are the top ten most popular tourist attractions in the world based on annual visitor numbers. How many can you tick off your must-visit list?
10. Disneyland Paris, France
Located just 20 miles (32km) outside of Paris is the Euro Disneyland. Opened in 1992, the park draws 10.6 million visitors annually from Europe and beyond. The complex is made up of two themeparks as well as hotels, golf course and numerous hotels. The top 5 most popular attractions are the ‘it's a small world’ in Fantasyland, Space Mountain: Mission 2 ride, Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean and the awesome Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast®.
9. Notre dame de Paris, France
The stunning Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral celebrates its 850th anniversary this year and is the most popular tourist attraction in France, with 10.6 million visitors annually. Notre Dame is home to Quasimodo, the fictional character from the Hunchback of Notre-Dame novel.
8. Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, Urayasu, Japan
Located just outside of Tokyo, the Japanese Disneyland was the very first to open outside of the USA, in 1983. As with all the Disneyland resorts, the centrepiece is the Cinderella Castle with similar attraction that are within the 2 USA Disney resorts (see below). And with 13 million annual visitors, this is the most popular themepark outside of America.
7. Fisherman’s Wharf and Golden Gate, San Francisco, USA
The Fisherman’s Wharf neighbourhood district of San Francisco, along with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge receives 13 million visors each year. There’s plenty to do in the Wharf with Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square and the Maritime History Park located here. The Golden Gate Bridge spans the strait and is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the US.
6. Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and New York State, USA
The three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls are located on the border between Canada and the USA. Collectively 14 million visitors annually visit Niagara from both Ontario in Canada and New York State in the USA. Niagara Falls is the tenth widest waterfall in the world at a width of 1,203 meters (3,948 feet) and a height of 51 meters (167 feet).
5. Disneyland Park, Anaheim, California, USA
This is the very first Disney resort and was opened in 1955 and in fact the only park to be built under supervision from Walt Disney himself. The centrepiece is the Sleeping beauty Castle and the Disney fairytale characters wander the eight lands which contain many themepark rides, stalls and shops. Around 14.7 million travellers visit each year and cumulatively over 600 million people have come through the hallowed gates.
4. Trafalgar Square, London, UK
More than 15 million people each year head to Europe’s most popular tourist attraction; Trafalgar Square in London, to hang out with the pigeons and people watch. The centrepiece is the Nelson’s Column monument which is flanked by four lion statues. Located in Westminster, Trafalgar Square is the location for political gatherings and annual events such as New Year’s Eve.
3. Magic Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, USA
The Magic Kingdom resort within Florida’s Walt Disney World is the third most popular tourist attraction in the world with 17 million annual visitors. Since it opened in 1971, children of all ages have dreamed of visiting Disneyworld. The dreamy Cinderella Castle forms the centerpiece of the theme park and is surrounded by six themed lands; Main Street, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Each land is packed full of theme park rides, shows and attractions, and of course, all the famous Disney characters.
2. National mall and memorial parks, Washington DC, USA
The USA’s capital city, Washington DC, draws over 25 million visitors annually who are keen to explore the Memorial Parks. Visitors come to pay their respects at the memorials and see the various monuments for themselves. Just some of the iconic structures within the area include the Constitution Gardens, the Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. There are also various monuments dedicated to war veterans, such as those that fought and died in World War II, Korean War and the Vietnam War.
1. Times Square, New York City, USA
Times Square is at the very heart of the Big Apple and with 35 million visitors each year, it’s also the most popular tourist attraction on earth! Times Square is also the entertainment hub of New York City with an abundance of music venues, comedy clubs and of course, world-famous Broadway theatre district. The Time Square area has tons of things to and with an abundance of 24/7 shops, hotels and restaurants, you’ll never be bored. And with a whole host of year-round events from Valentines, Solstice, Kiss-In and of course the HUGE New Year’s gathering, NYC is the place to be seen!