The world has famous places that attract millions of people every year. But, which are the most visited? New York? Paris? Turkey?
Let’s find out in this article which are the 10 most visited places in the world.
10. Grand Central Terminal, New York, USA
Let’s start our list with a New York landmark and landmark: Grand Central Terminal.
The busiest train station in the world serves 21 million people annually, the equivalent of 57,500 per day.
It was opened in 1871 by the New York Central Railroad during the golden age of long-distance rail transportation.
It is located in Manhattan, on Park Avenue and 42nd Street. It has 44 platforms and 2 underground levels of tracks, the upper one with 41 and the lower one with 26.
Grand Central is also a tourist attraction visited by people who have no intention of traveling. Its brick vaults designed by the master builder, Rafael Guastavino Moreno (1842-1908), are emblematic.
The entrance to the imposing lobby is impressive with its large spaces, its aquamarine ceiling and the hustle and bustle of thousands of passengers.
More than 10,000 meals a day are served at the station and the oldest establishment is a hundred years old, the Oyster Bar, opened in 1913, now a franchise. It is famous for its oysters and shellfish.
Employees of the lost and found department are never short of work. Every year some 20 thousand personal objects are lost and found and 6 out of 10 are recovered by their owners. The main items missing are electronics and coats.
Also read our guide on the 50 best places to visit in New York
9. Niagara Falls, New York and Ontario, USA and Canada
The ninth place among the most visited places in the world is occupied by these majestic waterfalls, between the United States and Canada, which are seen each year by 22 million observers.
The wide curtains of water 64 meters high formed by the Niagara River, encompass 3 sectors: the Canadian Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls, the smallest of the three.
The Canadian Falls, also known as Horseshoe Falls, gets its English name from the horseshoe shape of its monumental crest over 670 meters wide, which encompasses 90% of all Niagara’s water. Approximately 2/3 is in Canada and 1/3 in the United States.
The American Falls is in the state of New York, USA. Its crest is 250 meters wide in a straight line and its maximum height is 57 meters.
Bridal Veil is also located in the United States and is separated from Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls by Goat Island and Moon Island, respectively.
The water from the falls has been used since the end of the 19th century to produce electricity. It was there that Nikola Tesla’s invention of the alternating current system, now the electrical industry standard, was tested.
8. Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo, Japan
This Buddhist temple dedicated to Kannon, a bodhisattva of Buddhism associated with compassion and frequently called in the West, “god of mercy”, receives 30 million visitors annually.
The Kannon statue inside the temple was found by the Hamanari and Takenari Hinokuma brothers in the Sumida River in the year 628.
The fishermen handed it over to Hajino Nakamoto, the village chief, who recognized its importance and remodeled his own home into a small temple.
The shrine, in the Asakusa district, was opened in 645, making it the oldest in the Japanese capital.
The powerful Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868, designated Senso-ji as its tutelary temple.
The temple was destroyed by bombing in World War II, and was later rebuilt and reopened as a symbol of Japanese renaissance.
To one side is the Asakusa Shrine, a Shinto temple that pays homage to the founders of Senso-ji. Its construction occurred in 1649 by order of shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu. Its logo is 3 fishing nets that honor the fishermen of the 7th century who found the image of Kannon.
7. Meiji Shrine, Tokyo, Japan
This Tokyo shrine built in honor of Emperor Mutsuhito is one of the world’s top tourist spots, welcoming 30 million visitors annually.
Mutsuhito, the 122nd Emperor of Japan, ascended the throne in 1868 until he died in 1912. His reign ended the 265-year period of rule by the Tokugawa shoguns, ushering in the Meiji era, or “era of the cult of rulers.”
With Emperor Mutsuhito, Japan opened up to modernity following the Prussian model of Kaiser Wilhelm II, becoming the power that would be defeated by the US to end World War II.
Upon his death, Japanese emperors are named after the era in which they reigned and Mutsuhito’s posthumous name is Meiji Tenno.
The Meiji Shinto shrine, erected in his honor, was built in a field of lilies in the Japanese capital, which the emperor took to visiting in the company of the empress, Shoken.
It was beautifully built of cypress wood and copper, opening in 1926. The bombing of Tokyo during the final stage of the war destroyed it, but it was rebuilt in 1958.
The sanctuary is in the middle of a beautiful 70-hectare forest. It has murals and a museum alluding to the life of the royal couple.
Read our guide on the 30 tips for traveling to Japan that you should know
6. The Strip, Las Vegas, USA
The Strip is a 6,400-meter strip of Las Vegas Boulevard that concentrates the most famous casinos and entertainment venues in “Sin City.” It receives 30.5 million people annually, being one of the most visited places in the world.
The most famous vegan street has places of interest such as the fountains of the Bellagio Hotel, the replicas of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, the Madame Tussauds Museum, the Fashion Show shopping center and the Shark Reef Aquarium.
The fountains at the Bellagio Hotel are the best free show in Las Vegas. Its 1,200 water jets rose for the first time to the rhythm of the music in 1998 and since then the place has become popular as the final point of the weddings celebrated in the “Marriage Capital of the World”.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, at The Venetian Las Vegas hotel and casino, exhibits more than 100 wax figures of famous characters from film, music and sports, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Tiger Woods .
The Shark Reef Aquarium, at the Mandala Bay Resort and Casino, has a huge tank of 4.9 million liters of water, where more than 100 species swim, including sharks and rays.
5. Union Station, Washington DC, USA
The main railway station in the US capital is visited annually by 40 million people, ranking fifth among the world’s most frequented places.
It was inaugurated in 1907 according to a design by the American architect and urban planner, Daniel Burnham.
The US Senate asked Burnham in 1901 to prepare the “City Beautiful” plan, to give Washington DC the appearance of a world capital.
So, the urban planner conceived the new terminal eliminating the tangle of roads that had taken over the city center.
The entrance offers visitors a soaring vaulted façade and 183-meter-long statuary. The main hall has a coffered ceiling almost 30 meters high, where the gold leaf that reflects the sunlight that enters through the enormous Diocletian windows stands out brilliantly.
The old central hall, converted into the heart of the station, extends for 232 meters. Its glass barrel-vaulted ceiling rises 14 meters, making this hall one of the largest in the world.
Union Station also functions as a bus, subway and taxi station. It is also a popular shopping destination for residents of the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
4. Central Park, New York, USA
The well-known New York Central Park is one of the most visited places in the world. This green rectangle of Manhattan with an area of 3.4 km 2 is the main green lung of the “Big Apple” and the most frequented park in the US, with an influx of 40 million people a year.
Apart from vast green areas with grassy spaces for entertainment activities, the park has artificial lakes and ice skating rinks. In its flora it has a grove of 1,700 elm trees, one of the last ecosystems of this species in the northeastern United States.
Its fauna includes squirrels, fish, turtles, rabbits, frogs and an avian variety of about 280 species, which make it a favorite place for bird watchers.
Central Park is New York’s busiest spot for outdoor sports and entertainment.
Park Drive, its longest street at 10 km in length, is frequented by joggers, skaters and cyclists. The arrival of the New York Marathon is in Central Park.
The park buzzes in the summer with performances by the New York Public Theater, concerts by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, open-air movies and popular pop music figures, and dancing.
3. Times Square, New York, USA
Among the most touristic places in the world, we must note New York’s Times Square, which welcomes 50 million visitors a year.
It is the intersection of Seventh Avenue with Broadway Avenue and gets its name from One Times Square, the building where the offices of The New York Times were located.
It is the place that symbolizes American luminous advertising, being a New York urban icon such as Piccadilly Circus in London and Red Square in Moscow.
In the years after US independence it was a farming and horse breeding area owned by General John Scott.
The New York fashion for skyscrapers, between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, put Times Square on the table and its theaters, restaurants and luxury hotels were frequented by celebrities such as Charles Chaplin and Fred Astaire.
The crime rate grew significantly in Times Square during the decadent period that New York went through in the 1970s and 1980s, from which it recovered in the 1990s with the work of the mayor, Rudolph Giuliani.
Among the main attractions located in or very close to Times Square are the famous New Year’s Eve ball that can take on up to 16 million shades of color; the New York headquarters of the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and the Broadway theaters.
2. The Zocalo, Mexico City, Mexico
The second place among the most visited places in the world is occupied by the zocalo of the Mexican capital, which annually receives some 85 million people.
Its official name is Plaza de la Constitución and it has an area of almost 47,000 m2 , making it the largest square in the Spanish-speaking world.
It is located in the historic center of Mexico City, next to the Templo Mayor, the main religious and political center of the pre-Hispanic city of Tenochtitlán, capital of the Aztec Empire.
The zócalo is surrounded by the National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City, the Government Building of the city and the Old Palace of the City Hall, so it remains the political and religious center of the country.
The National Palace is the seat of the federal government. From its main balcony, the President of the Republic gives the famous Grito de Dolores every September 16, which commemorates Mexican independence.
The interior of the palace is decorated with famous publicly accessible murals by the celebrated painter, Diego Rivera.
The Metropolitan Cathedral is the main colonial church in the city built between the 16th and 19th centuries, housing architectural styles from 4 centuries.
The zócalo has been the scene of the main political and social events of CDMX since pre-Hispanic times.
1. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
The list of the most visited places in the world is headed by the Grand Bazaar of the ancient Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, the current Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey.
The Grand Bazaar has 91.3 million visitors a year, being the largest in Turkey and one of the largest in the world.
It is currently made up of 58 shopping streets where there are 4,000 shops and stalls specializing in jewelry, goldsmiths, spices, antiques, rugs, and thousands of other items.
Preserving a fifteenth-century tradition, the shops are grouped by guild or type of activity.
It has 2 bedestenes, the typical commercial building of the Ottoman Empire, with a design similar to that of a mosque.
The oldest and first bedesten in the Grand Bazaar was built in 1464 by Mehmed II, the Ottoman sultan who took Constantinople in 1453 ending more than a thousand years of the Roman Empire.
The original Grand Bazaar was mainly dedicated to the sale of textiles, being known at the time as the Silk Bazaar.
The area of the Grand Bazaar is 45,000m2 and has 22 gates. It sells more than 12,500 different items and employs 20,000 people.
The streets are named after the guilds that offer their wares on them, such as jewelers, fur sellers, and mirror sellers.
Which countries or regions of the world are the most visited places?
According to international travel statistics from the World Tourism Organization (2017), the country with the most foreign visitors is France, with 89.9 million tourists.
In second place is Spain, with 81.8 million visitors. They are followed by the United States (75.9 million), China (60.7 million) and Italy (58.3 million).
What are the most visited countries in the world?
France, Spain, the United States, China and Italy, which form the top 5 of world tourism in number of foreign visitors, are followed by Mexico (39.3 million), Great Britain (37.7 million), Turkey (37.6 million), Germany (37.5 million) and Thailand (35.4 million).
What is the most visited country in Europe?
The most visited country in Europe is France, with 89.9 million foreign visitors a year.
World tourism remains seduced by Paris, with its great attractions such as the Louvre Museum, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, French gastronomy and Parisian cabarets.
The European top 10 is completed by Spain, Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, Austria, Ukraine, Greece and Poland.
Most visited places in the world: Latin America
Mexico is followed in Latin America by Argentina, with 6.7 million visitors a year, Brazil (6.6 million), Chile (6.5 million) and the Dominican Republic (6.2 million).
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