For the past decade or so, Mastercard releases a Global Destination Cities Index that offers an analysis of over 160 cities, ranking them on their popularity with tourists. It looks at the number of people visiting the cities (and staying at least overnight), as well as public data about how much they tend to spend there. Check out what they had to say about the Most Visited Cities in 2018:
1. Bangkok, Thailand – 20.05 million
For the third year in a row, Bangkok has been the top city for international visitors. With its unique mix of historical palaces and temples and its infamous entertainment hot spots, Bangkok caters to a wide variety of tastes.
2. London, UK – 19.83 million
London is full of iconic sights that you just have to see. It is often called a city of diverse experiences, with something for everyone. Palaces, cathedrals, gardens, art, history, culture, and great food, this city has it all. It is also known for its cultural diversity and thriving business opportunities.
Also Read: A Beginner’s Guide To London
3. Paris, France – 17.44 million
Paris is a city of tree-shaded boulevards, romantic bridges, and spectacular museums. It is almost impossible to resist the charms of its chic boutiques and delicious food, and millions of visitors seem to agree. From stunning Gothic cathedrals to serene walks along the Seine and the vibrant artistic Montmartre, there is something for everyone here.
Also Read: How To Spend a Weekend in Paris
4. Dubai, UAE – 15.79 million
Dubai is known for its luxury shopping and ultra-modern buildings. Filled with high rise glass buildings, massive malls, and swanky hotels, this city in the desert seems almost futuristic. However, there is also another side to Dubai, one of old souks, historic homes, and quiet tea houses. Having recently broken its own record for the world’s tallest hotel, the city remains a must-see for many.
5. Singapore – 13.91 million visitors
Singapore is said to be one of the safest countries in the world. It is a melting pot of cultures and one of the top choices of expats. Singapore is also extremely easy to explore thanks to its efficient public transport systems. It is also known to have the world’s best airport and as a great food destination.
6. New York City, USA – 13.13 million
Perhaps the most vibrant city in America, New York City is also known as the “City that Never Sleeps”. Full of iconic sights such as the Empire State Building, Central Park, excellent restaurants and the neon-lit Times Square, this vibrant and charming city has something for every traveller. It is also the only American city to make the top ten.
Also Read: New York City Discovered
7. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 12.58 million
The glittering city of Kuala Lumpur is known for its streets lined with colourful food-stalls. Also known as “KL” it is a popular transit point to a lot of places in Asia. With both enormous infrastructure and amazing natural sights, it is a popular holiday destination for many.
8. Tokyo, Japan – 11.93 million
Japan’s busy capital is a unique mix of ultra-modern and traditional. Tokyo has both neon-lit skyscrapers and historic temples in equal abundance. There is also an almost unlimited choice of shopping, food, and entertainment to be had here. Set to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo is sure to see a steady increase in visitors.
9. Istanbul, Turkey – 10.70 million
Turkey is a country rich in culture and history, and its largest city is no different. Despite its modernity, Istanbul still maintains influences of the many empires that once ruled it, most prominently the Byzantines (Roman) and Ottomans. With its historic wonders and delicious food, its no wonder that so many people want to visit.
Also Read: 25 Places You Must Visit In Turkey This Year
10. Seoul, South Korea – 9.54 million
Seoul has seen a slight dip in visitors this year, even though South Korea hosted the Winter Olympics in early 2018. Nestled beside the Han River, the capital of South Korea is a beautiful city. The city’s long history and hilly landscapes make it a top destination, as do its amazing spas and restaurants.
Also Read: Things To Do In Seoul On Your Next Trip
You can find out more of the most visited cities in the world at the Mastercard website here.