10 Most Visited Cities In Britain

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, boasts of its quaint and picturesque castles, winding alleys, and rich culture.
Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, boasts of its quaint and picturesque castles, winding alleys, and rich culture.

Tourism is defined by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) as the movement of people to countries outside of their usual environment. A visitor is somebody who visits for daytime duration only, and a tourist is somebody who visits with an overnight stay. Inbound tourism is about people visiting from another country. In 2014, tourists from abroad spent about £19.1 billion visiting English cities. These trips amounted to 29.8 million trips to England only.

England boasts of a long historical culture that has also allowed its cities to become a natural attraction for visitors and tourists alike from the United Kingdom itself and from abroad. It has many cities and other destinations that offer all that a tourist could want to see and experience. London is undoubtedly the most visited city in Britain, with overseas visitors far outnumbering those of other cities. In 2015, there were about 1.3 billion day trips to English cities and attractions alone.


London had the most number of tourists amounting to 16,784,000 in 2013. Tourists usually come from the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, and other EU countries. Among the most visited attractions in London were also landmarks such as the London Eye, London Aquarium, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Shard, Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace.


Edinburgh came in second with 1,303,000 tourists in 2013. Tourists come for the famous festivals in Edinburgh as well as for its monuments and museums. Some are attracted to archaeological digs in and around the city. Others enjoy its nightlife and restaurants. The city also boasts of historical castles and as a UNESCO City of Literature. Important names include Robert Louis Stevenson, J.K. Rowling, and Walter Scott.


Manchester was the third most visited city at 988,000 tourists in 2013. The most visited attraction in the city is Albert Square for its gothic architecture. The city's Christmas markets are also popular during the winter months. Manchester United rules the city as the famous football club in England. The Village is an area famous for its all gender tolerance in England. Tourists from all over the world also come to enjoy its restaurants and nightlife.


Birmingham came in fourth with 941,000 tourists in 2013. The city is known for JRR Tolkien, Rip Van Winkle, Conan Doyle, and Cadbury Chocolate. Shopping and the countryside also make this city a popular destination. The city is known as an industrial city with museums and art galleries that compete with its old world charm. Attractions include Cadbury World, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Soho House, and Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses.


Liverpool is fifth with 562,000 tourist visits in 2013. Historical parts of the city have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is also known as City of Culture famous for the origin of the musical band, the Beatles. Tourists from all over the world come for its art and culture. Local attractions and destinations include The Albert Dock and Maritime Museum, The Cavern Club, The Bluecoat, and its two football clubs, Liverpool FC and Everton FC.

Other Popular Cities Of Britain

Tourists also visited other famous cities in Britain in 2013 that included: Glasgow with 515,000 tourist visits and famous for its cathedral, oldest house, and largest cinema in the world; Oxford with 456,000 tourist visits and famous for its University, Bodleian Library, The Bridge of Sighs, and Blackwell’s Bookshop; Bristol with 428,000 tourist visits and famous for its maritime history, Cabot Circus, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery; Brighton and Hove with 409,000 tourist visits and famous for its seaside resorts, Asian architecture, gay community, and The Palace Pier; and Cambridge with 404,000 tourist visits and famous for its university, old town, medieval streets, and Mathematical bridge.

Which Are The 10 Most Visited Cities Of Britain?

RankUK CityNumber of overnight overseas visitors in 2013
9Brighton and Hove409,000

More in Travel