Times Square in New York City.

The World's Top 10 Most Visited Cities

Each year millions of people travel around the world to see iconic landmarks, experience new cultures, and try exotic cuisines. The most visited city in the world in 2023 was Hong Kong with nearly 27 million visitors. Next was Bangkok, and in third place was London.

The Most Visited Cities In The World

Rank City Number of Tourists (2023)
1 Hong Kong 26.6 million
2 Bangkok 21.2 million
3 London 19.2 million
4 Singapore 16.6 million
5 Macau 15.4 million
6 Dubai 14.9 million
7 Paris 14.4 million
8 New York 12.7 million
9 Shenzhen 12.6 million
10 Kuala Lumpur 12.3 million

1. Hong Kong, China - 26.6 million

Tourist Train, Above Hong Kong, SAR, China
Tourist Train, Above Hong Kong, SAR, China

The vast majority of Hong Kong's visitors come from the Chinese mainland. While not technically a part of China proper, Hong Kong exists as a Special Administrative Region within China. This allows Hong Kong to hold on to the economic and political traditions that it inherited while it was a British colony.

Hong Kong is made up of various islands, all of which are easily accessible thanks to a stellar public transportation system. Its political separation from China has also made Hong Kong a bastion of traditional Chinese culture, food, and customs.

2. Bangkok, Thailand - 21.2 million

Royal Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok.
Royal Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok.

Known for its vibrant street life and lovely cuisine, Bangkok has remained one of the most visited cities for decades. Most of the tourists that come to Bangkok hail from India, Korea, Japan, China, and Russia, but there is no shortage of other visitors too.

While its thriving night scene has certainly gained itself a shady reputation, there is so much more to the city than outrageous parties and the red light district. Bangkok has a litany of stunning Buddhist temples and other cultural monuments to see.

3. London, United Kingdom - 19.2 million

Buses zoom past Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.
Buses zoom past Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.

Once the heart of the British Empire, the prestige and allure of London has not yet faded. London is a city that is rich in history and culture which stretches back more than 2000 years. There are endless landmarks to go and see ranging from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace.

London is so large and sprawling that there are nearly endless things to do. The Soho neighborhood in London regularly hosts festivals and other cultural events. Visitors are also likely given the chance to see live entertainment be it a concert or football match in the Premier League.

4. Singapore - 16.6 million

Aerial view of Singapore business district and city at twilight.
Aerial view of Singapore business district and city at twilight.

One of the richest countries in the world, Singapore underwent an unrecognizable transformation in the 20th century. Starting from a small collection of tenant farms and fishing villages, Singapore in 2023 now leads much of Asia in finance, trade, and banking.

The wealth that has come to Singapore can be witnessed in its marvelous architecture and public works. Its now famous Gardens by the Bay is enough to make a lasting impression on anyone. Even the airport in Singapore is sure to stun first-time tourists.

5. Macau, China - 15.4 million

Macau, city skyline at night.
Macau, city skyline at night.

Macau is in a similar situation to Hong Kong. Another Special Administrative Region within China, Macau has gone a slightly different route than its sister city. Macau is often hailed as the "Las Vagas of the East" due to its abundance of casinos and thriving nightlife.

The bulk of its visitors are Chinese nationals looking to strike it rich or to enjoy the bars, live shows, and street life for a nice weekend getaway. No matter what you are looking for in a vacation, there is a good chance that Macau has it.

6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates - 14.9 million

View of the Dubai city skyline at night.
View of the Dubai city skyline at night.

Dubai has catapulted itself into the global consciousness in the last decade thanks to its clever marketing as a playground for the rich elite. Every over-the-top and ostentatious activity you can think of will be outdone in Dubai.

The Dubai skyline hosts one of the newest world-famous landmarks, the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Dubai is also a hub of high-end shopping and fine dining. If you decide to travel to Dubai make sure you bring the platinum credit cards.

7. Paris, France - 14.4 million

City of Paris.
City of Paris.

Known as the "City of Love," Paris has served as Europe's cultural center for centuries. Paris is equipped with its classic landmarks such as the iconic Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Arc de Triomphe.

Outside of the standard attractions, Paris has much more to offer. Its nightlife and romantic atmosphere are unrivaled. Not to mention there is an endless amount of world-class restaurants that simply cannot compare to anywhere else.

8. New York, USA - 12.7 million

Times Square, New York.
Times Square, New York.

The Big Apple is the beating heart of the United States. While the USA might have tons of different regional cultures, internationally, most people imagine New York when they think of the United States.

Timeless attractions like Times Square, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty are all amazing to behold in person. Outside of Manhattan, the other boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx all have their own gems as well.

9. Shenzhen, China - 12.6 million

Shenzhen city skyline at night.
Shenzhen city skyline at night.

Just a stone's throw away from Hong Kong is the Chinese megacity of Shenzhen. Its nice weather and charming landscape have made Shenzhen one of the go-to places for Chinese nationals to spend their vacation.

The sheer size of Shenzhen is hard to put into words. There are entire segments of the city that are dedicated to entertainment alone. Shenzhen is also known for having various theme parks making it a great destination for families.

10. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - 12.3 million

erial view of Kuala Lumpur skyline with giant skyscrapers
Aerial view of Kuala Lumpur skyline with giant skyscrapers.

Kuala Lumpur serves as the capital city of Malaysia and it is best known for being a blending pot of various cultures and faiths. The city is the perfect mix of both traditional and modern, with much of the city still showing signs of its history as a British colony in some of its architecture.

Malaysian cuisine is criminally underrated and underexposed and Kuala Lumpur is the best place to discover some of the best food in Asia. The downtown core of the city is a bustling metropolis filled to the brim with its own set of iconic landmarks such as the famous Merdeka 118.

Final Thoughts

These cities are all top-notch destinations and are appropriate for all age groups. If you want to avoid large crowds, each city has a time in the year that experiences fewer visitors, making it the perfect time to go if you want to miss the busy seasons.

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