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Top ten hottest holiday locations

  • Written by Insiders

More than 90 million tourists worldwide flock to the top ten global holiday locations every year, according to new research. 

Paris and Istanbul top the table as the most popular destinations in research compiled by the holiday car rental experts at You can read more here.


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Rome is in the top ten most popular cities 

The list of the most visited countries worldwide features many beautiful cities in the world, and has compiled the most popular locations on the list before the pandemic.

A spokesperson for said: “There are so many different places to visit, these countries offer such a variety of activities and sites to keep you interested across your trip, however long. 

“Each of the top locations we identified have many tourism jewels, such as the Segrada Familia in Barcelona and the Statue of Liberty in America, whether you are on a short break or an extended vacation.” 

Here are a top ten holiday destinations identified by 

Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia, Spain - Perhaps coming as no surprise, Spain’s most popular tourist attraction is the famous Segrada Familia in its most famous city, Barcelona. According to Statista and Spain Guides this famous landmark was the top Spanish destination for holiday-goers in 2021 and looks to continue this way in 2022. Barcelona pulled in seven million visitors in 2019. 

New York, United States - Again, probably not the most surprising result but the US’s most popular destination each year, with 14 million visiting the city in 2019. Sites such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building draw in millions alone each year and boost the tourism industry of the States.

Paris, France - Over 19 million people visited Paris in 2019, with attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Élysées drawing in visitors from all across the globe. Paris is also renowned as the most romantic city in the world, and is not named the City of Lights for no reason, having a stunning night scape.

Rome, Italy - For overall visitor numbers, Rome saw nearly 11 million in 2019, with some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world. People flock to spend the day looking around the Colosseum or spend time at the Vatican City.

Athens, Greece - Greece has a fairly even spread of numbers across its major cities but Athens comes out on top with 6.3 million visiting in 2019. Greece has perhaps the biggest mix of historical sites and party destinations in the world and this is reflected in the distribution of tourism numbers. 

 Portugal - On Portugal’s Tagus Estuary, Lisbon overlooks much of the Portuguese coast on its hilltop perch. It is one of the prettiest cities in Europe and pre-pandemic drew in 3.64 million tourists.

Berlin, Germany - In 2021 Berlin had the most visitors among German cities with 5.1 million tourist arrivals, down from 6.1m pre-pandemic. Berlin has some of the most historically interesting sites in Europe, including the Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial, located very close to one another.

Sydney, Australia - New South Wales reported the largest number of foreign visitors pre-pandemic of any Australian state. Its capital, Sydney is the most famous city in Australia, home to the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach, attracting a huge amount of visitors during the summer months.

Toronto, Canada - Hailed as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, Toronto is also Canada’s most visited city, seeing 4.7 million in 2019. A two-hour drive from Toronto finds Niagara Falls, one of the most famous attractions in the world, with some years seeing in excess of 12 million visitors.

Istanbul, Turkey - It is close between the iconic Istanbul and Antalya representing the European/Asian side of Turkey, and the Mediterranean side. It is Istanbul that takes the top spot, narrowly with just one million more visitors pre-pandemic. With historical sites such as the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque it is hardly surprising that Istanbul is so popular.

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