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These Are 8 Of The Best Cultural Destinations In Europe 

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With tourism taking the world by storm again this year, there are many different segments to look at within the overall tourism industry. 

Specific categories of travel, such as business, adventure, and luxury, are all growing by leaps and bounds, but there is another segment that’s also seen a huge boom in numbers recently, which is cultural tourism

Young woman enjoying beautiful landscape view on the riverside from the tourist ship during the sunset in Paris

Yes, cultural tourism is definitely trending this year, and some estimates indicate that the global cultural tourism market is estimated to increase by USD 6600.71 million dollars in the next 5 years. 

While there is no shortage of places to visit around the world to get your dose of culture, some stand out more than others. According to a recent study, there are 35 places that rise above the others to take the title of the best places to visit for cultural tourism. 

This list was compiled by looking at data from World Heritage Site, a private community of travelers committed to visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites to preserve their importance. 

The rankings are a good indicator of the top destinations with the larger general public for cultural tourism, as the number of World Heritage Site visitors to these sites helps to gauge the popularity and impressions of the location.

Keep in mind the numbers seen reflect check in’s only from the members of this group and do not reflect the millions of other tourists that visit these locations each year. 

Here Are 8 Of The Best Cultural Destinations In The World:

Beautiful view of Westminister Bridge and Big Ben with Parliament Houses

1. Paris, Banks Of Seine 

To see this French capital as the top cultural destination in the world should not come as much of a surprise to anyone, as its overflowing with culture, history, beauty, and architecture.

The River Seine is especially beloved for its cultural influence and is a world heritage site that has been visited by 1094 members of the World Heritage Site (WHS) community. 

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A cruiseboat along the Seine River

2. Rome

As one of the oldest cities in the world, it makes sense that Rome would rank highly on the list of best cultural destinations.

With world-famous sites such as the Colosseum, amphitheaters, the Pantheon, the Vatican, and many others, there’s so much culture to experience in this stunning city.

This explains why it’s placed firmly at the second spot on this list by members of the WHS community, with 1052 visitors. 

Colosseum in Rome in sunrise

3. Westminster

This area of London is tucked into the River Thames, on a bend in the North Bank. Many consider it the best starting place for any London visit, and it houses some of the city’s most iconic sights, such as Westminster Abbey, the House of Parliament, and of course Big Ben.

As the seat of power in the United Kingdom and the central point for all social activities for the Royal Family, there is more culture here than you can possibly experience in one visit.

1028 WHS visitors have come to Westminster to explore the varied assortment of cultures that can be found here. 

Westminster Abbey in London

4. Tower Of London 

1022 members of the World Heritage Site group have visited this iconic landmark in England's most bustling and culture-packed city.

As one of the oldest world’s great cities, there is no shortage of culture in London.

One of London’s world heritage sites, the Tower of London, is important to understanding the city’s history and in understanding the culture that shaped it.

Tower Of London with river

5. Amsterdam Canal Ring 

939 WHS members have checked into this culture-packed destination, and who can blame them?

Amsterdam is having a bit of a rebranding recently, and as it turns its back on its notorious party scene, the culture that's always been here will likely move to center stage. 

Amsterdam canals with boats

6. Vienna

As the world center for both classical music and psychoanalysis, Austria’s capital city Vienna is jam-packed with culture.

Come to visit this beautiful and clean city and marvel at the architecture, the coffee culture, and the museums and amusement parks. Vienna has been visited by 900 WHS members. 

Statue of Archduke Charles and Museum of Natural History dome, Vienna, Austria

7. Vatican City 

With 888 visitors from the WHS community, this worldwide center for the Catholic faith draws a lot of visitors who come for more than just religion.

As Rome’s most popular tourist attraction, many also come for the museums, the art, and the culture. 

St.Peter's basilica and Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II bridge in Vatican, Rome.Italy

8. Venice And Its Lagoon 

Its hundreds of canals, bridges, winding alleyways, and gondolas make Venice a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The culture here flows all around you and spills out onto the balconies of the ancient buildings lining the canals.

It’s no wonder that 886 members of the World Heritage Site community have visited this destination. 

boat going under bridge in venice canal italy

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


M.Prusa

Sunday 18th of June 2023

I would definitely choose Prague instead of any of the above!

HonestyandRealityGuy

Saturday 3rd of June 2023

Not a Venice fan. Smelly canals. We also stayed at Hotel Danieli, supposedly the best hotel. End of April was 90 degrees yet they did not turn air conditioning on until May - policy.

Opened window, used fan, so smelly. Never going back.

Try Prague instead. Wonderful memories.

Eduardo M. Nogoy

Monday 5th of June 2023

@HonestyandRealityGuy, thanks for feedback and recommendation!