Tourism in 2023 has seen a swift recovery, and travelers seem to be more eager than ever to experience the best of what the world has to offer.
While there’s no shortage of gorgeous, culturally and historically rich destinations around the globe, there are a few countries that are clearly outperforming the rest in terms of mass appeal.
Recent data from The United Nations World Tourism Organization shows that these three destinations are the most visited in the world right now.
The most visited country on Earth continues to hold onto its crown, having welcomed over 79.4 million foreign tourists this past year alone.
It’s impossible to pinpoint a single facet of French culture that’s responsible for the country’s international allure – after all, there’s a lot to appreciate in La Belle France.
Here, you’ll find some of the most iconic landmarks in the world, including the Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles, and the Musée du Louvre, not to mention the numerous castles, cathedrals, and museums.
These attractions offer far more than visual appeal, as France’s rich, captivating history can be experienced through them as well.
Speaking of the country’s rich cultural heritage, the great thing about visiting France is that you don’t have to book an extensive museum sightseeing tour to experience it.
The French contributions to art, music, literature, and fashion are so significant that you’ll be able to enjoy a part of the region’s history just by walking down the street, getting some pastries at a local cafe, or shopping around Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
Foodies will have the time of their lives here. France is renowned for its delectable cuisine that can take all forms and flavors, from flaky croissants to aromatic coqs au vin.
If you’re looking for the perfect drink to accompany any of these world-famous dishes, you can always opt for a glass of French wine or Champagne.
After all, the local vineyards attract legions of tourists all by themselves.
At some point, though, it seems unfair that a country that boasts this level of cultural and historical allure is also naturally blessed with some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes you’ll ever come across.
Take a day away from Paris to visit the picturesque French countryside, majestic Alps, and inviting Riviera.
71.7 million international tourists visited Spain this year, proving once again that the European hotspot is only becoming more popular as time goes on.
Spain is gorgeous, warm, inviting, and has something to offer to tourists all year long – in short, it’s the perfect setting for the European getaway of your dreams.
When it comes to building a landmark-filled itinerary, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Spain is home to some of the most famous attractions in the world, including the Alhambra in Granada, the Sagrada Família, Park Güell, the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, and the Royal Palace of Madrid.
The country’s storied past attracts millions of history lovers and is evident in the local architecture, art, music, and even current events and festivals (e.g., the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, La Tomatina in Buñol, and Semana Santa).
However, one of Spain’s biggest selling points is undoubtedly its gorgeous Riviera. Here, you’ll find some of the most coveted beaches in the world, including destinations like Ibiza, Costa del Sol, and the Balearic Islands.
3. United States
The no. 3 title is held by none other than the United States, the sole representative of the Americas in UNWTO’s top 5 round-up.
This past year, over 50.9 million international visitors entered the U.S., most of which headed to hotspots such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, and Miami.
It’s safe to assume that one of the biggest driving points behind this surge in tourism is the country’s vast and diverse geographical landscape.
Here in the U.S., tourists can find just about anything – from idyllic coastlines and expansive deserts to towering mountains and lush forests.
In the same vein, city trippers and outdoor adventures will all find a destination that matches exactly what they’ve been looking for, sometimes just a dozen miles away.
Iconic landmarks are scattered all across the country. The Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, and the Golden Gate Bridge are just a few that need to make it to every traveler’s must-see list.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com