What is the Number One Tourist Destination in the World?

France is the world's premier destination for international travelers, according to the latest figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Spain follows closely behind, with more than 82 million visitors. The United States, China, and Italy round out the top five. The Acropolis of Athens stands at the top of modern-day Athens, beckoning visitors to explore its ancient steps that have been walked since 438 BC - a staggering 2,500 years ago.

India's Taj Mahal is a must-see for all travelers to the country. While India is full of incredible cities and places to visit, the 17th century Taj Mahal is the only one that truly says you've been there. If you think you have a good grasp on ancient sites after visiting places like Rome's Colosseum or Athens' Acropolis, then prepare to be amazed by the Pyramids of Giza. These structures were built more than 4,500 years ago and have been drawing tourists for thousands of years.

In a land of modern cities and towering skyscrapers, the Great Wall of China stands out as a stark contrast and an iconic image that all visitors to China should see. A walk along its top offers an incredible view of its winding path that stretches an astonishing 21,196 kilometers through some remote areas. Stonehenge is one of those places that makes you ponder what happened there more than 4,500 years ago. Despite the large number of tourists that flock to Stonehenge each year, it still retains a mysterious aura.

Borobudur dates back to the 9th century and is one of the largest Buddhist temples in the world. It's a fascinating place to explore, with more than 500 Buddhas scattered around the site, some of which are hidden beneath ornate stupas. Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest peak and one of its most recognizable symbols. The snow-capped mountain stands at an impressive 5,985 meters (19,340 feet) and often serves as a backdrop for photographs of wild animals in Amboseli National Park and other areas.

The Louvre Museum in Paris houses countless masterpieces by some of the greatest artists who ever lived. But even the building itself is an icon - its crystal pyramids and 18th century architecture are recognizable to almost everyone and have been featured in countless films. Like the Great Wall, Beijing's Forbidden City - also known as the Imperial Palace - is one of China's must-see attractions. The sprawling complex dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries and is a spectacular example of historic China.

Inside its walls lies the Palace Museum with over 340,000 artifacts showcasing China's dynasties. In front of it stands Tiananmen Square - one of Beijing's most iconic landmarks. Prague Castle looms atop a hill across from the city center, casting an imposing shadow over its surroundings. The castle is an incredible collection of buildings built between the 9th and 14th centuries and offers visitors a chance to explore its ornate 14th century Charles Bridge that crosses Vltava River and its narrow winding streets.

It is one of the largest castles in the world and every corner reveals a historic building, church or open square. Chichén Itzá in Mexico boasts some of its most impressive structures such as Kukulkan Pyramid - restored to its full glory - as well as Great Ball Field, Temple of Warriors and Skull Platform. It can be easily reached on a day trip from Cancun, Playa del Carmen or other areas in Riviera Maya either on your own or as part of a group tour. Rio de Janeiro's port is one of seven natural wonders of the world and offers breathtaking views from atop Corcovado Mountain (709 meters).

The best way to reach it is by walking through Tijuca National Park on Corcovado Cremallera trail (3.5 kilometers). Château de Versailles in France showcases 17th century grandeur at its finest. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it should be at the top of your list when visiting France. The castle has an incredible 2,300 rooms with some of France's most impressive interior design works - particularly in its world-famous Hall of Mirrors - as well as King's State Apartment and Queen's Apartment.

Mount Fuji in Japan is one of three Sacred Mountains declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites and stands at 3,776 meters tall - making it Japan's tallest mountain and most recognizable symbol often depicted covered in snow. It is located 100 kilometers east from Tokyo and can be easily accessed by public transport or excursions. Paris - popularly known for its Eiffel Tower - remains one of the world's top tourist destinations for good reason. From iconic landmarks to panoramic views of Sydney's skyline, Sydney Harbour offers 150 miles worth of beauty for visitors to explore - including Sydney Opera House and Royal Botanic Gardens.

The White House in Washington D. C., USA needs no introduction.

Chandra Klingerman
Chandra Klingerman

Amateur food evangelist. Amateur beer advocate. Incurable zombie scholar. Extreme food trailblazer. Far horizon trailblazer.

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