Top 20 most visited Cities in 2023

For millions of people who endured strict lockdown laws during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2023 provided them with the opportunity to travel without restrictions.

Whether it was Asia, Europe, North America or beyond, they ventured to, the world was literally their oyster. But this begs the question of where did people choose to go to.

Well, in this article, we’ll reveal the 20 most visited cities in 2023. Did you visit any of the places on this list?

20. Hong Kong (8.23 million visitors)

Top 20 most visited Cities in 2023

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Coming in at 20 on the list of the most visited destinations in 2023 is Hong Kong. Blessed with a dynamic fusion of culture, commerce and cuisine, one is guaranteed an unforgettable experience if they go here.

The iconic Victoria Peak offers breathtaking panoramic views of the skyline and Victoria Harbour. Alternatively, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant street life at Mong Kok’s bustling markets, explore the culturally rich neighbourhoods of Sheung Wan and Kowloon, or visit the serene Wong Tai Sin Temple.

Elsewhere you can experience the city’s cosmopolitan vibe in Central’s sleek skyscrapers and indulge in a Michelin-starred culinary adventure. Don’t forget to visit Hong Kong Disneyland or relax on the picturesque beaches of Repulse Bay.

19. Bali, Indonesia (8.26 million visitors)

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Bali is known for its warm hospitality, stunning scenery, and vibrant arts scene, and if it was more centrally located, it would undoubtedly receive a lot more than the 8.26 million visitors who went there in 2023.

Amongst its main drawcards are pristine surf beaches like Kuta and Seminyak, while Ubud’s lush landscapes offer ancient temples and vibrant markets. The iconic Uluwatu Temple, perched on cliffs, also provides awe-inspiring sunset views and Insta-worthy photo opportunities.

Additionally, you should take your time to immerse yourself in Balinese culture by watching traditional dance performances and exploring the ancient Goa Gajah cave. Nature thrives in the terraced rice fields of Tegallalang and the sacred Monkey Forest, while Bali’s spirituality resonates in Tanah Lot’s sea temple

18. Palma, Spain (8.96 million visitors)

Top 20 most visited Cities in 2023

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Palma, the radiant capital of Mallorca in Spain, offers a perfect blend of history and coastal charm.

The imposing Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria dominates the skyline, overlooking the azure waters of

the Bay of Palma, while the Royal Palace of Almudaina offers a glimpse into the island’s regal history.

Elsewhere, Paseo Marítimo invites leisurely strolls along the waterfront, while Bellver Castle affords panoramic views of the city. Visitors should also take the time to wander through the historic quarter’s narrow cobblestone streets to discover art galleries, museums, quaint boutiques and tapas bars.

17. Barcelona, Spain (9.09 million visitors)

Top 20 most visited Cities in 2023

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Barcelona is a beautiful Mediterranean city renowned for its stunning architecture and vibrant culture.

The historic Gothic Quarter, with its labyrinthine streets, showcases centuries of medieval history in its structures and charming squares. Make sure you also take a leisurely stroll down the iconic La Rambla – a bustling promenade full of street performers and market stalls.

Elsewhere, Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces, such as the surreal Sagrada Família and the whimsical Park Güell, redefine the cityscape. In addition, The Picasso Museum is a must-visit, where you can explore a rich collection of the artist’s early works. When you want to relax, the beachside neighbourhood of Barceloneta offers a chilled out atmosphere in the sun.

16. Milan, Italy (9.1 million visitors)

Top 20 most visited Cities in 2023

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Milan, the fashion and design capital of Italy, is well known for its culture and sophistication.

From luxurious shopping to artistic treasures, it seamlessly blends tradition and contemporary allure. Some of its main highlights include its iconic Duomo, which showcases Gothic grandeur and panoramic city views. In addition, Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ draws art enthusiasts to the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, while the historic Sforza Castle houses art collections spanning from the Renaissance to the modern era.

Milan’s fashion district, Quadrilatero della Moda, dazzles with haute couture boutiques and trendy shops. At the same time, La Scala, one of the world’s foremost opera houses, hosts breathtaking performances.

15. Pattaya, Thailand (9.44 million visitors)

Popular with young people, Pattaya is a vibrant coastal city in Thailand, renowned for its lively nightlife along Walking Street. However, there is more to just partying here.

Jomtien Beach offers a more tranquil escape, complemented by water sports and golden sunsets. Elsewhere, the Sanctuary of Truth, an ornate wooden temple, showcases intricate craftsmanship. You can also explore the underwater world at Pattaya’s vibrant coral islands or witness the awe-inspiring Tiffany’s Cabaret Show. For a unique experience, visit the vibrant Floating Market or enjoy the beautiful displays at the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden.

14. Phuket, Thailand (9.89 million visitors)

Top 20 most visited Cities in 2023

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Still in Thailand, the country’s largest island, Phuket, comes in at number 14.

This is a great place to come if you love the beach with Patong, Kata and Karon all being popular destinations sunbathing and water sports.

Away from the beach, the iconic Big Buddha presides over the island, providing expansive views. You should also check out Old Phuket Town’s colorful Sino-Portuguese architecture and lively markets.

Other places to visit include Phi Phi Islands, which feature turquoise waters and coral reefs perfect for snorkeling and diving and Wat Chalong, a revered Buddhist temple, that reflects local spirituality.

13. Makkah, Saudi Arabia (10 million visitors)

Next up is Makkah, the holiest city in Islam. Many of the people who visited here in 2023 did so on a pilgrimage, visiting places like the magnificent Masjid al-Haram which houses the Kaaba, the focal point of Muslim prayer.

Another notable sight is the Abraj Al Bait Towers – dominated by its the Clock Tower – which showcase unparalleled views of the sacred mosque and the city, while Jabal Al-Noor, home to the Cave of Hira, also holds historical significance.

A trip to The Well of Zamzam, which accommodates sacred water and the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Museum enriches the pilgrimage experience.

Beyond religious significance, Makkah’s vibrant souks and cultural heritage contribute to a unique blend of spiritual and historical exploration.

12. Osaka, Japan (10.14 million visitors)

Osaka in Japan is a city that is full of energy and historical treasures. It is also known for its rich culture and amazing food.

The main drawcard here is Osaka Castle, an iconic landmark which stands amidst cherry blossoms during springtime. That said, Dotonbori, a lively neon-lit district that houses various street food delights and famous landmarks, including the Glico Running Man sign, is another must-visit destination.

Foodies should also head to the bustling Kuromon Ichiba Market for local delicacies, in particular, fresh seafood, while Universal Studios Japan is the place to be for fun and entertainment. For those who want to experience peace and serenity, Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine is your best bet.

11. Seoul, South Korea (11.25 million visitors)

Top 20 most visited Cities in 2023

Narrowly missing out on the top 10 is Seoul, the dynamic capital of South Korea. It seamlessly blends ancient traditions with modernity, offering a diverse range of experiences for the visitor.

The city boasts many attractions such as the historic Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is adorned with vibrant changing-of-the-guard ceremonies and the futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Tourists can also explore Insadong’s traditional tea houses and Bukchon Hanok Village’s well-preserved historic homes. For panoramic city views, head to N Seoul Tower, while Myeongdong is the perfect

destination for shopping and street food.

Elsewhere, the pulsating Gangnam district is known for K-pop culture and upscale boutiques, while the serene Jogyesa Temple and the Han River’s scenic parks offer respites from the urban hustle.

10. Antalya, Turkey (12.41 million visitors)

Top 20 most visited Cities in 2023

Coming in at number 10 is the Turkish city of Antalya, which offers a magnificent blend of history, nature and Mediterranean charm.

High on its list of attractions is the ancient city of Perge which showcases well-preserved ruins, while Aspendos boasts a spectacular Roman theatre. The historical Kaleiçi district also enchants with its narrow cobblestone streets and Ottoman-era architecture. At the same time, Hadrian’s Gate is a Roman triumphal arch that overlooks the city.

Visitors should also take the time to explore the Antalya Museum’s rich archaeological treasures and immerse themselves in Turkish culture at the Ataturk House Museum. Nature lovers will also want to see the stunning Düden Waterfalls cascade into the Mediterranean and relax on Konyaaltı and Lara beaches.

9. Tokyo, Japan (12.93 million visitors)

Tokyo is an expensive city to visit, but it didn’t stop almost 13 million people going there in 2023.

Arguably one of the most fascinating cities in the world to visit, Tokyo is a vibrant metropolis that beautifully combines ancient traditions with futuristic innovation. The city offers a breathtaking view from the iconic Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree, while the historic Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa showcases its spiritual charm. Also Tokyo comprises of diverse districts, from the busy Shibuya Crossing to the high-end shopping district of Ginza that are well worth exploring.

Harajuku’s Takeshita Street is known for its quirky fashion trends, whereas the serene Meiji Shrine is surrounded by lush greenery. Elsewhere, Akihabara’s electronic wonderland features cutting-edge technology, while Shinjuku is known for its vibrant street life.

If you happen to go there iIn spring, Ueno Park’s cherry blossoms are a sight to behold. All year round the Tsukiji Outer Market tempts visitors with its fresh seafood delights.

8. Istanbul, Turkey (13.4 million visitors)

Istanbul in Turkey is a fabulous city that connects two continents. It boasts historical landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace that showcase the grandeur of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Another notable highlight is The Grand Bazaar – a bustling marketplace where you can discover a vibrant tapestry of spices, textiles, and crafts.

Visitors can also enjoy a scenic boat cruise on the Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia. But for those who prefer to be on dry land, the Sultanahmet district is a fascinating labyrinth of streets that enclose the Basilica Cistern and Hippodrome relics.

Istanbul’s culinary scene is a delight for foodies, with diverse flavours to tickle your taste buds. And finally, Taksim Square is a lively hub of modern Turkish vibrancy that you should definitely explore.

7. New York, USA (13.6 million visitors)

Top 20 most visited Cities in 2023

You might think that New York City would appear higher on this list, but it only comes in at number 7.

The global icon pulsates with an electrifying energy, offering a kaleidoscope of experiences. The towering Statue of Liberty and historic Ellis Island welcome visitors to the city’s immigrant legacy, while Times Square dazzles with neon lights and Central Park provides a serene urban escape. In addition, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art house world-class collections and Broadway theaters stage iconic performances,.

Up in the Freedom Tower, the One World Observatory offers splendid panoramic views. Don’t forget to walk the Brooklyn Bridge too.

6. Kuala Lumpar (13.79 million visitors)

Just outside the top five is the bustling Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

Known for its architectural marvels, cultural treasures and culinary delights, its main attraction is the the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, which boasts a gleaming skyline that symbolises the city’s progressive spirit.

History buffs will enjoy a visit to Merdeka Square which narrates Malaysia’s story of independence and is surrounded by colonial-era architecture. Vistors should also immerse themselves in local culture at the Batu Caves, which features with colourful Hindu shrines.

The lively Bukit Bintang district pulsates with shopping and entertainment, while KL Tower offers panoramic views and Jalan Alor’s street food haven is a foodies delight.

5. Singapore (14.67 million visitors)

Impeccable cleanliness, efficient public transport and cultural diversity make Singapore an enthralling destination to visit.

The iconic Marina Bay Sands, featuring an infinity pool and SkyPark, defines the city’s skyline. Congruently, the Gardens by the Bay – a futuristic botanical wonder – captivates with its Supertree Grove and Cloud Forest. Tourists should also take a tour of diverse cultures in Little India, Chinatown and Kampong Glam.

Away from the mainland, Sentosa Island features family-friendly attractions, while Orchard Road lures shopaholics. The historic Raffles Hotel and colonial district also exude a bygone era that everyone should make a point of visiting.

4. Dubai, UAE (15.93 million visitors)

Dubai is a playground of luxury and adventure that welcomes travelers from all over the world.

It boasts several impressive landmarks, such as the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest skyscraper in the world and the Palm Jumeirah archipelago, home to luxurious resorts and beautiful beaches. The Dubai Mall, a shopper’s paradise, is located next to the iconic Burj Al Arab – a sail-shaped

architectural wonder.

If you’re interested in exploring the cultural richness of the city, you can visit the historic Al Fahidi district or check out the spice and gold souks. At the same time, the Dubai Fountain’s water and light show is a spectacular sight to behold.

Additionally, you can experience indoor skiing at Ski Dubai, or visit the Dubai Frame, which beautifully frames both the old and new parts of the city.

3. London, England (19.09 million visitors)

Coming in at three is London, which received just over 19 million visitors in 2023.

Many of the people came to visit Buckingham Palace and the iconic Tower of London, although the British Museum and Tate Modern were very popular among art and culture lovers too.

A stroll along the River Thames, takes you past the majestic Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. While close by, Covent Garden’s lively atmosphere contrasts with the tranquil beauty of Hyde Park. In addition, the West End’s theatres stage captivating performances, while Camden Market and Notting Hill provide eclectic shopping experiences.

2. Paris, France (19.10 million visitors)

Just a hop across the channel from London, Paris was the second most visited tourist destination of 2023.

A destination that captivates visitors with its timeless charm, blending romance, history and artistic brilliance, tourists are spoilt for choice when it comes to things to see and do. Top of the list is undoubtedly the Eiffel Tower, closely followed by Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum and The regal Palace of Versailles.

The Seine River is another popular attraction to explore, particularly when you cross charming bridges to explore the vibrant Latin Quarter and the artistic Montmartre. Food is a quintessential part of the French travel experience, so you should take the opportunity to sample as many culinary items as possible.

1. Bangkok, Thailand (22.78 million visitors)

Bangkok in Thailand was comfortably the most visited city in the world in 2023, with over three million more people going there than second placed Paris.

A city of contrasts, Bangkok entices with plenty of cultural treasures, and culinary delights. The ornate Grand Palace, with the Emerald Buddha is a must see. Meanwhile, Wat Arun’s towering spires adorn the Chao Phraya River banks, creating a spectacular sunset panorama. Tourists also flock to the bustling markets of Chatuchak and the flavoursome street food stalls along Khao San Road. The cultural hub of Jim Thompson House and the serene Lumpini Park also provide diverse experiences.

Bangkok, of course, is also known for its energetic nightlife around Sukhumvit and its opulent shopping malls like Siam Paragon.