One of the biggest reasons any of us chooses to visit a destination is the lure of the wonders therein. Manmade and natural, historic and cutting edge – what we collectively (and rather lazily in my opinion) call tourist attractions often promise enough inspiration and awe to convince us to travel halfway around the world to see them. But not all deliver on that promise.
So which are worth the money and time to see, and which aren’t worth the effort and cost? Luckily, Stasher has done the research for you with its study into 99 of the world’s best and worst tourist attractions. That research took in a range of data, including TripAdvisor and Google reviews, accommodation quality using Booking.com’s user ratings, tourist safety using WorldPopulationReview’s country rankings valued by their host country’s GPI (Global Peace Index), distance from airport, and TikTok engagement by accumulated views.
The World’s Best Tourist Attractions
Perhaps surprisingly, top spot goes to the Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest. Vast and neo-Gothic, it dominates the River Danube and is home to the National Assembly of Hungary. It earns a 7.34/10 overall rating in the list with 93.4% of visitors rating it ‘Very Good’ and ‘Excellent’ on TripAdvisor and giving it 4.8/5 on Google. Hungary also has an excellent tourist safety rating of 1.4/5 with a lower score representing greater safety.
Second place goes to something a little more mainstream – Disneyland Paris, which rates 7.17/10. It scores strongly in quality of accommodation and has a good 4.5/5 Google rating, but is less popular on TripAdvisor with only 58.2% visitors rating it ‘Very Good’ and ‘Excellent’. It’s popular on TikTok though, with nearly eight billion views of tagged posts!
Third spot goes to the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s iconic geothermal hot pools that make you feel like you’re sitting on another planet. Rated at 7.15/10, the volcanic landscape and silica-rich luminous blue waters not only rejuvenate body and soul but also make for very popular photo opps. Iceland is also about as safe a place to visit as exists anywhere, with a 1.1/5 Global Peace Index score.
The top five is rounded out by the Plaza de España in Seville, Spain and the world’s largest religious monument, Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. For attractions in the UK and US you’ll have to scroll down the list to positions 24 and 25 respectively to find the National Gallery in London and Disneyland Park California, each with a score of 6.44/10.
The World’s Worst (Or Least Best) Tourist Attractions
Bearing in mind that this survey looks at just 99 tourist attractions, it seems harsh to describe them as the “worst” – perhaps “least best” is a fairer description.
Taking that dubious honor – and not for the first time – is the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. The world-renowned lineup of palm and paw prints on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street garnered a woeful 3.42/10 as an overall rating. While a Google rating score of four doesn’t sound so bad, less than 20% of TripAdvisor feedback rated it as ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’. America’s poor showing in the Global Peace Index where it’s rated 3.85/5 also dragged the Walk of Fame down the rankings with various reviews describing it as “dirty” and “unsafe.”
Not far above it in the ranking is the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. One of the world’s oldest and most renowned markets may be overflowing with history, but that didn’t stop it rating poorly in almost every category, from poor tourist safety to middling TripAdvisor ratings. On a side note, I was once insulted by a market trader in the Grand Bazaar who rudely waved me away from his stall selling knock-off designer handbags insisting I looked too poor to even buy the fake ones!
Rounding out the five least best tourist attractions are the Taj Mahal in India (not helped by its location 136 miles away from the nearest airport), Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida that suffered from a dearth of good quality nearby accommodation, and Lotte World in South Korea, a vast Disney style resort with the world’s largest indoor amusement park.
The Top Ten Tourist Attractions In The World
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