This Is the Most Visited Country in the World, New Data Shows

People have visited this gorgeous country more than anywhere else—and it's not the U.S.

Whether you're planning your first big trip since COVID hit or just dreaming of finally checking off a destination from your life-long bucket list, traveling is definitely on people's minds right now. According to the World Tourist Organization (UNWTO), international tourist arrivals fell by 72 percent between Jan. and Oct. of 2020, but things are slowly but surely picking back up to where it was before the pandemic. As people begin to feel more comfortable with flying and exploring once again, eager travelers are starting to flock to all the top travel destinations across the world. But which countries are the most popular to visit? Read on to find out the most visited country in the world according to the UNWTO, and get inspired to plan your next trip.

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5
Italy

venice italy view of the santa maria basilica from the canal
Shutterstock

We start the number five spot in Europe: They've got pizza, they've got gelato, they've got a whole lot of visitors. Italy's international tourist numbers reached almost 64.5 million people just in 2019. Aside from the food, Italy has amazing things to do including but not limited to visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa, taking a gondola ride in Venice, or checking out the Colosseum in Rome.

4
China

busy city in China
iStock

Number four on the list is China, another country with delicious cuisine and fascinating historical sites. But unlike Italy, China is a massive country, with huge cities to explore like Beijing and Shanghai. In 2019, 67 million people decided to make China their travel destination, perhaps visiting the Great Wall or the Yangtze River.

3
United States

times square in new york city
Shutterstock

With its wide range of tourist attractions from coast to coast, you may have thought the United States would be the top spot, but it landed in third with 79 million visitors in 2019. Whether people are choosing to experience the hustle in bustle of New York, the mountain ranges of Wyoming, the beaches of California, or anything in between, there is something for everyone in he good ol' US of A.

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2
Spain

overview of the center of barcelona spain
Shutterstock

Spain has so many historic and beautiful cities filled with churches, castles, and eye-catching architecture, it's no wonder it is ranked as the second most visited country in the world. Whether traveling to Barcelona, Seville, Grenada, Madrid, or more, the UNWTO reported that over 83.5 million people visited Spain just in 2019.

1
France

eiffel tower beside the river
Shutterstock

France is the most visited country in the world. From the cafés of Paris to the countryside vineyards to the beaches in the South of France, more people have visited this alluring country than anywhere else in the world. France just has that je ne sais quoi that speaks to travelersnot to mention the bread, wine, and cheesein 2019, 89 million international visitors chose it as their vacation destination.

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Courtney Shapiro
Courtney Shapiro is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Before joining the Best Life team, she had editorial internships with BizBash and Anton Media Group. Read more
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