TripAdvisor has named the top 25 destinations in the world - and London isn’t top
Europe is very well-represented here
London has long been a treasured holiday destination for tourists from across the world – just ask anyone who randomly starts talking to you when you’re sat at dinner in the West End.
However, despite what that couple from Florida who “just love” the Royal Family will tell you, the British capital is no longer top of the charts.
TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards have seen the review site reveal its best-rated destinations, based on factors such as accounts from visitors from all over the globe and general interest from travellers.
In the end, London gave it a good college try but just missed out on the top spot. Here’s the top 25 in full.
25. Sydney, Australia
With sights including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach, Sydney remains popular despite the long-distance travel required to travel there from much of the rest of the world.
24. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio was a popular destination even before the recent World Cup and Olympic Games shed more light on the city, and the Copacabana Beach is reason enough to travel there on its own.
23. Cusco, Peru
Shrouded in history, Cusco gives tourists stunning landscapes and archaeology along with a look into Peru’s Inca past.
22. New Delhi, India
The Indian capital offers a wonderful blend of old and new, with stunning architecture and – just as important to some – cheap drinks.
21. Hurghada, Egypt
A very affordable route to North African sun for European tourists, Hurghada has emerged as a popular destination, mostly due to its beaches and coral reefs.
20. Hong Kong, China
Blending island and city living, Hong Kong is popular with tourists looking to enjoy short breaks during travels across Asia, or longer stays to take in the food and local culture.
19. Kathmandu, Nepal
There’s more to Nepal than the Himalayas, not least Kathmandu’s temples and other historic sites. Of course, Everest base camp is a mere 154km away too.
18. Tokyo, Japan
Perhaps surprisingly low on the list, the Japanese capital is a city unlike almost any other and one which many will want to tick off their must-visit list sooner rather than later.
17. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
With beaches, bars and pretty much all-year-round high temperatures, it’s easy to see why Dubai has become popular with tourists of all budgets.
16. Lisbon, Portugal
European enough for budget airline flights and far enough south for relative warmth, Lisbon’s museums, architecture and stunning old town explain why tourists are so enamoured.
15. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
A Mexican beach town with a European and American influence, Playa del Carmen is a popular stop-off for anyone keen to live it up while staring out across the sea.
At just over 4,000 square miles in area, the Caribbean island is small enough to allow tourists to explore a few different parts of the country in one visit – or just stay on one of its famous beaches throughout.
13. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat might be the biggest attraction in this Cambodian town, but there are plenty of temples, markets and bars to make this a very satisfying all-round tourist spot.
12. Hanoi, Vietnam
If you’ve ever gone travelling around South-East Asia, Hanoi will have likely been one of your stop-offs, and the Vietnamese capital remains popular among tourists from Asia, Europe and further afield.
11. Phuket, Thailand
With beaches, parties and a buzzing town centre, Phuket will always be top of the list for many visitors to Thailand.
10. New York, United States
New York offers the choice of fast-paced city life and famous monuments, and the best thing about it is you don’t need to choose between the two. Spend a day around Times Square or Central Park, or just chill at the more laid-back bars in Brooklyn – the scope of the city means there’s very little you can’t do.
9. Istanbul, Turkey
Near enough to the UK that you won’t need to suffer through a day-ruining long flight, but far enough away culturally that you’ll get plenty out of your trip there. Don’t forget to enjoy a Turkish bath during your trip, while also embracing the historic architecture and modern twists.
8. Marrakech, Morocco
Arguably Morocco’s most recognisable tourist city, you can while away days in Marrakech’s markets. And that’s before you even start to get onto the other attractions like the Menara Gardens and many striking palaces.
7. Prague, Czech Republic
The Czech capital is a great choice for a European city break, and regularly ranks amongst the best destinations on the continent by anyone’s reckoning. It’s becoming more popular – and more crowded – but that’s no excuse not to visit.
6. Barcelona, Spain
Combining city and beach attractions, the Catalan capital offers a lot. You can take in the town squares and architecture, or take a short trip to the beach, or do both – from Park Güell to the Sagrada Familia and beyond, you can’t really go wrong.
5. Crete, Greece
Plenty of Greek Islands will top a lot of people’s must-visit lists, but Crete is and always will be up there. It’s a great spot for just taking in religious buildings of the island, but it’s just as tempting to do very little and enjoy the beach paradise.
4. Bali, Indonesia
The highest-ranked Asian destination on the list, Bali is ideal for warm weather and cultural artifacts. As colourful as it is picturesque, it’s easy to see why so many tourists will flock there all year round.
3. Rome, Italy
If you’re after memorable architecture and buzzing city squares, Rome will be perfect for you. It’s a great city for just strolling around aimlessly, though you’ll surely want to take in the Colosseum while you’re there – and football at the Stadio Olimpico is a must-see if you’re in town at the right time.
2. London, UK
The UK’s only entry was ever-so-close to the top spot, but just missed out. Tourists will point to Buckingham Palace and the various museums and galleries, but it’s easy to forget how much London has to offer if you see it as somewhere you live either in or near.
1. Paris, France
Where else? With Notre-Dame Cathedral, Montmartre, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées and more… I’m sure we’re forgetting something here… oh yes, and the Eiffel Tower, Paris almost has too much for a weekend. Even spending a couple of weeks there will leave you with items you didn’t get the chance to tick off your list, so it’s no surprise folks keep flocking back.
You can find the full TripAdvisor list here.
(Images: Marcin Nowak/Unsplash/Getty)