Tourist attractions make up a large part of any holiday itinerary. They may even be the number one reason for making the trip.
So, it’s important that tourists know what to expect. Nobody wants to think ‘is this it?’ when arriving at a tourist attraction. But every traveller has experienced the disappointment of reality not living up to expectations at some point.
To help, the data analysts at Stasher have ranked 99 global tourist attractions to find out what’s worth visiting and what might be worth skipping.
They collected the latest city and country-level data available for key categories* including Google reviews, quality of local accommodation, distance from the nearest international airport, tourist safety and TikTok popularity to give each attraction an overall score out of ten.
The World’s Best Tourist Attractions
If you’re looking for inspiration for your next holiday, the following tourist attractions have averaged the highest scores across all data points. The study crowns the Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest the world’s number one tourist attraction, scoring an impressive 7.34/10. The large neo-Gothic building overlooks the River Danube and is home to both the National Assembly of Hungary and a must-visit attraction in the city.
Tourists agree too, with the experience boasting a high average Google Review score of 4.8/5. The quality of local accommodation for travellers is also positive, with an average rating of 8.6/10 on Booking.com and videos featuring the building have been viewed on TikTok 887.1m times and counting.
Hungary also boasts a good tourist safety score of 1.4/5 – the lower the score the safer a place is. In second place is France’s iconic Disneyland Paris, scoring 7.17/10 in the study. The 5,510-acre resort recently celebrated its 30th anniversary and welcomed over 9.7 million visitors before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019.
Disneyland Paris is the most popular attraction on TikTok, with tagged posts being viewed a staggering 7.9 billion times. The local accommodation is also high quality – an average rating of 8.6/10 – and visitor reviews are largely positive. The resort also gets a good 4.5/5-star average on Google Reviews.
The geo-thermal Blue Lagoon in Iceland is ranked the third-best tourist attraction in the world, with an overall score of 7.15/10. Located in an awe-inspiring volcanic landscape, tourists flock to the site to see and swim in the silica-rich blue water which is thought to have healing and rejuvenating powers.
The Blue Lagoon is a favourite among TikTokers, with videos being viewed over 317.5 million times. Iceland is also considered to be one of the safest countries for tourists to visit, with a Global Peace Index score of 1.1/5.
The quality of local accommodation is among the highest in the study (average rating of 9.2/10) and visitor reviews are complimentary, with an average score of 4.6/5 on Google Reviews. Making up the rest of the top five is Plaza de España in Seville, Spain (7.13/10) and Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia (7.04/10).
Plaza de España, a previous winner of Stasher’s top tourist attraction prize, is an architectural marvel formed in a half-circle with tiled alcoves. It houses central government offices, as well as welcoming millions of visitors each year.
Angkor Wat, is the world’s largest religious monument, spanning 402 acres. The grand Buddhist temple features on the Cambodian national flag and was constructed using five million tons of sandstone – all carried by hand to the site.
The World’s Worst Tourist Attractions
It is not the first time the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles has been named the world’s worst tourist attraction. Back in 2019, our first tourist attractions study came to the same conclusion based on the data analysed, creating quite a bit of stir by prominent late-night talk show hosts.
This year, the world-renowned attraction on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Steet honours the stars of the entertainment industry past and present scores just 3.42/10.
The attraction received the lowest Google Reviews score (4/5). The USA’s poor global peace index (3.85) also dragged Hollywood Boulevard’s tourist hub through the mud, with tourist reviews describing their experiences as “dirty” and “unsafe”. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls, though visitors are left unimpressed with the attraction ranking the 2nd worst in the study. The Grand Bazaar scores poorly across the board, with a higher risk tourist safety score of 2.8/5 and a longer than average travel distance to the airport (45.7km).
However, when it comes to accessibility from an international airport, the Taj Mahal in India (3rd) is the furthest away, with tourists facing a travel distance of 219km.
Of the top ten worst tourist attractions in the study, seven of these are located within Asia. In addition to the Grand Bazaar and Hollywood Walk of Fame, Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida features in the bottom 10, and notably had the worst quality of local accommodation (6.6/10). Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour and Ocean Park place in position 6th and 7th, with poor scores across the board. Their notable differences can be found in TikTok engagement and quality of local accommodation, with Ocean Park scoring the better of the two in both categories.
In summary, the best attractions display great diversity in location and culture, featuring attractions from Europe, South America, Asia and Australasia. Evidently, Europe dominates the top 5, showcasing the best tourist safety and TikTok engagement levels.
Unsurprisingly (for some), the study’s worst attraction award is given to the star-studded Hollywood Walk of Fame once again, falling short of tourist standards.
We hope this research is useful for travellers planning their next trip abroad and encourages people to visit destinations they may have not considered previously.
The rankings were created using city-level and country-level data that is applied to specific tourist attractions. Each category consists of the latest data available from reputable sources and an overall total score out of 10 has been calculated using min-max normalisation.
Each attraction is ranked based on how well it performs across the five data collection points.
Attractions missing more than one data point (due to no data available) have been filtered out, leaving a final list of 99 cities.
Here is a list of the data points used in the study:
- Google Reviews: Collected each attraction’s overall average on Google Reviews, with each score out of 5.
- TikTok Engagement: Searched each attraction’s TikTok discovery pages for accumulative views. Once normalised these scores appear far apart, this is due to the enormous viewership some attractions have received. This has replaced the Instagram metric we used last time.
- Distance from an Airport: Using Google Maps we identified how far each attraction is from the nearest airport.
- Tourist Safety: Using WorldPopulationReview’s country rankings, we valued each attraction by their host country’s GPI (Global Peace Index).
- Quality of Local Accommodation: Calculated Booking.com’s average user rating for properties within 1 mile of the tourist attraction’s circumference.
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Hi! I am George and I am the Content Lead for Stasher.com. It may come as a surprise to you, but I am not at all passionate about luggage storage, even though I work for a company that provides it. I love travel, writing, making music and meeting new and interesting people.