Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the top 10 tourist attractions to visit worldwide

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The best (and worst) tourist attractions around the world

  • Plaza de Espana is the top tourist attraction you can visit
  • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center makes top 5

Nobody wants to think is this it?’ when arriving at the main tourist destination of the day, especially when there are time constraints and plenty of other exciting sights to see and explore.

With this in mind, Stasher, the luggage storage network, has standardised the latest city and country-level data available for key categories* including TripAdvisor and Google reviews, quality of accommodation, ease of access, safety and security and Instagram engagement to rate global tourist attractions from best to worst.

Of the 99 global tourist attractions analysed, Plaza de Espana (8.13) ranks in first position overall. It is closely followed by Matterhorn (8.08) and Puy du Fou (7.99) in the second and third places. The Mosque of Cordoba (7.80) and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center (7.78) comprise the top 5 attractions.

# Top 10 best tourist attractions Country Average Score # Bottom 10 worst tourist attractions Country Average Score
1 Plaza de Espana Spain 8.13 90 Great Pyramid of Giza Egypt 5.32
2 Matterhorn Switzerland 8.08 91 Grand Bazaar Turkey 5.26
3 Puy du Fou France 7.99 92 Gold Museum Colombia 5.23
4 Mosque of Cordoba Spain 7.80 93 Lotte World South Korea 5.05
5 Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center United Arab Emirates 7.78 94 Great Wall of China China 5.04
6 Van Gogh Museum Netherlands 7.63 95 Everland South Korea 5.02
7 The Blue Lagoon Iceland 7.56 96 Hong Kong Disneyland China 5.01
8 Acropolis Greece 7.55 97 Ocean Park China 4.95
9 Great Smoky Mountains National Park United States 7.43 98 Machu Picchu Peru 4.58
10 Hungarian Parliament Building Hungary 7.43 99 Hollywood Walk of Fame United States 3.73Of the top ten tourist attractions, eight of them are based in Europe with four locations dominating the top five spots alone.

Plaza de Espana’s ranking above other more well-known attractions may seem surprising, but it scored highly for the majority of key categories. It received particularly positive scores for its TripAdvisor reviews (9.81), ease of access (9.55) and safety and security (9.00).

It is also based in a Spanish region benefitting from particularly increased tourism through sites like Airbnb. Andalucía is one of Airbnb’s top 20 most sought-after locations and saw a 100 percent increase in popularity and recorded 29.5 million visitors in 2017 alone.

France’s Puy du Fou – ranking in third place (7.99) – is also an unexpected result. Described as a rural theme park, it has no rides and, instead, prides itself on staging spectacular history extravaganza shows.

It recently documented record visitor figures and a 22 percent increase in UK and Irish tourists in 2018. Interestingly, Disneyland Paris only ranks in 76th position (5.74), let down by its poor Google and TripAdvisor scores and Instagram engagement.

The The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center in The United Arab Emirates finished in fifth place (7.78), with impressive scores in the TripAdvisor (10) and Safety and Security (10) categories.

At the other end of the spectrum, half of the tourist attractions in the bottom ten to visit are in Asia, with Hong Kong Disneyland, the Great Wall of China and Ocean Park all making appearances.

Roughly a third of the lowest ranking attractions were China-based. This was down to generally low scores for accommodation ratings and Instagram engagement. Poor social media ratings could be due to the country’s internet censorship implemented by the Chinese government, which has banned many Western social media platforms, including Instagram.

Honouring icons such as The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe and Elton John, possibly the most surprising entry in the bottom ten is the Hollywood Walk of Fame (3.73), in last place. It ranks highly for ease of access but is let down by its score of zero in TripAdvisor and Google reviews. Many people describe the experience as “dirty”, “feeling like they’re in a tourist trap”, “unsafe” and “overcrowded”.

Commenting on the findings, Stasher’s Co-Founder, Jacob Wedderburn-Day said:

“The diversity of attractions in the top ten shows historical sites, natural wonders and cultural exhibits all make for great tourist destinations.

“It’s interesting to see some of the more well-known attractions including The Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Great Pyramid of Giza and various theme parks, do not perform well. This perhaps suggests some popular sights are now overwhelmed by tourism, which, in turn, compromises many tourists’ safety and enjoyment.

“We hope our research encourages individuals to combine visiting popular destinations with places that aren’t being so regularly showcased to create their own unique experiences.”

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