There’s nothing worse than making the trek to see a popular tourist attraction only to think, “Is this it?”
But just because something’s famous, doesn’t mean it’s impressive.
To help you decipher which sites are worth a visit and which you should skip, luggage storage specialist Stasher has ranked 99 of the world’s top tourist attractions.
Taking into account Google reviews, quality of local accommodation, distance from the nearest international airport, tourist safety and TikTok popularity, each attraction was scored out of 10. If data could not be found for all of these points, attractions were filtered out of the rankings.
Four out of the top five of the world’s most impressive tourist sites were found to be in Europe.
Here are the best – and worst – tourist attractions according to the data.
What are Europe’s best tourist attractions?
4. Plaza de España in Seville, Spain
A semicircle of impressive government buildings flanked by tall towers hugs a large fountain in Seville’s sweeping Plaza de España.
The plaza was originally built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition World’s Fair.
52 tiled alcoves line the base of its buildings, depicting each of Spain’s provinces. Four mosaic bridges – representing the country’s four ancient regions – cut picturesque paths over the water, where rowboats float around the circular canal.
While the popular tourist site has been knocked off its top spot in Stasher’s previous rankings, it still sits proudly in the top five.
Plaza de España is a public space, meaning it’s free to enter.
3. Blue Lagoon, Iceland
With steam rising from its milky turquoise waters, surrounded by awe-inspiring volcanoes, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon makes for an inviting picture.
Ethereal as the landscape may be, the pool is not a natural phenomenon. The spa is filled with a byproduct from the nearby geothermal power plant.
Nevertheless, its mineral-rich water and soft white silica mud have healing properties for the skin.
It welcomes around one million visitors per year – more than double the population of Iceland – and is a firm TikTok favourite.
Ticket prices for the Blue Lagoon vary by day, time and season, starting from around €60.
2. Disneyland Paris, France
The ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ lives up to its tagline – at least according to TikTok users.
Disneyland Paris is the social media platform’s most popular attraction. Tagged posts have been viewed almost eight billion times. It also has a very respectable Google review rating of 4.5.
It’s easy to get to as well with Eurostar running direct trains from London to the theme park in under three hours. Although this service is ending on 5 June 2023, you can still access the park with a simple change at Lille-Europe Station.
From Brussels, TGV and Thalys run a high-speed direct train that takes just 1.5 hours.
Day tickets for Disneyland Paris start from €63.
1. Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest, Hungary
With its fairytale architecture and edgy bars, Hungary’s capital dazzles visitors at every turn.
A boat trip down the Danube River is sure to make it onto your itinerary, giving you the chance to spot Europe’s most impressive landmark, the Parliament of Budapest, from the water.
Unveiled in 1902, the neo-Gothic structure remains the country’s largest building. Its symmetrical facade and centrepiece dome cut a striking silhouette over the Pest side of the river. Head out at night to see it lit up in its full glory.
The Hungarian Parliament Building scored an impressive 7.3 out of 10 in Stasher’s analysis, not only making it the top tourist attraction in Europe but in the world.
To enter the building, you’ll need to pay €13 if you’re an EEA citizen or €26 if you’re from outside the EEA.
What are Europe’s worst tourist attractions?
Europe does not feature as heavily among the world’s worst tourist attractions as its best.
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, comes in second among the worst attractions due to safety and accessibility concerns. That said, it still earns a 4.4-star average in Google reviews.
The USA and Asia have many of the rest of the ‘worst attractions’ on the list. Tourists have labelled the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles “dirty” and “unsafe” in reviews, earning it the lowest spot. Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida, also features in the bottom 10.
Find out more about the rankings here.