Italian attractions proved to be firm favorites with travelers this year, with the Vatican Museums ranking second and Venice’s iconic Canal Grande taking the tenth spot. The United States’ Statue of Liberty rounded out the top three, after the Colosseum and Vatican Museums. TripAdvisor ranked the year’s top attractions using data from all experience bookings made on the site in 2018.
“Traveler interest in the world’s most iconic sights shows no sign of slowing down,” says Molly Burke, a TripAdvisor spokesperson. “Experience bookings continued to grow this year, and we’re seeing travelers exploring the wide variety of options, including special access or skip the line tours, for exploring world famous sites. From Gladiator Gate and Arena Floor access at the Colosseum, to a Jail and Sail Cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge or a murder mystery tour of the Louvre, TripAdvisor offers experiences for every kind of traveler.”
With over 140,000 bookable experiences available on TripAdvisor, travelers can find everything from the classic sightseeing tours to cooking classes, food tour, and multi-day guided trips.
Here are TripAdvisor’s most booked attractions in the world for 2018, and tour suggestions for your next trip.
1. Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Explore perhaps one of the best-preserved monuments of Ancient Rome. Built to hold more than 50,000 spectators, this former gladiator arena is one of the highlights of any trip to Rome. Book a skip-the-line ticket to experience Ancient Rome and the Colosseum on this half-day walking tour or, for a behind the scenes experience this special-access ticket lets enter through the Gladiator Gate and explore the arena floor.
2. Vatican Museums, Rome, Italy
Visit the home of the Pope and the vast complex of museums that chronicle the history and accomplishments of mankind over the last 2000 years. Escape the crowds and experience the Sistine Chapel in quiet solitude on the Waking Up the Vatican small-group tour. Or if it’s the Pope you want to see, guarantee your entry to the weekly Papal audience and enjoy a close-up encounter with one of the world’s most prominent religious figures.
3. Statue of Liberty, New York City, United States
A gift of friendship from France to the United States, the Statue of Liberty has become a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. Visit this iconic monument on an early-access small-group tour, which takes travelers the Statue and Ellis Island.
4. Louvre Museum, Paris, France
Home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Louvre is considered the world’s greatest art museum, with an unparalleled collection of items covering the full spectrum of art through the ages. Bypass the crowds on a Skip-the-Line walking tour to some of the museum’s most iconic works. If you fancy a tour with a twist, explore the museum with a family treasure hunt, opt for a murder and mystery experience, or elevate your visit through an interactive tour.
5. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Travelers around the world flock to Paris to see the iconic Eiffel Tower with their own eyes. Take your visit to this attraction to another level with gourmet dinner at the Eiffel Tower. Or, if you’d rather keep things simple, bypass the long queues and head straight to the second-viewing platform with this priority summit access pass.
6. Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
This unfinished Roman Catholic basilica is perhaps Gaudi’s best work. Construction on this basilica started in 1882 and while it’s still yet to be completed, this is one spot no traveler to Barcelona will miss. Its popularity among travelers means there’s always long queues, so plan ahead and book a priority ticket or one with optional tower entry to breeze your way to the front.
7. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, United States
Towering as high as a 65-storey building and stretching 4,200 feet, cast your eyes on the famous Golden Gate Bridge – the gateway to San Francisco. Enjoy views of the bridge with on a Jail and Sail Cruise complete with a visit to Alcatraz or peddle along the bridge on this 3-hour bike tour from San Francisco to Sausalito.
8. Stonehenge, Amesbury, United Kingdom
Explore one of the most important survivals of prehistoric England. Stonehenge’s rough-cut stones, arranged in two concentric circles have been captivating travelers for decades. Make the most of your visit to this site on this small-group day trip from London or opt for the Stonehenge Inner Circle Access Day Trip, which gives travelers access to the exclusive inner circle – a rare opportunity most visitors miss!
9. Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France
The French monarchy’s principal residence up until the French Revolution, the Palace of Versailles is truly a sight to behold. From the stunning Hall of Mirrors to the palace’s perfectly manicured gardens, there’s no shortage of things to explore. For a behind the scenes peek into how the Royals lived, this exclusive VIP tour takes you into the Palace’s Royal Quarters.
10. Canal Grande, Venice, Italy
Take in some of Venice’s best views along the Canal Grande, the city’s main water thoroughfare. Lined with great Renaissance palaces, it’s a colorful and busy spectacle of gondolas and vaporetti. Take in the scenic views on this one-hour small-group boat tour of the canals and catch the sights most visitors miss.