“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” While we can’t trace the origin of this quote, these words ring true. Whether catching up on much-needed relaxation on a beach, indulging in a rejuvenating mud bath, or expanding our horizons by exploring different or ancient cultures, travel enriches our lives. So, StatsFind asked travelers what their favorite countries to visit are.
Here are the results!
Spain has everything for the explorer and the casual traveler. The gastronomy of Spain is top-notch with paella (a mix of rice and seafood), jamón ibérico (cured ham), and more. Love wine? Spain’s got you covered with almost 70 wine regions. The culture includes flamenco dancing (pictured) and bullfighting. The people greet each other with a kiss on both cheeks.
Travelers’ top picks in Spain:
- Madrid – Spain’s capital city has much to offer, from historical museums like El Prado to large food markets like Mercado San Miguel. Try some tapas (small plates of food) at one of the 10,000 local bars, restaurants, or food trucks.
- Barcelona – The whole city is a museum, thanks to an architect named Antoni Gaudi. Take a hop-on-hop-off bus and see these uniquely shaped and colorful buildings. Then, grab some paella at the Rambla.
- The Alhambra – This fortress in Granada is a must-see. There are lovely gardens and courtyards. A Muslim ruler started its construction almost 1,000 years ago, and the Alhambra has seen the land switch governments (and religion) throughout the centuries.
#9: South Korea
South Korea is THE place for shopping, whether for the latest gadgets or beauty products (the face masks are lovely). And, of course, it has exotic cuisine. The top dishes to check out in South Korea are kimchi, bibimbop, and Korean fried chicken.
Travelers’ favorite spots in South Korea:
- Seoul – Visit the Gyeongbokgung Palace (pictured) for a historical view of Korean royal life. Go to Myeongdong Shopping Street, filled with hundreds of food stalls, carts, and luxury department stores.
- Busan – This port city is known for its beaches, temples, and mountains. Visit Haeundae Beach, which also features the Sea Life Aquarium. You can also visit a temple or go along a hiking trail.
- Jeju Island – Jeju is a lovely island south of the mainland with beach resorts and volcanic landscapes.
Seeing a modern structure next to an ancient one is surreal, and you see that throughout Italy. Savor Italian dishes like risotto or pizza, or enjoy gelato.
Travelers’ top cities in Italy are:
- Rome – A trip to Rome isn’t complete without a visit to the Colosseum. Another marvel that tourists shouldn’t miss is the romantic Trevi Fountain.
- Venice – A town where the streets are waterways is quite the sight. Take a stroll through Venice and ride a gondola (pictured) if you feel like it.
- Milan – Here, you can find the Gothic Duomo di Milano, the largest cathedral in the world. The Santa Maria delle Grazie convent is also here, which houses Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper.”
Germany has the stuff of fairy tales. In fact, Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria is the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland. Germany also has tragedy, as the Dachau and Sachsenhausen concentration camps can testify. These are worth a visit to pause for reflection.
Germany is also very accessible from the United States, with flights to Frankfurt typically being the cheapest in Western Europe.
Visitors’ top spots in Germany:
- Berlin – Germany’s capital city, Berlin, has the memorial of the Berlin Wall, Museum Island, and the Holocaust Memorial.
- Munich – This city has plenty of museums, including the BMW museum. Or, if you time it right, you could join in the world’s largest Oktoberfest.
Home to the breathtaking Niagara Falls (pictured) and Banff National Park, Canada is a favorite among tourists, especially Americans.
Favorites spots to visit are:
- Toronto – Take a day trip from Toronto to see the falls or visit the CN Tower, where you can step onto a glass floor at 1,122 feet.
- Vancouver – Plenty of nature surrounds Vancouver, from day trips for whale watching to walking the Capilano Suspension Bridge amid the lush forest.
The country is so large it’s also a continent. Australia has the most extensive reef system in the world and the beach with the whitest sand.
Try some Australian delicacies like kangaroo and crocodile meat.
Favorites places in Australia are:
- Great Barrier Reef – Discover an entirely different world by diving into the Great Barrier Reef. If you’re not certified, “training” sessions are available at the reef.
- Sydney – After sunset, a walk through the Royal Botanic Garden delivers the most magnificent view of Sydney harbor, including the Sydney Opera House (pictured).
- Melbourne – Besides visiting markets and zoos, you can take day trips to see penguins or do a wine tasting.
China introduced the world to many things, including tea, alcohol, and ice cream. They also built a massive, massive wall.
Favorite things to do in China:
- The Great Wall – Expanding 13,000 miles and constructed by over one million laborers, this engineering feat should be on everyone’s bucket list.
- Beijing – Visit the Forbidden City, Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and have Peking Duck. Take in an acrobatic show (pictured).
- Shanghai – Stroll through The Bund, a waterfront promenade, have some dumplings, or visit the ancient water town of Zhujiajiao.
Visitors can see the country’s cleanliness both in the lack of litter and in the simple décor. Though the Japanese may not hug and kiss you as Spaniards do, you still see evidence of love and respect from this culture through their food presentation and above and beyond helpfulness.
Foods to try in Japan include sushi, ramen, and tempura. And sake (Japanese rice wine) makes a fine accompaniment.
- Tokyo – Japan’s capital city has much to offer, including Senso-ji Temple, the Tokyo Skytree (a high-rise building), and the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
- Mount Fuji – Take in this majestic mountain and, while you’re there, stop by the lovely town of Hakone for a different vantage point of Mount Fuji. You can also explore historic homes (pictured) and enjoy a meal at Hotel de Yama.
- Osaka – Take the shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) to Osaka and visit its top attraction, the Osaka Castle.
#2: The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom (UK) consists of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Have fun on a scotch tasting tour through Scotland or sit back and watch Irish musicians and dancers in a pub in Northern Ireland.
Travelers’ favorite part of the UK is England. The top pick is London and its famous landmark, Big Ben (pictured).
It’s no surprise France is the number one spot for the favorite country to visit. Many feel a sense of romance when visiting the country, especially Paris. The French also strike a work-life balance that many crave. Then, there’s the food. Cheese, chocolate, truffles. And the wines.
By far, travelers’ favorite place to visit in France is Paris, with its iconic landmark, The Eiffel Tower (pictured).
StatsFind invited people globally through social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram) to participate in this survey. These results reflect the views of the over 1,000 respondents.
Most respondents (72%) were between 25 and 40 years old. Fifty-three percent of the participants were male, 47% were female, and 97% lived in the United States.
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