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Top 10 Most-Visited Cities of 2018

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Are the destinations you visited this year on trend? Let’s find out! Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we're counting down our picks for Top 10 Most-Visited Cities of 2018. For this list, we’re taking a look at cities around the world that played host to the greatest number of visitors in 2018, based on Mastercard's annual Global Destination Cities Index.
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Top 10 Most-Visited Cities of 2018

Are the destinations you visited this year on trend? Let’s find out! Welcome
to MojoTravels, and today we're counting down our picks for Top 10
Most-Visited Cities of 2018. For this list, we’re taking a look at cities
around the world that played host to the greatest number of visitors in
2018, based on Mastercard's annual Global Destination Cities Index.


#10: Seoul, South Korea

Cracking our top 10 with about 10 million visitors in 2018, Seoul is a
fast-paced city with broad appeal. South Korea’s capital is a welcoming
place that celebrates both the new and old simultaneously. Fashion-forward
travellers and beauty junkies will absolutely fall in love with trendy
destination, as will techies; consider yourself warned though, despite the
low cost of living you are going to blow through your shopping budget in no
time! Part of the allure of Seoul is that it’s also big on tradition and is
home to beautiful temples, palaces and a rich cultural history. Something
tells us that Seoul will only continue to climb this list in future years.



#9: Istanbul, Turkey

In 2018, the city often referred to as “New Rome” played host to
approximately 10 and a half million visitors from around the world. When
you look at photos of Istanbul, it’s easy to understand its appeal. This
historic destination dates all the way back to 660 BCE and has been known
under the names of both Constantinople and Byzantium; it wears its storied
past proudly in the form of countless architectural marvels from the time
of the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires. From the Hagia Sophia to the Topkapı
and Dolmabahçe Palaces, the city feels like one giant, living architectural
museum. Of course, sight isn’t the only sense that Istanbul stimulates: the
cuisine and colorful bazaars alone are worth the trip.



#8: Tokyo, Japan

Japan’s capital city requires little introduction. As one of the most
influential cities in the world, Tokyo is not only an important place of
business, but a cultural hub. It’s little wonder it managed to attract just
shy of 12 million visitors in 2018. We could go on forever about the
incredible food available in Tokyo or the head-turning fashion. Then
there’s the rich cultural heritage on display in the form of temples and
shrines, that somehow continue to exist amongst the modern infrastructure
and cutting edge architecture. But what really makes Tokyo stand out is
that it can offer all of this… and still remain one of the most polite and
respectful cities in the world.


#7: Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia

We’re staying in Asia with this next entry. Malaysia’s capital city is home
to 1.76 million people , while the greater Kuala Lumpur area boasts a
population of approximately 7.2 million. In 2018, it welcomed over 12 and a
half million visitors. What makes this city so remarkable, and an
irresistible destination for so many, is its eclectic nature: it’s been
described as a global melting pot. Here you’ll find the numerous cultures
of Southeast Asia, and beyond; and you could dedicate an entire two-week
trip to sampling the varied cuisine, or uncovering the city’s impossibly
rich history. Whether you’re looking to get pampered or travel on a budget,
Kuala Lumpur will be happy to have you.




#6: New York City, United States

The Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps, The City So Nice They Named It
Twice, The Empire City . . . it’s a destination known by many names, but
it’s one of kind - it’s New York City! Like Kuala Lumpur, New York City is
a melting pot, and also the artistic and financial heart of America. It’s
an iconic city in every way, throughout its 5 boroughs. A city made up of
landmarks famous around the world, NYC attracted almost 14 million visitors
in 2018. A destination packed with culture to consume, from theater and art
museums to shopping and cuisine, New York is a city everyone needs to visit
at least once.



#5: Singapore

There’s no other city in the world like Singapore. A city-state, Singapore
occupies just 278 square miles, but boy does it ever pack in a whole into
that land, including over 5 and a half million residents and, in 2018,
almost 15 million visitors. Singapore is famous for having transitioned
from being a third world country into a leading first world nation and
international center of business in the course of just a single generation.
A modern and opulent island nation and city, Singapore is home to some of
the most eye-catching modern architecture you’ll ever see. That being said,
it’s also been called “City in a Garden” due to its natural beauty and
greenery. Singapore is truly a marvel.


#4: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Is it a mirage? Have you actually arrived in a modern desert oasis? Even
when walking around Dubai in person, it can be hard to believe your eyes.
Dubai is an extravagant and thoroughly global city. It’s estimated that 80%
to 85% of its population is made up of expats from around the world. The
city’s instantly recognizable skyline is made up of some of the most
impressive and unique feats of modern architecture found anywhere on the
planet. Despite the desert setting, the city is also home to magnificent
gardens. Despite its lack of freedoms for many of its poorer residents, for
luxury, nightlife and relaxation, Dubai is the destination; just ask the
over 16 million people who visited in 2018!



#3: Paris, France

The capital of France and the world’s favorite romantic getaway has long
been among the most visited destinations in the world, and 2018 was no
different. The year saw just shy of 18 million visitors come to appreciate
the rich culture and world-renowned sights of Paris. What is it about
Paris that makes its appeal so timeless and enduring? Where do we begin...
Paris has long been a destination for artists, who, through their works,
have immortalized it as a city of rare enchantment. Thankfully, it
continues to live up to its reputation. From its breathtaking rooftop views
and iconic attractions, to its cafe culture and world-class cuisine, Paris
never loses its appeal.



#2: London, United Kingdom

There are few cities in the world with more historical importance than the
UK’s capital. Sure, you should check the conventional boxes like seeing Big
Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the Tower of London, but the real reason why so
many people are drawn to this city is the culture and rich history. It’s
the charms of having a pint at a pub with a friend, strolling through the
many green spaces or sampling traditional English fare one meal and spicy
curry dishes the next. Many of the classic childhood stories North
Americans grew up with took place in England, if not London, and you can
feel that magic as you wander the historic streets. It’s little wonder over
20 million people visited in 2018.



#1: Bangkok, Thailand

This incredible city has topped the Global Destination Cities Index for
three years straight. And, though they didn’t crack the top ten, two other
Thai cities, Phuket and Pattaya, also ranked in the top 20, making Thailand
a country to watch . . . and visit. In 2018, Bangkok welcomed just short of
22 million visitors from around the world! What makes Bangkok such a
popular destination? If only we had more time. There’s arguably no city
this affordable with so much to offer. The shopping is a major draw, but
there’s more to it than that. The street food is delicious, the historic
sights are incredible and the surrounding natural beauty is otherworldly.
Whether you’re on a budget or looking for a luxury retreat, Bangkok is the
answer.
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