Discover the 10 Most Visited Countries in Europe

Written by Patrick MacFarland
Updated: September 29, 2023
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Tourists clamor to visit Europe, especially in the summer. Throughout the year, of course, there are tourists, but the summer is when the entire European continent is packed with people. In fact, when it comes to world tourism, eight countries in Europe are in the top 10 most visited. The other two are the United States and Mexico. One of the reasons why the top 10 most visited countries in the world are mainly in Europe is the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. China and Thailand are usually somewhere in the top 10, but tourism has been hampered because of COVID restrictions.

When it comes to Europe, though, 10 countries top the list as the most visited — Spain, France, Turkey, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, Austria, Portugal, and the Netherlands. Let’s explore the 10 most visited countries in Europe and some fun activities to do when you go.


Aerial view of Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain has been in construction since 1882, a whopping 141 years.


At the top of the list is Spain. People from all over the world love going to Spain because it’s near-perfect weather year-round. The beaches are pristine and amazing, and it’s affordable. There are so many things to do in Spain, too. You can do a cultural trip and visit the museums in Madrid like the Prado and the Reina Sofia, or go into the monumental and awe-inspiring La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. If you fancy some good old-fashioned partying, then Ibiza is where it’s at. Lastly, if you just want to relax on the beach, you can choose from the hundreds of beaches on the Mediterranean coast.


Paris, Eiffel Tower.

While you’re in Paris, there are so many landmarks to visit such as the Eiffel Tower.

©SCStock/iStock via Getty Images

France is a big country and usually rivals Spain for first place. It is expected to be on top by 2023 or 2024 because the Summer Olympics will be held in Paris in 2024. For many tourists, they want to experience France in all its grandiosity. Paris is considered by many to be the city of love. While you’re in Paris, there are so many landmarks to visit: the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Montmartre, the Latin Quarter, and many more! If you decide to go south, make sure you do a vineyard tour in Bordeaux or visit the extravagant beaches in Nice.


Aerial drone view of the Suleymaniye Mosque, huge Ottoman imperial mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.

Turkey is located on two continents: Europe and Asia.

©nantonov/iStock via Getty Images

The country of Turkey has become more and more popular over the years. Its proximity to Europe makes it attractive for people to jump from Greece or Italy and head to Turkey. There are so many fun activities to do there, too. You can see stunning mosques like the Hagia Sophia or the Blue Mosque. If you are in a shopping mood, make sure you go to the Grand Bazaar where you find all kinds of cool trinkets. You can also go to the Topkapi Palace Museum to learn about Turkish history and culture. 


The Trevi Fountain, Italy

Tourists throw over 1 million euros in the Trevi Fountain each year.


Ciao Bella! Italy is one of the most popular countries in Europe and one that is synonymous with falling in love with love and pasta. The Italian food, the Roman streets, the Venetian canals, all of that is a dream for tourists. But if you want to venture out into more scenic routes, make sure you go to Positano and the Amalfi Coast. For those interested in delicious Italian seafood dishes, the island of Sicily has it all and it won’t disappoint.

United Kingdom

Tower Bridge in London, UK

Wales in the United Kingdom has a word that is 58 letters long: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllllantysiliogogogoch. (Just try to pronounce it!)

©TomasSereda/iStock via Getty Images

Cheerio! The United Kingdom is full of places to go. London is the capital and probably the most famous city in the UK. You can go to the Tower of London, go round and round in the London Eye, and take a hipster walk around Camden Town. If you head north, there’s Edinburgh in Scotland that gives off pure history vibes. The architecture is amazing, the weather is gloomy, and Edinburgh Castle is breathtakingly gorgeous. It’s the autumn lover’s dream!


Aerial view of Berlin skyline with dramatic clouds in twilight during blue hour at dusk with retro vintage old Instagram style filter effect, Germany

Germany has over 25,000 castles in the entire country.


“Ich bin ein Berliner.” Those were the words uttered by John F. Kennedy that put his foot down against communism. He made that speech in Berlin, the capital of Germany. Berlin is rooted in deep history as a lot has happened in that city. From Nazi Germany to Communist East Berlin, you can feel the history as you walk past Brandenburg Gate or the Memorial of the Murdered Jews in Europe.  


The Acropolis of Athens, Greece, with the Parthenon Temple on top of the hill during a summer sunset

The oldest capital in Europe is Athens, Greece.

©Sven Hansche/

Greece is all about history, but you can also head to the many islands the country has for some relaxation. While in Athens, make sure you go to the Acropolis. Feel the presence of Ancient Greeks while you walk around the ancient buildings. Afterward, head to the Temple of Olympian Zeus and end your day exploring the rest of the city and eating typical Greek food.


Austrian Bertha von Suttner won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905, the first woman to do so.


Nestled between Germany, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Slovenia, Austria has much to offer visitors from all over the world. When visiting Salzburg, you can walk around Mirabell Palace or go to the top of Fortress Hohensalzburg for amazing views of the city. If you’re in Vienna, Austria’s capital, the center of the city is filled with fun activities. Saunter around Schönbrunn Palace or peek inside St. Stephen’s Cathedral. End your day at Cafe Central, where famous historical figures drank their coffee and talked about hot-button political issues of the day.


Lisbon, Portugal

The second-oldest capital in Europe is Lisbon, Portugal.


Portugal is a great country to visit for sunshine throughout the year. That’s why it’s so attractive to tourists from all over the world. You can hit up the beaches in the Algarve or hike in the nearby mountains in Monchique. For some lovely Lisbon tourism, the São Jorge Castle will offer breathtaking views of the city and bay. And make sure you sit near the water at Praça do Comércio for some relaxation.


Amsterdam Netherlands dancing houses over river Amstel landmark in old european city spring landscape.

The bicycle is the main mode of transport in the Netherlands and there are more bikes than people there.


The Netherlands is a wondrous place, but for those who want to see all the tulips in the fields of the country bloom, you should go in the springtime. The tulip fields will be covered in all the colors. Just be sure to be on the lookout for a windmill, as they are usually in the countryside. For those who want to enjoy city life, Amsterdam is your best bet for finding lots of activities. You can visit the Vincent Van Gogh Museum or take a melancholy tour at the Anne Frank Museum.


And there you have it, these are the top 10 most visited countries in Europe. They are a diverse group of nations that are different, yet so similar. Except for Turkey and the United Kingdom, they all use the euro so you won’t have a problem with currency. Brush up on your high school Spanish or French and you’ll be golden with the basic forms of communication in Spain and France. For the rest of the nations, get a dictionary or a translation app and hope for the best.

Of course, communication should be the least of your worries. Everyone in those countries welcomes visitors with open arms (although, some more than others!). Enjoy Europe and immerse yourself in its rich cultural heritage, history, and food. You will have the time of your life!

Discover the 10 Most Visited Countries in Europe

RankCountryVisitors Per Year
1Spain71.7 million
2France66.6 million
3Turkey50.5 million
4Italy49.8 million
5United Kingdom31.2 million
6Germany28.5 million
7Greece27.8 million
8Austria26.2 million
9Portugal22.3 million
10Netherlands15.9 million

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Victor Maschek/

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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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