In a testament to the unparalleled beauty and allure of the African continent, six tourist destinations have captured the hearts of U.S. travelers, securing spots among the 20 best tourist attractions globally.
According to the discerning choices of travelers on vacation rental website Casago, these destinations showcase the diverse and breathtaking landscapes that make Africa a must-visit destination.
According to bestlifeonline.com, when it comes to tourist attractions, they can go one of two ways: Certain spots turn out to be over-hyped, while others are truly awe-inspiring and earn their place on the “must-see” list. If you’re planning to travel internationally, you don’t want to waste time on sites that aren’t worth exploring—and you might be curious about the spots that are most popular among your fellow U.S. travelers.
To find that out, vacation rental website Casago analyzed U.S. travelers’ ratings of global tourist attractions and experiences in 97 countries on Tripadvisor, ranking the top 20 spots. Read on to find out the best tourist attractions in the world, according to American tourists.
20 Al-Khazneh (Petra – Wadi Musa, Jordan)
In Jordan, you’ll find the 20th most popular attraction, The Treasury of Petra. Its intricate carvings date back 2,000 years—and while it’s called a “treasury,” archaeologists are still unsure as to why it was built. Some suspect it was a temple, while others believe it may have been built to store documents. The latest excavation of the site, however, revealed a graveyard below.
19 Lion’s Head (Cape Town Central, South Africa)
Next on the list is Lion’s Head, a mountain peak in South Africa that will take you about 90 minutes to climb. From the top of this South African attraction, you’ll take in beautiful views of the surrounding area.
18 Meteora (Kastraki, Greece)
The first European tourist attraction to make the list is the Meteora rock formations in Greece. Situated on top of these formations are six monasteries that date back to the 13th and 14th centuries. At one point, 24 monasteries were perched on these summits.
17 The Matterhorn (Zermatt, Switzerland)
One of the most iconic mountains is next on the list: the Matterhorn in Switzerland. It’s a mountain in the Alps known for its pyramid-shaped peak—and it’s thought to be the most-photographed mountain in the world. Per Casago’s data, U.S. travelers also ranked the Matterhorn as one of the best attractions in Europe, specifically.
16 Kings Park and Botanic Garden (Perth, Australia)
Next on the list is Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Australia. Not only is this spot rich in cultural heritage, but it’s also home to the Western Australian Botanic Garden, which includes over 3,000 unique flora.
15 Horseshoe Falls (Niagara Falls, Canada)
Located on the Canadian side, Horseshoe Falls is one of the three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls.
However, this is one international destination you don’t have to leave the U.S. to catch a glimpse of. From Canada, you get that straight-on view of Horseshoe Falls, but from the Terrapin Point observation area at Niagara Falls State Park on the American side, you can still see it pretty close up.
14 Iguaçu National Park (Foz do Iguacu, Brazil)
The next tourist attraction on the list is also home to an iconic waterfall: Iguaçu Falls, which is nearly three times wider than Niagara Falls. Located on the Argentina-Brazil border, Argentina also has its own national park to protect the natural wonder (Iguaźu National Park).
13 Perito Moreno Glacier (Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina)
This iconic site is part of Los Glaciares National Park in Patagonia Argentina. According to the International Commission on Geoheritage, you can walk on this glacier, thanks to its “great accessibility and infrastructure.”
12 Mount Kilimanjaro (Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania)
The highest peak in Africa is attributed to Mount Kilimanjaro, which reaches 19,340 feet in height. The mountain itself is actually a snow-capped volcano, and the fact that it’s free-standing—meaning it’s not part of a mountain range—makes it even more of a wonder to behold for any traveling tourist.
11Robberg Nature Reserve (Plettenberg Bay, South Africa)
Another South African spot that U.S. travelers say is among the best is Robberg Nature Preserve. There’s plenty to do at this reserve, which is also a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site—and according to CapeNature, the preserve has rocks that date back 120 million years as well as Stone Age artifacts.
10 Tikal (Tikal National Park, Guatemala)
The ancient Mayan city of Tikal is among U.S. travelers’ favorite sites, too. The complex of ruins in Guatemala is a wonder to explore and see what life was like as far back as 1000 B.C.
9 Amphitheatre of El Jem (El Jem, Tunisia)
The Colosseum in Rome, Italy, is one of the most famous amphitheaters, but U.S. travelers have another option on their list of top attractions: El Jem Amphitheatre in Tunisia. It was the second-largest in the Roman world (after Rome’s), able to seat up to 35,000 people.
8 Ananda Temple (Bagan, Myanmar)
This Buddhist temple dates back to 1105 and is truly a wonder to behold. In fact, its gold-plated tower top is hard to miss—and when you head inside, the intricate carvings and frescoes are sure to take your breath away, visitors say.
7 Cagaloglu Hamam (Istanbul, Turkey)
The Cagaloglu Hama is one of the historic bathhouses in Turkey, constructed back in 1741 during the Ottoman Empire. Treat yourself to a visit here and pamper yourself as you see fit.
6 Ancient City of Ephesus (Selcuk, Turkey)
Another spot in Turkey claims the number six spot on the best tourist attractions. The ruins of Ephesus are well-preserved, allowing you to explore what was once deemed the most important Greek city and the most important trading center in the Mediterranean.
5 Mi Teleférico (La Paz, Bolivia)
Mi Teleférico is the longest aerial cable car system in the entire world, and it’s actually the primary mode of transportation for people in the La Paz and El Alto areas of Bolivia. According to Atlas Obscura, you can spend a whole day riding the gondola system.
4 Seronera (Serengeti National Park, Tanzania)
If you’ve ever dreamt of going on an African safari, the Seronera area of Serengeti National Park should be at the top of your list. You’ll see numerous wildlife species while making your way through the savannah plains, with the added bonus that you can travel here at any time of year.
3 Temples of Baalbek (Baalbek, Lebanon)
Rounding out the top three attractions—all of which have a perfect five-star rating on Tripadvisor—are the Temples of Baalbek, which are an archaeological complex of ruins. According to Casago, the spot is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, sitting on land that’s been occupied for 11,000 years.
2 Devil’s Pool (Livingstone, Zambia)
Claiming the second-best spot is Devil’s Pool in Zambia, which is 320 feet high on the edge of Victoria Falls. Casago describes it as “an infinity pool atop a mile-wide waterfall,” while reviewers point out that it can be quite scary to swim in. If you do decide to get in the water, rest assured that your guide will be checking for any hippos or crocodiles.
1 The Irish Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum Experience
While a majority of attractions on this list are natural formations and hubs with longstanding history, the top spot went to a museum that just opened in Dublin, Ireland, in 2015. Ranked the highest by American tourists on Tripadvisor was The Irish Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum Experience, which showcases memorabilia from modern bands with interactive band-themed activities.
“One in ten people in the U.S. claim Irish ancestry, and rock is the most popular music genre in the country—so it checks out that a place that combines these two bedrocks of American culture is the best attraction in the world, according to U.S. reviewers on Tripadvisor,” Casago writes. “With an average rating of five, the Irish Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum Experience in Dublin’s hip Temple Bar district offers visitors exhibits on rock and roll history and a chance to play out rockstar fantasies onstage.”