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Most Popular Capitals of the World to Visit

Most Popular Capitals

The world’s most popular capitals offer stunning views, iconic landmarks, and plenty of cultural attractions. This list is based on users of the popular travel app Visited, which includes bucket list destinations around the world. You can mark off where you’ve been, get a personalized travel map, and plan your next dream vacation using the Visited app. Browse top destinations, see top travel lists, and bookmark your favorite destinations using the Visited app. 

These are the 30 most visited capital cities in the world according to Visited:

1. Paris

The beautiful French capital is the most popular destination city worldwide. With iconic sites like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris has endless places to explore. The City of Light also has delectable dining options, including legendary chocolates, wine, cheese, and croissants. For art lovers, Paris is unmatched, as the city has a long history of artistic movements and remarkable museums like the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Musee Marmottan Monet.

Related Post: Top 7 Palaces to Visit in France

2. London

London is the second most visited city in the world. The British capital has plenty of history, legendary landmarks, endless entertainment, and diverse food and cultures. London’s history spans over 2,000 years and includes the British royal family. Top sites to check out in London include the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, and Hyde Park. For those planning a trip to London, check out Lonely Planet’s London City Guide.

Related Post: Top 5 Art Museums to Visit in London

3. Rome

Rome, the third most popular capital city, has ancient ruins, incredible architecture, and a storied history that has earned it the nickname “the cradle of Western civilization.” Tourists enjoy seeing the ancient ruins at the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon and dining on famous Italian cuisine, with fresh pasta and gelato throughout the city. Iconic landmarks like the Baroque-style Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and Piazza Navona offer endless photo opportunities. 

Related Post: Visited Ranks Most Popular Art Museums in Italy

4. Amsterdam

The fourth most popular city among Visited users is Amsterdam. The Dutch capital has a unique culture and distinct architecture, with winding canals and the famous Red Light District. Amsterdam is also culturally rich, with museums including the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and Anne Frank House. 

5. Vatican City

The fifth most visited capital is Vatican City, the headquarters of the Catholic Church. The holy city is conveniently located, surrounded by Rome, Italy. The Renaissance art and architecture at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel continue to draw visitors from around the world. St. Peter’s Square is a masterpiece of Baroque design that allows people to experience the heart of the Catholic church, with free papal events open to the public.  

6. Berlin

The capital of Germany is the sixth most visited city according to Visited travelers. Berlin offers something for everyone, with vibrant art and club scenes, beer gardens, and museums. The city blends history and modern life with cultural sites like Berlin Cathedral, the Berlin Wall Memorial, and Brandenburg Gate, as well as bustling restaurants, bars, and dance clubs. 

7. Prague

Prague offers beautiful architecture, lively restaurants and nightlife, and plenty of entertainment. The city is also popular with young people due to its affordable prices. Prague has plenty to see, with picturesque medieval streets, grand baroque palaces, ornate Art Nouveau buildings, and the iconic Charles Bridge, an arched medieval stone bridge.

8. Vienna

The eighth most popular capital city is Vienna. The Austrian city includes imperial palaces such as Schönbrunn and has a rich history of arts and architecture. Vienna State Opera is the number one opera house in the world for visitors and features world-renowned productions. 

9. Brussels

The Belgian capital draws tourists for its world-renowned cuisine, breathtaking medieval architecture, and many museums. Brussels has legendary chocolate, waffles, and French fries and is also home to many breweries, making the Belgian city a top bucket list destination for foodies. 

10. Budapest

Budapest blends beautiful architecture and a rich history and culture, attracting many tourists. The Hungarian city ​​includes architectural styles ranging from Romanesque and Gothic to Baroque, Art Nouveau, and Neoclassical. The city also offers many natural thermal springs, making it the perfect place to unwind and relax. 

11. Madrid

Madrid is the eleventh most popular capital city to visit. The vibrant Spanish city offers plenty of nightlife, remarkable architecture, and lots of sunshine. With royal palaces, flamenco dancers, and delicious tapas, Madrid is a must-visit for its unique culture. 

12. Lisbon

Portugal has become a top destination in Europe for its relaxing lifestyle and warm climate. Lisbon offers a budget-friendly getaway with cobblestone streets, art museums, close proximity to beaches, and castles like São Jorge and Castelo de São Miguel.

13. Athens

The capital of Greece is a history lover’s paradise, with awe-inspiring ancient sites like the Acropolis, the ancient Agora of Athens, and the National Archaeological Museum. The Mediterranean city also features a warm, welcoming climate, sun-kissed beaches, and delicious cuisine.  for those planning a trip, check out Lonely Planet’s City Guide.

14. Copenhagen

Copenhagen, known as “the world’s happiest city,” beckons tourists with castles, world-class cuisine, welcoming people, and renowned museums. The Danish capital offers iconic landmarks like the Royal Danish Theatre, Nyhavn Harbor’s colorful houses, and the Copenhagen Opera House. The city is known for its rich array of foods, with unique eats ranging from Michelin-starred restaurants to smørrebrød (pastries), smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches), and hot dogs from street vendors. 

15. Washington, D.C.

The United States Capitol boasts iconic landmarks, historic buildings, renowned museums, and cultural attractions. Tourists flock to the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and White House to walk among historic landmarks and learn about American history and politics. The American city also offers popular museums, including the National Mall, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery of Art. 

Related Post: Visited Names Top Luxury Cities in the U.S.

16. Dublin

Dublin, Ireland, is a vibrant city with a rich literary history, plenty of restaurants, pubs, nightlife, and welcoming people. For history buffs, Dublin Castle is a must-see that dates back to the 13th century. Trinity College includes the Book of Kells, a manuscript from the 9th century. The Dublin Writers Museum includes a look at the prolific history of Irish writers, with works by iconic figures like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and Samuel Beckett.

17. Bangkok

Bangkok is a top destination for many travelers seeking excitement, culture, nightlife, and unique sites. The Thai capital has delectable street food, historic temples and palaces, bustling markets, and beautiful natural landscapes. For budget-conscious travelers, Bangkok is an ideal destination, with very low prices compared to Western countries. 

18. Monaco

Monaco is a prime destination for luxury travelers. The small nation along the French Riviera includes a welcoming Mediterranean climate, pristine beaches, and luxury yachts. There is plenty to see for architecture lovers, with sites like the Prince’s Palace perched atop the “Rock of Monaco” and the Monaco Cathedral, known for its beautiful Romanesque architecture. 

19. Stockholm

Stockholm is a scenic Swedish city with many small islands offering stunning waterfront views. The Nordic capital offers ample greenery, historic architecture, and vibrant nightlife. Gamla Stan (Old Town) is a fairytale-like district with colorful houses and narrow cobbled streets. 

20. Singapore

Singapore, also known as the Garden City, has well-manicured public spaces, towering modern skyscrapers, and a melting pot of cultures and cuisine. The city’s Jewel Changi Airport is world-famous for its opulent entertainment complex, which includes over 280 dining and retail outlets. For outdoor lovers, Gardens by the Bay offers 250 acres with pristine landscaping, expansive floral-wreathed towers, and two massive observatories. 

21. Warsaw

Warsaw offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and modern urban life. The Polish capital features unique architecture, plenty of museums, and many tranquil parks, gardens, and green spaces. Warsaw Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a turbulent history of being bombed during World War II and then rebuilt into the bustling city center it is today. Tourists can visit iconic landmarks like the Royal Castle and St. John’s Arch, testaments to the city’s resilient spirit.

22. Luxembourg

Although Luxembourg is small, the European nation offers something for everyone, with a rich history, breathtaking natural beauty, and delicious food and wine. Tourists can explore cobblestone streets, historic castles, and fairy tale-esque medieval villages. Food lovers will revel in the many culinary options, as Luxembourg has the highest density of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita in the world.

23. Tokyo

Tokyo offers ultra-modern city life with around-the-clock entertainment, towering skyscrapers, imperial gardens, and many historical and cultural sites. The vibrant capital of Japan includes the bright lights of Shibuya Crossing, Michelin-starred sushi restaurants, and iconic temples like Senso-Ji in Asakusa or the Meiji Shrine in Shibuya. Tokyo is known for its cutting-edge technology, which includes robot cafes, driverless trains, and a highly efficient public transit system. For those planning a trip to Tokyo, check out Lonely Planet’s Tokyo Guide.

24. Oslo

Oslo beckons travelers with its unique Nordic history, natural beauty, and many museums. The Norwegian capital includes the Viking Ship Museum and Akershus Fortress, a medieval castle with sweeping city views. The city includes incredible natural views, with many parks, green spaces, and the Oslo Fjord and surrounding mountains.

25. Cairo

Cairo is a perennial tourist favorite as the Egyptian capital includes a long history, with pyramids, ancient ruins, and bustling markets. History buffs flock to the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Egyptian Museum, which has royal mummies and gilded King Tutankhamun artifacts. Khan El-Khalili, Cairo’s oldest bazaar, is popular for its shops, restaurants, cafes, and lively atmosphere. 

Related Post: Top 10 Ancient Sites to See in Egypt

26. Edinburgh

The twenty-sixth most visited capital is Edinburgh, Scotland. The city includes breathtaking architecture, historic castles, cobbled streets, and a medieval Old Town. Edinburgh offers something for everyone, with highlights ranging from history, art, and literature to whiskey. Tourists flock to Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse and enjoy climbing Arthur’s Seat for panoramic city views. 

Related Post: Top Scotch Whiskey Distillery Regions

27. Helsinki

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, charms visitors with a unique blend of modern architecture and design, historical intrigue, and stunning natural beauty. Tourists can explore the city’s heart on foot, pass candy-colored houses in the charming Senate Square, and marvel at the neoclassical Helsinki Cathedral. 

28. Bratislava

Bratislava in southwest Slovakia blends historic sites and natural beauty. The scenic capital is located along the Danube River and is surrounded by vineyards and the Little Carpathian mountains. Visitors can stroll through the fairytale-esque streets of Old Town, lined with pastel-colored houses and cobblestone streets. The majestic Bratislava Castle towers over the city, offering a long history that includes Celtic rulers, Great Moravian magnates, and Hungarian kings.

29. Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi blends modern entertainment with incredible geography. The capital of the United Arab Emirates comprises 200 islands, pristine beaches, and sprawling desert landscapes. Abu Dhabi offers plenty of cultural attractions, with the white marble Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque boasting 82 domes and over 1,000 columns and stunning architecture at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The city also features sprawling amusement parks on Yas Island, including Warner Bros. World and Ferrari World, which has the world’s fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa.

30. Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the perfect place to visit for an eclectic mix of cultures and architecture. The capital of Malaysia features skyscrapers, expansive shopping centers, delicious South Asian cuisines, and bustling markets. The city is home to Petronas Twin Towers, which offer a sky bridge and observation deck for remarkable views of the city. A visitor favorite is the Batu Caves, which are historic Hindu cave temples with colorful statues and murals. 

Have you been to any of the most visited world capitals? Mark off where you’ve been, expand your bucket list of must-see destinations, plan your dream getaway, and more by downloading the Visited app for free on iOS and Android. For in-depth travel guides with local insights, check out Lonely Planet Travel books.

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