Ashley Nault - May 20, 2024
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A recent international ranking shows Europe has the most attractive cities for tourists. Euromonitor International examined 55 criteria across six categories: economic and business performance, tourism infrastructure, health and safety, and sustainability. Five of the top seven cities are in Europe for city trips, with one ranking at the top.

7/ Rome, Italy

The Eternal City of Rome is well-known for its art and culture. It features iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, magnificent churches, and romantic squares. Despite the city's abundance of ancient relics, it continuously offers new highlights for tourists to explore. 

Rome developed the Plan Futuroma in 2019 to further enhance its tourism industry. The strategy aims to make the city even more attractive for city trips by 2025 and become one of the most desirable cities worldwide. However, the plan also prioritizes avoiding overtourism, protecting cultural heritage, and maintaining sustainable profitability. Ultimately, Rome aims to become a vibrant, innovative city that blends modernity with its historic backdrops.

6/ Berlin, Germany

Berlin has climbed two places in the latest ranking of the world's best city trips. Last year, it was already the only German city in the top ten but was ranked eighth. Berlin's recent efforts to improve tourism seem to have paid off, including a new initiative called "Sustainable Tourism Berlin," launched in December 2022. Additionally, Berlin has secured sixth place in the "Global Destination Sustainability Index." 

Known for its lively party scene, Berlin has plenty of attractions to offer, including the Museum Island, the East Side Gallery (the most extended surviving piece of the Berlin Wall), and various events such as the Berlin Marathon, the Berlinale, the Carnival of Cultures, and the world's most significant travel trade fair, ITB Berlin. 

In the first half of 2023, Berlin's accommodation establishments saw 5.7 million guests and 13.8 million overnight stays, a 30.2 percent increase in guests, and a 23.9 percent increase in overnight stays compared to the previous year.

5/ Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is once again among the top five most attractive city destinations. The city is known for its picturesque canals, neat gabled facades, and numerous cyclists, providing a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of culture during the city trip. Amsterdam's Museum Quarter is home to the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, among others.

However, the city has been grappling with party tourists for years, who visit specifically to smoke weed, drink, and visit the famous red light district. To discourage young men from searching for wild nights, the city launched the online campaign "Stay Away" at the beginning of 2023. Since May 2023, public cannabis use has been prohibited in the old center. In the autumn, the city announced that it would increase tourism taxes for 2024, leading to a rise in hotel room prices. The additional funds will be directed towards social projects and infrastructure. The "Renew Your View on Amsterdam" initiative aims to shift the focus of tourism towards quality experiences rather than quantity.

4/ Tokyo, Japan

Japan has surprised the world, as Tokyo has made it to the top ten of the annual city trip ranking for the first time. Experts attribute this to the improved tourist infrastructure. Moreover, after the relaxation of Corona measures and the depreciation of the yen, more tourists have visited the city. As a result, holidays in the Japanese capital have become much cheaper, and hotel bookings have skyrocketed.

The cosmopolitan city offers much, from historic temples and sparkling skyscrapers to bizarre things like the digital Akita dog at Shibuya Station. Since July, the dog has been jumping around on eight electronic billboards, reminiscent of Japan's most famous dog, Hachiko. Hachiko waited every evening at this very station for his owner, who came home from work, even nine years after the man had already died. Since 1934, there has been a statue of the faithful animal at Shibuya Station.

3/ Madrid, Spain

Madrid is a city full of culture, a cheerful atmosphere, great restaurants, and exciting nightlife. It is so popular that it has climbed to 3rd place in the 2023 Index, one spot higher than the previous year. One of the reasons for this is likely to be the new Madrid City Card, which was introduced in the spring of 2023. This tourist card offers free public transport and discounts on museums and other cultural and leisure facilities. With the Fast Pass included in the card, holders can skip the queue at some of the most important sights, such as the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum. The Prado Museum is considered one of the best art museums in the world, where visitors can see originals by numerous Spanish, German, Flemish, and Italian masters, including El Greco, Dürer, Rubens, Titian, Velázquez, and Goya.

2/ Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Emirate of Dubai's capital is the only non-European city ranked in the top three destinations for city trips, the same as last year. This glitzy metropolis attracts countless holidaymakers worldwide with its towering skyscrapers, man-made islands, beach resorts, and shopping meccas. According to Euromonitor, 16.8 million international visitors arrived in Dubai in 2023, an 18 percent increase from 2022. This puts Dubai in third place regarding arrival figures after Istanbul (20.2 million, 26 percent growth) and London (18.8 million, 17 percent). Overall, international tourism continues to recover significantly since the pandemic's decline, with a worldwide increase of 38 percent.

1/ Paris, France

The City of Love is a frontrunner and has topped the index in both 2022 and 2023. With its well-known landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Élysée Palace, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Montmartre, and Centre Pompidou, Paris is always worth a visit. Its combination of chic and romance is timeless, just like the legacy of its celebrated figures buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery, including Frédéric Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Colette, Albert Camus, Édith Piaf, Jim Morrison, and many others.

Visitors can also discover the exclusive guests who have called Paris home, such as Rudolph Valentino, Ernest Hemingway, and Coco Chanel, who lived in the city for over three decades until she died in 1971. And as if Paris didn't have enough to offer, it will host the Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games this year, making it an even more exciting destination.

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