• 06:14 AM, 20 Jan, 2020
The Taj Mahal © Yann Forget Photo

With 2019 firmly behind us and many back at our desks tackling the first weeks of 2020, thoughts are beginning to turn to where we’ll spend our precious leave allocation this new year.

To help, TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel platform, has revealed some of 2019’s most popular attractions from around the world, perfect for those ready to start dreaming up their 2020 holiday bucket list!

Most popular attractions, globally:

1. Colosseum, Rome, Italy 

Diliff Photo

For the second consecutive year, this iconic Italian amphitheatre takes top spot as the globe’s most popular destination. Built to hold more than 50,000 spectators, this former gladiator arena is a must-see on any trip to Rome. Book a skip-the-line ticket to experience Ancient Rome and the Colosseum on this half-day walking tour, or, for a behind the scenes experience, try an underground tour to gain access to restricted parts of the Colosseum visitors can't normally enter.

What travellers are saying: Of the underground tour, “This was an incredible tour and I was so excited to get to places most people don't see. We went out onto the "stage" and underground was fascinating. You could really get the feel for how things might have worked way back in the day. After that we walked up and around and to my surprise, she unlocked a door and we got to go even further up than anyone else!” 

2. Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Benh LIEU SONG Photo

Home to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Louvre is considered the world's greatest art museum with an unparalleled collection of items covering the full spectrum of art through the ages. Bypass the crowds on a skip-the-line walking tour to some of the museum’s most iconic works, or check out the Mona Lisa at closing time. For a tour with a twist, explore the museum with a family treasure hunt or a murder and mystery experience.

What travellers are saying: Of the family treasure hunt, “Usually younger kids may get bored easily about art and history (even though they would be so excited at the beginning), so having an activity like a treasure hunt in such a big museum would arouse their interest. My son had a great fun, and I can say it’s a big success!”

3. Vatican Museums, Rome, Italy

Jesús Moreno - Oliver-Bonjoch Photo

Visit the home of the Pope and the vast complex of museums that chronicle the history and accomplishments of mankind over the last 2000 years. Spend more time admiring the historic artwork and less time waiting with a skip-the-line entry ticket that also offers a guided tour option. Or if it’s the Pope you want to see, guarantee your entry to the weekly Papal audience and enjoy a close-up encounter with one of the world’s most prominent religious figures.

What travellers are saying: Of the Papal audience and presentation, “I am not Catholic or follow any religion, but enjoyed the fact that people from all around the world can come together and smile and sing together. Great experience. Guide was very good too.” 

4. Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

This unfinished Roman Catholic basilica is perhaps Gaudi’s best work. Construction on this basilica started in 1882, and while it’s still yet to be completed, this is one spot no traveller to Barcelona will miss. Its popularity among travellers means there’s always long queues, so plan ahead and book a fast track guided tour or one with optional tower entry to breeze your way to the front.

What travellers are saying: Of the fast track guided tour, “This whole experience was truly amazing. The building itself is an incredible building especially when you see how it reacts with the sunlight. Gaudi's design was truly amazing and the fore-sight. Our guide was good and had many interesting facts plus the entry into the building was easy.” 

5. French Quarter, New Orleans, United States

Sami99tr Photo

As the heart and cultural centre of New Orleans, the French Quarter is a must-see for its rich history and lively nightlife. Foodies won’t want to miss the small-group walking tour that ends at the legendary Café du Monde. Or, discover the neighbourhood’s bawdy side with a salacious history tour, capped off with a traditional burlesque performance.

What travellers are saying: Of the salacious history tour, “Highly recommend this incredible tour! Robin is an amazing guide whose passion and knowledge for this little-known sordid side of New Orleans history has been the unanimous favourite experience of our trip.” 

Most popular attractions in Asia (including Singapore):

A little closer to home, notable mentions around the region includes Japan’s Robot Restaurant and the unmistakable Taj Mahal in India. Here in Singapore, the Marina Bay Sands Skypark was the attraction most people visiting the island sought out, followed closely by a visit to Chinatown; while Jewel Changi Airport, the impeccably maintained World War II graves at Kranji War Memorial and Fort Canning underground command centre, the Battlebox are others that made the country’s most popular attractions list.

Making holiday planning even easier, TripAdvisor’s new Trips planning tool allows travellers to save and organise all the great places they find on TripAdvisor to a map. Travellers can use Trips for all their active itinerary planning including creating lists of ideas or recommendations, which can be accessed easily using the TripAdvisor app before, during or after their trip. Trips can be private or they can be shared with friends and family to co-create that dream trip together.

With this year’s public holiday calendar resulting in an amazing seven long weekends, whether you’re scheduling a series of short stints throughout the year or a once-in-a lifetime jaunt to the other side of the world, turn to TripAdvisor to make every trip your best trip.

Most booked attractions in Singapore, according to travellers

Rank Attraction

1 Marina Bay Sands Skypark

2 Chinatown

3 Gardens by the Bay

4 Universal Studios Singapore

5 Supertree Grove 

Zero Visibility is now Available at Kinokuniya Books Singapore

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