This Country Will Be the Most Visited in the World in 2025—Can You Guess Which One?

Updated: Jul. 30, 2023

Get your passport ready! This country is about to be the most popular travel destination.

With cities steeped in history and neighboring countries within easy traveling distance, it’s no surprise that so many European destinations top travel bucket lists worldwide. Two countries, in particular, have spent the past few years vying for the title of the most visited place on the planet: France and Spain. And it’s easy to see why.

They’re rich in history, filled with gastronomical delights and offer slower-paced countryside escapes as well as bustling getaways in cultural hubs. Both France and Spain promise well-rounded vacations for travelers of all tastes, and when it comes to the best places to travel this year, you can’t go wrong with either. Still, one of these countries is on track to take the title of the most visited country in the world by 2025. Keep reading to find out which promises to be the most popular travel destination—and why you’ll want to book a trip, stat.

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Which country is poised to be the most visited in the world?

Aerial View of Paris, France with the Eiffel Tower in the background on a sunny daySaiko3p/Getty Images

Known for its standout cuisine, wine and art, France has consistently dominated the tourism industry and shows no signs of stopping. If you’ve traveled to this European destination, you no doubt understand why it’s set to become the most visited country in the world by 2025.

It had some competition, though. Spain has long rivaled France as the world’s most popular travel destination. In fact, it took the top slot in 2021, according to analytics firm GlobalData. (Italy isn’t far behind, by the way.)

But the company’s research shows that France is pulling into the lead once again, bringing in 66.6 million international visitors in 2022. GlobalData predicts that France will draw 93.7 million international travelers by 2025, outpacing its previous high of 88.1 million visitors in 2019. The country’s number of international guests is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.1% between 2022 and 2025.

(Don’t worry: Spain’s tourism industry isn’t too shabby. By 2025, it will attract 89.5 million international visitors, GlobalData predicts.)

Who’s visiting France?

France has become a go-to travel destination for both Europeans and tourists from further abroad. While visitors from the United Kingdom, Belgium and Germany make up a noteworthy portion of tourists in France, Chinese and American tourists are equally common, if not more so.

For travelers venturing out of the United States, France has become one of the top destinations in Western Europe. Yes, right alongside Spain. Savvy travelers know that the best time to visit Spain or France is in the spring or fall. Such shoulder-season travel will help you beat the crowds (and the brutal heat) and may allow you to save a few bucks, to boot.

What makes France a popular place to visit?

Villefranche-sur-mer on the French Riviera in summer Sur Mer Village In FranceStockByM/Getty Images

There are countless reasons why so many travelers flock to France. From a purely geographical standpoint, the country offers a landscape suited to every vacationer, so it’s a go-to spot whether you’re looking to lounge on the beach or get active in the mountains. Plus, there’s plenty to do. Visitors can explore historical attractions, busy urban hubs and the slower-paced countrysides, as well as indulge in world-renowned cuisine and the very best wine.

The country has invested significant time, energy and funds into caring for and renovating cultural and historical sites. There’s no shortage of famous landmarks to explore, from Paris’s Eiffel Tower to Normandy’s Mont Saint-Michel.

And you can’t discount the ease of travel in France (and, indeed, Europe as a whole). High-speed rail makes it easy for vacationers to explore both France and its neighboring countries. That should only increase in the coming years. “One key transportation project in Western Europe is the Ultra Rapid Train line, which is being planned by the European Commission to improve connectivity between Lisbon in Portugal and Helsinki in Finland,” Hannah Free, a travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, said in a statement. “The program involves the construction of an 8,000-kilometer double-track high-speed railway network between Lisbon and Helsinki with a loop around the Baltic Sea. The rail line will pass through Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Finland.”

On a deeper level, France has become a front-runner in the tourism industry for its commitment to accessibility and sustainability. The country prides itself on being a leader in innovation, investing in reliable public transit, eco-friendly hotels and airline routes that make flights to the country readily available. Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport is even regarded as one of the best airports in the world.

Of course, no matter where in the world you travel, it pays to do your research to make sure you stay safe. Check the State Department’s website for any travel advisories, such as those related to the current protests in France.

What major events will take place in France?

France is set to host the 2024 Paris Olympics, but you don’t have to wait until then to catch a sporting event in the country. The Tour de France happens in July, and the bike race is the biggest annual sporting event in the world. The country also plays host each year to the French Open tennis tournament and Monaco Grand Prix Formula One race, both of which begin at the end of May (as does the famous Cannes Film Festival).

This fall, France will also host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, a first for the country. The opening and closing games will take place at the Stade de France, located north of Paris. A total of nine cities will host games throughout the event, with stadiums in Bordeaux, Nice, Lyon and Marseille, among others.

In which parts of France can you vacation sans crowds?

Cathedral Saint Jean, Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourviere and the Saone river in Lyon city at morning, region Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Rhone, FranceLaraSLK/Getty Images

As one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Paris is undeniably the most popular destination in France. And let’s be real: Paris is always a good idea. That said, if you visit the City of Lights, you’ll have to contend with crowds. If you’re looking for a getaway with fewer people, you have an entire country to explore. After all, Paris isn’t the only city worth visiting. And there are a number of regions that people prefer to the bustling capital city.

Situated at the intersection of the Rhône and Saône rivers, Lyon is a city rich with history reflected through its art and architecture. To the west, Bordeaux is a must-see spot for oenophiles, as the region features some of the best wineries in the entire world. For a more scenic excursion, visit the coast of Normandy, which is not only a historically significant landmark but also a beauty for the eye to behold.

But don’t stress too much about finding the “right” place to visit. No matter where in France you travel, you’ll find an abundance of sights to see, food to enjoy, wine to sip and people to meet.


  • GlobalData: “France set to be most visited country in the world by 2025, says GlobalData”