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    According to a recent study by the United Nations World Tourism Organization France has been heading the list for the most visited countries in the world for at least three years now, with close to 80 million visitors per year. With so many beautiful places to visit and home to the famous Eiffel Tower, no wonder that it’s a favorite. We take a look at the top seven countries that are on the list.


    The French have always come across to the world as romantic and why shouldn’t they be. A trip to France definitely must entail a view of the golden sunflowers of the Loire valley, the magnificent Lyon, dancing to the strains of the accordion in the town of Toulouse, a taste of the famous cocktails in Paris to feeling diminutive and awed by the Eiffel Tower. That is not all, the vineyards, the chateaus and pretty roadside cafes, their charm is simply unbeatable. It is no wonder then that France attracted approximately 83 million people last year, even more than its population of 66 million.


    A country that has a great impact on the world, where people like Einstein and Beethoven were born. It ranked seventh with close to 30.4 million visitors every year. Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city is famous for its harbor as well as its liberal and tolerant culture. Don’t miss the Reeperbahn with its night clubs and casinos. From Aachen to Zweibruecken, Germany’s cities and historic towns offer travelers their pick of artistic, cultural, historical, and musical venues, which includes Munich, the site of the famous Oktoberfest and also the gateway to the Alps. Enjoy spring in the many beautiful castles. Cruise the famous rivers of Germany such as the Rhine, Moselle, Danube and Elbe while enjoying the beauty of century-old castles standing high above the many cities and villages.


    Art, food, coffee, fashion, fabulous landscapes, Italy has it all. Ranked fifth with 46.4 million visitors, Italy is home to the greatest number of Unesco World Heritage sites. Some must do things: hop onto a slow-moving Vaporetto on Venice and ride to the other end of its run, it would better if done on a moonlit night with someone to cuddle, visit Milan, where hangs The Last Supper, a work of the master Leonardo da Vinci, visit the Greek ruins in Sicily, experience bliss as you tour the Amalfi Coast or sunbathe in Sardania, go back in time at Pompeii, or take a walk through Florence.


    With great beaches in San Sebastian, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities like in Toledo, Spain makes for a great destination. The sights that greet one at Barcelona are best suited for paintings. A country of large geographic and cultural diversity, Spain is a surprise to those who only know its reputation for great beach holidays. There is everything from lush meadows and snowy mountains to huge marshes and deserts in the south east. And not to forget the gastronomical delights that await one there.


    Turks revel in good food, good times, and great nightlife. Istanbul, Ku?adas?, Bodrum, Antalya are some of the places where you can experience that. Landmarks like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the mazes of the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market give it an undeniable historic edge. Historic sights of a different kind are on view in Cappadocia: The jagged stone formations called fairy chimneys some over 100 feet high. The landscape is pure fairy tale, and most of all at daybreak, drifting silently in a hot air balloon over the otherworldly terrain of the Goreme Valley.

    United States

    For many who visit America, it is surely a dream come true. There was a time in India when the West meant Hollywood and the stars and stripes were all that one could see. Then came the party culture so where else to go than the beaches and parties of Miami. But the icon of USA for time immemorial remains the beautiful Statue of Liberty. But the fun does not stop here, for those hardcore gamblers and those who have just seen the flashy lights of Vegas, it welcomes you with open arms to come and play a round of roulette. USA was rated second place, next to France with 67 million visitors.


    Almost all of us are familiar with China’s great man-made attractions. The Forbidden City in Beijing. The Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an, Shanghai’s skyscraper forest in Pudong, The Great Wall of China and many more. For a country of its massive size and varied geography, however, it’s surprising how relatively few people outside China appreciate the extent of the country’s other attractions, many of them natural wonders to rival any in the world. China comes third with visitors close to 57.7 million.


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