People travel to unfamiliar places in the world for dozens of reasons. Whether it's to explore exotic cuisines and customs, experience new adventures, or simply get away and relax in a beautiful paradise, international travel creates endless opportunities. Some destinations have remained at the top of the most visited countries in the world for decades. Others have become new favorites, trendy spots for the world's globetrotters, which open up fresh, intriguing experiences in unique locales.

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01United Kingdom

In 2019, more than 40.9 million people visited England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. Though no longer officially a part of the UK, tourists generally include the Republic of Ireland on their travel itineraries for trips to the British Isles. Many consider the country's highly diverse capital city, London, with its rich, 2000-year history, to be one of the greatest cities on the planet. For those traveling on a dime, the city's numerous opportunities for free access to museums, art exhibitions, and landmarks create a huge draw for international visitors. Travelers seeking historic, scenic views will find no shortage of breathtaking vistas throughout the isles, from the Scottish highlands to the spectacular Welsh coastline. And in-between, there are thousands of historical sites to explore.

A young couple enjoying each others company outdoors in London AzmanJaka / Getty Images