If you’re planning an international trip anytime soon, there’s a good chance that you’ll be flying to one of the world’s top destination cities! MasterCard has just released their annual report on the most popular international destination cities, and for 2016, Bangkok has deposed London as the hottest destination with the largest number of international visitors.
Today, we’ll run down the list of the top ten international destination cities, and let you know what passport and visa requirements US citizens must have in order to visit for tourism.
#1. Bangkok, Thailand
With a projected 21.47 million international visitors expected to visit Bangkok this year, Thailand’s capital city is 2016’s hottest destination city! US citizens visiting for tourism can stay in Thailand for up to 30 days without a visa, but business visitors do need to get a visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate before their trip.
Before your trip to Bangkok, you’ll need to make sure your passport has at least one blank page marked “Visas.” Your passport must be valid for at least six months past your date of entry to Thailand.
#2. London, United Kingdom
The United Kingdom’s ancient capital city was the world’s top international destination for many years, and remains incredibly popular with tourists. Earlier in 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union – you’ve heard this referred to as “Brexit” – but that doesn’t impact the entry requirements for US citizens who want to visit London or other locations in Great Britain. All you need is a passport that will remain valid for the full duration of your stay! Your passport also needs to have one blank page marked “Visas” for your entry stamp. US citizens can visit the UK for up to 90 days with no visa.
#3. Paris, France
More than 18 million international travelers are expected to visit the City of Light this year. With stunning architecture, world-famous museums, epic shopping, and incredible food, it’s no wonder Paris is a top spot for tourists! If you’re heading to Paris for a little joie de vivre, you’ll want to make sure your passport will be valid for at least three months beyond your return to the US, and that you have at least one blank page available. US citizens don’t need visas for visits of up to 90 days.
#4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai might be the fourth most popular international destination city on the list, but it tops the charts as being the most expensive! It’s expected that the 15 million-plus visitors to Dubai this year will spend more than $31 billion! (Yes, that’s “billion,” with a B.) In comparison, the almost 20 million travelers who will visit London are projected to spend less than $20 billion on their trips. If you’re ready for a taste of the luxe life in this oil-rich city, you’ll need a passport with one blank page and at least six months of validity remaining. US citizen tourists staying less than 30 days don’t need visas, and business visitors are granted visas on arrival free of charge.
#5. New York, USA
Home sweet home! New York is the only US city to be ranked as one of the top ten destinations for international visitors. As a US citizen, of course, you don’t need to pull out your passport to visit New York. You will need to have valid identification like a driver’s license or passport card in order to board your domestic flight to the Big Apple, though!
The city-state of Singapore is famed for its clean, orderly lifestyle. With English as an official language, it’s an easy locale for US citizens to get an introduction to Asia. You won’t need a visa, either, because US citizens can visit for up to 90 days visa-free. You will need to have two blank visa pages and at least six months of validity remaining on your passport.
#7. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Just across the Johore Strait from Singapore lies Malaysia, whose capital city is the 7th most popular destination of 2016. Kuala Lumpur is a fast-growing, modern city that enjoys a blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures. Because of this rich diversity of cultures, it’s an especially popular destination for foodies! US citizens can stay for up to 90 days without a visa. You just need to have a passport valid for at least six months past your date of entry to Malaysia, and one blank page for your entry stamp.
#8. Istanbul, Turkey
In looking at the rankings of the hottest destinations for 2016, it’s clear that European and Asian cities dominate the list. Istanbul, which expects to receive nearly 12 million international visitors this year, is the one destination that is both an Asian city and a European one! With its location on the Bosporus, Istanbul straddles both continents. If you want to explore Istanbul’s rich history and vibrant culture, you’ll need to apply for an e-Visa before you travel to Turkey. (Want help with your e-Visa? Visa services like G3 Global Services can get an e-Visa for you.) Your passport must have at least one blank visa page and six months of validity remaining on the day you enter Turkey.
#9. Tokyo, Japan
Konichiwa! If you love sushi or udon, anime or Pokemon, ninjas or Harajuku girls, you’ve probably thought about visiting the exciting capital of Japan.
11.7 million international visitors are expected to arrive in Tokyo this year, and if you’ll be one of them, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a blank page in your passport and that your passport won’t expire before you return home to the States.
You won’t need a visa – US citizens can stay in Japan for up to 90 days with no visa required.
#10. Seoul, South Korea
Hopping on the Seoul train? If you’re going to be one of the 10.2 million people projected to visit the capital of the Republic of Korea this year, you won’t need a visa unless you plan to stay more than 90 days. All you need is a US passport that’s valid at the time of entry, and at least one blank page available for your entry stamp. With entry requirements that easy, what’s stopping you?
What’s your dream destination for 2016? Tell us in the comments!