Guess which city has been named the best tourist destination for 2016?

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Kayleigh Dray
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There’s nothing more exhilarating than packing up your suitcase, hopping on a plane, and jetting off to a strange city for the first time.

But, with so many glorious global destinations on offer, it can be hard to pick just one for your holidays.

Thank goodness, then, for Mastercard’s 2016 Global Destination Cities Index.

In their detailed report, they’ve broken down the world’s most popular holiday destinations of 2016, helping to identify key travel trends in the process.

Scroll through to see their findings...

Images: iStock

  • 10. Seoul, South Korea

    Springing from the ruins of the Korean War, Seoul has boomed in just 50 years to become one of the world’ most economically-powerful cities. There are more art openings per square mile than you can count, as well as affordable drinks, high-tech bargains, underground malls, and more. Throw in the historic palaces, kimschi, bibimbap, and saunas, and you have a dreamy holiday destination.

  • 9. Tokyo, Japan

    Whether you prefer to drool over picture-perfect sushi rolls, square watermelons, and elaborate pastries, or visit the Imperial Palace, or browse the independent fashion boutiques, Tokyo has something for everyone. No wonder it’s so well loved by business travellers and tourists alike.

  • 8. Istanbul, Turkey

    There’s a reason the city of four empires attracts 11.95 million visitors a year. With 2,500 years of history, not to mention the added benefit of being the spot where Asia meets with Europe, there’s plenty of culture to soak up. And, once you’re done with that, there’s the vibrant nightlife, Turkish baths, delicious foods, and bazaars to check out, too.

  • 7. Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia

    Minarets, domes, skyscrapers, banyan trees, colourful canopies – Kualur Lumpar has often been labelled one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s best explored on foot, too, so you can check out all the amazing food stalls, bustling street markets, and shopping districts up close and personal.

  • Singapore


  • 5. New York City, USA

    It takes just six hours to get from London to the Big Apple – and it’s definitely worth the air miles. Get your vagabond shoes there, Frank Sinatra-style, and check out all the shopping districts, iconic skyscrapers, and late-night eateries, bars, and more. There’s a reason they’ve dubbed it the ‘city that never sleeps’, you know…

  • 4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Dubai has pumped billions into positioning itself as a tourist mecca and business hub, and it seems as if it has succeeded. Think sun, sea, sand, and unparalleled skylines. And let’s not forget the spectacular range of foods available in this multi-cultural melting pot.

  • 3. Paris, France

    The city of love, cheeses, and red wine came in at number three - and it's not a long flight, either, making it a great choice for a weekend away.

  • 2. London, UK

    Not sure you can afford another holiday this year? That's okay - our very own London is still very high on the list, although it has dropped from the top spot to the second for 2016.

    The city is beloved for its good transport links, buzzing metropolitan scene, sites of historical importance, stunning green spaces, and cuisine from all over the world. 

    So which city did London miss out to...?

  • 1. Bangkok, Thailand

    The Thai capital - famed for its vibrant urban and culinary scene, not to mention its plethora of beautiful beaches and historical sites - has bounced to the top of Mastercard's annual list of the world's most popular travel destinations.

    It is projected to host 21.47 million "international overnight visitors" this year alone. 


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.