Based on the gate count, Bangkok’s Grand Palace draws 8 million visitors a year making it the eighth most visited attraction in Asia and 40th in the magazine’s world’s top 50 list.
“A listing among the World’s 50 Most Visited Tourist Attractions illustrates how Bangkok’s iconic Grand Palace continues to inspire and appeal to international visitors,” said Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Governor, Yuthasak Supasorn.
At the other end of the scale, the Grand Bazaar Istanbul, Turkey, topped the global list with an astonishing 91.25 million visits.
The Zocalo in Mexico City was second generating 85 million visits and Times Square, New York City third with 50 million.
Results were based on either visitor ticket sales, or visit estimates sourced from attraction management, government agencies, industry reports and media. In most cases the study adopted the 2013 data.
In the list’s preamble, T+L editors said attractions were “defined as cultural and historical sites, national landmarks, and officially designated spaces.”
They omitted beaches, bridges, and sites that draw almost exclusively religious pilgrims.
Bangkok’s Grand Palace, built in 1782, is one of Thailand’s most revered heritage sites. It was the official residence and seat of government for monarchs of the Chakri Dynasty for over 150 years.
The iconic, riverfront palace shared the 40th place with two other attractions that claimed 8 million annual visits: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC and Pier 39 in San Francisco.