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The Most Interesting Places In The World, According to Wikipedia

We’ve scoured over a million Wikipedia entries to reveal which locations feature the most in the internet’s most famous encyclopaedia.

 
Wikipedia is one of the most comprehensive sources of information in the modern age. It has millions of articles detailing the historical and cultural significance of places all over the world, and in our quest to bring you unforgettable adventures we’ve dug deep into Wikipedia’s archive to find the most interesting places around the world.

Articles on Wikipedia that are about something that happened in, or belong to, a specific place (e.g. ancient ruins, famous battle grounds or important landmarks) are tagged with a ‘primary location’, and our data experts analysed the 1.2 million articles on Wikipedia which are coded with a ‘primary location’ for this mammoth study. A full methodology is outlined at the end of this page.

This epic undertaking took us on an incredible learning journey around the world. From the world’s most northernmost settlement where it’s illegal to own a cat, to the birthplace of Hawaiian pizza, the results of our research have unearthed some of the most interesting places in the world.
Rank Location Country Overall Interest Score
1 New York United States 5,431
2 London United Kingdom 5,329
3 Tokyo Japan 1,526
4 Washington, D.C United States 1,495
5 Toronto Canada 1,372
6 Dhaka Bangladesh 1,348
7 Hong Kong Hong Kong 1,332
8 Taipei Taiwan 1,294
9 Singapore Singapore 1,196
10 Longyearbyen Svalbard and Jan Mayen 1,183
11 Woodland United States 1,160
12 Paris France 1,153
13 Rome Italy 1,089
14 Copenhagen Denmark 1,079
15 Catham-Kent Canda 1,018
16 Portland United States 984
17 Plum Creek United States 931
18 Bhamo Myanmar 910
19 Nowthen United States 894
20 Lindytown United States 879
Whilst New York and London coming top as the ‘most interesting’ or ‘most tagged places in Wikipedia articles’ isn’t a massive surprise, we were happy as it proved our methodology was sound!

Also, within New York, we found a single neighbourhood that had an ‘Interest score’ higher than many full-size cities, and which certainly contributed to New York coming so high in the rankings. Gramercy Park is a residential neighbourhood north of East Village, famous for its upscale brownstone apartment buildings, tree-lined streets, private park and affluent residents. It’s associated with so many famous people who currently live or used to live there, including Julia Roberts, Rufus Wainwright, Karl Lagerfeld and Oscar Wilde – and was the birthplace of Theodore Roosevelt. With such recognized residents, along with a well-documented origin story and an exclusive park (that only residents have keys to access and where photography is forbidden), Gramercy Park is the main location for nearly 2,700 Wikipedia articles!

There are a few major global cities in the rankings, including Tokyo, Singapore, Rome, and Hong Kong – but the top 20 also reveals some other less-recognisable locations. Notably:

Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen comes in 10th:

The world’s northernmost settlement (with a population over 1,000), is based on the shore of Adventfjorden. A mining town since 1906, it was nearly destroyed by the Kriegsmarine during WWII. Whilst mining operations have resumed it’s more popular now with tourists and researchers. Longyearbyen has the lowest recorded average UV index for any current or previously inhabited place on Earth. Because of its remote location, it has some unique laws such as a ban on cats! This unique place is the main location in over 845 Wikipedia articles and you can explore it for yourself on our Realm of the Polar Bear In Depth trip.

Chatham-Kent in Canada comes in 15th:

Although just a rural municipality in southwestern Ontario, this place is the main location in over 1,130 Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia articles mention it due to its African-Canadian Heritage, its claim as the birth place of Hawaiian pizza, its agri-business and chemical plants, its roots in the automotive sector, its hockey teams, and its popularity as a vacation spot thanks to its white sandy beaches, fishing and hiking trails.

Grytviken in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands at 22nd:

Formerly a whaling station, Grytviken is just outside the top 20, but deserves an honourable mention. It’s tagged in over 500 Wikipedia articles, but Grytviken no longer has permanent residents. It occasionally accommodates researchers, military personnel and admin staff, and is a popular destination for Antarctic adventurers (see it for yourself on our Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica trip!), as it’s the resting place of polar explorers Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Wild. It is an Area of Special Tourist Interest – with its striking snow-covered mountains, green fields, and bright blue waters creating an incredible backdrop to old, wrecked whaling and sealing ships and abandoned industrial buildings.

 

Heatmap of the world’s most interesting places, according to Wikipedia

Our heat map shows that in terms of continents, Europe has the highest concentration of places with a good Wikipedia ‘Interest score’, according to our study. Discover the best of Europe for yourself with our London to Istanbul Rail Adventure, which takes in Austria, Croatia, France, Italy, the UK and many more.

We dug further into the continental data, to reveal the most interesting places on each continent around the world, from North America to Australia.

Most Interesting Places in Oceania, According to Wikipedia

Rank Location Interest Score
1 Melbourne, Australia 416
2 Sydney, Australia 395
3 Christchurch, New Zealand 342
4 Auckland, New Zealand 336
5 Honiara, Solomon Islands 309
6 Brisbane, Australia 295
7 Avarua, Cook Islands 262
8 Alice Springs, Australia 259
9 Gizo, Solomon Islands 237
10 Samarai, Papua 231

Heatmap of Oceania’s most interesting places, according to Wikipedia

Oceania

Australia’s two biggest cities take the two top spots as Oceania’s most interesting places, with Victoria’s capital Melbourne taking the crown with an Interest Score of 416. Melbourne is the primary location in over 438 Wikipedia articles, which cover everything from its Aboriginal Victorian history to the city’s gold rush boom period in the 1850’s, as well as its skyscraper architecture and cultural significance as a global centre for sport, music, comedy and art.

Christchurch is the place with the highest Interest Score in New Zealand, and it ranks third in the continental rankings, just above Auckland. Christchurch has over 342 location tags on Wikipedia, and the encyclopaedia notes it is the oldest city in New Zealand, as well as detailing the major snowstorm it endured in August 1992 and Christchurch's history in farming and agriculture.

Most of Oceania’s interesting places include the major cities in Australia and New Zealand, with a number of trading ports and capital cities in islands in the Pacific Ocean rounding out the top ten. In seventh place, Alice Springs offers explorers an excellent base to explore some of Australia’s beautiful desert landscapes and wildlife.

Most Interesting Places in North America, According to Wikipedia

Rank Location Interest Score
1 New York, USA 5,341
2 Washington, D.C.USA 1,495
3 Toronto, Canada 1,372
4 Woodland, USA 1,160
5 Chatham-Kent, Canada 1,018
6 Portland, USA 984
7 Plum Creek, USA 931
8 Nowthen, USA 894
9 Lindytown, USA 879
10 Fort Erie, Canada 815

Heatmap of North America’s most interesting places, according to Wikipedia

North America

Unsurprisingly, with their famous and long history of events, people and landmarks, New York and Washington DC take first and second prize as the most documented locations in North America on Wikipedia.

In third place is Toronto, the capital of the Ontario province in Canada. It has an Interest Score of 1,372 and is the primary location for over 1,500 Wikipedia articles. It’s well detailed as an international centre of business, finance, sport and culture, with a diverse population (more than half of Toronto’s residents were born outside of Canada). It’s home to the tallest free-standing structure in the world, the CN Tower, as well as what many consider North America’s only authentic ‘castle’ – Casa Loma, and one of the longest streets in the world, Yonge Street.
Woodland in California, USA comes in fourth place. Based in Yolo County and part of the Sacramento metropolitan area, Woodland has a strong agricultural economy and is a player in the transportation industry as well. In the 1950s it had the most millionaires per capita of any city in California. The place was originally inhabited by the Patwin, a subgroup of the Wintun Native Americans. There is a varied selection of people from the area with their own Wikipedia pages, including Alyssa Nakken (the first full-time female coach in MLB history), Jillian Camarena – a champion shot putter and Charles R. Schwab – founder of the eponymous stock brokerage firm.

With an unofficial cultural motto of ‘Keep Portland Weird’, the most populous city of Oregon comes out sixth in the North American rankings. Portland is home to many interesting things, including: being an easy access to point to hiking trails, running the USA’s biggest continuously operated outdoor Saturday market, its iconic ‘White Stag’ neon sign, being home to numerous galleries, theatres, museums, libraries, bookstores and art institutions, it’s Forest Park (which is six times bigger than Central Park) and other very pretty gardens and natural landmarks, its proximity to Willamette Valley (Oregan’s wine county) and its Observatory.

Fort Erie is the tenth most interesting place in North America. Situated on the Niagara River, it’s home to the Old Fort Erie, which was of high importance during the War of 1812, and also Crystal Beach (or Bay Beach). An amusement park stood at Crystal Beach for 100 years before closing in 1989 and it was famous for its innovative roller coasters; one of its best-loved roller coasters, The Comet, remains in operation at the Six Flags Great Escape park in Queensbury, New York.

Most Interesting Places in Africa, According to Wikipedia

Rank Location Interest Score
1 Bassar, Togo 688
2 Kampala, Uganda 673
3 Cairo, Egypt 630
4 Johannesburg, South Africa 616
5 Nairobi, Kenya 496
6 Luxor, Egypt 481
7 Mek' ele, Ethiopia 473
8 Kongoussi, Burkina Faso 443
9 Pretoria, South Africa 403
10 Kombissiri, Burkina Faso 375

Heatmap of Africa’s most interesting places, according to Wikipedia

Africa

With an Interest Score of 688, Togo’s Bassar is tagged as the primary location for the over 200 Wikipedia articles. The town is best known for its yam production, particularly the Labaco variety which is used to make fufu – a popular doughy accompaniment to stews and soups. Bassar is also noted in Wikipedia for the town’s theme of death, with a ‘House of the Dead’ and mausoleum of deceased kings.

Thanks to their importance in ancient Egypt, locations like Cairo and Luxor feature highly in the African rankings – you can check them out for yourself on our Classic Egypt tour which includes a Nile cruise. Kenya’s capital city Nairobi places fifth, just under South Africa’s Johannesburg in fourth. 

Most Interesting Places in Europe, According to Wikipedia

Rank Location Interest Score
1 London, UK 5,329
2 Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen 1,183
3 Paris, France 1,153
4 Rome, Italy 1,089
5 Copenhagen, Denmark 1,079
6 Vienna, Austria 778
7 Milan, Italy 659
8 Florence, Italy 605
9 Naples, Italy 578
10 Brussels, Belgium 575

Heatmap of Europe’s most interesting places, according to Wikipedia

Europe

With an enormous Interest Score of 5,329, London is marked as the primary location in over 6,200 Wikipedia articles. Whilst central London and the City of London are the areas with the most dense concentration of article locations, our analysis showed there are also a significant number in Hammersmith and Kensington.

Paris is cited as the main location in over 1,000 Wikipedia articles and boasts a high Interest Score thanks to its world-renowned buildings such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame cathedral and the Louvre Museum. Those familiar with the more famous parts of Paris can find out new interesting things by taking a tour of the city’s sewer system or the immense underground Catacombs which hold the remains of more than six million deceased. 
In equal measure modern and ancient, Rome is the fourth most interesting place in Europe according to Wikipedia. Crucial in the development of Western democracy and philosophy, Rome is brimming with points of interest, from the grandeur of the Colosseum to the majesty of Saint Peter’s Basilica. Our week-long Rome, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast tour kicks off with two nights in the city and can be further extended. 

In fifth place Copenhagen has many things that make it attractive to its residents and visitors, from its pretty coloured houses in Nyhavn Harbor and scrumptious Danish pastries, through to being a hub for Scandinavian design with a focus on living urban life in a sustainable and green way. 

Most Interesting Places in Asia, According to Wikipedia

Rank Location Interest Score
1 Tokyo, Japan 1,526
2 Dhaka, Bangladesh 1,348
3 Hong Kong 1,332
4 Taipei, Taiwan 1,294
5 Singapore 1,196
6 Bhamo, Myanmar 910
7 Kandy, Sri Lanka 868
8 Kolkata, India 790
9 Seoul, Republic of Korea 706
10 Guangzhou, China 686

Heatmap of Asia’s most interesting places, according to Wikipedia

Asia

Tokyo takes the crown as the most interesting place in Asia, according to Wikipedia, and the third most interesting place in the world. With the world’s first robot hotel (with robotic receptionists), vending machines that sell virtually anything you want, the most Michelin stars held by a city and the world’s busiest intersection – the capital of Japan has come a long way since its origins as a small fishing village.  

Dhaka, the largest city in Bangladesh takes silver in Asia’s Wikipedia Interest Score rankings. It has megacity status, meaning its population is over 10 million, and it’s believed that the area of Dhaka has been inhabited since the first millennium. Wikipedia articles note its vast sprawling cityscape and the incredible amount of development and growth of the city in the last 50 years.

Hong Kong with an Interest Score of 1,332 comes third in the Asian rankings and seventh in the global table. It’s named as the primary location for over 1,100 articles on Wikipedia, and the encyclopaedia notes that this special administrative region of China evolved from a collection of small farming and fishing villages to become one of the world’s most important commercial ports and financial centres. From an indoor snow and surf centre and the magic of Hong Kong Disneyland to the first Cupnoodles Museum and the old-school ‘ding ding’ public trams, Hong Kong provides an eclectic mix of modern and authentic ways to entertain yourself whilst in the city. 

Most Interesting Places in South America, According to Wikipedia

Rank Location Interest Score
1 Grytviken, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 843
2 São Paulo, Brazil 689
3 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 682
4 Stanley, Falkland Islands 571
5 Santiago, Chile 507
6 Montevideo, Uruguay 468
7 Bogotá, Colombia 398
8 La Paz, Bolivia 375
9 Buenos Aires, Argentina 328
10 Brasília, Brazil 302

Heatmap of South America’s most interesting places, according to Wikipedia

South America

Grytviken in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is the most interesting place in South America, and as mentioned above, it even takes the 22nd place in the global rankings. It is the location of over 500 Wikipedia articles that inform readers about famous polar explorers and whaling settlements through to the Falklands War and why the place has been declared an Area of Special Tourist Interest.  Discover Antarctia, the Falklands and South Georgia on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition on M/S Ocean Endeavour – it’s an area unlike anywhere else on earth. 

São Paulo in Brazil is the most populous city in the world outside of the Asian continent, and it ranks as the second most interesting place in South America according to Wikipedia. It’s the largest Portuguese-speaking city in the world, home to the Brazilian Grand Prix, boasts the tallest skyscrapers in Brazil and has the world’s second largest LGBT price parade (after New York). 

Methodology:

1.    Firstly the primary locations which are stored on Wikipedia articles were extracted. (A primary location is one where the uploader has specified that it is the true location of the main feature of the article.) This created a data set of 1.2 million locations. 
2.    All locations where the latitude was less than -60 or more than 80 were removed.
3.    The locations were then reverse geocoded to reveal the country and closest city of each location.
4.    The locations were then given an “Interest Weighting Score” (IWS) to reduce the bias caused by Wikipedia being a primarily English-based online encyclopaedia, with ties to the USA. This IWS considered the internet access of each country, how widely spoken English is in the country, and the activity on each country’s Wikipedia page, with additional diminishments applied to the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia.
5.    Heatmaps were generated using weighted results with Plotly Express and Python.

Data correct as of August 2023.