Forget Big Ben Or The Eiffel Tower, Europe’s #1 Tourist Attraction Is In Belfast

Europe is known for quite a few historic tourist attractions. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Acropolis in Athens, the Prado in Madrid, and Big Ben in London are some of the most famous, but none of them was the top tourist attraction in 2016 — that distinction goes to the Titanic attraction in North Ireland.

According to the World Travel Awards, the magnificent and award-winning building in Belfast — designed to look like the ill-fated ships four hulls and inners — has topped all other attractions in popularity in recent years. The exhibit, that sits its in the exact place the Titanic was built, was given the honor after tallying several hundred thousand industry professionals and members of the public votes. The massive aluminium-covered building features acres of exhibits detailing the work over 3,000 men put into making the ship, as well as the city’s industrial history and how the project — at the time the biggest of it’s kind in history — came to Belfast in the first place.

Since 2012, over three million people have visited the Titanic Belfast exhibition, including Queen Elizabeth II, and Titanic film director James Cameron. While the exhibit was constructed in hopes many would attend, the turnout has even somewhat shocked those who work there.

“It’s such a huge accolade for us,” Eimear Lewis, communications manager for Titanic Belfast, told Travel ­+ Leisure of the recent award. “It’s really a testament to the strength of the Titanic story.”

The Belfast exhibit has become such a hit thanks to the amazing collection of Titanic related artifacts, replicas, interactive exhibits, art galleries, and photographs you can find there. The exhibit opened in 2012, on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking.

(Via Travel + Leisure)