How We Rank Things To Do

If you open a travel guidebook for any given destination, you'll get a listing of the "must-see" sites you should visit during your trip. Those recommendations are largely based on word of mouth -- and occasionally -- the likes and dislikes of a particular travel writer.

Selecting What to Include on the List

For any given destination, U.S. News' top things to do are selected based on (1) our editors' analysis of what major travel publications recommend you do and see and (2) a sampling of the opinions real travelers have expressed across the Web. So you can expect to see some usual suspects on our list (the Eiffel Tower and Louvre in Paris, for example), but you'll also find some lesser-known things to do. Some of the "must-see" things to do will be brick-and-mortar sites, but others will be can't-miss neighborhoods or even seasonal events.

Calculating the Scores and Rankings

Rankings are computed on the basis of an overall score that accounts for how much a previous visitor would recommend each thing to do to future travelers. The overall score also considers travel writers' and visitors' feelings about the value, atmosphere, facilities and, if applicable, the food scene of each thing to do.

Please keep in mind that scores are relative within a destination, so standards may vary by location. And opinions are subjective, so there can never be a true #1 thing to do for any locale. But our rankings do offer insight into what real tourists think, and will hopefully help you prioritize which sites to visit during your vacation.

More about how each thing to do is scored »