Whilst landmarks tend to have been around for a long time, new ones do pop up on the scene and others go through different levels of popularity. Here are my 60 most famous landmarks in the world for 2021 in no particular order. How many have you visited? And which ones will you be adding to your bucket list?
60 Most Famous Landmarks in the World 2021
Table of Contents
- 1 60 Most Famous Landmarks in the World 2021
- 1.1 1. The Colosseum, Italy
- 1.2 2. The Demilitarised Zone Korea
- 1.3 3. The Eiffel Tower, France
- 1.4 4. Big Ben, England
- 1.5 5. Statue of Liberty, The United States
- 1.6 6. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
- 1.7 7. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
- 1.8 8. Sydney Opera House, Australia
- 1.9 9. La Sagrada Familia, Spain
- 1.10 10. Golden Gate Bridge, The United States
- 1.11 11. Arc de Triomphe, France
- 1.12 12. Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
- 1.13 13. Brandenburg Gate, Germany
- 1.14 14. Seattle Space Needle, The United States
- 1.15 15. The Acropolis, Greece
- 1.16 16. Burj Khalifa, Dubai
- 1.17 17. The Louvre Museum, France
- 1.18 18. Mount Rushmore, The United States
- 1.19 19. Uluru, Australia
- 1.20 20. Stonehenge, England
- 1.21 21. Hoover Dam, The United States
- 1.22 22. The Alhambra, Spain
- 1.23 23. Bondi Beach, Australia
- 1.24 24. Buckingham Palace, England
- 1.25 25. CN Tower, Canada
- 1.26 26. Washington Monument, The United States
- 1.27 27. The Trevi Fountain, Italy
- 1.28 28. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
- 1.29 29. Notre Dame, France
- 1.30 30. Niagara Falls, Canada and The United States
- 1.31 31. Pompeii, Italy
- 1.32 32. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- 1.33 33. Saint Mark’s Basilica, Italy
- 1.34 34. Empire State Building, The United States
- 1.35 35. Sacré-Cœur Basilica, France
- 1.36 36. The Great Wall of China
- 1.37 37. Tower Bridge, England
- 1.38 38. The Grand Canyon, The United States
- 1.39 39. St Paul’s Cathedral, London
- 1.40 40. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
- 1.41 41. The Palace of Versailles, France
- 1.42 42. Chichen Itza, Mexico
- 1.43 43. Petra, Jordan
- 1.44 44. Tower of London, England
- 1.45 45. Taj Mahal, India
- 1.46 46. 30 St Mary Axe or The Gherkin, England
- 1.47 47. Mont Saint-Michel, France
- 1.48 48. Mount Fuji
- 1.49 49. Windsor Castle, England
- 1.50 50. The London Eye, England
- 1.51 51. Halong Bay, Vietnam
- 1.52 52. Westminster Abbey, England
- 1.53 53. Machu Picchu, Peru
- 1.54 54. Mount Everest, Nepal or China
- 1.55 55. Picadilly Circus, England
- 1.56 56. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
- 1.57 57. Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil
- 1.58 58. Taipei 101, Taiwan
- 1.59 59. The Berlin Wall, Germany
- 1.60 60. Banff National Park, Canada
1. The Colosseum, Italy
Could over 7 million people be wrong – and that’s just in the last 12 months! That is how many people visit Italy‘s most popular tourist attraction the Colosseum in Rome each year. This ancient amphitheater was the site of Rome’s famous public spectacles like those seen in the movie Gladiator.
The Colosseum was the biggest amphitheater in the world during its time, seating over 70,000 people. The structure was constructed in 70 AD – yes it’s that old. It is 157 feet tall and remarkably well preserved considering its age.
Every ticket to the Colosseum also includes access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The Roman Forum is located next door to the Colosseum and Palatine Hill is also part of the area.
When you purchase this ticket online you will be given options for different times on the day you want to visit. Of course, the further ahead you book the more options will be available.
⇒ Read my Skip the Line Colosseum Complete Guide
2. The Demilitarised Zone Korea
When I was researching this article I didn’t see the DMZ listed anywhere else as a landmark. I was quite surprised as the border between North and South Korea is often spoken of and appears on the news so I decided to put it in this post.
Also, visiting the DMZ is definitely in my top 5 ever day trips.
Korea has a fascinating war history, and any visitor to the country should definitely look into it. Full or half day tours are offered from Seoul to explore the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which lies on the border between North and South Korea.
Any visiting of this area outside a tour is not allowed. Visiting the DMZ is one of the most popular day trips in Korea.
Through this unique experience, you will get to learn all about Korean war history. You will also get to see some sites of major interest, such as the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, the Dora Observatory, and the Korean War Memorial. These day trips out of Seoul are completely safe and include transport.
It is essential to book your DMZ Korea tour ahead of your visit as they sell out. This one day trip from Seoul is normally an early start with quite a bit of paperwork.
For me, the highlight of the tour was being able to go to the actual border between North and South Korea. The tension in the air is almost visible at the border of the Demilitarized Zone Korea. Soldiers from each side guard the border and are only steps away from each other.
I actually thought the South Korean border guard was a statue as he was so still! Until I saw the perspiration coming down the side of his face.
There are small huts along the border between North and South Korea. These huts were assembled so that meetings could be held with both sides without either side leaving their country.
Inside the huts are standard meeting tables – and this is your one opportunity to stand in North Korea and have your photo taken!
There are some terrific names in Demilitarized Zone of Korea. The Bridge of No Return was named as such because once you chose which side of the bridge you were going to there was no option to return.
There are so many interesting things to see on this Seoul day trip. The stunning and modern Dorasan train station that was created for a border opening and is now virtually never used.
The Freedom House which was built for reunions of families from each side – which never took place. The Fake North Korean village with the doors and windows painted on.
⇒ Check out my posts on the best Seoul Day Trips, 8 fantastic Things to do in Incheon, 13 things to do in Myeongdong, my Seoul Itinerary 5 Days, 7 Fantastic Seoul Boutique Hotels and the best things to do in Gangnam.
3. The Eiffel Tower, France
Built between 1887 and 1889 by French engineer Gustav Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is made of iron rather than steel. It was built to be one of the main attractions at the Paris World’s Fair in 1889.
Parisians quickly fell in love with The Eiffel Tower and more than 2 million visited in the first year that it was open. The tower symbolised French know-how and industrial genius.
Today nearly seven million people visit The Eiffel Tower every year. The top of the Eiffel Tower which can be visited is at 276 metres. The other key view point is on what is called the second floor which is at 116 metres.
Ticket prices vary depending on how high you want to go and how you want to get there – stairs or lift. It is possible to take a lift all the way to the top (with the option to stop at the second floor) or to walk up to the second floor and then get a lift to the top.
July and August are the busiest times of year to visit The Eiffel Tower but it is usually quite busy all year round. It is possible to book tickets two months in advance of your visit. I would highly recommend booking a skip the queue ticket for the Eiffel Tower ahead of your visit to Paris.
4. Big Ben, England
As the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, Big Ben is to London. Big Ben is actually a nickname that stuck. The name refers to both the clock and the clock tower that sits at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London.
The tower was completed in 1859. At that time it was the largest and most accurate clock in the world. Big Ben became a UNESCO listed site in 1987.
In August of 2017 Big Ben was silenced. This market the beginning of a four year project to fully repair and restore bot the clock and the clocktower. They also plan to install a lift which should make life much easier for those charged with keeping Big Ben in good condition ongoing.
⇒ Heading to London? Check out my posts on 13 Unusual Experiences in London, the best London Food Tours, my virtual London Travel Blog, some great Earlsfield restaurants, 14 Things to do in Notting Hill, restaurants near Clapham Junction and Victoria Station restaurants, 16 Famous Landmarks in Europe, a mad hatter afternoon tea party and a day trip to Brighton, 18 Landmarks of London from a local, 15 Places to see Sunsets in London, 9 Places to watch the Sunrise in London, 10 Bridges in London Not to Miss and Cotswolds tour from London options.
The exceptions to the silencing are New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Day. There are no public tours available during the restoration period. However, one clock face can still be seen through the scaffolding.
5. Statue of Liberty, The United States
Arguably, the Statue of Liberty is the most iconic landmark in North America. Lady Liberty has her own island within New York City. This copper statue was originally a gift to the United States from France.
The statue’s metal framework was designed by Gustave Eiffel, also reponsible for one of the most famous landmarks in France the Eiffel Tower.
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886 but holds a tablet inscribed with the date of US independence, July 4 1776. A broken shackle and chains lie at her feet, a symbol of the recent abolition of slavery in the United States.
The statue became a symbol of freedom, particularly as it was often the first sight of the USA seen by incoming immigrants.
Today, at least 4 million people a year visit the Statue of Liberty. There is no charge for entrance to the monument but there is a cost to take the ferry from Manhattan to Liberty Island. The ferry also stops at Ellis Island.
If you wish to climb up to the crown, paid tickets must be booked in advance.
Book your Statue of Liberty tickets here – including Skip the Queue Options.
6. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
This freestanding bell tower is not just a famous monument but possibly one of the most famous buildings in the world. The “lean” is nearly four degrees and is because the foundation of the building is unstable.
The tower began to lean during its construction in the 12th century and unfortunately got worse up to its official completion in the 14th century. By 1990 the lean was 5.5 degrees. Repairs work took place during 1993 and 2001 that corrected the lean-to just under 4 degrees.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is not particularly tall at just over 55 metres – I remember being quite surprised at how small it was when I visited. The tower is located in Pisa’s Cathedral Square and also includes Pisa Cathedral and Pisa Baptistry.
If you’d like to go inside the tower and climb up to the top paid entry is required. It is possible to book a skip the line ticket for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Otherwise there is no charge to see the building from the exterior and to take the famous photo where it looks as if you are holding up the tower!
7. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The pyramids are one of the most recognizable structures in the world. As well as being a site worth seeing, the history behind them is just as important. They pay a huge tribute to Egypt’s Pharaonic rulers and symbolize how strong of a civilization Egypt must have been.
Iconic pyramids to visit are the Great Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Menkaure, Pyramid of Khafre and the Sphinx. Surrounding these structures are cemeteries that hold the tombs of queens and a daughter of the Pharaoh.
Booking yourself a tour is crucial to visit the pyramids. You’ll need a tour guide to share Egypt’s history, the incredible facts, and the construction of the last of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Ancient World’.
8. Sydney Opera House, Australia
One of the most famous buildings in the world, the iconic Sydney Opera House does not disappoint. One of the 20th century’s most iconic buildings it first opened in 1973 and is a must for any Sydney Itinerary.
This is a live, working building with performances day and night. I highly recommend taking a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House to find out all the backstories and to be able to explore the building.
A second great way to visit the Opera house is to attend an opera. Yet again, this is a ticket to book far in advance as tickets for actual opera at the Sydney Opera House tend to sell out fast.
The third way to experience the Opera House is through food and wine. The Opera House is home to one of Australia’s top restaurants, Bennelong.
If you are looking for something more casual there is no better way to finish off any day exploring Sydney than with a glass of wine at the Opera Bar. Like the fish markets, the Opera Bar is loved by locals and tourists alike.
The views from the Opera Bar Sydney are fabulous and the outdoor seating area is massive so no matter how busy it is you should be able to get some kind of seat. The wine list is long and there are lots of food options.
Opera Bar also offers up free water and sunscreen which you will need if you are sitting there on a nice day. A perfect way to finish up a day of visiting Sydney Highlights.
9. La Sagrada Familia, Spain
The Sagrada Familia is perhaps the world’s most famous unfinished landmark. Construction began on this Catholic Church in Barcelona Spain in 1882. La Sagrada Familia was designed by famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.
Construction of the church began under the supervision of another architect, Francisco de Paula del Villar. However, Gaudi took over in 1883.
Progress on the construction of Sagrada Familia was slow as funding was private and it was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. When Gaudi died in 1926 the church was only one quarter finished. He is buried in the crypt of Sagrada Familia.
Revolutionaries broke into the construction site in 1936, partially destroying Gaudi’s original model and setting the timeline back even further.
The latest estimate for the completion of Sagrada Familia is 2026.
Sagrada Familia receives approximately 4.5 million visitors every year. The number of tickets for sale as well as the entry times is limited. This is definitely a European landmark you want to book a skip the line ticket ahead of your visit.
Tickets can be purchased up to 2 months in advance and are available in 15 minute slots. Once you have entered Sagrada Familia you may stay for as long as you like. Entrance to the towers costs extra.
10. Golden Gate Bridge, The United States
The 1.7 miles long Golden Gate Bridge is world renowned and easily recognised by its orange colours. First opened in 1937, this single suspension bridge is anchored by twin towers.
This iconic bridge connects San Francisco to Marin County and over two billion cars have driven over it since it first opened.
There are several ways to get some great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Take a cruise around San Francisco bay – potentially including the fantastic Alcatraz island and prison.
Head to the viewing platform at the Battery Spence military installation for some panorama shots. Baker Beach is a great spot to see the bridge at sunset.
However, my personal favourite way to see the Golden Gate Bridge is to hire a bike and cycle over it. Pick up a bike at Fisherman’s Wharf and head to the bridge.
On the other side is lovely Sausalito, a perfect lunch spot. It is then possible to cycle back or to take your bike onto the ferry from Sausalito back to Fisherman’s Wharf – a great day out.
11. Arc de Triomphe, France
The Arc de Triomphe sits at the western end of the Champs-Elysee in Place Charles de Gaulle and in the middle of one of the scariest roundabouts in the world.
This famous European landmark is a tribute to those who died fighting for France in the Napoleonic and Revolutionary Wars. The names of all French victories as well as the generals are inscribed on the arc. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War 1 lies underneath the Arc de Triomphe.
The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon. However, it was not completed until 1836. By this time Napoleon had been banished to Elba. He was never able to see the Arc de Triomphe but his remains passed through it on the way to Les Invalides.
Every year the Bastille Day parade on July 14 starts at the Arc de Triomphe and the Tour de France also finishes here.
It is possible to visit the Arc de Triomphe. Whatever you do don’t try to cross the road to get there – remember this is the world’s scariest roundabout. Instead take the underground passage from the Champs Elysee or one of the other roads leading into Place Charles de Gaulle.
It is free to visit the base of the Arc de Triomphe. However, there is a charge to climb the 280 stairs to the top of the Arce de Triomphe and some lovely views of Paris. And you won’t be surprised to hear that I highly recommend you book a skip the line ticket for the Arc de Triomph.
12. Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
This famous steel bridge first opened in 1932. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is nicknamed the coathanger due to its distinctive shape. Today the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a busy day and night with cars and pedestrians and a critical link between central Sydney and the northern suburbs.
There are several ways to experience Sydney Harbour Bridge. You’ll see it from many view points in Sydney, you can easily drive over it or walk both over it or under it.
But the best way to experience Sydney Harbour Bridge is to climb it. Yes, it is expensive. And you can’t take your camera which really hurts. But The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is fantastic.
I wouldn’t recommend it if you are scared of heights though – it is extremely safe and you are clipped in the whole time but it would be tough if you suffered from any type of vertigo.
There are three different options for tickets. The standard is the summit ticket which involves going to the top of the bridge (134m) and then back down in 3 1/2 hours. This involves 1390 stairs.
The express ticket does the same in 2 1/2 hours and is 1000 steps. The sampler ticket is 1 1/2 hours and only includes climbing a small portion of the bridge.
The cost may then vary depending on the time of day. Tickets are booked in one-hour slots. Twilight and night are more expensive. I would highly recommend taking the twilight option as the sunsets in Sydney can be amazing.
13. Brandenburg Gate, Germany
The Brandenburg Gate was commissioned as an entrance to Berlin’s most famous road, Unter den Linden, by Frederick William II. Construction of the gate finished in 1791.
The Brandenburg Gate has had a starring role in many of Berlin’s most well known moments. Napoleon paraded from Brandenburg Gate in 1806 after the Prussian defeat. Between 1814 and 1919 only the Royal Family was able to pass through the central archway.
The Nazis often used Brandenburg Gate as a party symbol. The gate managed to survive World War II albeit with some major damage. After the war, Brandenburg Gate was located in the Soviet zone. The Berlin Wall passed directly by the western side of the gate which meant passage was again closed.
After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Brandenburg Gate came to symbolise freedom and the re-unifacation of Germany.
Would you get naked at a spa? Check out my posts on Naked or Clothed – Baden Baden Spa Guide, the best Baden Baden Tour options, 26 Landmarks of Germany, 9 Most Beautiful Cities in Germany and One Day in Hamburg – all in Germany.
Today, the Brandenburg Gate is closed to traffic but it is easy to walk under its arches. Visiting the Brandenburg Gate is free.
14. Seattle Space Needle, The United States
This Seattle icon was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair. The futuristic design was inspired by Space Age aspirations. The Seattle Space Needle is located at Seattle Centre and provides 360 degree views of some of Seattle’s most scenic sights such as Mount Rainier and Puget Sound.
Today the Seattle Space Needle offers an all-glass floor and an open-air deck. The floor to ceiling glass also offers an outdoor observation deck with open air glass walls and glass benches.
The Oculus is a steel, wood, and glass staircase that connects the all-glass upper deck with a rotating glass floor. This glass floor offers a unique downward view of the Seattle Space Needle.
15. The Acropolis, Greece
The Acropolis is a fortress that sits on a flat rock overlooking Athens and contains the remains of several buildings of architectural significance such as the Parthenon.
The earliest origins of The Acropolis can be traced back to the fourth millenium BC. The composition of The Acropolis has of course changed over time. Various temples and buildings were built and destroyed over the course of the years. A major restoration project of The Acropolis began in 1975 to reverse the decay and damage of the centuries.
⇒ Another fantastic place to visit in Europe is Greece. Read all about Paxos Greece as well as the best Paxos restaurants and Paxos beaches. Or find out how to get from Santorini to Ios, the best things to do in Ios and a complete guide to Mylopotas Beach. And don’t miss 11 Famous Greek Landmarks and my 10 Days in Greece Itinerary.
When visiting the Acropolis there are two ticket options. One ticket covers entry only to the Acropolis. The second ticket combines The Acropolis with six other archeological sites. Book a skip the line ticket to visit The Acropolis.
16. Burj Khalifa, Dubai
The two observation decks of the Burj Khalifa are a must-see. As you can imagine, they offer spectacular views. One is located on the 124th and 125th floors of the building. The second one sits on the 148th floor. With an altitude of 555 metres, it’s the world’s highest observation deck.
I visited both levels. As you may expect the cost is higher to visit the 148th floor. To be honest I didn’t find much of a difference between the two floor choices – I guess it is more about having bragging rights to say that you have visited the top of the tallest building in the world!
Both the floors have indoor and outdoor areas. The viewing deck on 125 is enclosed so it is necessary to go down to the 124th floor to get outside. The 124th floor has a large open air area.
If you do choose to visit the highest point of Burj Khalifa you will also get coffee and snacks included in your visit. And on the 125th floor selfie wings have been painted on the wall for photos.
The whole area is done very well and there are lots of opportunities to purchase souvenirs, get a photo of yourself by a professional etc etc.
17. The Louvre Museum, France
The Louvre Museum is located in Paris, France and is the world’s largest art museum. In 2019 the Louvre was the most visited museum in the world, receiving over 9.6 million guests.
This iconic French museum opened in 1793 with just 537 paintings (there are over 38,000 objects on display these days). IM Pei’s iconic glass pyramid was completed in 1989, adding another element to this Parisian landmark.
Perhaps the most well known item in The Louvre Museum is the Mona Lisa. The original of this famous painting hangs in the Louvre today and has been since 1804.
Online tours are available but of course they don’t touch visiting the real thing. Tickets purchased on line are slightly more expensive than those purchased at the museum but they do offer the opportunity to skip the line with a timed ticket for The Louvre.
18. Mount Rushmore, The United States
The faces of former US Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln on a grand scale (the heads are 18 metres high) can all be seen on the granite face of South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore.
Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the design and oversaw its production with his son between 1927 and 1941. He chose these four presidents to represent the United States’ birth, growth, development and preservation.
Mount Rushmore has featured in numerous films and tv programmes – my personal favourite being its starring role in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest with Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint.
Nearly three million people visit Mount Rushmore each year. The mountain is over 1745m tall and the national park that is home to it is 1,278 acres. As this is a national park there are no fees to enter or to see the faces carved into the mountain. However, there is a fee for parking.
⇒ Looking for some travel inspiration? Check out my posts on the 15 North America Landmarks, Top Ten Famous Landmarks in the US, 11 Beautiful Canada Landmarks and the 20 Most Beautiful Cities in United States.
19. Uluru, Australia
Uluru or Ayers Rock is one of Australia’s most iconic landmarks. This large sandstone rock is located kind of in the middle of Australia in the southern end of the Northern Territory. It is 335kms south west of the nearest bit town, Alice Springs.
Uluru is one of the most important indigenous sites in Australia and is sacred to the Aboriginal people. It is also a World Heritage site.
The rock was christened Ayers Rock in 1873 by the surveyor William Gosse. In 2002 and the preferred name of the rock was changed to Uluru.
Uluru is 348 metres high and has a circumference of 9.4kms. Climbing of the rock is no longer permitted. However, there are still several ways to enjoy this famous Australian landmark.
One of the most common ways to experience Uluru is to walk around it on a tour – or if you’re a runner many like to run around it during their stay. It is possible to fly over the rock. Best of all is to plan your day around seeing the rock as different times. As the sun changes position in the sky Uluru appears to take on different colours.
Whilst Ayers Rock can be visited in a serious day trip from Alice Springs an icon of this magnitude deserves at least one sleep over. All types of accommodation is available near Uluru.
For boutique hotel lovers I recommend checking out the luxe tented resort Longitude 131. They are famed for their outdoor restaurant which serves local ingredients under the stars.
20. Stonehenge, England
Built over 5,000 years ago, the stone circle for which Stonehenge is best known was erected around 2,500 BC. Each stone is about 4 metres high, just over 2 metres wide and weighs about 25 tons.
Stonehenge is owned by the Crown but managed by English Heritage and became a UNESCO site in 1986. Today nearly 1 million visitors head to Stonehenge each year and crowds flock to see the Winter and Summer solstices set in each year.
It is possible to visit Stonehenge for free but alas you will struggle to capture a good photo from that distance. The standard tour of Stonehenge involves a 2.6 mile one way circular path with a handset filling you in on the history of Stonehenge.
The tour does bring visitors quite close to Stonehenge so it is possible to get some great photos. As always queues at Stonehenge can be lengthy so you may want to book a skip the line ticket for Stonehenge.
21. Hoover Dam, The United States
This concrete dam is on the border between Nevada and Arizona. The Hoover Dam was constructed during the great depression in the early 1930s.
Named after then President Hebert Hoover, it was opened by President Franklin Roosevelt.
In the early 1930s an entire city was built to home the 5000 workers on the dam, Boulder City.
The Hoover Dam created the largest reservoir in the US, Lake Mead. Today, Lake Mead not only supplies water to 3 states and Mexico it is also a popular tourist site. Today, nearly one million people visit the Hoover Dam each year.
The Hoover Dam structure is very art deco and cool – even the toilets! The highlight of visiting the dam is heading down 600 feet and seeing the turbines and learning about how they used water to cool the concrete so it would set faster and a whole bunch of ingenious and amazing things that were done to make this dam work.
⇒ Book your Hoover Dam Tour
22. The Alhambra, Spain
Located in Granada, Spain, the Alhambra is a palace and a fortress. It began as a small fortress which was built in 889 and was turned into a palace in the 13th century.
The name Alhambra comes from the arabic for “red or crimson castle“. But it is not just a castle. It is also a royal palace, a fortrees, gardens, a town and a summer retreat. It became a UNESCO site in 1984 and receives about 2.7 million visitors every year.
Tickets to the Alhambra can be purchased up to one year in advance and there are 6 different ticket options depending on what you want to see and experience in your tour. None of these options come with a guide and you can book skip the line ticket for the Alhambra.
23. Bondi Beach, Australia
Bondi Beach is synonymous with Australia. Australia has many beautiful beaches but this is the one that has become the most famous. It is a beautiful big white sand beach. However, it is also only a few kilometres away from the centre of Sydney making it easily accessible.
It is very easy to visit Bondi Beach. Put on your bathers or cossie (Australia has many words for swimsuits), grab your towel and sunscreen and just head on down. It is as simple as that!
But do promise me that you will swim between the lines and listen to the life guards. Yes this is a very popular beach but like most Australian beaches the tides are strong and there can be animal visitors.
Bondi Beach is as popular with locals as it is with tourists so you’ll be surrounded by both. It is also home to some of the most expensive real estate in Sydney so there are also quite a few good restaurants and bars. For the quintessential Australian brunch don’t miss Harry’s.
Bondi Beach is also the kick off point for two of my favourite Sydney experiences. The first is the very instagrammed Bondi Icebergs Club. The club has amazing views over Bondi Beach and is known for its outdoor lap pool that seems to sit on top of the Ocean.
It is possible to visit Bondi Icebergs and have a swim, sauna or a nice meal in their restaurant.
Bondi is also the start – or the finish – of my favourite Sydney walk – Bondi to Coogee. This stunning walk takes in spectacular scenery as well as more beautiful Australian beaches and natural baths (check out the Coogee baths).
Along the way you will also walk past Bondi Icebergs and be able to get a great photo. If you’re finishing up in Coogee relax at the fantastic Coogee Pavillion and have a great meal or coffee or glass of Australian wine.
24. Buckingham Palace, England
Buckingham Palace began life as a house. The core of today’s palace was built as a home for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. It was acquired by King George II in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte.
The building was enlarged in the 19th century and became the London home of the monarch under Queen Victoria in 1837. Today it is still the home to the monarch Queen Elizabeth.
Unlike some of the landmarks in this article, Buckingham Palace is still very much a working palace. It regularly plays a large role in major events in the United Kingdom with the Queen and her family appearing on the balcony for key events.
Buckingham Palace is only open to the public between July and October. Visitors can see the State Rooms and the gardens. If you are visiting at other times of the year the closest you can get is outside the gates (which still allows for some good photos), seeing the free changing of the guard, or visiting the Royal Mews.
25. CN Tower, Canada
Located in downtown Toronto, the CN Tower has been an iconic feature of the city’s skyline since 1976. It rises 553 metres up; an impressive height that gave it the title of the world’s tallest free-standing structure for 32 years.
In 2007, the Burj Khalifa took over this title, then in 2009, it was bumped into third place when the Canton Tower also surpassed its height. Today, it’s the world’s ninth tallest free-standing structure, but the tallest on land in the Western Hemisphere.
The observation deck of the CN Tower offers the best view in town. It features a glass floor you walk on if you really want to get your heartbeat racing.
⇒ Book a small-group sightseeing day tour of Toronto that includes access to the CN Tower.
26. Washington Monument, The United States
Located in the National Mall in Washington DC, this tall statue was built for George Washington. At just over 169 metres tall, the Washington Monument is the world’s tallest predominantly stone structure and its tallest obelisk.
Construction of the monument originally began in 1848 but was then put on hold due to a lack of funds and the American Civil War for 23 years. The obelisk was completed in 1888.
The Washington Monument is located east of the reflecting pool and the Abraham Lincoln Memorial.
Timed tickets can be purchased to visit the Washington Monument. At the designated time visitors are able to ascend 500 feet in an express elevator, a journey that takes about 70 seconds. Visitors then have 10 minutes at the top of the Washington Monument.
27. The Trevi Fountain, Italy
The Trevi Fountain is located at a junction of three roads and was one of the original sources of water in Ancient Rome. A competition was held in the 1700s by Pope Clement XII for a new design for the fountain. Nicola Salvi was awarded the prize.
The Trevi Fountain was finished in 1762, 11 years after Salvi died. Work on the fountain was completed by four other sculptors. More recently restorations have been conducted in 1988, 1998 and 2013.
Legend has it that if you throw one coin into the Trevi Fountain you will return to Rome. Two coins mean that you will return to Rome and you will fall in love. Three coins mean you will return to Rome, find love and marry.
The coin is supposed to be thrown by the right hand over the left shoulder for maximum results. In 2016 about USD$1.5 million was thrown into the Trevi Fountain. The money goes to the needy of Rome.
The Trevi Fountain is free to visit and gets very busy. The hours between midday and 7 pm tend to be the busiest so do try to avoid them. The fountain lights up once the sun goes down which can make for some lovely photos.
28. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The world’s largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef is covers an area of over 340,000 square kilometres, 900 islands and 2900 individual reefs. It can be seen from outer space and is the world’s largest single structure made up by organisms. And of course it is World Heritage Listed.
The reef is in the Coral Sea which runs off the coast of the Australian state of Queensland. Considering the immense size of the Great Barrier Reef there are quite a few ways it can be visited.
The first decision to made is how to experience the reef – or how many ways to experience the reef. These are swimming, snorkelling, diving or sailing (and you can of course fly over the Great Barrier Reef).
The good news is that there are options for every budget. The Whitsunday islands is a great place to base yourself to experience the Great Barrier Reef. Or stay in the Daintree Rainforest.
For land based options I love Port Douglas. Or check out Hervey Bay, Airlie Beach or Mission Beach. The Queensland city of Cairns has the biggest airport in the area and is the best kick off point for a trip to see the Great Barrier Reef.
29. Notre Dame, France
Notre Dame’s full name is Notre Dame de Paris. This means Our Lady of Paris. Construction of the cathedral began in 1160 and was mostly completed by 1260.
Notre Dame was damaged during the French Revolution in the 1790s. But it was Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame that really drove interest in the cathedral.
In April of 2019 Notre Dame caught fire whilst it was being restored. Serious damage was done but restoration plans began quickly. The aim is for Notre Dame to be restored to all of its glory for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Unfortunately it is not possible to visit the inside of the Cathedral during this restoration work. However, it is of course possible to come and see this stunning building.
30. Niagara Falls, Canada and The United States
Famed for its grand allure, Niagara Falls is one of Canada’s most visited landmarks. The land that encompasses the falls is split between Canada and the state of New York, in the United States. It features three waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.
Horseshoe Falls is the only one of the three that resides in Canada. It’s also the largest. It drops roughly 57 metres down and is an impressive 790 metres wide.
As you can imagine, this famous Canadian landmark is an incredible place to witness the true beauty and power of nature first hand.
31. Pompeii, Italy
This ancient town near Naples is one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions, with around 2.5 million visitors annually. Pompeii was once a lively city until Mount Versuvius erupted – covering everything in larvae and turning the city into an archaeological site.
Top attractions to see in Pompeii include the Thermal Baths, Great Theater of Pompeii and Temples. You’ll also get to see preserved artworks and mosaics.
Taking a guided tour here is highly recommended, as you’ll not only learn about Pompeii’s history but also get to skip most of the queues. If you’d like to discover the ruins on your own, you can easily catch a train from Naples or Rome.
32. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
This enormous Buddhist temple is located in the north of Cambodia. As it is spread over 400 acres it is said to be the largest religious monument in the world. It was first built in the 12th century as a Hindu temple.
Over the coming centuries Angkor Wat became used less commonly as a place of worship and fell into disrepair. In the 18th century it was rediscovered by a French explorer, Henri Mouhot.
Angkor Wat was built from sandstones and its 15 foot walls protect over 200 acres within the temple. Plus it has a very photogenic moat.
Angkor Wat became a UNESCO listed site in 1992 and today receives more than 500,000 visitors a year. The nearest town is Siem Reap, which was pretty much built to support visitors to Angkor Wat.
The key time of day to visit Angkor Wat is sunrise. However, you will find that the site is extremely busy at this time of day. Most of the tourist buses will pull away as soon as the sun has risen so that visitors can return to breakfast at their hotels. This is the time to stay at Angkor Wat as it becomes quite still and rather magical.
33. Saint Mark’s Basilica, Italy
Venice is an incredible city, filled with impressive churches and beautiful Venetian palaces, but this basilica is definitely the top attraction to see. It was first built in the early 9th century but was rebuilt in 1063 after a fire destroyed it.
Outside, you’ll see gorgeous Byzantine architecture. Inside, you can admire intricate mosaics and other relics. For an unforgettable experience, you should definitely consider a guided tour that takes you to both Saint Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace.
To get to these popular tourist attractions, you can step onto a Vaporetto for a trip (they’re quite affordable) through the Venetian canals. Alternatively, you can reach the basilica on foot, but keep in mind that it’s on the southern end of Venice. The closest bridge is the Ponte dell’Accademia.
34. Empire State Building, The United States
This 102 story Art Deco building in midtown Manhattan was built over 1930 and 1931. The name comes from the nickname for the state of New York – the Empire State.
The Empire State Building stands 443 metres tall including its antenna. For many years it was the world’s tallest building. Today it has slipped down the list to be the 48th tallest building in the world and is only the 7th tallest building in New York City.
⇒ Heading to the East Coast of the US? Check out my posts on the best things to do in Lower Manhattan, the most instagrammable places to visit in Philadelphia, and great Philadelphia food tours, and the best coffee shops Baltimore has on offer, more fab Baltimore food tour options, Hotel Indigo Baltimore and some very Instagram worthy Baltimore attractions!
Many of the landmarks in this post have had major Hollywood careers but perhaps none more so than the Empire State Building. From King Kong to An Affair to Remember to Sleepless in Seattle, this North America landmark is a true star.
It is possible to visit the Empire State Building and head up to its famous decks with amazing views over Manhattan and the outer boroughs. Choose whether to head to the 82nd floor or all the way to the 102nd floor.
35. Sacré-Cœur Basilica, France
France is home to some of the most exquisite palaces, cathedrals and monuments and the Sacré-Cœur is no exception. Situated on the highest natural point in Paris, giving you sweeping aerial views of the city as it wakes and turns golden.
Climb the stairs up the hill going towards the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Once you are at the top facing the Basilica, turn to the city. This is one of the best places to watch the sunrise in Paris.
From here you will be able to see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe in the distance. But the most impressive view is that of the horizon turning pink as the sun rises.
Take this opportunity to explore the Montmartre neighbourhood where you will find quaint cafes serving delicious coffee and fresh pastries.
36. The Great Wall of China
This ancient series of walls and fortifications were built around 500 years ago in Northern China. Estimates of its length vary greatly from 1,500 kilometres to more than 15,000 kilometres.
There is actually more than one Great Wall of China. The walls are often in bits and not necessarily as magnificent as the photos we often see. There is a huge variety in the state of sections of the wall from the well maintained to very wild portions which have been taken over by nature.
The sections of the wall around Bejing have ancient precedents, some of which are underneath the wall.
Spring and Fall are generally the best times to visit the Great Wall of China. The wall crosses nine provinces and the four most recommended sections to visit are around Bejing.
Do check the section that you are planning to visit as there can be large variations in fitness levels needed to visit and walk different sections of the Great Wall of China.
37. Tower Bridge, England
London is known for its grand structures and bridges and Tower Bridge has got to be one of the most picturesque of them all. With its fairytale look, the bridge is equally as beautiful at night when it is lit up, reflecting its beauty onto the River Thames.
Completed in 1894, Tower Bridge is perhaps the most iconic of all of London’s bridges. Let’s start with the fact that it is often confused with London Bridge, best known from children’s nursery rhymes.
Tower Bridge is quite beautiful whereas London Bridge is a bit more of a plain Jane. So London Bridge has the brand name fame but Tower Bridge is the supermodel in real life.
The bridge was originally painted in chocolate brown but in 1977 it was repainted in blue, white, and red for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. It looked so fantastic that those colours have remained.
Tower Bridge is also famous for the fact that it is both a suspension and a drawbridge – and that it continues to lift every day. The bridge is 244 metres long and is 42 metres above the Thames. It is both a road and a footbridge and 40,000 people cross it every day.
Unsurprisingly, the bridge takes its name its neighbour the Tower of London.
Take a look behind the scenes at the famous bridge and discover areas such as the machinery room, which houses the hydraulic system that allows the bridge to rise for river traffic.
Plan Your Visit to Tower Bridge to see if you can watch the bridge lift – check the website to find out the dates and times for scheduled bridge lifts.
Entry to Tower Bridge gets you into the engine room, up to some amazing views, and best of all access to the glass floor if you don’t suffer from vertigo. I highly recommend visiting the bridge for the views and that glass floor.
38. The Grand Canyon, The United States
Both the largest and the longest canyon in the world, the Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 6,000 feet deep and 18 miles wide. Carved by the Colorado River, the canyon is located in Arizona.
The Grand Canyon has built up over nearly two billion years. Scientists believe that that the Colorado River established a path through the canyon about 5 to 6 million years ago (give or take a few hundred thousand years).
As the Grand Canyon is so large there are many ways to visit. It is located within a national park and a digital pass for entrance to the park can be purchased online.
The key regions of the park are the South Rim and the North Rim. There is both lodging and camping in the park and options for trekking as well as driving. The majority of the park’s 5.5 million visitors each year head to the South Rim. (The South Rim is open all year round but the North Rim is only open mid-May to Mid-October).
A car is quite important to get around such a large park. There are loads of different options and itineraries as well as different levels of difficulty for treks etc etc – the Grand Canyon park website is a great source of information.
Or do what I did and take a helicopter ride from Las Vegas for a day trip to the Grand Canyon including a visit to the Skywalk (not for those with a fear of heights) and a flight down the Las Vegas strip on the way back.
39. St Paul’s Cathedral, London
This gorgeous Cathedral is a must-see in London, even if you are only there for a few days. Situated on Ludgate Hill, the highest part of the city, this English landmark is a gorgeous addition to London’s skyline.
For over 1400 years St Paul’s Cathedral has stood at the highest point of the City of London on Ludgate Hill. Do remember the actual City of London is a very small part – more like a suburb – of what the rest of the world thinks of as London so this still holds true.
St Paul’s has dominated the London skyline for over 300 years with its famous dome. It is 111 metres high and was the highest building in London until 1963. It is still the highest dome in the world.
St Paul’s has been home to some of the most historic religious events in English history from the funeral of Winston Churchill to the wedding of Price Charles and Lady Diana.
The highlight of a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral London is climbing the 560 steps to the top of the Dome and the Whispering Gallery. This circular enclosure provides fantastic views of the inside of the Cathedral. The outdoor viewing platform offers fantastic views of London.
If you’re visiting on a weekday try to time your trip for 5pm when a choral evensong takes place. The church bell’s at St Pauls are rung on Sundays.
Book your ticket for St Paul’s Cathedral online before you go to save time spent in the queue and for a small discount.
A great way to experience the Cathedral is with a guided walking tour of St Paul’s which also covers the Westminster area.
40. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Gardens by the Bay is such a mix of garden meets futuristic design. Most importantly it provides many photo opportunities.
First up at Gardens by the Bay was the Flower Dome. The domes are the same type of thing you find at the Eden Project in Cornwall. The Flower Dome Singapore is focused of course on flowers and plant life. It is pretty but this one is definitely more of a thrill if you have a green thumb.
One thing I didn’t do which would have been great was to visit Pollen. This is a Jason Atherton restaurant in the middle of the Flower Dome. I love his restaurants and it would have been great to have a meal in the middle of the Flower Dome – next time.
Singapore does a great job of putting fab restaurants in its major tourist sights (see the National Orchid Park).
I far preferred the Cloud Forest Dome at Gardens by the Bay. The Cloud Forest houses a mountain of sorts and features the highest indoor waterfall in the world.
The path essentially takes you to the top of the mountain and you then head down some fantastic stairways to “climb” down the mountain (not a good one if you have a fear of heights as it is very open).
We then walked down to Satays by the Bay. This is a touristy hawker bar set up that is outside and as the name implies situated on the Bay. Having said that it is very easy to figure out what each stall is offering and the quality was good. We went with a serving of 10 chicken satays which were very tasty.
Next up was a walk down to the Supertrees. The Gardens by the Bay Supertrees were my favourites in terms of photography. The key was trying to get the right angle and as always the right light.
The Supertrees look best with a very blue sky behind them. I paid the $8 to do the OCBC Skyway and this was well worth it. This is basically an outdoor bridge between the supertrees and was the best way to get some great shots.
Gardens by the Bay is one site that you definitely want to book ahead as the queues can be massive! This skip the queue ticket covers entry to the Sky Garden, the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest Dome, and the OCBC Skyway.
⇒ If you’re planning a trip to Singapore check out my post on how to spend One Day in Singapore: Hidden Gems and Classics.
41. The Palace of Versailles, France
What once was the official residence of France’s royals – before the French Revolution – is now a jewel of French Baroque architecture and is by far one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe. The Palace of Versailles contains 2,300 rooms of many kinds and is spread over 63,154 m2.
Feast your eyes on dazzling chandeliers and the painted ceiling in the Hall of Mirrors; it’s truly remarkable. The palace is surrounded by stunning French gardens designed by the famous landscape designer, André Le Notre. You’ll find sculptures, fountains, and water features dotted throughout the area.
With nearly 10 million visitors every year, I highly recommend you book a tour to discover Versailles Palace and Gardens to learn more about this incredible French landmark.
42. Chichen Itza, Mexico
Chichén Itzá is a Mayan city that once thrived in the 9th and 10th centuries. Now visitors can marvel at the ruins and get a feel for the ancient city life. Within the same area, visit sinking cenotes, temples, and pyramids.
43. Petra, Jordan
Visit the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, once populated by 3,000 civilians, that is nestled along mountains and cliffs. The first view of The Treasury in this pink hidden city is unforgettable as is the view from the top of The Monastery.
44. Tower of London, England
The Tower of London was built 1000 years ago by William the Conqueror. At the time, England had seen nothing like it before. His intention was to create a building that would both defend and proclaim his royal power.
The stones which built the Tower of London came from Caen in France and it took 20 years to construct. Over the centuries, Kings and Queens have used the Tower to protect both themselves and their possessions.
The Tower of London also used to control the supply of money in England. All coins were made at the Tower until 1810. It has always been tradition for the valuables of the Royal Family to be kept at the Tower, which is still the case today with the Crown Jewels.
Almost as recognisable as the Tower of London are the Yeoman Warders who were originally part of the Monarch’s team of bodyguards. Henry VIII decreed that some of these bodyguards should base themselves at the Tower.
Today, the Yeomans or Beef Eaters continue to guard the Tower and carry out ceremonial duties. They also carry out some very entertaining tours of the Tower of London.
The darker side of the Tower of London is that it was a prison for over 800 years. Being “sent to the Tower” was a terrifying fate. Perhaps most famously, Anne Boelyn was held her before her death which took place on Tower Green.
The best way to visit the Tower of London is to pre-book your ticket and arrival time online. Tickets cover entry to all areas including the Crown Jewels.
45. Taj Mahal, India
Widely considered to be the most beautiful building every made, the Taj Mahal is located in Agra in India. Legend has it that Shah Jahan’s favourite wife made him promise on her death bed to create the most beautiful mausoleum ever imagined.
The Taj Mahal was built between 1631 and 1648. Stone masons and artists came from all over India and from as far as Iraq to create the marble building. In addition to the beauty of the white marble the Taj Mahal there are many semi precious stones, carvings and other beautiful details throughout the mausoleum.
The domes of the Taj Mahal are framed by four minarets. Two red sandstone buildings are also located on either side of the building.
All of these buildings are located in the lovely gardens of the Taj Mahal as well as the stunning reflecting pool.
It is possible to visit the Taj Mahal on a day trip from Delhi. It opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes before sunset. It is closed on Fridays.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online. Choose your date on line and either a morning or afternoon entry.
46. 30 St Mary Axe or The Gherkin, England
The Gherkin is the nickname given to the building that is at 30 St Mary Axe in the City of London. It is a commercial skyscraper with a modern design that opened in 2004. Personally, I am a big fan of its modern style.
Elevators heading up the Gherkin move at a speed of 6 metres per second. The buiding is covered by 24,000 square metres of glass which is the equivalent of five football pitches.
The Gherkin has 41 floors. On the 40th floor is the Iris Bar and the Helix Restaurant. Friday and Saturday nights at the Iris Bar are Apertivo time. Cocktails and snacks are served with awesome sunset views.
47. Mont Saint-Michel, France
Mont Saint Michel is found nestled on a small island beside Normandy’s coast. This impressive landmark was first erected in 708 and was one of the first monuments first inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage site in 1979.
From afar, together with the Abbey, it looks like one magnificent medieval structure. However, as you get closer, you’ll find an entire town whose medieval features are still intact.
Although it’s nestled on a rock, this incredible place turns into an island when the tide comes in, making it an even more incredible sight.
A great way to experience this impressive medieval architecture is to climb to the Abbey. You can also walk around the ramparts and explore its only street, Grand-Rue. If you’re coming from Paris, there are some incredible day trips to explore Mont Saint-Michael.
48. Mount Fuji
Standing at over 3,700 metres, Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan. The mountain is located on Honshu Island and is the seventh-highest peak of a mountain on an island in the world.
Fuji is an active stratovolcano that last erupted from 1707 to 1708. It is about 100kms from Tokyo, where it can be seen on a clear day. However, clouds and poor visibility tend to block the view. Visitors are most likely to get a good view in the colder months of the year, early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
For five months of the year it has a picturesque snowed top. Mount Fuji is officially open for climbing from early July to mid September. It is not seen as a difficult mountain to climb but is still a strenuous exercise. Climbing the mountain is popular with both locals and tourists.
Mount Fuji has ten different stations. There are paved roads up to the 5th station. There are four different trails to the summit which vary by ascent and descent times. At a minimum most people will be looking at an 8 hour return climb. If possible it is recommended not to ascend and descend in one journey due to the altitude.
Many climbers try to match their summit time for sunrise. This is normally achieved by spending the night at the 7th or 8th station and then starting out very early. In the summer sunrise can take place as early as 430am.
However, an early start may be preferable to summiting in the middle of the day and finding the mountain covered with clouds and poor visibility.
It takes about one hour to explore the summit crater of Mount Fuji. However, the mountain has very little shelter so it can be both cold and mean a high risk of sunburn.
⇒ Beautiful Japan is one of my favourite countries to visit. Check out my posts on One Day in Tokyo, 2 Day Itinerary Kyoto, 10 Day Japan Itinerary, 9 Beautiful Japan Famous Landmarks, the best things to do in Kanazawa and what to expect on the Nakasendo Trail.
49. Windsor Castle, England
You can’t travel to the UK without a visit to Windsor Castle. Not only is this the Queen’s official residence but it’s the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.
Known for its spectacular architecture and association with the royal family, you will be left captivated by the beauty of this castle. And if castles are your thing check out the best castles in Cornwall.
Lovely Windsor Castle is not only The Queen’s home away from home in the United Kingdom and it is also where Harry and Meghan were married.
Windsor is just over 25 miles west of London and easily reached by train on a 35-minute journey.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The chapel is open to visitors Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
⇒ As Windsor Castle is a working palace it is subject to last-minute closures. It is generally open most days between 10 am and 4 pm and closes at 3 pm in the Winter. Buy your Windsor Castle tickets ahead online to skip the queues.
50. The London Eye, England
What better way to see a London than from the London Eye – nestled in the heart of the city. Choose from one of the 32 capsules to soar above the city, drinking in a 360-degree view of London and the ever-changing skies.
Rising before the South Bank, the iconic Ferris wheel allows its visitors to catch views of the River Thames, glimpse Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben. And on a clear day, you’ll be able to see as far as Windsor Castle in the distance.
Sunset rides on the London Eye are especially popular, so don’t forget to book your seat in advance if you want a guaranteed ride during sunset.
If you don’t get a spot on the wheel, why not take a London Eye River Cruise on the River Thames to catch the stunning sunsets.
51. Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Bay includes 1600 islands islets which form a range of limestone pillars. Most of the islands are uninhabited and quite untouched by humans. The Bay covers over 43,000 hectares.
The name Halong means descending dragon. Legend has it that dragons where sent to the bay by the gods to protect the Vietnamese from invaders. It is estimated that the limestone in the bay has been forming in different conditions for 500 million years.
It is possible to visit Halong Bay as a day trip from Vietnam‘s capital Hanoi. However, this can be a long and stressful day where you will spend most of your time on the busiest stretches of the Bay.
There are many options for cruises around Halong Bay including overnight cruises. It is also possible to take a kayak to explore Halong Bay although of course that isn’t an option for overnight.
⇒ If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam don’t miss my post on what to do in Vietnam’s tastiest city Hoi An.
52. Westminster Abbey, England
Westminster Abbey is perhaps best known for the weddings it has held. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip and Prince William and Kate Middleton were married at Westminster Abbey in London.
The Abbey dates back to 1050 when Benedictine monks first travelled to the site to set up a coronation church. The version of Westminster Abbey which we see today was constructed between 1245 and 1272.
Westminster Abbey is still a working church today. It is also open to the public. The Royal Tombs and the Poet’s Corner are the most popular sections. They are home to the resting places of well known names such as Mary Queen of Scots, Charles Dickens, John Keats and many others.
⇒ Westminster Abbey is usually open to visitors Mon-Sat from 930am to 330pm. Tickets for Westminster Abbey can be purchased online. The Westminster Abbey website also offers free online virtual tours.
53. Machu Picchu, Peru
Explore the mysterious Incan citadel and experience sensational views from atop the hill. As a UNESCO heritage site and one of the most awe-inspiring destinations globally, travelling to Machu Picchu isn’t cheap nor simple, but it’s more than worth it; after all, it is a bucket list destination.
54. Mount Everest, Nepal or China
Where to begin with the world’s highest mountain? Mount Everest can be approached either from Nepal or China. Most of us won’t climb to the actual summit of Mount Everest but it is very much possible to trek to Everest Base Camp.
I trekked to Everest Base Camp in 2016 and it was quite an experience. I realised a little too late that I was a bit too old to be sleeping in freezing cold tea houses and dealing with a travel low point in terms of shared drop toilets.
You can read all about my Everest Base Camp experiences in my day by day EBC trek guide, what Nepal Tea Houses are really like (big hint: they aren’t as cute as they sound), the EBC itinerary which I should have done as well as my Everest Base Camp packing list.
If you don’t want to trek all the way to Everest Base Camp there are quie a few high cost options such as taking a helictoper to base camp (seriously bad headaches) or taking a helicopter to the Everest View Hotel.
Most travellers base themselves in Kathmandu if they’re interested in Mount Everest. So if you would like to get a feel for the world’s highest mountain without the risk of severe headaches then why not take a scenic helicopter flight of the Himalayas from Kathmandu?
For all my complaining, seeing the Himalayas from the air (as well as some of the extraordinary views I saw on the way to base camp) is definitely an experience that you will be delighted you had.
Finally, for a luxury experience in the Himalayas check out the beautiful Dhulikhel Resort where you can have breakfast above the clouds in the Himalayas and try singing bowl treatments and more. And don’t miss their brilliant sister hotel in Kathmandu, Dwarika’s, one of my favourite boutique hotels in the world.
⇒ Interested in Nepal? Check out my posts on the Nepal tea house, a full Everest Base Camp packing list, an Everest Base Camp trek itinerary and a day by day Everest base camp trek blog And for post-trek the fantastic boutique hotel Dwarika Hotel Kathmandu, the Dhulikhel Resort and the best places to visit in Kathmandu.
55. Picadilly Circus, England
Picadilly Circus is located in the heart of London and perhaps best known for its bright neon advertising display. The circus is also home to the Eros fountain. It is very easy to find as exiting Picadilly Circus tube station will bring visitors into the heart of Picadilly Circus.
Picadilly Circus is located very close to several well known parts of London. On one side is Regent Street, filled with some of the most prestigious shopping in London and famed for its beautiful architecture. Shaftesbury Avenue takes visitors into the heart of Soho and Chinatown. And Leicester Square is only a five minute walk away.
56. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
If you’re into fairy tales, then you certainly won’t want to leave Germany without a trip to see the picturesque Neuschwanstein Castle.
The 19th-century castle sits nestled on a hill just outside the enchanting town of Füssen, in Bavaria. It’s situated between the Ammergau and Allgäu Alps, near a beautiful alpine resort, especially popular for its water sports.
King Ludwig II commissioned the palace as a tribute to German composer Richard Wagner. The final result was incredibly opulent. In fact, it was used as the basis for Walt Disney’s famed castle at Disney World.
It’s one of the most famous castles to visit, with various tour options offered. These include trips to see the sumptuous interiors and incredible art collections found in the Hall of the Singers and the Throne Room.
57. Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil
This vast statue of Jesus stands atop Mount Corcovado, dating back to just after World War 1. With 6 million tiles making up the colossal statue, Christ the Redeemer has an aura of uniqueness. And as it’s in a city as popular as Rio, it’s not an activity that’ll require much planning.
58. Taipei 101, Taiwan
When it opened in October of 2004, Taipei 101 was the world’s tallest building. Its height, inclusive of the spire, is 508 metres. Alas its rule as the world’s tallest building didn’t last long. When Burj Khalifa opened in 2007 it snatched away the title.
However, Taipei 101 is still one of the most stunning Asia landmarks. The lowest floors of the building are a luxury shopping mall – and they have a Din Tai Fung – and most of the floors above are office space.
Public observatories are on floors 88 to 91. Level 89 has an indoor observatory and the outdoor observatory is on Level 91. When it was completed, this was the highest outdoor observatory in the world.
I highly recommend going to Level 91 and heading to where they have the viewing consoles for the best photos. There are fantastic views on the other levels – some may say better – however, the light is nowhere near as good as being on the outside of the building.
⇒ Book your tickets to Taipei 101
59. The Berlin Wall, Germany
Overnight on August 12, 1961 the East Germany Army began sealing off the streets and railway lines providing access to West Berlin. A wall was then erected along the sector border. The 167 kilometre wall encircled West Berlin until 1989.
The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989. Germans from both the East and the West crossed the wall and then took hammers to it in an event which was watched all over the world.
The Berlin Wall didn’t fall cleanly, chunks were left. Local artists began using these to make street art in what has now become known as The East Side Gallery. In 1990, more than 100 artists from over 20 countries decorated what was the last stretch of the Berlin Wall. One of the best ways to see the Berlin Wall today is to hire a bike and ride the Berlin Wall Cycle Route.
60. Banff National Park, Canada
Banff National Park is a place where you’ll feel an instant connection to nature. Located in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, the region is characterized by mountainous terrain full of dense trees, turquoise lakes, glaciers and icefields. It’s a scene that will truly take your breath away.
Lake Louise is one of the most popular points of interest in the park. It features plenty of outdoor activities, like swimming, fishing, and nature strolls and hikes. In winter, the lake freezes over and the landscape transforms into a winter wonderland. It becomes one of the country’s most visited ski destinations.
⇒ Book a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus tour of Banff National Park and explore the highlights.
I covered all of the costs involved in writing this article. However, this famous landmarks post includes affiliate links. That means if you click through and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.