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102 Most Famous Landmarks in the World: How Many Have You Visited? (2021)

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 102 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?

102 Most Famous Landmarks in the World 2021

Table of Contents

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.

Rome Colosseum pink flowers

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.

Rome Colosseum at Sunset 2

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

Rome Colosseum Hypogeum skip the line colosseum

⇒ Love Italy? Me too! You might enjoy reading about the Most Beautiful Cities in Italy, Most Famous Landmarks in Italy, Top Rome Monuments, Top Venice Landmarks, Bridges in Rome, Fountains in Rome, Venetian Palaces, How to Skip the Line at the Colosseum, Best Ski Resorts in Italy, Best Wineries in Montepulciano, Things to do in Rimini, Places to Visit in Puglia and Things to do in Sicily.

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.

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Soldier at the Demilitarized Zone – the most popular Korea day trip

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.

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The map at the station near the DMZ, one of the stops on this 1 day trip from Seoul.

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.

view from the eiffel tower
Stunning view from the Eiffel Tower

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.

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underneath the eiffel tower paris a famous monument in europe
The lesser photographed underbelly of the Eiffel tower

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.

woman in front of eiffel tower posing
Strike a tower pose

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.

⇒ If you like beautiful French towns check out my posts on Saint Antonin Noble Val and Tarn et Garonne in France.

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.

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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.

statue of liberty island during the day
statue of liberty

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.

statue of liberty
statue of liberty

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.

statue of liberty face up close
statue of liberty

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.

Leaning tower of Pisa, Italy

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.

pyramids of giza egypt
pyramids of giza egypt

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.

camels at the pyramids in egypt
camels at the pyramids in egypt

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. 

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The Opera House from behind

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.

Australia_sydney_opera-house an Australian landmark
More Opera House

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.

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The Opera House seen from Cremorne

⇒ Heading to Sydney? Check out my posts on the best Barangaroo Restaurants, the perfect Sydney Itinerary, a day trip to Watsons Bay Sydney and the best weekend getaways from Sydney.

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.

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The Golden Gate Bridge

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.

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The Golden Gate disappears into fog

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.

golden gate bridge san francisco at sunset
golden gate bridge san francisco at sunset

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.

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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.

View from hotel Palisades
The view from Hotel Palisades

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.

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Daytime view from the Palisade Hotel

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. 

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The market at the Rocks, under the Sydney Harbour 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.

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin at night. Germany.

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, What is Germany Famous For? 31 German Claims to Fame, 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.

seattle skyline
seattle skyline

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.

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The iconic Space Needle

There are several different options for tickets. The Seattle City Pass includes the Space Needle. Or pre-book a skip the line ticket.

seattle from kerry park 2
seattle from kerry park

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.

View on Acropolis at sunset, Athens, Greece
View on Acropolis at sunset, Athens, Greece

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.

Caryatids, erechtheion temple Acropolis

⇒ 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, 37 Fascinating Facts About Greece, 13 Most Beautiful Islands in Greece 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

Burj Khalifa is Dubai’s famous skyscraper. Standing 828 metres high, it’s currently the world’s tallest building. It opened in 2010 and has since become an iconic symbol of the city.

view of dubai buildings from burj khalifa
The other buildings in Dubai look so short from Burj Khalifa

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!

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Viewing deck at Burj Khalifa

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.

mount rushmore
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.

mount rushmore
mount rushmore

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 25 North America Landmarks, Top 15 Famous Landmarks in the US, 25 Beautiful Canada Landmarks, 16 Most Beautiful Cities in Canada, 15 Most Beautiful States in the US, American Bridges you Must Cross, Most Beautiful Lakes in Canada 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.

Uluru Ayers Rock Australia
Uluru

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.

uluru australia
Uluru

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.

⇒ Read more Reviews on TripAdvisorBook Now

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.

⇒ Planning a trip to England or Wales? Don’t miss my posts on the 40 Top English Landmarks, The Crown Filming Locations, Most Beautiful Castles in Cornwall and Boutique Hotels in Cornwall, Boutique Hotels in Kent, Where to Stay in the Cotswolds, 61 Magnificent Landmarks of the UK, Places to Visit in South Wales, Fun Things to do in Cardiff, Luxury Hotels in Yorkshire, Spa Hotels in the South West, Day trip to Brighton, Things to do in Exmouth, Cafes in Exeter, Pubs with Rooms in the New Forest, Ockenden Manor Spa and the Best Things to do in Winchester.

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.

things to do in vegas other than gamble
The amazing Hoover Dam

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.

aerial view of the hoover dam
The Hoover Dam from far above

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.

The Hoover Dam is a half-day trip from Las Vegas. It takes about one hour to get to Hoover Dam and the total trip is 4 ½ hours.

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.

Palacio Nazaries, Alhambra, Granada, Spain

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.

Sydney Icebergs
Bondi Icebergs

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 sydney

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 principal facade of Buckingham Palace

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

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.

police outside buckingham palace

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.

cn tower
CN Tower

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.

washington monument during the day against the reflecting pool
Washington monument

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.

washington monument against blue sky with american flags
washington monument

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.

water flowing in the trevi fountain
Up close in the Trevi Fountain

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.

great barrier reef

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.

great barrier reef from plane

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.

Planning a trip to Queensland? Check out my posts on the top 15 Brisbane Boutique Hotels and my Gold Coast Itinerary.

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.

notre dame de paris

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.

Niagara-Falls
Niagara 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.

niagara falls 1
Niagara Falls with a Rainbow

As you can imagine, this famous Canadian landmark is an incredible place to witness the true beauty and power of nature first hand.

⇒ Book a ticket for the observation deck of Niagara Falls.

niagara falls 1 (1)
Wow Niagara Falls

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.

pompeii italy

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.

pompeii italy
Aerial View over Pompeii

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.

angkor wat at sunrise

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 at sunrise with lake

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.

angkor wat view

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.

rooftops and domes of Venice
rooftops and domes of Venice

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.

St Mark's Basilica
St Mark’s Basilica

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.

St Mark's square
St Mark’s square

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.

empire state building sunrise
empire state building sunrise

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.

empire state building against blue sky
empire state building

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.

empire state building lit up against twilight sky
empire state building lit up

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.

Sacre Coeur
Sacre Coeur

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.

Sacre Coeur at sunrise in paris
Sacre Coeur at sunrise

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.

great wall of china 2

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.

great wall of china 1

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.

London Tower Bridge at Sunset
Tower Bridge at Sunset

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 one of the bridges in london

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.

tower bridge with red bus one of the bridges in london
Tower Bridge

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.

NB: It’s handy to combine visiting Tower Bridge with the nearby London landmark the Tower of London. It’s also a great spot to watch the sunrise in London.

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.

what to do in vegas besides gamble

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.

grand canyon
grand canyon

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.

grand canyon
grand canyon

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 Pauls Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral

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.

st paul's Cathedral from the thames at sunset
st paul’s Cathedral from the thames at sunset

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.

milennium bridge london towards st pauls at sunset
milennium bridge london towards st pauls at sunset

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 was my Singapore highlight and is perhaps my favourite landmark in Asia. Sure it is a massive tourist attraction but it is fantastic. I particularly loved the sci-fi trees.

Gardens by the Bay is such a mix of garden meets futuristic design. Most importantly it provides many photo opportunities.

red poppies in the flower dome at singapore gardens by the bay
Some of the many stunning sights in the Flower Dome

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).

The world's largest indoor waterfall in singapore gardens by the bay
The world’s largest indoor waterfall

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.

The OCBC Walkway at singapore gardens by the bay
The OCBC Walkway

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.

Skip the Queue tickets for Gardens by the Bay

⇒ 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.

The Palace of Versailles France one of the most wonderful european palaces
The Palace of Versailles France

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.

Palace of Versailles France
Palace of Versailles France

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.

chichin itza yucatan peninsula mexico
chichin itza yucatan peninsula mexico

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.

jordan-tourist-attractions
The treasury in a pink light

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.

towre of london
The Tower of London

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.

Tower of London
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.

woman with Beef Eater at Tower of London
Hanging out with a Beef Eater

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.

taj mahal india reflecting pool portrait

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.

taj mahal india reflecting pool

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.

taj mahal india red fort

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.

view of the Gherkin from Heron Tower
view of the Gherkin from Heron Tower

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.

city of london at sunset
city of london at sunset

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.

mont st michel france
mont st michel

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, Japan

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.

mount-fuji-japan-famous-landmark
Mount Fuji

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.

japan mount fuji 1
Mount Fuji

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.

japan_kanazawa_bullet-train-mount-fuji
Mount Fuji seen from the bullet train

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, What is Japan Famous For? 31 Japanese Claims to Fame, 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.

windsor Castle
Windsor Castle

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.

London Eye lit up and the thames at sunset
London Eye lit up

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.

London - Thames as seen from above at night
The London Eye

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. 

London - souvenirs and the London Eye
Souvenirs and the London Eye

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.

London - London Eye and south bank during London Lockdown.jpg
London Eye during the London Lockdown

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.

halong bay vietnam

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.

halong bay vietnam 1

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.

Westminster Abbey in london, england, uk
Westminster Abbey

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
Westminster Abbey

⇒ 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.

machu picchu peru
machu picchu peru

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.

trek-to-everest-base-camp
Finally at 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.

singles travel groups

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.

everest base camp trek
Everest base camp trek day 6

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.

dwarika's resort dhulikhel

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.

London - Picadilly Circus during London Lockdown
Picadilly Circus during the London Lockdown

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.

Neuschwanstein Castle exterior against forest
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.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter
Neuschwanstein Castle

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.

christ the redeemer in rio brazil
christ the redeemer in rio brazil

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.

Taipei 101 Taiwan

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.

view over taipei from 101 Taipei Taiwan
view over taipei from 101 Taipei

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.

view over taipei from 101 Taipei Taiwan 1

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.

Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall

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.

banff national park in spring
banff national park in spring

⇒ Here are some of the best places in the world to watch the sunrise and fall: 10 Places to watch the Sunset in California, 7 Best Places To Watch Sedona Sunsets, 18 Spectacular Spots for the Best Sunsets in Seattle, 5 Stunning Santorini Sunsets, 8 Sunsets in Ibiza, 19 Spots to watch San Diego Sunsets, 11 Places to see the Venice Sunset, 17 Key West Sunsets Spots for Great Views, 15 Best Places to see San Francisco Sunsets, 6 Spots to Watch Sunrise in Paris, 21 Spots to see the Sunset Ottawa Style, 9 Best Places to see Maui Sunsets, 11 Places to see Sunset Edinburgh style, 18 Best Places to watch the Sunset in Melbourne, 11 Best Spots to watch the Sunset in Glasgow, 15 Places to see Sunsets in London and 9 Spots to watch the Sunrise in London.

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.

Banff-National-Park
Banff

61. Petronas Towers, Malaysia

Petronas Towers are the world’s largest twin towers and for a time the tallest towers in the world (they have since been overtaken by Burj Khalifa in Dubai). The stunning design is a mix of glass and Islamic design, with Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur intended to look like an eight-pointed star from above.

In Islamic culture, this represents unity, harmony, stability and rationality. This is one of the key things to do in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Construction of the 88 storey towers took six years.

The towers are 452 metres high and the viewing deck is at the 370-metre point on the 86th floor. The well known Suria KLCC Mall is at the base of Petronas Towers.

Petronas Twin Towers seen from a distance
Petronas Twin Towers – PC Flickr Guoming Xu

Petronas Towers are open from 9 am to 9 pm but are CLOSED on MONDAYS. This is a ticket you definitely want to buy ahead of your visit.

Petronas Towers is very popular and if you have limited time you could easily spend a lot of time in a queue or miss out completely (as happened to me once when I just arrived and found out that all tickets were sold out).

The tour also includes an opportunity to go on the sky bridge. The sky bridge connects the two tours and it on floors 41 and 42. The total tour lasts around one hour.

Buy your Skip the Queue Petronas Tower ticket 

After your visit to Petronas Towers you can then head for a wander through the KLCC mall which has something for everyone. I always like to try to find local designers. Some you may want to check out are:

Aseana – located on the ground floor and features different designers from the region

Farah Khan – ground floor G13 – east meets west and apparently good frocks

⇒ If you’re planning a trip to Malaysia read my post on One Day in Kuala Lumpur and my review of Malaysia Airlines business class.

62. Spanish Steps, Italy

The Spanish Steps date back to 1723. This steep set of steps run between the Piazza di Spagna at the base to Piazza Trinita dei Monti at the top at the eastern end of the old city centre.

spanish steps at sunset
spanish steps at sunset

The staircase was designedy by Francesco De Sanctis and were originally built to link the Bourbon Spanish Embassy and the Trinita dei Monti church to the Holy See and Spanish square. There are 138 steps and they are a mix of curves, straight flights and terraces. Azaleas adorn the Spanish steps from April through to the end of May each year.

spanish steps during the day
spanish steps during the day

As of 2019, tourists were no longer able to sit on the Spanish steps and there are major fines. This new law was brought in to protect the marble of the stairs.

63. Berlin TV Tower, Germany

Built during the years of the GDR (German Democratic Republic), Berlin Tower stands at 368 metres and is perhap’s Berlin’s most visible landmark. Located on Alexanderplatz, it is also the highest building in Europe open to the general public.

The Berlin TV Tower was opened in 1969. At the time, it was an emblem of the superiority of the communist system. After German reunification, the TV Tower came to symbolise the city and its new cityscape.

berlin tv tower one of the landmarks of germany
berlin tv tower

The viewing tower of the platform is at 200 metres and offers 360 views of Berlin to more than one million visitors a year. The tower of course has a revolving restaurant called Sphere and the Panorama Bar.

64. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Wow, Marina Bay Sands is over the top! We started at possibly the largest hotel lobby I have ever seen! We headed past the Casino into the giant shopping centre at Marina Bay Sands Singapore. A map is a requirement for this place.

The ground floor of the shopping centre is a lake and you can hop on a boat a la Venice and be gondoliered (not sure that’s a word but it possibly should be) throughout the centre. It is rather surreal to be shopping and look down and see water and a boat.

Canal in Marina Bay Sands hotel Singapore
Venice meets shopping

There are almost too many bars and restaurants at Marina Bay Sands Singapore. Again we hit the food court to keep all stomachs happy and I did have a delicious laksa (again too small).

Then it was upstairs and onto the bay for the Marina Bay Spectra sounds and lights show. This free show is run twice a night usually and we went to the first show which was at 8 pm.

The night show at Marina Bay Sands
The night show at Marina Bay Sands

The Marina Bay Sands light show is worth seeing as the Singapore city skyline view is fantastic. There are then loads of sprouting fountains in the bay that explode and have different light colours projected onto them. All to 13 minutes of very Disney style music.

My favourite bit of the Marina Bay Sands light show in Singapore was the many many bubbles that exploded on the land side – always very cute to see small children determinedly chasing bubbles.

65. Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

This jaw droppingly beautiful Pagoda sits on top of Singuttara Hill in Myanmar’s capital Yangon. The Pagoda itself is 112 metres high and it stands 170 metres above sea level. Yangon building regulations cap building heights at 127 metres above sea level so Shwedagon Pagoda towers over Yangon.

shwedagon pagoda mynamar

I was genuinely blown away when I visited Shwedagon Pagoda. It is hard to describe the impact of seeing this massive golden pagoda. It is believed that the pagoda is more than 2500 years old and that it is the oldest Buddhist temple in the world.

shwedagon pagoda mynamar cleaning up

Shwedagon Pagoda is also said to contain relics of four previous Buddhas. The stupa is covered with 8688 sheets of gold and is studded with more than 7000 precious gems. It genuinely glows in the sun during the day and is even more impressive at night.

shwedagon pagoda mynamar group of locals and tourists

The pagoda is open from 6am to 10pm. It can be enjoyed at all times of the day. One of the things that I enjoyed most about Shwedagon Pagoda is that it is clearly a living temple. In the couple of hours that I spent there I saw numerous little ceremonies and events going on. It appeared that there were far more locals than tourists.

shwedagon pagoda mynamar monks

There are four entrances to the pagoda. These require visitors to head up the hill. Each of the climbs up the hill are flanked by many vendors. In hindsight I wished that I had gone with a guide. There was so much to see and appreciate at the actual pagoda. It would have been fantastic to have someone on hand to explain more.

shwedagon pagoda mynamar at night

66. Reichstag Berlin, Germany

The Reichstag is the home of the German Parliament. The building was originally designed by Paul Wallot and was modelled after Memorial Hall in Philadelphia. It was completed in 1894. The building was badly damaged in 1933 by fire, an event which marked the end of the Weimar Republic.

After the war, West Germany’s parliament moved to Bonn and the building fell to ruin. Resorations began in 1961 and were completed in 1964. In 1990 the building was the site of the official reunification ceremony and in 1991 it was decided that German Parliament would return to the Reichstag.

Between 1995 and 1999 Norman Foster oversaw renovations to the building and construction of the stunning glass cupola. This mirrored cone directs light into the building. The dome itself can be visited via two large steel ramps that take the form of a double helix.

67. The Shard, England

This 72 storey skyscraper was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. At just over 309 metres tall The Shard is the tallest building in the United Kingdom and the seventh tallest building in Europe.

The “Shard of Glass” opened in 2012 and the observation deck, the View from The Shard, in 2013. The open-air observation deck of The Shard is on the 72nd floor and it has jaw-dropping views over London. The View from The Shard is the highest view in the UK.

The Shard london against blue sky with clouds

Most of the floors of The Shard are office space. However, it is also home to three excellent restaurants – Aqua Shard, Oblix and the particularly well rated Hutong.

My favourite way to experience The Shard is through the wonderful Shangri La Hotel, which takes up floors 34 to 52. Of course, the ultimate experience is to spend the night at this beautiful hotel, but there are several not as expensive ways to experience the views.

The shard and london southbank skyline
The shard and london southbank skyline

One of the best ways to experience the sunrise in London is to book the 630am slot at Ting, the Shangri La restaurant on the 35th floor. The breakfast is also outstanding. Or enjoy a classic English high tea mid afternoon at Ting.

My personal favourite way to watch the sunset in London is at Gong. Gong at the Shangri La Hotel is the highest hotel bar in Western Europe. Located on Level 52 of the Shard Building, this is perhaps the highest sunset view in London.

london food tours
The Shard bursting from London Garden

The Gong is also a fantastic cocktail bar. I have visited several times. It is a beautiful bar but it is also quite comfortable. There is, of course, a bar as well as little tables that have all been placed next to floor to ceiling windows to ensure full appreciation of the amazing view.

Shangri La London View
View from the Shangri La London

68. Seoul Tower, South Korea

Also known as Namsan Seoul Tower, or just ‘N Tower’, Seoul Tower was the first tower-styled tourism attraction in Seoul. The tower’s height of 236.7 metres makes it one of the tallest towers in the Orient, and definitely worth a visit.

seoul itineraries

The communication and observation tower can be found on Namsan Moutain in the centre of Seoul. Many visitors use the Namsan cable car to the mountain and then walk to the tower.

Be sure to stick around and catch the nighttime view of Seoul Tower which is truly something special as the entire structure gets brightly lit up in LED lights.

69. Tian Tan Buddha, Hong Kong

Tian Tan Buddha or the Big Buddha is located on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Tian Tan is one of 5 large Buddha statues in China and it sits on a lotus on top of a three-platform altar.

tian tan buddha hong kong

The Big Buddha is surrounded by six smaller bronze statues which represent the Six perfections of generosity, patience, zeal, morality, mediation, patience and wisdom.

This is one of the newest landmarks in this post. Tian Tan Buddha was finished on December 29, 1993. It is located near Po Lin Monastery and easy to combine in one visit.

tian tan buddha hong kong 1

I highly recommend taking the Ngong Ping Cable Car from Tung Chung MTR station to visit the Big Buddha as there are some stunning views and it is good fun. The cable car will take you to Ngong Ping Village.

⇒ If you’re planning a trip to Hong Kong check out my Hong Kong Travel Blog.

70. The Bund, China

The Bund is located along the Huangpu River and is considered one of Shanghai’s most scenic landmarks. Also known as Zhongshan Dong Yi Road, it’s a 1.5-kilometre-long street that stretches from Yan’an to the Garden Bridge on the Suzhou River in the north and to the east the Huangpu River.

the bund shanghai

The street presents itself as a cluster of old Shanghai institutions, boasting a colourful 100-year-old display of colonial history. Walk along the waterfront promenade and observe buildings in an array of architectural styles and some stunning vistas of skyscrapers. If you’re a history or photography enthusiast, this place is a must-visit when exploring China’s landmarks.

The street is incredible during the day, and even more so at night with the buildings lit up. Some highlights to look out for along this street include:

  • The museum in Astor House Hotel
  • The mosaic ceiling of the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank
  • The movie poster gallery in the Peace Hotel
  • The Lovers’ Wall
the bund shanghai china landmarks

I highly suggest booking a tour to catch the best places along this street.

71. Potala Palace, China

Located in the city of Lhasa, Tibet, Potala Palace is the highest ancient palace in the world, housing thousands of statues and shrines. It sits on top of the Moburi, or Red Hill. And for centuries, it was the centre of political and religious power and contained many treasures.

Potala Palace Tibet
Potala Palace Tibet

The dzong fortress, which was once the winter palace of successive Dalai Lamas from 1649 to 1959, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and museum.

The Red Palace, the first of the two palaces, was built in the 17th century and contained a series of important shrines. These can be located in the Enthronement Hall. Other highlights here include several halls devoted to the religious pilgrims and tombs for the Dalai Lamas. 

Completed in 1648, the White Palace is equally grand. Here you’ll see the untouched sleeping quarters, reception rooms, and study areas of the Dalai Lamas before they fled Tibet.

Travellers come from around the world to see this centuries-old symbol of Buddhist belief and Tibetan history. Opening times are from 9.30 to 2 pm every day.

72. The Hollywood Sign, The United States

The Hollywood sign is perhaps one of the most iconic landmarks in North America and a world wide symbol of the entertainment industry. The sign was originally developed as part of an advertising campaign for a suburban housing development called “Hollywoodland”. It was erected in 1923.

the hollywood sign

The sign is visible from all over Los Angeles. However, it is illegal to get close to the Hollywood sign and it is actually set behind gates and protected by security cameras and park rangers.

If you want to “see” the sign there are two ways to do so. The first is to take a hike in the area around the sign. The second is to see the sign from one of the best viewpoints such as Griffiths Observatory.

73. Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain

It is said that no photograph has ever done justice to this Frank Gehry building. The building is a series/mix of shapes made from limestone and titanium. The museum is home to displays and exhibitions of modern art but it is the extraordinary building that draws so many visitors and which has created a tourism industry in what was little visited Bilbao.

Guggenheim Bilbao
Guggenheim Bilbao

74. The White House, The United States

The White House is the official workplace and residence of The President of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC, it has been the home of every US President since John Adams in 1800.

The building was designed by James Hoban and modelled on Leinster House in Dublin. It is made from Aquia Creek sandstone that was painted white. The Oval Office was created in 1909 by President William Howard Taft.

the white house

Today the White House is home to the Executive Residence, the West Wing, East Wing, Eisenhower Executive Office Building and Blair House. The Executive Residence is over six floors, two of whcih are underground.

The White House is actually owned by National Park Service and it is a National Heritage Site. It is possible to visit the White House but it takes some planning. For those in the US, a tour request must be made through your member of Congress. The request should be submitted up to three months in advance and no less than 21 days ahead of your trip.

Overseas visitors are also able to take a tour of the White House. They must contact their country’s embassy in Washington DC to organise tickets. All tours of the White House are free of charge.

75. The Terracotta Army Museum, China

During the 1970s, while digging wells on the outskirts of Xi’an, farmers stumbled across what was to be China’s most incredible archaeological find: the Terracotta warriors. Dating back over 2,200 years, this army was designed to guard the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty’s tomb.

terracotta warriors
terracotta warriors

The Emperor (Quin Shi Huang) built a mausoleum with 8,000 life-sized clay soldiers, 600 horses and chariots, each meticulously designed to ‘guard’ him in the afterlife. Take a walking tour and learn about the history of this eighth wonder of the world.

terracotta army
terracotta army

The Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum is open every day from 8.30 am to 5 pm. (Psst…it’s best to arrive early to avoid the crowds).

76. The Twelve Apostles, Australia

These 12 iconic limestone stacks rise from the Southern Ocean along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. They were originally formed by erosion (they were once cliffs) over 10 million years ago and now stand up to 50 metres high. Unfortunately in 2005, the 12 Apostles became 11 when one collapsed but the name has stuck.

twelve apostles victoria australia

It will take over 4 hours driving from Melbourne to reach the 12 Apostles. However, it is one of the most scenic drives in the world along the justifiably famous Great Ocean Road. The closest town to this Australian landmark is Port Campbell.

There are several ways to enjoy this beautiful natural phenomenon. Take a scenic helicopter flight. Or hike along the Great Ocean Walk which ends at the 12 Apostles. Climb down Gibson Steps (there are 86) to the beach to see them from underneath (check the tides timetable).

twelve apostles at sunset

It’s a long way to travel but luckily there is some fantastic boutique accommodation in Port Campbell at the Southern Ocean Villas. The modern, architect-designed villas all feature beautiful decks.

⇒ Read more Reviews on TripAdvisorBook Now

77. The Forbidden City, China

Located in Beijing, The Forbidden City is an ancient palace and architectural complex composed of over 90 palace compounds, making it the largest in the world. Built-in 1406 and officially occupied in 1420, the enormous imperial palace saw through both the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Forbidden City
Forbidden City

The complex consists of many buildings and a near 1,000 rooms, each containing well-preserved artefacts and furniture. It paints a detailed picture of what life was like 500 years ago (during the dynastic rule).

The imperial palace covers some 720,000 square meters of property and is protected by a 10-meter high wall with watchtowers. While it could take hours to explore these grounds, some highlights include:

  • The Hall of Supreme Harmony, a 35-meter-tall building housing the royal throne
  • The marble Golden River Bridges
  • The Palace Museum, hosting a collection of art and artefacts
forbidden city bejing china

The grounds’ opening times may vary, from 8.30 am to 5 pm in April to October, and 8.30 am to 4.30 pm in November to March, and it’s closed on Mondays.

78. Great Pyramid of Cholula, Mexico

Originally built as a religious centre, this is the largest pyramid in the world at 180 feet. Located near Puebla in Cholula, it receives over 500,000 visitors each year. The Great Pyramid of Cholula was built in four stages over several hundred years. The pyramid has three main buildings, a main courtyard, paintings, burial sites and altars.

Great Pyramid of Cholula
Great Pyramid of Cholula

79. St Peter’s Basilica, Italy

St Peter’s Basilica is one of the holiest and most important sites in Christendom. It is believed that the church was built over the tomb of St Peter, the first-ever Pope. Its famous dome is one of the most distinctive landmarks in Rome. The church and dome are actually the work of several artists and architects. Michelangelo was known to have taken the work done previously and unified the vision and design.

rome at sunset
rome at sunset

St Peter’s Basilica is the tallest dome in the world and it measures just over 136 metres tall. It is possible to visit the top of the dome and enjoy amazing views over Rome.

detail at st peters
detail at st peters

The interior of the church is filled with Baroque and Renaissance artworks. There are literally amazing works of art in every corner.

St Peter’s Basilica is located in Vatican city which is just to the north of the city centre of Rome.

guards at st peters
guards at st peters

80. Itsukushima Shrine, Japan

The island of Miyajima is famous throughout the world as “The Shrine Island.” The island is off the coast of Hiroshima and is home to the splendid Itsukushima Shrine. This is another destination in Japan that you must visit.

The shrine’s main drawcard is that it is visually striking. The O-Torii gate rises out of the sea and appears to float on the water. This effect is enhanced around sunrise and sunset.

Itsukushima-shrine-japan
Itsukushima shrine

The Itsukushima Shrine is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was first built in the 6th century as a Shinto Temple to the daughters of the wind god Susanoo.

To visit the O-Torii gate on foot and admire the engineering involved, go at low tide. Otherwise, you can take a boat to the shrine and pass through the gate. You can get a ferry from either Miyajimaguchi Pier or Hiroshima Port.

Remember, the tradition is to bow twice, clap twice and bow one more time as you sail under the structure.

⇒Book a Hiroshima tour that visits Itsukushima Shrine

Japan - Itsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Shrine

81. Las Rambla, Spain

Barcelona’s very own Champs-Elysee, this 1.2 kilometre tree lined boulevard runs through the centre of Barcelona. La Rambla is lined with shops, cafes and restaurants and filled with markets and street artists. The street runs from Port Vell up to Place Catalunya. Don’t miss exploring its many side streets.

La Rambla Barcelona
La Rambla Barcelona

La Rambla is divided into several sections, each of which has its own character. The top part of La Rambla begins at the Placa Catalunya, named after the Font de Canalates. The saying goes that those who drink from the fountain here always return to Barcelona.

Rambla dels Estudis is the next section and is named after the University which was demolished in 1843. This part of the street is known as Rambla del Ocells or bird Rambla as there are many bird sellers. There are also stores selling guinea pigs, dogs and turtles. This section aslo includes the Esglesia di Betlem and the Palau Moja.

Heading towards the sea, the bird stores are replaced by florists in the section known as Rambla de les Flors. In the 19th century, this was the only area in Barcelona that sold flowers. If you head off La Rambla you will see the biggest market in Barcelona Mercat de la Boqueria. The end of this section of La Rambla is marked by a Juan Miro-designed square Pla de la Boqueria.

la rambla barcelona
la rambla barcelona

The next section of the street is Rambla dels Catutxins, home to street actors, living statues and cafes. This section also inclues the Opera de Gran Teatro Liceu.

The final section is known as Rambla de Santa Monica. This area is home to souvenir stands and art dealers as well as street artists and the contemporary Museum Centre d’Art de Monica.

If you’re looking to get a good view of La Rambla head to the iron statute of Colombus at the Maremagnum Complex.

82. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Japan

Around the world, Hiroshima is eponymous with World War II and atomic destruction. Today, the city strives to promote a message of peace. This is best seen in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

The park is situated at the epicentre of the atomic bomb which was the world’s first nuclear attack. The area was once the heart of the city. You can learn more about what happened on that day in 1945 at the Peace Memorial Museum.

Japan Hiroshima Peace Park 1
Hiroshima Peace Park

The skeletal remains of the Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall serve as a Hiroshima Peace Memorial. It’s a poignant sight listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The park is a 15-minute tram drive from Hiroshima Station. It’s open year-round, except for the last two days of December, and has a small admission fee.

Japan Hiroshima peace park at night
Hiroshima peace park at night

83. Rialto Bridge, Italy

The Rialto Bridge is the first one built along the canal in Venice. It began as a wooden drawbridge that permitted sailing ships to travel between St Marks basin and the Piazzale Roma area. In 1588 the Rialto Bridge was re-built in white marble and until 1854 it was the only bridge which crossed the Grand Canal.

rialto Bridge venice
rialto Bridge

This Venetian bridge is 48 metres long, 22 metres wide and 7.5 metres high. It has three parallel staircases and several small arcades. This area is also well known for the Rialto Market which is open every day apart from Sundays. The market runs from the San Polo area to Rialto Bridge.

Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge

84. The Imperial Palace, Japan

This immense palace complex is the official residence of Japan’s imperial family and a must-see on your Tokyo itinerary. Although most of the buildings are off-limits, some of the gardens are open to the public where you can enjoy the splendid architecture.

The Imperial Palace tokyo japan in summer
The Imperial Palace in summer

Highlights of the palace grounds include the Fushimi-yagura watchtower, the Megane-Bashi stone bridge and the iron Nijū-Bashi bridge.

The Imperial Household Agency runs free 75-minute tours Tuesday to Saturday most weeks of the year at 10 am and 1:30 pm. You can reserve your spot online up to a month in advance but no later than four days before the time. Although the tours are in Japanese, there is an app for English explanations.

japan_tokyo_imperial-palace-tatsumi-watchtower-reflection japan landmarks
Pink petals in the moat around the Imperial Palace

85. Wembley Stadium, England

The Wembley Arch stretches up 134 metres high and is a familiar landmark to all londoners. Wembley is the largest stadium in the United Kingdom, the second largest stadium in Europe and home to English football. However, it still hosts other sports as well as different kinds of entertaiment.

wembley stadium
wembley stadium

86. Mexico City Cathedral

Catedral de Metropolitana de la Asuncion is one of the more recognized landmarks in Meixco. Construction of the cathedral started in 1573 but wasn’t fully completed until 1813. It is a mix of four different architectural styles: Baroque, Neoclassical, Gothic and Plateresque. The cathedral contains 16 chapels and stands 220 feet high.

Mexico City Cathedral
Mexico City Cathedral

87.   Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Canada

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City is a 5-star château-style hotel. The large, castle-like building dominates the skyline and towers over the Saint Lawrence River down below.

It was built in the late nineteenth century by the directors of the railway society. They wanted to encourage luxury tourism, or more specifically, influence wealthy travellers to frequent their trains.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in the winter
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in the winter

This historic hotel still operates for its original purpose. If you’re feeling frivolous, book a room and enjoy the full scale of this lavish landmark. Guests have access to the fine dining restaurant, wine bar, bistro, spa, indoor pool, and more.

Having personally stayed at this hotel I highly recommend visiting. It literally does feel like you are sleeping in a Canada landmark. The hotel inside is beautiful and bustling and the rooms are excellent.

⇒ Book a guided visit of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

88. Giant’s Causeway, Ireland

Located in County Antrim, the Giant’s Causeway is one of Northern Ireland’s most impressive landmarks. It’s famous for its odd-looking hexagonal rock columns. There are approximately 40,000 of these basalt columns along 6 kilometres of the Antrim plateau, resulting from an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. There are typically five to seven irregular sides jutting out of the cliff faces.

giants causeway

Legend has it that this strange formation was built by the Irish warrior Finn McCool (Fionn mac Cumhaill) to fight the Scottish giant Benandonner. Finn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Channel so the two giants could meet.

The Giant’s Causeway is an enjoyable place to visit, and there are plenty of day trips and tour options to choose from. Some highlights not to be missed here include the Giant’s Boot, the wishing chair (a natural throne), and of course, the largest of three rock outcrops, the Grand Causeway. And if you’re an avid hiker, there are some incredible cliff-top trails along the causeway.

giants causeway

Access to this landmark is free of charge. There is, however, an entrance fee to the visitor centre.

89.   Niagara Falls, The United States and Canada

Niagara-Falls
Niagara Falls

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.

niagara falls 1
Niagara Falls with a Rainbow

As you can imagine, this famous Canadian landmark is an incredible place to witness the true beauty and power of nature first hand.

⇒ Book a ticket for the observation deck of Niagara Falls.

niagara falls 1 (1)
Wow Niagara Falls

90. Gyeongbokgung and Changgyeon Palaces, South Korea

Seoul has two main palaces – Gyeongbokgung and Changgyeon. Opened in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is an integral part of Seoul’s history. As the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty, Gyeongbokgung Palace is commonly referred to as the Northern Palace due to its location in the north of Seoul.

korea-itinerary
Gyeongbokgung Palace

Today, this Seoul palace is restored and available for visitors to explore the rich history and beautiful grounds.

⇒ Beat the Queues and book your visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace before you go

Changgyeonggung Palace is located in the heart of Seoul and originally served as the residential quarters for queens and concubines during the 15th century.

Changgyeonggung palace seoul korea
Changgyeonggung palace

During the Japanese colonial rule of Korea, it temporarily became an amusement park comprising of a botanical garden and a zoo before being restored to the palace that it is today. Be advised that this Korean palace is closed to visitors on Mondays.

91. Dom Luis Bridge, Portugal

Gustave Eiffel, the man who designed Paris’ Eiffel Tower, also designed Dom Luis Bridge in Porto. It is a double decker iron arc bridge that sits over the River Douro. It opened in 1886 and at th etie was the longest bridge of its kind, spanning 172 metres.

Dom Luis Bridge landmarks of portugal
Dom Luis Bridge

Today the top floor of the bridge carries the Porto Metro and a pedestrian path. The lower level of course takes cars.

92. Ring of Kerry, Ireland

Situated in County Kerry and part of the Wild Atlantic Way, the Ring of Kerry has attracted visitors to its unspoilt scenery.

ring of kerry

The 179-kilometre-long circular tourist route takes its visitors around the Iveragh Peninsula and through majestic valleys, rivers, mountains, towns, historic sites, and beaches. The landscape is varied, from the rocky bay of Rossbeigh Strand to the Killarney lakes and mountains.

ring of kerry 1

Hop in your car and head on an unforgettable road trip, or find your seat on a tour to explore the heavenly scenic route. Along the way, stop by some of Ireland‘s noteworthy sites including, Ross Castle, the Kerry Cliffs, and the Cahergall Stone Fort. And, don’t forget to visit some exquisite beaches and enjoy some of the stunning hiking trails along the way.

93. The O2, England

The O2 started out as the Millenium Dome to celebrate the year 2000. Located in Greenwich in south east London, it was redeveloped in 2007 and is now the biggest entertaiment district in London. The O2 arena can host up to 20,000 people and was the first site built purposely for music in London since the Royal Albert Hall. Today, playing at the O2 is a must for all major artists.

o2 stadium london
o2 stadium london

94. Hagia Sophia of Thessalonica Church, Greece

This is one of the oldest cathedrals in the world and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Cathedral Church of Hagia Sophia of Thessalonica was built in the 8th century AD and it was the largest church in the world until it was knocked off the position by Spain‘s Seville Cathedral.

Cathedral Church of Hagia Sophia
Cathedral Church of Hagia Sophia

95. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

As one of Ireland’s most popular attractions and an undoubtedly famous landmark, the Cliffs of Moher is a must-see while visiting the Emerald Isle. Located in County Clare and hugging the Wild Atlantic Way, these sheer, cascading sea cliffs are over 320 million years old. They form part of the UNESCO Global Geopark.

cliffs of moher

Stretching for 14 km and rising 214 meters at their highest point, these cliffs offer spectacular viewpoints. Head to the observation tower, the O’Brien’s Tower, to get the best-unobstructed panoramas of the areas. 

These cliffs, however, offer more than just beautiful vistas. A modern centre was built to improve the visitor experience and provide information about the area’s geology and geography. Here you’ll find many unique bird species that call this place home, such as razorbills, falcons, kittiwakes, and more. 

cliffs of moher 2 one of the famous ireland landmarks

Join one of the fabulous day tours to the Cliffs of Moher and explore the area. Tour buses depart daily from major metros, including Galway, Dublin, and Cork.

96. Pena National Palace, Sintra

This beautiful palace sits on a hill in the lovely Sintra mountains just outside the town of Sintra. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and extremely colourful and beautiful. The palace is located within the beautiful Pena Park. The palace is well known for its multi colours – lilac, burnt red, canary yellow and its romantic style. A visit to Sintra and Pena Palace is a must for anyone visiting Portugal.

pena palace
pena palace

97. Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, Canada

Peggy’s Cove is a small fishing village in Nova Scotia. It’s about one hour (43 kilometres) from downtown Halifax. Famed for its picturesque seaside beauty, it contains one of Canada’s most well-known lighthouses, known as Peggy’s Point Lighthouse.

peggys point lighthouse nova scotia canada
Peggy’s Point Nova Scotia

The first lighthouse on this site was built in 1868 but replaced by its current structure in 1914.  The classic red-and-white structure stands nearly 15 meters high. It’s still active to this day and is operated by the Canadian Coast Guard.

village of peggy's point nova scotia canada
The Village of Peggy’s Point

It’s one of the main tourist attractions in the area (don’t miss lovely Lunenburg) and makes a great addition to any Nova Scotia itinerary.

⇒ Book a tour of Halifax which includes a scenic drive to Peggy’s Cove.

peggys point lighthouse nova scotia canada
Peggy’s Point Lighthouse

98. Bungle Bungle Range, Australia

The uniquely named Bungle Bungles are a series of beehive shaped towers made from sandstone and rocks in Western Australia. They are located in Purnululu National Park which is in the Kimberley region in the north of the state.

bungle bungle range

It is believed that the origins of the Bungle Bungles date back 350 million years. They are distinguished by orange and dark grey banding on the towers. And they aren’t small – the Bungle Bungles cover an area of 450 square kilometres.

There are several ways to experience the Bungle Bungle Range. You’ll need a 4WD if you want to do your own driving around the range. There are quite a few walking paths and lots of options for guided walks and tours.

bungle bungles up close

One of the most common ways to experience a landmark so large is to take a scenic flight over the Bungle Bungle Range. It is difficult to get your head around the magnitude of the range from the ground.

There are accommodation options in the park but nothing that fancy. There are some decent cabins at the Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge.

99. One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, England

Canary Wharf is London’s second major business district located in the east of the city. It is home to many gleaming sky scrapers but One Canada Square is the most iconic of these as it is the third tallest building in the United Kingdom. It’s pyramid shaped roof can be seen from all over London.

canary wharf london
canary wharf london

100. The Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain

Mezquita was once the principal mosque of Western Islam and is still one of the largest mosques in the world. Construction of this mosque began in 785. By 1000 it had reached its current size and had no fewer than 19 aisles. Later renovations resulted in a catholic cathedral being added to the building but it remains a stunning example of Moorish architecture in Spain.

The Great Mosque of Cordoba
The Great Mosque of Cordoba

101. Titanic Museum and Quarter, Ireland

Situated in the heart of Belfast, the Titanic Quarter is home to where the notorious Titanic ship was first created. Today, it houses a state-of-the-art Titanic-themed museum to pay tribute to the world-famous cruise liner.

titanic museum belfast ireland landmark
titanic museum belfast

Visitors’ experience at this museum is second to none, with interactive exhibits and world-class art galleries enabling you to explore the world of the Titanic. Here you can uncover the building processes right through to the disastrous events and the underwater remains. Head to the slipway to find some unique souvenirs and to see where the Titanic, and her sister Olympic, were built and first launched.

statue in titanic quarter belfast

I highly recommend you book entrance tickets to explore the fascinating history of the Titanic in this magnificent museum.

102. Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos was commissioned by King Manuel I to celebrate the discovery of the sea route to India in 1948 by Vasco da Gama. It was from these very shores that many of the Portuguese explores of the 15th and 16th centuries set sail. This beautiful monastery was built in the style of Manueline architecture and is quite stunning. Don’t miss the lovely cloister inside.

Jeronimos monastery
Jeronimos monastery

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.

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