Explore 13 World's Most Famous Landmarks

Explore 13 World’s Most Famous Landmarks


Across the globe, certain landmarks stand as testaments to human creativity, ingenuity, and cultural significance. From ancient wonders to modern marvels, these iconic landmarks captivate the imagination and draw millions of visitors each year. Let’s embark on a journey to explore some of the most famous landmarks in the world.

Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Explore 13 World's Most Famous Landmarks

Angkor Archeological Park is home to some of Southeast Asia’s most important archeological sites, including ancient temples. This UNESCO World Heritage Site preserves the remains of the Khmer Empire’s capital from the ninth to fifteenth centuries, including the world’s biggest religious monument, the vast Angkor Wat temple complex. Consider organizing a guided tour to learn more about Angkor Wat’s history and unique Khmer architecture. Before leaving the ancient site, make sure to climb to the summit of Angkor Wat for absolutely breathtaking vistas.

As you visit the rest of Angkor, the Bayon temple at Angkor Thom, located north of the main complex, is not to be missed. If you prefer to plan your own visit, the park is easily accessible from Siem Reap by taxi, tuk-tuk, or bicycle, as it is located on the city’s outskirts.

Sydney Opera House: Sydney

The Sydney Opera House is undoubtedly Australia’s most iconic edifice and one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. This monument, located just across from Sydney Harbour and its famous bridge, is also one of the world’s busiest performing arts venues, presenting operas, orchestras, ballet, drama, and other events. You may learn about the famed Sydney Opera House by taking an hour-long guided tour. Additional guided options are also available, including a thorough backstage tour of the facility. After that, remain for drinks or dinner harborside at one of the venue’s indoor or outdoor eateries.

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Explore 13 World's Most Famous Landmarks

The Eiffel Tower is one of the world’s most popular structures (particularly from late June to early September), so plan your visit during one of the shoulder seasons – spring or fall – to avoid the crowds. It is cheaper to merely visit the tower’s second level, and you can save even more if you prefer to walk roughly 700 stairs instead of utilizing the elevator. However, for unrivaled views of Paris, consider spending on a ticket to the highest level. Furthermore, many of the greatest Paris excursions include a visit to this landmark.

You may even dine inside the Eiffel Tower at Madame Brasserie or the Michelin-starred Jules Verne, which requires a formal dress requirement. After sunset, you’ll understand why this must-see site in France is renowned as the City of Light: the Eiffel Tower puts on its own spectacular light show at the top of each hour after dark.

Taj Mahal in Agra, India

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum dedicated to Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s loving wife Mumtaz Mahal. This sumptuous building, erected in the 1630s and 1940s, houses her grave after she died while giving birth to their 14th child. The ivory-white marble monument took over two decades to complete and is regarded by UNESCO as the pinnacle of Indo-Islamic architecture, incorporating influences from Persia, India, and the Islamic world.

The Taj Mahal is located in Agra and is accessible by train from New Delhi, the capital city. The voyage can take up to three hours. Given the massive crowds that this world-renowned landmark attracts, it is recommended to visit in the morning. Plus, an early morning visit allows you to see the dawn, which will undoubtedly create an exquisite glow on the majestic monument. Late afternoon to dusk is also a good option for slightly less crowded areas.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Explore 13 World's Most Famous Landmarks

The historic Incan stronghold of Machu Picchu is set on a mountaintop in the Peruvian Andes, about 8,000 feet above sea level. Before visiting this spectacular location, spend the nights in neighboring Aguas Calientes to acclimate to the region’s altitude, but it is also possible to visit on a lengthy day trip from Cusco. Then, take an early morning bus or a moderately tough climb of up to two hours to the citadel.

It is important to note that you must order your tickets in advance of your journey, as they cannot be purchased at the entrance or in Aguas Calientes. Climbing to the heights of Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu, which provide more stunning vistas, incurs additional expenses and a limited number of permits.

The Great Wall of China, China

The Great Wall of China, erected in portions over 3,000 years ago, is the world’s longest wall, with the best-preserved sections from the Ming era spanning approximately 5,500 miles. All of the parts that have ever been built come up to about 13,170 miles in length.

One of the most popular places to visit near Beijing is the Mutianyu section, which is the longest portion of the wall that has been fully renovated and is open to tourists. The greatest times to visit the Mutianyu Great Wall are in the spring and fall, when the weather is perfect and the scenery is breathtaking. If you’re looking for more of an adventure, head to Jiankou, which provides a difficult climb with high inclines but also stunning vistas and close proximity to nature throughout.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota

Explore 13 World's Most Famous Landmarks

This iconic American landmark, a must-see monument in South Dakota and one of the top tourist attractions in the United States is located in the scenic Black Hills, approximately 25 miles from Rapid City. Arrive at sunrise to get the best photo opportunity of the iconic rock sculpture, when the golden light lights the faces of the four US presidents; you’ll also escape the crowds, which are especially dense in the summer.

If you’re planning a trip here during the warmer months, don’t miss the nightly lighting ceremony, which runs from late May until late September. This outdoor event contains a video explaining the monument’s history and construction. Mount Rushmore is a national park, therefore there is no admission price, but you must pay for parking.

Wat Xieng Tong

One of the nicest things to do in Luang Prabang is to visit the gorgeous Wat Xieng Thong, which is part of the same complex as Laos’ Royal Palace Museum.

It is one of the country’s largest temples, often known as the ‘Golden Tree Monastery’ or the “Monastery of the Golden City”. Built-in the 16th century by King Setthathirath to commemorate the mythical King Chanthaphanith, it serves as a gateway to Luang Prabang thanks to its strategic location near the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers.

The site is famous for the crowning of Lao kings, and the architecture is reminiscent of Luang Prabang, with beautiful mosaic patterns, wall sculptures, rare Buddhist deities, a 12-meter funeral carriage, and a pointed vihar.

Tourists can now visit Wat Xieng Thong, but they must be adequately clad (shoulders and legs covered) and respectful. The temple is only open for a few hours every day, so check before you go, but 6 p.m. is a good time to see the monks and novices doing their daily prayers and chants.

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, an ancient city, is one of the world’s most famous sights and wonders. Chichen Itza, located in Mexico’s Yucatan region, is one of the most important Mayan ruins in the area, dating back to the 9th century CE. Visiting Chichen Itza is an excellent day trip from Cancun or the Riviera Maya coast.

Explore 13 World's Most Famous Landmarks

Chichen Itza was built entirely on astronomical ideas by the Mayans. They erected various monuments, including a round observatory, to track the positions of planets and stars and forecast weather and rain.

The most remarkable monument in the complex is El Castillo, also known as the Temple of Kukulkan, which is a tall, stepped pyramid with 365 steps, representing the number of days in the year. An interesting fact is that the Mayan God Kukulkan is said to descend on the pyramid every year during the spring and autumn equinoxes. People assemble in large numbers to witness this amazing phenomenon.

Other noteworthy features in Chichen Itza are the Temple of the Warriors, the Great Ball Court, and the Skull Rack. The complex also includes a number of smaller temples and podiums designed in the Mayan or Toltec styles. There are so many of them that it’s simple to become lost. Travelers who want to get the most of their visit can take a guided tour of Chichen Itza.

Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy, France

This historic Benedictine abbey is among Europe’s most stunning attractions. Mont-Saint-Michel, which dates back to the 10th century, is located on an island in the harbor shared by the French departments of Brittany and Normandy. Visitors can walk to the abbey or take a shuttle bus from the parking lots. When the water is low, the jagged rock that houses the fairytale-like monastery connects to the land. If you’re there at the appropriate time, you can see the extraordinarily quick tides transform Mont-Saint-Michel into an island – but don’t worry about getting caught out there; the bridge is always connected.

Stay on the island and treat yourself to a world-renowned omelet at La Mère Poulard, or try Breton delicacies like crepes and galettes. Make sure to try Calvados, an apple brandy that is only produced in Normandy.

The Acropolis in Athens, Greece

Explore 13 World's Most Famous Landmarks

Visit this rocky hill in Athens to see one of the most remarkable vestiges of ancient Greek civilization: the Acropolis. You can then travel among the ruins to see the world-famous Parthenon temple, which sits atop it all and offers panoramic views of the city. The neighboring Acropolis Museum is also worth a visit, as it houses precious relics and statues found at the architectural site and provides in-depth descriptions of ancient Greek civilization. Plan your trip during the shoulder seasons of spring or fall for cooler weather and fewer crowds.

The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

This Greek Revival-style monument, inspired by the gateway to the Acropolis and built in the late 1800s, is one of Berlin’s most recognizable structures. The 85-foot-tall building overlooks Pariser Platz, one of the city’s most beautiful squares, and is the only surviving ancient gate in the city. Today, the Brandenburg Gate represents the reunification of both Berlin and Germany following the fall of the Berlin Wall, which divided the country during the Cold War. It is absolutely free to visit. Take notice that demonstrations can sometimes congregate around the gate, in which case it should still be safe to enter but may be extremely congested.

Easter Island (Chile)

This remote island in the Pacific Ocean, 2,200 miles west of Chile, is one of the most mysterious places on Earth, as well as home to one of the world’s most stunning beaches. Several ideas have emerged regarding its Polynesian immigrants, the Rapa Nui, and the downfall of their society.

Explore 13 World's Most Famous Landmarks

What has survived on Easter Island are almost 1,000 moai statues, which are huge, humanlike monoliths scattered over the island. The largest, “El Gigante,” is more over 70 feet tall. Ahu Tongariki on the southeast coast is the greatest ceremonial edifice, with 15 moai statues arranged side by side. This lovely site overlooking Hanga Nui (“big bay”) is one of Easter Island’s most iconic photos.

There are few flights to this destination. As of early 2024, the sole direct flights leave from Santiago. Plan your trip ahead of time, and expect higher prices in Chile during the hot months of December through March. On certain itineraries, you can also get to Easter Island by cruise ship.


From ancient wonders to modern marvels, the world is home to an extraordinary array of famous landmarks that inspire wonder and admiration. Whether you’re marveling at the grandeur of the Great Wall of China or gazing in awe at the intricate carvings of Angkor Wat, these iconic landmarks offer glimpses into our shared human history and cultural heritage. So pack your bags, embark on a journey of discovery, and explore these extraordinary wonders of the world firsthand.

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