TripAdvisor’s World’s Top 25 Landmarks

May 26, 2015 by

Places to Go, Top Travel Destinations, Travel Advice & Inspiration

Lists covering the world’s top attractions or travel destinations are nothing new — magazines, guidebooks and TV shows put them out every year. The jet-setting editor or TV host can be helpful, but sometimes you just want to hear what fellow travelers are out there doing. The TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Landmarks Awards do just that.

With a mix of religious sites, ancient cities, engineering marvels, modern-day skyscrapers and humbling memorials, this list spans five continents and 19 countries to bring you must-see landmarks for all interests.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

1. Angkor Wat

Featured prominently on the national flag, the Angkor Wat complex was built in the 12th century and is known for its intricate level of detail, which includes over 3,000 nymphs carved into the walls of the main temple. Sunrise is the most popular time to visit, for good reason. It is the largest and most famous of all the temple complexes in Cambodia.

Read more about the tours Viator offers to Angkor Wat

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

2. Machu Picchu

With its prime location on top of an 8,000-foot (2,400-meter) mountain, the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu certainly deserves its status as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Getting there is not easy, but the treks and train rides are worth it to stand amid the 15th-century terraced ruins.

Click here to learn more about ancient Machu Picchu

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

3. Taj Mahal

Built in the 17th century as a mausoleum to house the tomb of Emperor Shah Jahan’s late wife, the stunning Taj Mahal, made of white marble, is possibly the world’s largest act of love. The level of architectural and decorative detail both inside and out will leave you in total awe.

If you want to explore the Taj Mahal yourself, click here

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center

4. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center

Named for the UAE’s first president, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is, in a word, enormous; the space can house more than 40,000 worshippers. Columns, minarets, reflecting pools, chandeliers and more than 100,000 tons of marble — ”grand” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Learn more about the Grand Mosque with Viator

Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

5. Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

Antoni Gaudí’s La Sagrada Família reigns supreme as Barcelona’s top attraction, a masterpiece yet unfinished. The typically long entrance line gives visitors plenty of time to marvel at its towers before wandering around the colorful interior columns, designed to look like trees.

Click here to see the best tours of La Sagrada Familia

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica

6. St Peter’s Basilica

The holiest of holy places, St Peter’s Basilica houses legendary works of Italian art, such as Michelangelo’s marble statue Pietà. The 17th-century cathedral’s star attraction is its dome, one of the tallest in the world, which you can see after climbing 551 steps to the top.

Enjoy the best of St Peter’s by booking through Viator

Milan Cathedral (Duomo)

Milan Cathedral (Duomo)

7. Milan Cathedral (Duomo)

With 135 spires, more than 3,000 statues and nearly 600 years of construction time, Milan’s cathedral — the Duomo — is an Italian Gothic tour de force. After trying to fit the entirety of the pearly marble structure into your camera frame (it’s hard), head up to the rooftop.

See tours to the Duomo in Milan

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

8. Alcatraz

The Rock once housed Al Capone and a host of other headline-making criminals during its time as an island prison on the San Francisco Bay. Today, it’s hard to imagine federal inmates living so close to the city, but travelers can find out what it was like with a 30-minute ferry ride and an independent audio walking tour.

See the Rock like never before with the help of Viator

Corcovado - Cristo Redentor

Corcovado – Cristo Redentor

9. Corcovado – Cristo Redentor

No photographer worth his salt takes a panoramic shot of Rio de Janeiro without Cristo Redentor in the background. Standing majestically on top of Corcovado Mountain, 2,300 feet (700 meters) above the city, the colossal statue of Jesus Christ is part of Tijuca National Park.

Let Viator make your travels a breeze with these Corcovado tours

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

10. Golden Gate Bridge

Whether it’s standing bright and shiny in the sunshine or shrouded in gloomy yet alluring fog, the Golden Gate Bridge makes everyone stop and stare, even longtime locals. There are viewpoints on both ends of the bridge, plus walking and biking lanes to provide photo ops from every angle.

Get the best from your SF vacation with the help of Viator

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

11. Eiffel Tower

Gustav Eiffel’s 1889 tower, once the tallest in the world, beckons all who travel through Paris like moths to a flame. There are restaurants on the first two levels and an observatory on the third, from where Paris’ 20 arrondissements stretch out before you.

Cross the Eiffel Tower off your bucket list by booking with Viator

Church of the Savior on Blood

Church of the Savior on Blood

12. Church of the Savior on Blood

As extravagant as extravagant gets, this Russian Orthodox cathedral is the epitome of old Russian architecture, with colorful onion domes and an elaborate mosaic interior. Its graphic name comes from its location: the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881.

See this spectacular site with Viator’s help

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

13. Notre Dame Cathedral

Sitting pretty on the Île de la Cité in Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral dates back to 1163 and is noted for its French Gothic architecture, complete with flying buttresses and sinister-looking gargoyles. Climb the bell tower for a view of the Seine and the city.

Take in this beautiful site by booking with Viator

The Alhambra

The Alhambra

14. The Alhambra

A Moorish palace and fort complex used in the 13th and 14th centuries, the Alhambra is certainly Andalusia’s crown jewel. It’s easy to spend a whole day wandering through the gardens, passageways, courtyards and ornately decorated rooms.

Take a trip to the Alhambra with Viator

Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)

Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)

15. Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)

One of the world’s most important Byzantine structures, Hagia Sophia has been a place of worship — for both Eastern Orthodox and Islamic religions—since Istanbul was still Constantinople. It’s now a museum, where its many mosaics are displayed in all their glory.

Book a visit to the Hagia Sophia with Viator

Charles Bridge (Karluv Most)

Charles Bridge (Karluv Most)

16. Charles Bridge (Karluv Most)

Prague’s most famous bridge crosses the Vltava River and connects the Lesser Quarter to Old Town. The medieval, pedestrian-only crossing is probably the most photographed site in the city. Prepare for crowds.

See Prague your way by booking with Viator

Great Wall at Mutianyu

Great Wall at Mutianyu

17. Great Wall at Mutianyu

The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China is one of the wall’s best-preserved sections, and therefore, a popular one. With proximity to Beijing, a chairlift, a cable car and a toboggan ride (yes, really), this part of the wall is both accessible and plain fun.

Book with Viator to see the Great Wall of China like never before

Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool

Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool

18. Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool

Who can think of sightseeing in DC without picturing a giant statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting in a 19-foot-tall (6-meter) chair? Gaze out at the reflecting pool just as Martin Luther King, Jr. did during his ‘I have a dream’ speech, and read the words of the Gettysburg Address.

If you want to see the Lincoln Memorial now, just book with Viator

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

19. Burj Khalifa

At 2,700 feet (800 meters), the world’s tallest building towers over Dubai and provides an insane view from the At the Top observation deck on the 124th floor. It’s home to restaurants, corporate offices and an Armani Hotel.

See Viator’s tours to the Burj Khalifa

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum

20. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Located where the Twin Towers once stood, this exceptional memorial complex features two reflecting pools, the names of all who died in the 9/11 attacks and a museum that showcases building artifacts and first-hand accounts of that day.

Book your visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

21. Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Bangkok’s reclining Buddha statue is housed inside Wat Pho, a temple that is also known as the home of Thai massage. At about 150 feet (45 meters) long, the statue is covered in gold leaf, and its feet are inlayed with mother of pearl.

Travel like an insider by booking with Viator

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

22. Chichen Itza

An ancient Mayan city on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Chichen Itza was founded around the sixth century and has held up surprisingly well since then. Climbing on structures is no longer allowed, but visitors can walk around them and take it all in.

Check out Chichen Itza  with Viator

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

23. Sydney Opera House

As if it knows it’s Sydney’s pride and joy, the Sydney Opera House sits perfectly positioned on the waterfront, practically preening in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge. Simply stare at it, take a tour or have cocktails on the patio.

Get the inside scoop on the Sydney Opera House by booking with Viator

Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Twin Towers

24. Petronas Twin Towers

Built in 1998 to house the headquarters of Petronas, Malaysia’s national petroleum company, the Petronas Twin Towers are identical circular buildings of 88 stories each, connected by a sky bridge. Experience it by shopping at the upscale Suria KLCC mall.

Learn more about tours to the Petronas Twin Towers

Panama Canal

Panama Canal

25. Panama Canal

Via a series of locks, the Panama Canal has been connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans since it opened in 1914, saving ships thousands of nautical miles. The Miraflores Locks is the most popular spot to watch the action as ships take this shortcut.

Read more about the history of the Panama Canal and book a tour

Visit each landmark’s award page to see the tours and learn more about these world wonders.

Viator Travel Team

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