The World’s Top 25 Attractions

January 16, 2014 by

Press & Publicity, Top Travel Destinations, Travel Advice & Inspiration, Viator Travel Awards

Here are the Top 25 Attractions in the World!

Here are the Top 25 Attractions in the World!

Editor’s Note: This post is part of the Viator Travel Awards, an annual awards competition where we – along with our readers, travelers, and fans – select the top things to do and see in each of the major regions we serve, the top things to do in our most popular tour categories, and more.

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Welcome to the 2014 Viator Travel Awards: Top 25 Attractions! We’ve read hundreds of traveler reviews and pored over data from our most popular tours to bring you a list the world’s very best attractions. From Monet’s gardens to the incredible Mt. Fuji, here are the top 25 most popular attractions around the world.

Giverny

Giverny: where Monet was inspired to create his famous paintings!

Giverny: where Monet was inspired to create his famous paintings!

A tiny village west of ParisGiverny attracts many visitors thanks to the painter Claude Monet, who fell in love with the town through a train window and made it his home. He moved to Giverny in 1883 and began painting the countryside as well as the gardens of his home, which were inspiration for his famous water lily paintings. Today, you can soak up his inspiration with a tour of his restored home and gardens. For art lovers, especially those that have seen his stunning paintings at the Orsay, Orangerie or Marmottan museums in Paris, a Giverny Claude Monet tour is a must.

See tours of Giverny

The Vatican

The Vatican

The Vatican

The popes were among the first royalty to open their vast art collections to the public. Today you can see the Vatican‘s incredible collections while touring the Vatican Museums, a huge complex of galleries and museums showcasing paintings, sculptures, frescoes, tapestries and classical antiquities from Roman, Greek and Egyptian culture. There are also collections of religious art, papal portraits and, less obviously, carriages and automobiles. Any visit to the Vatican should also include the famous Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Rooms. Due to its popularity, the Vatican has extremely long ticket lines and a skip-the-line tour of the Vatican is the best way to visit it.

Browse all Vatican City tours

Eiffel Tower

The #1 spot to have a romantic moment while on a Segway: the Eiffel Tower!

The #1 spot to have a romantic moment while on a Segway: the Eiffel Tower!

The Eiffel Tower in Paris was once the world’s tallest structure, towering skyward at 1,050 feet, until usurped by Manhattan’s Chrysler Building. Built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World’s Fair, the tower was almost torn down 20 years later, but then it proved an ideal platform for the antennas needed for the new science of radiotelegraphy. Today, the highlight of a visit to Paris is to ascend to the top of the Eiffel Tower for magnificent views. Visiting the Eiffel Tower via an excursion will let you skip the ticket line or even give you the opportunity to have dinner within the Eiffel Tower.

Book a skip-the-line ticket for the Eiffel Tower

Moulin Rouge

At the end of the 19th century Paris, France, was experiencing a joyful renaissance of sorts and the period came to be called Belle Epoque. A century was coming to an end, creativity was blooming, France was not at war and people were filled with the joys of life. What better time to launch a dance hall of beautiful showgirls? Hence, the opening of the Moulin Rouge in 1889. Inside the world-famous cabaret venue, aristocrats came to mingle with the riffraff and women of easy virtue. There was a huge dance floor, mirrors everywhere and an atmosphere of total euphoria. Today, the euphoria of Moulin Rouge continues as its shows are one of the top attractions visitors to Paris want to experience.

Browse Moulin Rouge tickets

Colosseum

See the Colosseum!

See the Colosseum!

The Colosseum’s bloody and grisly past within some impressive ancient ruins makes it one of the top places to tour in the world. Located in Rome, Italy, the Colosseum was where the Roman emperors and their subjects liked to watch gladiators stage to-the-death battles as well as to hunt and kill wild animals. The Colosseum was built in 80 AD and much of the tiered seating, corridors and underground rooms where the animals and gladiators awaited their fate are still intact. The Colosseum is the model for all modern-day stadiums; the only difference being today’s teams survive their games.

Browse Colosseum tours

Stonehenge

"We love Stonehenge!"

“We love Stonehenge!”

One of the world’s greatest mysteries, Stonehenge is a massive circle of standing stones in the middle of a green field in Wiltshire, England. Built around 3,500 years ago, Stonehenge is Britain’s most important ancient monument and since 1986 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite the rush of traffic that passes by it, Stonehenge still manages to retain its magic and mystery. A tour to Stonehenge from London is an excellent way to see the popular site.

See tours of Stonehenge

Versailles

Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles

Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles

While in Paris, opt for a tour that takes you to the much-loved Palace of Versailles, located 45 minutes outside of central Paris. King Louis XIV transformed his father’s hunting lodge into what is arguably the most sumptuous and decadent castle in Europe. The palace includes regal gardens designed to create a French Eden and gives the grounds a bucolic feel. It was the seat of French government from 1682 to 1789 and eventually became the Museum of the History of France in the mid-1800s. Highlights include the Hall of Mirrors, the King’s Grand Chambers, the extensive formal gardens and Marie-Antoinette’s famous estate.

Visit Versailles

Hoover Dam

An architectural wonder that permanently altered the southwestern United States, the Hoover Dam stretches across Black Canyon and above the mighty Colorado River. The architecture itself is stunning, adorned with attractive Art Deco elements. Best of all, though, is its breathtaking views of Lake Mead, Colorado River and the surrounding canyons and valleys. One of the largest dams in America, Hoover Dam is a must-see Vegas attraction as it’s an easy day tour from the city.

Browse Hoover Dam tours

Empire State Building

Go to the top of the Empire State Building!

Go to the top of the Empire State Building!

The iconic Empire State Building defines the term ‘skyscraper’, and from 1931 to 1977 the 102-story Art Deco-styled structure was the world’s tallest building. Today, it still remains one of the world’s tallest buildings and a tour of it is one of New York City’s top attractions. After admiring the glistening Art Deco mosaics in the lobby, ride the elevator to the 86th or 102nd floors for astonishing 360-degree views of the city and surrounding states. At night, the stepped Art Deco pinnacle is floodlit with holiday and commemorative colors throughout the year, such as red and pink for Valentine’s Day, red and green for Christmas and green for St Patrick’s Day.

Book skip the line tickets to the Empire State Building

Alcatraz

Spooky Alcatraz!

Spooky Alcatraz!

One of America’s most iconic sites, Alcatraz is often associated with Chicago crime boss Al “Scarface” Capone, who was imprisoned in Alcatraz in the 1930s. In fact, many A-list criminals passed through this former maximum-security penitentiary, including dapper kidnapper George “Machine Gun” Kelly and Morton Sobell, the military contractor found guilty of Soviet espionage along with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. But a tour to this National Park is more than just seeing the inside of an old prison. You’ll also see some of San Francisco’s top attractions on the scenic ferry ride across the bay to Alcatraz, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge and Angel Island (the Ellis Island of the west).

Head to Alcatraz

Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Spectacular Grand Canyon!

The Spectacular Grand Canyon!

Overlooking the gravity defying vistas of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon’s West Rim, the Grand Canyon Skywalk is a glass-bottom “U”-shaped open-air bridge. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is the world’s highest man-made structure and a walk across it is an exhilarating experience, as you are suspended 4,000 feet above the canyon floor. Your heart may start pounding, but you’ll get a terrific 720-degree view of the Grand Canyon, one of the most remarkable natural settings in the United States.

See the Grand Canyon

The Louvre

Outside the Louvre

Outside the Louvre

One of the world’s greatest art museums is the Louvre in Paris, France, which contains a rich collection of art from the fruits of human civilization. Exhibits include art from antiquity to Renaissance and 19th-century French masterpieces. Famous works include the Seated Scribe, the Jewels of Rameses II, Michelangelo’s Slaves, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa plus works by Raphael, Botticelli and Titian among many others. A pre-booked tour of the Louvre gets you quickly inside its pyramid entrance along with a historical background of the art you see while touring the museum.

Visit the Louvre

Da Vinci’s The Last Supper

Art lovers on the Da Vinci trail, readers of Dan Brown following The Da Vinci Code route and visitors seeking a glimpse of one of the world’s most iconic paintings come to Milan’s Il Cenacolo Vinciano to see Leonardo da Vinci’s mural The Last Supper, or Il Cenacolo. The famous wall painting, which depicts the moment when Jesus predicts that one of his Apostles will betray him, covers the wall of the refectory next to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The Last Supper pretty much always sells out weeks in advance so book a tour to see it as to not be disappointed.

Book a tour to see The Last Supper

Sagrada Familia

Gaudi's Sagrada Familia

Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia is one cathedral that stands out from the crowd of churches in Europe. The gothic extravagance of the architecture makes a visit to Sagrada Familia one of the top tours in the world – which is quite a feat considering the cathedral still isn’t done. Designed by master architect Antoni Gaudi, the cathedral was started in the early 1900s. However, after Gaudi’s death in 1926, construction slowed. It is underway again with plans to finish the cathedral sometime in the 2020s, with a focus on completing it as close to Gaudi’s original vision as possible.

Explore La Sagrada Familia

Niagara Falls

The Powerful Niagara Falls

The Powerful Niagara Falls

Pounding water, glistening mist and an engineering feat…is it any wonder Niagara Falls is a top tour in Canada? Located at the border of Ontario and New York, Niagara Falls combines the brute force of water with engineering to create magnificent waterfalls. Whether you witness Niagara Falls via boat, helicopter or from the Observation Tower, you’ll marvel at the amount of water crashing through the falls each second.

Witness Niagara Falls

Neuschwanstein Castle

See Neuschwanstein from Munich!

See Neuschwanstein from Munich!

The inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle, Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most popular castles in Europe. The fairytale charm of Neuschwanstein Castle is also felt due to its location in the middle of the green plains and soaring mountain tops of the Bavarian Alps. During the winter, some of the best views of the snow-capped mountains can be seen from the palace grounds. Commissioned as the private refuge for Ludwig II of Bavaria, the castle holds many stunning highlights including the throne room, which is magnificently appointed with frescos of angels. Neuschwanstein isn’t the easiest castle in Europe to get to, which is why many visitors opt for a day tour to the castle from Munich.

See the Neuschwanstein Castle

Ground Zero

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on September 11, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum was opened on the World Trade Center site, or Ground Zero. The memorial is comprised of twin reflecting pools, featuring two enormous waterfalls in the footprints of the original twin towers; the names of the people who died in the attacks are inscribed on bronze panels at the edge of the pools. The rest of the plaza features more than 150 swamp white oak trees.

Visit Ground Zero

Uffizi Gallery

Filled with what is often considered to be the most important collection of Florentine art, the Uffizi Gallery, or Galleria degli Uffizi, is housed in a Renaissance palace built for Cosimo de’ Medici by Vasari in 1560. The collection traces the rich history of Florentine art, from its 11th-century beginnings to Botticelli and the flowering of Renaissance art. Among the highlights are The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, da Vinci’s Annunciation, Titian’s languid Venus of Urbino and Michelangelo’s technicolor portrait of the holy family. A tour of Uffizi gives you the historical background of the museum’s most important works of art.

Enter the Uffizi Gallery

Mount Fuji

Conquer Mt Fuji in Japan!

Conquer Mt Fuji in Japan!

From the top of Mount FujiJapan’s highest mountain at 12,388 feet tall, you can see impressive 360-degree views of Lake Ashinko, the Hakone mountains and the Owakudani Valley. Climbing to the mountain peak is an unforgettable experience, and more than one million people hike to the top each year. The best time to climb Mount Fuji is from July to August, when the weather is the mildest and there is the least amount of snow on the mountain. Named after Buddhist fire goddess Fuchi, Mount Fuji is a holy mountain; at its peak is a Shinto Shrine dedicated to the goddess Sengen-Sama.

Climb Mount Fuji

Statue of Liberty

Head to NYC to see one of the United States' most iconic landmarks

Head to NYC to see one of the United States’ most iconic landmarks

An American architectural icon, “Lady Liberty” proudly stands on Liberty Island, guarding the entrance to New York Harbor. The 305-foot Statue of Liberty was given to the United States from France to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the young country’s independence. Once on the island, you can visit the Statue of Liberty Museum, where you can you can see the original torch and an explanatory exhibit before taking in a close-up view of the Statue of Liberty on the 10th floor. A tour to Liberty Island from NYC is a great way to see this iconic landmark.

See the Statue of Liberty

Top of the Rock

Booking an excursion to Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Plaza has one very big benefit – you don’t have to wait in the long line of this top New York City attraction. Instead, you’ll get in at your designated time and head skyward to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck where you’ll find miles upon miles of NYC views, including the Chrysler Building, Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.

Get the view from the Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Plaza

Blue Mountains

This is the most famous view at the Blue Mountains.

This is the most famous view at the Blue Mountains.

The stunning Blue Mountains make for an idyllic day tour from the hustle and bustle of downtown Sydney, Australia. The area is rich with amazing scenery, from rugged sandstone outcrops and cavernous valleys of gum trees to charming mountain hamlets and cascading waterfalls. The Blue Mountains also offer outdoor pursuits, leisurely shopping, luxury accommodations and scenic drives.

Browse Blue Mountains tours

Christ the Redeemer

The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue

The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue

High above Rio de Janeiro on Corcovado Mountain stands the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, its outstretched arms seeming ready to scoop up and hold the sprawling city beneath if needed. The Christ the Redeemer statue is the largest Art Deco statue in the world at 130 feet tall. A tour to see the statue will teach you about the history of the statue as well as give you a chance to see the surrounding mountainside of Corcovado Mountain and Sugar Loaf Mountain.

See the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue

The Alhambra

One of Spain’s star attractions is the Alhambra in Granada. Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was once the home of Moorish kings and sultans. The impressive building is an excellent example of Moorish architecture and intrigues visitors with its lavish history. A tour makes visiting Alhambra easy as you’ll be picked up straight from your hotel in Granada. That and its incredible history and beauty makes Alhambra one of the most popular tours in Spain.

Browse Alhambra tours

London Eye

Take lots of photos from the London Eye!

Take lots of photos from the London Eye!

Spectacular views of London’s most famous landmarks unfold from the London Eye, the fourth tallest structure in London. Passengers are carried in 32 sealed, glass-sided pods that fit a total of 800 people and revolve on a huge Ferris wheel. A complete rotation of the London Eye takes 30 minutes. Along the way you’ll see such sites as the Houses of ParliamentBuckingham PalaceSt. Paul’s Cathedral and the River Thames. On a clear day you can see as far as Windsor Castle. A bonus of the slow speed of the London Eye means there’s plenty of time to take lots of photos of the unfolding scenery.

Book a London Eye experience

- Viator Travel Team

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9 Responses to “The World’s Top 25 Attractions”

  1. Kerala Tourism Says:

    Its a very nice information .I really enjoying with this one .Thanks to share with us .

  2. Lori Says:

    You do realize that the picture you have posted of Neuschwanstein is actually Linderhof Castle, right?

  3. Laura Says:

    Whoops, thanks for pointing that out – it has been fixed. :)

  4. md Says:

    been to 18 of 25, 7 to go!!!

  5. Ashley Says:

    Can’t believe the Great Wall of China, the Hotel De Paris Monte Carlo, the Terra Cotta Warriors Xyan,The Grand Palace Bangkok or the Opera House Hanoi didn’t make it onto the list. Ash

  6. Helen Says:

    Meteora? Acropolis? Santorini? You are forgetting Greece!

  7. Rohan Says:

    Nothing in Asia is worth seeing according to these bozos. We obviously live in a white man’s world…

  8. Tina Says:

    How about Boracay in the Philippines. One of the best beach in the world.

  9. mohd zain Says:

    Why is Cappodacia(UNESCO World Heritage Site0 a very unique limestone region,Cotton Castle of Pamukale,an ancient Roman natural spring of thousand of yrs old ,Grand Sophia Mosque all found in Turkey are not included?Nothing great about London’s Eye,you can find in other patrs of the World.The Great Pyramid and Spinx of Egypt have been included.

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