Megan Bryant is a passionate writer and traveler who has combined her two loves to help others fulfill their traveling dreams. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually curled up with her 3 Dachshunds and a good book or planning her next adventure—wherever that may be.
There are so many incredible landmarks all over the world, but some, in particular, really stand out above the rest. These extraordinary sites have stood the test of time and showcase the sheer brilliance of human creativity.
From ancient marvels to modern architectural wonders, each landmark carries its own unique story. So if you haven’t already, you should definitely add these 11 awe-inspiring landmarks to your travel bucket list.
Nestled in the jungle of Cambodia is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat—a 12th-century temple complex that stands as a testament to the ancient Khmer civilization. As the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat and its iconic silhouette understandably draws in travelers from all across the globe.
Angkor Wat is a sight to see all throughout the day, but the temple’s grounds really come to life during sunrise and sunset as a warm glow blankets the towers, spires, and reflecting pools.
Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is an archaeological marvel and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dominating the landscape is the iconic El Castillo—also known as the Temple of Kukulkan—that has a precise alignment to the equinoxes.
As you wander through Chichen Itza, you’ll encounter the enigmatic observatory, El Caracol, and the sacred cenote, all offering a glimpse into the ancient rituals and religious practices that once flourished here.
Great Pyramids of Giza
Just outside Cairo is one of the world’s most marvelous ancient wonders—the Great Pyramids of Giza. Comprising of three pyramids, the largest and most iconic being the Pyramid of Khufu, these ancient tombs served as eternal resting places for the Pharaohs of the Fourth Dynasty.
Standing in the desert sands of Egypt for over 2000 years, the pyramids have stood the test of time and offer visitors a connection to ancient Egypt and all its unanswered mysteries.
Possibly one of the most iconic landmarks on Earth is the Eiffel Tower, which stands tall against Paris’ skyline. A symbol of romance and artistic brilliance, the Eiffel Tower has become part of France’s cultural identity and continues to draw in millions of visitors each and every year.
From the sweeping panoramas of the Seine River to the glistening lights of the Champs de Mars, the Eiffel Tower offers some of the best and most breathtaking views of Paris. Whether you witness the tower’s magical glow during sunset or marvel at its shimmering lights that illuminate the night, the Eiffel Tower is a landmark not to be missed.
Leaning Tower of Piza
The gravity-defying Leaning Tower of Pisa is a world-renowned architectural marvel in the picturesque Italian town of Pisa. The tower’s dramatic lean—which is a result of an unstable foundation—is what has baffled and intrigued visitors for years.
But don’t worry; over the years, attempts to stabilize the lean have taken place to ensure the tower stands for generations to come.
The ancient ruins of Machu Picchu—about an hour away from Cusco—are a UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases the achievements of the Inca civilization. Often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu, with its surrounding mountain peaks, was believed to be built roughly 500 years ago with the precision and ingenuity that Inca architecture is known for.
Maoi Statues on Easter Island
You may not have known about the Maoi Statues on Easter Island, as Easter Island is one of the most remote and isolated inhabited places on Earth, but scattered across the island’s rugged landscape sits over 900 Maoi Statues with distinctive, solemn expressions.
Carved by the Rapa Nui between 500 and 800 years ago, the Maoi statues—which stand over 30 feet tall, weigh several tons, and are made from volcanic rock—are one of the world’s most remarkable landmarks that represent the ancestors of the Rapa Nui.
Statue of Liberty
Standing tall and proud on Liberty Island in New York Harbor is the world-famous Statue of Liberty, which stands as an enduring symbol of freedom, hope, and opportunity. Gifted to the United States by the people of France in 1886, Lady Liberty has welcomed millions of immigrants seeking a new life in America, making her a poignant beacon of the American dream and a landmark that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.
Sydney Opera House
Perched majestically on the edge of Sydney Harbour in Australia, the Sydney Opera House and its modern design has become a symbol of the nation’s cultural heritage and a globally recognized landmark.
Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon in 1973, the Sydney Opera Houses’ distinctive sail-like roofline, gleaming white shells, and its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site bring in millions of visitors to Sydney—most of who are looking to catch a glimpse of this architectural wonder.
The Taj Mahal has rightfully gained the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. And if that doesn’t make you want to visit, I don’t know what will.
The Taj Mahal is a masterpiece of architectural artistry, standing as a symbol of eternal love. Located in the city of Agra, India, the ivory-white marble mausoleum was commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century as a memorial for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Today, the Taj Mahal captivates millions of visitors from around the globe with its symmetrical splendor and dazzling white facade.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China—originally built as a defense mechanism throughout the Chinese dynasties—spans over 13,000 miles across the northern stretches of China. Intended to protect the realm from invading forces, the Great Wall quickly became a colossal structure with watchtowers, battlements, and fortified walls.
Today the Great Wall gives visitors a glimpse into China’s rich history drawing in Chinese locals and foreign tourists in their millions who walk along its ancient stones, tracing the footsteps of emperors and warriors from ages past.
11 Day Trips From Reno: Desert Stops For Everyone To Enjoy
Are you planning a day trip from Reno, Nevada, and looking for some exciting options? Look no further than this article, which highlights the best day trips from Reno. There’s something for everyone, from skiing in Mount Rose to relaxing in Steamboat Hot Springs. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains and beyond!
Fly-Fishing, Skiing, Hiking, and Much More: 10 Montana Vacation Spots
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