What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Paris, NYC, or Barcelona? Besides the glorious food and exciting nightlife, of course. Postcard-worthy world landmarks are what excites us about traveling, and we cannot and will not be embarrassed possing in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa for more than 2 hours. Let us take you on a stroll around the famous places in the world as we compile a list of the well-known monuments and attractions you must sightsee at least once in your life. Here's a taste of what's to come:
- Iconic landmarks - Lady Liberty almost did what?
- Colosseum is the birthplace of thumbs up
- Sagrada Familia wasn't George Orwell's favorite
- Famous Australian landmarks - Sydney Opera house in numbers
Famous French landmarks - Eiffel Tower, the (hated) symbol of Paris
If you were to interview a couple of random Parisians on the street and ask them about the tower, you'd likely get mixed reviews. Ever since its construction for the 1889 World's fair, the Iron Lady was criticized and often hated, but today it stands as the most visited monument with a ticket fee you can visit. Gustav Eiffel is the one to be thankful for this marvelous construction, as his design won over 100 others. Considering it was only intended to last for around 20 years but turned out to be antenna-compatible, it served the people of Paris and France in more than one way. One of the most incredible things about the tower is its fantastic location that puts you close to the Seine, the Louvre, and Arc de Triomphe. And don't even get us started on the view from the top! Everything you need to know before visiting awaits you on our Eiffel Tower page, just a click away.
How big is Big Ben?
To put it shortly - quite. We hate to be those people, but do you actually know what Big Ben is? In our minds, the name Big Ben conjures a picture of a clock tower, which is true but not exactly. The Elizabeth Tower also houses a bell, nicknamed Ben by the commissioner of Public Works who was in charge of constructing the Houses of Parliament, sir Benjamin Hall. Together with the Westminster bridge, they create the iconic London landscape that only misses a red double-decker. And the bell is enormous, weighing just under 14 tons! That is roughly 28 grand pianos if you can believe it. Taking a virtual tour of the tower is a possibility and a great choice, but seeing it up close is something you shouldn't miss. For a more in-depth look at Big Ben, check our page.
Iconic landmarks - Lady Liberty almost did what?
First of all, that's not even her real name. Let us introduce you to Liberty Enlightening the World, a passion project of anti-slavery activist Édouard René de Laboulaye and sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. Representing inclusiveness and showing us the way to liberté with her torch, the 93 meters tall monument is an exciting sight. If Thomas Edison got his way tho, the Statue of Liberty would've been a speaking statue. His idea was to install an enormous gramophone inside the construction, making her a talkative lady that would greet New Yorkers and tourists alike when they come to visit. We are kinda glad this isn't the case, as her beauty speaks for itself. You'll need to take a ferry ride to Liberty Island, where you'll be able to admire her from far, as all of the decks are closed off to the public. Visit our Statue of Liberty page to get all the latest tourist information before your next sightseeing tour.
Sagrada Familia wasn't George Orwell's favorite
He got so far as calling it "one of the most hideous buildings in the world". In his book Homage to Catalonia, there's a passage that says:
Unlike most of the churches in Barcelona, it was not damaged during the revolution
–it was spared because of its' artistic value', people said.
I think the Anarchists showed bad taste in not blowing it up when they had the chance.
This makes us question his taste. We cannot forget to mention the man behind the masterpiece and one of the most famous landmarks, Antoni Gaudi. Besides taking obvious inspiration from nature, Gaudi took his sweet time with the construction of this World Heritage site. It's still not finished, and he only got to see a quarter of the basilica completed. If you decide to visit Barcelona after 2026, there's a big chance you'll get to see the Basilica of the Holy Family in all its glory at last. Explore important tourist information and a bit of history on our page dedicated to Sagrada Familia.
Multiple world records of Burj Khalifa
If you thought that Burj Khalifa is only known for its extraordinary height, prepare to be even more impressed. Watching over Dubai from 828 meters (2,716.5 feet), this tallest man-made construction on land ever built holds six more world records. The tallest elevator will take you to all the floors in the building with the most floors in the world (160 of them!), where you can reside in the highest residential apartments and enjoy a meal in the highest restaurant from ground level. After you've finished dining on the 122nd floor, maybe you too will be inspired to break the record of "French Spider-Man" Alain Robert, who unassistedly climbed Burj Khalifa in 6 hours, 13 minutes, and 55 seconds. If jumping is more your speed, follow the steps of French jumpers Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet to find yourself on the list of highest base jumpers. Learn more about this futuristic beauty by visiting our Burhj Khalifa page.
Famous monuments of the world - Disappearing door of the Pyramid of Giza
We can't talk about famous landmarks without visiting this wonder of the world. Did you know that this pyramid is one of three to have a swivel door? Even though the door weight around 20 tons, it was easy to maneuver from the inside. That was also the only way to open it, and it blended so perfectly into the structure of the pyramid that it wasn't noticeable from the outside. After hearing this fact, we get why people think that the aliens built the pyramids, but the credit goes to very talented masons, architects, and engineers of that time. Around 30.000 of them, to be precise, if the estimates are to be believed. As the site of the pyramid is located just outside the center of Cairo, you'll get a nice blend of landscapes when visiting.
Romance of Taj Mahal
When his first love, but third wife, died due to childbirth complications, Shah Jahan dedicated almost the rest of his life to creating a perfect tomb for his lost lover. This stunning Wonder of the World took 20 years to be done, the labor of 20.000 artisans and animals, and it perfectly marries Islamic, Persian, and Indian architectural styles. It is every symmetry-obsessed architect's dream! The intricacy of the Islamic inscriptions is mesmerizing, and one of the key phrases dedicated to Mumtaz Mahal is:
O soul, you are at rest.
Return to the Lord in peace with him,
and he at peace with you.
Famous Australian landmarks - Sydney Opera house in numbers
Would you believe us if we told you that not one but seven most giant passenger planes could fit inside the Sydney Opera house, wing to wing? The construction is as high as a 22 story building at its highest point. For the cover of all that roof, over 1 million roof tiles had to be installed. And even though it is considered to be the smallest room of the house, Utzon room can still seat over 200 people. With over seven venues, it is no wonder that it welcomes around 11 million people each year. To maintain the perfect lighting, 15.500 lightbulbs get changed in the house every year. After everything is taken care of and the musicians take on the stage, it is crucial to maintain the temperature of 22.5 C (72.5 F) for keeping their instruments in pristine conditions. Are you impressed yet? Cause we sure are! Check out the important tourist information on our Sydney Opera house page.
The lightning loves Cristo Redentor
Speaking of famous monuments of world, let us visit Brazil. On top of Mount Corcovado, overlooking the exciting Rio de Janeiro, stands Arc Deco-styled statue of Jesus Christ with open arms. Besides the beauty, its height of 30 meters (98 feet) makes it an overwhelming sight, especially if you decide to climb all the way to it! Another World wonder on our list would make a great destination wedding spot, as it has a small chapel at its base that sees a lot of happy couples saying the magic words. Just don't come on a rainy day to test your luck cause you might get interrupted by the lightning. Around six flashes each year come in contact with the statue, and that number would be higher if it weren't for the lightning rods installed around it. Even though it is a strikingly beautiful thing to see from afar, and for the most part benign, it did leave some damage on the statue. Now Jesus has a chipped thumb, but it survived! Before your visit, gather the must-know Cristo Redentor information on our page.
How much time does it take to walk the entire Great Wall of China?
We hate to be party-poopers, but this magnificent construction can't actually be seen from space with a naked eye. But that doesn't make it any less exciting! The longest man-made construction ever built was overlooked by 6 Chinese dynasties, which means it is about 2.300 years old. How many famous landmarks in the world can compete with that? All that history in one place, at the Huairou district, would make one hell of a hike if you intend on conquering it all at once. It would take you around year and a half to walk from one end to the other, as the wall is actually consisting of a long row of several structures of different lengths. Add to your coolness points by walking this length in the name of charity; it's not just rewarding for you but everyone involved.
Wishing column of Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia has been through a lot, from an orthodox church to a mosque, then a museum, and finally a mosque again. And it has a lot to show for it, just look at her! The architectural style beautifully combines Christian and Islamic influences, noticeable inside and out. Even though many iconostases were lost in adaptation works, a really nice blend of Christian artwork and Kuran verses on the walls and columns still can be seen. But would you be willing to perform a unique ritual and have your biggest wish come true at one of the most famous places in the world? There's no hardcore proof, so don't come for us. Inside the mosque is a "wishing column" with a hole on it - that's where you stick your thumb and try to rotate it in a full circle. If your finger comes out wet, it is believed that your wish will come true. Good luck! Before you go, please take a look at our Hagia Sophia page to gather the most important information.
Moscow Kremlin is protecting the world's largest bell
The bling and charm of Moscow Kremlin is something we can talk about for hours, and that's how much time it'll take you to explore and soak it all up once you visit it. Kremlin takes up most of the Moscow city center, as its four cathedrals and five palaces, wall, and tower overlook the Moskva River. In the heart of one of the most famous landmarks sits, broken and never properly used, the biggest bell ever to exist. Yes, this is now the second bell on our list, but it gives Big Ben a run for its money, don't you agree? This 6.14 meters (20.1 feet) tall and 2.1 tones heavy specimen made entirely out of bronze is called Tsar Bell. A delicate note is given to it, with gorgeous baroque relief images scattered all over. Find out more about the wonders hidden inside Moscow Kremlin on our page dedicated to it.
Legends of Stonehenge
In Wiltshire stands a prehistoric monument made of 4 meter high stones, seemingly without an order existing in a circle. Is it a former burial ground, a message from the extraterrestrial, or perhaps one of the first art projects? We may never know for a fact, but that's what makes it fun. Stonehenge is believed to be around 5.000 years old, and it has changed over that long period of time. It inspired many theories, some would even say conspiracies, that try to make some sense of its location and shape. Our favorite one revolves around Merlin of Arthurian legend and his magical powers. It states that a tribe of giants assembled the stones in Ireland, and Merlin just *poofed* it to England. That would have been a sight! If you plan to visit this beloved landmark, organize yourself a little UK weekend getaway, which we wrote a blog about. No matter how many landmarks around the world you visit, Stonehenge will linger in your mind.
Impressive building method of Machu Picchu
It's a good thing this World Heritage site went under the radar of Spaniards thirsty for destruction, as we would have been robbed of such beauty and artistry. Incas have outdone themselves with this 15th-century citadel, and we're not talking just about the location and landscaping. Sure, the national park it sits on, and the Sacred valley it overlooks are heavenly, but the true genius lies in the tight construction of the walls themselves. The foundation of Machu Picchu was built using the stone from the valley below, and it was carved to fit onto each other so precisely that no type of adhesive was needed. And Machu Picchu is one fo the more massive world landmarks, have that in mind! This brilliant citadel to this very day has a foundation capable of withstanding an earthquake. People of the Incan empire were ahead of their time and chilling with many llamas that still occupy this place. You cannot say you've been to Machu Picchu if you don't have a photo with a llama to prove it.
Colosseum is the birthplace of thumbs up
The biggest amphitheater in the world has witnessed the good and the bad - death and Piano Man live. It survived many damages caused by natural disasters, a change of name, and over 6 million tourists every single year. Today we go to visit its resilience and witness the unbeatable acoustics as we silently recite the famous words of Russel Crowe. Still, we must always keep in mind the death of over 50.000 people and a million animals during the gladiator fights on the very ground we now walk. The one thing that those people didn't want to see was the thumbs up, a sign that meant their lives were no longer in their hands. Some historians believe this is the origin of this now playful sign. Think about it the next time you joyfully give a thumbs up to your mother's cooking. Don't forget to read our Colosseum page to get all the fun and useful details.
Before we go, there's one more thing we want to share with you. This little map can be of great use, not solely for virtual exploring but also traveling purposes. Take it with you the next time you go on a vacation to plan your exact course of action or just to be aware of your surroundings. We hate to say goodbye, but if it means more traveling, then it's worth it. Famous places in the world cannot wait to see you!