Travel

The world’s top 25 must-see destinations according to travellers

When it comes to booking a holiday, the world is quite literally your oyster.

With so many iconic sites around the world, the pressure is on to tick off the destinations everyone should try to see at least once in their lifetime.

TripAdvisor asked reviewers to vote for their favourite landmarks – with some surprising entries making it into the top 25.

 

1. Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia 

Wat is a trip of a lifetime. Boasting architectural sophistication, the majestic structure is Cambodia’s most beloved and best-preserved temple. The 500-acre site is one of the largest religious monuments in the world and represents the architectural pinnacle of the Khmer Empire. Originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, it has remained a place of worship since its founding in the 12th century.

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2. Machu Picchu – Machu Picchi, Peru

As a close runner up, Peru’s famous lost city in the Andes Mountains is one of travel’s greatest adventures. The 500-year-old Inca trail is guaranteed to thrill even the most well travelled backpackers. Its sheer scale and audacity will require careful route planning.

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3. Taj Mahal – Agra, India 

Standing majestically on the banks of the River Yamuna, India’s national treasure is a symbol of love and romance.  The Taj Mahal’s pure white marble, exquisite ornamentation and precious gemstones make it one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world. However, once you find out the love story behind its construction its beauty is given a new light. Its name was inspired by Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan’s beloved wife who died during childbirth of their 14th child

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4. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque– Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Visible from each of the bridges joining Abu Dhabi to the mainland, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an impressive welcome to the city. Conceived by the first president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Zayed, the mosque accommodates over 41,000 worshippers and is one of few mosques open to tourists in the region.

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5. Basilica of the Sagrada Familia – Barcelona, Spain

Although incomplete, the Sagrada Familia is one of the most visited sites in the world. Architect Gaudi devoted much of his life to the basilica’s construction, which began in 1882. Gaudi transformed the project after taking over in 1883 before dying 1926, when less than a quarter of construction was complete. Construction passed its midpoint in 2010 and the anticipated completion date is 2026, the centenary of Gaudi’s death.

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6. St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Italy

Rome is full of outstanding churches, but none can rival St Peter’s Basilica, Italy’s most spectacular cathedral.  Built atop of an earlier 4th century church, it was completed in 1626 after 150 years of construction. The cathedral boasts many masterpieces, including Michelangelo’s Pietà, his soaring dome, and Bernini’s 29m-high baldachin over the papal altar.

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7. Milan Cathedral (Duomo) – Milian, Italy 

This exceptionally large and elaborate Gothic cathedral on the main square of Milan is one the most famous buildings in Europe. Its dazzling white facade occupies the most central location in Milan and took nearly six centuries to complete.

8. Alcatraz – San Francisco, California 

Alcatraz Island, which is located offshore in the San Francisco Bay, was home to a federal and military prison until 1963. During the 29 years it was in use, the prison was home to some of America’s most notorious prisoners. Today, the island and its lighthouse are open to visitors – it’s best to book in advance as there can be a several day wait for tickets.

9. Corcovado – Cristo Redentor – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

Corcovado, meaning ‘hunchback’ in Portuguese, towers above the vibrant Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. Boasting spectacular views of the entire city, many tourists would argue that a round the world trip is not complete without a visit to the mountain.

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10. Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, California 

Once called “the bridge that couldn’t be built’, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is the city’s second entry in the top 10. Known for its orange colour, the suspension bridge crosses from the city to the Marin headlands for 1.7 miles.

11. Eiffel Tower – Paris, France

12. Church of the Saviour on Blood – St. Petersburg, Russia 

13. Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, France 

14. The Alhambra – Granada, Spain

15. Hagia Sophia Museum and Church (Ayasofya) – Istanbul, Turkey 

21. Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) – Bangkok, Thailand 

22. Chichen Itza –  Chicken Itza, Mexico

23. Sydney Opera House – Sydney, Australia 

24. Petronas Twin Towers – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

25. Panama Canal – Panama City, Panama 

 

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