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These are the 30 most famous landmarks around the world


What are the most famous landmarks around the world that people just can’t help but grab a selfie with? There are a few that come to mind: the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Taj Mahal, the Empire State Building and sooo many more. These are spots from around the world that need no introduction.

So, if you’re seeking some inspo for your bucket list, we’ve curated a list of some of the most iconic landmarks that you need to visit at least once in your life.

The ultimate travel bucket list: 50 best things to see and do

The ultimate travel bucket list: 50 best things to see and do

Sandeep Sandhu
by Sandeep Sandhu Mar 06, 2023

1. Eiffel Tower, France

Landmarks don’t get more iconic than the Eiffel Tower. The Parisian wonder has consistently been the most photographed landmark in the world, and rightfully so! Have you seen it sparkling at midnight!? Now that’s one way to make the city of love even more romantic…

Paris and the Eiffel Tower in Autumn

Image source:Contiki

2. Big Ben, United Kingdom

Big ol’ Benjamin is probably the most famous clock in the world. Did you know ‘Big Ben’ is just a nickname, though? Its actual name is the ‘Elizabeth Tower’, named after the British’s late Queen. This legendary tower is an integral part of London’s skyline that you can see on our London Explorer trip.

3. Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates

If seeing the tallest building in the world is on your bucket list, head to Dubai. Yep. It has 160 floors and is 830 m to the top (that’s nearly an entire kilometre up the sky!). From shopping at the most luxurious stores in the world to catching breathtaking views of the city – there’s a lot you can do here. Just remember to hold onto your hat – it does get quite windy up there. 

4. Empire State Building, USA

Another tower. But this time, it’s in New York City, baby! Standing tall and proud in the centre of Manhattan, the Empire State Building has been a point of attraction for decades, and also the muse of Hollywood films like King Kong and Sleepless in Seattle. Gawking at it from below is great, but nothing comes close to the epic panoramic view of the city you’ll get from the 102nd floor (1,250 feet above the ground!). Check it out on our New York Explorer trip

5. Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates

Italy has a lot to offer to the world. But this ancient stadium has captivated tourists like nothing else. Standing the test of time, Rome’s timeless gladiator arena was built two freakin’ millennia ago. What? Seriously, you wouldn’t miss out on this one. Come check it out on our trips to Italy.

6. Notre Dame Cathedral, France

This legendary library is phoenix-energy personified. Notre Dame Cathedral has witnessed centuries of history – including a fiery mishap or two. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, it’s undergoing a majestic restoration. So, grab your hunchback and climb those steps for a view fit for a king (or a gargoyle).

7. St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

The most well-known church in the world? Potentially St Peter’s Basilica. Between spotting the Pope and admiring the luxurious interiors, it’s easy to see why the landmark is a popular tourist attraction. Besides all the beautifully carved marble, you’ll also find Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Pietà here. 

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican, Italy

Image source:Contiki

8. Times Square, USA

It’s crowded. It’s touristy. It’s bright. It’s iconic. It’s what makes NYC what it truly is. Welcome to the crossroads of the world, Times Square! The city that never sleeps earns its name because of crazy-in-the-best-way square. You know what they say – if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere…

9. La Sagrada Familia, Spain

Rumour has it that Gaudi’s construction will finally finish in 2026. Until then, La Sagrada Familia is the world’s largest unfinished church. Honestly, we can’t wait for the day the construction finally finishes, because it sure is gonna be a spectacular sight (more so than it already is!). Come check it out on our Best of Spain trip.

10. The Louvre, France

Once again, the city of love serves us the iconic Louvre. Parisian landmarks show up a lot on this famous landmarks list, and this grand museum which is home to the Mona Lisa (and many other world-famous paintings) and the glass pyramid definitely proves there’s a reason for it!

11. Statue of Liberty, USA

Lady Liberty is not only a symbol of New York; it’s a symbol of the USA. It’s also possibly the most recognisable silhouette in the world. Standing tall and proud in New York Harbor on Liberty Island, she welcomes weary travellers with open arms (kinda). Tick it off your list on our New York Explorer trip. 

12. Machu Picchu, Peru

A bucket list worthy hike with bucket list worthy views. Ancient wonders don’t get much more magnificent than this. Trekking up the iconic mountains to the ruins of the Mayan Civilisation? Now that’s a once in a lifetime experience. And you can do it on our Peru Uncovered trip

13. Alhambra, Spain

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of Granada, the Alhambra is a Moorish masterpiece straight out of a fairy tale. Think: intricate arabesques, lush gardens, and sweeping vistas of the Sierra Nevada. No wonder Washington Irving fell under its spell. 

Palace gardens at the Alhambra, Spain

14. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

Travel changes your perspective, they say. And it quite literally does when you visit this world-famous wonder. Turns out, the soft ground and uneven settling of the building’s foundations is what causes the leaning. Don’t forget to take that iconic photo for your Insta feed on our trips to Italy

15. Seoul Tower, South Korea

This giant lollipop-like tower is perched atop the stunning Namsan Mountain. Whether you’re out in the day or night, the Seoul Tower sparkles like a jewel for everyone to see. Plus, you get epic views of the bustling metropolis below. Let’s just say it’s a seoul-ful experience.

16. Christ the Redeemer, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro’s imposing statue watches everyone, and we watch it back in sheer awe. A trip to Brazil would be incomplete without visiting the largest Art Deco design ever built in the history of the world. Slay. 

Christ the Redeemer in Brazil

Image source:Contiki

17. Taj Mahal, India

Here’s something you probably didn’t know – the Taj Mahal is actually a mausoleum! Commissioned by a Mughal Emperor in 1632, this marble monument is a tomb for his most beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s one the best showcases of Indo-Islamic architecture, and you can tick it off your list on our Eternal India trip

18. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

A list of the world’s most famous landmarks would be incomplete without this ancient wonder. Rising from the golden sands of the Egyptian desert, these 4,500-year-old Pyramids stand as timeless symbols of one of the world’s greatest ancient civilisations. Come see them for yourself on our Egypt & the Nile trip 

19. Mount Fuji, Japan

What comes to mind when you think of Japan? Sushi, anime, and without a doubt – the absolutely magnificent Mount Fuji. It’s not only gracefully sloping, it’s also the country’s spiritual symbol and is surrounded by temples and shrines. And if you wanna catch the best view of this legendary mountain, you need to hop onto a bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka (like we do on our Japan Unrivalled trip!).

view of Mount Fuji in Japan

Image source:Contiki

20. Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom

One of the few palaces on this list, it has been the residence of British monarchs since 1837. Every year millions of tourists flood the site to witness the ‘Change of Guard’ ceremony. Plus, it’s also home to some of the greatest paintings in the Royal Collection.

21. Tokyo Tower, Japan

If you’re ever lost in the buzz of Tokyo, look out for a pointy tower and you’ll know where you are. The Tokyo Tower was built in 1958 and stands tall as a symbol of Japan’s rebirth after World War II. Unlike other landmarks, this isn’t just a tourist attraction that you can view the city from. It’s actually a fully functional comms tower too!

22. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Jagged limestone cliffs. Emerald waters. Hidden lagoons. Crazy caves. Ha Long Bay is Vietnam’s favourite natural wonder, and it’s our favourite one too! The best way to explore this icon? On a classic junk boat, obviously! Try it out for yourself on our Vietnam Experience trip

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Image source:Contiki

23. Arc de Triomphe, France

At the western end of the Champs-Élysées stands the majestic Arc de Triomphe –  a symbol of French resilience and triumph. And just like most of our landmarks, you can climb up to the top for panoramic views of the city below. Don’t forget to yell “Vive la France!” out loud! 

24. Berlin Wall, Germany

This landmark was once a symbol of division. But now, the Berlin Wall stands as a testament to unity and freedom. It’s not just a wall, though, it’s a living canvas that tells the story of a city once torn apart with vibrant murals and poignant graffiti. It’s a must-visit on any trip to Europe

#25 Trevi Fountain, Italy

Unlike the other landmarks on this list, the Trevi Fountain might grant you a wish if you throw a coin in it. So, grab a wallet full of coins! Or don’t. Because this fountain collects an estimated 3000 Euros per day already! IKR. 

26. Golden Gate Bridge, USA

Aaaand we’re back in the United States. But this time, we’re going to the west coast into Silicon Valley. The iconic Golden Gate Bridge has been a sight of delight for many and also an engineering marvel (so on brand). 

27. Sydney Opera House, Australia

Sail-shaped and nestled against the sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Opera House is more than just a performing arts venue – it’s an architectural marvel and a cultural icon. And easily one of the best spots in the world to catch a world-class opera performance.  

28. Table Mountain, South Africa

Cape Town’s epic mountain is shaped like a (you guessed it) table. And while its unique shape is a sight to behold, it also serves up some of the most diverse wildlife in South Africa. It’s best explored on a cable car that takes you straight to the summit to catch show-stopping views of the city. 

29. Grand Canyon

Just off the mighty Colorado River, this Grand Canyon is Mother Nature’s masterpiece. The sheer cliffs and colourful layers will tell you the story of Earth’s history. And its gigantic panorama will leave you feeling awe-inspired. It’s a must-visit on a roadtrip through the USA. 

30. Hagia Sophia, Turkey

Islamic artistry doesn’t get much more sophisticated than the wonderful Hagia Sophia mosque. It was originally built as a Christian cathedral in the 6th century. Now it serves as a mosque and a museum, reflecting the diverse history of Istanbul. 

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