50 wonders of the world to visit ASAP
Let us take you on a journey of discovery to some of the most beautiful wonders of the world. A list of natural and man-made sites that invite reverence, wonder, or simply contemplation. We hope you can visit these places at least once in your life.
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Niagara Falls majestically marks the border between Canada and the United States. Made up of three waterfalls that link Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, they are impressive in their magnitude and the power of their flow.
Grand Canyon National Park
Stretching 277 miles long and one mile deep, the Grand Canyon was carved out of stone by the Colorado River in Arizona. This marvel of nature attracts over five million visitors every year.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
Journeying down the Nile to discover the pyramids of Egypt is something every adventurous traveler dreams of. The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Cheops) is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Located in Giza, the pyramid is an ancient necropolis constructed over 4,500 years ago.
Sitting at 7,972 feet above sea level in the Peruvian tropical forest, the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu is a relic of the architectural achievements of the Inca Empire. Discovered in 1911 by archaeologist and explorer Hiram Bingham, this Inca city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Ha Long Bay
Situated in the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam, Ha Long Bay has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993 thanks to its “outstanding scenic beauty.” This magical site is famous for its hundreds of limestone pillars jutting out of the water, creating countless coves and caves to discover by kayak.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef sits off the coast of Queensland, Australia, and is the largest coral reef in the world. Although it’s threatened by pollution and global warming, the ecosystem is still home to an impressive diversity of species.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Turkey, lies in ruins. But the site, which was one of the most important Greek cities in Asia Minor, deserves its place on this list. Be sure to take the time to admire the Library of Celsus, whose majestic columns have stood the test of time.
The Angkor Archaeological Site
Angkor, Cambodia, was one of the capitals of the Khmer Empire, which was a major power in Asia between the ninth and fifteenth centuries. The archaeological site, which extends over several miles, includes numerous famous temples such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Bayon.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China remains the most monumental construction project in the world. The wall consists of military fortifications built between the third century BCE and the seventeenth century CE to protect China’s northern border. The total length of the wall is estimated at over 13,000 miles.
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is an ode to love. Built at the request of a Mughal emperor in memory of his wife, this white-marble mausoleum is a jewel of architecture and Muslim art. Millions of visitors travel each year to India to admire its splendor. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Taj Mahal is also one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Located between the Chilean coast and Tahiti, Easter Island (or Rapa Nui) is one of the most isolated places in the world. And yet, in around 300 CE, the Rapa Nui people carved enormous statues throughout the island and placed them on platforms that serve as tombs for the people they represent. This moai tradition—carving stone into the image of people—lasted until the sixteenth century.
The historical complex of the Potala Palace rises out of the heights of Lhasa, Tibet. Built at an altitude of 12,100 feet, this monastery-fortress has been the Dalai Lama’s winter residence since the seventh century. Today, it’s a museum registered as part of the Chinese national heritage and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento
The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is one of the most famous archaeological sites in Sicily. Composed of eight amazingly well preserved temples and mosaics, the site testifies to the prosperity and cultural influence of the ancient Greek city of Akragas in the Mediterranean Basin.
The Malian town of Timbuktu played a major role in the spread of Islamic culture in Africa. Nicknamed the Pearl of the Desert, this ancient intellectual and spiritual capital is famous for its earthen mosques, like the prestigious Sankore Mosque.
The Coliseum was the largest amphitheater ever constructed by the Roman Empire. Originally called the Flavian Amphitheater, it was constructed in Rome to hold spectacles that were as grandiose as they were bloody, including gladiator fights, wild animal hunting, and even naval battles.
Once a fixture on the caravan route between Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and the Mediterranean, Petra is one of the most majestic archaeological sites in Jordan. Constructed and sculpted directly into the side of a mountain, the Khazneh monument blends Oriental and Hellenistic influences.
At a width of 5,604 feet, Victoria Falls is considered to be the largest waterfall in the world. The falls span two national parks: the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia and the Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe.
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave Eiffel for the Universal Exposition of 1889 in Paris. Despite the fact that it was quite controversial at the time, the Iron Lady is now one of the city’s most visited attractions and is even considered the symbol of France.
The CN Tower
The CN Tower in Toronto is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. An emblem of the city, the tower and its antenna reach over 1,800 feet high. The tower is equipped with television and radio antennas, as well as a platform that provides a breathtaking view of the city.
The Golden Gate Bridge
What would San Francisco be without its famous Golden Gate Bridge? This marvel of engineering spanning 6,450 feet extends all the way to the city of Sausalito. Painted orange to limit rust caused by the sea air, it’s a wonder to behold when it’s lit up each night.
The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has had a tumultuous history since its construction in the fourth century. Built to be the Christian basilica for Constantinople, it then became a mosque, and later a secular museum in 1934.
The Paricutin Volcano
The Paricutin Volcano, located in southwestern Mexico, is designated as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Born in 1943, this gray volcano is the youngest on earth. The volcano is recognizable by its scoria (cinder) cone topped with a well-defined crater.
Cappadocia is located in Anatolia, a region in the heart of Turkey. The area is famous for its high “fairy chimneys.” These natural columns of porous rock can be seen throughout a landscape of troglodytic dwellings, creating a fantastical atmosphere.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial attracts millions of visitors every year. The memorial is famous for its sixty-foot-high granite sculptures representing four American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
The Louvre Palace
The Louvre Palace is a former residence used by the royalty of France while visiting Paris. Its construction has spanned almost 800 years, making it incredibly rich in history. The palace is known for its Louvre Pyramid, made of glass, and, of course, the Louvre Museum.
Monument Valley’s location has the power to awaken your childhood dreams of cowboys with its red rocks carved into the desert landscape. Spanning the border of Arizona and Utah, Monument Valley is on a Navajo reserve, so you must hire a Native American guide to visit the valley.
Mount Fuji is one of the most iconic panoramic vistas in Japan. The mountain is considered a “sacred place and a source of artistic inspiration.” Its snow-covered volcanic cone has inspired many artists, including the celebrated master printmaker Hokusai.
The Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles, located on the outskirts of Paris, was built at the command of King Louis XIV to extol the grandeur of the French monarchy. The result was a monumental palace, with multiple gardens and fountains that continue to enchant visitors from around the world.
Na Pali Coast, Hawaii
The Na Pali Coast is one of the natural wonders of the island of Kauai, in Hawaii. The coastline is best explored by helicopter, allowing you to take in the beauty of the cliffs which, covered in lush vegetation, plummet into the ocean.
The majestic gorges of Antelope Canyon are a bonanza for photographers as the ochre-hued walls seem to move, despite being made of stone. This natural wonder is located on a Navajo reserve. You must take a guided tour to visit the canyon—you can join one in Page, Arizona, located just a few miles away.
The Sistine Chapel
It is within the Sistine Chapel, in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, that cardinals traditionally convene to elect a new pope. The chapel is especially renowned for its ceiling frescoes, painted by Michelangelo from 1508 to 1512.
Built entirely of marble, the Parthenon is the most iconic edifice of the Acropolis of Athens. This symbol of Greek antiquity is particularly well preserved, as shown by its 46 columns that give the illusion of appearing perfectly vertical and perfectly horizontal.
The Empire State Building
Since the Twin Towers disappeared from the skyline, the Empire State Building is certainly the most iconic skyscraper in New York City. Rising 102 stories, the building punctures the horizon with its distinctive art deco style. When night falls, the building is lit up with a variety of colors, depending on the holiday or the time of year.
An ancient city from the Roman Empire, Pompeii suddenly disappeared in 79 CE after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The city would be rediscovered centuries later, buried under layers of sediment, its numerous inhabitants frozen in time and conserved by the ashes, making it a truly unique archaeological site.
The Great Sphinx of Giza
The Great Sphinx of Giza continues to give rise to mystery and legends—it is whispered that there is a secret passage underneath this immense human-headed animal that leads to the lost city of Atlantis. The myth is maintained by the aura of ancient Egypt and its all-powerful pharaohs.
Stonehenge is a historical witness to the human presence in England as this prehistoric monument—made up of many immense standing stones (menhirs)—dates back to the Bronze Age. Some elements even date back to the Neolithic era.
The Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is a modern architectural icon. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and built between 1957 and 1973, it is home to both Opera Australia and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The building consists of a large concert hall, a proscenium theater to house the opera, and three smaller theaters.
The ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza is located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Every year, thousands of visitors come to admire the spectacle of the spring equinox, when a shadow is cast over the Pyramid of Kukulkan, as the Maya witnessed many years ago.
Lake Baikal is located in southern Siberia. With a surface area of 12,248 square miles, it is the largest reserve of fresh water in the world. The lake is home to a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. Some species, like the Baikal seal, exist nowhere else on earth. Unfortunately, the lake is threatened by pollution.
The Alhambra in Granada is a marvel of Islamic architecture. This medieval acropolis is composed of luxurious palaces and gardens whose refined arabesques and geometric motifs tell of the Muslim presence in Andalusia from the eighth to the fifteenth century.
Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor in Portuguese), in all its splendor, watches over the city of Rio de Janeiro. This 125-foot-tall statue of Christ was inaugurated in 1931 in the heart of Tijuca National Park. The site lies at 2,328 feet above sea level.
The Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature—a way to educate the public about its exceptional importance. Nicknamed the Lungs of the World, the Amazon contains the largest amount of biodiversity on earth.
Iguazu Falls are found in the tropical forest, on the border between Brazil and Argentina. The falls consist of no fewer than 275 cascades, which have an extremely powerful flow. Visitors can get to within a few feet of the falls.
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge was inaugurated in 1883 to join Manhattan and Brooklyn, which were once two distinct cities. Spanning 5,989 feet, it is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States and an icon of the neo-Gothic architecture so typical of New York City.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart watches over the city of Paris, sitting atop Montmartre. This religious building, consecrated in 1919, dominates the Parisian skyline with its Romano-Byzantine style and the immaculate whiteness of its stone. The basilica holds within it a 5,112-square-foot mosaic—one of the largest in the world.
The Medina of Marrakech
The Medina of Marrakech, the historic center of the Moroccan city, contains many architectural marvels, like the Koutoubia Mosque, the Badi Palace, monumental doors, and the Kasbah. The Jemaa el-Fna square, even today, remains a hub of the city.
Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park, on Komodo Island, Indonesia, is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites not only for the beauty of its volcanic landscape, but also because it is home to a unique species—the Komodo dragon, an immense lizard that is known to be aggressive.
Topkapi Palace is located in Istanbul’s historic quarter. A former residence for sultans, the palace and its magnificent gardens dominate the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Beset with gold, arabesques, and Iznik mosaics, its Ottoman architecture fascinates with its refinement.
Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru, is a sandstone inselberg located in the Alice Springs region of Australia. This large rock that pierces through the plains is a sacred place for the aboriginal people. At dusk, the rock takes on a red hue.
Borobudur Temple is one of the marvels of Asia. Both a sanctuary and a Buddhist pilgrimage site, this monumental complex of stupas and Buddha statues attracts thousands of visitors every year to the Indonesian island of Java.
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