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1. Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia
Topping TripAdvisor’s Ranking of Top Landmarks 2015, the masterpiece of Angkor 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.