All this extra time at home during the coronavirus lockdown is the perfect opportunity to perfect your future travel plans. Instead of a traditional beach holiday, why not think about what iconic landmarks are at the top of your bucket list? Whether it’s India’s Taj Mahal, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia or Angkor Wat in Cambodia, we’ve rounded up some exciting destinations everyone should aim to visit once in their lifetime.
1. Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia
One of the top landmarks everyone should visit is the masterpiece of Angkor Wat. 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. It has remained a place of worship since its founding in the 12th century.
2. Sydney Harbour Bridge – Sydney, Australia
Standing at 134 m above water and 503 m long, the bridge stretches between Sydney’s central business district and the North Shore, carrying trains, cars and pedestrians alike. Visitors can climb the heritage-listed bridge where they will be rewarded by views of the city skyline, harbour and the Opera House, which is one of the other iconic landmarks in the country.
3. Colosseum – Rome, Italy
The Colosseum in Rome really is a sight to behold! The oval amphitheater was built between AD 72 and AD 80 and was constructed for the purpose of entertainment. Up to 70,000 spectators would gather to witness gladiator matches and animal hunts. See the Hypogeum, which functioned as holding rooms for animals and gladiators before their fights, the wooden arena covered by sand that used to cover the Hypogeum, and the third tier of the Colosseum, which offers fantastic views of the amphitheater and Rome.
4. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
As well as the stunning courtyard, which features the largest marble mosaic in the world at 180,000 square feet, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque boasts four 350-ft tall minarets, which can be seen across the Abu Dhabi skyline and from each of the bridges joining Abu Dhabi to the mainland. The impressive mosque is one of a few that is open to tourists in the region.
5. Empire State Building – New York, US
Completed in 1931, the Empire State Building is one of the most impressive attractions in New York City. The 102-story skyscraper stands at 1,454 ft tall and has been featured in a number of TV shows and movies, including 1933 film King Kong and Sleepless in Seattle. The ground-floor interior alone is impressive, with the lobby’s stunning art deco ceiling murals resulting in it being designated a historic landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
6. Basilica of the Sagrada Familia – Barcelona, Spain
Despite being a few years away from completion, the magnificent Sagrada Familia is one of the most visited sites in the world, considered to be the most visited monument in all of Spain and Barcelona’s most iconic landmark. Famous modernist architect Antoni Gaudi began construction of the basilica in 1882 and devoted much of his life to it until his death in 1926. Its completion is expected almost 100 years after the architect’s death.
7. Alcatraz – San Francisco, California
Often referred to as The Rock, Alcatraz Island was home to a federal and military prison until 1963. During the 29 years it was in use, the prison – which is located offshore in the San Francisco Bay and 1.5 miles from San Francisco, California – was home to some of America’s most notorious prisoners. Today, the island and its lighthouse are open to visitors and are so popular that there can be a several day wait for tickets.