The world is full of beautiful landmarks and intriguing historical sites. Only the luckiest of people get to see more than one or two of these, which means most of us have to pick and choose wisely. If you’re planning the vacation of a lifetime, you’ll want to know which sites are truly unmissable.
Machu Picchu (Peru)
Perched precariously on a mountain range in the Peruvian Andes, Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca settlement that went untouched by the Spanish conquest. Since being rediscovered in 1911, the impressive site has captured the imagination of the world, and today proves to be one of South America’s most popular tourist destinations.
The Giza Necropolis (Egypt)
Looming high above the surrounding desert, the Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the most recognizable sites in the world. At nearly 5,000-years-old, it’s also one of the most amazing feats of construction you’re ever likely to see. The Giza Necropolis is also home to five other pyramids and the instantly recognizable Great Sphinx. If that’s not a great photo opportunity, we don’t know what is.
Central to the Abrahamic faiths, it can be argued that Jerusalem is the most holy place on Earth. Even if you’re not religiously minded, the Holy City still holds a treasure trove of wonders to witness. From the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to the Wailing Wall and Mount Zion, the wow factor here is off the chart.
The Great Wall of China (China)
More than 13,000 kilometers in length, the Great Wall of China is perhaps the most famous landmark in all of Asia. It’s also one of the most impressive. The wall stretches almost the entire length of the country, no mean feat considering the size of China. Contrary to reports, the wall isn’t visible from space though. Today parts of the wall are in a state of disrepair, something the Chinese government is working on rectifying. To see the wall in all its glory, and to avoid the tourist hordes, head to Mutianyu.
Not all must-see historical sites are manmade, as evidenced by Uluru (or Ayers Rock), the gargantuan sandstone rock formation found at the heart of Australia. Standing some 248 meters high and with a circumference of nearly six miles, the formation is truly awe-inspiring. Uluru is sacred to the local aborigine people, something you should consider before deciding to scramble to its summit.