Travel plans may be on hold at the moment, but what’s to stop us daydreaming about holidays we’ll take when it’s safe to explore the globe again? There are dozens of must-see landmarks dotted across the seven continents – how about factoring them into your future itineraries? We’ve compiled a list of landmarks to visit – the tip of the iceberg and by no means definitive. These landmarks to visit range from statues to temples, mountains to bridges…many are UNESCO-designated, others are recognised Wonders of the World. And we’ve highlighted some boutique places to stay at along the way too…for when you do make the trip.
Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia
This archaeological site and Buddhist temple complex sits on 400 square kilometres and includes Khmer masterpieces such as Angkor Wat, the Bayon, Preah Khan and Ta Prohm. Will you go at sunrise or sunset? Both are prime times to be awestruck. After a day of sightseeing, head back to Sojourn Boutique Villas or Anantara Angkor Resort (below) for some R&R.
Gold Gate Bridge, San Francisco, USA
Spanning the 1.6-kilometre waterway that connects the Bay and the Pacific, this hardy suspension bridge links the city to Marin County. Instantly recognisable, construction began in 1933 and ended in 1937, and nowadays it’s popular with walkers as well as drivers.
Mount Fuji, Honshu Island, Japan
A dormant volcano since 1707 and the highest mountain in the country at 3,776 metres, the imposing peak is known for its conical shape. July to September is the official climbing season; during this period the area is usually snow-free.
Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Peru
This 15th-century Inca citadel has three primary structures: the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Hike the classic trail over four days and take in different ecosystems and climates along the way, as well as the mighty Dead Woman’s Pass. Oh, and watch out for the pesky altitude…
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The huge statue of Jesus stands proudly at the summit of Mount Corcovado; completed in 1931 it’s 30 metres tall, has an arm span of just under that (28 metres), and is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany
This magical storybook palace translates to New Swan Stone and can be found in Bavaria. Commissioned by King Ludwig II in 1868, the Romanesque Revival chateau with its limestone facade and deep blue turrets is rumoured to have inspired Walt Disney.
Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Zambia
Located along the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, this jaw-dropping waterfall is over a kilometre long and more than 100 metres high. At the peak of the rainy season, in excess of 500 million cubic metres of water plunges over the edge per minute.
Tower of London, UK
This historic castle began life in 1078 under the hands of William the Conqueror. Until 1952, as well as being a royal residence the building was used as a prison to house inmates such as the Kray twins. These days, it’s the place to ogle at the Crown Jewels. Nearby Batty Langley’s (below) is the ideal hotel to check into – opulent and luxurious, it’s also the place for old-fashioned hospitality. Sister properties The Rookery and Hazlitt’s are first-rate too.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
Currently the tallest tower on the planet and more than 160 storeys high, the skyscraper is also the highest free-standing structure, and the lift boasts the longest travel distance in the world. Head up to the observation deck and admire the views…
Great Wall of China, Beijing
This series of fortifications began life in 7th-century BC and winds along an estimated 21,196 kilometres, as announced by the State Administration of Cultural Relics in 2012. Adventure seekers can trek sections of it and explore the ancient landmark.
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Taking just over two years to build, the humongous iron lattice tower was inaugurated in 1889 and stands at 324 metres. Originally intended as a temporary exhibit, it was nearly torn down in 1909, and again during World War II when Hitler ordered its demolition. Close by sit Hotel Louison (below), a former royal residence steeped in historical charm, and L’Hotel, a sumptuous spot where Oscar Wilde once stayed.
The Statue of Liberty, New York, USA
This neoclassical copper sculpture was a gift from France; the figure is that of Libertas, the Roman Goddess of Liberty. She holds a torch and carries a tablet inscribed with July 4th 1776, the date of the US Declaration of Independence.
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
This sparkling ivory-white beauty is actually a mausoleum, commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahna in 1632 and built as the final resting place of his favourite wife. Completed in just over a decade (with the entire complex finished in 1653), it combines Indian, Islamic, Persian, Ottoman, and Turkish styles.
St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Italy
In the papal enclave of Rome this domed Renaissance-style church dominates the skyline. The lavish decor inside was created by acclaimed artists such as Michelangelo (Pieta is housed there), while outside within the walled part of the city lies the Sistine Chapel. A brief stroll eastwards over the River Tiber and you’ll reach Relais Rione Ponte (below), a boutique hotel where original artwork is on display throughout the property. And groups should check out the Costaguti Experience, a palatial apartment with spectacular frescoes.
Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar
Standing 99 metres high is this gilded stupa; seen far and wide, it’s the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in the country. The umbrella crown is said to be tipped with an astounding 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies – wow.