The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World (With Statistics)

This article highlights the most visited landmarks with statistics and information. It covers 17 of the most famous monuments in the world. including the Big Ben, Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Eiffel Tower, Great Wall of China, etc. The main reason why people go on a holiday is to enjoy and discover new things.

Ahead

The Great Sphinx of Giza (14.7m)

the great sphinx of giza The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

The Great Sphinx of Giza, still mighty and intact, receive 14.7 million visitors every year for their beautiful and symmetrical structures.

The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the largest monoliths in the world and a symbol of Egypt’s ancient civilization. It was originally carved out of limestone approximately 4,500 years ago during the reign of King Khafre.

The monument, which measures 20 meters high and 73 meters long, depicts a mythological creature with the body of a lion and the head of what is believed to be King Khafre.

This has led many to believe that it was meant to represent Khafre’s power over nature, as well as his ability to use wisdom and strength to rule over Egypt.

The Sphinx sits on the Giza Plateau alongside three pyramids: those belonging to Pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure who are said to have been buried there with their queens.

The overwhelming size and presence of these monuments likely established them as significant landmarks for travelers passing through (and around) the area in ancient times.

Today, though not quite as central a feature along trade routes as it once was, The Great Sphinx still stands tall over its surroundings, allowing visitors from all corners of the globe an up-close look at this legendary structure.

Sydney Opera House, Australia (10.9m)

The Great Wall of China 10m The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

The Opera House attracts more than 10.9 million people every year.

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most instantly recognizable buildings of the 20th century. 

Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, who was awarded the Pritzker Prize for his design, this masterpiece in expressionist architecture was constructed from 1957 to 1973. 

Given its location on Bennelong Point, a natural headland in Sydney Harbour, and its design based on shells and sailboats (in keeping with the harbour’s nautical history), the opera house has become a symbol of both Australia and modern architecture. 

In 2007, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Sydney Opera House is home to many arts organizations and hosts over 1,500 shows each year, covering a wide range of performing arts including opera, theatre, dance performances and other genres like comedy shows.

The Great Wall of China (10m)

the great wall at badaling The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Every year, more than 10 million people flock to the Great Wall of China, making it one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions.

The Great Wall of China is a fortification built to protect the Chinese Empire from invading forces. Its construction began in the third century BC, during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. 

The original structure was built by more than one million laborers who used tamped earth and stone to build this protected border between China and Mongolia. Some parts of the wall were restored using brick and concrete over the centuries.

The Great Wall is approximately 6,300 km (3,900 miles) long. It runs through 15 provinces and autonomous regions in Northern China, making it the longest man-made structure on Earth! 

The Great Wall can even be seen from space! This monumental landmark attracts millions of visitors annually due to its rich history and cultural beauty.

St. Peter's Basilica (10m)

St. Peters Basilica 10m The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

The Basilica of Saint Peter: Facts you should know before visiting. Every day between 40,000 and 50,000 people cross the beautiful entrance doors of the church, amounting to 10 million visitors per year.

Located in Vatican City, the tallest building in Rome, the largest church in Italy, and one of the largest cathedrals in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica is a must-see for any tourist who finds themselves visiting Italy. 

St. Peter’s Basilica was built on top of an earlier basilica that was constructed around 349. The current structure took 120 years to build beginning around 1506 and ending with its completion in 1626. 

The grand cathedral is known as a Renaissance masterpiece and it attracts millions of visitors each year because of its beauty and religious significance—it is built over the tomb of St. Peter who is believed to be one of Jesus’ 12 apostles and who later became one of Christianity’s first leaders.

To get a better sense of this architectural marvel, join a tour that will give you access to areas restricted to those without guides (such as some parts of the papal tombs). 

You can also see Michelangelo’s famous Pieta sculpture inside which many consider to be one of his most famous works.

Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic (8m)

Old Town Square Prague Czech Republic 8m The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Prague, the capital, is the most popular destination, receiving over 8 million visitors annually, of which almost 7 million are foreign.

Spanning the 13th to the 18th centuries, Old Town Square is one of the most well-preserved historical sites in the Czech Republic. 

The square was originally built from cobblestones and bricks; however, after being restored during the 19th century, it now features many Renaissance buildings.

Old Town Square has served as a marketplace for hundreds of years, but it is also where a number of important historical events took place. 

For example, Jan Hus was publicly burned at stake for heresy in 1415; Tycho Brahe was killed by poison in 1601; and many important protests have taken place since 1989.

Old Town Square has become a popular tourist attraction because of its beautiful architecture and cultural significance. It is located just north of Charles Bridge and only a short walk from Prague Castle.

Taj Mahal (0.8m)

Taj Mahal 0.8m The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

The Taj Mahal attracts more than 0.8 million visitors from overseas annually.

The Taj Mahal, a white marble mausoleum built in Agra, India in the 1600s, is often regarded as one of the most beautiful buildings ever created. 

The famed structure was commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his third wife and stands as an iconic symbol of love.

 The Mughal architectural style combines elements from Persian, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles and is credited with creating some of the most spectacular buildings in history.

The Eiffel Tower (7m)

The Eiffel Tower 7m The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

As France’s symbol in the world, and the showcase of Paris, the Eiffel Tower welcomes almost 7 million visitors a year (around 75% of whom are foreigners), making it the most visited monument in the world that you have to pay for.

Built for the 1889 World’s Fair, the Eiffel Tower is named after its engineer and designer, Gustave Eiffel. The steel lattice tower can reach a height of 320 meters (1,050 feet), and weighs more than 10,000 tons.

It is one of the most-visited attractions in the world with around seven million visitors every year. When it was built, it was only supposed to be a temporary structure but was kept because of its usefulness as a radio antenna.

The tower has three levels open to visitors and its lift system transports more than five million people each year. It weighs 7,300 tons and cost 8 million francs to construct—far below the estimated 25 million francs that two other architects were offering to build another type of tower.

The tower uses 20,000 light bulbs to illuminate at night which can be seen from as far away as 50 kilometers (30 miles). Like many Parisian buildings constructed during this time period, iron was used as the primary material due to its strength compared to stone which allowed for taller structures that could bear heavier loads.

Gustave Eiffel designed not only what we know today as some of France’s greatest landmarks but also bridges such as those found along major rivers like Seine River or even smaller streams running through towns such as Fontainebleau close by where his work began in Paris during late 19th century.

Leaning Tower of Pisa (5m)

Leaning Tower of Pisa 5m The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Torre Pendente), with more than 5 million visitors each year, is one of the best-known landmarks in Italy.

You may know that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the famous landmarks in Italy. The tower was built in 1173, but it started leaning over when it was completed in 1372! WOW! It took about 199 years to build this tower. This tower leans at a 5.5 degree angle, which is approximately 16 feet out of plumb!

When you visit this popular landmark, you can see 293 steps to reach the top.

Statue of Liberty (3.5m)

Statue of Liberty 3.5m The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

About 3.5 million people visit the Statue of Liberty every year.

Located in New York City, New York, United States (that’s a lot of Americas), the Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island. 

The copper statue was a gift from the French people to the American people to commemorate their alliance during the American Revolution and, later, as an emblem of friendship between the two nations.

The Statue of Liberty is made of more than 250 pieces of copper that were assembled in France and shipped to America for its construction. 

Upon completion in 1886, it was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland and became a symbol of freedom for thousands of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island at its base seeking opportunity in the United States. 

The statue represents Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess holding a torch and tablet evoking the law upon which is inscribed “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776). It is 151 feet tall and weighs 225 tons—and then there are those shoes: they’re 8 feet long!

Big Ben, London, England (3m)

Big Ben London England 3m The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

In 2019, the volume of visitors to that tourist attraction totaled nearly three million, but it dropped sharply to 448 thousand in 2020 before rising to 526 thousand in 2021

Big Ben is a clock tower located in London, England. It currently undergoing renovation and will be completed by 2021. The tower stands at the north end of the Palace of Westminster and measures 96m tall, 13.7m wide, and 11m long.

The clock began its timekeeping role on May 31, 1859. Each hour hand is 2.7m long and made from sheet iron, while the minute hand measures 4.3m long (and weighs about 100kg). 

In addition to being famous for being one of London’s most iconic landmarks, Big Ben is also known for its accuracy: it was designed to keep time within one second per day!

Hagia Sophia (3m)

Hagia Sophia 3m The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Now, the Hegia Sophia is the most visited in Istanbul, receiving nearly three million visitors annually.

Since its construction in the 6th Century, Hagia Sophia has stood as one of the most famous landmarks and historical landmarks in Turkey’s Istanbul. It was originally designed by Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles to serve as a Christian cathedral. 

The building was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest, and now functions as a museum. Hagia Sophia is featured prominently in Dan Brown’s 2016 novel Inferno, which portrays it as home to an ancient treasure that can stop a virus from wiping out half the world’s population.”

Acropolis of Athens (2.9m)

Acropolis of Athens 2.9m The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

In 2019, the Acropolis saw 2.9 million visitors, a 14.2 percent increase on the previous year

One of the first landmarks to come to mind when you think of historic Greece, the Acropolis of Athens is a must-see for history buffs. Located on a limestone hill, the Acropolis has been around since ancient times and was originally used as a citadel.

 What we see today is believed to have been built in 5th century BC by Greek architects Ictinus and Callicrates, who were directed by Pericles, an Athenian statesman.

The architectural complex consists of several temples dedicated to Athena, including the Parthenon (made with marble), Propylaia (the entrance way), Erechtheion (where sacrifices were performed), and Temple of Athena Nike. All these structures are still standing after thousands of years!

Angkor Wat (2.6m)

Angkor Wat 2.6m The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Tourists visit Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, nearly 2.6 million every year.

  • Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • What it is: A Hindu temple complex designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • History: One of the most enduring examples in the world of the fusion between spiritual life and architecture. Built by King Suryavarman II as his state temple and capital city during the first half of the 12th century, Angkor Wat was dedicated to Vishnu, a Hindu deity; today it is one of the largest temples in Southeast Asia, with towers that reach heights of more than 200 feet (61 meters).

  • Why it’s special: Despite its religious beginnings, this place has since been through many eras—the Khmer Empire collapsed by 1431 because of an invasion from Thailand; Angkor Wat was abandoned for over four centuries before being rediscovered by French colonists in 1860. The surrounding area served as a stronghold for Cambodian guerillas during the Vietnam War and has since become one of Cambodia’s biggest tourist attractions.

Christ the Redeemer(2m)

Christ the Redeemer2m The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

The monument atop Corcovado Mountain in Tijuca National Park attracts nearly 2 million visitors each year and is the most famous attraction in Rio de Janeiro.

When you first lay eyes on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue, it seems to rise up out of nowhere—from its perch on Corcovado Mountain, 2,300 feet above sea level in Tijuca Forest National Park. 

The 98-foot-tall art deco monument symbolizes peace and brotherhood and is said to welcome all visitors to the city of Rio. Christ the Redeemer was designed by Heitor da Silva Costa and built by Paul Landowski in 1931; 

today, it’s one of Brazil’s most recognizable landmarks. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 and is listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Visitors who want to reach the top can take a small train up from Cosme Velho neighborhood or hike through Parque Nacional da Tijuca; both routes include some steep inclines but also offer unparalleled views along with some interesting history.

Stonehenge (80k)

Stonehenge 80k The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Stonehenge, one of the world’s most famous and recognizable sites, draws more than 800,000 tourists a year, many of whom also visit the region’s numerous other Neolithic and Bronze Age marvels.

If you ask around, most people have seen a photo of Stonehenge, but perhaps they don’t know much about it. It’s an ancient monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, 

featuring a ring of standing stones that are positioned in such a way that it makes you feel like you’ve entered another world. The stones each weigh approximately 25 tons and are 13 feet high and 7 feet wide, and the whole circle is 108 feet across.

Archaeologists have determined that Stonehenge was built over a period of around 1500 years. In the first phase (3000 to 2935 BCE), a “henge” (or circular ditch) was created along with 56 pits called the Aubrey holes. 

In the second phase (2935 to 2600 BCE), more pits were dug for cremated remains and bluestones were placed by these pits, creating an inner horseshoe shape. In the third phase (2600 to 2400 BCE), large sarsen stones were placed at the center of this horseshoe shape.

Machu Picchu, Peru (50k)

Machu Picchu Peru 50k The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

More than 2,500 people visit Machu Picchu every day, more than half a million a year – too many to be sustainable. Unesco added it to its roster in 1983, 

describing it as “among the greatest artistic, architectural, and land use achievements anywhere, and the most significant tangible legacy of the Inca civilization.

An icon of the Inca civilization, Machu Picchu was built in 1450 but abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Located about 50 miles (80 km) from Cusco, Peru, it sits 7,970 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley.

Construction techniques used at Machu Picchu are thought to have included terraces cut into steep hillsides to reduce soil erosion and allow cultivation; stone walls that fit tightly together without mortar; and trapezoidal-shaped rooms that provided stability against earthquakes. 

A study published in 2011 indicates that Inca engineers used their knowledge of astronomy and geography to lay out the city. It is possible to visit by taking a train from Cusco or by trekking one of two popular routes: The Classic 4-day hike along the Inca Trail or the 2-day trek along the Salkantay trail.

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey (40k)

Grand Bazaar Istanbul Turkey 40k The 17 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

The Grand Bazaar is a thriving complex that employs 26,000 people and is visited by between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. It must compete with modern shopping malls common in Istanbul, but its beauty and fascination represent a formidable advantage for it.

The Grand Bazaar, located in Istanbul, Turkey, is the world’s largest covered market. Built in 1461, it has more than 4,000 shops and is visited by over 250,000 people daily. The offerings at the bazaar include jewelry, ceramics, carpets, textiles, spices and many other goods. The market has 61 covered streets and 18 gates.

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