10 Bucket List-Worthy Iconic Places In The World


Farah Fazanna •  Oct 28, 2022

There’s a reason why iconic tourist attractions are popular. Sure, it might be a bit cliche to pose for a photo in front of the Taj Mahal or take a dip in the azure blue water of the Maldives. But there’s something powerful about finally seeing these iconic places with your own eyes instead of on Instagram! If you’re planning for your 2023 bucket list (travel edition), add these iconic places in the world to your list!

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1. The Taj Mahal, India

Credit: Jovyn Chamb on Unsplash

The Taj Mahal was built by the emperor Shah Jahan between 1631 and 1648. UNESCO calls it "the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture." The building is so iconic that it is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India's rich history. The Taj Mahal attracts more than 6 million visitors a year and in 2007, it was declared a winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World (2000–2007) initiative.

2. The Eiffel Tower, France

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Hello, Emily in Paris! No trip to Paris is complete without visiting the iconic Eiffel Tower, which was completed in 1889 and stands at 1,063 feet tall. You can go up to the tower and have a mesmerizing view of the city. Did you know that there is an apartment on the top level of the structure? Yes! Gustave Eiffel, who designed the landmark, built himself a small apartment and it had plush rugs, oil paintings, and even a grand piano!

3. The Great Sphinx, Egypt

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The Great Sphinx at Giza, near Cairo, is probably the most famous sculpture in the world. With a lion's body and a human head, it represents Ra-Horakhty, a form of the powerful sun god, and is the incarnation of royal power and the protector of the temple doors. The giant statue of the Great Sphinx was built more than 4,500 years ago, to guard the pyramid of Khafre at Giza. It was carved out of a huge outcrop of limestone that sticks up above the desert floor. It’s certainly a must-visit landmark!

4. Sydney Opera House, Australia

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This symbol of the Sydney Harbor and UNESCO World Heritage Site opened in 1973 and remains one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. The Sydney Opera House constitutes a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture. Its significance is based on its unparalleled design and construction; its exceptional engineering achievements and technological innovation and its position as a world-famous icon of architecture. It’s free to visit the Sydney Opera House too, so be sure to stop by for a visit when you’re in Sydney!

5. La Sagrada Família, Spain

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They say that Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was Barcelona's La Sagrada Familia. Construction on the ornate temple began in 1882 and still isn't finished (the expected completion date is 2026). The Sagrada Família is famous for being one of the most iconic examples of Antoni Gaudí's unique style, combining elements of Art Nouveau, Catalan Modernism and Spanish Late Gothic design. The theme of nature figures prominently in Gaudí's design, both in terms of symbolism and the use of organic shapes and forms. We highly recommend taking the tour of the temple — it’ll take your breath away!

6. Blue Lagoon, Iceland

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You probably have seen photos of people wearing silica mud masks on Instagram. The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is famous for its incredible skin treatment, and a big part of this is the products. In the lagoon itself, all guests are treated to the silica mud mask, and the algae mask can also be purchased for use in the water. It’s simply a must-do activity when you’re in Iceland!

7. Hobbiton, New Zealand

Fans of "The Lord of the Rings" can visit Middle Earth in the form of Hobbiton, the movie set used to film scenes in the Shire for the "Lord of the Rings" movies. You don’t have to be a fan of LOTR to visit it as it’s simply a stunning place to visit! There are plenty of photo opportunities too!

8. Ba Na Hills, Vietnam

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Something of a cross between Disney’s Epcot, a French ski resort, and a Buddhist mountain retreat, the surreal Ba Na Hills complex is like no other place. You may have seen its most famous attraction — the Golden Bridge (aka the “Hand Bridge”), a 500-foot long arced pedestrian bridge that appears to be held up over the world far below by two giant stone hands.

9. Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates

Credit: Jeff Tumale on Unsplash

Burj Khalifa in Dubai holds seven world records, including the tallest building in the world, at 2,716 feet tall. It has a rich array of amenities and services that provide residents and their guests with an unparalleled lifestyle experience. Exclusive Sky Lobbies on Levels 43, 76 and 123 include state-of-the-art fitness facilities, indoor/outdoor swimming pools, Jacuzzis and a recreation room for gatherings and events. And yes, you can buy a ticket to enjoy these amenities!

10. Mount Fuji, Japan

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Rising to 12,388 feet (3,776 metres), Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan and is known for its graceful conical form. It is the country's sacred symbol, and temples and shrines are located around and on the volcano. You can hike the mountain and the journey takes about two days. It’s certainly bucket list-worthy!

So, which destination has made it to your list? For more travel inspiration, check out our articles here: