Landmarks to Visit Across the World: Part II

An image of neolithic Stonhenge
Neolithic Stonehenge

A continuation of our previous landmarks post: here are some more must-visit landmarks across the world, from places of worship to ancient arenas. Plus a handful of boutique hotels to check into along the way…when travelling is once again possible. Which landmarks are top of your bucket list?

Landmarks to visit: Acropolis, Buckingham Palace, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, La Sagrada Familia
Acropolis, Buckingham Palace, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, La Sagrada Familia

Acropolis, Athens, Greece

A striking and architecturally important citadel situated high above the capital: the collection of buildings including the Parthenon that sit perched up there were engineered in 5th-century BC. The question is, how did the artisans manage it?

Buckingham Palace, London, UK

Home to the monarchy and its administrative HQ, the Westminster-based dwelling has a whopping 775 rooms, and the largest private garden in London. Inside, the state rooms are used for entertaining and are open to the public at certain points throughout the year. For those wishing to spend the night in the capital, boutique hotel COMO The Halkin (below) is ideally located just a 15-minute walk from the palace. Plush 11 Cadogan Gardens is also close by, a stone’s throw from Sloane Street.

A contemporary room at COMO The Halkin
Contemporary COMO The Halkin

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, Abu Dhabi, UAE

The largest of its kind in the country, the complex was built between 1996 and 2007 and can’t help but catch the eye with its many gleaming white domes. Natural materials including gold, semi-precious stones, marble, crystals, and ceramics were used in its design.

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

Designed by Antoni Gaudi, the exterior of the Roman Catholic basilica combines Gothic and Art Nouveau styles. At the time of Gaudi’s death in 1926, less than a quarter of the mammoth undertaking was complete. It’s hoped that the project will be finished by 2026, the centenary of the architect’s death. A 20-minute stroll will take you to the Eixample district and OD Barcelona (below), a modern hotel complete with a rooftop bar and pool.

A modern suite at OD Barcelona
Chic OD Barcelona

Pyramids of Giza, Cairo, Egypt

Necropolis: the site of a trio of structures built (it is thought) to house the remains of deceased pharaohs who ruled over the land. The plateau is also home to the Sphinx – a limestone statue of the mythical creature. How they were all constructed some 4,500 years ago is another of life’s mysteries…

Landmarks: Pyramids of Giza, St. Basil's Cathedral, Stonehenge, The Colosseum
Pyramids of Giza, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Stonehenge, The Colosseum

St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia

This super colourful church in the Red Square is now a museum, with occasional holy services held. Created from 1555-1561 on orders from Ivan the Terrible, it’s shaped like the flames of a bonfire and draws the eye with its onion domes and vivid tones.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK

It’s estimated that this prehistoric ring of stones in the English countryside was constructed between 3000 and 2000 BC. Managed by English Heritage, with the surrounding fields owned by the National Trust, it’s thought the site was once a burial ground. Jump in the car and in less than 20 minutes you’ll be pulling into the Hawk Inn (below), a quality gastropub with rooms.

A family room at the Hawk Inn
Bolthole: the Hawk Inn

The Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Known in the past as the Flavian Amphitheatre, this remarkable and imposing treasure takes visitors back in time to the Roman Empire. Back then, more than 50,000 people would enjoy spectacles such as executions, gladiator battles, and the parading of exotic animals. Characterful Casa Montani (below) is a top choice to lay your head at, as is design-led Hotel Art by The Spanish Steps

A characterful room at Casa Montani
Casa Montani: full of personality

Petra, Jordan

Rewind to Hellenistic and Roman times: this historic city was the centre of an Arab kingdom. Carved into red sandstone rock and surrounded by mountains, the ornate archaeological wonder was visited by more than 1,000,000 in 2019.

Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand

Also known as Wat Pho, the 46-metre long and 15-metre tall statue is covered in gold leaf; immaculately crafted, the feet are decorated in mother of pearl. In total, the complex is has more than 1000 Buddha images and is also the headquarters for the teaching and preservation of Thai medicine, including massage.

Landmarks to visit: Petra, Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Taj Mahal
Petra, Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota, USA

Picture this: a huge sculpture carved into granite consisting of four faces. That’s exactly the remarkable sight you’ll find in Keystone, where the heads of former Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln can be found.

Sydney Opera House, Australia

Visually distinctive and super impressive, the performing arts centre in the city harbour took nearly a decade and a half to build and opened in 1973. Also notable in the locality is the Harbour Bridge climb it if you dare…

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, USA

This dinky isle was once a fort, a military prison, and from 1934 to 1963 a high-security penitentiary. Sitting just over 2 kilometres offshore, the currents are notoriously high making escape impossible. Or so it was hoped…

Landmarks: Sydney Opera House, Alcatraz Island, Mont Saint-Michel, Fushimi Inari-taisha
Sydney Opera House, Alcatraz Island, Mont Saint-Michel, Fushimi Inari-taisha

Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France

Another former jail, the incredibly pretty setting belies its past. But this medieval commune on a rock with a Gothic Benedictine abbey at its summit did not always serve as a detention centre: it was a well-known pilgrimage destination, and these days it’s also a tourist stop.

Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto, Japan

This important Shinto shrine sits at the base of Mount Inari. Perhaps more famous are the thousands of vermilion-hued gates that can be followed up the mountain. Encounter smaller places of worship along the way, as well as views to the city below.

Click here for more boutique hotels…

Main landmarks image: Jonathan Ridley on Unsplash. Remainder: Laura Evans, Free Images, and Unsplash.