World's Most Popular Landmarks

The reader survey of iconic landmarks yielded some surprise favorites.

Travel+Leisure



In less than three years, New York City's High Line park has become one of the world’s most popular landmarks.

That’s the verdict according to Travel + Leisure’s first-ever landmarks survey, in which we asked readers to tell us which landmarks they’ve traveled to see. We used the results to determine the world’s most popular landmarks, a revealing list of longtime favorites and buzzed-about newcomers like the High Line.

Historic, recognizable landmarks naturally pique our travel interest. London’s Big Ben has attracted onlookers since its clock started counting the minutes in 1859. Rome’s Colosseum is the city’s most popular landmark and has given travelers a new reason to visit; below-ground tunnels, where gladiators once prepared for combat, opened to the public in 2010.

These famous places are just the beginning—see which other landmarks have lured travelers to experience their magic.

No. 1 Statue of Liberty,
New York City

More than a century after France gifted this 151-foot copper sculpture to the United States, three million–plus visitors head to Liberty Island each year to admire it.

No. 2 Empire State Building,
Empire State Building, New York City (iStock)

Empire State Building, New York City (iStock)


New York City

Manhattan’s classic skyscraper soaring 1,435 feet above 34th Street is widely considered the quintessential Art Deco landmark and currently holds the record as the city’s tallest building.






No. 3 Golden Gate Bridge,
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco (emrecan)

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco (emrecan)


San Francisco

Spanning 4,200 feet across Golden Gate Strait, the structure’s dramatic setting, orange color, and sheer size have made it one of the world’s most recognized bridges since 1937.





No. 4 Eiffel Tower,
Eiffel Tower, Paris (iStock)

Eiffel Tower, Paris (iStock)


Paris

Gustave Eiffel’s 984-foot monument of open-latticed wrought iron wowed the 1889 World Expo, instantly becoming a Paris icon—despite initial resistance from Parisians themselves.




No. 5 Big Ben,
Big Ben, London (iStock)

Big Ben, London (iStock)


London

Though the name refers exclusively to its 13-ton bell, the world’s most famous clock tower has helped keep Londoners punctual since 1859.





No. 6 Colosseum,
Colosseum, Rome (iStock)

Colosseum, Rome (iStock)


Rome

When construction finished on this 513-foot freestanding amphitheater in A.D. 82, 50,000 Romans could pack in to ogle gladiator death battles and mock naval combat.



No. 7 Millennium Park,
Millennium Park, Chicago (iStock)

Millennium Park, Chicago (iStock)


Chicago

The standout features of Chicago’s 24.7-acre Millennium Park include Anish Kapoor’s jellybean-like Cloud Gate sculpture, Frank Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and various outdoor art exhibitions.



No. 8 St. Peter’s Basilica,
St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome (iStock)

St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome (iStock)


Rome

It took a star-studded team of Renaissance masters—including Raphael, Michelangelo, and Bernini—more
than a century to complete the Vatican’s magnificent, art-filled cathedral.




No. 9 Swiss Re Building,
Swiss Re Building, London (iStock)

Swiss Re Building, London (iStock)


London

Nicknamed The Gherkin, the 2004 glass-paneled, rocket-shaped office tower in London’s financial center was designed by Norman Foster using 10,000 tons of structural steel.




No. 10 The High Line,
The High Line, New York City (Ambient Images Inc. / Alamy)

The High Line, New York City (Ambient Images Inc. / Alamy)


New York City

Flower beds, day loungers, even a bar occupy this once-abandoned elevated rail bed—reconceived by Diller, Scofidio, and Renfro—that now threads through buildings from the Meatpacking District to West 30th Street.

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