The top 10 best places to visit in the world is a challenging list to create. This is because there are a myriad of stunning and breathtaking places to visit around the world. The top choices also depend on your preferences and interests. There are magnificent ancient ruins and spectacular natural wonders as well as everything in between to explore in the world.
The top 10 best places to visit in the world that we picked are: Machu Picchu, The Great Wall of China, Petra, The Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, The Colosseum, The Great Pyramid of Giza, Stonehenge, Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro, and The Moai of Easter Island.
10. Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is one of the most well-known and iconic ancient ruins in the world. It is located on a mountain range in Southern Peru with an altitude of 2430 meters or 7970 feet. It is believed to have been built by the Inca civilization at Machu Picchu around the 15th century. The site is incredibly well preserved and provides visitors not only a glimpse into ancient culture, but a fascinating glimpse into some extraordinary construction techniques and mastery.
We recommend you spend a whole day exploring Machu Picchu and its surroundings. There are many tours available that are worth it because they often offer pick up from your hotel. We suggest staying at Machu Picchu Land which will only set you back $10 per person sharing per night.
9. The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China can be considered one of the most impressive feats of engineering in the world. The wall is a series of fortifications that were built along the northern border of Ancient China to protect the Chinese Empire from invaders. NASA reports this over 21,000 km or 13,000 mile long wall can be seen from space, but not from the moon as many believe. Although some parts of the wall are in reasonable condition and popular among tourists, there are also other less popular parts that lie completely in ruins.
If you plan to visit this one of our top ten best places to visit, we recommend you stay at the 365 Inn (Beijing Qianmen) and take the Jinshanling Great Wall day Trip which comes with a free transfer to and from the hotel. The hotel will cost you a mere $12 per person per night shared.
8. Petra, Jordan
Petra, originally meaning rock, is an amazing ancient city that was carved into the rocks of southern Jordan. The city was once the capital of the Nabataean kingdom, which was known for its expert rock carving. Access to Petra is through the narrow Siq Gorge which in itself is a wonderful place to explore. The highlight of Petra is definitely Ad Deir, also known as the Monastery.
This natural and cultural marvel certainly belongs on our list of the top ten places to visit in the world. We are sure once you have experienced it, you will agree with that assessment. You can take a day tour of Petra combined with the must see natural wonder of Wadi Rum for $166 or spend tad more and do a two day trip including the famous Dead Sea too, for $234. A great place to stay if you want to visit Petra is the Jordan River Hotel in Amman that will cost you about $10 per person per night, leaving you more money for your tours and explorations.
7. The Taj Mahal, India
One of the top places to visit in the world must be the Taj Mahal which is one of the most remarkable symbols of love and romance ever built. It was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal was designed so that the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal is at the heart of this massive complex, which includes a mosque set in spectacular formal gardens.
There is so much intricate detail and beauty to behold when visiting this monument. That’s why it is no wonder that the Taj Mahal took over 20000 artisans more than a decade to build. It is also why the Taj Mahal is considered the winner as the best of the New Seven Wonders of the world.
While in Agra, do not forget to also visit another amazing site called the Agra Fort or red fort. This is where the rulers of India actually resided until the capital was moved to New Delhi in 1638. The Agra Fort is a wonderful and imposing structure that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is just 2.5 kilometers or 1.5 miles from the Taj Mahal.
We recommend staying in Agra itself for a few days at the very welcoming Khas Mahal Homestay which is a very cost effective $15 per person with all that you need including an exceptionally delicious breakfast. We also recommend a cheap $14 tour that includes both the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort. Just remember to arrange to meet them in Agra as they start in New Delhi.
6. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia that was built by the Khmer Empire. The temple is the largest religious monument in the world. Angkor Wat was originally built as a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu but has gradually been transformed over time into a Buddhist temple. Many refer to Angkor Wat as a Hindu-Buddhist temple.
Angkor Wat comprises of up to ten million sandstone blocks weighing about 1.5 tons each making it a construction marvel paralleling the building of the ancient pyramids. But the amazing thing about this spectacular place is the attention to detail in the carvings and decorations that is so amazing. This attention to detail cannot be adequately conveyed in words; it must be experienced firsthand.
The Angkor Wat Sunrise day tour costs only $24 and is absolutely amazing. It is a breathtaking experience to watch the sun reflect off the water in front of the temple complex with Angkor Wat in the background. For nearby accommodation, we recommend the lovely Smart Angkor Boutique with its budget friendly cost of $2.50 per person per night and where you can get a marvelous breakfast for a mere $2.
5. The Colosseum, Italy
The Colosseum is one of the most iconic places most people think of when thinking about the best places to visit in the world. The Colosseum is the largest ancient amphitheater ever built and was built by the Roman Empire. It was used for gladiatorial games, re-enactments of battles and for plays and drama.
The Colosseum has been severely damaged by earthquakes and people have stolen stones from this monument in the past. However, it stands majestically as one of the new Seven Wonders of the world. It once held as many as 80 000 people. Interestingly, 682 different species of plants have been documented as being found in or on the structures of the Colosseum.
When in Rome, this is an absolute must. Of course, together with all the other places to visit in Rome, you will be very busy exploring Rome for several days. But don’t forget to visit the Vatican museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Roman Catacombs, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon Castel Sant’Angelo and the lesser known but spectacular Qartiere Coppedé.
We recommend staying at the B&B Agliarvali which is situated in a quiet neighborhood with lots of trees and will set you back $20 per night per person sharing. One of the most popular guided tours of the Colosseum is the Colosseum with Arena Floor VIP Guided Tour which will cost you less than $50.
4. The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three monumental pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex. The pyramid was built by Egyptian pharaoh Khufu and is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that is still standing. It took approximately 27 years to build the Great Pyramid of Giza. This is amazing as it is made up of approximately 2.3 million large stone blocks with an estimated combined weight of approximately 6 million tons.
The Great Pyramid of Giza stood as the world’s tallest man-made structure for more than 3 800 years at an initial height of 146.6 meters or 481 feet. There have been a lot of controversial discussions around this monumental pyramid. These discussions include how the blocks were produced so quickly and how the ancient Egyptians managed to cut the basalt rock found in parts of the pyramid so quickly and effectively.
While exploring the Giza complex, you must also visit other nearby and interesting sites such as the oldest stone building in Egypt, the Step Pyramid of Zoser. Of course another must see is the iconic Sphinx which is stunning. We recommend the Pyramids, Sakkara & Memphis Private Tour with Lunch which includes all your entrance fees for about $61.
There are a lot of accommodation options in Cairo, but none quite as good as the Horus Guest House Pyramids View, which not only has a gorgeous view, but only costs $12.50 per person sharing including an amazing breakfast. It is also only a two-minute walk to the Giza Pyramid complex.
3. Stonehenge, England
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in England just outside Amesbury that is believed to have been built by ancient Britons. The monument consists of a ring of standing stones weighing about 25 tons each that are aligned with the movements of the sun.
This is an engineering marvel as it is unclear how these blocks were moved and positioned when Stonehenge was built in the years around 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Some of the stones are thought to have originated 230 km or 140 miles away in Wales and had to be transported to the site.
It is unfortunate that Stonehenge is all that remains of the people who built this magnificent monument, but they left no writings for us to learn more about them. DNA studies were done on the human remains found buried on the site surrounding Stonehenge. Scientists have concluded that the monument’s origins lie with some of the very first European farmers that settled in the area.
Visiting Stonehenge is actually quite simple as you can just purchase an entry ticket which comes with a free audio guide downloadable to your smartphone. If you want to stay nearby, there are a few options but a particularly quaint place to stay is the Stonehenge Inn & Shepherd's Huts which will cost less than $35 per night per person sharing.
2. Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
Christ the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is another one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The statue with its pedestal stands an imposing 38 meters or 134 feet tall. It is located on the peak of Corcovado Mountain overlooking the bustling city of Rio de Janeiro. The total weight of the statue is 638 tons making it a very difficult construction project on the 700 meter or 2300 feet high peak overlooking Rio de Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer was created through collaboration with two main sculptors and two main engineers. The face sculpted by a Romanian sculptor by the name of Gheorghe Leonida is amazing. However, the body which was sculpted by French sculptor Paul Landowski is also very impressive with its clean lines and of course the well carved hands and toes. Finally, it was constructed by a Brazilian engineer, Heitor da Silva Costa, who collaborated with a French engineer, Albert Caquot.
All you need is to book a Christ the Redeemer Official Ticket and you can get up close with this spectacular wonder of the world and enjoy breathtaking views of Rio de Janeiro. Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro is a more difficult question to answer as there are so many great places to stay but one of our favorite tips is the Casa Nova Hotel which is close to the beaches in downtown Rio de Janeiro and will cost you less than $20 per person sharing, including a sumtious breakfast.
The Moai of Easter Island
The Moai of Easter Island are a group of monolithic statues that were carved from volcanic rock by the Rapa Nui people. The average Easter Island statue weighs approximately 20 tons and stands a whopping 6 meters or 20 feet tall. The Moai were built to store a person’s spirit, known as mana, after they died.
Easter Island is considered one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world with the closest inhabited place, Pitcairn Island being approximately 2,075 kilometers or 1,289 miles away. Easter Island is a Chilean territory located in the Pacific Ocean.
We recommend you stay at the Cabañas Manuto which has an excellent price to quality ratio for the island, costing about $30 per person sharing. They also provide a free airport shuttle service. If you want you can opt to visit the Rapa Nui national Park yourself and pay the $80 entrance fee, which we consider the most affordable and cost-effective option or if you want a guided tour you can take the Moai Trail Private Archeological Tour but this does not include the $80 dollar entrance fee, so it can be pricey at almost $200 just for the tour itself for those on a tight budget. It does however come with free pickup and drop-off at your accommodation.
Thanks for checking out our list of the top ten best places to visit in the world.