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25 of the Most Visited Historical Places in the World

Image of one of the most visited historical places in the world, the Parthenon in Greece.

Traveling is one of the most enriching experiences, and visiting historical places can make the experience even more fascinating.

Whether it’s to learn about a country’s culture, heritage, or even the evolution of humankind, historical sites have a unique way of captivating and educating visitors.

Twenty-five of the most visited historical places in the world, each with a unique story and significance. They are:

  • The Great Wall of China, China
  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • The Colosseum, Italy
  • The Eiffel Tower, France
  • the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
  • The Statue of Liberty, USA
  • The Acropolis of Athens, Greece
  • Stonehenge, England
  • The Roman Forum, Italy
  • Chichen Itza, Mexico
  • The Taj Mahal, India
  • Petra, Jordan
  • The Pyramids of Teotihuacan, Mexico
  • Hagia Sophia, Turkey
  • The Great Sphinx, Egypt
  • The Alhambra, Spain
  • The Palace of Versailles, France
  • Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  • The Forbidden City, China
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial, USA
  • Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
  • The Sydney Opera House, Australia
  • The Tower of London, United Kingdom
  • The Grand Palace, Thailand
  • The Louvre, France

Our list encompasses many historical places and attractions, from ancient ruins to modern landmarks.

These places have witnessed significant events and shaped history in one way or another.

Some are religious sites, while others are monuments to political or cultural movements. Whatever their significance, they are all must-visit destinations for history buffs and travelers alike.

Whether planning a trip around the world or looking for inspiration for your next adventure, this list has something for everyone.

So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on a journey through time and space as we explore some of the most visited historical places in the world.

List of the World’s Most Visited Historical Places

Topping our list as the most visited historical site globally, the Great Wall of China stands as a monumental testament to human ingenuity and endurance.

This ancient marvel attracts millions each year, eager to walk its storied paths.

Image of one of the most visited historical sites in the world, the Great Wall of China
Section of the 13,000-mile-long Great Wall of China, one of the most visited historical places on earth

1. Great Wall of China, China

The Great Wall of China is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.

It is a series of fortifications built along China’s northern borders to protect against invasions and raids.

Construction of the wall began in the 7th century BC and continued through the Ming Dynasty.

It is estimated that the wall stretches more than 13,000 miles and is one of the most significant construction projects in the world.

Despite its original purpose, the Great Wall of China has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Millions of visitors see the wall yearly, attracted by its historical significance and stunning scenery.

The most popular section of the wall is the Badaling section, which is located near Beijing and is easily accessible to tourists.

Other popular wall sections include the Mutianyu section, which features a cable car ride and toboggan slide, and the Jinshan Ling section, which offers a more challenging hiking experience.

Today, the Great Wall of China symbolizes China’s rich history and culture.

It is a testament to the ingenuity and perseverance of the Chinese, who built this incredible structure over many centuries.

As one of the most visited places in the world, the Great Wall continues to inspire awe and wonder in all who see it, reminding us of the incredible achievements that humankind is capable of.

Image of the historical site in Machu Picchu, Peru
A breathtaking glimpse of the iconic Inca sanctuary, Peru’s Machu Picchu

2. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, is one of the most visited places in the world.

Located in the Andes Mountains of Peru, this incredible ancient city was built during the 15th century and was abandoned by the Incas during the Spanish conquest.

The city remained hidden from the world for centuries until it was rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American explorer.

Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

The city was built with incredible precision, with perfectly fitting stone blocks and terraces that allowed the Incas to farm the steep mountain slopes.

The city was also built with an intricate system of water channels and fountains that allowed the Incas to collect and distribute water.

Today, Machu Picchu attracts millions of visitors from all over the world each year.

The site is incredibly well-preserved, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the Inca civilization first-hand.

Visitors can explore the city’s incredible architecture, including the Temple of the Sun and the Intihuatana Stone, which the Incas used to map the sun’s movements.

The site also offers breathtaking views of the Andes Mountains, making it an unforgettable experience for everyone.

Image of one of the most visited historical places in the world, the Colosseum in Rome, Italy
One of the most visited historical places in the world, the Colosseum, at night in Rome, Italy

3. Colosseum, Italy

The Roman Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is one of the most iconic structures in the world.

Built in 80 AD, the Colosseum was commissioned by Emperor Vespasian and completed by his son Titus.

The structure was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, and executions.

The Colosseum is considered one of the most outstanding architectural achievements of the Roman Empire and a testament to ancient Rome’s engineering and construction abilities.

The Colosseum was used for over 500 years but fell into disrepair after the fall of the Roman Empire.

It was used as a quarry for building materials and suffered damage from earthquakes and natural disasters.

In the 18th century, efforts were made to preserve the structure, and it became a popular tourist destination.

Today, the Colosseum is one of the most visited historical places in the world, with millions of visitors each year.

It is one of many UNESCO World Heritage sites and is considered one of Europe’s most significant cultural and historical landmarks.

The Colosseum has undergone extensive renovations and restorations over the years, with ongoing efforts to preserve the structure for future generations.

Visitors can explore the underground tunnels where gladiators and animals were kept before their battles and the tiered seating areas where up to 80,000 spectators would gather to watch the games.

The Colosseum’s rich history and cultural significance continue to make it a must-see destination for travelers to Rome.

Image of the
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, at dusk

4. Eiffel Tower, France

The Eiffel Tower, located in Paris, France, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.

In 1889 by Gustave Eiffel, the tower was initially constructed as the entrance arch for the 1889 World’s Fair.

The tower was initially meant to be a temporary structure, but its popularity among tourists and locals ensured its permanent place in the Parisian skyline.

The tower is named after Gustave Eiffel, who was also responsible for designing and constructing the Statue of Liberty’s internal framework.

The tower stands at 324 meters tall and weighs approximately 10,100 tons.

It was the tallest artificial structure in the world until the Chrysler Building in New York was completed in 1930.

Today, the Eiffel Tower remains one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world, with an estimated 7 million visitors per year.

Despite its popularity as a tourist destination, the Eiffel Tower has also played an important role in French history.

During World War II, the Germans used the tower’s radio transmitter to broadcast propaganda throughout France.

The tower has also been the site of several political protests and demonstrations.

Nonetheless, the tower remains a symbol of French culture and a testament to Gustave Eiffel’s engineering genius.

The French government continues to invest in the tower’s maintenance and preservation to ensure it remains a beloved attraction for generations.

The Pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo, at dusk

5. Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx, Egypt

The Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx are among the most iconic landmarks in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year.

Located on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, the pyramids were built over 4,500 years ago during the Old Kingdom period.

The Great Sphinx of Giza stands in front of the pyramids and is believed to have been built during the same period.

The Pyramids of Giza were built as tombs for pharaohs and their consorts, and some believe as tributes to the most powerful and influential gods in Egyptian culture, possibly Ra or Osiris.

The largest and most famous of the three pyramids was built for Pharaoh Khufu, known as the Great Pyramid of Giza.

It was the tallest artificial structure in the world for almost 4,000 years and comprises over 2 million limestone blocks weighing over 2 tons.

The other two pyramids at Giza were built for Khufu’s son and grandson.

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a limestone statue of a mythical creature with a lion’s body and a human’s head.

It is believed to have been built to symbolize royal power and protection. The Sphinx is over 240 feet long and 66 feet high, making it one of the most giant statues in the world.

Despite being over 4,500 years old, the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx continue to be preserved and celebrated for their historical and cultural significance.

They are a testament to the architectural and engineering prowess of the ancient Egyptians and serve as a reminder of their rich cultural heritage.

Today, tourists worldwide visit these landmarks to marvel at their grandeur and learn more about the ancient civilization that built them.

Image of one of the
Lady Liberty standing tall in New York Harbor

6. Statue of Liberty, USA

The Statue of Liberty, located in New York Harbor, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.

Designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, the statue symbolized the friendship between France and the United States.

The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886, and was a gesture of goodwill from the French people to the American people.

The statue is a representation of Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom.

It is made of copper and stands over 305 feet tall, including the pedestal. The statue’s torch symbolizes enlightenment, while the crown represents the world’s seven continents.

The statue’s tablet, inscribed with the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, symbolizes the democratic values that the United States represents.

The Statue of Liberty is among the most visited places in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year.

It has become an iconic symbol of freedom and democracy, representing the values that the United States was founded upon.

The statue has been featured in countless movies, television shows, and other forms of media, making it one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.

Despite its age, the statue continues to be preserved and celebrated for its historical and cultural significance and is a must-visit destination for tourists worldwide.

The widely visited Acropolis of Athens, at dawn

7. Acropolis of Athens, Greece

The Acropolis of Athens is one of the most famous landmarks in Greece and one of the most visited sites in the world.

The word “acropolis” means “high city” in Greek, and the Acropolis of Athens is located on a rocky hill that rises 490 feet above the city of Athens.

The site was first inhabited in the Neolithic period, but it wasn’t until the 5th century BCE that the Acropolis became the center of Athenian religious, cultural, and political life.

The most famous building on the Acropolis is the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the Athena Parthenos, Athens’s patron goddess.

The Parthenon was built in the 5th century BCE during the Golden Age of Athens under the direction of the famous sculptor Phidias.

The temple is considered a masterpiece of Classical Greek architecture and is renowned for its elaborate decoration, including the frieze depicting the Panathenaic procession.

Throughout its history, the Parthenon has undergone numerous transformations.

It was converted into a Christian church in the 6th century CE, then into a mosque during the Ottoman period, and finally into a storage facility for gunpowder in the 17th century.

1687, during the Venetian siege of Athens, the Parthenon was hit by a cannonball and suffered extensive damage.

Today, the Acropolis and the Parthenon are major tourist attractions and are among the most visited places in the world.

The Greek government has undertaken extensive restoration work on the site to preserve it for future generations.

A visit to the Acropolis and the Parthenon is a must for anyone interested in ancient Greek history and architecture, and the site continues to inspire awe and wonder in visitors worldwide.

The ruins of ancient Stonehenge on a foggy Salisbury plain

8. Stonehenge, United Kingdom

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, about 2 miles west of Amesbury and 8 miles north of Salisbury.

It consists of a ring of standing stones, each around 13 feet high, 7 feet wide, and weighing around 25 tons.

The stones are set within earthworks in the middle of England’s most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments, including several hundred burial mounds.

The site was constructed over several centuries, from around 3000 BC to 2000 BC.

The purpose of Stonehenge remains unknown, but it is believed to have been used for religious and ceremonial purposes.

The stones were transported from as far away as the Preseli Hills in Wales, over 150 miles away, and it is still unknown how the builders could transport them.

The monument has been the subject of much speculation and study over the years, with many theories about its use and significance.

Today, Stonehenge is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world, drawing over a million visitors each year.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the world’s great wonders.

Despite its popularity, the site remains shrouded in mystery, with the true purpose of the monument continuing to elude researchers and visitors alike.

Nevertheless, its unique and awe-inspiring architecture continues to inspire visitors from all over the world.

The ruins of the Roman Forum under the night sky of Rome, Italy

9. The Roman Forum, Italy

The Roman Forum, located in the heart of Rome, is one of the most visited places in the world.

It was the center of political, commercial, and social activity in ancient Rome and remains a fascinating historical site.

The Forum was the site of many important events in Roman history, including triumphal processions, public speeches, and elections.

It was also a bustling market where merchants sold goods throughout the empire.

The Roman Forum was originally a marshy valley between the Palatine and Capitoline hills, but it was drained and developed by the Etruscan kings who ruled Rome before the republic.

Over the centuries, the Forum grew and evolved, with new buildings and monuments added by each successive ruler.

Some of the most famous structures in the Forum include the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Titus, and the Curia Julia, where the Roman Senate met.

Today, the Roman Forum is a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world.

Despite its age and the damage, it has suffered over the centuries, the Forum still inspires awe and wonder in those who visit it.

Its ruins are a tangible reminder of the power and grandeur of ancient Rome, and they offer a glimpse into the daily life of the people who lived there.

Whether you are a history buff or simply someone who appreciates beautiful architecture, the Roman Forum is not to be missed.

The Mayan pyramid Chichen Itza, in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

10. Chichen Itza, Mexico

Chichen Itza is a historical site located in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

It was one of the most prominent Mayan cities and an important center of political, cultural, and economic activity.

Today, it remains one of the most visited places in the world, attracting millions of tourists each year who marvel at its impressive architecture and rich cultural heritage.

The site was first established around 600 AD and was inhabited by the Mayans until the 13th century.

It was then abandoned and ruined until rediscovered in the 19th century.

The ruins of Chichen Itza showcase a unique blend of Mayan and Toltec architectural styles, reflecting the city’s diverse cultural influences.

The site is home to many iconic structures, including the Kukulkan Pyramid, the Temple of the Warriors, and the Great Ball Court, the largest ball court in Mesoamerica.

Today, Chichen Itza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the World’s Seven Wonders.

Its popularity as a tourist destination is partly due to its accessibility from nearby Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

Visitors can explore the site’s many temples, pyramids, and plazas and learn about Mayan culture and history.

Despite its popularity, Chichen Itza remains a source of wonder and inspiration, offering visitors a glimpse into the ancient world and the people who once inhabited it.

The world-famous Taj Mahal in Agra, India, at dusk

11. Taj Mahal, India

The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India.

It was commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died during childbirth.

Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632 and was completed in 1653, employing thousands of workers and artisans across the region.

Today, it is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year.

The Taj Mahal is renowned for its impressive architecture and intricate design.

The main structure features a central dome surrounded by four minarets and is flanked by a mosque and a guesthouse.

The exterior is adorned with intricate carvings and inlaid with precious stones, while the interior is decorated with exquisite marble screens and floral motifs.

Beautiful gardens surround the Taj Mahal, reflecting pools and a river, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere.

Despite its popularity as a tourist destination, the Taj Mahal has faced many challenges, including pollution, overcrowding, and deterioration of its marble facade.

In response, the Indian government has implemented measures to protect and preserve the site, such as limiting the number of visitors per day and implementing strict cleaning protocols.

Nevertheless, the Taj Mahal is a testament to love’s enduring power and an important cultural landmark for people worldwide.

The iconic architecture of the long-abandoned city of Petra, in modern-day Jordan

12. Petra, Jordan

Petra is an ancient Jordanian city known for its beautiful rock-cut architecture.

It was established as early as the 4th century BC and was the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom.

Petra was an important trading center for silk and spices, making it a hub for commerce and culture.

The city was eventually abandoned and forgotten until it was rediscovered in the 19th century by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.

Today, Petra is one of the most visited places in the world, attracting millions of tourists each year.

Its impressive architecture, intricate carvings, and rich history make it a popular destination for travelers from all over the globe.

Despite the overcrowding challenges and tourism’s impact on the site, efforts have been made to preserve and protect Petra’s cultural heritage.

In 1985, Petra was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ensuring its preservation for future generations.

It is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the Nabataean people, who carved this magnificent city out of rock, and a reminder of the enduring power of human achievement.

Petra remains a symbol of the beauty and complexity of human history and a must-see destination for anyone interested in exploring the wonders of the ancient world.

The Teotihuacan pyramids, built between 200 BC and ~50 AD

13. The Pyramids of Teotihuacan, Mexico

The Pyramids of Teotihuacan are among the world’s most impressive and mysterious architectural structures.

Located in the Basin of Mexico, just 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, Teotihuacan was one of the largest cities in the ancient world, with a population estimated at 125,000 or more at its peak.

The city was established around 200 BCE and reached its zenith in the first half of the first millennium CE.

The pyramids at Teotihuacan were built in stages, with the earliest structures dating back to around 200 BCE.

The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest structure in the complex, standing 216 feet tall and covering an area of over 500,000 square feet.

The Pyramid of the Moon, which is slightly smaller, is located at the northern end of the Avenue of the Dead, the central thoroughfare that runs through the city.

The third central structure is the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, a smaller pyramid located near the southern end of the Avenue of the Dead.

Despite the challenges of overcrowding and tourism, the Pyramids of Teotihuacan remain one of the most visited places in the world, attracting millions of visitors every year.

Teotihuacan was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and has been the subject of numerous archaeological studies and excavations.

Although much about Teotihuacan remains shrouded in mystery, the pyramids and other structures at the site are a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the ancient civilizations that built them and a symbol of the enduring power of human history.

The ancient Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

14. Hagia Sophia, Turkey

The Hagia Sophia, located in Istanbul, Turkey, is one of the most visited places in the world, attracting millions of tourists annually.

Originally built as a church by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in 537 AD, the Hagia Sophia served as the principal church of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly a millennium.

After the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople in 1453, the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque until 1935, when it was secularized and turned into a museum.

The architectural and historical significance of the Hagia Sophia has made it a significant attraction for visitors from around the globe.

The building is renowned for its massive dome, a feat of engineering at the time of its construction.

The interior of the Hagia Sophia is also adorned with some of the world’s most beautiful mosaics and frescoes, many of which were uncovered and restored during the building’s conversion into a museum.

Despite its popularity as a tourist destination, the Hagia Sophia has recently faced some controversy.

In 2020, the Turkish government converted the building into a mosque, sparking international outcry and accusations of erasing the site’s Christian history.

The Hagia Sophia remains a symbol of the complex and often contentious history of Istanbul and a testament to the enduring legacy of the Byzantine Empire.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa on a bright sunny Italian day

15. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a freestanding bell tower in the Italian city of Pisa.

The tower was initially built in the 12th century to symbolize the city’s wealth and power.

However, the tower began to lean during construction due to a miscalculation in the foundation.

The tilt continued to increase over the years, and by the time the tower was completed in the 14th century, it was leaning at an angle of 5.5 degrees.

Despite its unintended tilt, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has become one of the most famous landmarks in the world.

The tower’s unique design and historical significance have made it a popular tourist destination, attracting millions yearly visitors.

The tower is among the most visited places in the world, with more than one million visitors annually.

The tower’s popularity has led to efforts to preserve and stabilize its lean, including a major restoration project in the 1990s.

Today, the Leaning Tower of Pisa stands as a testament to the ingenuity and perseverance of its builders.

Despite its flaws, the tower has endured for centuries and remains an important cultural and historical landmark.

Its ongoing popularity as a tourist attraction is a testament to people’s enduring fascination with this remarkable structure.

The Alhambra palace and fortress in Grenada at night

16. The Alhambra, Spain

The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Spain.

The complex was initially constructed in the mid-14th century by the Nasrid emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar, and it was later expanded by subsequent rulers over the centuries.

The complex consists of several buildings, gardens, and courtyards, and it is particularly famous for its intricate Islamic architecture and ornate decorations.

One of the most notable structures within the Alhambra complex is the Torre de la Vela or Tower of the Watch.

This tower offers breathtaking views of the surrounding city and is a popular destination for visitors.

However, the most famous structure within the Alhambra complex is undoubtedly the Torre Inclinada, or Leaning Tower.

The tower is so named due to its slight tilt, believed to have been caused by a combination of factors, including the soft ground on which it was built and the weight of its upper levels.

Despite its unusual angle, the tower has become one of the most visited places in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year who come to marvel at its unique design and historical significance.

The ongoing popularity of the Leaning Tower of the Alhambra as a tourist attraction is a testament to people’s enduring fascination with this remarkable structure.

Visitors who make the journey to the Alhambra are treated to a unique glimpse into the history of Islamic Spain and an opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful and well-preserved examples of Islamic architecture in the world.

From the ornate decorations of the Nasrid Palaces to the tranquil beauty of the Generalife gardens, the Alhambra complex offers an unforgettable experience for anyone who visits.

The beautifully manicured gardens of the Palace of Versailles

17. The Palace of Versailles, France

The Palace of Versailles is one of France’s most famous historical places.

It was initially built in 1624 as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII.

However, his son, King Louis XIV, transformed the palace into the marvelous structure it is today.

Louis XIV spent over 50 years renovating and expanding the palace, decorating it with the finest artwork and furnishings of the time.

The palace symbolized the French monarchy’s wealth and power, which remains a testament to the luxury of the Baroque period.

Today, the Palace of Versailles is one of the most visited places in the world, with millions of tourists flocking to see its ornate interiors and expansive gardens every year.

Visitors can explore the King’s State Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors, and the Queen’s Apartments, all decorated with intricate frescoes, sculptures, and furniture.

The gardens cover over 800 hectares and are also famous, featuring fountains, statues, and several smaller palaces.

Despite its historical significance and grandeur, the Palace of Versailles has also faced criticism for its role in French history.

The palace symbolized the absolute monarchy, which was overthrown during the French Revolution.

Many of the palace’s treasures were looted or destroyed, and the palace was transformed into a museum.

Today, the Palace of Versailles remains an important symbol of French history and culture, and its popularity as a tourist destination is a testament to its enduring legacy.

The Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia

18. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is a magnificent temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia, built in the early 12th century.

Originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu, it was later converted to a Buddhist temple in the 14th century.

Spanning over 400 acres, Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world and is renowned for its stunning architecture, intricate carvings, and serene surroundings.

It is no surprise that Angkor Wat is among the most visited places in the world, with millions of tourists visiting this site every year to marvel at its beauty and history.

The construction of Angkor Wat was commissioned by King Suryavarman II, who ruled the Khmer Empire then.

The temple was believed to be built as a symbol of the king’s power and devotion to his gods.

The temple’s architecture uniquely blends Indian and Khmer styles, featuring intricate carvings of mythical creatures, gods, and scenes from Hindu and Buddhist mythology.

Despite its grandeur, Angkor Wat was abandoned in the 15th century and fell into disrepair until French explorer Henri Mouhot rediscovered it in the mid-19th century.

Today, Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations.

Visitors can explore the temple’s intricate passageways, admire its stunning architecture, and witness the sunrise over its iconic spires.

However, the site also faces challenges due to over-tourism, which has led to damage and erosion.

Preservation efforts are underway to ensure that this magnificent monument remains accessible for generations to come.

The Forbidden City in Beijing at dusk

19. The Forbidden City, China

The Forbidden City in Beijing, China, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world and a testament to the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Built in the early 15th century during the Ming Dynasty, the Forbidden City was the imperial palace for nearly 500 years, housing over 24 emperors from the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

The palace complex spans over 180 acres and has more than 980 buildings, making it the largest palace in the world.

The Forbidden City’s architecture is a stunning example of traditional Chinese design and craftsmanship, featuring intricate ornamentations, colorful roofs, and grand halls.

The palace was constructed with a strict adherence to feng shui principles, which dictate the placement of buildings and objects to bring harmony and balance to the environment.

The palace’s layout includes numerous courtyards, gardens, and ceremonial halls, each with unique significance and purpose.

Today, the Forbidden City is one of the most

visited tourist destinations in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year.

The palace has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is revered as a Chinese history and culture symbol.

However, the influx of tourists has also raised concerns about preserving the palace complex.

Efforts are underway to limit the number of visitors to the palace and implement conservation measures to protect the buildings and artifacts.

Despite these challenges, the Forbidden City remains an awe-inspiring testament to China’s cultural legacy and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history and architecture.

One of the most visited historical places in the U.S. and the world, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota

20. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, USA

Mount Rushmore is a majestic sculpture carved into the granite face of a mountain in the Black Hills region of South Dakota.

It features the faces of four iconic American presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln – carved at 60 feet.

The sculpture was designed by Gutzon Borglum and was completed in 1941.

Today, Mount Rushmore is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, attracting over 2 million visitors annually.

The idea for Mount Rushmore was conceived in 1923 by South Dakota historian Doane Robinson, who wanted to create a tourist attraction to draw visitors to the state.

He enlisted Gutzon Borglum, a sculptor who had previously worked on several large-scale projects, to design the sculpture.

Work on the sculpture began in 1927 and continued for 14 years, during which time more than 400 workers removed over 450,000 tons of rock to create the final masterpiece.

Despite its popularity, Mount Rushmore has faced criticism for its impact on the natural environment and its controversial history over the years.

The land on which the sculpture stands was originally part of the Great Sioux Reservation, and the carving was considered by many Native Americans to be a desecration of sacred land.

Today, however, Mount Rushmore remains an iconic symbol of American history and culture, attracting visitors worldwide who come to marvel at its grandeur and learn about the presidents it honors.

Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

21. Christ the Redeemer, Brazil

Christ the Redeemer is a statue located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.

The statue stands 98 feet tall, and its arms stretch 92 feet wide. It was designed by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa.

The statue was completed in 1931 and has become a symbol of Christianity and Brazilian culture.

Christ the Redeemer is located atop Corcovado Mountain, which is 2,329 feet tall.

The statue is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone and weighs approximately 635 metric tons.

It is considered one of the world’s most giant statues of Christ and is estimated to attract over 2 million visitors annually.

The statue has undergone several restorations over the years, most recently in 2010, to ensure that it remains a safe and accessible attraction for visitors.

Despite its popularity, Christ the Redeemer has faced criticism for its impact on the environment and its role in promoting Christianity.

Some have argued that the statue’s construction resulted in the destruction of natural habitats and that its presence on Corcovado Mountain has disrupted the local ecosystem.

Additionally, others have voiced concerns about the statue’s association with Christianity and its promotion of a particular religion.

Despite these criticisms, Christ the Redeemer remains one of the most visited places in the world and a significant cultural landmark for Brazil and the world.

The world-famous Sydney Opera house at night

22. Sydney Opera House, Australia

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most iconic landmarks in Australia and one of the most visited places in the world.

The construction of the building began in 1959 and took 14 years to complete.

Danish architect Jorn Utzon won the international design competition to build the Opera House, and his unique and innovative design made the building stand out among other structures worldwide.

The Opera House was finally opened to the public in 1973.

The construction of the Opera House was not without challenges.

Jorn Utzon resigned from the project in 1966 due to disagreements with the government, and the construction was incomplete.

However, other architects continued the project, and the Opera House was finally completed in 1973.

The building is now recognized as a masterpiece of modern architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is visited by millions of people every year, who come to admire its unique design and attend performances by some of the world’s most talented artists.

Today, the Sydney Opera House is a performing arts center and a symbol of Australian culture and identity.

It hosts various events, from classical concerts to contemporary dance performances, and is home to several resident companies, including the Australian Ballet and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

The Opera House also offers tours to visitors who want to learn more about its history and architecture.

Its iconic design, stunning location, and rich cultural significance make it one of the most visited places in the world, attracting millions of tourists each year.

One of the most visited historical places in the UK and the world, the great Tower of London

23. The Tower of London, United Kingdom

The Tower of London is an iconic landmark in central London, England.

It was initially built in 1066 by William the Conqueror and has since been used as a royal palace, a fortress, a prison, and a place of execution.

The tower comprises several buildings, including the White Tower, the oldest and most significant structure on the premises.

Despite its dark history, the Tower of London is one of the most visited places in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year.

It is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting London, as it offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history and heritage.

Visitors can explore the tower’s many exhibits, including the Crown Jewels, the Royal Armouries, and the famous ravens, who are said to protect the tower from harm.

While the tower’s popularity is undeniable, it has also faced criticism for its association with violence and oppression over the years.

Some argue that the tower’s history of imprisoning and executing political prisoners is a stain on its legacy.

Nonetheless, it remains a significant cultural landmark and a testament to the enduring power of British history and tradition.

Did you know that the Tower of London is considered one of the most haunted places in the world? Check out my article, Historical Haunts: 13 of the World’s Most Haunted Places, for more.

Bangkok’s Grand Palace, the former residence of the Kings of Siam

24. The Grand Palace, Thailand

The Grand Palace, located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand, is one of the most visited places in the world.

Built in 1782, the palace served as the official residence of the Kings of Siam for over 150 years.

Its iconic architecture, intricate details, and stunning gardens attract millions of visitors each year, making it one of Bangkok’s most popular tourist destinations.

The Grand Palace is a symbol of Thailand’s rich cultural heritage and a testament to the country’s history.

King Rama built the palace I after he moved the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok.

Subsequent kings expanded the palace complex, each adding unique touches.

The palace served as the center of the Thai government for generations, and it was here where the king conducted business and held court.

Today, the Grand Palace is a major attraction in Bangkok, with an estimated eight million visitors annually.

Visitors can marvel at the intricate details of the palace buildings, visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and explore the many museums and galleries within the palace complex.

Despite its popularity, the Grand Palace remains an essential symbol of Thai culture and tradition and a must-see destination for anyone visiting Bangkok.

The Louvre in Paris at night

25. The Louvre, France

The Louvre is one of the most visited places in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year who come to explore its vast collection of art and artifacts.

Originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century, it was transformed into a royal palace in the 14th century.

It became home to the French monarchy until the Palace of Versailles was built.

During the French Revolution, the Louvre was converted into a museum to showcase the nation’s art collection.

Today, the Louvre is one of the largest museums in the world, with over 35,000 objects on display, including Greek and Roman antiquities, Egyptian artifacts, and famous works of art such as the Mona Lisa and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

It is a testament to France’s rich cultural heritage and is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.

Despite its popularity, the Louvre has faced its fair share of challenges, including thefts of valuable art and criticism over handling delicate artifacts.

Nevertheless, it remains a symbol of Parisian culture. It attracts visitors from far and wide who marvel at its impressive collection and learn about the rich history of art and civilization.

The iconic Eifel Tower in Paris – easily one of the world’s most visited historical sites

Wrap-up: Most Visited Historical Places for Tourists

As we’ve journeyed through this grand tour of the world’s most visited historical places, we’ve witnessed the awe-inspiring accomplishments of our ancestors.

From the intricate stonework of the Pyramids of Giza to the architectural majesty of the Eiffel Tower and the sacred serenity of Machu Picchu, it’s clear that each of these landmarks not only represents a unique piece of our global heritage but also stands as a testament to the indomitable human spirit and its ceaseless pursuit of greatness.

In visiting these sites, we do more than just sightseeing.

We step into the past, immersing ourselves in the narratives that have shaped our present and will continue to influence our future.

Each structure tells a story, whispering tales of triumph, resilience, invention, and culture.

As you plan your exploration of these remarkable sites, may you carry their history in your heart, experiencing the grandeur of these monuments and the profound interconnectedness of our shared human history.

For more content on some of the most visited historical places in the world, this time with a biblical angle, check out my article Discovering the Divine: 19 Must-Visit Biblical Sites in Israel!

Image of grassy tiers at Machu Pichu
The grassy tiers of Machu Picchu in Peru, one of the most visited historical places on earth

FAQs: Most Visited Historical Places for Tourists

1. What is the best time of year to visit these historical sites?

While the optimal time to visit may vary based on the specific site and your personal preferences, generally, it’s advised to visit these sites during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) when the weather is typically milder, and the crowds are less dense.


However, it’s essential to research each site individually.


Specific locations, such as Machu Picchu or the Great Wall of China, may have unique climate and visitor limitations considerations.




2. Do I need special permissions or tickets to visit these historical sites?

Most of these historical sites require entry tickets, which can often be purchased on-site or online in advance.


Sites like the Taj Mahal, the Colosseum, and the Palace of Versailles offer online ticket sales that can help you skip long entry lines.


Some sites may also require or recommend guided tours. It’s always good to check the official website or contact it directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information.




3. Are there any restrictions or rules to be aware of when visiting these historical sites?

Many of these sites have specific rules to preserve the structures’ integrity and ensure visitor safety.


For instance, there may be climbing restrictions at sites like Angkor Wat or the Acropolis.


At many sites, like the Forbidden City or the Eiffel Tower, there are restrictions on large bags.


Rules can also apply to photography, noise levels, and dress codes (especially in religious sites like the Hagia Sophia).


Researching these rules in advance is essential to respect these significant places and ensure a smooth visit.




References: Most Visited Historical Places for Tourists