There are hundreds, if not thousands of iconic landmarks around the world meaning it was very difficult for us to pick just seven. After lots of research (and deliberation!) we’ve put together a list of our favourites. From Dubai to Portugal, which landmark is the most iconic?
Sydney Opera House & Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia
“Without doubt, I think the most iconic landmark in the world has to be Sydney Harbour, book-ended by the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House,” says Steph from Cruise with Amber. “They really are a powerful pair of landmarks and complement each other so perfectly.” Steph lived and worked in Sydney for 10 months whilst travelling around the world.
“The Harbour Bridge’s dark, industrial arc contrasts beautifully with the pale, iridescent sails of the Opera House. When you get up close to both landmarks, they reward you with some surprising details which are impossible to discover from agar. For example, the Opera House reveals new layers of beauty in her pearlescent, herringbone tiles which tessellate so perfectly to form her grand sails. While on the other hand, the Harbour Bridge reveals some of its millions of sturdy rivets. If you get the chance, I would highly recommend climbing the Harbour Bridge - not only for the spectacular panoramas you get whilst 134 metres above Port Jackson but also for a chance to blow a kiss for good luck to Blinky Bill (the flashing red light) right at the summit.
“For a memorable sail away on a cruise ship, I think Sydney Harbour tops the list. It’s no wonder it’s the focus of Australia’s New Year fireworks each year. We were so lucky to be there for the millennium. Sydney Harbour is so iconic - you can show anyone a silhouette of the skyline and be certain they’ll know exactly where you are.”
We chatted to Della from beauty, travel and lifestyle blog, Della Loves Nutella. Della nominated Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, she told us: “Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples are one of the most incredible sights in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world in terms of land area.
“My visit to Angkor Wat is something I will never forget. The sheer size of the Angkor Wat temple blew me away on arrival and I couldn’t believe the beauty as I roamed around the many temples in the Angkor Wat Archeological Park. My favourite memory exploring is the day I woke up at 4 am and got a tuk-tuk ride to watch the sunrise over the temple. The colours of pink and purple filled the sky and it brought out the silhouette of the phenomenal temple into the light.
“It’s one of those landmarks that left a place in my heart and still to this day, I’m in awe that I’ve visited. Built in the 12th century and located in Siem Reap, the Angkor Wat has a wealth of history and wonder to it. Stretched over 400 acres, the park can’t be only explored by foot and requires a tuk-tuk driver to take you around. The tuk-tuk driver adds to the overall experience as mine filled my mind with stories and facts I didn’t know about the temples - and even provided bottles of water to cool me down under the hot sun. Cambodia is a beautiful country filled with humble people, beautiful scenery and the Angkor Wat, a must-see attraction on your visit.”
Constructed in 2004, Burj Khalifa is the tallest free-standing structure in the world. The iconic landmark, which is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, stands over 828 metres tall and holds a vast number of records including; highest number of stories in the world, highest outdoor observation deck in the world and the elevator with the longest travel distance in the world. The structure was created using a 330,000 cubic metres of concrete, 39,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement, 15,500 square metres of embossed stainless steel and 103,000 square metres of glass. So much glass, in fact, the Burj Khalifa has a team of around 36 window cleaners that spend between 3 and 4 months cleaning the panels - as soon as they finish, they have to start again - it really is a never-ending job.
A feat of engineering standing proud on one of the world’s most iconic skylines, the Burj Khalifa boasts 160 stories affording unforgettable views of Dubai. For those wanting to visit the observation deck or lounge, we’d recommend reserving tickets in advance. The lounge spans 3 levels and guests can choose to have breakfast, afternoon tea or a glass of bubbly at sunrise or sunset.
There are many, many reasons to visit Paris yet witnessing the Eiffel Tower appears at the top of most lists (with very good reason!) The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognisable structures in the world, thus making it one of the most photographed landmarks in the world. The tower is named after Gustave Eiffel, who was the engineer behind the construction. The 324-metre tall structure, which opened in 1889 after 2 years, 2 months and 5 days of work, received much criticism when it was first erected as a temporary exhibit for the 1889 Word’s Fair.
Today, it is France’s most iconic structure and the world’s most visit paid attractions. There are 704 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower, which held the title of the tallest structure for more than 40 years. We recommend splurging on a ticket to the top of the structure for unparalleled views of Paris.
The largest amphitheatre in the world, the Colosseum is Rome’s most iconic symbol and most popular tourist attraction. Built in 70 AD the Colosseum was originally used for hosting gladiator contests which took place here regularly until 435 AD. The Colosseum’s construction began during the reign of Emperor Vespasian and was completed under Emperor Titus. Today there is noticeable damage to the structure, which was caused by multiple earthquakes in 847 AD and 1231 AD.
The structure has 80 entrances and could hold more than 50,000 spectators at its maximum capacity. The size of the Colosseum is truly overwhelming and difficult to comprehend without seeing it with your own eyes.
Matthew, from cruise-related YouTube channel Cruising with Matthew, nominated Lisbon’s 25th April Bridge as the world’s most iconic landmarks. When we chatted to him about this remarkable sight, he said, “I’ve been lucky enough to see many iconic landmarks but one of my favourites has to be sailing under the 25th April Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal!
“Spanning the Tagus River, it is the largest bridge in Europe, as well as the 40th largest in the world. Construction started in 1962 wand was completed in 1966, being renamed the 25th April Bridge following the Carnation Revolution.
“The bridge dominates your approach into Lisbon and makes for a very memorable sail in/out as you sail right under it to get to the terminal. I’d recommend that you get up early and get a good spot when you sail into Lisbon, as it really is quite the spectacle. The bridge seems to loom above you as you get closer and it also creates quite an eerie sound as you sail under it. Even on a medium-sized ship like Oceana, I wondered if she would fit. What makes it even better is that you get to do it all again on the way out! It was definitely a highlight of my visit to Lisbon and I can’t wait to do it again soon. Catch a glimpse of 25th April Bridge in Matthew’s Lisbon vlog below:
The symbol of San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the US. One of the seven wonders of the modern world, the suspension bridge connects San Francisco Bay and Marin County. After 4 years of construction, it was officially opened in 1937 and remained the longest suspension bridge in the world for 27 years. It is almost 3 miles long and about a mile wide which makes crossing it by foot no walk in the park (but the views from the middle are well worth it!)
The Golden Gate Bridge attracts up to ten million visitors per year. Its welcome centre features information on the history and construction of the bridge. For a unique perspective of the suspension bridge, take the Golden Gate Bay cruise from Fisherman’s Wharf, it sails under the impressive bridge and along to Alcatraz Island.
Nothing says ‘welcome to the USA’ like the Statue of Liberty. Situated on Liberty Island in the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty faces New York City and symbolises freedom and prosperity. Lady Liberty, as she is often referred to, was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (yes, the same engineer that designed the Eiffel Tower). The statue depicts the Roman Goddess of Freedom, Libertas and was constructed with an iron skeleton and copper skin, which has oxidised over time.
The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the United States in 1886 - she later became a National Monument in 1924. We’d recommend getting a little closer to the universal symbol of freedom by hopping on the ferry that departs from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan and stops at both Ellis and Liberty Islands.