This stunning 19th-century castle looks to be straight out of a fairy-tale. The castle resides on a hill above Hohenschwangau in Bavaria, Germany and represents inspiration for the castles in many movies and storybooks. Neuschwanstein receives well over a million tourists a year, making it one of the most popular historical sites in Europe.
Great Pyramid of Giza
Built for a Fourth Dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh, the Great Pyramid is the most ancient of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and for 3,800 years, it was the world’s tallest manmade structure. Still largely intact, visiting the Great Pyramid is a wondrous experience.
The Sistine Chapel is located in Vatican City and serves as the site of the Papal enclave. Its walls and ceilings are adorned with finely-detailed paintings created by a number of Renaissance artists, Michelangelo among them. While visiting the Sistine Chapel, you can view the world-famous painting “The Creation of Adam” in person.
This ornate Gothic church is located in central London and is the site of all English and British coronations since William the Conqueror in 1066. Many kings and queens of England are buried here along with dozens of notable historical figures such as Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Church services are still held in the Abbey, which is noted for its choral tradition.
Situated almost directly in the center of Rome, the Colosseum is an amphitheater that was built for gladiator fights, plays, executions, and other public spectacles. The structure remains mostly intact as an impressive physical representation of Imperial Rome.
Great Wall of China
Over 13,000 miles long, the Great Wall of China was built over a series of Chinese dynasties to protect historical China from raids and invasions. You can tour the Great Wall several different ways, opting to hike the wild sections of the original structure or the more family-friendly option of visiting the recently restored portions.
Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure in the world. This Cambodian Buddhist temple complex is spread throughout a sprawling 402 acres and remained largely out of the public eye until the early nineties. Today, it is renown for its grand architecture and harmonious and extensive decor.
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century compound probably built for an Incan emperor. Located on a mountain ridge in Peru, Machu Picchu is an ever-popular attraction for nature lovers, history buffs, and fans of hiking.
This expansive marble mausoleum was commissioned in 1632 as a resting place for a wife of the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. The 42-acre complex includes a mosque, a guest house, formal gardens, and a tomb. A prominent symbol of Indian history and Mughal architecture, the Taj Mahal brings in between seven to eight million visitors a year.
Tower of London
The infamous Tower of London was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror and used as a prison, royal residence, armory, and to house the Crown jewels of England. Historically, many notable figures were helped or executed at the Tower of London, which had a reputation for torturing some its prisoners. 2.8 million people visited the Tower of London in 2017, making it one of the most popular historical sites in England.