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The 11 Most Iconic Landmarks in America — and the World

Niagara Falls
Lucky-photographer / Shutterstock.com

You’ve seen them on calendars and postcards, and as the backdrops for blockbuster movies. The world’s most famous landmarks range from man-made monuments to nature’s own wonders. And no matter how many times you’ve seen them in history books, they’re somehow more awe-inspiring in person.

Luggage storage company Bounce recently released an analysis of the best-loved landmarks in the world. The company gathered stats from TripAdvisor, Google, Instagram and TikTok to determine the most highly rated and frequently searched landmarks and even calculated each site’s revenue as part of using seven different factors to determine the final ranking.

Here’s a look at the most-loved landmarks, according to the survey. Start making those travel plans!

11. Empire State Building

Empire State Building
Marc Venema / Shutterstock.com

Where this landmark is located: New York City, United States

Total landmark score: 5.76 out of 10

The Art Deco-styled Empire State Building has been towering over the Big Apple since 1931 and has appeared in more than 250 movies — including its iconic appearance in 1933’s “King Kong.” According to a Cornell University study, it’s the most-photographed building in the world. At 1,454 feet high, it’s the fourth-tallest building in New York City, with a whopping 1,872 steps to the top. Thankfully, there are 73 elevators to transport visitors.

10. London Eye

The London Eye
Sandor Szmutko / Shutterstock.com

Where this landmark is located: London, England

Total landmark score: 5.79 out of 10

When you think of London landmarks, you might think of the Tower of London or Westminster Abbey, buildings that have stood their ground for centuries. But it is the London Eye, a 443-foot-tall Ferris Wheel overlooking the River Thames, that makes this list. It was ceremonially opened on the last day of 1999 and was meant as a temporary attraction for the arrival of the new millennium. However, it was so popular that it was made permanent in 2002.

9. Machu Picchu

Macchu Picchu
Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock.com

Where this landmark is located: Andes Mountains, Peru

Total landmark score: 6.07 out of 10

Visitors to Peru may feel as if they’ve gone back in time when they marvel at Machu Picchu, the 15th-century Inca citadel that is the most familiar icon of the Inca Empire. It’s been called South America’s greatest attraction, and its location high in the cloud forest kept it protected from Spanish soldiers. Today, high-speed trains bring tourist to marvel at this throwback to a lost world.

8. Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty
dibrova / Shutterstock.com

Where this landmark is located: New York City, United States

Total landmark score: 6.69 out of 10

The Statue of Liberty may be the most enduring and recognizable symbol of the United States of America. Given as a gift of friendship from the people of France to the U.S., it was dedicated in 1886 and stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. Visitors can access the rim of the pedestal and the interior of the statue’s crown from within. (Numerous webcams broadcast the spectacular views for those who can’t make it to New York.)

7. Eiffel Tower

Paris, France
saiko3p / Shutterstock.com

Where this landmark is located: Paris, France

Total landmark score: 7.08 out of 10

Gustave Eiffel, who built the metal framework for the Statue of Liberty, is more famous for his namesake Parisian tower. The Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 Universal Exposition and is now viewed by many as a romantic landmark and ideal destination for marriage proposals, anniversary celebrations and more. Like the London Eye, it was supposed to be only temporary, but Eiffel saved his structure by touting its use for scientific and meteorological observations and studies.

6. Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa in Dubai
Kirk Fisher / Shutterstock.com

Where this landmark is located: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Total landmark score: 7.20 out of 10

At 2,716.5 feet high, the Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building, soaring just over half a mile into the skies above Dubai. It’s also home to the world’s tallest observation deck, which sits at 1,821 feet. In an unnerving scene from 2011’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” actor Tom Cruise is seen clinging to the outside of the building with a malfunctioning pair of suction gloves as the only thing standing between him and the ground far below. (Being Tom Cruise, he actually performed the chilling stunt himself.)

5. Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Where this landmark is located: San Francisco, United States

Total landmark score: 7.26 out of 10

The breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge has become a symbol of San Francisco, of California, and even of the entire U.S. West Coast. It opened in 1937, connecting the city of San Francisco to Marin County, a trip that could previously be made only by boat but is now traveled by about 40 million vehicles a year. The much-photographed bridge has appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies and was even destroyed by Godzilla in the 2014 “Godzilla” movie reboot.

4. Big Ben

Daniela Migliorisi / Shutterstock.com

Where this landmark is located: London, England

Total landmark score: 7.31 out of 10

London’s Big Ben is perhaps the world’s most misunderstood landmark. The term “Big Ben” originally referred not to the Houses of Parliament clock tower itself, or even the famed clock, but to the large bell located inside the tower. The official name of the structure is the Elizabeth Tower. Name game aside, the soaring tower symbolizes London for many and the entire United Kingdom for others.

3. Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
CK Foto / Shutterstock.com

Where this landmark is located: Arizona, United States

Total landmark score: 7.57 out of 10

The spectacular colors and breathtaking vistas of the Grand Canyon reveal millions of years of history, displaying where the Colorado River cut its way through layer after layer of rock, more than a mile down at its deepest. It’s a rainbow cake of majesty. Rangers at Grand Canyon National Park help travelers learn about its geology, plant and animal life as well as the rich history of Native Americans from the region.

2. Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal
Arvnd14 / Shutterstock.com

Where this landmark is located: Agra, India

Total landmark score: 7.60 out of 10

Some may think of the Taj Mahal as a palace, but it was commissioned as a mausoleum. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had the breathtaking white marble structure built in 1631 to hold the tomb of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth. The famed tomb, inlaid with precious stones, is now at the center of a 42-acre complex set in formal gardens and is a bucket-list visit for many travelers.

1. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
jgorzynik / Shutterstock.com

Where this landmark is located: United States and Canada

Total landmark score: 9.45 out of 10

Bow to the force of nature at stunning Niagara Falls, which consists of not one, not two, but a group of three waterfalls on the Niagara River, which forms the border between New York state and Canada’s Ontario province, and drains the waters of Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. The two smaller falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, are on the U.S. side, while the largest, Horseshoe Falls, straddles the border. Travelers can stay dry and admire it safely from a distance or don a hooded rain poncho and sail up to the base of Horseshoe Falls on a boat tour.

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