The 20 Most Famous and Visited Monuments in the World

 

Our planet not only gives us splendid landscapes and natural wonders but also constructions worth admiring thanks to the men’s work. Over the centuries, the world has been filled with monuments, palaces, and museums that attract thousands of visitors every year.

From America to Asia, passing through Europe and the other continents, there are ancient and modern structures with a special charm located in different cities. And all of them deserve to be seen in the lifetime.

Interested in visiting some of them?

Since you can’t visit all of them and we can’t point out one bad construction, we’ve compiled this list of the 20 most famous and visited monuments in the world. Let’s see it!

Monument Location N ° Visitors/year
Kazan Kremlin Kazan, Russia 2,893,300
Schonbrunn Palace Vienna, Austria 3,050,000
Wilanow Palace Warsaw / Poland 3,098,985
Orsay Museum Paris / France 3,300,000
Pompeii Naples Italy 3,646,585
Tsarskoye Selo Museum-Residence St. Petersburg / Russia 3,694,000
National Palace Museum Taipei / Taiwan 3,900,000
Teotihuacan Teotihuacan / Mexico 4,070,000
Monument of the Statue of Liberty New York / USA 4,335,431
Independence National Historical Park Philadelphia / USA 4,576,436
World War II National Memorial Washington, DC / USA 4,652,865
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Washington, DC / USA 4,719,148
Peterhof Palace St. Petersburg / Russia 5,245,900
Eiffel Tower Paris / France 7,000,000
Taj Mahal Agra, India 7,090,207
Parthenon Athens / Greece 7,200,000
Colosseum Rome Italy 7,650,519
Lincoln Memorial Washington, DC / USA 7,804,683
Palace of Versailles Versailles / France 8,100,000
Forbidden City Beijing / China 17,000,000

20. Kazan Kremlin – Kazan, Russia

20. Kazan Kremlin - Kazan, Russia

This Russian monument, located in the city of Kazan, was built in the 16th century by the order of Ivan the Terrible. It was built on the ruins of the castle of the Khans.

The structure includes many buildings with the oldest being the Cathedral of the Annunciation, which dates back to 1554/’62. It’s characterized by 6 pillars and five apses.

The symbols of the Kazan Kremlin are the Suyumbike leaning tower and the Spasskaya tower, which serves as the main entrance near the homonymous monastery. At the monastery, there are also several buildings, such as the church of St. Nicholas and the Cathedral of the Transfiguration.

19. Schonbrunn Palace – Vienna, Austria

19. Schonbrunn Palace - Vienna, Austria

Another very visited monument in the world is the famous Imperial Palace of Vienna which was the seat of the Habsburg Empire from 1730 to 1918.

It’s located in what was once the countryside and today is the western outskirts of the city. The entire complex includes the castle, a huge park, numerous fountains, and one of the oldest zoos in the world, the Tiergarten Schonbrunn. During your visit, don’t miss the large gallery, which is 40 meters long and almost 10 meters wide. It was once the venue for important court events such as dances, receptions, and banquets.

18. Wilanow Palace – Warsaw, Poland

18. Wilanow Palace - Warsaw, Poland

In the Warsaw district of the same name, this palace was built for King Jan III Sobieski towards the end of the 17th century.
It’s one of the most interesting buildings in the country as well as one of the most visited monuments in the world.

Known as “Little Versailles”, this palace is characterized by a very original architecture that mixes Polish style with European art. The interiors are adorned and precious and outside there is a wonderful park where important concerts and cultural events, such as the “Royal Summer Concerts” and “The International Summer Academy of Ancient Music” are still held today.

17. Musée d’Orsay – Paris, France

17. Musée d'Orsay - Paris, France

This Parisian museum is located inside a building designed in 1898 by the architect Victor Laloux. It was built in a place where there were cavalry barracks and the old D’Orsey palace.

The works were completed after 2 years and the Universal Exposition of 1900 was inaugurated.

Inside this museum, you can admire mainly works by the Impressionists (Monet, Cezanne, Manet, Renoir, Degas, etc.) and post-Impressionists (Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh). But, there are also paintings by authors from the second half of the 19th century.

16. Pompeii – Naples, Italy

16. Pompeii - Naples, Italy

This monument is famous for its ancient city which was buried by lava during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Every
year, the city ruins attract thousands of visitors who come to discover the 66 hectares, 50 of which are excavated. There, you can see public and private buildings, monuments, sculptures, mosaics, and paintings that have been recognized as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Also, don’t miss the amphitheater, the large and small theater, the Forum, the Garden of the Fugitives, the House of Sallustio, the Villa of Mysteries with numerous frescoes, and the Roman amphitheater.

15. Tsarskoye Selo Museum-Residence – Saint Petersburg, Russia

15. Tsarskoye Selo Museum-Residence - Saint Petersburg, Russia

The Great Palace of Tsarskoye Selo, also known as Catherine’s Palacewas the summer residence of the Russian Tsars and dates back to 1717 when it was built by the order of Empress Catherine.

This building is located in Pushkin, 25 km south-east of St. Petersburg, and is characterized by a Rococo style and the typical “Golden Thread” – a particular method of construction.

The rooms are all communicating with each other along a single axis. It starts from the large ballroom and ends in the reproduction of the amber room. In the middle, there are numerous rooms one after the other. Finally, an immense park divided into an old and a new garden completes the residence.

14. National Palace Museum – Taipei, Taiwan

14. National Palace Museum - Taipei, Taiwan

The National Palace Museum in Taipei is one of the most visited attractions, not only in Taiwan but also in the world. It dates from 1965 and is located in the hills north of the city.

Inside of it, there’s a permanent collection of over 697.490 pieces of ancient Chinese artifacts and works of art spanning over 5.000 years of Chinese history, from Neolithic art to the late Qing dynasty. Some of the things you can admire there are statues, ceramic objects, tapestries, vases, rare books, and precious documents.

13. Teotihuacan – Teotihuacan, Mexico

Teotihuacan - Teotihuacan, Mexico

The pre-Columbian city, Teotihuacan, is located 40 km from modern Mexico City. It is thought that it has been founded around 100 BC.

In 1987, it was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site and today it’s one of the major Mexican archaeological sites, most visited in the world.

It covers an area of ​​83 square kilometers. It is known for its immense pyramids, the multi-family residential complexes, the numerous perfectly preserved murals, and the “Avenue of the Dead“, where you can also find the splendid Pyramid of the Sun – the largest complex in the heart of this ancient city.

12. Monument of the Statue of Liberty – New York, USA

12. Monument of the Statue of Liberty - New York, USA

Located on the rocky Liberty Island (an islet in the middle of Manhattan Bay in New York), the Statue of Liberty was built by the French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi in collaboration with Eiffel in 1886.

Symbol of the Big Apple and the United States, this work is formed by an internal reticular structure in steel and it’s covered with 300 copper sheets on the outside.

The 93 meters high statue represents a woman wearing a long robe, holding a torch (symbol of the eternal fire of freedom) in her right hand and a table with the date of American Independence in her left hand.

11. Independence National Historic Park – Philadelphia, USA

11. Independence National Historic Park - Philadelphia, USA

The Independent National Historic Park is located in the historic center of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the most famous historic buildings in the city and one of the most visited in the world.

Also known as “the most historic square kilometer in America“, this area contains various buildings, including the Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell Pavillon with the bell symbol of freedom, the Carpenters’ Hall (a beautiful Georgian-style building which became the seat of the first American congress), and a hospital for the wounded in the War of Independence. The Second Bank of The United States and Franklin Court complete the park.

10. World War II National Memorial – Washington DC, USA

10. World War II National Memorial - Washington DC, USA

In the capital of the United States, Washington DC, in the National Mall monumental avenue, you can find the World War II National Memorial, along with several important monuments.

Built in 2004, it is dedicated to the Americans who participated in the Second World War. It is characterized by 56 granite pillars (on which the name of the 48 states that formed the USA in 1945 is written), each 6 meters high, arranged in a semi-circle around a square.

The structure is completed by two triumphal arches representing the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean and a swimming pool with a fountain.

9. Vietnam Veterans Memorial – Washington, DC, USA

9. Vietnam Veterans Memorial - Washington, DC, USA

While in Washington, let’s see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,  another of the most visited monuments in the world.

Completed in 1982, this memorial was built to commemorate the 58.318 American victims of the Vietnam War.

Also called “The Wall“, the main building, where the names of the victims are reported in chronological order of death, was built with black granite from India and is formed by two large trapezoidal walls arranged in the plain to form the symbol of a big “>“.

8. Peterhof Palace – St. Petersburg, Russia

8. Peterhof Palace - St. Petersburg, Russia

If you ever go to St. Petersburg, this is the must-see monument. The Peterhof Palace and its gardens are among the most visited monuments in the world.

Located in the Gulf of Finland, about 30 km from the city, this palace was a  residence of the tsars until 1917 and is known as the Russian Versailles.

It was built between 1714 and 1723 at the behest of Tsar Peter the Great. The complex includes numerous palaces, tree-lined avenues, and numerous parks. But the most attractive part of this monument is the Grand Palace, the most imposing structure.

7. Eiffel Tower – Paris, France

7. Eiffel Tower - Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower is the most famous monument in Paris and one of the most visited per year. It was built in just over two years and was completed and inaugurated on March 31, 1889, by Gustave Alexandre Eiffel.

The intention was to commemorate French independence one century after the Revolution, but the artistic and cultural elite of that time contested it.

The iron structure stands on the esplanade of the Champs de Mars, it’s approximately 312 meters high, weighs 7.300 tons, and is divided into three parts accessible by lifts, resting on four pillars.

6. Taj Mahal – Agra, India

6. Taj Mahal - Agra, India

Taj Mahal is one of the 7 wonders in the world and one of the most visited monuments. With a name meaning “crown palace“, this wonder was built by the Indian emperor Shah Jahan to fulfill one of the promises made to his wife before she died.

This magnificent place is located in Agra, India, and was completed in 1654 (work began in 1632) thanks to the labor of numerous craftsmen and materials from all over the world.

The complex consists of 5 main elements: the door, the garden, the mosque, the guest house, and the tomb of Emperor Shah Jahan. Secondary structures are added to these, including fountains and gardens with water channels and pools where the image of the impressive Taj Mahal is reflected.

5. Parthenon – Athens, Greece

5. Parthenon - Athens, Greece

Located in the heart of the Acropolis of Athens, this building was commissioned by Pericles in 447 BC. It was finished in 432 BC with the intervention of important architects at the time.

It’s called Parthenon because it was a gift to the goddess Athena Parthnénos. This meaning is the reason this monument became the greatest expression of the traditions and culture of Athens, Periclea.

It’s built in Doric style, completely made in marble, and covers an area of ​​around 70 meters x 31 meters. It’s characterized by 8 columns on the facades and 17 on the long sides.

Inside is the cell divided into three naves by a colonnade with two superimposed orders and an area intended to house the Delio-Attic treasure.

4. Colosseum – Rome, Italy

4. Colosseum - Rome, Italy

Originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater, the Colosseum is the largest amphitheater in the world and one of the most visited monuments in the world.

It was built in the Flavian period on the eastern edge of the Roman Forum. Its construction started in the time of Vespasian in 71/72 AD and was inaugurated by Tito in 80.

With an elliptical shape of 527 meters, the perimeter of the arena measures 86 x 54 meters and covering an area of ​​3.357 square meters, this amphitheater intended to accommodate between 50000 and 87,.000 people and originally had a height of 52 meters.

In ancient times, it was used for gladiator shows, hunting events, and reenactments of dramas.

3. Lincoln Memorial – Washington DC, USA

3. Lincoln Memorial - Washington DC, USA

This memorial was built in 1867 in honor of the sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It’s located in the National Mall neighborhood of Washington.

A form of a Greek Doric temple made out of granite from Indiana and Yule marble from Colorado, it’s a peripteral monument with 36 columns, 10 meters high, surrounding the cell.

Inside is the six-meter-high sculpture, completely made out of white marble, which depicts the engrossed and thoughtful president with his gaze facing east.

Lincoln is seated on the throne where two fasces are carved, symbolizing the authority of the Republic.

2. Palace of Versailles – Versailles, Paris

2. Palace of Versailles - Versailles, Paris

This palace, also called a castle, is an ancient royal residence of the Bourbons of France located 20 km from Paris.

It was built between 1623 and 1683, at the behest of King Louis XIV who wanted to get away from the city and the citizens. It became the base of the political power of the French kingdom from 1682 when the Sun King moved with his court.

The palace, the second most visited monument in the world, occupies an area of ​​815 hectares (before the Revolution it occupied 8000). It includes 93 gardens that host festivals and events every year, the palace with wonderful rooms, and the large and small Trianon (a luxurious outbuilding).

1. The Forbidden City – Beijing, China

1. The Forbidden City - Beijing, China

The first place on our list takes the Forbidden City, also known as the Imperial Palace, which is located north of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.

The construction of this residence began in 1406 and ended in 1420 and housed 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

It covers an area of ​​72 hectares, occupying a total area of ​​150 thousand square meters, and includes 980 structures (palaces, courtyards, and buildings).

It is divided into three parts which include the defense line, with the moat, the over 10 meters high walls, the watchtowers, and four main gates.

There is also the External Court with three main buildings and the Internal Court composed of 3 important buildings.

The whole area is decorated, with lots of bronze or stone statues, and the buildings are colored in the imperial colors – yellow and red.