#24 Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia
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This Khmer temple complex covers 163 hectares, making it the largest religious structure in the world. It began as a Hindu temple for the worship of Vishnu and became a monument to Buddhism in the late 1100s. The World Heritage Site is one of the country’s biggest tourism drawcards.
#14 Grand Canyon – Arizona, United States
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The Colorado River has slowly exposed two billion years of geological history over the past several million years. Interesting names given to individual and grouped rock layers include the Hermit Shale, the Great Unconformity and the Vishnu Basement Rocks.
#2 Eiffel Tower – Paris, France
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Erected for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (world’s fair), Gustave Eiffel’s tower was originally meant to be dismantled after 20 years. Today, almost seven million people pay to ascend the landmark each year – most skip the 1665 steps and take the lift.
#33 Alhambra – Granada, Spain
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This World Heritage Site has variously been a fortress, the palace of the Sultan of Granada, the royal court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and a place of shelter for squatters. Famed for its Islamic architecture, it’s now one of Spain’s biggest tourist attractions.
#48 Anfield – Liverpool, England
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It’s the football stadium that doubles as a temple for fans of one of the most popular football teams in the world. Liverpool FC is the most followed club in the United Kingdom, and Anfield has been its home ground since the club was founded in 1892. #YoullNeverWalkAlone
#27 Acropolis of Athens – Athens, Greece
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Constructed in the 5th century BCE, the Acropolis of Athens is dedicated to the goddess Athena. It contains the ruins of several important edifices, including the Parthenon, the Propylaea (gateway) and the Temple of Athena Nike.
#5 Berlin Wall – Berlin, Germany
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This infamous barrier separated East and West Berlin for 28 years. David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and David Hasselhoff all performed at or near the wall in the late ’80s and it was finally dismantled in 1990.
#49 Kruger National Park – Limpopo, South Africa
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Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and the most popular for safaris. That could be because of the presence of the Big Five: African leopard, elephant and lion; Cape buffalo; and black rhinoceros.
#16 Burj Khalifa – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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It’s a skyscraper that has broken a long list of records. As well as being the tallest building in the world at about 828 metres, it has the most levels of any building (more than 160) and the highest outdoor observation deck (at 555 metres). It was completed in 2010 at a cost of $US1.5 billion. #TallestBuildingintheWorld
#30 Christ the Redeemer – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Made of concrete and soapstone, this 30-metre-tall statue of Jesus, completed in 1931, took nine years to build. The religious icon, which overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro from the top of Corcovado Mountain, has been struck by lightning twice.
#7 Big Ben – London, England
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Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock inside the Elizabeth Tower, at the northern end of the Palace of Westminster. The clock normally keeps perfect time within a second, however, heavy snow caused it to ring in the New Year 10 minutes late in 1962.
#17 Colosseum – Rome, Italy
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This Roman amphitheatre completed in 80 CE was the site of events such as re-enactments, games and executions for hundreds of years. The Colosseum sustained damage in an earthquake in 1349 and much of the rubble was used to construct other buildings well into the 1700s. #RomanHoliday
#1 Disneyland – California, United States
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The original Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955 and had welcomed almost 700 million guests by 2014. Fun fact: visitors to the resort eat an average of 2.6 million hot dogs a year. #TheHappiestPlaceonEarth
#20 Empire State Building – New York, United States
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Completed in 1931, this skyscraper was the tallest in the world for more than 40 years. It’s also famous for appearing in numerous films, including King Kong (1933) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993), where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks plan to meet at the top à la An Affair to Remember (1957).
#39 Fiordland National Park – South Island, New Zealand
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Here, in the largest national park in New Zealand at 12,500 square kilometres, you’ll find the most visited fjord in the country: Milford Sound. Outdoorsy types can also discover the poetically named Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound, as well as lakes, islands and waterfalls.
#34 Great Wall of China – Dandong, China
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In traditional Chinese it’s called the Long Wall and, considering it measures more than 20,000 kilometres (including walls and natural barriers), that’s an accurate name. However, it’s untrue that it’s the only man-made structure visible from space.
#12 Niagara Falls – Ontario, Canada
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Three waterfalls empty the Niagara River into Lake Ontario, combining to give the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world. Niagara Falls has been known as the Honeymoon Capital of the World, as newlyweds have been able to obtain an official Honeymoon Certificate signed by the mayor since 1949.
#28 Pyramids of Giza – Giza, Egypt
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The complex at Giza comprises six pyramids and the Great Sphinx. Built about 4500 years ago, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – and the only one remaining. Fun fact: Sudan has twice as many pyramids as Egypt.
#6 Las Vegas – Nevada, United States
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Vegas has many claims to fame: it was the setting for the film The Hangover; it has its own Eiffel Tower, Venetian Grand Canal and Egyptian pyramid; it hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Elvis and Liberace; and it was where O.J. Simpson was arrested for armed robbery. And that’s barely scratching the surface. #WhatHappensinVegasStaysinVegas
#42 Hagia Sophia – Istanbul, Turkey
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Since it was constructed in 537 CE, Hagia Sophia has been a Greek Orthodox basilica, an Ottoman mosque, a Catholic church and, now, a museum. A beautiful example of Byzantine design, it’s best known for its imposing dome.
#13 Machu Picchu – near Cusco, Peru
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Built in the 15th century by Incan ruler Pachacuti, Machu Picchu was rediscovered by the world at large when a farmer led explorer Hiram Bingham III to the ruins in 1911. Historically important archaeological features include the Inti Watana, a stone astronomical calendar that had survived intact until it was damaged during the filming of a beer commercial in 2000.
#40 Nürburgring – Nürburg, Germany
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The Nürburgring complex comprises the Nordschleife (North Loop) track from the 1920s and a Grand Prix track built in 1984. The challenge of the North Loop attracts motorsports enthusiasts from around the world; it’s open to the public and has no speed limit.
#29 La Sagrada Família – Barcelona, Spain
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Begun in 1882, Antoni Gaudí’s incredible masterpiece is currently still in construction. When he died in 1926, the cathedral was less than a quarter completed but it should be finished by 2032 – 150 years after work began.
#15 Waikiki – Hawaii, United States
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Waikiki was an ancient meeting place for Hawaiian royalty, who could be seen surfing here in the early 1800s. The white sand and popular breaks were also home to Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing. #SurfsUp
#8 Times Square – New York, United States
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Perfectly exemplifying the City That Never Sleeps, Times Square has been a major advertising hub since the 1920s, the site of the ball drop on New Year’s Eve since 1907, and a crime-ridden adult-entertainment hotspot. Now, it’s a major pedestrian plaza at the centre of the city’s Theatre District. #ItsActuallyNotaSquare
#18 Yosemite National Park – California, United States
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The natural wonders of Yosemite National Park were captured by American photographer Ansel Adams, who first visited in 1916. The Dawn Wall – the steep, 914-metre-high south-eastern face of granite formation El Capitan – is considered one of the hardest climbs in the world. #FindYourPark
#41 Sydney Opera House – Sydney, Australia
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The distinctive sails of Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House, opened in 1973, have made it one of the most recognisable modern buildings in the world. But its construction was not without controversy and, sadly, Utzon never returned to Australia after he resigned from the project in 1966.
#26 Taj Mahal – Agra, India
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It’s not a palace, a castle or a temple. One of the New 7 Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal is a giant mausoleum built by emperor Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Begun in 1632 and constructed of white marble and semiprecious stones, it was finally completed in 1653.