When planning a trip there are often two types of people. Those who want to see every tourist attraction and highlight key pages in the travel guide, and those who want to get off the beaten path and make their own adventure.
I admit that I tend to be the latter, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see anything! When you’re a tourist it’s OK to go see the tourist attractions in your area. Some of them are amazing and worth flying half way around the world just to spend a few minutes seeing them in person.
Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world, and for good reason. The world is full of fascinating places to visit and explore, from ancient historical landmarks to modern architectural marvels.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the Eiffel Tower, Machu Picchu, The Great Wall of China, The Colosseum, and The Taj Mahal. You’ve likely heard of most if not all of them, but we’ll get into detail about what makes them special and maybe inspire you to plan your next vacation around one.
Eiffel Tower, Paris
The Eiffel Tower is possibly the most famous landmark in Paris, France. It was designed by the French engineer Gustave Eiffel and built for the 1889 World’s Fair, which was held in Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.
The tower stands at 324 meters (1,063 feet) tall and was the tallest man-made structure in the world when it was completed. It is made of iron and consists of four separate pillars that gradually converge at the top. The tower has three levels that are open to the public, and visitors can ascend to the top via stairs or elevators.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world, with millions of visitors each year. It has become an enduring symbol of Paris and is widely recognized as an architectural masterpiece. The tower has also been featured in numerous films, books, and other media, cementing its place in popular culture.
If you’re interested in visiting the Eiffel Tower up close, here’s what you need to know:
- Tickets: Visitors to the Eiffel Tower must purchase a ticket to enter, which includes access to the different levels of the tower. You can purchase tickets online in advance to avoid long lines. Find Tickets Here
- Best time to visit: The Eiffel Tower is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the largest crowds. If you can, try to visit on a weekday rather than a weekend.
- Transportation: The Eiffel Tower is located in central Paris and is easily accessible by public transportation. You can take the metro or bus to the tower or walk if you are staying nearby.
- Safety: The Eiffel Tower is a safe and secure environment, but it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to protect your belongings. Pickpocketing is common in crowded areas.
- Views: The Eiffel Tower offers stunning views of the city of Paris from its different levels. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the panoramic views of the city.
- Dining: The Eiffel Tower has several restaurants located on its different levels, offering a range of dining options from casual to upscale. Reservations are recommended.
Paris is one of the most amazing cities in the world from a shopping, eating, and cultural aspect as well. If you go, you can’t miss the tower, but it’s certainly not the only thing to do in town.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is an ancient Incan citadel located in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It was built during the 15th century, at the height of the Inca Empire, and is now considered one of the most famous and mysterious archaeological sites in the world.
The ruins of Machu Picchu are located at an elevation of approximately 2,430 meters (7,970 feet) above sea level and cover an area of about 32,500 hectares (80,000 acres). The site includes a series of terraces, plazas, temples, and other structures, many of which are still in remarkably good condition despite being more than 500 years old.
Machu Picchu was rediscovered by the outside world in 1911, when American explorer Hiram Bingham arrived at the site and began excavations. Since then, the site has become a major tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year.
Today, Machu Picchu is widely recognized as an architectural and engineering marvel, showcasing the incredible achievements of the Inca Empire. It has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
If you’re interested in visiting in person, here’s what you need to know
- Entry tickets: Visitors to Machu Picchu must purchase an entry ticket, which includes access to the citadel and the surrounding area. You can purchase tickets online in advance or at the entrance gate.
- Best time to visit: The best time to visit Machu Picchu is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. It’s important to note that Machu Picchu is closed in February for maintenance.
- Transportation: To reach Machu Picchu, you can take a train from Cusco or the nearby town of Ollantaytambo. From there, you can take a bus or hike to the entrance of the citadel.
- Guided tours: Guided tours of Machu Picchu are available and can provide valuable insights into the history and significance of the site. Alternatively, you can explore on your own with an audio guide.
- Hiking: There are several hiking trails that lead to Machu Picchu, including the famous Inca Trail. It’s important to be prepared for the altitude and to take precautions to avoid altitude sickness. It’s also important to wear comfortable shoes and clothing for the hike.
- Safety: Machu Picchu is a safe and secure environment, but it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to protect your belongings. Pickpocketing is common in crowded areas.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, and other materials, built along the northern borders of China to protect against invasions from the north. It is one of the most famous and iconic landmarks in the world, and it stretches over 13,000 miles (21,000 kilometers) across the country.
Visiting the Great Wall of China as a tourist is a popular activity, and there are several sections of the wall that are open to visitors. The most popular sections for tourists to visit are located near Beijing, the capital of China. These sections include:
- Badaling: This is the most visited section of the Great Wall, and it is known for its well-preserved condition and stunning views.
- Mutianyu: This section is a bit farther from Beijing but is less crowded and offers a more authentic experience of the wall.
- Jinshanling: This section is known for its steep terrain and beautiful views, but it is less accessible than other sections.
To visit the Great Wall of China as a tourist, you can either join a tour group or explore on your own. If you choose to explore on your own, you can take a public bus or hire a private car to reach the wall. Once you arrive, you will need to purchase a ticket to enter the section of the wall you want to visit.
It’s important to note that the Great Wall of China is a large and challenging structure to navigate, so it’s best to wear comfortable shoes and clothing and bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Additionally, it’s important to be respectful of the wall and not damage or remove any parts of it, as it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important cultural treasure for the Chinese people.
The Colosseum, Rome
The Colosseum is one of the most iconic and famous landmarks in Rome, Italy. It is an ancient amphitheater that was built nearly 2,000 years ago and was used for gladiatorial contests, public spectacles, and other events during the Roman Empire.
If you’re interested in visiting the Colosseum as a tourist, there are several things you should know before you go:
- Tickets: It’s best to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long lines at the Colosseum. You can purchase tickets online through the official website, or you can purchase them in person at the ticket office located near the Colosseum.
- Guided tours: If you want to learn more about the history of the Colosseum and the events that took place there, you can join a guided tour. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who can provide in-depth information and answer any questions you may have.
- Accessibility: The Colosseum is a large and complex structure, and it can be challenging to navigate for those with mobility issues. However, there are accessible entrances and elevators available for those who need them.
- What to see: When you visit the Colosseum, be sure to explore the various levels of the amphitheater, including the underground chambers where gladiators and animals were kept. You can also visit the nearby Roman Forum and Palatine Hill to learn more about ancient Roman history and architecture.
- Safety: As with any tourist destination, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to stay safe. Keep an eye on your belongings and be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas.
Visiting the Colosseum is an unforgettable experience, and it provides a glimpse into the fascinating history and culture of ancient Rome. By following these tips, you can make the most of your visit and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
The Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal is a world-famous monument located in Agra, India. It is an ivory-white marble mausoleum built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is considered one of the most beautiful and romantic buildings in the world and attracts millions of visitors each year.
If you’re interested in visiting the Taj Mahal as a tourist, there are several things you should know before you go:
- Entry fee: Visitors to the Taj Mahal must pay an entry fee, which varies depending on your nationality. You can purchase tickets at the gate or online in advance.
- Visiting hours: The Taj Mahal is open from sunrise to sunset every day except for Fridays, which is reserved for prayers at the mosque located inside the complex.
- Dress code: There is a dress code in place at the Taj Mahal, and visitors are not allowed to wear shorts, skirts, or sleeveless tops. Shoes must also be removed before entering the main mausoleum.
- Guided tours: Guided tours of the Taj Mahal are available and can provide valuable insights into the history and significance of the monument. Alternatively, you can explore on your own with an audio guide.
- Crowds: The Taj Mahal is a popular tourist destination and can get quite crowded, especially during peak season. If possible, try to visit during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the largest crowds.
- Photography: Photography is allowed at the Taj Mahal, but there are restrictions on certain areas and times of day. Tripods and professional equipment are not allowed without special permission.
Visiting the Taj Mahal is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it is an opportunity to witness one of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in the world.
By following these tips, you can make the most of your visit and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Make sure to read The World’s Most Amazing Tourist Attractions – Part 2 for more. In that section we’ll cover The Pyramids of Giza, The Grand Canyon, The Great Barrier Reef, and The Vatican.