When choosing your dream holiday destination, making sure you know what highlights you want to see during your stay can be a large factor in your decision, especially if you are hoping for an authentic experience. Once you have pre-planned your holiday, you can really focus on making sure you are using your time in port effectively.
The most famous monuments are not a bad starting point, I mean they’re famous for a reason, right? Here is a list of some of the world’s most famous monuments, where to find them and why they are so popular.
Most people might have expected ‘the Great Wall Of China’ to top this list due to it being renowned throughout history. But, what a lot of travellers seem to forget is that Beijing’s Forbidden City dates back to the early 15th century and the Ming Dynasty. After 18 years of construction, the city boasts 980 buildings and covers a colossal 72 hectares (or 72 rugby pitches) that are filled with beautiful gardens and 9,999 rooms (9 is a lucky number in China).
Even if you don’t want to learn about China’s extensive history, the palace’s way of life and amazing architecture is a sight to behold. And, if you do want to learn more, the Forbidden City has its own extensive museum that holds around 1.8 million pieces of art, dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. It’s a good idea to pre-book your tickets for the museum as the number of visitors has been capped at 80,000 per day to protect the ancient structure and the experience.
Situated in the centre of Paris, the Louvre is the world’s most visited art museum in the world, receiving almost 1.5 million more visitors than second place (China’s National Museum). The Museum holds a variety of paintings from throughout French history and other intricate pieces including the world-famous Mona Lisa. Displaying approximately 38,000 objects, this late 12th-century palace has works from legendary artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Theodore Gericault, Caravaggio and more.
The Louvre isn’t just for art lovers, though. Anyone who is looking to get a better understanding of France’s lengthy history should pay the small admission fee to enter.
Built in honour of the 16th president of the United States, Lincoln’s Memorial is arguably the most iconic statue in all of American. As the setting for Martin Luther King Junior’s “I have a dream speech”, the temple-style building is a central hub for American history. Even if this doesn’t interest you, the memorial is an amazing vantage point for views of the National Mall. Once inside, there are three different chambers with Lincoln’s famed statue sitting in the centre and the other two being occupied by two of his famous speeches.
As the memorial is open 24-hours a day, taking a walk during the evening can give a totally different ambiance compared to the daytime and the perfect chance to see Washington’s nightlife.
Italy has a range of different monuments that could easily claim the title of most popular, but the Colosseum stands above all else in notoriety. Dating back to 70-80 AD, this giant amphitheatre is just one of 130 built in the course of the Roman Empire. Apart from being the biggest, the Colosseum has also kept most of its original features, including its arena and hypogeum where the gladiators were held before and after a competition.
What makes the Colosseum so iconic is the great number of stories that come along with it. From brave gladiators to the wealthy senate, you can learn about the lives of Ancient Rome. Plus, being only a minute away the Roman forum, there’s so much else to see in this part of the city.
Situated in the capital of Greece, the Parthenon also has an extensive history that takes it back another 500 years before the Colosseum in 447 BC. The temple was originally built to worship the goddess Athena after the older temple of Athena was destroyed by the Persians during their invasion in 480 BC. But, overtime, the Parthenon had become more popular and gained a secondary purpose as a treasury for the city and a symbol of wealth.
Unfortunately, after an Ottoman ammunition dump was ignited by Venetian bombardment during the siege in 1687, this ancient wonder received severe damages to its roof and sculptures. Even with considerable damage to the Parthenon, it is still an astonishing feat for the time period in which it was completed.
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