Choosing the 30 best man made sites in the world is quite an undertaking. Much like the 30 best cities in the world or the 30 best islands in the world; there is a ton to consider. As you know, the world is a very big place and then there is the old versus new to consider. What constitutes a great site?
I feel that most people would jump and say something like the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben or the Statue of Liberty as those are pretty famous landmarks that everyone knows. Those sites are all great and of course man made but are they one of the 30 best man made sites in the world? Obviously, that depends who you ask but from someone who has been everywhere and seen pretty much everything I had a few other ideas. Although one of those 3 did make the list because of what I call “shock value”.
Shock Value is when you look at something for the first time and your breath is taken away. Shock Value is when you are in the presence of something significantly larger than yourself and it humbles you. Shock Value is when the enormity of the history of a site takes over you and leaves you speechless. Shock Value is the best thing about traveling and seeing the world.
Granted, lots of sites have shock value and of course that will be different to different people with varying interests and knowledge. So the following list is based upon my experiences and my travels over the past 15+ years. Here is the criteria I used in selecting the 30 best man made sites in the world.
-I have been to the site at least once and of these 30 I have been to 23 multiple times.
-I only picked one site per country. There are two choices that need to be clarified in this rule. I chose one site in China and one site in Tibet as I consider Tibet to be a separate country. I chose one in Rome, Italy and one in Vatican City as they are separate countries.
-For those who wonder why I limited it to one per country when a country like Egypt, Italy or France could have several each; the reason is to highlight more of the world and incredible sites that people may not know about.
-When I say the Vatican, that refers to the whole place; meaning specifically St. Peter’s Basilica and of course the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. Sydney Harbour refers to the entire thing including the Opera House and Harbour Bridge
-I chose not to include skylines of cities like New York, Hong Kong or Shanghai. All 3 of which I think are amazing but that would take away from the individual sites. The lone sort of exception to this rule is the Las Vegas Strip at night. I had to include it because it is so striking that even after 100 times in Vegas I am still in awe of it.
So without further ado…here are the 30 best man made sites in the world…what do you think?
30 Borobudur in Java, Indonesia
29 Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France
28 Old City Sanaa in Sanaa, Yemen
27 Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England
26 Registan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan
25 Bagan in Myanmar
24 Polonnaruwa in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
23 Red Square in Moscow, Russia
22 Acropolis in Athens, Greece
21 Teotihuacan near Mexico City, Mexico
20 Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, Singapore
19 Sydney Harbour in Sydney, Australia
18 Prague Main Square in Prague, Czech Republic
17 Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, USA
16 Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
15 The Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland
14 Colosseum in Rome, Italy
13 Machu Picchu in Aguas Calientes, Peru
12 Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia
11 Tikal in Petin Basin, Guatemala
10 Djenne Mud Mosque in Djenne, Mali
9 Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE
8 Great Wall of China in Eastern China
7 The Vatican in Vatican City
6 Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet
5 Taj Mahal in Agra, India
4 Pyramids at Giza in Cairo, Egypt
3 Petra in Petra, Jordan
2 Moai on Easter Island, Chile
1 Tigers Nest Monastery in Paro Valley, Bhutan