When it comes to learning about the history of a new destination, travelers should look no further than its iconic buildings.
Of course, there are other ways to discover the local culture, which can be reflected in the food, the textiles, and the dialects, but it’s the buildings that can reveal the most about a place.
Local landmarks are—in essence— silent witnesses to past eras, kingdoms, and tastes, but they can also offer us clues to what the future holds (not to mention make for a great travel gram, too).
Consider this lineup to be a travel bucket list of sorts. These buildings are renowned for various reasons—some for their architectural charm, others for their historical significance, and some for a healthy mix of both.
A fair amount of them are well-known, of course: Think Europe’s museums, churches, and other landmarks whose replicas live on in souvenir shops and countless photos.
There are also, of course, a decent number on this list designed by famous architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Oscar Niemeyer too.
And while some of these edifices exist off the beaten path, they’re just as important in their own right.
Here, AD rounds up iconic buildings from around the world that you’ll be glad you’ve seen when you look back on your travels.
It’s been said that travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer, and we couldn’t agree more.
1. Hagia Sophia — Istanbul, Turkey
2. The Guggenheim — New York City, USA
3. Taj Mahal — Agra, India
4. Dancing House — Prague, Czech Republic
5. Château de Chenonceau — Chenonceaux, France
6. Niterói Contemporary Art Museum — Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
7. The Pyramids of Giza — Giza, Egypt
8. Acropolis of Athens — Athens, Greece
9. Le Centre Pompidou — Paris, France
10. The Gateway Arch — St. Louis, Missouri, USA
11. Musée d’Orsay — Paris, France
12. The Gherkin — London, U.K.
13. Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasília — Brasília, Brazil
14. Mosque of Córdoba — Córdoba, Spain
15. Westminster Abbey — London, U.K.
16. Dresden Frauenkirche — Dresden, Germany
17. Château Frontenac — Québec, Canada
18. The Colosseum — Rome, Italy
19. One World Trade Center — New York City, USA
20. The Lotus Temple — New Delhi, India
21. St. Basil’s Cathedral — Moscow, Russia
22. Dome of the Rock — Jerusalem, Israel
23. Casa Milà — Barcelona, Spain
24. The White House — Washington, D.C., USA
25. Forbidden City — Beijing, China
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