The most iconic tourist attraction in 26 countries around the world (Talia Lakritz)
Blue Lagoon Iceland

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  • Every country has landmarks and natural wonders that are internationally recognizable.
  • You can't visit France without seeing the Eiffel Tower, or Iceland without swimming in the Blue Lagoon.
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a symbol of Italy, and Canada calls Niagara Falls to mind.
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Iconic tourist attractions are popular for a reason.

Sure, it might be a little bit cliche to snap a photo in front of the Eiffel Tower or take a dip in Iceland's Blue Lagoon, but there's something powerful about finally seeing a famous landmark or natural wonder in person instead of on a postcard (or on Instagram).

Here's the most iconic tourist site in 26 different countries.

China: the Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

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At over 13,000 miles long, the Great Wall of China is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is the most popular with tourists, just two hours outside Beijing.

India: the Taj Mahal

taj mahal


The Taj Mahal was built by the emperor Shah Jahan between 1631 and 1648. UNESCO calls it "the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture."

France: the Eiffel Tower

eiffel tower

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No trip to France is complete without visiting the iconic Eiffel Tower, which was completed in 1889 and stands at 1,063 feet tall.

Canada: Niagara Falls

niagara falls

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With about 30 million visitors a year, Niagara Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the world.

Thailand: Patong Beach

patong beach phuket thailand


Patong Beach is arguably the most famous (and stunning) of Phuket's beach resorts.

Brazil: Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro

christ the redeemer

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The 98-foot-tall statue in Tijuca Forest National Park can be seen for miles and is one of the new seven wonders of the world.

Cuba: Old Havana

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Old Havana was founded around 1519. It has five plazas serving as historical city centers with Baroque and neoclassical architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

United Arab Emirates: Burj Khalifa

burj khalifa

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Burj Khalifa in Dubai holds seven world records, including the tallest building in the world, at 2,716 feet tall.

Egypt: the Great Sphinx

sphinx pyramids giza egypt

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The Great Sphinx with the face of the ancient Egyptian King Khafre is 240 feet long and 66 feet high.

Japan: Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji Japan

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Climbing all 12,388 feet of Mount Fuji isn't for the faint of heart, but it's doable to reach the summit in a day or two.

United Kingdom: Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

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Buckingham Palace is the British monarchy's administrative headquarters with a total of 775 rooms. Tourists who time their visits right can witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony, and may even catch a glimpse of a member of the royal family.

Australia: Sydney Opera House

sydney opera house

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This symbol of the Sydney Harbor and UNESCO World Heritage Site opened in 1973 and remains one of the most recognizable buildings in the world.

Greece: the Parthenon

Parthenon temple on a sunset with pink and purple clouds. Acropolis in Athens, Greece - Image


Built in the 5th century BCE for the goddess Athena, much of the white marble basic structure has remained. 

Bolivia: Salar de Uyuni salt flat

bolivia salar de uyuni salt flats

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The world's largest salt flat makes for some amusing photo opportunities that play with perspective.

Spain: La Sagrada Família

La Sagrada Família

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Construction on the ornate temple began in 1882 and still isn't finished (the expected completion date is 2026). Over 4.5 million people visit the cathedral each year.

Iceland: Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon Iceland

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Contrary to popular belief, the Blue Lagoon isn't a naturally-occurring phenomenon. It's made from a nearby geothermal power plant's discharge

Argentina: La Boca, Buenos Aires

buenos aires

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La Boca's colorful buildings and cobblestone streets complete with a lively arts scene make this district one of the most visited (and most photogenic) in Buenos Aires.

Mexico: Chichen-Itza

Chichen Itza

Shutterstock / Kovyrina

This ancient Mayan settlement dates back to the 400s and was abandoned in the 15th century. Thousands of people visit its remains each day.

New Zealand: Hobbiton

Hobbiton New Zealand

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Fans of "The Lord of the Rings" can visit Middle Earth in the form of Hobbiton, the movie set used to film scenes in the Shire for the "Lord of the Rings" movies.

Croatia: Dubrovnik Old Town

Croatia Dubrovnik Old City Walls


The Dubrovnik Old Town is one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in the world with enormous walls dating back to the 11th century.

Vietnam: Ba Na Hill mountain resort

ba na hill vietnam

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Ba Na Hill's attractions include cable cars through the mountains, the Golden Bridge held up by enormous stone hands, and theme park rides.

Zambia: Victoria Falls

victoria falls zambia

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At the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe lies Victoria Falls, a 354-foot waterfall that has been called "the greatest curtain of falling water in the world."

Morocco: Hassan II Mosque

hassan II mosque


The Hasan II Mosque is the largest mosque in Africa and has the tallest minaret in the world at 700 feet tall. It was built in 1993.

United States: Disney World

disney world

Gene Duncan/Disney Parks via Getty Images

Disney World is one of the most popular tourist sites in the US with over 17 million visitors every year.

The Netherlands: Anne Frank House

anne frank house

Peter Dejong/AP

Anne Frank's diary chronicling her life before World War II, her years hiding from the Nazis, and her musings as a young woman became world famous after the war. Visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam where her family hid in a secret annex requires a reservation months in advance

Italy: Leaning Tower of Pisa

leaning tower of pisa italy

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It's nearly impossible to resist the optical illusion photo-ops that the leaning tower of Pisa provides. Construction on the building began in 1173, and it currently leans about four degrees.

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