Most travel bucket lists contain some—if not all—the Wonders of the World, so named because they are incredible feats of architecture and inspiration. Unfortunately, most of us won’t get the opportunity to jet-set from one incredible landmark to another, so we must pick and choose our destinations carefully. We examined 20 cities, all containing an acknowledged Wonder of the World, and ranked them based on activities, amenities, distance to airport, accommodations, and of course, awesomeness of wonder, to see which would really be the best investment of your time. Check out the graphics below to see how each destination fared.
The destination that rounds out the bottom of the bucket list is Stonehenge, in Amesbury, England. While it is an interesting and enigmatic site, the out-of-the-way location translates to few hotels and restaurants, and limited activities. 90 miles from London and three hours from Ely Cathedral, the other top destination in the UK, Stonehenge might be better suited as a daytrip from a larger hub, such as London or Bath.
With four on the list, one country has a bounty of world wonders. Egypt is often called the cradle of civilization because the earliest records of man thriving happened in the Fertile Crescent (along with Mesopotamia in modern-day Iraq). Having such a long memory of humankind lends Egypt some of the most awe-inspiring and mysterious landmarks—numbers 11, 12, 13, and 19 on our list. If one of the Egyptian wonders is on a bucket list, it’s probably best to see them all: the 2nd century catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa of Alexandria are a few hours to the Great Pyramids of Giza, which are just outside the capital metropolis of Cairo and the Citadel, and just a few hours northwest is Port Said, site of the historic Suez Canal.
The number one destination is Rome, Italy. Witnessing the grandiose architecture of the well-preserved Colosseum is like stepping way back in time. Nestled amongst the cosmopolitan streets of modern Rome and hundreds of historic ruins peppering the city, Rome has accessibility and originality, as well as tourism-friendly amenities and gorgeous scenery to make Italy’s capital a top bucket list destination. Both the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—the second and third top destinations—offer a bustling, vibrant cultural hub with plenty of restaurants and activities in the shadow of an awe-inspiring and iconic landmark.
While each bucket list destination offers something spectacular, a handful of sites rank highest on Trip Advisor: The Great Wall of China, The Taj Mahal in India, Wadi Musa in Jordan, Machu Picchu in Peru, and surprisingly, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Each of these places is home to an engineering marvel of architecture and a testament to human perseverance. But who knows how long these wonders of the world will last? Better get your passport ready and start checking off items on your bucket list.
“Building the world’s wonders” – SCIENCE TECH
“Cost to build world’s greatest wonders” – TRAVELER