The world is filled with awe-inspiring destinations that have captivated the imaginations of travellers for centuries. From the Original Seven Wonders of the World to the modern New Seven Wonders of the World, these iconic landmarks continue to draw visitors from across the globe. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through these remarkable wonders, showcasing their historical significance, timeless beauty, and offering essential travel tips for each destination. Whether you’re an avid traveller or simply seeking inspiration for your next adventure, these bucket list destinations should be at the top of your list.
- The Original Seven Wonders of the World
- The New Seven Wonders of the World
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The Original Seven Wonders of the World
Great Pyramid of Giza
Location – Giza | Egypt
The Great Pyramid of Giza is not only the last standing wonder of the ancient world but also one of the most iconic and enigmatic structures in history. Built during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu around 2560 BC, this pyramid stands as a testament to ancient Egyptian engineering and architectural prowess.
Travel Tip: Visit during the cooler months of the year (November to February) to escape the intense Egyptian heat. Hire a guide to uncover the pyramid’s historical significance and mysteries.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Location – Iraq
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, although shrouded in myth and mystery, were said to be a marvel of ancient engineering, featuring lush gardens atop terraced platforms. While the existence of the gardens remains debated, you can explore the ruins of ancient Babylon, located in present-day Iraq, to immerse yourself in its rich history.
Travel Tip: Due to the region’s geopolitical situation, ensure you have the necessary permits and local guides to safely explore the site. Visit during the milder months (spring or autumn) for a more comfortable experience.
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Location – Olympia | Greece
The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, sculpted by Phidias, was an awe-inspiring representation of the god Zeus, and was one of the iconic wonders of the ancient world. It once graced the temple in Olympia, Greece, and was considered a masterpiece of classical Greek art.
Travel Tip: Visit Olympia – A UNESCO World Heritage site, during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds and the scorching midday sun. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the ancient Olympic Stadium and the archaeological site nearby.
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Location – Ephesus | Turkey
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was a grand sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Artemis. Located in present-day Turkey, it was one of the largest temples of the ancient world, showcasing remarkable architecture and sculptures. Ephesus is one of the greatest ancient sites in the Mediterranean, and in the first century BC, it was the second largest city in the World. The first one was Rome in Italy.
Travel Tip: The modern day town of Selcuk, is the gateway to the ancient city of Ephesus.The best time to explore Ephesus is in the morning, when you can beat both the heat and the crowds. Engage a knowledgeable guide to learn about the history of this ancient city and the significance of the temple.
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
Location – Bodrum | Turkey
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, built for Mausolus, a ruler of Caria in modern-day Turkey, was an early example of monumental architecture. Today, you can visit Bodrum, a coastal city in Turkey, to experience its historical and cultural offerings.
Travel Tip: Bodrum offers beautiful beaches and a vibrant nightlife in addition to historical sites. Explore the Bodrum Castle, where you can find artefacts from the Mausoleum and enjoy stunning views of the Mediterranean.
Colossus of Rhodes
Location – Rhodes | Greece
The Colossus of Rhodes, a colossal bronze statue of the sun god Helios, once stood at the entrance of the harbour in Rhodes, Greece. While the statue, which was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, no longer exists, Rhodes offers a wealth of historical and natural beauty.
Travel Tip: Discover the charm of Rhodes’ Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its medieval streets and fortifications. Also, enjoy the island’s pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters.
Lighthouse of Alexandria
Location – Egypt
The city of Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt and was found by Alexander The Great. Alexandria was home to one of the most iconic wonders of the ancient world – The Lighthouse of Alexandria, which was a towering structure on the island of Pharos, guiding sailors safely into the harbour of Alexandria, Egypt, for centuries, until it was severely damaged by three earthquakes between 956 and 1323 AD. Today, the city of Alexandria offers a blend of historical and modern attractions.
Travel Tip: Explore the Alexandria National Museum to learn about the city’s rich history and heritage. Take a leisurely stroll along the Corniche, a scenic waterfront promenade with captivating views of the Mediterranean.
The New Seven Wonders of the World
Great Wall of China
Location – China
The Great Wall of China is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic landmarks on Earth. Stretching over 13,000 miles, it is a marvel of ancient Chinese engineering and a testament to the country’s rich history.
Travel Tip: To escape the crowds, consider visiting less touristy sections like Mutianyu or Jinshanling. Wear comfortable hiking shoes, carry water, and take your time to soak in the breathtaking views.
Location – Jordan
Petra, often referred to as the “Rose City,” is an ancient Nabatean city carved into the rose-red cliffs of southern Jordan. Once a Roman trading stop and stronghold of the Nabataean Arab kingdom, Petra is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most iconic archaeological destinations.
Travel Tip: To explore this magnificent New Wonder of the World, arrive early to catch the soft morning light illuminating the Treasury, Petra’s most iconic structure. Wear comfortable walking shoes for exploring the rocky terrain and hire a local guide for historical insights.
Christ the Redeemer
Location – Rio de Janeiro | Brazil
Christ the Redeemer, standing atop the Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is a remarkable symbol of Christianity and a masterpiece of art and engineering. If you love the popular Netflix show Money Heist (La Casa Del Papel), you would know that one of the characters name is Rio, which is one of the highlights of this Money Heist Inspired Travel Bucket List. You’ll be amazed to know that, the city of Rio de Jeneiro is also, one of the best destinations in the World for Solo Travellers. Christ the Redeemer, is also one of the top places to visit in Brazil.
Travel Tip: Visit in the early morning or late afternoon to enjoy the best lighting and fewer crowds. Be vigilant about your belongings in tourist-heavy areas.
Location – Peru
Machu Picchu, nestled high in the Andes Mountains, is an Inca citadel and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Machu Picchu is one of the most popular wonders of the world, and occupies the top spot when it comes to the best things to do in Peru.
Travel Tip: To fully appreciate this archaeological gem, Book permits for the Inca Trail well in advance if you plan to hike to Machu Picchu. Spend time in Cusco acclimatising to the altitude before embarking on your trek.
Location – Mexico
One of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Chichén Itzá is among Mexico’s most visited and iconic archaeological sites. Known for its main central pyramid, this impressive Maya site—once the ceremonial center of the Yucatán—also features temples, ball courts, and a cenote (freshwater sinkhole).
Visiting Chichen Itza, is one of the best things to do in Mexico, according to this 7 Day Mexico Travel Itinerary and Guide.
Travel Tip: Visit Chichen Itza early in the day to avoid the heat and crowds. Hiring a local guide will enhance your understanding of the site’s history and significance.
Location – Rome | Italy
The Roman Colosseum, an ancient amphitheater in Rome, Italy, is a symbol of Roman engineering and entertainment. The Colosseum has been a symbol of Rome since 80 AD, and today, is a top monument in Italy, and one of the most visited site and attraction in Rome, according to this trip planning guide to Italy. It is also one of the Top 10 Places to visit in Rome.
Travel Tip: Purchase tickets online in advance to skip long entrance lines. Consider taking a guided tour to gain a deeper appreciation for the Colosseum’s history and its role in ancient Rome.
Location – Agra | India
The Taj Mahal, an exquisite white marble mausoleum in Agra, India, is renowned for its architectural beauty and symbolises enduring love. It is the most beautiful of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and a trip to Taj Mahal, should definitely be on your Incredible India Bucket List. The best part is that Agra, home to the elusive Taj Mahal, is a part of the famous Golden Triangle Itinerary, covering two of the best cities in India – The capital city of Delhi, and the Pink City of Jaipur in Rajasthan.
Travel Tip: Plan your visit at sunrise for the most captivating views and fewer tourists. Dress modestly, as the Taj Mahal is a sacred site, and stay hydrated as you explore the stunning gardens and monument.
From the original Seven Wonders of the World to the New Seven Wonders of the World, these bucket list destinations offer travellers a glimpse into the remarkable achievements of human civilisation. Each wonder has a unique story to tell and a beauty that transcends time. By following these travel tips, you can make the most of your visit, ensuring a safe and memorable experience. So, start planning your next adventure and explore the wonders of the world that have captured the imaginations of generations.
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