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15 Trips We’d Take Just To See A Building

I admit it. I am a sucker for good packaging and compelling experiences. This means, among other things, that I love design.  Any type of design, really, but my travels have taught me that I draw inspiration from great architecture. My sister and I got to talking and here’s our “Top 15” list of places we’d go (or have gone) just to see a building or structure.

 

THE CLASSICS

#1
Eiffel Tower
Paris, France
We’ve both been here and ridden to the top — and we’d go back and do it again.
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
courtesy of besttraveldestinations.com

 

#2
Parthenon
Athens, Greece

I’ve seen the Parthenon from every angle except the one that matters — inside. It’s gorgeous, especially when lit at night and viewed from the Plaka, the neighborhood at its base. Not sure why I didn’t go to the top of the Acropolis and walk through the Parthenon. I have some unfinished business in Athens, it seems.

Acropolis & Parthenon, Athens, Greece
courtesy of uniquedestination.gr

 

#3
The Colosseum
Rome, Italy
My first metro train ride in Rome was to the Colosseum station. When I rode the escalator up to ground level and walked outdoors, I was in total complete awe — a sense that never left me during the 18 hours that I spent in the “Eternal City.”  Ancient ruins mingling with everyday modern life.   I didn’t have the opportunity to tour the inside, so this architectural beauty remains on the bucket list.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy
courtesy of aviewoncities.com

 

#4
La Sagrada Familia
Barcelona, Spain
This is Gaudi at his best.  His architectural plans were so ambitious that architects and engineers have been continually building on it for 130 years.  They estimate that it will be finished in the first third of the 21st century.  We’ve seen it, but when it’s done, we are going back to see the masterpiece in its entirety.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
courtesy of gothereguide.com

 

 

FANTASIES BROUGHT TO LIFE

#5
St Basil’s Cathedral
Red Square
Moscow, Russia
I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t want to go inside a church that looks like candy.
St Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, Russia
courtesy of Oddee.com

 

#6
Neuschwanstein Castle
Southwest Bavaria, Germany
This building was the inspiration for the infamous castles of Disney World/Land. Can’t you just see Sleeping Beauty and other fairy tale princesses roaming its majestic halls?
Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany
courtesy of bing.com

 

#7
Taj Mahal
Agra, India
Taj Mahal — the  finest example of the Mughal architectural style — was built by emporer Shah Jahan as a tribute to his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal after her death. It’s essentially a mausoleum but the building’s sheer size and the unbelievably ornate detail it contains, speak volumes about the depth of Shah Jahan’s love.

Taj Mahal, Agra, India
courtesy of goheritageindiajourneys.com

 

 

BRILLIANT FEATS OF CONSTRUCTION

#8
Pyramids
Giza, Egypt 
Sphinx & Pyramid, Giza, Egypt
courtesy of friendlyplanet.com

#9
Petra
Jordan
A city carved into rock? Need we say anything more?

Petra
Petra (courtesy of uncorneredmarket.com)

 

#10
Burj Khalifa
Dubai, UAE
Tallest man-made structure in the world and such a display of extreme extravagance!

Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
courtesy of scelnews.com

 

#11
Macchu, Picchu
near Cusco, Peru
This 600 year old estate was built nearly 8,000 feet up into the Andes mountains. Without written records to tell us their motivation, the Incas have left us to speculate how and why they built this city in such a dramatic landscape. Despite the rigorous trek to get there, we think it’s worth the effort.

Machu Picchu, near Cusco, Peru
courtesy of culturefocus.com

INTERESTING & MYSTERIOUS

#12
Stonehenge
near Amesbury, UK
Archaeologists believe the monument was built anywhere between 3000 BC and 2000 BC. There’s such mystery about its construction that we want to see it first hand.

Stonehenge, near Amesbury, UK
courtesy of gizmodo.com

 

#13
Easter Island
This Polynesian island considered a territory of Chile is sprinkled with nearly 900 giant stone heads and torsos. Scientists are still trying to understand why — and more interestingly how — the ancient Polynesians moved the 30-foot statues, each weighing in at 80+ tons.

Easter Island, Chile
courtesy of Inkas.com

 

#14
Pompeii, Italy
Mt. Vesuvius erupted in AD79 burying the neighboring city of Pompeii under 20 feet of ash.  1700 years later, the town was accidentally rediscovered and ongoing excavations for the past 230+ years have revealed that the eruption preserved a day of Roman life in intricate detail — people, animals, food, homes all frozen in time.

Pompeii, Italy
courtesy of destination360.com

 

#15
Ankgor Wat
Angkor,Cambodia
This buddhist temple in northwest Cambodia dates back to the 12th century. With its beehive-like appendages, Angkor Wat is considered a masterpiece of Khmer architecture.

Angkor Wat, Angkor, Cambodia
courtesy of angkorwat.net

 

So, what’s on your list?

10 Comments
  1. Nomadic Samuel says

    Fantastic list! I’ve been fortunate enough to see about half of those. The ones that really stand out, in my opinion, are Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat.

  2. Angela says

    Seen some of them and planning the others, there’s something magical in each and every one of those buildings!

    1. Chelle says

      Cool! Thanks for your note. But, please do tell. Which one was your favorite? And, what’s next on your wishlist?

  3. Cylia says

    Awesome list!! I have some more traveling to do!

  4. Timothy says

    Finally got to see Moscow! It’s incredidibly magnificent. I’m thinking it’s one of the best looking cities ever…the downtown area that is!

    1. Chelle says

      Hey Tim,

      I was wondering how the trip went. It sounds like you had a great time and that it worth the adventure. I saw a few of the photos you first posted about your trip. I can’t wait to see more. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Helena says

    Hi! I love this post and I would make these trips with you. Ankgor Wat is calling me ;)!

    1. Chelle says

      Helena!! Hola, Chica! Thanks for your comments. I know, right? Angkor Wat is amazing … and so are most of the other sites. So many places in the world left to see … We’d love to have you join us 😉

  6. Tanya says

    I totally agree with your list. I haven’t seen most of the places in person but yes, I would go just to see them, pretty packaging and all.

    As I currently live in France, each time I’m in Paris I cannot resist the Iron Lady. During the day she’s lovely, but at night she’s spectacular, especially each hour when she literally sparkles.

    Love your site by the way; I’ve been reading and following from afar!

    1. Chelle says

      Hey Tanya!

      Thanks for your comment :-). It’s great to meet a fellow traveler and foodie. We definitely feel you — on several fronts!

      The “Iron Lady” is gorgeous, especially at dusk when you can make out the city around her but see her in all her shining glory. And, we <3 the French Riviera and will definitely be checking out your blog to hear your adventures in Nice.

      Random aside ... Are you getting ready for the Cannes Film Festival next month? It's such a tiny area, I can imagine all the stars and paparazzi are probably just an interruption to everyday life. LOL!

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