Cambodia's Angkor Wat Beats Machu Picchu in TripAdvisor Ranking of Top Landmarks
Whether it’s to contemplate its spiritual significance, admire its 12th-century architecture, or just to share a selfie, Angkor Wat gets the nod as the one landmark people want to see most when they travel.
TripAdvisor released its 2015 Travelers’ Choice Landmarks list for the world and the U.S., based on the quantity and quality of reviews for landmarks on its site over the previous 12 months. Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, the largest existing religious monument in the world, unseated last year’s winner, Machu Picchu.
Angkor Wat’s popularity is nothing new, of course, and the sacred site attracts millions of visitors per year (there’s no official count). If you want to avoid those throngs, your best bet is to visit when it opens at 5 a.m. or when it’s near closing at 6 p.m.
Machu Picchu, Peru’s famous lost city in the Andes Mountains, was runner-up this year. And like Angkor Wat, it’s been strangely popular among exhibitionist travelers as of late, with multiple reports of tourists snapping nude photos.
The two American sites in TripAdvisor’s top 10 share the same bay in San Francisco: the prison museum of Alcatraz, and the legendary Golden Gate Bridge that separates San Francisco from Marin County.
Here’s are all top 10 landmarks:
1. Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia
2. Machu Picchu – Machu Picchu, Peru
3. Taj Mahal – Agra, India
Interestingly, the Times of India is reporting a drop in foreign tourists here over the past three years.
4. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Built from 1996 to 2007, this is by far the newest landmark in the top 10.
5. Basilica of the Sagrada Familia – Barcelona, Spain
A landmark in patience, this World Heritage Site began construction in 1882 and isn’t projected to be complete until 100 years after architect Antoni Gaudí death, in 2026.
6. St. Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City, Italy
This is easily has the best visitor-to-resident ratio on the list, attracting millions of visitors per year within the tiny state.
7. Milan Cathedral (Duomo) – Milan, Italy
Beginning construction in 1386, this is the fifth-largest church in the world.
8. Alcatraz – San Francisco
Night tours are an increasingly popular way to tour the island.
9. Corcovado – Cristo Redentor – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
At 2,326 feet above sea level, you can burn a lot of calories venturing up to see the captivating views from here.
10. Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco
TripAdvisor released a separate top 10 for top-reviewed landmarks in the U.S., with New York getting half of them. Here’s the list:
2. Golden Gate Bridge
3. Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool – Washington, D.C.
4. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum – New York City
5. USS Arizona Memorial – Honolulu, Hawaii
6. Empire State Building – New York City
7. Statue of Liberty – New York City
8. Brooklyn Bridge – Brooklyn, New York
9. Grand Central Terminal – New York City
10. Gettysburg National Military Park – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania