There are many impressive buildings in the world, some more well-known and significant than others. Here’s a list of the most famous buildings in the world.
Visiting buildings that are famous or of historic importance is one of the main reasons why people travel. Some travelers also have bucket lists where they have written down all the famous buildings in the world that they want to visit before they die.
These buildings are not ranked in any particular order, but they are all surely some of the most prominent buildings in the world.
Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and the details are incredible. Despite its resemblance to a palace, it’s actually a grave monument that was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, to honor his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Taj Mahal is visited by some 7-8 million visitors every year and was completed in the 1600s. Since 1983, it’s listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Location: Agra, India
The Eiffel Tower is an iconic landmark in Paris, but it wasn’t always like that. In fact, the locals hated the Eiffel Tower in the beginning, and many of the residents found it to be grotesque and horrible-looking.
Today, that might seem ironic since the tower is visited by millions of tourists every year.
Location: Paris, France
Sydney Opera House
The Opera House in Sydney is a very famous building that is especially renowned for its modern architecture. It was the Danish architect Jørn Utzon who designed the spectacular Opera House in Sydney, after winning a competition.
Location: Sydney, Australia
Cheops Pyramid is the oldest building among the most famous buildings in the world. The Pyramid is a part of the Pyramids of Giza and has been standing here for thousands of years.
It was built during the fourth dynasty in the beginning of the 2500s B.C. The pyramid has a height of 138 meters and is believed to have been built as a grave monument for Pharao Khufu.
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Colosseum is without a doubt one of the most famous buildings in the world. The enormous amphitheater was built as a gift to the Roman People during the 1st century.
The inauguration continued for 100 days and included some of the bloodiest gladiator games in history as well as several animal fights and recreation of historic battles. Today, Colosseum is mostly famous for its grand architecture and attracts millions of visitors every year.
Location: Rome, Italy
Big Ben is another iconic building that has been seen frequently in a wide range of movies and TV-shows. The clock tower is one of several famous buildings in London and is actually a part of the Palace of Westminister.
Another interesting fact about Big Ben is that it’s only the clock itself that is named Big Ben. The original name for the clock tower is Elizabeth Tower.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Empire State Building
Empire State Building is the pride of the New York skyline for many years, and it’s one of the most iconic skyscrapers of all time. With timeless architecture and a height of 443 meters, it continues to impress visitors even today.
Location: New York, USA
Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock is a holy building for Muslims, and it’s beautifully located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It’s the oldest existing Muslim building, and the location is also one of the holiest sites within Judaism.
Petronas Twin Towers
When Petronas Twin Towers was completed in 1998, it became the tallest building in the world. The Twin Towers is a famous landmark in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia and is nowadays one of the most famous buildings in Asia and the world.
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
La Sagrada Familia is a well-known landmark in Barcelona which isn’t yet finished. The building is a masterpiece by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudi, and thanks to all the tourists who have paid the entrance fee, there is finally enough money to finish the construction.
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The White House
The White House might not be one of the most impressive buildings in the world in terms of architecture. But it’s certainly fascinating since the most powerful person in the world has its office here, namely the president of the United States.
It’s very famous and there aren’t many people in the world who have never heard or seen a photo of the White House in Washington D.C.
Location: Washington D.C, USA
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Imagine that a failed construction could make the Tower of Pisa into one of the most iconic buildings in the world. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is especially famous for being inclined without falling, but it’s also a beautiful structure.
The construction started already in the 1100s and it was never supposed to lean at all. However, the architects underestimated the muddy and water-rich ground. Million of visitors from around the world come to see the Tower of Pisa every year, and it’s one of the most famous landmarks of Italy.
Location: Pisa, Italy
Angkor Wat sees some 2 million visitors annually and it’s one of the most famous temples in the world. It’s actually part of a much larger temple complex in the historic town of Angkor in Cambodia, but Angkor Wat is one single structure.
Location: Angkor, Cambodia
Athens is often mentioned as the craddle of modern civilization and Parthenon is one of the few buildings that are still standing from the times of Ancient Greece. The original temple was built between 447-433 B.C to honor Pallas Athena.
Parthenon is located on top of Acropolis and has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1987.
Location: Athens, Greece
Burj Khalifa was inaugurated as late as 2010, but has quickly gained fame worldwide since it’s nowadays the tallest building in the world. The grand Khalifa tower has a staggering height of 829,8 meters above the sea, and from here you get a remarkable view over Dubai.
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
More about the world’s most famous buildings
The world is full of famous buildings that have gained fame all over the planet. What they all have in common is that they stand out from other man-made objects, either by its historic or religious significance or simply because of unique architecture.
Many of them combine a grand history with spectacular architecture that attracts millions of visitors every year. Cheops Pyramid is the oldest structure of the most famous buildings in the world and has been standing tall since Ancient Egypt.
Colosseum is another famous building, and although it has a bloody history featuring the Gladiator games, it’s one of the most impressive buildings in Europe, and a legacy from the Roman Empire.
Famous Buildings in Africa
In my opinion, the most impressive building in Africa is definitely the Great Mosque of Djenne or the mighty Cheops Pyramid, which was one of the old seven wonders of the world.
The Roman Amphitheater El Jem is another famous landmark in Africa.
|Great Mosque of Djenne||Mali|
|The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As||Egypt|
|Basilica of Our Lady of Peace||Ivory Coast|
|Castle of Good Hope||Cape Town|
Famous Buildings in Asia
Asia is the largest continent in the world and home to many interesting countries and cultures. Throughout history, some of the most impressive buildings in the world have been built here, and the list of famous Asian buildings could be just as long as the one for Europe.
|Burj Khalifa||Dubai (UAE)|
|Burj Al-Arab||Dubai (UAE)|
|Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque||Abu Dhabi (UAE)|
|Dome of the Rock||Jerusalem|
|Petronas Twin Towers||Malaysia|
|Lotte World Tower||South Korea|
|Wat Rong Khun||Thailand|
|Temple of Bacchus||Lebanon|
Famous Buildings in Europe
Europe is without a doubt the continent that holds the highest number of famous buildings. Many of them are historical but some are built in recent times as well.
|Mont Saint Michel||France|
|Palace of Versailles||France|
|Arc de Triomphe||Paris|
|St Peter’s Basilica||Rome|
|Duomo di Milano||Milano|
|Duomo di Firenze||Florence|
|Leaning tower of Pisa||Pisa|
|St Basil’s Cathedral||Moscow|
|Winter Palace||St Petersburg|
|Mosque of Cordoba||Cordoba|
|The Blue Mosque||Istanbul|
Famous Buildings in North America
There are countless skyscrapers and impressive buildings in North America. Below are some of the most famous buildings in the U.S, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and Cuba.
|Empire State Building||New York|
|Flatiron Building||New York|
|Chrysler Building||New York|
|The White House||Washington D.C|
|Fairmont Le Château Frontenac||Quebec|
|Palacio de Bellas Artes||Mexico City|
|Templo Mayor Museum||Mexico City|
Famous Buildings in Oceania
The most famous building in Oceania is without a doubt the Sydney Opera House.
|Sydney Opera House||Sydney|
|Beehive||Wellington (New Zealand)|
|Auckland Ferry Terminal||Auckland|
|Sacred Heart Cathedral||Fiji|
|Notre Dame Cathedral||Tahiti|
Famous Buildings in South America
There are many impressive colonial buildings that are scattered across the South American continent, but there are also newer skyscrapers and other historic buildings that have gained a certain fame.
Note: Complexes such as Machu Picchu and other sites with several buildings have not been included on this list.
|Gran Torre Santiago||Chile|
|The Bahá’í Temple of South America||Chile|
|Las Lajas Sanctuary||Colombia|
|Cathedral of Brasília||Brazil|
|Basílica del Voto Nacional||Ecuador|
How many of these famous buildings have you visited? Leave a comment below!