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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

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

Taj Mahal agra

Photo: Shutterstock

Eiffel Tower

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

Eiffel tower

Photo: Shutterstock

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

Sydney Opera House

Photo: Maurizio Callari / Shutterstock.com

Cheops Pyramid

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

cheopspyramiden

Photo: Shutterstock

Colosseum

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

Colosseum

Big Ben

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

Big Ben clock tower

Photo: Alexey Fedorenko/Shutterstock

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

empire state building nyc

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

Location: Jerusalem

Famous constructions in the world

Photo: VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock

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

Petronas Twin Towers

Photo: Andrey Paltsev / Shutterstock.com

Sagrada Familia

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

Sagrada Familia cathedral

Photo: Mapics / Shutterstock.com

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

The White house

Photo: Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

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

Lutande tornet i pisa

Angkor Wat

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

angkor wat

Parthenon

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

Parthenon

Photo: Shutterstock

Burj Khalifa

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

burj khalifa varldens hogsta byggnad

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 building

Photo: stoyanh / Shutterstock.com

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. 

BuildingPlace
Great Mosque of DjenneMali
Kenyatta InternationalKenya
El JemTunisia
Cheops PyramidEgypt
The Mosque of Amr ibn al-AsEgypt
Basilica of Our Lady of PeaceIvory Coast
Marble TowersJohannesburg
Castle of Good HopeCape Town
 
Most famous buildings in Africa

Photo: Torsten Pursche/Shutterstock

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.

BuildingCountry/Place
Taj MahalIndia
Lotus TempleIndia
Hawa MahalIndia
Burj KhalifaDubai (UAE)
Burj Al-ArabDubai (UAE)
Sheikh Zayed Grand MosqueAbu Dhabi (UAE)
Angkor WatCambodia
Dome of the RockJerusalem
Petronas Twin TowersMalaysia
Taipei 101Taiwan
Shanghai TowerChina
Paro TaktsangBhutan
Potala PalaceTibet
Shwedagon PagodaMyanmar
Golden PavillionKyoto
Tokyo SkytreeTokyo
Tokyo TowerTokyo
Himeji CastleJapan
Todaiji TempleNara
Borobudur TempleIndonesia
Lotte World TowerSouth Korea
Wat ArunThailand
Wat Rong KhunThailand
Gur-e-AmirUzbekistan
Golestan PalaceIran
Temple of BacchusLebanon

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. 

BuildingPlace/Country
The ShardLondon
Buckingham PalaceLondon
Big BenLondon
Mont Saint MichelFrance
Palace of VersaillesFrance
Arc de TriompheParis
Sacre CoeurParis
LouvreParis
ColosseumRome
PantheonRome
St Peter’s Basilica Rome
Trevi FountainRome
Duomo di MilanoMilano
Duomo di FirenzeFlorence
Leaning tower of PisaPisa
Hungarian ParliamentBudapest
Fisherman’s BastionBudapest
FrauenkircheDresden
Cologne CathedralKöln
Neuschwanstein CastleGermany
St Basil’s CathedralMoscow
Winter PalaceSt Petersburg
AlhambraGranada
Casa MilàBarcelona
Sagrada FamiliaBarcelona
Guggenheim MuseumBilbao
Mosque of CordobaCordoba
Turning TorsoMalmö
ParthenonAthens
The Blue MosqueIstanbul
Hagia SophiaIstanbul
 
Most Famous buildings in Europe

Photo: Nattee Chalermtiragool / Shutterstock.com

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. 

BuildingPlace
Empire State BuildingNew York
Flatiron BuildingNew York
Chrysler BuildingNew York
CloudgateChicago
Willis TowerChicago
Space NeedleSeattle
The White HouseWashington D.C
Trinity ChurchBoston
CN TowerToronto
Gooderham BuildingToronto
Peace TowerOntario
Fairmont Le Château FrontenacQuebec
Palacio de Bellas ArtesMexico City
Templo Mayor MuseumMexico City
F&F Tower Panama
El CapitolioCuba
 
Most famous buildings in North America

Photo: Barry Neal / Shutterstock.com

Famous Buildings in Oceania

The most famous building in Oceania is without a doubt the Sydney Opera House. 

BuildingPlace
Sydney Opera HouseSydney
Rialto TowersMelbourne
Q1Surfer’s Paradise
Infinity TowerBrisbane
BeehiveWellington (New Zealand)
Larnach CastleDunedin
Auckland Ferry TerminalAuckland
Sacred Heart CathedralFiji
Notre Dame CathedralTahiti
 
Famous Buildings in Oceania

Photo: GagliardiPhotography/shutterstock

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. 

BuildingCountry
Gran Torre SantiagoChile
The Bahá’í Temple of South AmericaChile
Palacio BaroloArgentina
Teatro ColonArgentina
Las Lajas SanctuaryColombia
Cathedral of BrasíliaBrazil
Teatro AmazonasBrazil
Basílica del Voto NacionalEcuador
Palacio SalvoUruguay

How many of these famous buildings have you visited? Leave a comment below!