When it comes to placing items on your bucket list, one cannot go without some extraordinary places in the world. Some people put “buy a Ferrari” on their bucket list, and that might a reach. But some of the places on this list are very much accessible, no matter your budget. We’ve tried to round up a list of wonderfully and astonishing places on Earth that were built by man, not by nature. And you can visit them all. As a matter of fact, you should visit them!
1. Mogao Caves, China
A shrine of Buddhist art treasure, the caves form a system of 492 temples. Strategically located on the Silk Road, on a cultural crossroad between cultural and religious roads, the Mogao caves are believed to be 1700 years old. They were hidden for more than 900 years, but now they are visible for the whole world to see them.
2.Standing Stone of Callanish, Scotland
Don’t mistake the Callanish stones with Stonehenge. While they are both located in Scotland, the Callanish stones are actually explained. Stonehenge, on the other hand is one of the biggest mysteries of the world. Speaking of the stones, they arranged in a specific way, so that the central stone circle is the focal point of the cruciform pattern. Many believe they were used for ritual activity during the Bronze Age.
3. Schwerin Palace, Schwerin, Germany
France has Versailles, Austria has Schönbrunn, and Germany has Schwerin Palace. The Palace, or the Castle, was built in 1857, and represents a true romantic fairytale fortress. Located in the city of Schwerin, the Palace is actually positioned on an island in one of the many lakes in the city. The palace is surrounded with towers, wings and domes, and reflects its beauty in the waters of the Schwerin Lake.
4. Wulingyuan, China
A historical spot in China, the area was put under the protection of UNESCO in 1992. The area consists of many national parks, the largest of which is Zhangjiajie.
5. Naica Crystal Mines, Chihuahua, Mexico
The cave is located 900ft underneath the city of Naica. The crystal cave contains some of the largest crystals ever discovered, with the largest being 39ft in length. The crystals were formed thanks to magma activity, as the city lies on magma fields. The first expedition to the cave was in 1910, but the discovery actually came in 2000. In 2006, an Italian expedition explored the cave.
6. Portmeirion, Wales
The village was built with a sole purpose to mimic an Italian village. It took 50 years for this project to be completed. Nowadays, it serves as a tourist attraction owned by a charitable trust.
7. Huacachina Oasis, Ica, Peru
How can an oasis exist in a middle of the driest place on Earth? That is the question many have asked, yet nobody has offered a plausible answer to date. The village is built around a small oasis, surrounded on all sides by sand dunes. The magical village is part of almost every adventurer’s bucket list.
8. Meteora, Greece
The Meteora traces back to the 11th century. The biggest and most important group of monasteries in Greece after Mount Athos is actually built on formation of monolithic pillars and hills. It is a wonder how the monasteries were built, seeing as the area is almost non accessible by any transportation service.
9. Danakil Depression, Dallol, Ethiopia
The best way to describe the area is “Hell on Earth”. It might sound like too much, but that Danakil Depression is the Earth’s most unforgiving landscape. Located at the heart of Ethiopia, the area was result of three tectonic plates.
10. Baalbek, Lebanon
Some say that Baalbek, or Balbec as some call it should have been part of the seven wonders of the Ancient world. Be as it is, the town is actually the oldest and probably most mysterious ruins left from the Roman Empire. The ruins are believed to be more than two thousand years old, with the temple to Jupiter located in the middle of it all.
11. Viñales Valley, Cuba
The area is under the protection of UNESCO, part of the World Heritage. And the fun part is that the area is actually one of the most celebrated and scenic cycling tracks in Cuba. The valley spreads on an area of more than 132 km2.
12. Ruins of Leptis Magna, Libya
Another UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the Ruins of Leptis Magna inspire awe like few other places on Earth. They have been in existence for more than 600 years, and are believed to be built by Septimius Severus, a Roman Emperor. Located 80 miles east of Tripoli, the site is spectacular, unspoiled mixture of sunshine meeting the cold breeze of the Mediterranean.
13. Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
The Lions Rock, that is the popular name for the rock fortress that is built from terracotta and grey core of rocks located in the heart of Sri Lanka, near the town of Dambulla. The entrance to the fortress is in the form of a lion, a massive gatehouse that guards the sanctum.
14. Pamukkale, Turkey
There are just so many legends tied to this place. The mineral-rich thermal waters flowing from white terraces are one of the must see places in Turkey. Near the thermal waters, you’ll also find theater and necropolis built during the Roman Empire.
15. Mount Roraima, Venezuela
A mystified hiking experience, Mount Roraima is surrounded on all sides by cliffs that rise as high as 1300 ft. The summit area was first described in 1596 by the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh. Even though it was discovered rather late, the mountain formation is believed to be one of the oldest on Earth. Mount Roraima is actually the natural border between Guyana, Venezuela and Brazil.
16. Cuicul (Djémila), Algeria
Nowadays, this small mountain village is known as Djemila. The former name was Cuicil, and is the home of some of the best preserved Roman ruins in North Africa.
17. Maelifell, Iceland
Surrounded by black soil and surreal ambience, the perfectly shaped cone volcano is one of Iceland’s must see. An iconic landmark, the volcano is covered in green moss, making it even more awe inspiring. The view from the top is simply breath taking, and you can get there easily.
18. Ayutthaya, Thailand
There was a time when the ancient city was considered the most spectacular city on Earth. Nowadays, it is all in ruins, but that doesn’t stop it from making the most famous tourist attraction in Thailand. The city served as a capital to the Kingdom of Sian, and up until 1767, the city was livable. In 1767, the city was razed by the Burmese, and the ruins nowadays contain many monasteries, statues, Buddhist temples and breathtaking palaces.
19. Gorges de l’Ardèche, France
The European Grand Canyon, that is the name that tourists and locals give to this series of gorges. Tourists in the area can enjoy canoe or kayak excursions.
20. Transfiguration Church, Kizhi, Russia
The Church serves as a testament to the development of Russian industry and manufacture. Imagine a church built without any nails, just by wood. That is what the Church of Transfiguration represents, a monument and the most remarkable part of the Kizhi Pogost. Because the only material is wood, the church is not heated, and holds services only in the summer. There are no winter services in the church with 22 domes. According to estimates, the Church is the tallest wooden building in the north area of Russia.
21. Sighișoara, Romania
The town is one of the most beautiful, and definitely best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. The city was built during the 12th century by the Transylvanian Saxons. The town has a population of nearly 30,000 citizens, every one of them friendly and always willing to chat with tourists.
22. Red Seabeach, Panjin, China
Famous for its combination of sea and river, the landscape features red grass Sueda, which defines the area. You can visit anytime in the year, the area will still be red.
23. Palau Archipelago, Micronesia
The archipelago is made out of eight large islands, and more than 250 islets. The best part about the archipelago is the variety and diversity of people, cuisines and cultures. With a mix of Japanese, Micronesian and Melanesian elements, you can find different cultures and cuisines. The archipelago is located in the Western Pacific Ocean, and while now is part of Micronesia, there was a time it was actually territory of the United States of America.
24. Mount Bromo, Indonesia
Mount Bromo is a living proof that climbing an active volcano without any risk to your life is possible. Located in Indonesia, Bromo is part of the Tengger massif. And while it is not the highest mountain of the massif at 2329m, Bromo is still the most iconic and famous mountain of the massif. Catching the sunrise or the sunset at the top of the mountain is a magical experience like no other.
25. Chapelle St-Michel d’Aiguilhe, France
The French village is home for a fascinating little pilgrimage chapel that is positioned 279ft off the ground. Built on a volcanic formation, the chapel is accessible only by the bravest and most dedicated.
26. Lauca World Biosphere Reserve
Eight areas in Chile are part of the UNESCO World Heritage, Lauca being one of them. With more than 140 bird species, Lauca is arguably the most famous World Network of Global Biosphere Reserve in Chile. The area spreads over 1,379 km2, all mountains and altiplano. The mountains are mostly volcanos.
27. Forest of Knives, Madagascar
The island of Madagascar is home of some of the most incredible landscapes you’ll ever find, and the “forest of knives” is one of those. Giant trees that look like stones, the view from the top is breathtaking. The limestone formation spreads on an area of 500 km2, and despite being one of the most incredible areas, the forest is one of the least visited national parks.
28. Anjar, Lebanon
Famous for the Great Palace, the Anjar is actually a summer and hunting resort located in the Bekaa Valley. The resort has a population of some 2,000 people, mostly Armenians. The area is different than any other archeological experience you’ll find in Lebanon.
29. Semuc Champey, Guatemala
You can say you’ve found paradise once you step foot at the Semuc Champey. A 300m natural limestone bridge is the centerpiece of this area, with turquoise blue pools underneath the bridge.
30. Tower of Hercules, Spain
The Tower is actually a lighthouse, built in the flavian period, when the area was autonomous region. An Ancient Roman lighthouse, the Tower of Hercules is located a mile and a half from the center of A Coruna.
31. Prambanan, Indonesia
Pranbanan is the largest temple compound that is dedicated to Shiva. Built in the 10th century, the temple is masterpiece of Hindu culture in Indonesia.
32. Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval, France
When we say places built by a man, the “Palace of stones” is the best example. The palace was built by one man, Ferdinand Cheval. He was a French postman who spent 35 years of his life building the “ideal palace”. The palace is inscribed with his poetry.
33. Lake Ohrid, Macedonia and Albania
Ohrid Lake is part of the UNESCO World Heritage, thanks to the large number of endemic species, as well as more than 200 churches in the city and the hills around the lake.
34. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Named after the largest island, this volcanic archipelago is located some 200 miles off northeast coast in Brazil. The marine park is protected by the country of Brazil. Renowned for the beaches, the archipelago is one of the best places on earth for snorkeling and scuba diving.
35. Cathedral Gorge, Australia
The walk to the Gorge Cathedral takes you through iconic bee hives, as well as walls of rocks. Once you pass them, your wind up before the Cathedral, an astonishing natural amphitheater of red rocks.
36. Ordesa Canyon, Spain
The national park is one of the most beautiful walking areas in Spain, and definitely the best on the Pyrenees. High Cliffs, combined with some dramatic glacial gouge make Ordesa a thing of beauty.
37. The Archeological Site of Meroë, Sudan
During the Meroitic Period, the nowadays ruins were eternal home for more than kings and queens. All of them were buried in the Nubian pyramid field. The ancient city is located some 100km north of the modern capital of Sudan, Khartoum.
38. Potala Palace, Tibet
From the 7th century, the Potala Palace served as a winter palace for the Dalai Lama. The palace still has central role in traditional administration of Tibet and is one of the most known places for Tibetan Buddhism. Nowadays, it is only a museum and part of the World Heritage Site. In 1959, during the Tibetan uprising, the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India, and the Palace lost its power.
39. Milford Sound, New Zealand
One of the most stunning and natural attractions in New Zealand, the Milford Sound is a fiord, a fusion of spectacular natural features. Part of the World Heritage, the pristine scenic destination offers beauty and amazing visual cues at every corner.
40. Dobsina Ice Cave, Slovakia
Discovered in 1870, the ice cave in Slovakia is one of the biggest in the world. The thickness of the ice in the cave reaches 26.5m, with more than 7,000 square meters of the cave covered with ice. Located near the mining town of Dobsina, the cave is actually the first electrically lit cave in Europe. Fun fact: the 112m deep cave was home for Prince Friedrich Karl from Prussia and his wife, when they took refuge in it during a storm in June 1870.
41. Kangaroo Island, Australia
Kangaroos are not the only animals on the Island, but they occupy the largest part of the population. Koalas, wallabies and bird species are also citizens of the National Park.
42. Borobudur, Indonesia
We had Prambanan, one of the largest Shiva temples in Indonesia. It is only fitting that we add Borobudur to the list, another popular Shiva temple in Central Java, Indonesia. Built in the 9th century, the area consists of nine stacked platforms, three of which are circular, and six are square in shape.
43. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Iceland
The unique waterfall is easily accessible from the main highway. A 60 meters high waterfall, visitors are advised to visit other waterfalls in the area as well.