Be it the Statue of Liberty, the Vrindavan Gardens or Big Ben, every destination has something unique to offer a tourist who makes an effort to explore. Now TripAdvisor, a travel website, unveils a list of 15 favourite international attractions for Indian travellers. The list is based on the reviews and ratings of visitors who have been there and done that, and now insist that they are a must visit for desis planning a vacation abroad.
Incidentally, the list is a healthy mix that ranges from modern and ancient architectural marvels to primeval ruins and even includes a public park, a fountain and one of the world’s largest shoppingcentres.
“People often assume that for something to be considered a must visit, it ought to either be ancient or a natural wonder. However, the Petronas Twin Towers (in Malaysia) and Burj Khalifa (in Dubai) defy that norm and are synonymous to the cities they belong to,” says Varun Shah, 22, a travel enthusiast. Here are the top 15.
1. Bellagio Fountain, Las Vegas
This spot finds a place in several Hollywood films, including Ocean’s Eleven, Rush Hour, 2012, The Hangover and our very own, Anjaana Anjaani. Visit the eight-acre lake between the building and the Strip and catch the Fountains of Bellagio, a large dancing water fountain synchronised to music to find out what the fuss is about.
2. Table Mountain, Cape Town
Every tour operator will ask you to visit this place (weather permitting). So wait for a bright and sunny day and take the cable car up to the top for some sweeping views of the cape. Definitely recommended.
3. Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Aamir Khan found his true love here in Dil Chahta Hai. Even if a visit to this beautiful opera venue isn’t up your alley, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge for a magnificent view of the harbour should definitely be on your ‘to-do’ list.
4. Church of the Sacred Family, Barcelona
This work-in-progress church is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been under construction since 1882. And though technology has speeded up the process of building, the anticipated completion date is 2026 — the centennial of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí’s death.
5. Central Park, New York City
This green oasis in the Big Apple is home to multiple water bodies, a conservatory and a zoo. The location has provided a pretty backdrop to over 240 film productions. With cycling tracks, carriage rides and even an ice-skating rink in the winters, it is easy to see why space-starved New Yorkers so love this spot.
6. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Being the country’s prime attraction, the Angkor Wat finds a place of pride on Cambodia’s national flag. It also happens to be the largest Hindu temple complex in the world and is renowned as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
7. Eiffel Tower, Paris
The world-famous monument is every lover’s paradise. It does help that it is found in a city often described as the most romantic in the world. Even Tom Cruise couldn’t escape its charm and proposed to Katie Holmes here. So how do we, mere mortals, stand a chance?
8. Hagia Sophia Museum Istanbul
A basilica-turned mosque-turned museum, the structure (especially the dome) is said to have "changed the history of architecture.
Also worth a visit:
9. Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun), Bangkok
10. Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho),Bangkok
11. World Plaza, Bangkok
12. Colosseum (Colosseo), Rome
13. Burj Khalifa, Dubai
14. Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
15. Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur