13 Insanely High Places to Visit Around the World

Try not to get vertigo.

158 Wang Doem Road
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok‘s Yai district. It is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The temple is one of the best known Thai landmarks. The mosaics which cover the temple create a pearly sheen during sunrise and sunset. Ferries can be caught at the Tha Tien Pier across the river from Wat Arun every couple of minutes. Tha Tien Pier is located near the Grand Palace and Wat Po.
Kalabaka 422 00, Greece
Meteora means “suspended in air” in Greek. The town of Meteora, about a 5-hour drive north of Athens in Thessaly, Greece, is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site: six Greek Orthodox monasteries built on enormous rock pinnacles that rise up to 1,300 feet from the valley floor. Hermits settled this area in the 11th century, but the official monasteries were not built until the 14th century, during a time of political instability. At their peak, 24 monasteries provided a place of safety, refuge, and quiet contemplation until the 17th century. Six of the monasteries still operate today. Several of the monasteries are accessible to tourists on a road connecting the rock towers. Byzantine frescoes and architecture are a sight to see, and the views of the valley are breathtaking. Meteora reminds me of the American Southwest, like Moab, in Utah, with huge rock cliff walls and sandstone pinnacles, but with houses built on the tops. A natural and man-made marvel. Base yourself in the town of Kalabaka, at the bottom of the rock pyramids, where there are plenty of hotels and alfresco restaurants with a view. After quiet contemplation of the monasteries, you can also try rock climbing, hiking, and rafting. Fun Fact: The monastery of Holy Trinity was featured in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.
29 Sankt Annæ Gade
You can see the black and gold spiral steeple of the Church of our Saviour, or Vor Frelsers Kirke, all over Copenhagen. It’s not until you are standing beneath it you realize that golden spiral is actually a staircase—on the outside. If you are among the brave, you can climb the stairs all the way to the top of the steeple, for a view over the lively Christianshavn neighbourhood of Copenhagen. If (like me) you are afraid of heights, you can admire the church from below and muster your courage... for next time.
6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
A devastating fire on April 15, 2019, has closed the interior of the cathedral to visitors. Plans to rebuild and reopen the structure are being made, but at present, visitors are not allowed near the site.
For a first-time visitor to Notre Dame, investing in the audio guide is essential to understand this overwhelmingly significant Paris icon. There’s a lot to see and absorb—history, architecture, artifacts, theology—and the audio guide gives a much-needed sense of direction and context. Even without spiritual ties, the awe-inspiring grandeur of the cathedral is not to be missed from every angle—tour the naves, stroll around the entirety of the exterior, take in the city from the top of the towers, walk along Quai de Montebello to view it from across the water, or admire it from a river cruise down the Seine. The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris is everything everyone says it is and more.
Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church complex began in 1296 and the work—Brunelleschi’s dome and his Baptistery, and Giotto’s bell tower—was completed in 1426. The interior of this architectural is reserved in contrast with the exterior’s marble Gothic facade and its green, pink, and white stripes. Climb the 463 steps up into the dome for a close-up look at Giorgio Vasari’s fresco, The Last Judgment, and a bird’s-eye view of the city.
3-7-1-2, 3丁目-7 西新宿 新宿区 東京都 163-1055, Japan
Immortalized on celluloid in the film Lost in Translation, the modernist Park Hyatt may have the sexiest cocktail bar in all of Tokyo. The rest of the property—set on the upper floors of the three connecting columns of the 770-foot Shinjuku Park Tower—is just as attractive, with a bamboo garden, swimming pool, and restaurant seated high in the sky. The interiors are the work of Pritzker Prize–winning architect Kenzo Tange and designer John Morford, ornamented with wood, woven abaca, and granite to add warmth to the hotel’s sleek glass surfaces. Starting at just under 600 square feet, guest rooms are practically palatial and include glass knobs that let you control everything from the lights to the curtains right from your bed, as well as walls paneled with rare water elm from Hokkaido, some sourced from trees that were submerged in lakes for up to 2,000 years.
Zamalek, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Cairo Tower, also known as El Gezira Tower or Borg Al Kahira, is considered one of the most prominent features of the Egyptian capital. Its partially open lattice-work design is intended to evoke a lotus plant. Visit the tower at night, where you can take photos of the beautiful panoramic view.
Soaring more than 1,600 feet into the air, Taipei 101 is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and probably Taipei’s most iconic site. For a small fee, visitors can spend time on the observation deck—a large space that offers a 360-degree view of Taipei. From here, you can get a better understanding of the city and how it is organized. For that reason Taipei 101 is the best place to start your sightseeing adventures. There are also a number of great restaurants in Taipei 101 along with shops and entertainment options; you can plan at least half a day of experiences at this one site.
1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd - Downtown Dubai - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Two architectural wonders helped put Dubai on the map: the Burj Al Arab hotel, which resembles the sail of a ship out on the gulf waters, and the Palm Jumeirah, a residential development on a manmade archipelago that fans out in the shape of a huge palm tree. But in 2010, the sleek Burj Khalifa stole their thunder. Now the world’s tallest structure, the tower soars 830 meters (2,722 feet) into the sky. Visitors can zoom by elevator up to the 124th floor to experience incredible views and explore interactive displays on Dubai’s history and the tale behind the building of this futuristic marvel. Another observation deck is even higher, on the 148th floor.

Ollantaytambo, Peru
Ollantaytambo’s namesake archaeological site is one of the best examples of Incan architecture in the region. It’s easy to spend a half day exploring the temples and other structures there, especially if you factor in time to hike up beyond the ruins. Meanwhile, the quaint town itself remains much as it was in Incan times, with original houses, streets, and waterways. Some buildings are open to the public, offering a fascinating glimpse into a centuries-old way of life. Most Machu Picchu–bound trains leave from the station here.
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Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe