Collected by Kiara Downey, AFAR Local Expert
Japan, 〒250-0407 Kanagawa-ken, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi, Ninotaira, 二ノ平１１２１
This is the view inside the Symphonic Sculpture by Gabriel Loire at the Hakone Open Air Museum (彫刻の森 in Japanese) in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The museum opened in 1969 as the first open-air art museum in Japan. The spectacular grounds,...
Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
This former royal palace is one of the largest museums in the world, and its art collection is considered one of the most comprehensive. It contains around 400,000 works, although—mercifully, perhaps—not all are on display at any one...
I discovered this Marin Headlands view of the Golden Gate Bridge on one of my very first trips to San Francisco. In my three-plus years living in the Bay Area, I still haven’t found a view to top it. My favorite time to visit is just after sunset,...
334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is an engineering wonder and an architectural one as well, a masterpiece of design that has inspired acclaimed poets (Hart Crane, Marianne Moore), writers (Jack Kerouac), and painters (Joseph Stella). While...
Km5 Route d'Amizmiz، Marrakesh 40160, Morocco
It took four years to build this hotel at the base of the Atlas Mountains. French designer Jacques Garcia included black-and-white zellij tile work and other intricate Moorish details. Each of the hotel’s five guest riads (typical Moroccan...
Aït Benhaddou, Morocco
Jimi Hendrix and Angelina Jolie. Two folks I'm expecting to run into at any moment. The first, quite deceased, would appear in this "castle made of sand" through a hashish hookah haze. The other would be in the bar at the movie studio up the road...
1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025, USA
Think you are overwhelmed by the beautiful churches in Europe? Check out the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. In fact, by area this is the 4th largest church in the world! Not only the building itself is stunning, make...
Thankful for an experienced guide, we walked our way through the maze of tunnels and passageways that belong to Lalibela's rock-hewn churches. The amazing architecture and beauty of our surroundings made for exquisite photography opportunities. I...
Na Phra Lan Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
I had been wandering around the Grand Palace in Bangkok for quite some time in the sweltering heat. I had passed various tour groups and fellow travelers, a few unruly children, and a handful of vendors. Just as the heat was starting to get to me,...
1 ถนน หน้าพระลาน แขวงพระบรมมหาราชวัง Khet Phra Nakhon, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10200, Thailand
No trip to Bangkok is complete without a visit to the Grand Palace, which rests elegantly in the middle of the city on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. From the outside walls to the inside decor, the palace is positively dripping with vibrant...
57 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
It doesn't matter how well you think you know a place—there's always somewhere new worth exploring. San Francisco is packed with secret hideouts. One of my all-time favorites has to be the Mechanics Institute Library and Chess Room—and the rather...
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...
Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
The mysterious rooftop of Casa Mila both charms and haunts visitors. The glorious October sky above frames the organic forms, each sculpted face watching as I creep up and down the rolling ramps. Children can't resist playing here, and fortunately...
101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA
Established in 1800, the Library of Congress is the oldest federal institution in the United States. The library was destroyed by British troops just 14 years after its conception, and Congress used Thomas Jefferson’s collection of 6,487...
110 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC H2Y 1T2, Canada
A church—or, at least, a small chapel—has stood on the site of the Basilica of Notre-Dame since shortly after Ville-Marie (Montréal's predecessor) was founded in 1642. The current building, however, dates to 1829 and was...
8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
An undulating steel and glass canopy wows visitors who enter the Kogod Courtyard. Inside you'll find diners from the museum's café, tourists soaking their weary feet in the shallow fountain running across the space, and students taking advantage...
111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
This bowed silver building stands out among the skyscrapers of Downtown L.A. (though it now has an equally interesting-looking neighbor in the Broad). Those stainless-steel curves have a purpose, though. Architect Frank Gehry designed the...
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