Must-Photograph Monuments Worthy of a Trip
Collected by Becca Blond, AFAR Local Expert
From the Taj Mahal to Angkor Wat, and the Pyramids of Giza to the Statue of Liberty, the world is filled with myriad monuments and temples worthy of photography trips—especially for anyone interested in (for the most part) archaeology, anthropology, and ancient civilizations. Check out this list for must-photograph landmarks around the globe.
Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Crowds may swarm upon it daily from sunrise onwards, but exposure hasn’t dulled the impact of the largest religious monument in the world. Commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the centerpiece of the mighty Khmer empire,...
Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
The Taj Mahal is referred to as "the jewel of Muslim art in India,” by UNESCO in its listing on the World Heritage Site registry. The Mughal ruler Shah Jahan had the truly magnificent white marble...
Mesa Verde, CO, USA
For anyone who believes that truly historic architecture doesn’t exist in the states, Mesa Verde National Park will make you think again. Still standing in the park are cliff dwellings built in AD 600 by the ancestral Pueblo people who once...
Al Haram, Nazlet El-Semman, Al Haram, Giza Governorate, Egypt
Offers of camel rides are a standard feature of visits to the pyramids. While I resisted all attempts to get me to take advantage of riding or having my picture taken with one, I did look for opportunities to include them in pictures I was taking...
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai has around 300 wats, or temples, in and around the city, some of them dating back 700 years. Each is seemingly more ornate than the last and you could spend hours exploring the details and observing the monks that reside there in their...
13000 SD-244, Keystone, SD 57751, USA
Mount Rushmore can be a bit touristy and generic trip, but on the way to a road trip making our way to a wedding at a Ranch in Wyoming, some friends and I stopped by. I really love the photos we took hiking around and seeing the memorial from...
2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA
I found myself contemplating the anxiety in Lincoln's hands, the hasty "drape" of cloth, and piercing eyes that seem to pierce through the decades. Take time to lean against the cool stone pillars and read through the texts of the 2nd Inaugural...
Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Nothing is a more powerful symbol of the City of Light than the Eiffel Tower. Designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Paris Exposition, it's one of the world's most-visited monuments, with nearly 7 million people ascending the 1,062-foot...
Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
A visit to Granada, Spain isn't complete without a stop at the Alhambra. The Moorish architecture, robust gardens, and stunning views of Granada combine to make a truly memorable experience. Start your day with a tour of the Generalife Gardens....
00184 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
No matter how many postcards you've seen of Rome's iconic Colosseum, you just don't get it until you pass beneath its crumbling arches. Built by Emperor Vespasian in 72 C.E., the huge amphitheater held 50,000 spectators and marked its...
Acropolis, Athens 116 36, Greece
The Acropolis is, for most people, the "can't miss" site. Because of its popularity it can be very busy, and the hours seem to change constantly. There's also the possibility that the workers might go on strike, which can mess with your plans as...
Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
I went to Istanbul on a whim and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the city and the warmth of the people. I was alone and everywhere I went people were friendly and helpful. I had no agenda and no plans except that it was a city I had long wanted...
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