The world is home to some truly beautiful and unique landmarks. In every corner of the globe, these landmarks are loved and adorned by natives and visitors alike. But which are the most popular and best-loved in the world?
Analyzing the world’s landmarks on a variety of factors including annual visitor numbers, entry prices, Tripadvisor ratings, and Instagram posts, this report reveals the world’s most loved landmarks, as well as the landmarks that are raking in the biggest revenue from ticket sales.
The best-loved landmarks in the world
1. Niagara Falls, Canada
Landmark Score: 9.22/10
The best-loved landmark in the world is Niagara Falls, which earns a cool 9.22/10 landmark score. Free to visit, Niagara Falls sees just under 12 million visitors a year and it has a perfect 5/5 rating on Tripadvisor. This picturesque landmark also has over 3 million Instagram posts.
Niagara Falls sits on the border between Canada and the United States and offers some of the most breathtaking views of natural waterfalls in the world. A perfect romantic getaway or family vacation, Niagra Falls is one of the most popular destinations in Canada.
2. Taj Mahal, India
Landmark Score: 7.67/10
The second most loved landmark in the world is the Taj Mahal in India, which earns a 7.67/10 landmark score. Over 6.5 million people visit the Taj Mahal each year, and this landmark saw a whopping 23 million searches on Google over the last 12 months.
The tomb of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is a symbol of India’s rich history. A world-renowned heritage site, the Taj Mahal is universally revered and welcomes visitors from all over the globe.
3. Grand Canyon, The United States
Landmark Score: 7.47/10
In third place for the best-loved global landmark is the Grand Canyon. An Instagram favorite, the Grand Canyon has appeared in over 4 million Instagram posts to date. Over 6 million people visit it each year and almost 15 million search for it on Google.
The Grand Canyon is a nature-lovers dream vacation. The 277-mile-deep canyon reveals layered bands of red rock and millions of years of geological history. There are rocks visible at the Grand Canyon which are 1.2 billion years old.
4. Golden Gate Bridge, The United States
Landmark Score: 6.9/10
In San Francisco lives the Golden Gate Bridge, ranked as the fourth best-loved landmark in the world. Seeing a perfect 5/5 on Tripadvisor, 15 million annual visitors, and 3 million posts on Instagram, The Golden Gate Bridge earns a 6.9/10 landmark score.
An inspiration to engineers and architects alike, the Golden Gate Bridge is a wonder of the modern world and a triumph of American engineering. Once the longest and the tallest suspension bridge in the world, this bridge is still certainly one of the most famous.
5. Statue Of Liberty, The United States
Landmark Score: 6.61/10
Rounding off the top 5 best-loved landmarks in the world is the Statue of Liberty. Free to visit, the Statue of Liberty sees 4 million visitors each year and over 12 million searches on Google. The Statue of Liberty earns a landmark score of 6.61/10.
A gift from the French in 1865, the Statue of Liberty was intended as a celebration of America’s newly found democracy after the American Civil War. It now stands proud in New York City and is considered a universal symbol of democracy and freedom.
Landmarks expected to generate the highest ticket revenue
1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Average Entry Price: $37
Annual Visitor Numbers: 16,730,000
Estimated Ticket Revenue: $621,721,438
Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is estimated to generate the largest income from ticket sales. With annual visitor numbers close to 17 million and an average entry fee of $37, the Burj Khalifa will generate around $621 million each year from ticket sales alone.
Built for a total cost of a whopping $1.5 billion, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. Standing at an impressive 828 meters, it is larger than the second tallest building in the world by almost 150 meters!
2. Sydney Opera House, Australia
Average Entry Price: $23
Annual Visitor Numbers: 8,200,000
Estimated Ticket Revenue: $186,908,832
In second place for most revenue from ticket sales is the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. Sydney Opera House sees 8.2 million visitors annually and charges an average of $23 to enter. This calculates to just shy of $187 million in ticket revenue.
The Sydney Opera House is a masterpiece in its own right and one of the finest examples of 20th-century architecture. Functioning as a multi-venue performing arts center, the Sydney Opera House is one of the world's most famous and distinctive buildings.
3. Empire State Building, The United States
Average Entry Price: $41
Annual Visitor Numbers: 4,000,000
Estimated Ticket Revenue: $164,000,000
In the United States, the Empire State Building is the biggest money maker when it comes to ticket sales. With 4 million visitors each paying an average entry price of $41, the Empire State Building is expected to rake in around $164 million each year in ticket revenue.
Built from 1930 to 1931, the Empire State Building stands at a height of 380 meters with its spire reaching 443 meters high. You’d have to climb 1,872 steps to reach the top if it wasn’t for the 73 elevators installed throughout the building.
4. Gardens By The Bay, Singapore
Average Entry Price: $15
Annual Visitor Numbers: 10,200,000
Estimated Ticket Revenue: $157,416,457
Singapore’s Gardens By The Bay is estimated to pull in $157 million a year in revenue from ticket sales. Gardens By The Bay charges an average of $15 to enter and sees over 10 million visitors annually.
101 hectares of stunning nature park, Gardens By The Bay is located in a fantastic area of Singapore adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park is made up of three beautiful waterfront gardens and is one of the most popular attractions in Singapore.
5. London Eye, England
Average Entry Price: $43
Annual Visitor Numbers: 3,500,000
Estimated Ticket Revenue: $148,889,160
The London Eye, seeing around 3 and a half million visitors a year and charging an average entry fee of $43, is expected to generate the fifth largest ticket revenue of all global landmarks of an estimated $149 million.
Sitting on the Thames riverside, the London Eye is Europe's tallest cantilevered observation wheel and probably the most famous in the world. The London Eye is consistently one of London’s most popular paid attractions.
A comprehensive list of 125 worldwide landmarks was initially narrowed down to a top 50 landmarks using Google search data from Google Keywords.
All annual visitor numbers are taken as 2018/2019 figures. This is so more accurate annual visitor figures can be recorded across all landmarks due to the negative effects on visitor numbers from the COVID-19 pandemic over 2020 and 2021. All sources for visitor numbers can be found here.
Annual Google Search Volume data was taken as the total number of searches on Google for each landmark over the last 12 months from Google Keywords.
The average ticket price was taken as an average between a standard adult and a standard child price. All sources for ticket costs can be found here. All currency conversions were made on 24/08/22.
Ticket revenue is estimated as annual revenue generated by the landmark-based solely on the visitor numbers and average ticket price. The average ticket price was taken as the average between a single Adult and Child standard ticket. Many landmarks will have additional revenue streams, so please note that the ticket revenue is a ballpark figure of the revenue generated from ticket sales alone.