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The world's top 30 landmarks revealed

13th March 2015 Print
Eiffel Tower

The proud emblem of Paris – the Eiffel Tower, has been hailed as the most iconic landmark in the world, according to a study.

The instantly recognisable structure, constructed by Gustave Eiffel in 1889, was found to be more popular among Brits than the Grand Canyon and Big Ben – which both came second and third respectively.

The poll of 2,000 adults revealed other celebrated landmarks in the top 30 list, including the Acropolis of Athens and Machu Picchu in Peru.

And it seems we’re a patriotic bunch as three English landmarks – Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Stonehenge – all featured in the top five.

Colm Lacy, British Airways’ commercial manager for Gatwick, which commissioned the study to celebrate their ‘Inspire Us’ travel photography challenge, said: ‘When dreaming about travel, we often add our favourite landmarks to our bucket list.

“The research shows that London leads the way with three of the top five most iconic sights, proving that travel inspiration starts at home.

‘’Then the fun really begins when you start exploring new destinations on the list.

‘’Europe, the USA and Australia in particular have proved really popular.”

The 30-strong list offered some European gems, with the Colosseum in Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Edinburgh Castle making up the top ten.

Further afield, the Great Wall of China, Statue of Liberty in New York and Sydney Opera House were also among the symbolic geographical favourites.

And when it came to representing a country it wasn’t just man-made structures that made the cut – participants in the survey rated natural wonders highly too.

Nepal’s Mount Everest, the highest peak on the globe, came in at number 17 on the list; while many chose the home of mythical Nessie – the vast Loch Ness of Scotland.

And the fearfully protected Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, was voted as an iconic representation of Australia.

Other sites of outstanding beauty came in the form of Egypt’s Pyramids, India’s Taj Mahal, and Ayres Rock.

The impressive Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the Louvre in France, and Venice’s famous rivers were other notable mentions.

And it seems our friends across the pond can boast an array of impressive cultural sites, holding eight spaces in the list – including the Empire State Building and Mount Rushmore.

The average adult has seen ten iconic landmarks in the list, though one fifth of the adults polled had only experienced two or less.

Seven in ten Brits are concerned that they haven’t seen enough of the world, with 79 per cent who admitted they’re prepared to spend a good amount of cash on expanding their life experience.

After being asked about the world’s landmarks, 44 per cent of the adults confessed they were ‘completely bored’ with their lives, with over half who expressed a feeling of repetitiveness day-to-day.

Colm Lacy, British Airways’ commercial manager for Gatwick said, ‘’Not only does this list of landmarks remind us of how grand and impressive the world is, it can act as a reminder to live life to the full.

‘’It needn’t be a huge task to see everything the world has to offer, sometimes visiting a city for a long weekend or even a day, you can end up seeing something memorable.

And sharing your experiences with others can inspire them to work through their travel list too.’’

BA’s ‘Inspire Us’ photo challenge runs until 15th March 2015. There are 10 trips up for grabs from London Gatwick. Enter your best photographs of Europe at

Brits pick of most iconic landmarks

1. Eiffel Tower- Paris – France

2. The Grand Canyon – USA

3. Big Ben – England

4. Stonehenge – England

5. Houses of Parliament – England

6. Statue of Liberty- USA

7. The Pyramids of Giza – Egypt

8. Great Wall of China – China

9. Tower of Pisa – Italy

10. Niagara Falls – USA/Canada

11. The Taj Mahal – India

12. The Colosseum – Italy

13. The Great Sphinx – Egypt

14. Edinburgh Castle – Scotland

15. Empire State Building – USA

16. Sydney Opera House – Australia

17. Mount Everest – Nepal

18. Pompeii- Italy

19. Golden Gate Bridge – USA

20. Ayres Rock – Australia

21. Great Barrier Reef – Australia

22. Loch Ness – Scotland

23. The Rivers of Venice – Venice

24. Acropolis of Athens – Greece

25. The Louvre – France

26. Machu Picchu – Peru

27. Christ the Redeemer – Brazil

28. The Hollywood Sign – USA

29. The White House – USA

30. Mount Rushmore – USA

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Eiffel Tower