Top 10 Places You Need To Visit Before You Die

These can't-miss travel locations need to be on your bucket list! For this list, we're looking at sites and cities around the world that everyone should witness firsthand before they die. Our countdown includes The Great Barrier Reef, Paris, New York City, and more!

Top 10 Places to Visit At Least Once in Your Life

Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Places to Visit At Least Once in Your Life.

For this list, we’re looking at sites and cities around the world that everyone should witness firsthand before they die.

#10: The Great Barrier Reef

For underwater exploration, the Great Barrier Reef is the pearl of the Coral Sea. You won’t find a more immense coral reef on Earth, being composed of almost 3,000 solitary reefs and 900 islands. This undersea wonderland of marine life, shipwrecks, and natural beauty stretches for over 1,400 miles, providing endless adventure. With a varied ecosystem, it’s been described as the “rainforests of the sea.” Like actual rainforests, however, the Reef faces the threat of climate change and pollution, amongst other things. Thankfully, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has taken measures to restrict human interference. Still, we shouldn’t take this Australian landmark for granted. So, be sure to visit it responsibly, especially if scuba diving is your passion.

#9: The Taj Mahal

You can’t visit Indian, specifically the city of Agra, without having a photo op at this marble mausoleum. The Taj Mahal was constructed during the 17th century as a tomb for Mumtaz Mahal, the favorite wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. We’re all familiar with the main building, which is distinguished by its marble dome and four surrounding minarets. While the tomb is the pièce de résistance, it’s far from the site’s only architectural marvel. Walking through the main gateway known as darwaza, you’ll be entranced by the Mughal gardens and reflecting pool. There’s also the Great Gate and the Kau Ban Mosque. Getting a closer look, you’ll only be further blown away by the attention to detail etched into every nook and cranny.

#8: The Greek Islands

Since there are somewhere between 1,200 and 6,000 islands in Greece, you may need some help narrowing down your options. The area’s biggest island is Crete, which is ripe with gorges to explore and bodies of water to relax by. Several islands are within the vicinity of Athens, the capital of Greece. Most would agree, however, that Santorini is a paradise unlike any other. You can lose yourself in the cliffside town of Oia, which stands out for its array of Cycladic and cave houses. The radiant architecture is only rivaled by the view of the neighboring sea. It also may be the closest you ever get to visiting Atlantis, as some have linked a volcanic eruption that took place in Santorini to the legend.

#7: The Grand Canyon

There are several spots you need to drop up on any road trip across the Southwestern United States. The most essential destination, however, is the Grand Canyon. Speculated to be somewhere between 5-6 million years old, this colossal canyon is a staple of both the Colorado River and the state of Arizona. Stretching 277 miles long and over 6,000 feet deep, it’s an all-encompassing site that’ll make any visitor feel insignificant. Beyond taking a few photos, one might assume that there isn’t much to do at the national park. You’d be wrong, though! There’s a wide assortment of trails for hiking and mule rides, allowing tourists to get an even more intimate look. It’s also home to Havasu Falls if you need to cool off.

#6: Paris, France

When people think of cities right out of a fairytale, Paris is typically the first place that comes to mind. France’s capital not only lives up to that description, but it somehow manages to surpass all expectations. Being the second most expensive city on Earth, it’s understandable why some people never get to visit Paris in their lifetime. If you save up for a trip, though, you’ll be rewarded with the most exquisite cuisine, the most fashionable shopping experiences, and the most elegant sites imaginable. From the Eiffel Tower, to the Louvre Museum, to the Arc de Triomphe, few cities host more iconic landmarks. Although the Notre-Dame cathedral is still under construction from the devastating 2019 fire, it’s still a beacon of inspiration.

#5: Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is shrouded in so much history and mystery that the only way to truly absorb it all is to visit the ruins in person. Getting to this ancient Inca citadel is just half the fun. We’d suggest starting off your adventure in the Peruvian city of Cusco. From there, you can take a train to Aguas Calientes, a town less than four miles away from the main attraction. You’ll enjoy a long scenic hike before arriving at Machu Picchu, where you’ll encounter landmarks like the Temple of the Sun, the Room of the Three Windows, and the Intihuatana. In addition to Machu Picchu Mountain, hikers can dominate Huayna Picchu and Putucusi for some of the most awe-inspiring views in South America.

#4: Giza Pyramid Complex

If you book a flight to Egypt, there’s little doubt that you’re visiting for the Giza Pyramid Complex. This World Heritage Site includes arguably the three most recognizable pyramids in the world: The Pyramid of Menkaure, which stands about 200 feet tall, Pyramid of Khafre, which is just under 450 feet tall, and Great Pyramid of Giza, which stands the tallest at 455 feet. In addition to this triangular trio, the site also consists of the Sphinx, which remains among the largest statues in the world, and the Tomb of Khentkaus I, a queen of Ancient Egypt. To make your Egypt experience complete, you can ride a camel between routes. Or if camels aren’t quite your speed, there’s also horseback riding!

#3: New York City

There isn’t a metropolitan area on Earth that can compete with New York City, which bustles with energy and culture. There are so many milestones that come with your first trip to New York: your first time standing in the center of Times Square, your first run through Central Park, your first trip on the subway, your first Broadway show, your first bite into a slice of pizza..., the list simply goes on. The same can be said about the landmarks you’ll need to visit, from the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty. This city opens you up to so many different experiences that you’ll leave a different person. If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.

#2: The Colosseum

Constructed between 70-80 BCE, this ancient amphitheater once hosted dramatic performances, wild animal hunts, and much more. Today, what remains of the Colosseum serves as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome. While the Colosseum’s southern side was devastated by an earthquake in 847, it’s something of a miracle that the northern side remains intact all these years later. That’s perhaps the best word to describe a trip to the Colosseum: miraculous. While we’ll never get to experience the Colosseum in its prime, it’s nothing short of extraordinary that this structure is still standing. The fact that we can explore the underground tunnels and stand in the arena where once gladiators fought is hard to wrap our minds around.

#1: The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China’s history is as long as the structure itself... which stretches for 13,171 miles. While the early walls were built in the Spring and Autumn period, construction would continue well into the Qing dynasty, spanning over 2,000 years. The vast history behind the wall is just one of many reasons to visit at least once. As the world’s longest structure made by humans, it’s the ultimate place to get in your steps. The site itself is an architectural sensation, and the neighboring mountain ridges only add to the splendor. Whether you’re looking to collect your thoughts in solitude, share an intimate retreat with your significant other, or have a journey that the whole family will remember, it’s the walk of a lifetime.