We all have an internal ‘bucket list’ – those places that are a must-see in our lifetimes – and we all want to fulfil that wanderlust that enables us to dream of far-flung places away from the everyday, especially in cold, damp January. Here City and Country outline five that should definitely make their way yours sometime soon.
1) The Taj Mahal, India
Nowhere can there be a more monumental declaration of love than the Taj Mahal. It was constructed by the emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 as a tomb for his wife. The site, designed by Afghan architect Ustad-Ahmad Lahori, is truly a gem of Muslim art and undoubtedly the most romantic. In Persian, its name means ‘crown of palaces’ and we’d wholeheartedly agree.
2) Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
You’ll be disappointed if you expect to find them in the middle of a desert. But their setting next to modern Cairo doesn’t detract from the fact that these 4,500-year-old beacons and the Great Sphinx guarding them are the only remaining wonders of the ancient world. Get your modern-day time-travelling hat on!
3) Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Watching the sun rise over this incredible religious site and the surrounding countryside is simply incomparable. Sitting alongside are over 200 other temples, covering over 1000 square kilometres, constructed over the 9th to the 15th centuries, meaning this is the largest currently known pre-industrial settlement site in the world. Appearing now on the national flag, it has become symbolic of a renewed Cambodia and the country’s number one tourist attraction. It has been much hyped in recent years, but it never fails to surprise, and a trip is well worth the effort and time expended.
4) The Eiffel Tower, France
It was built for the 1889 World’s Fair and was at the time the tallest tower in the world. Gustave Eiffel met initial scepticism on its launch. His critics have been silenced, however, as it is now the most-visited paid monument in the world, one of the most well-loved sites in Europe and an enduring symbol of France. Make sure you have your head for heights on, though.
5) Sydney Opera House, Australia
The vision of Danish architect Jørn Utzon, it is the single most-snapped view in Australia. A landmark for its inhabitants, visitors, ferries entering the harbour and much more, it is also home to some first-class artistic talent. It is an opera house that, almost single-handedly, turned a faraway city into a global capital. The Sydney Opera House is a landmark on the city skyline, a lighthouse for ferries entering the harbour, a projection screen for Sydney’s myriad festivals and a barometer of global artistic talent.
If you’d like to view a little piece of architectural and artistic heritage closer to home, then do check out the work of specialists City and Country. Then add these to your bucket list and you’ll collect a lifetime of unrepeatable memories.