Best Official Wonders of the World to Visit: Ranked

Sep, 15, 2023

The world is loaded with beautiful places to see, and the New 7 Wonders of the World are all prime examples. Each of the sites that have earned this designation is worth visiting, due to its striking beauty, rich history, and unbelievable nature. Deciding which Wonders of the World to visit can be difficult, as they are scattered pretty far apart from one another.

This post will rank the Wonders of the World in terms of which one is most worth visiting. These rankings are determined by a blend of how epic the site truly is and how easy it is to visit. 

Full disclosure, we have only been to six of the eight places, and will only rank the Wonders of the World that we have visited (sorry Petra and Machu Picchu!).

Some Wonders of the World are hours from the nearest city, while others are right in major city centers. This is a major factor in deciding which Wonder of the World to visit, as being hours from a major city can really complicate visiting a given place.

Hopefully this list is helpful for you as you plan a trip to one of the most visited Archaeological sites in the world!

What Places Are Included in the Wonders of the World?

This list will rank 8 places. The list of the New Seven Wonders of the World includes the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, the Coliseum, Christ the Redeemer, Petra, Chichen Itza, and the Great Wall of China. Of the 7 Old Wonders of the World, only the Great Pyramid of Giza still exists. 

This list of 8 total Wonders of the World includes three sites in Latin America, one in Europe, two in Asia, and two in the Middle East. More specifically, each of the Wonders of the World can be found in the following places:

  • Taj Mahal – Agra, India
  • Machu Picchu – Cusco, Peru
  • Christ the Redeemer Statue – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Chichen Itza – Valladolid, Mexico
  • Petra – Wadi Rum, Jordan
  • Great Pyramid of Giza – Cairo, Egypt
  • Coliseum – Rome, Italy
  • Great Wall of China – Beijing, China extending for thousands of miles

What Makes a Place One of the Wonders of the World?

In 2001, a Swiss foundation set out to create a list of the 7 Wonders of the New World. Since six of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World were destroyed, the corporation figured it would be a good idea to celebrate seven new locations! All 7 New Wonders of the World have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The corporation, named the New7Wonders Foundation, completed a comprehensive selection process. Before ultimately settling on the seven locations listed above, the foundation considered almost 200 others. Apart from the Great Pyramid of Giza, Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, Petra, and the Acropolis, all considered sites were built in the years AD.

Other notable sites that were almost included are the Statue of Liberty in America, the Eiffel Tower in France, Stonehenge in England, Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, Kiyomizu-dera in Japan, the Kremlin in Russia, Alhambra in Spain, Old Timbuktu in Mali, the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia, the Moai Statues on Easter Island, the Hagia Sofia in Turkey, and the Acropolis in Greece.

Are There Other Lists of Wonders of the World?

There are several other official and unofficial lists of the Wonders of the World. Some lists ranked the world’s top cities, others ranked the world’s top natural sites, and others simply spurred off and created unaffiliated rankings of their own. 

One of the most notable other lists includes Natural Wonders of the World. The finalists on that list were the Amazon Rainforest, Ha Long Bay, Jeju Island, Iguazu Falls, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Komodo Island, and Table Mountain in South Africa. Other considered sites included the Dead Sea, the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon, and the Cliffs of Moher.

Ranked List of the Best Wonders of the World to Visit

We have had the opportunity to visit 6 of the New Wonders of the World. We can’t write about the ancient city of Petra or sacred valley of Machu Picchu since we haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit, but we have ranked the other 6 destinations. Our rankings considered both the sheer awesomeness of the place as well as how easy or difficult it was to visit. While all of these sites are worth a long trip to visit, it’s hard to beat a Wonder of the World located right in a major city!

1. The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt

The Great Pyramid of Giza is not an actual member of the list of the New Wonders of the World. However, since it is the only surviving member of the list of the Ancient Wonders of the World, it was awarded the status of an honorary nominee on the list. The Great Pyramids of Giza are by far the oldest structures on this list, as it was even the oldest member on the list of the Ancient Wonders of the World.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is truly breathtaking. It is the most impressive site on this list, even if you don’t consider its age. If you consider its construction date, the pyramids’ grandeur is just unbelievable. The Great Pyramid of Giza was built over 4,500 years ago, which actually makes it the oldest Wonder of the Ancient World, too!

On top of that, the Giza Plateau is incredibly easy to visit. Giza is practically a suburb of Cairo, which is the biggest city in Egypt. From downtown Cairo, you can usually get to the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx in under 30 minutes, barring wild traffic. 

The best time to visit the Great Pyramid of Giza is in the summer months. While the heat will be unbearably hot, the crowds are almost non-existent. If you are able to tolerate temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re bound to get a much more personal experience.

2. Chichén Itzá in Mexico

couple in blue jeans and white shirts celebrating at chichenitza pyramid in mexico

In our experience, Chichen Itza is one of the best Wonders of the World to visit. These impressive Mayan ruins are located just outside of Valladolid, Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula, which is just a couple of hours on the highway from Cancun and Tulum. There are daily bus trips from every major tourist destination on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast to the Chichen Itza complex.

Chichen Itza is more than just a temple. It is an entire city. The ruins of Chichen Itza could truly take days to explore, despite the fact that most people only imagine the big pyramid in the center of the city.

There is simply so much to learn in this ancient city. The understanding that these people had about astrology is mind-blowing. While it does take a couple of hours to get to Chichen Itza from Cancun and Playa del Carmen, the complex is so incredible that it earns the top spot on this list.

Chichen Itza is the closest Wonder of the World to the United States. If you’re American, this is likely the easiest Wonder of the World to visit.

3. The Great Wall of China

college students at the great wall of china holding a villanova university flag

While it didn’t earn the top spot on this list, it very easily could have. The Great Wall of China is truly spectacular to visit, and its size is jaw-dropping. We visited a section of the wall outside of Beijing, but the full wall extends for thousands of miles. 

The wall is masterfully built, traversing tall mountains and deep rivers. To get up to the wall itself in many places you have to take a ski lift! Once you actually ascend to the wall, the views are magnificent and the craftsmanship is next level.

On top of the sheer awesomeness of the Great Wall of China, it is also incredibly convenient to visit. Beijing is one of the biggest cities in China, and the Great Wall can be reached in less than two hours from the city center. While China can be a challenging country to visit, making a trip to the Great Wall of China is well-worth the hassle.

4. The Coliseum in Italy

Colosseum arena at dusk

The Coliseum is the second-least impressive site on this list, in my opinion, but it is incredibly easy to visit. Don’t get me wrong; the Coliseum is breathtaking and is a place you simply cannot skip while in Rome. However, next to all of the other breathtaking sites in Rome, it almost feels like just another place if you don’t consider its historical significance.

What earns it the 4th spot on this list is how convenient it is to visit. While the Great Pyramid of Giza is pretty close to downtown Cairo, the Coliseum is literally IN downtown Rome. You can actually stumble upon the Coliseum while wandering around Rome, which is part of what makes it one of the most magical cities on Earth.

The Coliseum was a major structure of the Roman Empire, and it is a striking complex to visit. The Coliseum has a terrible history as a place where countless Christians were tortured and persecuted. If you do visit, remember to admire its beauty without glorifying the atrocities that were committed there.

No visit is complete without an actual tour. The true value is in the Coliseum’s history, not its crumbling appearance. If you have the chance to hire a guide to visit the Coliseum while in Rome, I highly recommend it.

5. The Taj Mahal in India

silhouette of father holding baby son un front of the Taj Mahal at sunrise

The Taj Mahal is a breathtaking white marble complex located in Agra, India. It was built in the city of Agra by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century AD. 

Truthfully, of all the places on this list, it is actually one of the most beautiful. However, its beauty is less unique than the other places on this list. It looks strikingly similar to many famous mosques, like the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. 

We thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Taj Mahal, and we firmly believe that the complex was worth the trip. However, there’s no denying how difficult it is to visit. Of all the places on this list, the Taj Mahal is easily the most inconvenient one to get to.

To visit the Taj Mahal from another country, you likely need to fly into New Delhi. After that, you need to transit four hours to Agra. The nearest airport is Agra’s airport, which is fairly small. There are very few (if any) international direct flights into it.

Having to endure 4 hours of Indian traffic to get to the Taj Mahal is a major disadvantage. The complex is striking, but that’s a long trip.

6. Christ the Redeemer in Brazil

Rounding out the list of the best Wonders of the World to visit is the Christ the Redeemer statue on Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro. This massive statue of Jesus Christ with his arms stretched out is a major pilgrimage site for Christians, and for good reason. This massive statue is a symbol of Christianity that can be seen for miles in every direction.

One of two Wonders of the World in South America, Cristo Redentor (as it’s called in Portuguese) is truly epic. Perched on the tallest mountain near Rio de Janeiro, the statues platform offers up some of the best views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean.

We thoroughly loved visiting Christ the Redeemer, and its location right in a major city is a huge advantage. However, compared to the other places on this list, it just doesn’t quite measure up.

It isn’t nearly as old or jaw-dropping as the rest of the places on this list. While I definitely recommend visiting, it was a pretty easy decision to rank this one last.

If you do visit Christ the Redeemer, I highly recommend taking the Cog Train to get to the top. The alternative is to hike, which is not safe due to bandits. The Cog Train provides beautiful views and a unique experience.

That’s all we have for you about the best Wonders of the World to visit! Hopefully, this post inspires you as you plan your trip to one of the world’s most iconic places.

If you’re planning a trip to one of the Wonders of the World, comment below! We’ll chat with you ahead of time about your visit!



Hi! I’m Greg, a Pittsburgh-based dad who juggles a 9-5 with a passion for traveling the world. I've spent time living in Mexico, Italy, and China, have traveled to nearly 50 countries, and make a habit of scratching epic experiences off of my bucket list.

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Meet The Family!

We're a family who seeks adventure both in our backyard and also around the world. We've spent time living in Mexico, Italy, and China, have traveled to nearly 50 countries. Life is short! All we have is this present moment to fulfill the dreams God has given us.