Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist, published today, ranks the 500 best places to see on the planet.

The Temples of Angkor in Cambodia receive the accolade of being the world’s number one must-see sight according to Lonely Planet’s experts. Described as the “Hindu heaven on earth,” this “complex of more than 1,000 temples, shrines and tombs that form a virtual city of spires in the jungles of northern Cambodia,” take the crown. 

The Temples of Angkor are hotly followed by Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – “a psychedelic underwater playground”; Machu Picchu in Peru – “mind-blowing” and “a proper enigma”; the Great Wall of China – “an awe-inspiring maze of walls and fortifications”; and India’s Taj Mahal which “still presents a misty window through time”.

The British Museum in London is the UK’s highest-scoring sight. Coming in at number 15 makes it one of the highest-ranking sights in the world. The British Museum staked its claim to a top spot thanks to being “the great treasure house of Europe” and is praised as “a grand Greek Revival temple to treasure hiding an unexpected Norman Foster canopy over its vast central courtyard”. Visiting the museum is described as “a pilgrimage for fans of antiquity”.

To create Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist, Lonely Planet’s team of travel experts and authors on the ground rated the world’s best mega-sights and hidden gems, bringing together this beautiful new book, and what they believe to be the 500 best places to visit in the world. Lonely Planet’s experts whittled down a list of every single sight featured in their tried-and-tested guidebooks to almost every destination on the planet until they had, in their view, the very best spots. Ranked in order of their brilliance, Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist highlights the places the experts at Lonely Planet believe every traveller must experience.


Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist – The Top 20


1.       Temples of Angkor, Cambodia

2.       Great Barrier Reef, Australia

3.       Machu Picchu, Peru

4.       Great Wall of China, China

5.       Taj Mahal, India

6.       Grand Canyon National Park, USA

7.       Colosseum, Italy

8.       Iguazú Falls, Brazil-Argentina

9.       Alhambra, Spain

10.     Aya Sofya, Turkey

11.     Fez Medina, Morocco

12.     Twelve Apostles, Australia

13.     Petra, Jordan

14.     Tikal, Guatemala

15.     British Museum, England

16.     Sagrada Familia, Spain

17.     Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

18.     Santorini, Greece

19.     Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

20.     Museum of Old & New Art, Australia