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These are the top 20 most popular tourist destinations worldwide (PART 1)

A deal from , 3. Sep. 2015 1:23 pm

The travel guide Lonely Planet has put together the 500 of the most popular sites in the world today. Some locations do not come by surprise, but other destinations are quite unexpected. Holiday Pirates will show you which places made it in the top 10 places to visit:

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1. Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia:

The word Angkor Wat means capital temple, it is located in Cambodia and takes pride in being the biggest religious complex on earth. It was a Hindu temple at its beginning but as years went by it became a Buddhist religious building in the last years of the 12th century. This temple is incredibly well conserved and it has become Cambodia's most popular landmark, a national emblem and one of the biggest tourist attractions in Asia.

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2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia:

It is the world's largest coral reef system and it is located besides Queensland Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be admired from the International Space Station and what strikes people the most is the fact that is composed of living organisms, called coral polyps. It is of course one of the worlds' natural wonders and attracts millions of scuba divers every year.

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3. Machu Picchu, Peru:

Meaning "old peak", Machu Picchu is a 15th century fortified city which is located almost 2,500 metres above sea level. It is located in Southern Peru and most historians suggest it was built as a retirement place for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. It is the Inca's civilisation most popular landmark.

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4. Great Wall of China:

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications which tried to avoid foreign herds (such as the Huns) entering China. The buildings started in the 7th century BC but the core of the walls remaining was built by the Ming Dinasty. It's also possible to admire this mega construction from the outer space.

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5. Taj Mahal, India:

Meaning "crown of palaces", it is an incredible monument located in Agra, India. It is built using white marble and was originally constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

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6. Gran Canyon, Arizona, U.S:

Colorado’s Grand Canyon is a steep-sided carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, the United States. Native Americans inhabited this region for thousands of years and regarded it as a holy place. The first europeans to admire this natural wonder was Spanish explorer Garcia Lopez de Cardenas.

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7. Coliseum, Rome:

Also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, its a roman building with an elliptical shape just in the middle of Italy's biggest city. Stone and concrete were used for the construction of this incredible monument which is of course the biggest coliseum ever made and still considered an architecture breakthrough.

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8. Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina:

Meaning "big water” in Guaraní, these falls divide the countries of Argentina and Brazil and its existence was first recorded by Spanish explorers. According to a legend, a deity wanted to marry his mortal lover, since their love was impossible, he sliced the river in 2 creating these magnificent waterfalls.

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9. Alhambra, Spain:

Located in Granada, it's some sort of hybrid between palace and castle which was originally ignored for two centuries until the Moors rebuilt it and added walls and converted it in a royal palace in the 14th century. It is one of Spain's most popular landmarks.

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10. Hagia Sophia, Istanbul:

Formerly a christian church, later a mosque and now a massive museum, this building took 1000 years to be built and it is a a proof of the mixture of cultures in Turkish history.

These are the top 20 most popular tourist destinations worldwide (PART 1)

Now that you’ve scrolled down the list, which destinations did you know already and which are you looking forward to visit in the near future?

These are the top 20 most popular tourist destinations worldwide (PART 1)