50 of the best views in the world
It’s no secret that our planet is pretty incredible.
From ancient archaeological sites to natural features like canyons and cliffs, just about every corner of the world offers special spots. Greece is home to idyllic pink-sand beaches, Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni salt flat offers stunning optical illusion-esque views, and the vibrant blue water of Moraine Lake in Canada is nothing short of picture-perfect.
We’ve gathered 50 of the most breathtaking views in the world.
ARGENTINA: Los Glaciares National Park
Los Glaciares National Park is named for its glaciers that cover nearly half of the property. The striking glaciers reflect onto Lake Argentino, creating a beautiful mirror-like image.
ARGENTINA AND BRAZIL: Iguazu Falls
This surreal waterfall is located in Iguazu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site situated between Argentina and Brazil.
AUSTRALIA: Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is arguably one of the most well-known underwater ecosystems in the world. Its diverse landscape, which is a home for some 1,500 fish species and 400 types of mollusc, is beautiful both from above and below.
AUSTRALIA: Greater Blue Mountains Area
With cliffs, waterfalls, and canyons, this UNESCO World Heritage site represents the diverse plant species native to Australia.
BOLIVIA: Salar de Uyuni salt flat
Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, according to National Geographic. The salt-covered ground often creates mind-blowing, mirror-like effects.
CANADA: Moraine Lake in Alberta
The crisp blue water and mountain-filled landscape of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park are spectacular.
CHINA: China Danxia geological area
Due to weathering and erosion, the landscapes known as China Danxia have colored “stripes” of red sedimentary rock, according to UNESCO.
CHINA: The Great Wall
The Great Wall was built between the 3rd century BC and the 17th century AD, and it’s one of China’s most important historical sites that represents its culture and ancient civilization.
COSTA RICA: Area de Conservación Guanacaste
The Area de Conservación in Costa Rica is filled with diverse ecosystems, including oak forests, savannahs, wetlands, and beaches — not to mention 500 species of birds and thousands of species of plants and butterflies.
EGYPT: Nubian Monuments
The spectacular ancient monuments are carved out of the sandstone cliff.
FINLAND: The region of Lapland during Aurora Borealis
National Geographic named Finland’s Lapland region one of the best places to gaze at the sky during aurora borealis, or the Northern Lights.
FRANCE: Lavender fields in the Provence region
France’s southern region of Provence is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage cities and sites, and it’s also known for its lavender fields that bloom in vibrant shades of purple and magenta.
FRANCE: The Eiffel Tower
There’s a reason why the Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world. The iron structure is an iconic symbol of Paris, and it makes for an exquisite view when it lights up at night.
Mont-Saint-Michel is a Gothic-style abbey situated on a rocky islet between Normandy and Brittany, France.
GERMANY: Neuschwanstein Castle
This breathtaking palace is one of the 7 Wonders of the World, and it is also said to have inspired Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, according to Travel + Leisure.
GREECE: Meteora Monasteries
The towering rocks of Meteora, Greece, are home to monasteries that date back to the 15th century, according to the site’s UNESCO World Heritage description.
GREECE: Pink-sand beaches in Elafonissi, Crete
On beaches in Elafonissi, part of a peninsula that connects to Crete, Greece, the sand’s pink hue comes from broken shells, according to US News Travel.
GREECE: Oia, Santorini
The village of Oia on the island of Santorini, Greece, is known for its gorgeous hills of white and blue buildings and vibrant waters.
ICELAND: Reynisfjara black-sand beach
Iceland’s black-sand beach, called Reynisfjara, has incredible columns made of basalt and rock pillars that stick out of the water.
ICELAND: Vatnajökull National Park
The unique landscape of Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland makes it one of the most striking views in the world. The area has 10 volcanoes, three of which are below glaciers or sheets of ice, according to UNESCO.
INDIA: The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the 7 Wonders of the World. The famous marble palace was built in the 17th century as the tomb of an emperor’s wife, according to the Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation.
IRELAND: Burren and Cliffs of Moher
The Burren and Cliffs of Moher are not only famous for their natural beauty, but the site is also home to artifacts that show signs of human life dating back 6,000 years, according to UNESCO.
ITALY: Porto Venere coast
This breathtaking landscape on Italy’s eastern coast consists of Porto Venere, three islands called Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, and Cinque Terre. The coastal area is known for its rainbow-colored buildings settled along steep rocks, which overlook crystal-blue waters.
JAPAN: Bioluminescent beach at Toyama Bay
Toyama Bay on Japan’s west coast is home to glow-in-the-dark sea creatures that make for a spectacular view of the water from above, according to BBC.
JAPAN: Ancient Kyoto
Kyoto, which was the country’s capital until the middle of the 19th century, is filled with traditional and religious architecture and lush gardens that are significant to Japanese culture, according to UNESCO.
JORDAN: The ancient city of Petra
The architecture and ancient carvings found in Petra, Jordan, make the ancient city one filled with spectacular and unique views.
MALAYSIA: Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark
The vibrant green hills and rainforests found in Malaysia’s Langkawi landscape make it a special and beautiful UNESCO site. The geopark is home to beaches, estuaries, coral reefs, caves, and limestone, according to UNESCO.
MONTENEGRO: Region of Kotor
Kotor is considered a Natural and Culturo-Historical Region by UNESCO World Heritage for its ancient architectural features and breathtaking rocky landscape.
MOROCCO: Jemaa el-Fna Square in Marrakech
As part of the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Jemaa el-Fna Square in Marrakech is recognized as an iconic and meaningful symbol of the city’s history and culture.
MYANMAR: Ancient city of Bagan
The archaeological remains of the city of Bagan, Myanmar, date back to the 11th to 13th centuries, according to UNESCO. The unique landscape of Bagan is home to sacred Buddhist art, monasteries, and places of religious pilgrimage.
NEW ZEALAND: Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo in New Zealand’s South Canterbury region is a glacial lake with unreal views during the day and equally beautiful, clear skies at night — perfect for stargazing.
NORWAY: The Bryggen wharf in Bergen
Norway’s Bryggen wharf is a historic area recognized by UNESCO World Heritage. The harbor town was rebuilt after a fire in 1702, and today, its medieval-style buildings and colorful facades create idyllic reflections onto the water.
PANAMA: Coiba National Park
The lush, vibrant ecosystem found at Coiba National Park is filled with incredible views of the vibrant blue water. The park is also a protected UNESCO site, as it is “one of the last major refuges for rare and endangered species of tropical America.”
PERU: Machu Picchu
Located between the Andes Mountains and the Amazon Basin, Machu Picchu is an archaeological site of the ancient Inca Empire. Machu Picchu, named one of the 7 Wonders of the World, is filled with monuments that document the Incan people’s way of life. Its elevated location makes for second-to-none views.
PORTUGAL: Laurisilva of Madeira
This breathtaking forest on Portugal’s island of Madeira looks like something from a fairy tale.
ST. LUCIA: The Pitons volcanic peaks
The Pitons are striking volcanic structures on the lush Caribbean island of St. Lucia.
SINGAPORE: Supertree Grove
Singapore’s Supertree Grove is a group of 160-foot-tall structures, according to National Geographic, that offer incredible views of the city and of the Gardens by the Bay, which are lush conservatories with colorful plants.
SPAIN: Windmills of La Mancha
Made famous by the novel “Don Quixote” and musical “Man of La Mancha,” the windmills that decorate Spain’s La Mancha region are both significant to the fictional stories and visually incredible.
SPAIN: The historic city of Toledo
The city of Toledo, Spain, represents more than 2,000 years of history, according to UNESCO. Toledo offers incredible views of its many religious and historical monuments, as well as sights taken in from afar that show its staggered buildings and medieval fortress.
SPAIN: Las Médulas ancient gold-mining area
This UNESCO World Heritage site in Spain’s Léon region has stunning clay mountains that have remnants of ancient Roman gold-mining mechanisms and techniques.
SWITZERLAND: The Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps mountain range, specifically the Jungfrau-Aletsch region of Switzerland, is home to Europe’s largest glacier, according to UNESCO. The magnificence of the Swiss Alps has inspired art, music, and literature for centuries.
THAILAND: Historic city of Ayutthaya
The remains of Thailand’s historic city of Ayutthaya include ornate monasteries and structures that date back to the 14th century, according to UNESCO. At Thailand’s lantern festival, called the Loi Krathong festival, views of Ayutthaya are even more majestic.
TURKEY: Natural minter al springs in Pamukkale
This stunning landscape in Turkey has mineral forests, petrified waterfalls, and thermal waters. The Turkish name Pamukkale means “cotton castle,” which describes the pool’s white coating that comes from calcium carbonate deposits, according to UNESCO.
UNESCO calls Stonehenge “the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world.” The ancient monuments of Stonehenge, located in Wiltshire, England, make for a historic and picturesque landscape.
UK: View of the River Thames from the London Eye
The London Eye Ferris wheel offers panoramic views of the city, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and the River Thames.
US: Yosemite National Park in California
Known for its lake views, valleys, cliffs, and waterfalls, Yosemite National Park in California is filled with incredible sights to explore.
US: Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park represents two billion years of geological history. The canyons have been carved out by the Colorado River, making this one of the most visually spectacular landscapes in the world.
US: Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright in Pennsylvania
UNESCO added American architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s 20th-century buildings to the World Heritage list in July 2019. One of Wright’s many visually incredible works of design is the Fallingwater house in Mill Run, Pennsylvania.
VIETNAM: Non nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark
Non nuoc Cao Bang is a UNESCO Global Geopark with magnificent views of its waterfalls, lakes, and diverse plant species.
ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE: Victoria Falls
Named the “largest curtain of falling water in the world” by UNESCO, Victoria Falls also feature numerous basalt gorges, or narrow valleys that have been formed from the falling water over time. This incredible natural wonder in Africa is truly one-of-a-kind.
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