We recently shared the TripAdvisor community’s best tips for travel to Angkor Wat, the #1 landmark in the world in this year’s Travelers’ Choice awards, and they provided a lot of useful insights for planning the best visit possible! To help you get the most out of your trips to other awe-inspiring sights, we thought we’d continue sharing what travelers like you had to say for the rest of the winners in the top 10. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do when traveling to the top landmarks of the world:
#2 Machu Picchu: Cusco Region, Peru
DO avoid peak hours–which tend to be anytime other than the early morning–and get an early start to your climb of the mountain of your choice to avoid the larger crowds.
DON’T stay only one night. You’ll want a little more time to explore and see the sunrise and sunset! If your budget allows, stay at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu, which is right by the ruins. Alternately, book a hotel in Aguas Calientes.
#3 Taj Mahal: Agra, India
DO make sure you do your research. Knowing the history behind why and how the mausoleum was built will make you appreciate it even more.
DON’T miss the sunrise. Many travelers have said that this is a truly unforgettable experience. Also, you’ll have a little more peace and quiet due to fewer crowds of other tourists.
#4 Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
DO resist the urge to take pictures at every corner of the mosque. To feel the serenity that abounds the Sheik Zayed, you have to be fully present.
DON’T step on the colored tiles while barefoot if you’re visiting in the summertime. While the white tiles are relatively cool, those with color could potentially burn your feet, especially on a very hot day!
#5 La Sagrada Familia: Barcelona, Spain
DO take the tower tour. Once you see the views, you won’t regret it.
DON’T forget to wear comfortable walking shoes. There are several windy steps that you’ll have to climb in order to get to the top of the towers.
#6 St. Peter’s Basilica: Vatican City, Italy
DO get tickets for a tour of the Roman Necropolis, also known as the Scavi tour. This is where the tomb of St. Peter is located and is consequently a very popular tour, so you’ll definitely want to plan ahead in order to secure a spot. Some travelers make reservations two months in advance!
DON’T go early in the morning for St. Peter’s, as the lines tend to be quite long, mainly due to security purposes. Opt for either going later in the afternoon or doing a tour of the Vatican Museum or seeing the Sistine Chapel, and then entering the Basilica from there. With these alternatives, you’ll maximize your time for exploring the church.
#7 Milan Cathedral (Duomo): Milan, Italy
DO climb up or take the elevator to the roof–the views of Milan are spectacular from there.
DON’T enter the cathedral without abiding by the dress code, which includes covering your knees and shoulders. Unlikes some other religious sites in Italy, the Duomo is quite strict when it comes to appropriate dress.
#8 Alcatraz: San Francisco, California
DO take the audio tour or a guided tour. Hearing the history while you walk through the prison cells makes for a very interesting (and sometimes chilling) experience.
DON’T wait until the last minute to buy tickets for entry, especially during summer when they’re usually unavailable for same-day visits. Buying tickets online well in advance will save you time and unnecessary stress, and will guarantee you entry into Alcatraz.
#9 Cristo Redentor: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
DO go in the late afternoon around dusk for great views and fewer crowds of tourists.
DON’T visit on Catholic or local holidays. It can get quite chaotic and busy during these times.
#10 Golden Gate Bridge: San Francisco, California
DO go to Battery Spencer, which is on the northwest side of the bridge. It’ll give you an awe-inspiring view of not only the bridge, but the harbor and San Francisco as well. Travelers have noted that watching ships go under the bridge and cars drive over it is definitely a highlight.
DON’T miss the sunrise from Hawk Hill, which is also on the northwest side of the bridge.