The world is full of amazing things to see and do, but some sights stand out above the rest. To determine which bucket-list destinations most pique the public’s curiosity, travel insurance company Columbus Direct looked at Google’s Keyword Planner and noted the average monthly search volume for 150 popular landmarks.
The Taj Mahal in Agra topped the list of the world’s most googled landmarks.
While the other top 20 features plenty of the usual suspects – Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, Stonehenge, Big Ben, and the London Eye – some lesser publicized places are on the long list. Landmarks like the Tokyo Tower in Japan and Brandenburg Gate in Germany are less frequently searched, which, for travel-planning purposes, could indicate shorter wait times and smaller crowds.
Here are the landmarks with the highest search volume over the course of a year.
1. Taj Mahal, India
With more than 1.3 million tags on Instagram and 1,417,650 monthly searches worldwide, Taj Mahal is the world’s most Googled landmark – hardly a surprise, given that twice the population of Agra passes through its Unesco World Heritage-listed gates each year. Searches in India make up nearly a third of that total, averaging more than 550,000 times over the past year, but they also rank highly in countries like Niger and Jordan.
Also Read: Where to go when in India
2. Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is the most famous archaeological site in South America, and at 1,269,260 monthly searches worldwide, it’s also the one that holds the most allure for curious Googlers around the globe. While nearly 61,000 of those searches come from the UK, internet users from Curaçao and Costa Rica to French Polynesia, Portugal, and Paraguay are looking into the ancient Incan citadel as well.
3. Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates
At 1,103,950 monthly searches and 828m high, the tallest building in the world comes in at number three – which makes sense, given that a stress-free visit requires planning in advance. Tickets can be booked online as much as 30 days out, both for general admission and for the two observation decks, the latter of which, on the 148th floor, is the world’s highest.
4. Niagara Falls, US and Canada
With thunderously rushing waters and mesmerising veils of mist, Niagara Falls claims 945,810 monthly searches worldwide. A natural wonder spanning the border of Canada and the US, it’s an unlikely honeymoon destination – and the only landmark in North America to make the top five.
5. Eiffel Tower, France
While natural standouts like South America’s Iguazú Falls and Australia’s Uluru are top destinations for international travellers, they don’t necessarily rack up the search numbers as manmade attractions like Burj Khalifa and the Eiffel Tower. The latter racks up 916,270 monthly searches worldwide, and it’s also the most Instagrammed site out there, according to one study.
The rest of the best include Stonehenge, Mount Everest, Statue of Liberty, Sagrada Familia, Pentagon and many more.
This article was first published on www.lonelyplanet.com.