If you’re a seasoned traveler, no doubt you’ve already seen a lot of the most well-known landmarks across the globe. However, with a world full of natural beauty, astounding architectural feats and incredible history, there are many more well worth a place on your bucket list. We’ve put together a list of 10 overlooked landmarks that you need to see in your lifetime. Even better, as they’re often overlooked, they don’t attract the same crowds as the big name ones — time to start planning your next trip.
Buckingham Fountain, Chicago, U.S.A.
Chicago is certainly not a city that's short of amazing things to do and see. If you’ve visited before or you’re planning a trip, you’ll probably think of the view from the 108th floor of the Willis Tower and the 24 acres of Millennium Park. When in Chicago, it’s a must to visit Buckingham Fountain. The fountain is one of the largest in the world and arguably one of the most alluring. Marvel at the Georgian pink marble and seahorse sculptures as well as the sheer volume of water it contains. One and a half million gallons of water, in fact, which shoots up to 150 feet in the air.
Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
When you think of Istanbul, it’s probably the Blue Mosque that springs to mind, and it’s undoubtedly the most popular amongst tourists. The Suleymaniye Mosque, however, is an equally impressive structure and not invaded daily by hordes of tourists. It’s a must for your bucket list, pure Islamic elegance set in peaceful gardens. Climb up the hill to visit the mosque and gaze at the incredible architecture as well as the breathtaking views of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.
Bryce Canyon Amphitheater, Utah, U.S.A.
There are so many amazing national parks in the U.S. that it’s easy for some of them to get overlooked, Bryce Canyon is definitely one of those that doesn't get the credit it deserves. You’re more likely to think of Utah’s Zion National Park, which is becoming so popular that they may start limiting visitor numbers. The lesser-known Bryce Canyon is home to the largest collection of hoodoos anywhere in the world. The crimson hoodoos are tall rock pillars that have eroded to form spire-shaped structures. Be sure to visit Bryce Canyon for an otherworldly feeling and trek to the canyon floors for an experience unlike any other.
Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is home to some pretty big attractions with the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House vying for visitors’ attention. One of the more frequently overlooked landmarks, however, is the Oude Kerk church. The stunning medieval church is, in fact, Amsterdam’s oldest building. The church is a phenomenal structure and features the largest medieval wooden vault in Europe.
Church of Saint-Sulpice, Paris, France
Made famous by the book The Da Vinci Code, the Church of Saint-Sulpice is still often overlooked. It has its work cut out in Paris amongst other landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and, of course, Notre Dame. The church is no shrinking violet though, only second in size to its Notre Dame rival. However, it is home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world, and it surrounds you with peace and incredible artwork. Time your visit with an organ recital and you’ll wonder how this beauty was ever overlooked.
Wave Rock, Hyden, Western Australia
The rock formation getting all the attention in Australia is Uluru, but there is another which should definitely be on your bucket list. The three-billion-year-old granite has formed into the shape of what appears to be an enormous wave. It’s a sight to behold and incredible that so few tourists find themselves there. The geological masterpiece can be found about a four-hour drive southeast of Perth, near Hyden.
Plain of Jars, Laos, Southeast Asia
Very few travelers make it to the remote corner of Laos that is home to the Plain of Jars. Southeast Asia pulls tourists in all directions, Thailand and Vietnam being the prime suspects, so Laos itself often gets overlooked. A 2,500-year-old mystery awaits visitors at the Plain of Jars. Thousands of stone urns are dispersed over hundreds of square kilometers including in the surrounding mountains. The urns are far from small, up to three meters tall and scattered in seemingly random locations. The mystery? Nobody is sure how they got there or what they were for. Perhaps they were for prehistoric burial practices or for brewing pots of potent rice to feed mythical giants.
Benagil Caves, Algarve, Portugal
The Algarve in Portugal is overflowing with beauty and has no shortage of natural landmarks carved into its limestone cliffs. The Benagil sea caves create the most magnificent of them all and have to be seen to be believed. A boat trip to the cave will let you into the sea caves’ secret. There is a hole in the cliff that leads to an enclosed cave-beach. It feels like your own slice of paradise, a private beach with its own porthole to the heavens. Let the sunlight shine down on you and be thankful you didn’t overlook this one.
Shoshone Falls, Idaho, USA
Shoshone Falls is incredibly underrated in comparison to its famous counterpart in Niagara. The truth is, however, that Shoshone Falls is the higher of the two, measuring in at a staggering 64.7 meters. The water cascades with quite some force into the Snake River below. As the flow is controlled by a dam, a visit in spring will display the falls at their most powerful. With a stunning scenic overlook, heart-thumping hiking trails and plenty of places to rest, it’s somewhere everyone should see.
The Great Buddha, Kamakura, Japan
The Great Buddha in Kamakura offers visitors a unique experience. First, the sheer scale of the monument is astonishing. The second largest monumental Buddha in Japan, The Great Buddha of Kamakura measures over 13 meters high and weighs around 121 tons. Dating back to the mid-13th century, the statue was originally gold plated. Today little of the gold is left but the statue has held strong through a lot, remaining in place while the temple around it was destroyed. Give a small donation and step inside the monument, see the landmark from the inside out and realize it really is something to shout about.