22 Incredible Landmarks in Asia That You Must Visit

22 Incredible Landmarks in Asia That You Must Visit

If you’re wondering which landmarks in Asia to visit, you’ve landed on just the right page.

In a continent full of historical sites, natural wonders, and incredible feats of engineering, it’s not surprising that Asia is home to some of the world’s most remarkable landmarks.

In this Asia landmarks guide, we’ve mapped out the absolute best landmarks that deserve a spot on your Asia bucket list. We’ve included everything from the biggest and boldest landmarks to historical monuments to the most incredible natural wonders of Asia!

Here’s our list of top Asian landmarks to see at least once in your lifetime. This is a long one, so grab a cuppa, and let’s dive right into this guide on must-see landmarks in Asia! 

Bagan myanmar sunrise
Bagan is just one of the many incredible landmarks in Asia to visit.

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22 Most Incredible Landmarks in Asia: Quick Overview

Before we get to the very best landmarks of Asia, here’s a quick look at the sites included in this guide.

  • Famous Landmarks in Asia: Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, Taipei 101, Petronas Twin Towers, Bagan, The Grand Palace, Hawa Mahal, Angkor Wat, Gardens by the Bay, and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
  • Historical & Religious Landmarks in Asia: Fushimi-Inari Taisha, Ruins of St. Paul’s, Tian Tan Buddha, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Cristo Rei, Pink Mosque, and Badshahi Mosque.
  • Natural Wonders of Asia: Big Lake, Chocolate Hills, Halong Bay, Kayangan Lake, and Kuang Si Falls.

To keep things organized, though, we’ve sorted these shining stars by region. Ready to find the best man-made, natural and historical gems in Asia? Let’s go!

In a rush? Pin the this post on famous landmarks in Asia to read later.

Looking for the top landmarks in Asia? Here are 23 incredible Asia landmarks to add to your bucket list - from man-made marvels to natural wonders to historic sites. asia landmarks | southeast asia landmarks | famous landmarks in asia | historic sites asia |natural wonders of asia

Famous Landmarks in East Asia

Fushimi-Inari Taisha, Japan

Thousands of torii gates line the path at Fushimi-Inari Taisha in Kyoto.
Fushimi-Inari Taisha in Kyoto, Japan is an important historical landmark in Asia.

In a country filled with more than 30,000 shrines, Fushimi-Inari Taishi is one of the most important landmarks to visit in all of Japan. 

Located in Kyoto’s southern outskirts, this incredible Shinto Shrine pays tribute to the God of Rice (Inari). It boasts more than 10,000 torii gates in all shapes and sizes, and interestingly, each gate symbolizes a wish to the deity. Since its establishment in 711 AD, thousands of worshippers have gathered here to make special wishes. 

Today, Fushimi-Inari is a popular photo spot and a highlight on any Kyoto itinerary. While there are several points of interest within the complex, following the winding trails lined with 4,000 sacred red gates and cute fox statues up Inari Mountain is arguable the best thing to do here.  

Inara Mountain stands 233 meters above sea level and offers incredible views of the Kyoto basin. It can easily take up to 1-2 hours to reach the top, depending on your fitness level and photo stops. Although it’s not the hardest hike you’ll ever do, expect to break a sweat as there are many steps to climb.  While it’s easy to explore the historical site independently, this guided walking tour is the perfect unique experience.

Admission: Free

Opening hours: Open 24 hours 

Address: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 612-0882, Japan

Great Wall of China 

The Great Wall of China is one of the most famous landmarks in Asia.
The Great Wall of China

Recommended by Ashley from Jetset Jansen.

One of the most famous landmarks in Asia is the Great Wall of China. Not only is it the longest wall in the world, but it also happens to be one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Most of the Great Wall was built and restored during the Ming Dynasty between the 1300s and 1600s, but the first construction dates back to 770 BC. 

Today, you can access several parts of the Great Wall. The most popular section is the one nearest to Beijing: Badaling. It is popular with Chinese tourists and is the most crowded section of the wall. If you want to venture out further and have less of a crowd, Mutianyu is a great option. It’s fully restored and far enough away that you can enjoy the beautiful scenery without the crowds. If you want to opt for a more adventurous experience, you can visit one of the wall’s wild sections. Jinshanling is half restored and half-wild, while Jiankou is completely wild and the most dangerous area. 

Whichever section you choose to walk, you’ll get to see one of the most famous landmarks in the world!

Admission: You can purchase on the official Great Wall of China website for CNY 180. The ticket includes a round trip shuttle bus and cable car ride. With that said, joining a day tour would be a lot easier. 

Opening hours: 8 am – 4 pm

Address: Huairou District, China

Gyeongbokgung Palace, South Korea

Gyeongbokgung Palace is a top tourist attraction and the most important historical landmark in Seoul.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is the most famous historical landmark in Seoul.

Seoul is home to countless incredible historical sites, but one that you should definitely not miss while exploring the city is Gyeongbokgung Palace. 

The palace was built more than 625 years ago in 1395, during the Joseon Dynasty. It is not only the first but also the largest of Seoul’s five spectacular palaces. 

During the Japanse occupation (1592-1598), a fire destroyed most of the premises, leaving only the Gyeonghoeru Pavilion and the pond around Hyangwonjeong Pavilion relatively untouched. It was not until 263 years later that the palace buildings were restored to all their glory. 

Today, Gyeongbokgung is the most well-preserved palace in the city. Within the palace grounds, you can admire the ornate two-story Geunjeongjeon (the main palace building), as well as several smaller halls, pavilions, and courtyards. Be sure to take a stroll through the immaculate gardens to see the palace buildings from all angles. If you visit at 10 am or 2 pm, in particular, watching the changing of the guards is encouraged. 

You’ll also find the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum on the grounds. Both of these museums offer great insights into Korean culture and history. 

Admission: KRW 3,000 (around US$3)

Opening hours: 9 am – 6 pm

Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Ruins of St. Paul’s, Macau 

Ruins of St. Paul's is one of the top historical sites to visit in Macau.
The Ruins of St. Paul is one of Macau’s most important historical sites.

Macau‘s Historic Center is full of incredible ancient wonders that you’ll find nowhere else in the world. No wonder it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of the finest historical landmarks in the city is the Ruins of St. Paul’s. Originally the Church of Mater Dei, built during 1604-1640, it was the most important religious site in the city. Along with the adjacent St. Paul’s College, which interestingly enough was the first western-style university in the Far East, they formed Macau’s “citadel.” 

Today, however, an intricate façade is the only remaining part of the 17th-century church and nearby college, after a massive fire destroyed both in 1835. The 5-tier façade stands 25.5 meters tall and features intricate sculpting motifs blending influences from Europe, China, and other parts of Asia. Some of the incredibly ornate carvings to keep an eye out for on the wall are chrysanthemums, the Virgin Mary, a Portuguese ship, the founding Jesuits saints, and Chinese lions, to name just a few. 

While it’s not obligatory, it’s worth visiting the Museum of Sacred Art and the Crypt to learn a little more about the Jesuits. Within the Crypt, you can also see the remains of Japanese and Vietnamese Christian martyrs. 

Admission: Free 

Opening hours: The façade is free to enjoy all day long, while the Sacred Art Museum and Crypt are open between 9 am and 6 pm daily (except Tuesdays). 

Address: Rua de Sao Paulo, Macau China

Taipei 101, Taiwan

Taipei 101 is the tallest building in Taiwan.
Taipei 101 is the most iconic landmark in Taiwan.

Once the former tallest building in the world, Taipei 101 is Taiwan’s crown jewel towering above Taipei City at 508m.

Today, the bamboo-shaped tower is the 8th tallest building globally and a strikingly futuristic architectural marvel. To get to the observation deck located on the 89th floor, take the world’s 3rd fastest high-speed elevator. The elevator travels at a staggering 1,008m per minute, taking only 37 seconds to reach the top!

Besides the incredible views on offer, it’s worth walking over to the huge 730-ton wind damper, which stabilizes the building during earthquakes and strong winds. 

All in all, Taipei 101 a huge must on any Taipei itinerary. It’s best to grab a fast track entry ticket in advance, though, as the lines are always long. 

Admission: NTD300 (around $10) 

Opening hours: 11 am – 9 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 9 pm on weekends. 

Address: No. 7, Section 5, Xinyi Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City, 111

Tian Tan Buddha, Hong Kong

Tian Tan Buddha is an important religious site in Hong Kong.
The Big Buddha is an important religious site in Hong Kong.

Tian Tan Buddha is located on Lantau Island, just on the outskirts of Hong Kong. It is the most iconic attraction on the island, and for very good reason. 

The majestic Buddha, which sits atop Mount Muk Yue, is the second-largest outdoor bronze sitting Buddha in the world and weighs a whopping 230 tonnes! It took more than 12 years to build the 34-m tall statue, and today it is an obligatory stop on any Hong Kong itinerary

You can browse the elaborate three-story exhibition hall home to varied ancient Buddhist treasures and relics within the pedestal. But first, you’ll need to climb 268 steps to reach the top! After browsing the interior and getting a close-up look at the Buddha, take some time to enjoy the endless views over the island, the South China Sea, and Hong Kong in the distance.

Further afield, the Ngong Ping Village and Po Lin Monastery’s incense-filled halls are worth exploring too. 

The easiest way to get to the Tian Tan Buddha is by taking a fun 25-minute cable car ride from Tung Chung Terminal to Ngong Ping. The terminal is just outside Tung Chung MTR station. 

Admission: Entrance to Lamma Island is free. However, expect to pay HK$ 235 for a round-trip cable car to get there.  

Opening hours: 10 am – 5:30 pm 

Address: Ngong Ping Rd, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Looking for the top landmarks in Asia? Here are 23 incredible Asia landmarks to add to your bucket list - from man-made marvels to natural wonders to historic sites. asia landmarks | southeast asia landmarks | famous landmarks in asia | historic sites asia | natural wonders of asia

Best Landmarks in Southeast Asia 

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

one of the most famous landmarks in asia is Angkor Wat. here it is at sunrise.
The spectacular sunrise over Angkor Wat, one of the most famous Asian landmarks.

Recommended by Sally from Our3kidsvtheworld

Angkor Wat is located 5km from Siem Reap in Cambodia. It was recorded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 and as recently as 2017 was rated as the No. 1 best landmark in the world on TripAdvisor. 

The massive Buddhist temple complex, which includes Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and the Bayon Temple, was established nearly 900 years ago, making it one of Asia’s oldest landmarks. The grounds stretch over 400 square kilometers, and much of it is still being restored by UNESCO to safeguard this historically rich site and its surroundings. 

The best way to visit Angkor Wat is by organizing a tuk-tuk driver. You can find many online, like this one, or ask your hotel’s tour desk to arrange it for you. Upon arrival, various guides offering to take you through will approach you. Be sure to check their official government tour guide accreditation, which will usually be hanging around their neck on a lanyard. It’s also a good idea to ask a couple for prices and decide which you are happy to hire.

Better yet, join a private day tour with a knowledgable guide for a stress-free trip. A guide is highly recommended as they have the knowledge you just can’t read in a book.

Admission: Angkor Archaeological Park entry fee is 37USD for a 1-day pass, 62USD for 3-day access, and 72USD for a 7-day pass. 

Opening hours: 5 am – 6 pm

Address: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan is one of the most famous landmarks in Asia.
Bagan is one of the most famous landmarks in Asia.

Recommended by John Paul from The Hangry Backpacker. 

One of the most incredible landmarks in Asia, the ancient city of Bagan, Myanmar, is truly spectacular. Located in Upper Burma, the old Pagan empire’s center is home to the largest collection of Buddhist temples, pagodas, and stupas in the world. 

Thousands upon thousands of these structures dot the landscape, some towering to the sky, and some more than a thousand years old. This incredible sight has made Bagan the leading attraction of tourism in Myanmar.

Reaching Bagan is easiest by plane from Mandalay or Yangon, though the bus is the cheapest (and most exciting) option. 

The Bagan Archaeological Zone is enormous. It is easy for visitors to spend the full five days wandering the area. The ancient ruins are spread out and lacking in organization, so it is best to rent an electric scooter to move about easily.

Bagan is busiest from late-Autumn to Spring. Summer brings serious heat followed by the rainy season, though there is something special about exploring one of the most spectacular landmarks in Asia without the crowds. 

Admission: 25,000 Burmese kyats, a little less than USD 20. The ticket is good for five days.

Location: Mandalay Region, Myanmar

Chocolate Hills, Philippines

Chocolate Hills in Bohol is one of the top natural wonders of Asia.

Recommended by Angeline from Go Around Philippines. 

Next up on our list of incredible landmarks in Asia is the natural wonder, Chocolate Hills. 

These more than 1,000 symmetrical and dome-shaped mounds, which most people liken to Hershey’s Kisses, definitely look amazing but sadly inedible! They’re usually covered in green grass that turns brown during the dry season, hence the name. 

The Chocolate Hills is the Philippines’ 3rd National Geological Monument and is dubbed as an Eighth Wonder of the World. They were formed due to thousands of years of weathering of marine limestone. However, a more fun legend of fighting giants throwing mud gets told more often. 

Visiting the Chocolate Hills is one of the best things to do in Bohol, Philippines, and there are even ATV’s you can ride to go around some of the hills. Alternatively, go on the zip bike for a more thrilling adventure. 

You can visit it by taking a bus from Tagbilaran City to Carmen or by joining the daily group tours to the Chocolate Hills.

Admission: PHP 50 

Address: Chocolate Hills Natural Monument, Bohol Island

Cristo Rei, Timor-Leste

Cristo Rei is a hidden gem in Asia.

Recommended by Luke from Culture Shock Adventure

Standing on top of the world, looking out to sea, is a familiar face. Cristo Rei de Dili is by far the biggest statue in the tiny nation of Timor-Leste. It’s not just a symbol of the nation’s favorite religion; it’s a reminder of Timor-Leste’s complicated history.

Cristo Rei was a gift, celebrating 20 years of being part of Indonesia’s predominately Muslim nation. Although Jesus is the ultimate symbol of Christianity, the statue has several clues to remind Timor-Leste which country they are (were) in. The height of the figure (including and excluding the pedestal) represents Timor-Leste’s place in Indonesia.

Cristo Rei is a 1 – 2 hours one-way walking distance from Dili’s main waterfront area. It can get pretty hot, so this might be a good excuse to take one of those cute little buses. Once you are at the hill’s base, the path to the top is sealed, has lots of steps, and there are many smaller Christian structures on the way up. Halfway up, you will start to see how amazing the views are. On one side you can see the city of Dili, on the other side a beautiful beach.

Cristo Rei is a true hidden gem that deserves a spot on your Asian landmarks list! 

Admission: Free

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

Address: Dili, Timor-Leste

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Gardens By The Bay is the top attraction in Singapore.
The Cloud Forest is a top tourist attraction in Singapore.

Gardens by the Bay is one of the top tourist attractions in Asia and a must-visit landmark in Singapore

The premier horticultural wonderland showcases sprawling grounds and two massive glass domes that house an array of plant species, adding a whole new dimension to the way you’ll view plantlife. 

Within its main conservatories, you can wander through the world’s largest greenhouse (the Flower Dome) and explore the misty tropical rain forest (Cloud Forest) filled with everything from a massive waterfall to a sky walkway! Along the way, you’ll encounter popular floral gems, as well as some of the rarest plant species in the world.  

The Supertrees, which are also on the massive grounds, is another attraction not to miss. These giant alien-like structures are completely covered in plant life and stand up to 50 meters tall. During the day, the canopies provide shade and come alive at night with an extravagant light and sound display. The best part? You can be right in the thick of it when you stroll along the 22-meter high OCBC Skyway, which graces the Singapore skyline. 

Admission: SG$ 28 (21 USD) to enter two conservatories. Grab your ticket here to skip the lines.

Opening hours: 9 am – 9 pm (conservatories)

Address: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953

Grand Palace, Thailand

The Grand Palace is one of the most famous Asian landmarks.
The opulent buildings of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

Thailand is one of the most wonderful destinations to visit in Asia. With its pristine beaches, wild party scene, friendly locals, mind-blowing food, and heaps of ancient temples and palaces to explore, you’ll never be bored in the “Land of Smiles.”

One of the country’s most important historical landmarks is the Grand Palace built in 1782 and the Royal Family’s former residence. Today, the Grand Palace is a national museum and a must-visit place in Bangkok. The sprawling 218,000 m2 complex is home to various extravagant halls and government offices, but the shining star here is unquestionably Wat Phra Kaew Temple – the grandest and most sacred Buddhist temple.

There is a strict dress code for both men and women, so make sure to dress modestly. If you are unsure, it’s best to look at the dress code requirements here before visiting.

Admission: 500 Thai Baht (around USD 16)

Opening hours: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm 

Address: Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay is a must-visit place in Vietnam and a popular add on to any Asia bucket list.

Another natural wonder of Asia that definitely deserves a spot on your bucket list is Hạ Long Bay. 

Stretching more than 1,553 km2, the “Bay of the Descending Dragon” is dotted with thousands of limestone islands and islets covered with lush vegetation jutting out from its emerald-colored waters. This great patch of nature, located in the northeast of Vietnam, has evolved over 5 million years and showcases the most picturesque setting imaginable. 

The natural beauty and diversity of Hạ Long Bay are simply surreal. Little wonder it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and listed as one of the New Wonders of the World. 

Consequently, Hạ Long Bay boasts an incredibly diverse ecosystem, with thousands of species on land and underwater. While kayaking, scuba diving, and caving are just a few of the activities to enjoy, one of the best things to do here is simply to take a boat ride through this vast wonderland. There’s no shortage of day trips from Hanoi to join, but for a truly remarkable experience, opt to stay overnight on a luxurious junk boat

Hạ Long Bay is located roughly 170 km from Hanoi. Shuttle buses are cheap and frequent, but it takes up to 2-3 hours to reach Halong Bay. Alternatively, fly into Van Don International Airport, which is about 30 minutes away from Halong City. 

Admission: VND 290,000 

Address: Hạ Long Bay, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh, Vietnam

Kayangan Lake, Philippines 

Kayangan Lake in Coron is one of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Asia.

Recommended by Bret & Mary from Green Global Travel.

Dotted with pristine tropical islands with dynamic karst landscapes, Coron Bay is arguably among the most beautiful parts of Palawan, ranked the #1 island in the world on more than one occasion. 

Boating, beachcombing, island-hopping, snorkeling, and scuba diving are all popular pastimes in this tranquil part of the Philippines, where the brilliant blue waters, colorful coral reef, and dazzling array of marine life are so ubiquitous you run the risk of taking them for granted. But Kayangan Lake, which is accessed via a steep, slippery trail, is arguably Coron Bay’s most stunning landmark. 

Widely regarded as the cleanest lake in all of Asia, it’s a common stop on Coron island tours, so it tends to get crowded with people at midday. But the views of the lake and the bay from the hiking trail are truly iconic, and the cool, crystal clear waters and otherworldly natural surroundings make Kayangan a notable landmark in Asia to spend a day. 

Admission: PHP 300 per person, which is roughly USD 6.  

Address: Kayangan Lake, Coron, Palawan, Philippines

Kuang Si Falls, Laos

Kuang Si Falls is a must-visit natural landmark in Laos.

Recommended by Sam from My Flying Leap. 

The stunning turquoise cascades of the Kuang Si Falls are around an hour from the historic old town of Luang Prabang in Laos. There are heaps of things to do in Luang Prabang, and the falls are a popular day trip among locals and tourists alike.

There are three levels in Kuang Si Falls, with the top spilling almost 200 feet (61 meters). Each tier of the waterfall has a beautiful blue-green pool you can swim in. The water is refreshingly cool, which feels wonderful on warm and sticky Lao days. You can go any time of year, though the best time to visit is during the dry season from December to April.

Take a short trek through the jungle and stop by to visit the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center on your way to the falls. They rescue black bears (also called moon bears) whose bile is used for Chinese medicine. 

Get there by tuk-tuk or a moped if you’re feeling adventurous. Alternatively, join this terrific tour to enjoy the falls without worrying about the logistics. 

Kuang Si Falls is an incredible natural landmark of Asia and a fun day trip while visiting Luang Prabang! 

Admission: 20,000 Kip (around USD 2.50)

Opening hours: 8 am – 5 pm, daily 

Location: Kuang Si Waterfall, Laos 

Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia 

The iconic Twin Petronas Towers should top your list of things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia’s most iconic landmark, the Petronas Twin Towers, soars above Kuala Lumpur‘s skyline at a remarkable 451.9 meters. 

The towers took six years to build, and while they were completed in 1998, remain the world’s tallest twin towers to this day. This jewel of Malaysia is the masterpiece of world-renowned architect César Pelli who seamlessly combined contemporary design with Islamic concepts such as the eigh-pointed star. 

The 86th floors serve as the observation deck and a massive sky bridge connecting the two sides. From here, you’ll get unparalleled views over the entire city! Afterward, be sure to tour the interactive displays to learn a little more about this famous landmark. 

Admission: MYR 80 (about USD 20), but it’s worth buying a priority pass ticket in advance to skip the lines.

Opening hours: 11 am – 4 pm from Tuesday to Friday, 10 am – 6 pm on weekends. The towers are not open on Mondays to tourists. 

Address: Concourse Level, Lower Ground, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Central Asia Landmarks

Big Lake, Kazakhstan

Big Lake near Almaty is one of the natural wonders of Asia.

Recommended by Mark from Wyld Family Travel​.

Big Lake is one of the premier sites close to Almaty, Kazakhstan, and one of Asia’s most amazing natural wonders. 

You first need to wind your way through the city and into the Trans-Ili Alatau mountains. In reality, the Lake is only 15 kilometers away, but you can bet on those trips taking you somewhere around an hour due to road conditions and checkpoints. 

The best way for the tourist to get to the Big Lake Almaty is to hire a driver via Yandex (much like Uber). When you book a return trip, you can pay your driver to wait as long as it takes you to explore the lake and surrounds. 

What makes Big Lake Almaty so special is it’s amazing blue turquoise water. At 2,500 meters above sea level, this lake is rimmed with mountains reaching over 4,000 meters in height. Although you cannot swim in the big lake as it supplies the water for Almaty, several walking trails lead off from the lake for exploring. 

Even if it is summer in Almaty, we recommend taking some warm clothes because the weather can easily change at this altitude. Big Lake is one of the best things to do in Almaty and a truly memorable experience for those visiting Kazakhstan.

Admission: Free 

Opening hours: Open 24 hours 

Address: Үлкен Алматы көлі, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Landmarks in West Asia

Pink Mosque, Iran

The Winter Hall of the Pink Mosque is a real hidden gem.

Recommended by Caroline from Veggie Wayfarer. 

Iran is one of the most beautiful countries globally with world-renowned architecture, rich history, and unparalleled hospitality. 

One of the absolute highlights of the country is the city of Shiraz in the South of Iran. This city holds one of the world’s most photographed mosques – the kaleidoscope mosque or locally known as the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque.

The mosque dates back to the 19th century or the Qajar Dynasty, when using pink floral tiles and colorful stained glass was popular. 

The most beautiful part of the mosque is the winter hall, located near the ticket booth. The light streams through the windows at midday, reflecting an unparalleled array of colors throughout the winter hall. If you want the winter hall to yourself, it’s best to get there at 08:30 am because it will be packed with tourists and worshippers alike by midday.

The dress code is very modest. As a woman, you will need to cover your knees, elbows, and head. 

Admission: IRR 150,000 

Opening hours: Open every day from 7 am – 5 pm. (Closed on Mondays). 

Address: Fars Province, Shiraz, Lotf Ali Khan Zand Street، Iran

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi's most iconic religious landmark, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Recommended by Matilda from The Travel Sisters.

Next up on this list of incredible landmarks in Asia is the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi – a must-see attraction when visiting the UAE. 

The mosque is known for its bright white marble exterior and interesting architectural features, including four minarets, 82 domes of various sizes, its large courtyard with a floral design, thousands of intricate columns, and surrounding blue-tiled reflective pools. The mosque’s inside is also beautiful – highlights include large crystal chandeliers and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet in the main prayer hall.

During the month of Ramadan, the mosque has limited hours and is closed on Fridays. The best time to visit is early in the morning when there are fewer visitors and around sunset for beautiful lighting. 

Take note that the mosque has a strict dress code. All visitors are required to dress modestly, and women must wear long sleeves and a headscarf.

Admission: Free

Opening hours: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm daily except on Friday mornings when the mosque is closed to tourists but open for worship. 

Address: Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, 5th St, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Looking for the top landmarks in Asia? Here are 23 incredible Asia landmarks to add to your bucket list - from man-made marvels to natural wonders to historic sites. asia landmarks | southeast asia landmarks | famous landmarks in asia | historic sites asia | natural wonders of asia

Landmarks in Southern Asia

Badshahi Mosque, Pakistan 

Badshahi Mosque is an incredible landmark in Asia to visit, even more so at sunset.

Recommended by Jiayi of The Diary of a Nomad

The beautiful Badshahi Mosque is definitely one of the best spots in Lahore, Pakistan, and an incredible landmark of Asia. Constructed in 1671, this mosque is one of the most magnificent monuments from the Mughal Empire (1526-1857). In fact, its architecture is very typical of this era, with carved red sandstones decorating the entire building. There’s a huge courtyard right in front of the mosque, which can hold up to 100,000 worshippers, which is why this mosque is actually the second largest mosque in all of Pakistan. 

It’s not hard to see why the Badshahi Mosque is considered the crown jewel of Lahore. It is absolutely breathtaking from every angle, and you can walk inside the pavilions on either side of the mosque to get some really cool framing for your photos. One can easily spend hours admiring the details of the architecture there!

Badshahi Mosque is right on the outskirts of the Walled City of Lahore, and the easiest way to get there is to use Careem (the Pakistani version of Uber). Women are required to wear a headscarf when visiting.

Admission: Free

Opening hours:  8 am – 8 pm daily

Address: Walled City of Lahore, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Hawa Mahal, India 

Recommended by Kanupriyaa from Sunset Jeans

The honeycombed structure of the gorgeous Hawa Mahal in Jaipur is one of the most famous historical sites in a city full of culture. 

Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh built Hawa Mahal in 1799 to let the ladies of the court view the market below without being seen by the public by looking through its windows. The Palace of Winds has 953 latticework windows, each with an intricately carved stone seat. The structure’s Venturi effect was an architectural marvel that kept the air cool in the palace by circulating it upwards. In the middle of the desert, where temperatures reach 45°C in the summers, this was an important aspect to consider. 

The view of the Hawa Mahal that people are familiar with is the back of the palace. Across the street, you’ll find several cafes above the shops. On the third floor of these shophouses is where you’ll find the best views of Hawa Mahal. You can easily get to Hawa Mahal by car, and all taxi drivers know where to take you. Alternatively, join this Instagram tour to explore Hawa Mahal and other cool photo spots in the city.

As one of the top things to do in Jaipur, Hawa Mahal will take your breath away with its beauty.

Admission:  INR 200 for tourists and INR 50 for locals. 

Opening hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily. 

Address: Hawa Mahal Rd, Badi Choupad, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India

Taj Mahal, India

taj mahal is one of the most famous landmarks in the world and India's top tourist attraction.

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the very last entry on this list and arguably the top landmark in Asia – the Taj Mahal! 

The Taj Mahal is a premier tourist attraction in India and the country’s most famous landmark. Interestingly, the Taj is actually a tomb and was commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to honor his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. 

Located just outside Agra, the Taj was built between 1631-1648 and wholly completed in 1653. It took an astonishing 22 years and more than 20,000 workers to construct. As a result, it features some of the most delicate and opulent motives on this list.

Today the ivory-white mausoleum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and not surprisingly, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Besides the tomb, which features Indian, Islamic, and Persian designs, the grounds are also home to gorgeous gardens and a beautiful reflecting pool. 

Overall, a trip to India would be incomplete without visiting the magnificent Taj Mahal. Just remember to cover your head, knees, and shoulders when you enter the monument. It’s also a good idea to visit earlier in the morning. That way, you can catch an epic sunrise and skip the midday crowds and relentless heat! 

While it’s easy to visit the Taj Mahal independently (grab a fast track entry ticket here), joining a sunrise tour is highly encouraged. 

Admission: IDR 1100, plus an additional IDR 200 to enter the main mausoleum.  

Opening hours: The Taj opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes before sunset. It is not open on Fridays. 

Address: Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India

Asia Landmarks in Conclusion

Well, that sums up this list of the best landmarks in Asia! While we’ve only scratched the surface of incredible monuments to visit in Asia, this guide will hopefully provide tons of inspiration for your bucket list! 

How many of these famous Asian landmarks have you visited? If you feel I’ve missed anything, please let me know in the comments below! 

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Looking for the top landmarks in Asia? Here are 23 incredible Asia landmarks to add to your bucket list - from man-made marvels to natural wonders to historic sites. asia landmarks | southeast asia landmarks | famous landmarks in asia | historic sites asia |natural wonders of asia

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