The Top 15 Places To See In Your Lifetime

Wanderlust.

Good news, travelers: your ultimate bucket list is here.

Lonely Planet released its list of the Top 50 places to visit on Monday, and we're already packing our bags. The list is an excerpt from the company's upcoming book, Ultimate Travel: The 500 Best Places on the Planet...Ranked, which hits shelves in early October.

The locations were ranked based on 40 years of guidebook information that was compiled into what the company called "a definitive wish list of the world’s best sights as named by Lonely Planet's globetrotting community of travel experts."

The list includes a few places you've been told to visit before, but then again, if the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal weren't on this list, we'd be suspicious.

Check out Lonely Planet's descriptions of the top 15 places to see in your lifetime below.

15
British Museum

A pilgrimage for fans of antiquity, many of Europe’s – and indeed the world’s – greatest treasures have ended up in its hallowed halls.

14
Tikal, Guatemala
Justin Foulkes / Lonely Planet

Guatemala’s most significant Mayan ruin site, the once-bustling metropolis now gives off a haunted jungle ambience.

13
Petra, Jordan
Joe Windsor-Williams / Lonely Planet

Most people’s impression of Petra comes from "Indiana Jones," but beyond experiencing the drama of the Siq, you can also explore the High Place of Sacrifice, the Monastery and countless tombs.

12
Twelve Apostles, Australia
Pete Seaward / Lonely Planet

Standing just off the Great Ocean Road, a scenic treat of limestone coast, the Apostles are the cherry on a very tasty cake.

11
Fez Medina, Morocco
Getty Images/Flickr RF

This tangled, unmappable labyrinth of 9,400 alleyways -- containing some 14,000 buildings and housing around 160,000 people – dates back more than 1,000 years.

10
Aya Sofya, Turkey
Mark Read / Lonely Planet

A church, mosque and museum in one, Istanbul’s Aya Sofya defies easy categorization. It was built almost 1,500 years ago when Byzantine emperor Justinian I demanded a cathedral that would mimic the majesty of the heavens on earth and eclipse the wonders of Rome.

9
Alhambra, Spain
Pete Seaward / Lonely Planet

With sheer red walls set against a mountain backdrop, the palace complex dominating Granada’s skyline is perhaps the most refined example of Islamic art anywhere in the world, and the most enduring symbol of 800 years of enlightened Moorish rule in medieval Spain.

8
Iguazú Falls, Brazil - Argentina
Matt Munro / Lonely Planet

The Guaraní name, Big Water, is a huge understatement: these falls are so enormous, tour boats in the foaming pools below look like matchsticks to viewers from the boardwalks above.

7
Colosseum, Italy
Justin Foulkes / Lonely Planet

This massive 50,000-seat amphitheater is Rome’s most thrilling sight, and a monument to raw, merciless power that can still be felt today by anyone who steps foot inside.

6
Grand Canyon National Park, USA
Mark Read / Lonely Planet

Look down at two billion years of geologic time and you’ll see why the mile-deep, 277-mile-long phenomenon is nature’s cathedral.

5
Taj Mahal, India
Mark Read / Lonely Planet

Acres of shimmering white marble and a few thousand semiprecious stones carved and inlaid in intricate Islamic patterns, all in perfect symmetry: this breathtaking mausoleum is architectural perfection.

4
Great Wall of China
Mark Read / Lonely Planet

It’s a myth that it can be seen from space, but this awe-inspiring maze of walls and fortifications stretching for an astonishing 5,500 miles across China's rugged landscape seems both infinite and indestructible.

3
Machu Picchu, Peru
Philip Lee Harvey / Lonely Planet

It’s not the outrageously dramatic Andean setting, nor the way that the city clings to impossibly precipitous slopes that makes Machu Picchu so mind-blowing – it’s the fact that no one really knows what happened here.

2
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Matt Munro / Lonely Planet

Stretching more than 1,860 miles up the northeastern coast of Australia, it’s home to the world’s largest network of coral reefs and thousands of species of fish and marine life.

1
Temples of Angkor, Cambodia
Mark Read / Lonely Planet

The world’s greatest temple to the Hindu god Vishnu, the magnificent monument of Angkor Wat is the crowning glory of a complex of more than 1,000 temples, shrines and tombs that forms a virtual city of spires in the jungles of northern Cambodia.

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