TripAdvisor names the world's top landmarks for 2017

 TripAdvisor has named the world's most popular landmark for 2017, and no, it's not Machu Picchu.

This year, Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia pipped Peru's bucket-list destination to be the biggest landmark for the year.

More than two million people visited the site last year, a number that brings in around $A80 million dollars annually to Cambodia.

Back in 1993 the temple saw as little as 7360 visitors, a figure that ballooned to 561,000 over the following decade.

The complex of temples is the largest in the world, spanning 162 hectares. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple but was gradually transformed into Buddhist during the late 12th century.

The main complex, surrounded by a huge moat, is known for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets, driving tourists in their droves.

The second most popular landmark was Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Brand-spanking-new, compared to most structures on the list, the mosque was only completed in 2007. The late president of the UAE launched the project, with the aim of 'uniting the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern values of architecture and art'. Materials for the mosque came from all parts of the world.

The sixth most popular landmark in the world is a technicolour-domed beauty. The Church of the Savoir on Spilled Blood in St Petersburg is not just pretty, but it also has a fascinating history - so-called after Emperor Alexander III commissioned the building back in 1883 after his father, Alexander II, was assassinated on the site.

Although Australian landmarks did not feature in the top ten list, Sydney Opera House was voted its most popular landmark, with the Harbour Bridge following hotly on its heels.


War memorials and prisons filled out the top ten list, rounded out by the Byron Bay lighthouse - the brightest in Australia - where superb views of the hinterland and coastline can be seen from the top, as well as wildlife such as humpback whales, turtles and dolphins.

The TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards are based on the reviews and ratings from reviewers on the site over the past 12 months.

Top 10 landmarks in the World:

1.       Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia

2.       Sheikh Zayed Mosque – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

3.       Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba – Cordoba, Spain

4.       St. Peter's Basilica – Vatican City, Italy

5.       Taj Mahal – Agra, India

6.       Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood – St. Petersburg, Russia

7.       Great Wall at Mutianyu – Beijing, China

8.       Machu Picchu – Machu Picchu, Peru

9.       Plaza de Espana – Seville, Spain

10.     Duomo di Milano  – Milan, Italy

Top 10 landmarks in Australia:

1.       Sydney Opera House, NSW

2.       Sydney Harbour Bridge, NSW

3.       Australian War Memorial – Australian Capital Territory

4.       Shrine of Remembrance – Melbourne

5.       Queen Victoria Building (QVB) – Sydney

6.       Block Arcade – Melbourne

7.       Port Arthur Historic Site – Port Arthur

8.       Fremantle Prison – Fremantle

9.       Australian Parliament House – Canberra

10.    Cape Byron Lighthouse  – Byron Bay

See also: The hottest new travel destinations for 2017

See also: Ten countries you (probably) haven't visited - but should

Listen: Flight of Fancy - the podcast with Ben Groundwater

The best places to visit in 2017

To subscribe to the podcast Flight of Fancy on iTunes, click here.