Al-Khazneh | Petra, Jordan
Popularly known as “The Treasury”, the exquisite rose-red sandstone structure of the Al-Khazneh in the city of Petra will have you charmed almost immediately. Once home to the Nabateans, this first-century temple, with its giant entrance and beautiful hand-sculpted decorations, was famously featured in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Interestingly, this antiquated beauty also boasts secrets of how real-life pirates and ancient Egyptian royalties had hidden their most coveted treasures here. When visiting this famous site, make sure to explore Petra’s 800 over monuments that are sure to enchant you as well!
|Book hotels in Petra, Jordan|
Machu Picchu | Cusco, Peru
As one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World”, this historical site offers you a step back in time to learn about the Inca Empire. The fifteenth century stone-city of Machu Picchu is nestled high in the Peruvian Andes and continues to bewilder tourists and archaeologists alike. The large earthquake-proof ruins feature over 200 buildings, including the Temple of the Sun and the lesser-known Temple of the Moon. Depart for the Huaynu Picchu hiking trail early to catch the stunning morning light that brushes the mountains and maximise your time viewing the many temples’ intricate stonework.
|Book hotels in Cusco, Peru|
The Acropolis | Athens, Greece
Do not be fooled by its modest location, because this mere 3-hectare site atop a rocky hill is home to the world’s most impressive and well-preserved ancient sites. Architectural wonders like the Parthenon Temple, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike are located here, just to name a few. Although popularly known as a testimony of early Greek civilisation, see if you can locate the influences of various other empires here, like the Romans who installed the Temple of Rome, and the Ottomans, who at one point, turned the Parthenon into a mosque. Do make sure to pay a visit to the Acropolis Museum which showcases a reimagined ancient Greek neighbourhood.
|Book hotels in Athens, Greece|
Ayutthaya | Bangkok, Thailand
Not many places spark the imagination of exotic grandeur like the lost city of Ayutthaya does. Despite being destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century, the ruins of numerous Buddhist temples, palaces and reliquary towers can still be found here. The latter are iconic to the Siamese Kingdom and continue to be an inspiring trademark of Southeast Asian art. The extensive collection of Buddha’s relics and Thai houses on showcase at the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum cannot be missed, and if you’re looking for a more culturally-immersive experience, head to the Khlong Sra Bua Floating Market . We guarantee there’s something for everyone at this extremely versatile ancient capital!
|Book hotels in Bangkok, Thailand|
Taj Mahal | Agra, India
The illustrious Mughal Empire retains its splendor with this prominent landmark. As most romantics would know, the Taj Mahal is a monumental homage to love itself. Built by emperor Shah Jahan, the mausoleum was the last resting place of his deceased wife, with whom he had a very deep and loving marriage. From the attention to detail in its ivory-white marble walls to its horticulture, the Taj Mahal can be seen as a standing testament to the excellency of Indo-Islamic architecture. A longstanding myth holds that the emperor intended to build a second, black marble mausoleum for himself, located directly opposite of its white counterpart, but this never happened. Discover for yourself the luxury of the Mughal empire and relive a love story almost too good to be true.
|Book hotels in Agra, India|
Take your pick from any of these destinations that is sure to fascinate and fulfil you! Need more inspiration? Check out our suggestions for the best holiday destinations for this year here.