The Most Famous Buildings in the World: Recognizable Architectural Icons

Choose the Building you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Sep 11, 2023 05:18
Step right up and cast your vote in our latest awe-inspiring ranking - the most famous buildings in the world! From architectural marvels to iconic landmarks, these structures have captivated our imaginations and left their mark on history. Will you be rooting for the timeless Eiffel Tower, the majestic Taj Mahal, or the towering Burj Khalifa? Perhaps you have a hidden gem in mind that deserves recognition? No matter your choice, StrawPoll is the stage where your voice can be heard. So, join thousands of fellow enthusiasts in this epic battle of the buildings, and let's together unveil the ultimate ranking of the world's most celebrated masterpieces. Don't forget to share your thoughts and suggest any missing options - the sky's the limit!

What Are the Most Famous Buildings in the World? (September 2023)

  1. 1
    One of the world's most recognizable landmarks, the Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 and stands at 324 meters tall. It is a symbol of France and attracts millions of tourists each year.
    The Eiffel Tower is an iconic landmark located in Paris, France. It is a wrought-iron lattice tower that stands tall at 324 meters (1,063 feet) and is situated on the Champ de Mars. The tower is an architectural marvel, renowned for its unique design and panoramic views of the city.
    • Year Built: 1889
    • Height: 324 meters (1,063 feet)
    • Location: Champ de Mars, Paris, France
    • Structure: Wrought-iron lattice tower
    • Construction Time: 2 years, 2 months, and 5 days
    Eiffel Tower - Paris, France in other rankings
  2. 2
    A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife. It is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
    The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Mughal architecture, combining Persian, Islamic, and Indian influences.
    • Location: Agra, India
    • Year of Construction: 1632-1653
    • Architectural Style: Mughal Architecture
    • Material: White Marble
    • Height: 73 meters (240 feet)
    Taj Mahal - Agra, India in other rankings
  3. 3
    Great Wall of China - China
    Jacques-Nicolas Bellin · Public domain
    A series of fortifications built along the northern borders of China to protect against invasions, the Great Wall of China is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and spans over 13,000 miles. It is one of the most famous landmarks in the world.
    The Great Wall of China is a world-renowned fortification located in northern China. It stretches approximately 13,171 miles (21,196 kilometers) from east to west, making it the longest man-made structure in the world. Built primarily to protect China from invasions, the wall dates back to different dynasties starting from as early as the 7th century BC.
    • Length: 13,171 miles
    • Historical Timeline: 7th century BC - 17th century AD
    • Construction Materials: Stone, brick, wood, and other materials
    • Width: 15-30 feet (4.5-9 meters)
    • Height: 16-26 feet (5-8 meters)
    Great Wall of China - China in other rankings
  4. 4
    An iconic symbol of ancient Rome, the Colosseum is an amphitheater built in 80 AD. It was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles and is now a major tourist attraction.
    The Colosseum is an ancient amphitheater located in Rome, Italy. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most iconic symbols of the Roman Empire. The Colosseum was primarily used for gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, and other public spectacles.
    • Location: Rome, Italy
    • Construction Period: 70-80 AD
    • Architectural Style: Roman architecture
    • Capacity: Approximately 50,000-80,000 spectators
    • Dimensions: 189 meters long, 156 meters wide, and 48 meters tall
  5. 5
    A complex of ancient tombs built during the Old Kingdom of Egypt, the Pyramids of Giza are the last surviving of the Seven Wonders of the World. They are a testament to the engineering skills of the ancient Egyptians and continue to fascinate visitors to this day.
    The Pyramids of Giza is an ancient Egyptian complex located in Giza on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. It is comprised of three main pyramids: the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure. These pyramids were built as tombs for the pharaohs during the Old Kingdom period of ancient Egypt. They are considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and are iconic symbols of Egyptian civilization.
    • Location: Giza, Egypt
    • Construction Period: 2580-2560 BC
    • Height of the Great Pyramid: 146.6 meters (481 feet)
    • Base of the Great Pyramid: 230.4 meters (756 feet)
    • Number of Original Sides: 4
  6. 6
    The smallest country in the world, the Vatican is the spiritual center of the Catholic Church and home to some of the most famous buildings in the world, including St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.
    The Vatican, officially known as Vatican City, is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. It is the smallest internationally recognized independent state by both population and area. The Vatican serves as the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, and it is the residence of the Pope, the highest authority in the Catholic Church.
    • Location: Rome, Italy
    • Area: 44 hectares (110 acres)
    • Population: Around 800 residents, mostly clergy members
    • Official Language: Italian and Latin
    • Religion: Roman Catholicism
  7. 7
    The Statue of Liberty - New York City, USA
    Elcobbola · Public domain
    A gift from France to the United States, the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom and democracy. It was dedicated in 1886 and stands at 305 feet tall.
    The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, USA. It represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, bearing a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) with the date of the American Declaration of Independence inscribed upon it. The statue is an iconic symbol of freedom and democracy, welcoming millions of immigrants to the United States.
    • Location: Liberty Island, New York Harbor, USA
    • Height (total): 305 feet (93 meters)
    • Height (pedestal): 154 feet (47 meters)
    • Weight: 225 tons (204 metric tons)
    • Material: Copper
  8. 8
    The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa stands at 828 meters tall and has 163 floors. It is a modern marvel of engineering and design and attracts millions of visitors each year.
    The Burj Khalifa is a skyscraper located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the tallest structure and building in the world, with a height of 828 meters (2,717 feet). The architecture of the Burj Khalifa is inspired by the desert flower hymenocallis, with a triple-lobed footprint that is extended as it rises. The tower features a stepped design that narrows as it goes upward, allowing for setbacks that create outdoor terraces at various levels. The exterior of the Burj Khalifa is clad in reflective glass and aluminum panels, giving it a sleek and modern appearance.
    • Height: 828 meters (2,717 feet)
    • Floors: 163
    • Floor area: 309,473 square meters (3,331,100 square feet)
    • Construction Started: January 6, 2004
    • Opened: January 4, 2010
  9. 9
    An iconic performing arts center, the Sydney Opera House is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous buildings in the world. Its unique design and location on the Sydney Harbour make it a must-see attraction.
    The Sydney Opera House is a world-renowned performing arts center located in Sydney, Australia. It is one of the most iconic and distinctive buildings in the world, known for its unique sail-like design that makes it a prominent landmark on the Sydney Harbour.
    • Location: Sydney, Australia
    • Construction Period: 1959-1973
    • Architectural Style: Expressionist
    • Roof Area: 1.8 hectares
    • Number of Performance Spaces: 5
  10. 10
    The Louvre - Paris, France
    Benh LIEU SONG · CC BY 2.5
    One of the world's largest and most famous museums, the Louvre is home to some of the most famous works of art in history, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Its iconic glass pyramid entrance is also a major tourist attraction.
    The Louvre is a world-renowned museum located in Paris, France. It is a historic monument and one of the largest art museums in the world. The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, a former royal palace, and attracts millions of visitors each year.
    • Location: Paris, France
    • Year of Establishment: 1793
    • Architect: Various architects over centuries, including Pierre Lescot, Louis Le Vau, and I. M. Pei.
    • Size: 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet)
    • Collection: Over 35,000 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, antiquities, and decorative arts

Missing your favorite Building?


Ranking factors for famous buildings

  1. Architectural significance
    Consider the building's design, innovation, and influence on architecture or engineering. Buildings that are unique or have become iconic for their architectural style should be ranked highly.
  2. History and cultural impact
    Buildings with rich and significant historical or cultural stories attached to them should be considered. This might include buildings that have witnessed important events or have been home to famous individuals.
  3. Popularity
    The number of visitors and the building's recognition worldwide are also important factors. The more people who know and visit the building, the more famous it likely is.
  4. Location
    A building's prominence within its city or region can add to its fame. Consider whether the building is in a major metropolitan area, tourist destination, or other location that would draw attention to it.
  5. Age
    Older buildings may be considered more famous because they have had time to accumulate historical or cultural significance.
  6. Size
    The size of a building can influence its fame, particularly if it holds a record for being the largest or tallest of its kind.
  7. Media coverage and usage in popular culture
    Buildings that have been featured prominently in movies, television shows, books, or other media might be considered more famous due to their association with popular culture.
  8. Association with famous architects or builders
    A building designed or constructed by a renowned architect or builder may have added fame due to its association with that person.
  9. Connection to famous events or people
    A building's fame can be enhanced if it is linked to well-known events or people, such as being the location of a historic signing or the home of a famous individual.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous buildings in the world. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite Building is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 182 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Building once every 24 hours. The rank of each Building is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous buildings in the world

When it comes to famous buildings, there are countless structures around the world that stand out for their impressive architecture, rich history, and cultural significance. From ancient wonders to modern marvels, these iconic buildings have become symbols of the cities and countries they call home. One of the most famous buildings in the world is the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Completed in 1889 for the World's Fair, this towering structure stands at 1,063 feet tall and has become a beloved symbol of the city of love. Another iconic building is the Great Wall of China, a massive fortification that stretches over 13,000 miles across China's northern borders. Built over several centuries, this impressive feat of engineering is a testament to the ingenuity and determination of the Chinese people. Other notable buildings include the Taj Mahal in India, the Colosseum in Rome, and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which is currently the tallest building in the world. Whether you're an architecture buff or simply fascinated by the world's most famous landmarks, exploring these iconic buildings is a must for any traveler.