The world’s landmarks are some of the most popular destinations for travellers, responsible for substantial amounts of tourism.
However, many people don’t realise the scale, cost or construction time of some of these buildings. Most landmarks are huge, but did you know the Great Pyramid of Giza is taller than Christ the Redeemer? And, that the Great Pyramid of Giza would cost an eye-watering £3.8 billion to build today; making it the world’s most expensive landmarks.
Alpharooms has studied the world’s most iconic landmarks in the ultimate battle, ranking the icons on height, construction, cost, visitors and even step count.
The Great Pyramid would cost £3.8 billion to build today
Coming in at number one for the most expensive feat of architecture on this list is the Great Pyramid of Giza, estimated to cost an eye-watering £3.8 billion ($5 billion) in today’s money. There are still a lot of unknowns with the pyramids (most important, how did they do it back then?), but it certainly tops the list for the most expensive build.
The second and third most expensive is the One World Trade Center (£3.02 billion) and Petronas Towers (£1.2 billion). Surprisingly, Dubai’s landmarks don’t make it into the top three, with the Burj Khalifa fourth – the world’s second tallest landmark – costing only £1.1 billion, and the Burj Al Arab coming in at a lowly £773 million.
The five most expensive landmarks in the world are:
Great Pyramid of Giza: £3.8 billion
One World Trade Center: £3.02 billion
Petronas Towers: £1.2 billion
Burj Khalifa: £1.1 billion
Jeddah Tower: £1.08 billion
La Sagrada Familia also deserves a mention due to the continued maintenance of the building, costing an eye-watering £25 million per year. To put that in perspective, that’s the annual wage for Manchester United’s forward, Alexis Sanchez.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa took 199 years to build
You might have thought La Sagrada Familia – taking 144 years to build – was Europe’s longest building project, but you would have been wrong.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa takes the record for the longest construction time, taking a whopping 199 years to construct the attraction that we know and love today. The build started in 1173 – with the sinking beginning after the second-floor construction in 1178. At that point, it was too late to turn back and the tower was finally opened in 1372.
Surprisingly, the Taj Mahal’s construction was one year longer than the Great Pyramid, at 21 and 20 years respectively. However, the construction of the pyramid also included 100,000 slaves and 2.3 million limestone blocks.
Big Ben, a.k.a Elizabeth Tower, placed fifth in the list of longest construction times, taking 16 years. On the other end of the spectrum, the Empire State Building, the seventh tallest landmark on this list, took just one year to build.
You can burn off two McDonald’s cheeseburgers climbing the Burj Khalifa
If you are looking to improve your step count and burn a significant number of calories, you need to travel to Dubai.
The Burj Khalifa boasts the largest amount of stairs (of the top 20 landmarks we analysed); 2,909 to be precise. If you were to walk up to the top, and back down again, you would burn a cool 990 calories. Or, two McDonald’s cheeseburgers and a portion of medium fries.
The Shanghai World Financial Center and One World Trade Center could help you work off 468 and 378 calories respectively.
For those travelling to the Burj Al Arab, it is said that if you were to take the collective steps of the staff for one year – you would be able to walk to the moon and back.
However, it’s bad news for those visiting Christ the Redeemer, as you’ll burn a lowly 37 calories climbing the 220 steps to the monument.
If you were looking to build on your step count even further, we have rounded up the top five micro-adventures for your summer holidays.
All information on the landmarks was correct as of May 2019.