Global experiences

7 famous landmarks around the world that bring the light

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Here at EF, we see teachers as beacons of hope, inspiring students to shine their brightest out in the world.

To thank them for their hard work and perseverance, we’re partnering with our friends at the Empire State Building to light it in EF’s signature pink on Tuesday, May 4 in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week. If you’re based in Boston like our North American headquarters, be sure to drive by Zakim Bridge that night—we’re lighting that up, too!

In celebration of the light in all teachers, here are our picks for seven famous landmarks around the world that brighten our days and are worth seeing with your students on an EF tour.

 

It’s hard not to immediately imagine the Empire State Building when thinking of the New York City skyline; you can easily spot its 1930s Art Deco style from almost anywhere in the city. Get a bird’s-eye view of the bustling streets below from atop this famous landmark on an EF Explore America tour—and yes, singing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” is encouraged.

 

the Empire State building is one of the most famous landmarks around the world

Lightning round: Other than lighting up in EF Pink on May 4 (or in other colors on holidays), each night this NYC skyline staple emanates a soft, yellow glow.

See this famed 102-story building on New York City: The Big Apple.


 

Built in 1922, the Christ the Redeemer statue gazes over the bay of Rio de Janeiro with outstretched and welcoming arms. See the details of this new Wonder of the World as you spend a day on a guided tour exploring Corcovado, the mountain whose peak houses this iconic figure. Be sure to snap a pic of the jaw-dropping view of the city when you’re at the top.

 

Christ the Redeemer is one of the most famous landmarks around the world

Lightning round: When Brazil hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Christ the Redeemer was illuminated with the colors from the national flags of all 32 nations who competed.

Examine Guanabara Bay from 2,400 feet on Brazil and Argentina.


 

Located just across the River Thames from Big Ben is the 40-story London Eye, opened in 2000. This observation wheel is one of the most famous landmarks around the world, and offers a spectacular 360-degree view of London. See if you can spot iconic buildings like the Houses of Parliament and St. Paul’s Cathedral while on your calming 30-minute ride.

 

The London Eye is one of the most famous landmarks around the world

Lightning round: Each night, the London Eye is bathed in a bright, millennial pink, but the structure sometimes turns red, white, and blue for royal events and celebrations, like Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.

Take your tour to new heights by adding this optional excursion on Ireland, Scotland & England.


 

As you walk along the Charles River, keep an eye out for this famous Boston bridge. Known to locals as “the Zakim,” it was named after the Bunker Hill Monument—which you’ll visit on your EF Explore America tour—and Boston leader and civil rights activist Leonard P. Zakim. When completed in 2003, it was considered one of the widest cable-stayed bridges in the world.

 

The Zakim Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks around the world

Lightning round: In addition to lighting up for sporting events and notable holidays, the Zakim featured a light show with dozens of colors for its 15th anniversary in 2018.

Remember to blast “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond when you drive over this bridge on Historic Boston.


 

There’s nothing quite like turning the corner on a small street in Paris and coming face-to-face with the Eiffel Tower for the first time. After you catch your breath (and maybe pinch yourself), take a moment to admire the intricate details in its wrought-iron, lattice patterning—and then snap a pic. Unveiled in 1889 during the World’s Fair, it was originally meant to be a temporary installation to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Could you imagine the Paris skyline without it?

 

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous landmarks around the world

Lightning round: At dusk, make your way to the Place du Trocadéro to catch the famous monument’s nightly (and very sparkly) light show, running at the beginning of each hour until 1am for five minutes at a time.

Get up-close-and-personal with the Eiffel Tower on Paris: The City Stay.

 

This famed Opera House took 14 years to build and features a modern expressionist design. As you walk through Sydney’s neighborhoods by the water, you’ll begin to understand where some of its structural inspiration came from. Then, see this famous landmark and the city skyline from a different perspective: on a boat tour of Sydney Harbor.

 

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most famous landmarks around the world

Lightning round: Over the past decade, the Sydney Opera House has run a continuous program called “The Lighting of the Sails,” where the building displays installations from artists in every corner of the world.

See Sydney’s best-known landmark on Australia and New Zealand.

 

Which Washington, D.C. photo-op is better: the Lincoln Memorial or the Washington Monument? Thankfully, you don’t have to choose, because on an EF Explore America tour, you’ll see both. The Washington Monument, at 555 feet tall, stands at the intersection between the Lincoln Memorial, White House, and Capitol on the National Mall. Do you dare to climb its 896 steps?

 

The Washington Monument is one of the most famous landmarks around the world

Lightning round: For the Apollo 11 moon landing’s 50th anniversary in 2019, the Washington Monument was lit with a projection of the rocket and a 17-minute recreation video, courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Explore the tallest structure in our nation’s capital on Washington, D.C.: The Capital Tour.

 


 

Yearning for some more adventure? Browse our international and North American-based educational tours to explore other famous landmarks around the world.

Maddie Poulin

Maddie is a copywriter at EF. She loves dissecting movies and TV shows, making playlists for every mood, staying active, and dreaming about her next trip.

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