1. Anne Frank’s House Amsterdam, Netherlands
This, the actual house where Anne hid from the Nazi’s in World War II, receives nearly a million visitors each year. The focus of the museum is the rear house where the Franks lived before they were betrayed and sent to their deaths. The space is dark, airless and shockingly real. Visitors leaving the space pass through a light filled stairwell with words from Anne’s dairy etched into the walls:
2. Temples of Angkor Siem Reap, Cambodia
No matter how many photos you see, or how many movies you watch with the temples as a backdrop, nothing will prepare you for actually standing in front of them. The Angkor complex is huge and each temple has completely unique characteristics. Some are getting torn apart (yet held together) by the jungle while others are home to mischievous monkeys. Each corner you turn will make you feel more like Indiana Jones as you stumble upon smoking incense left by unseen hands and find yourself alone in a maze of moss covered mysterious history.
. The Holocaust Memorial Berlin, Germany
Also called ‘Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe’, instead of being a simple statue or plaque, this outdoor memorial contains a grid of 2711 square columns set at different heights on uneven ground. It can be entered from any side and presents different, disorienting, unsettling perspectives as you move through it. This site will leave a lasting impression.
4. Seoraksan National Park Sokcho, South Korea
Seoraksan (Snowy Crag Mountains in English) is a region of rugged high peaks, granite cliffs, lush forests, huge waterfalls and ancient temples. There are hiking trails that will satisfy even the most expert of mountaineers, but there are easy trails for the day-trippers as well. No matter what level you choose, you will have breathtaking and untouched views, a rare treat in such a highly populated urban country.
5. Musee De L’Orangerie Paris, France
Often overlooked, this museum sits in the shadow of the Louvre and the Musee D’Orsay, but is well worth the visit. Though it contains important Impressionist works by artists like Cezanne, Picasso and Renoir, the real draw of this site is two huge, light filled oval rooms that contain an eight-panel series of Monet’s Water Lilies. Built in 1927 to the artist’s specifications, the paintings are breathtaking and visitors to the museum could easily spend hours taking in the work.