20 Famous Landmarks You Won't Recognize From These Angles

The world’s most visited landmarks have become so famous that it only takes a few seconds to identify them in a photo.

But sometimes, we get so used to seeing landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe and the Great Wall of China from certain angles. After all, we're familiar with media shots and the most widely circulated versions of photos, even if those aren't exactly showing a landmark in a realistic light. It can get so crazy that when we see rarer shots of the monuments, we can’t even recognize them.

The beauty of seeing less well-known photos of famous landmarks is that it gives you a totally new experience. It can even make you feel like you've landed at the destination!

These 20 famous landmarks look totally different from these angles. You might not even recognize them!

20 The Great Sphinx Of Giza, Egypt

via Thrillist

It took us quite a while to work out what this was! Everybody can recognize the Great Sphinx when they see regular photos of it, but this angle makes the monument look like something completely different! It’s easy to see why the Sphinx is one of Egypt’s most popular tourist attractions.

19 Stonehenge, England

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Most photos of Stonehenge make it seem like a magical place that almost makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. This photo, on the other hand, drops you right back into reality! Although the monument is still amazing, this reminds us that it’s another popular tourist attraction.

18 Buckingham Palace, England

via ITV

Buckingham Palace sure looks different here! It is one of the most popular landmarks in London, along with the London Eye, Big Ben, and Westminster Bridge. Though tourists can have tours inside the palace during certain times of the year, it’s enough for most people to stand outside and enjoy the view!

17 The Acropolis, Greece

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The Acropolis isn’t just one of the most popular tourist sites in Athens, Greece, but in all of Europe. Anybody who’s interested in classical history will love visiting the crumbling Acropolis. It’s a bit of a walk to get up there, but it’s worth it!

16 The Hollywood Sign, USA

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When visitors come to Los Angeles for the first time, the number one thing that they always want to see is the Hollywood Sign. It looks different in this photo, but in real life, it really is as mesmerizing as it seems. Of course, that’s if you catch it on a day without any fog!

15 Great Wall Of China, China

via Pinterest

A Wonder of the World, the Great Wall of China is one of the most impressive man-made structures in the history of the world. This photo really makes us think twice about the wall, because we don’t often picture it coming to an end. But we suppose it has to end somewhere!

14 Arc De Triomphe, France

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The Arc de Triomphe isn’t the most popular landmark in Paris, but it is definitely up there. This photo gives the landmark a bit of context (and also shows how difficult it is to cross over to it!). Visitors to Paris should use the underpass rather than trying to cross the roundabout.

13 The Taj Mahal, India

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India’s Taj Mahal is often thought of as one of the world’s most romantic locations. But this photo makes us think twice about that. While the monument itself is amazing, it’s possible that the large amount of tourist traffic has ruined the surrounding area and made it less than romantic.

12 Central Park, USA

via Curbed NY

Until you see photos like this, it’s hard to grasp just how massive Central Park really is. We are talking one big park! All that greenery in the middle of Manhattan definitely breaks up the concrete jungle. We can see why the park is so popular and so adored.

11 Sydney Opera House, Australia

via ThoughtCo

Now, there’s a view of the Sydney Opera House that you don’t see every day! In fact, from the perspective of a bird, the monument is almost unrecognizable! Along with the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House is the most famous landmark in Sydney and all of Australia.

10 Leaning Tower Of Pisa, Italy

via Pinterest

Odd—from this angle, the Leaning Tower of Pisa doesn’t really seem like it’s leaning at all! But it is. Anyone who’s climbed to the top will know that the tower definitely has a lean to it. It is still worth the climb up, though. Especially when you get to take in that view!

9 Empire State Building, USA

via Pinterest

Here’s another aerial view that makes the landmark look totally different. The most recognizable building in the United States is tough to decode here! The photo really gives us a sense of how much taller the Empire State Building is than the buildings surrounding it.

8 The Statue Of Liberty, USA

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It’s easy to tell who this is, even if she has got her back to us! Still, some people might not recognize at first that this is New York City’s Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty is such a beautiful sight that most photos are taken so we can see her in all her glory.

7 La Sagrada Familia, Spain

via LookOutPro

Just quietly, how pretty is Barcelona? That’s the first thought we had when looking at this rare shot of La Sagrada Familia. The landmark really is stunning up close, but you don’t get the sense of it from this photo. Instead, the focus is on the beauty of the surrounding city.

6 The Mona Lisa, France

via Atchuup

If there’s any photo that can crush your dreams, it’s this one. Most people dream about seeing the Mona Lisa in the flesh, but this picture makes us realize that the experience might be slightly underwhelming. That sure looks like a lot of people fighting to see one small painting.

5 The Colosseum, Italy

via Romewise

Most people recognize the standard pictures of the Colosseum that show the arena as a whole. But up close photos like this are much rarer, and can confuse people who have never seen the Ancient Roman monument in person! Even from the side, it is still an amazing ancient building.

4 The Little Mermaid, Denmark

via Thrillist

Photos of The Little Mermaid Statue in Denmark are mostly taken from the front. Now we can see why. When you can’t see the tourists in the shot, the statue seems like something much more enchanting! Here, she looks much smaller and much more underwhelming. Still worth a visit, though!

3 Notre Dame, France

via Trip Savvy

This photo was obviously taken before Notre Dame sadly caught fire. But it does offer a completely different view of the most famous cathedral in the world. It looks like this picture was taken from a boat that was floating down the river running adjacent to the cathedral.

2 The Pyramids Of Giza, Egypt

via Atchuup

When you look at most photos of the pyramids of Giza, it really does seem like they’re in a completely remote location. While there is all desert on one side, this photo shows us that the pyramids are actually located quite close to the city! Very eye-opening.

1 The Brandenburg Gate, Germany

via Atchuup

Nearly every photo that is taken of the Brandenburg Gate is taken from the opposite side, where the chariot is facing you rather than away from you. By contrast, this photo makes one of Berlin’s top attractions seem totally different. But we can still appreciate the beauty of the gate from this shot!

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