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Trip Ideas

The Most Exciting New Landmarks to See Now

The Eiffel Tower, check. The Sydney Opera House, check. The Colosseum, check. Once you’ve seen the world's most popular landmarks, where do you go next? Check out these brand-new feats of architecture and design.

See recent posts by Clara Sedlak

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New York City: World Trade Center Transportation Hub

It's the building that launched a thousand Instagram posts (or more than 100,000 as of press time, if we want to be exact). Opened in summer 2016, the 800,000-square foot, $4 BILLION masterwork by Spanish/Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava is meant to convey an image of the spreading wings of a dove taking flight. Inside, some 250,000 commuters pass through a light, airy space, with curved white steel-ribbed forms set into glass that soar toward the sky. There are plenty of shops to browse, including a John Varvatos, Caudalie and a new outpost of Italian market Eataly.

Courtesy of Alan Karchmer/NMAAHC

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Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African American History and Culture

The September grand opening of this highly-anticipated Smithsonian museum dedicated to African American history was such a big deal that POTUS and FLOTUS, Oprah, and George W. Bush (who authorized its construction in a 2003 bill) were all in attendance. Designed by architect David Adjaye, the museum holds roughly 40,000 objects: Abraham Lincoln’s inkwell (thought to be used to write the Emancipation Proclamation), the shackles Thomas Jefferson used on his own (slave) children, and the shawl Queen Victoria gifted Harriet Tubman with in 1897, to name a few.

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Courtesy of British Airways i360

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Brighton, England: British Airways i360

This 531-foot-tall observation tower (the tallest of its kind on earth!) overlooks the sea in Brighton and was designed by the same folks behind the London Eye. Take in the view from the Nyetimber Sky Bar while sipping locally-made drinks like small-batch Brighton Gin and Wobblegate cider, pressed from Sussex-grown apples.

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Courtesy of Rem Koolhaas/Taipei Performing Arts Center

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Taipei, Taiwan: The Taipei Performing Arts Center

Designed by OMA in partnership with Rem Koolhaas and opening next summer, The Taipei Performing Arts Center looks akin to a futuristic machine, with a giant, geometric silver sphere as the main theater, and other asymmetrical venues that can expand and transform to suit the performance. The architects want to make the building accessible to all (even those without a ticket) and visitors are encouraged to explore the Public Loop, which winds throughout the building.

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Courtesy of Adam Mork

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Harbin, China: Harbin Opera House

The Harbin Opera House was arguably the most spectacular opening in China last year. Its glass and aluminum exterior panels look like a swan floating gracefully on the surrounded wetlands. The inside is just as jaw-dropping, thanks to a skylight lit theater with butter-soft Manchurian Ash wood walls.

RELATED: 13 Beautiful Train Stations Around the World

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Courtesy of Iwan Baan

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Los Angeles: The Broad Museum

Leave it to LA to get one of the hottest museum openings of the decade. Created by Diller Scofidio + Renfro to the tune of $140 million, the 120,000-square-feet of gallery space downtown showcases all manner of contemporary art works. A highlight: Yayoi Kusama’s trippy mirror-lined, LED lit Infinity Mirrored Room (book tickets far in advance).

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Lisbon, Portugal: MAAT Museum

October’s big opening combines a circa 1900 Tejo Power Station with architect Amanda Levete’s futuristic arching structure made of 15,000 glazed tiles. The museum was designed so that guests can walk over the roof and take in the views of the Tejo River. Inside, you'll find exhibits on art, architecture and technology. We can't wait to check out The World of Charles and Ray Eames, which chronicles the life and works of the iconic American designers.

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San Francisco: SFMoma

The SFMoma has always been one of the city's best museums; now, after a three-year revamp by Snøhetta, it’s reached new heights. The revamp integrates 10 new floors of gallery space with the original Mario Botta–designed building. Bonus: You don’t need a ticket to experience some 45,000-feet of public works, including Richard Serra’s Sequence and Alexander Calder’s Untitled mobile.

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Courtesy of Gabriel Jorby

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Abu Dhabi, UAE: Louvre Abu Dhabi

You’ve seen the Paris Louvre….but now there's another to add to your bucket list. Set to debut next year, the Louvre Abu Dhabi has a jaw-dropping exterior that's worth the trip alone: located on its own island and designed by Jean Nouvel, the building comprises a white, 590-foot-diameter dome meant to mimic the light that filters through souks. That the collection inside includes ancient bronze statues from Egypt and India is just a bonus.

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