These Lookalike Destinations Will Make You Do a Double Take
In northwestern Utah, a stark-white salt flat stretches for thousands of acres toward a distant mountain on the horizon.
In Bolivia, more than 5,000 miles away, a stark-white salt flat stretches for thousands of acres toward a distant mountain on the horizon.
Is Lisbon and San Francisco, golden-colored suspension bridges look like twins. In China and India, the world's two longest walls are, at points, nearly indistinguishable from one another. And in Italy and Japan, two cities feature nearly identical skylines, bays and looming mountains in the background.
Across far-flung corners of the world, there are destinations that look so similar, it can feel nearly impossible to tell them apart. These doppelgangers remind us that, as diverse as the world is, there's also much we share across the continents.
Here are 20 pairs of destinations across the globe that will make you do a double-take.
Naples in Italy & Kagoshima in Japan
In Naples, pictured top, the volcanic mountain looming in the background is Vesuvius, and the body of water is the Gulf of Naples.
In Kagoshima, pictured bottom, the volcanic mountain is Sakurajima and the body of water is Kagoshima Bay.
Add in similar skylines, and these two culturally distinct cities look remarkably similar.
Distance between lookalikes: 5,996 miles
Munnar in India & Cameron Highlands in Malaysia
In the Indian town of Munnar, pictured top, rolling green hills are dotted with tea plantations and groves of trees.
The Cameron Highlands district of Malaysia, pictured bottom, touts a similarly lush landscape of tea plantations, green hills and patches of trees.
Munnar primarily grows a type of tea called Nelgiri that's bold and intense; the Cameron Highlands produces similarly potent 100% black teas.
Distance between lookalikes: 1,710 miles
Choquequirao in Peru & Machu Picchu in Peru
Choquequirao ("Cradle of God"), pictured left, is an ancient Incan site dating back to 1536, featuring ruins and terraces on a flattened hilltop.
Machu Picchu, pictured right, is also an ancient Incan site with fantastic ruins. But it's 18 times larger and a century older, drawing far more crowds.
Distance between lookalikes: 27 miles
Roman Colosseum in Italy & Pula Arena in Croatia
The Roman Colosseum, pictured top, draws more than 7 million tourists every year to explore its circa-70 AD architecture.
The Pula Arena, pictured bottom, is just as historic, dating back to between 27 BC and 68 AD. It is the only remaining Roman amphitheater to have all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved.
Distance between lookalikes: 217 miles
Venice in Italy & Aveiro in Portugal
Venice, pictured top, is so popular, it's been fighting back against overtourism.
Aveiro, pictured bottom, touts its own excellent gondola scene and gorgeous architecture, with far fewer crowds.
Distance between lookalikes: 1,272 miles
Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah & Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia
The Bonneville Salt Flats, pictured top, began forming during the Ice Age.
Salar de Uyuni, pictured bottom, is the world's largest salt flat, created from prehistoric lakes.
The destinations look similarly otherworldly in their stark beauty.
Distance between lookalikes: 5,145 miles
Ponte 25 Bridge in Portugal & Golden Gate Bridge in California
The Ponte 25 Bridge, pictured left, debuted in Lisbon in 1966.
The Golden Gate Bridge, pictured right, opened in San Francisco nearly three decades earlier, in 1937.
It looks like Ponte 25 was directly inspired by the Golden Gate. But interestingly, the Lisbon bridge was constructed by the same company that built San Francisco's other bridge, the comparatively drab Bay Bridge.
Distance between lookalikes: 1,951 miles
Thar Desert in India & Sahara Desert in Africa
The Thar Desert, pictured top, is also known as The Great Indian Desert and covers about 77,000 square miles.
The Sahara Desert, pictured bottom, is far more expansive, at 3.6 million square miles. It is, in fact, the largest hot desert on Earth.
Both deserts showcase vast expanses of golden sand dunes and are popular among camel-riders.
Distance between lookalikes: 3,888 miles
Great Wall of China & Kumbhalgarh Fort Wall in India
The Great Wall of China, pictured top, is the longest wall in the world, measuring an astonishing 13,170 miles.
The Kumbhalgarh Fort Wall in Rajasthan, pictured bottom, is the second-longest, but significantly less expansive, stretching for"just" 22 miles.
The latter is basically a mini-version of the former. It's also much newer, having been finished in the 15th century, whereas the Great Wall was built in the 3rd century BC.
Distance between lookalikes: 2,648 miles
Peace Tower in Canada & Big Ben in England
The Peace Tower in Ottawa, pictured left, stands tall over Canada's parliament buildings, and was finished in 1920.
Big Ben in London, pictured right, is situated at the north end of the British Houses of Parliament, and was completed in 1859.
With its many similarities to Big Ben, the Peace Tower nods to Canada's British roots and Commonwealth status.
Distance between lookalikes: 3,331 miles
Napa Valley in California & Chianti Valley in Italy
In the Napa Valley, pictured top, revelers sip wine while gazing out over rolling hills and sun-kissed vineyards in Northern California.
In the Chianti Valley, pictured bottom, visitors do the same in the heart of Tuscany.
The wine and vistas are just as sublime in both.
Distance between lookalikes: 6,081 miles
Arc de Triomphe in France & India Gate in India
The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, pictured left, was constructed in 1836 to honor those who lost their lives fighting for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars.
The India Gate in New Delhi, pictured right, serves as a memorial to India's dead from WWI and other battles during the British Raj. It was directly inspired by the Arc de Triomphe and opened nearly 100 years later.
Paris' arch is decorated with elaborate sculptures; New Delhi's features Imperial sun inscriptions.
Distance between lookalikes: 4,096 miles
Zermatt in Switzerland & Vail in Colorado
The village of Zermatt, pictured top, features charming chalets and a lively apres-ski scene at the foot of snow-capped peaks.
The village of Vail, pictured bottom, looks so similar because it was explicitly modeled after Zermatt.
The one key difference between the two? The iconic Matterhorn mountain, which can only be seen towering over Zermatt.
Distance between lookalikes: 5,256 miles
The Torre Glòries in Spain & The Gherkin in England
The Torre Glories skyscraper, pictured left, debuted in the heart of Barcelona's buzzy tech district in 2005. It's also known as the Agbar Tower.
The Gherkin, pictured right, has been adding a modernist edge to London's historic skyline since 2003.
Acclaimed architect Le Corbusier once famously said, "Good architects borrow but great architects steal." Looks like he was right.
Distance between lookalikes: 706 miles
Sydney Opera House in Australia & Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club in UAE
The Sydney Opera House, pictured top, is one of the most iconic structures in the world, as recognizable as the Golden Gate Bridge or Eiffel Tower.
The Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, pictured bottom, is far less well-known but touts a dead-ringer design and similar setting, marked by skyscrapers in the background and adjacent bay.
It's hard to believe Golf & Yacht Club designers weren't inspired by the Opera House when they built their structure two decades later. But in fact, they say they took inspiration from a lateen-rigged Arab dhow, a sailing vessel popular in the area.
Distance between lookalikes: 7,487 miles
Capilano Suspension Bridge in Canada & Geierlay Suspension Bridge in Germany
The Capilano Suspension Bridge, pictured top, crosses the Capilano River in Vancouver and spans 450 feet. A historic marvel, it dates back to 1889.
The Geierlay Suspension Bridge, pictured bottom, crosses the Mörsdorfer Bach stream in Hunsrück and is quite a lot longer, at 1,180 feet. It's also much newer, having debuted in 2015.
The two bridges feature a similar structural design and forested setting, and happen to make for excellent photo-ops.
Distance between lookalikes: 4,980 miles
The Mississippi Delta in Mississippi & The Po Delta in Italy
The Mississippi Delta, pictured left, is an incredible 4.4 million acres, reaching into the states of Arkansas and Louisiana as well.
The Po Delta in northern Italy, pictured right, is much smaller, spanning just about 350,000 acres. It boasts of being a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Deltas — tracts of land located at the mouths of rivers — often resemble one another. But these two are particularly uncanny.
Distance between lookalikes: 5,066 miles
The Parthenon in Greece & Temple of Concordia in Italy
The Parthenon in Athens, pictured top, is a spectacular former temple dating back to 447 BC. It honors its patron, the goddess Athena.
The Temple of Concordia in Sicily, pictured bottom, is an ancient Greek temple with strikingly similar features and details, built in the 5th century.
Both structures are situated within impressive sites: the Parthenon is part of the Acropolis citadel, while the Temple of Concordia is in the aptly named Valley of the Temples (or Valle dei Templi).
Distance between lookalikes: 556 miles
Coron Bay in the Philippines & Ha Long Bay in Vietnam
Coron Bay, pictured top, is known for its wreck-diving.
Ha Long Bay, pictured bottom, touts popular fishing villages.
With their tucked-away grottoes, limestone mountains and colorful boats, these two natural wonders are quite similar, if not exactly identical.
Distance between lookalikes: 482 miles
Paris in France & Tianducheng in China
Paris, pictured top, is famed for its Eiffel Tower, a dazzling urban monument built in 1887.
But did you know Tianducheng, pictured bottom, has housed its own life-size Eiffel Tower replica since 2007?
The two cities are lookalikes in other ways, too, entirely by design: Tianducheng has its own versions of the Champs-Élysées and Versailles, and has replicated Paris' avenues, architecture and even its street lamps.
Distance between lookalikes: 5,760 miles