The 10 Best Abandoned Sites in the World, Ranked

By Abbi Browning

 IMAGE:  Hugh Mitton  via  Unsplash

Throughout the globe, there are many examples of once-thriving locations, that have now been left to decline. Varying between small buildings to whole cities, you can see so much history within the walls of these abandoned structures. Personally, I think that these derelict sites, which are well past their prime, allow us to see much more character from a different perspective.

Here is a list ranking the 10 best abandoned sites in the world. Have you travelled to any of these amazing deserted places?

10. Larundel Asylum

The asylum in Melbourne, Australia, once held up to 750 patients at a time, including the Australian serial killer, Peter Dupas. The site closed in 1999, and much of it has been redeveloped since, yet many have rumoured to experience the paranormal whilst exploring the remains of the building. There is even a music box that plays eerie music, rumoured to have come from the local University, to scare trespassers.

9.  London Underground Stations

In London, there are over 40 stations that are no longer used, either due to lack of passengers or re-routing, with one of the oldest being on King William Street, which shut down in 1900. ‘Hidden London Tours’ often offer a tour within some of the sealed-off tunnels, for those who’d wish to explore here.

RELATED: The Best Places to Do “Tea Time” When Visiting London

8. Rosario Island Villas

Don’t miss out on Pablo Escobar’s villas where he’d stop for relaxing breaks between smuggling drugs. The once luxurious villas had shut down after he died in 1993 and currently belong to the Colombian Government, leaving them in their current derelict state.

7. Lion City

Lion City (or Shi Cheng) is China’s own submerged version of Atlanis, in the Zhejiang Province. The city was purposely flooded to make way for a new hydropower station in 1959 and consequently forgotten. However, the site was rediscovered in 2008 by curious divers in Qiandao Lake. Shi Cheng is now being promoted as a must-see for those who are willing to explore the lake.

6. Nara Dreamland

Dreamland was an amusement park that was to be a huge success in Nara, Japan, yet the park closed after 50 years in 2006 when Universal Studios and Tokyo Disneyland moved nearby. Nara Dreamland still stands today, but is often patrolled by security guards, so very few photographers have made it into the site.

RELATED: 10 Things to Do in Tokyo That Should Be on Your Bucket List

5. Sanzhi Ufo Houses

These pod-like houses in Taiwan were meant to be new, fun holiday homes to attract many visitors, yet sadly, the site was taken over for a ‘more normal’ resort in 2010, after petitions to save the buildings had failed. Unfortunately, every pod house has now been destroyed and little evidence of these other-worldly buildings exist.

4. Six Flags Jazzland

Six Flags Jazzland was once a popular park in New Orleans, before it became derelict in 2005. The park was destroyed when Hurricane Katrina hit the American South East. Flood barriers were insufficient to keep the water out, leaving the park in 7ft of sea water and causing major damage to many of the rides.

The owners were unable to receive insurance for the damage, meaning the park was left to the city, and has since been used for many film backgrounds, such as Jurassic World and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

3. Easter Island

 IMAGE:  Thomas Griggs  via  Unsplash

Easter Island is located in the Pacific Ocean, well-known for its tall moai sculptures. The island became abandoned in the late 1800’s, after it had become stripped of all its resources and therefore inhospitable to the few that lived there.

Tourists can reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site with a long flight to the Pacific, to marvel at the beauty and structures.

2. Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu was an Incan city in Peru, that had roughly 1,000 inhabitants but was shortly lost after the Spanish invaded and brought diseases, killing the remaining population. It wasn’t until 1911, when an expedition received a tip-off about the city’s location, that the remains were discovered. Machu Picchu is now a tourist favourite in South America and another UNESCO World Heritage Site, where many can view the history of the Incans preserved.

1. Pripyat

 IMAGE:  Hugh Mitton  via  Unsplash

Pripyat in Chernobyl, Ukraine, is without a doubt the most famous abandoned location across the globe.

Due to much human error, the reactor within the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded in 1986, causing the core to shatter and shower radioactive material across the area. It is believed that over seven million people had been affected in some way by the explosion.

The area is now open again for tours to see the iconic Ferris wheel and other landmarks, yet under a supervised time limit due to exposure. Radiation levels are only expected to be completely normal around the year 22,000, so it is going to be abandoned for many years to come.

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