It’s time to get lucky. Travelers in search of health, wealth, and happiness have dozens of destinations to choose from in their quest for good luck. From statues and fountains to temples and natural wonders, luck comes in all shapes and sizes. As luck would have it, we traveled to 33 of the luckiest places in the world and learned the local customs said to make your wishes come true.
Pucker up to the Blarney Stone in Blarney, Cork, Ireland and you’ll never be at a loss for words again. Located atop the 600-year-old Blarney Castle & Gardens, lean back and hold the iron rail to give the stone a smooch.
Located on the floor of Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Italy’s oldest shopping mall, is Taurus, a mosaic of a bull (one of the 12 Zodiac mosaics on the shopping arcade’s floor). Spin your right heel onto the bull’s testicles three times to invoke wealth. And while your exploring Italy’s towns and villages, don’t forget to check out our guide to the Best Things to do in Italy.
What started as controversy over a racy billboard ad for topless review, ‘Crazy Girls’ turned into a bronze homage to the Las Vegas dancers. Originally located at the Riviera Hotel & Casino, the cheeky lifesize statue of seven women is at Planet Hollywood, where ‘Crazy Girls’ is now performed. Rub the bronze derrières for good luck.
According to legend, there was a girl who lived in a home along the narrow Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss) in Guanajunato, Mexico. She fell in love with a miner, but her parents disapproved. So he rented a room opposite the girl’s home and they exchanged kisses from their balconies. Walk down the alley and kiss the third step leading to the balconies to avoid bad luck in love.
After the 1987 Stock Market Crash, artist Arturo Di Modica created the bull sculpture. Originally in front of the New York Stock Exchange, the 7,000-pound sculpture in Bowling Green has become a famous lucky charm; rub the bull’s family jewels for wealth.
Shaman-led tours of this Mochica archaeological site in Magdalena de Cao in Northern Peru are said to aid visitors in overcoming mental and spiritual weaknesses.
Rub the statue of Everard t’Serclaes, a resident who helped reclaim Brussels after an attack by the Flemish in the 14th century, for luck and a trip back to the Belgian capital.
Kiss the foot of one of the Indians in the statue of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in Punta Arenas, Chile to bring fortune and a return trip.
Located in a Singapore shopping center, the Fountain of Wealth at Suntec City’s bronze ring was designed based on the Hindu mandala (universe) and was recognized in 1998 by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Largest Fountain. Touch the water to gain qi (energy or life force).
There are thousands of Inari shrines in Japan, but the most famous is Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto. Built in 711 A.D. in honor of Inari, the god of rice, the Shinto shrine is where folks pray for a variety of things, from bountiful harvests to a safe home to business prosperity.
Lovers who climb to the top of 6,115-foot Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) in China’s Anhui province will have eternal love. While atop the mountain, rub a stone purportedly dropped by Chinese goddess Nuwa to grant you a successful career.
Touch the snout of Il Porcellino in Florence, Italy to bring fortune. It is also believed that placing a coin in the muzzle of the wild boar and letting it fall into the grate below brings luck.
Dijon, France may be known for its mustard, but it’s also a place where miracles are said to be granted by a little stone owl carved into the side of Notre Dame de Dijon on Rue de la Chouette (Owl Street). Touch the owl with your left hand and your wish may come true!
Rub the massive belly of the Laughing Buddha at Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, China to eradicate all intolerable things. It is said the Buddha’s big belly can contain all bad things while his laughs get rid of all suffering.
The second-most visited cemetery in the U.S., Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois is the final resting place of President Abraham Lincoln. Rub the nose on the giant head that sits atop the 16th president’s tomb for luck.
According to local legend, a Japanese soldier and a Chinese woman fell in love and ran away to Hong Kong’s Bowen Road because their families opposed the relationship. It’s said they turned into stone and now protect lovers. Folks who visit the 32-foot-tall Lovers’ Rock are said to have a happy marriage or baby — or both!
Visit Pingxi, a tiny hamlet an hour from Taipei, to launch colorful, fiery lanterns from Shifen Old Street. Pick a lantern color, add your wishes, launch the diamond-shaped lantern, and hopefully your dreams will come true.
Outside Notre Dame Cathedral is an octagonal bronze geographic marker known as Point Zero. Meant as a marker from which the distance to other places is measured, the very center of Paris is said to be a lucky spot. Some place coins signifying their wishes while others spin in a circle on one foot to gain love while others seal their eternal love with a kiss.
In 2009, lovers began placing colorful padlocks on this Paris pedestrian bridge and throwing away the keys in the Seine, but this gesture of love led to a collapse of a section of the bridge’s metal grill in 2014 (and copycat padlock professions of love across Europe). The locks have been removed and authorities have encouraged lovers to take selfies on Pont des Arts instead.
The mascot of Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market, Rachel the Pig is a giant piggy bank created by sculptor Georgia Gerber. Put change inside the 550-pound bronze pig and rub Rachel’s snout for luck. More than $200,000 has been collected for charity since 1986.
The ornate Schöner Brunnen in Nuremberg, Germany is a 14th-century fountain in the shape of a spire. Spin the two brass rings on the fence that surround the fountain for good luck.
It is believed that Samantabhadra, a bodhisattva (an enlightened being), rode a six-tusked elephant on Mt. Emei in China’s Sichuan province to spread Buddhism. Rub the behind of the ornate elephant atop this holy mountain to gain good grades.
Rub the breast of the bronze Statue of Juliet in Verona, Italy to find love. While the original statue has been moved to Museo Castelvecchio where it cannot be touched, the replica that stands in its place is equally popular.
For half the year (July to January), the Medieval city of La Alberca, Spain is home to a free-ranging pig known as El Marrano de San Antón. Rub the pig’s belly for luck. Year-round, there is a statue of the pig in the church plaza. Childless couples rub the pig’s private parts for fertility.
Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery is the final resting place for many celebrities like singers Jim Morrison and Édith Piaf, but it’s French journalist Victor Noir’s grave (it’s easy to spot thanks to the bronze statue of a man with a hat) that is said to bring luck to the ladies who rub his private parts and leave flowers in his hat.
Prague’s iconic Charles Bridge is lined with statues, but it’s the statue of Saint John Nepomuk that is believed to bring luck. Touch the statue not only for luck, but a return trip to the Czech capital.
The white sand beach at Stump Pass Beach State Park in Englewood, Florida is packed with seashells. Place a seashell in one of the trees and wishes will be granted.
Head to Taipei Xia-Hai City God Temple in Taipei to find “the one” via a series of rituals that include lighting incense sticks, offering sugar to the gods, drinking sweet tea, and eating wedding cookies. You’ll leave with an embroidered pouch with a tiny Buddha and paper inscribed with your wish inside to carry until your wedding night.
Located outside city hall in Mons, Belgium, a small metal monkey has been bringing passersby luck for years. Rub the monkey’s head for luck.
Drinking a glass of water from the Fontana di Trevi was originally thought to lead to fortune and a fast return to Rome, but the legend has evolved to tossing a coin for a speedy return to the Eternal City.
Located inside Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, the Weeping Column, which weeps holy water, is believed to cure sickness. Insert your thumb into the column: if it comes out damp, the affliction will be healed.
Those who touch the feet of artist Oskar J.W. Hansen’s bronze Winged Figures of the Republic on the Nevada side of the Hoover Dam are believed to be bestowed good luck.
Scribble your wishes on bundles of bright red papers and toss them into the Wishing Tree next to Tin Hau Temple in Tai Po Village in Hong Kong’s New Territories. Wishes ensnared in the tree’s branches come true.