A cemetery doesn’t always have to be creepy and scary. It can be a place to find solace and peace. Autumn is generally the best time to walk through a beautiful cemetery to appreciate the landscape, serenity, and tombstones. Since ending up in a cemetery is not much fun when you’re dead, here’s a list of thirteen fascinating graveyards to check out while you are young, vibrant, and full of life.
Okunoin Cemetery in Japan
Where: Mt. Koya, Japan
Reason to visit this: You’ll want to see the monuments in this Buddhist pilgrimage site.
This is the site where Kono Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism, was laid to rest in eternal meditation. It’s where his many devoted followers also want to be buried. This is the largest cemetery in Japan.
Tombstones line the path to Daishi’s mausoleum, with many unconventional ones on display. You can find a memorial dedicated to a local pesticide company and some statues that look like monks and coffee cups.
The Merry Cemetery in Romania
Where: Sapanta, Romania
Reason to visit this: This place shows you can still be happy even after death.
Be careful when you’re in Sapanta, because if you are buried there, your tombstone will probably have a funny little poem about your vices and also a drawing to match. This “merry” cemetery has over 600 carved and colorful wooden crosses with a dark take on the life of the bodies that lie under it.
Highgate Cemetery in the UK
Where: London, England
Reason to visit this: Karl Marx is buried here.
Highgate is just one of seven cemeteries built around London in the nineteenth century. When the other burial ground has become overcrowded and disgusting. Now it is a great place to relax in the shade and escape from city life.
The Gothic tombstones are overgrown with ivy, and there is a passage called Egyptian Avenue that is quite impressive.
Neptune Memorial Reef in Florida
Where: Key Biscayne, Florida
Reason to visit this: To experience scuba diving with a twist.
In Key Biscayne, you can have your loved one’s ashes mixed with cement to create statues that will stand in an Atlantis-inspired man-made reef. You also have the option of having the ashes molded in the shape of a shell or starfish.
Calvary Cemetery in New York
Where: New York City, New York
Reason to visit this: To see the millions of tombstones of these sleeping New Yorkers.
Aside from great views of the monuments and tombstones, the graveyard is the resting place of some of the movers and shakes who made the great city of New York what it is today. There are many mobsters buried here. It was even featured in The Godfather during a burial scene.
South Park Street Cemetery in India
Where: Kolkata, India
Reason to visit this: Take a break from the chaos of the streets of India and inhale some fresh air.
Dating back to the 1700–1800s, this Christian cemetery represents a time when India was a colony. The cemetery has crumbling mausoleums and tombstones that match the disrepair of the city’s formerly majestic buildings.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, Louisiana
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
Reason to visit this: To see what’s going on, just in case voodoo is real.
These above-ground graves are only accessible if you go on a private tour. It was in the 1969 film Easy Rider. Voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau is buried there, and Nicholas Cage commissioned a pyramid-shaped tomb.
Punta Arenas Cemetery in Chile
Where: Punta Arenas, Chile
Reason to visit this: You’ll see neat rows of stark white tombs next to manicured hedges.
It’s only a short walk from the center of Punta Arenas. A trip to the graveyard will take you back in time because it’s the resting place of Chile’s elite. The opulent mausoleums are covered with colorful flowers, and some are painted in vivid colors. The cemetery has eternally closed front gates. One of the notable residents in the area paid for the gate to be built on the condition that it would remain closed forever after her body passed through it.
Cimetière du Père Lachaise in France
Where: Paris, France
Reason to visit this: To see why it is the most visited cemetery in the world.
Famous people who are buried here include Oscar Wilde, Frederic Chopin, Jim Morrison, Marcel Proust, and Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani. Oscar Wilde’s tomb is one of the most popular, and it is covered with lipstick stains from kisses of his admirers.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery in California
Where: Los Angeles, California
Reason to visit this: To take a selfie with the cool statue of Johnny Ramone.
This is the place to rest for Hollywood’s who’s who. Studio founders, writers, performers, directors—they’re all buried here. Because it is Hollywood, gaudy tombstones and mausoleums are abundant. There are peacocks, pools, and palm trees. They even host live concerts and movie screenings on the manicured lawns of the cemetery.
Panteón Antiguo de Xoxocotlán in Mexico
Where: Oaxaca, Mexico
Reason to visit this: It’s one of the best places to experience the Day of the Dead.
The place is packed with orange and pink flowers, and you have to be careful not to step on the plates of the deceased’s favorite food while you make your way through the labyrinth of this cemetery. Every October 31, the grounds are full of people wanting to honor their dead relatives.
Bonaventure Cemetery in Georgia
Where: Savannah, Georgia
Reason to visit this: It looks like it’s part of the set of True Blood.
This beautiful resting place is full of old oak trees and Spanish moss. Situated on 100 acres of a former plantation, you will find Southern Gothic monuments here. You can catch a glimpse of the place in the 1997 Clint Eastwood film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Waverley Cemetery in Australia
Where: Sydney, Australia
Reason to visit this: To see the wonderful ocean views.
Since 1977, about 80,000 people have been buried on the cliffs of Australia’s coast. The cemetery is known for its Victorian and Edwardian monuments that guard the graves of poet Henry Lawson, cricket legend Victor Trumper, and more than 200 war veterans.