Visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Treasury at Petra

So I’ve been motivated by a couple of other bloggers who have successfully chronicled their adventures visiting the designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the world and I have decided to do the same.

In 1972 the UN, through the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, began recognizing important sites around the world that they consider vital in order to maintain the cultural and natural heritage we have all inherited. Even though I haven’t even scratched the surface of visiting the nearly 1,000 sites in every corner of the planet, I have been to quite a few and want to add these important areas to my future travel plans.

What follows is a list of the sites I have visited to date with links to my site and the UNESCO site. This is also a living document though and I will update it as I visit new areas.

Are UNESCO World Heritage Sites important to you? Which one is your favorite?

Total Number of Sites Visited: 178

 Pope's Palace Avignon, France

Australia

Austria

 Belgium

Belize

Bermuda

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar

Cambodia

Canada

China

  • Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang
  • Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing
  • The Great Wall
  •  Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries

Colombia

  • Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia
  • Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena

Croatia

Czech Republic

Dominican Republic

  • Colonial City of Santo Domingo

Ecuador

Egypt

Estonia

  • Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn

Finland

  • Fortress of Suomenlinna

France

Germany

Greece

Holy See

Hungary

Iceland

India

  • Agra Fort
  • Elephanta Caves
  • Fatehpur Sikri
  • Hill Forts of Rajasthan
  • Humayun’s Tomb
  • Qutb Minar and its Monuments
  • Taj Mahal
  • Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai
  • The Jantar Mantar

Ireland

  • Brú na Bóinne – Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne

Israel

Italy

Japan

Jerusalem (Site proposed by Jordan)

Jordan

Kyrgyzstan

  • Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain
  • Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Luxembourg

  • City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications

Malta

Mexico

Montenegro

  • Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor

Morocco

Netherlands

Norway

  • Rock Art of Alta
  • Struve Geodetic Arc

Palestine

  • Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir

Peru

San Marino

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Singapore

  •  Singapore Botanical Gardens

South Africa

Spain

Switzerland

Tanzania

  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area
  • Serengeti National Park

Turkey

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

USA

Zambia

Zimbabwe

 

*Denotes multi-country sites

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

28 thoughts on “Visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites”

  1. Way to go, Matt! I’ve thought of starting my own list like this, but I think I need to wait until I see more of Europe this summer. I think I’m only at about 30 UNESCO sites so far!

  2. Great list! I need to count how many I am up to now (and catch up blogging about them!) I always try to get a few UNESCO sites every international trip I take.

  3. Nice work! I’ve loved trying to tick places off the list because it means I’ve gone and discovered things I would never have found otherwise. It’s a really worthwhile project!

  4. Very impressive list. I like the way you linked each one to your site and the UNESCO site as well. I will have to travel a lot more to catch up with you!

  5. I’m nowhere near half of your list, but I realized I did visit quite a few!

    The one I haven’t visited yet and that I’m most intrigued by is Petra. That place must be overwhelmingly beautiful when you see it live.

  6. A very impressive list… I have only done around 10 but I was sad to see that St Lucia was not on there. The UNESCO World Heritage Site between the Pitons (volcanic plugs towering out of the water) is one of the most amazing sites I have ever seen. If you could add it that would be great!

  7. My home town is one of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Thailand. Kamphaeng Phet is an associated ancient town of Sukhothai. When I decided to have a travel blog, ASEAN World Heritage have been invented.

    I could not state the favourite place, every site is so impressive and have their character.

    Hopefully, I will finish my journey visiting WHSs in Southeast Asia in a few years.

  8. You should visit Sri Lanka, Pearl of the Indian Ocean for discovery of Sinharaja Forest Reserve and Sigiriya the Rock Fortress also identified as UNESCO world heritage. Happy traveling !

  9. How important are they to me? Well, I guess a lot because I live close to two of them, and for me they very much define this island on which I live. The Teide National park is a wonderland of volcanic shapes, and the city of La Laguna is full of Tenerife’s history and connections to the “outside world” You absolutely have to stop off to see them the next time you’re shuffling between the Americas and Europe!!!!

    Looking at your list I was, actually, surprised at how many I’d seen. I guess I just never thought of making a list. But the fascinating thing was that there were ones on your list which are completely new to me “Frontiers of the Roman Empire”? Guessing it’s all in the name, but must look that one up!

  10. Wow – that’s an inspiring list to get started on (and particularly impressed with your visit rate so far…). Some UNESCO sites are absolutely awe-inspiring but the problem is….everyone else thinks so too, meaning those visits tend to be shared, sometimes with crowds of people (and it does annoy me when tour operators do nothing to reign in their tourist clients who may be doing all the things they shouldn’t – standing on ancient walls, scaring the wildlife…..

  11. Hi Matt, I’ve never made a list (might do at some point) but I reckon now I’ve been to well over 100 of what they class as World Heritage Sites/UNESCO. The most recent ones were in Ethiopia and China. However I think that there are places not listed on the list that could be. Do you agree? Like the temples of Bagan in Myanmar, Deception Island in Antarctica and Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland. The list is always changing and also not all sites display the badge. I’m hoping to visit the ones in Jordan you’ve mentioned next. China has over 40 of these by the way! Safe travels. Jonny

  12. My personal favourite one is Prague and a small town Bardejov in Slovakia, together with wooden churches in Eastern part in Slovakia that are just absolutely amazing and worth to visit.

  13. I don’t have a favourite one. As the regulations of the list demand for a unique detail in each site it is a good idea visiting them as many as one can. So we are able to learn a lot about different aspects of world cultural heritage.

  14. You’ve mentioned Bath, its a wonderful and is very peaceful. The only problem I see is that you never mentioned Ireland north or south :(
    We have some great places here in Northern Ireland likes of giants causeway, carrick a rope bridge (its another must go to place), Mussenden Temple in castlerock . Then you have my home city the great wall of Derry and the wall morals in Belfast… there’s loads to see and do here in N.Ireland

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