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: 200
- Australian Convict Sites
- Gondwana Rainforests of Australia
- Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens
- Shark Bay, Western Australia
- Sydney Opera House
- Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
- Wet Tropics of Queensland
- Historic Center of the City of Salzburg
- Historic Center of Vienna
- Palace and Gardens of Schonbrunn
- Wachau Cultural Landscape
- Belfries of Belgium and France*
- Flemish Beguinages
- Historic Center of Brugge
- La Grand-Place, Brussels
- Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta (Brussels)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar
- Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
- Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
- Dinosaur Provincial Park
- Historic District of Old Quebec
- Old Town Lunenburg
- Joggins Fossil Cliffs
- 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
- Historic Centre of Macao
- Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing
- South China Karst
- Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia
- Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena
- Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian
- Old City of Dubrovnik
- Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Historic City of Trogir
- The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik
- Stari Grad Plain
- Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries
- Kronborg Castle
- The Wadden Sea
- Colonial City of Santo Domingo
- Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis
- Historic Cairo
- Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur
- Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae
- Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn
- Fortress of Suomenlinna
- Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments
- Belfries of Belgium and France*
- Canal du Midi
- Climats, terroirs of Burgundy
- Episcopal City of Albi
- Historic Center of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge
- Palace and Park of Fontainebleau
- Palace and Park of Versailles
- Paris, Banks of the Seine
- Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct)
- Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion
- Bordeaux, Port of the Moon
- Historic Site of Lyons
- Routes of Santiago de Compostela
- Strasbourg – Grande île
- Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin
- Berlin Modernism Housing Estates
- Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof
- Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
- Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus
- Cologne Cathedral
- Speyer Cathedral
- Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen
- Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany
- Upper Middle Rhine Valley
- Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier
- Town of Bamberg
- Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square
- Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau
- Classical Weimar
- Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg
- Wartburg Castle
- Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin
- Water Management System of Augsburg
- Historic Center of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura*
- Vatican City
- Thingvellir National Park
- Vatnajökull National Park – dynamic nature of fire and ice
- 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
- Brú na Bóinne – Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne
- Archeological Area of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata
- Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with ‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci
- Costiera Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast)
- Historic Center of Florence
- Historic Center of Naples
- Historic Center of Rome*
- Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes*
- Venice and its Lagoon
- Crespi d’Adda
- Mantua and Sabbioneta
- Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
- The Dolomites
- Piazza del Duomo, Pisa
- Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna
- Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena
- Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar
Jerusalem (Site proposed by Jordan)
- Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain
- Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
- City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications
- City of Valletta
- Megalithic Temples of Malta
- Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum
- Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen Itza
- Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California
- Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor
- 17th-Century Canal Ring Area inside the Singlegracht, Amsterdam
- Defence Line of Amsterdam
- Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout
- Historic Area of Willemstad, Curacao
- Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand
- Rock Art of Alta
- Struve Geodetic Arc
- Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir
- City of Cuzco
- Historic Centre of Lima
- Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu
- Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon
- Cultural Landscape of Sintra
- Historic Centre of Oporto
- Alto Douro Wine Region
- University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia
Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Singapore Botanical Gardens
- Cape Floral Region Protected Area
- Robben Island
- Maloti-Drakensberg Park
- Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boi
- Palau de la Musica Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona
- Works of Antoni Gaudi
- Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada
- Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville
- Historic Centre of Cordoba
- Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid
- Old City of Salamanca
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- Serengeti National Park
- Kilimanjaro National Park
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- City of Bath
- Frontiers of the Roman Empire*
- Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast
- Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
- Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
- Tower of London
- Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Church
- The Forth Bridge
- Gorham’s Cave Complex
- The English Lake District
- Everglades National Park
- Glacier Bay National Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Great Smokey Mountains National Park
- Independence Hall
- La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico
- Mammoth Cave National Park
- Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville
- San Antonio Missions
- Statue of Liberty
- Taos Pueblo
- The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright
*Denotes multi-country sites
28 thoughts on “Visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites”
I think my list would be pretty pathetic. You’ve made a great start!
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!
Nice one, Matt! I was thinking of coming up with the same but haven’t got around to doing it yet. Have only been to just over 50 sites so far.
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.
Before my philosophy has been that I’ll visit if I’m there, but I haven’t sought them out. That may change now. LOL
Next, you should put Portugal’s places on your to-see list :)
I would love to visit Portugal – one day!
Wow I’m definitely impressed!
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!
Thanks MIchael! And I just discovered that I’ve visited another one while researching a new story. LOL
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!
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.
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!
I’ve never been to St. Lucia, but it’s on the list!
I’ve always wanted to create this list. Nicely done though. You’ve been all over the place!
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.
Yes, I need to spend a lot more time in SE Asia! Love it there
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 !
I would love too! One day…
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!
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…..
Absolutely, the mission of UNESCO should be kept in mind – to preserve!
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
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.
Nice post , I am in Dubai now in front of Khor Dubai (Dubai Creek in English). Really nice view from my yacht.
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.
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
If it’s not on the list it’s because I haven’t been there, not because I don’t want to visit. :)
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