Top 20 International Destinations to Visit for World Heritage Sites

Complete Travel Guide to the Best International World Heritage Sites

 Last Updated: 14 Jun, 2022 By

Running round in circles like the Earth, my mind at the moment desires to explore the International World Heritage Sites that we are surrounded by. Heritage sites, that are dipped in the artistry and beauty. While there are 1073 wondrous UNESCO World Heritage Sites nestled in 163 state parties, there are some that deserve a special mention. And this blog here takes you for a heritage walk and gives you total insights about how these popular tourist places have culture and history soaked in them. So brace yourself and grab your binoculars as these World’s famous travel destinations have intricate details that are too interesting to miss.

Let’s get started with this World heritage travel guide!

Italy: A humble country that holds onto its history that stretches back like an endless ocean

Piazza del Duomo, Pisa Italy

Piazza del Duomo, Pisa

Like many other travellers across the globe, I too would be a little partial to Italy. Reason? Well not only this country is home to my dream tourism attraction, the Dolomites but also some of the best delicacies in the world. Coming back to the point, Italy from as far as we remember has been a cultural superpower and a major source of the Western civilization. Furthermore, the most loved Renaissance period, Roman Empire, Roman Catholic Church, Italian unification and lastly the European integration find their roots in this European country. So with this, it would be really clear that why Italy is home to 53 astounding marvels. From the Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico) to Costiera Amalfitana, this country gives you ample reasons to plan a heritage vacation in Europe.

  • Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
  • Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci
  • Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura * 2
  • Historic Centre of Florence
  • Piazza del Duomo, Pisa
  • Venice and its Lagoon
  • Historic Centre of San Gimignano
  • The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera
  • City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto
  • Crespi d’Adda
  • Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta 3
  • Historic Centre of Naples
  • Historic Centre of Siena
  • Castel del Monte
  • Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna
  • Historic Centre of the City of Pienza
  • The Trulli of Alberobello
  • 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex
  • Archaeological Area of Agrigento
  • Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata
  • Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua
  • Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena
  • Costiera Amalfitana
  • Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)
  • Residences of the Royal House of Savoy
  • Su Nuraxi di Barumini
  • Villa Romana del Casale
  • Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia
  • Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological Sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula
  • Historic Centre of Urbino
  • Villa Adriana (Tivoli)
  • Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites
  • City of Verona
  • Isole Eolie (Aeolian Islands)
  • Villa d’Este, Tivoli
  • Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily)
  • Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy
  • Monte San Giorgio *
  • Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia
  • Val d’Orcia
  • Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica
  • Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli
  • Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe *
  • Mantua and Sabbioneta
  • Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes *
  • The Dolomites
  • Longobards in Italy. Places of the Power (568-774 A.D.)
  • Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps *
  • Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany
  • Mount Etna
  • Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato
  • Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale
  • Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar *

China: Home to the world’s fourth ancient civilization and natural beauty at its best

Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, China

Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian

You might just be mainstreaming China to be directing itself around success and growth. But it’s only when you look deep enough that you realise that this East Asian country is the nurturer of the one of the oldest civilizations in the world which have culture and heritage as its two pillars of strength. Not only that, China is widely acknowledged for its remarkable cultural and natural heritage. Taking you from here to the heritage sites that are embedded in the developed and the population areas of the country, they are the true embodiment of the endless years of history lived by their ancestors. From giant panda sanctuaries to traditional villages to beautiful palaces set atop mountains, China puts forward the best of everything to you via its 52 heritage sites that portray its wealth when it comes to culture and history both.

  • Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang
  • Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
  • Mogao Caves
  • Mount Taishan
  • Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian
  • The Great Wall
  • Mount Huangshan
  • Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area
  • Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area
  • Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area
  • Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains
  • Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa 7
  • Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples, Chengde
  • Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu
  • Lushan National Park
  • Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area
  • Ancient City of Ping Yao
  • Classical Gardens of Suzhou
  • Old Town of Lijiang
  • Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing
  • Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing
  • Dazu Rock Carvings
  • Mount Wuyi
  • Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui – Xidi and Hongcun
  • Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
  • Longmen Grottoes
  • Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System
  • Yungang Grottoes
  • Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas
  • Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom
  • Historic Centre of Macao
  • Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries – Wolong, Mt Siguniang and Jiajin Mountains
  • Yin Xu
  • Kaiping Diaolou and Villages
  • South China Karst
  • Fujian Tulou
  • Mount Sanqingshan National Park
  • Mount Wutai
  • China Danxia
  • Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in “The Centre of Heaven and Earth”
  • West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou
  • Chengjiang Fossil Site
  • Site of Xanadu
  • Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces
  • Xinjiang Tianshan
  • Silk Roads: The Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor *
  • The Grand Canal
  • Tusi Sites
  • Hubei Shennongjia
  • Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape
  • Kulangsu, a Historic International Settlement
  • Qinghai Hoh Xil

Spain: A land that is a true representation of different cultures and their history

Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida, Spain

Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida

People living in Spain would only be able to explain how beautiful it is to live in a country which has a mixture of cultures. With the history dating back to the middle ages, there has to be something really special about Spain that it is blessed with so many heritage attractions. Some of it’s must visit places include the Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada 21, Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct, Garajonay National Park and many more. Plan a visit here and you will know why we love Spain.

  • Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada 21
  • Burgos Cathedral
  • Historic Centre of Cordoba 22
  • Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid
  • Works of Antoni Gaudí 23
  • Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain
  • Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias 24
  • Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches
  • Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct
  • Santiago de Compostela (Old Town)
  • Garajonay National Park
  • Historic City of Toledo
  • Mudejar Architecture of Aragon 25
  • Old Town of Cáceres
  • Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville
  • Old City of Salamanca
  • Poblet Monastery
  • Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida
  • Routes of Santiago de Compostela: Camino Francés and Routes of Northern Spain
  • Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe
  • Doñana National Park
  • Historic Walled Town of Cuenca
  • La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia
  • Las Médulas
  • Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona
  • Pyrénées – Mont Perdu *
  • San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries
  • Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde * 26
  • Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula
  • University and Historic Precinct of Alcalá de Henares
  • Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture
  • San Cristóbal de La Laguna
  • Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco
  • Archaeological Site of Atapuerca
  • Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí
  • Palmeral of Elche
  • Roman Walls of Lugo 27
  • Aranjuez Cultural Landscape
  • Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza
  • Vizcaya Bridge
  • Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe *
  • Teide National Park
  • Tower of Hercules
  • Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana
  • Heritage of Mercury. Almadén and Idrija *
  • Antequera Dolmens Site

France: A la la land for travellers who love historical settings and cultural sites

Palace and Park of Fontainebleau, France

Palace and Park of Fontainebleau

Home to the iconic city, Paris, this ever so beautiful country doesn’t really need an introduction. Taking its share of land in western Europe, France is one of the most class apart countries which is known for its alpine villages, medieval cities and Mediterranean beaches. Taking your focus from here to the heritage sites that from the year 1979 have reserved in the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, France is proud of each one of its 43 wonders where 39 are cultural wonders, 3 are natural wonders and 1 is mixed. The cultural wonders encompasses from churches, megalithic sites, castles, national parks,mountains, islands and the list goes on and on.

  • Chartres Cathedral
  • Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay
  • Palace and Park of Versailles
  • Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley
  • Vézelay, Church and Hill
  • Amiens Cathedral
  • Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments
  • Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay
  • Palace and Park of Fontainebleau
  • Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the “Triumphal Arch” of Orange
  • From the Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains to the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, the Production of Open-pan Salt
  • Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe
  • Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve #
  • Place Stanislas, Place de la Carrière and Place d’Alliance in Nancy
  • Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct)
  • Strasbourg, Grande-Île and Neustadt
  • Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Rémi and Palace of Tau, Reims
  • Paris, Banks of the Seine
  • Bourges Cathedral
  • Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge
  • Canal du Midi
  • Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne
  • Pyrénées – Mont Perdu *
  • Historic Site of Lyon
  • Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France
  • Belfries of Belgium and France * 8
  • Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion
  • The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes 9
  • Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs
  • Le Havre, the City Rebuilt by Auguste Perret
  • Bordeaux, Port of the Moon
  • Fortifications of Vauban
  • Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems
  • Episcopal City of Albi
  • Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island
  • Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps *
  • The Causses and the Cévennes, Mediterranean agro-pastoral Cultural Landscape
  • Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin
  • Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche
  • Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars
  • The Climats, terroirs of Burgundy
  • The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement *
  • Taputapuātea

Germany: One of strongest economies carrying forward the essence of the Roman Empire

Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin, Germany

Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin

From the time it was shaped into a country, this European land has turned its days into a success and now it is one of the strongest economies in the world. If we take a sneak peek in its past we come to know that it was the intellectuals that rose Germany to this stature and hence was once called Das Land der Dichter und Denker which means the country of poets and thinkers. Talking about heritage sites in Germany, the country is home to a number of cultural sites which are closely linked to the Roman Empire. There are in total 42 sites out of which 38 are Cultural World Heritage Sites and the rest 3 fall under the Natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites category.

  • Aachen Cathedral
  • Speyer Cathedral
  • Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square
  • Pilgrimage Church of Wies
  • Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust at Brühl
  • St Mary’s Cathedral and St Michael’s Church at Hildesheim
  • Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier
  • Frontiers of the Roman Empire * 10
  • Hanseatic City of Lübeck
  • Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin
  • Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch
  • Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System #
  • Maulbronn Monastery Complex
  • Town of Bamberg
  • Collegiate Church, Castle and Old Town of Quedlinburg
  • Völklingen Ironworks
  • Messel Pit Fossil Site
  • Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau
  • Cologne Cathedral
  • Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg
  • Classical Weimar
  • Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin
  • Wartburg Castle
  • Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz
  • Monastic Island of Reichenau
  • Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen
  • Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar
  • Upper Middle Rhine Valley
  • Dresden Elbe Valley Delisted 2009
  • Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski *
  • Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen
  • Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof
  • Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe *
  • Berlin Modernism Housing Estates
  • Wadden Sea *
  • Fagus Factory in Alfeld
  • Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps *
  • Margravial Opera House Bayreuth
  • Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
  • Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey
  • Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus
  • The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement *
  • Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura

India: An overwhelming nation with a melange of art, culture and history

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, India

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

Diversity lies in the core of India and anyone who travels to this South Asian country would be able to pour out their heart out singing praises only. From art, philosophy, mysticism, culture, tradition, architecture there ain’t any field that India takes a step back in. That being said, its many rulers brought in their magic and added glitter to all it’s loved tourism destinations in every direction with their architectural styles. Which is quite evident in the form of temples, stepwells, forts, monuments and national parks that make up the 36 heritage sites nurtured in the country.

  • Agra Fort
  • Ajanta Caves
  • Ellora Caves
  • Taj Mahal
  • Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
  • Sun Temple, Konârak
  • Kaziranga National Park
  • Keoladeo National Park
  • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Churches and Convents of Goa
  • Fatehpur Sikri
  • Group of Monuments at Hampi
  • Khajuraho Group of Monuments
  • Elephanta Caves
  • Great Living Chola Temples 12
  • Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
  • Sundarbans National Park
  • Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
  • Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi
  • Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
  • Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi
  • Mountain Railways of India
  • Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya
  • Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
  • Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)
  • Red Fort Complex
  • The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
  • Western Ghats
  • Hill Forts of Rajasthan
  • Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area
  • Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat
  • Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) at Nalanda, Bihar
  • Khangchendzonga National Park
  • The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement *
  • Historic City of Ahmedabad

Mexico: A nation that breathes culture and is home to important civilizations in the world

Archaeological Zone of Paquimé Casas Grandes, Mexico

Archaeological Zone of Paquimé Casas Grandes

Mexico is not that far behind when it comes to the number of heritage sites as it shelters 34 UNESCO World Heritage Sites out of which 27 are cultural, 6 are natural and 1 is mixed. Going back in time, we get to know that Mexico was the place where the Maya and Aztecs originated from, the two of the most important civilizations of all times. Apart from this, this North American Country was one of the most vital sites of the great European colonizations of the New World.

  • Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco
  • Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán
  • Historic Centre of Puebla
  • Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque
  • Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan
  • Sian Ka’an
  • Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines
  • Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza
  • Historic Centre of Morelia
  • El Tajin, Pre-Hispanic City
  • Historic Centre of Zacatecas
  • Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco
  • Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino
  • Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl
  • Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro
  • Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal
  • Hospicio Cabañas, Guadalajara
  • Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes
  • Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan
  • Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco
  • Historic Fortified Town of Campeche
  • Ancient Maya City and Protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul, Campeche
  • Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro
  • Luis Barragán House and Studio
  • Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California
  • Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila
  • Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
  • Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
  • Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco
  • Camino Real de Tierra Adentro
  • Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca
  • El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve
  • Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System
  • Archipiélago de Revillagigedo

United Kingdom: An everyday progressing nation with heritage embellished in its core

Blenheim Palace, United Kingdom

Blenheim Palace

United Kingdom had to be in this list for all the right reasons as this island nation is dotted with some of the most important cultural sites in the world. The country includes a total of 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites which includes 4 cultural heritage sites, 26 natural heritage sites and 1 mixed heritage site. The present day United Kingdom is one of the most powerful countries in the world which is gaining success all because of its capital London which is a major source of culture and finance. Some of its major attractions for historical tour are Tower of London, Blaenavon Industrial Landscape and the Frontiers of the Roman Empire.

  • Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd
  • Durham Castle and Cathedral
  • Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast
  • Ironbridge Gorge
  • St Kilda
  • Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
  • Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey
  • Blenheim Palace
  • City of Bath
  • Frontiers of the Roman Empire * 30
  • Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey including Saint Margaret’s Church
  • Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church
  • Henderson Island
  • Tower of London
  • Gough and Inaccessible Islands 31
  • Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
  • Maritime Greenwich
  • Heart of Neolithic Orkney
  • Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
  • Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda
  • Derwent Valley Mills
  • Dorset and East Devon Coast
  • New Lanark
  • Saltaire
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City
  • Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal
  • The Forth Bridge
  • Gorham’s Cave Complex
  • The English Lake District

Russia: Maintaining an equal balance of culture and nature from as long as one can remember

Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings, Russia

Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings

You must all be very well aware of the fact that Russia is the World’s largest nation, but little do you know of this country that borders with Europe and Asia has a great potential for tourism and cultural expeditions. Apart from the subtropical beaches and forests the country is swarmed with, there are historical sites that have been reserving their spot in the UNESCO World Heritage List. And till now are 28 in number which account for the time when it was an essential part of Kremlin and Red Square. Out of the 28 sites, there are 11 natural heritage sites and 17 cultural heritage sites. Some of the best places for heritage tourism in Russia include are the Virgin Komi Forests, Golden Mountains of Altai, Volcanoes of Kamchatka, Kizhi Pogost.

  • Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments
  • Kizhi Pogost
  • Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow
  • Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands
  • Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings
  • White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal
  • Architectural Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad
  • Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye
  • Virgin Komi Forests
  • Lake Baikal
  • Volcanoes of Kamchatka 20
  • Golden Mountains of Altai
  • Western Caucasus
  • Curonian Spit *
  • Ensemble of the Ferapontov Monastery
  • Historic and Architectural Complex of the Kazan Kremlin
  • Central Sikhote-Alin
  • Citadel, Ancient City and Fortress Buildings of Derbent
  • Uvs Nuur Basin *
  • Ensemble of the Novodevichy Convent
  • Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve
  • Historical Centre of the City of Yaroslavl
  • Struve Geodetic Arc *
  • Putorana Plateau
  • Lena Pillars Nature Park
  • Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex
  • Assumption Cathedral and Monastery of the town-island of Sviyazhsk
  • Landscapes of Dauria *

United States: A dream destination for history and nature lovers

San Antonio Missions, United States

San Antonio Missions

Popularly known as the land of opportunities, the United States is one of those gems of North America that has endless history etched to its land. And it’s not just the past years that gave the U.S some of the best heritage sites but also the 19th and the 20th centuries which the 23 sites account for. These heritage sites in United States find their place in 19 states and two territories that are settled in the country like Montana, Hawaii, New Mexico and California. Mesa Verde National Park and Yellowstone National Park were among the first sites to be included in the list in the year 1978.

  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Everglades National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Independence Hall
  • Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek # * 33
  • Redwood National and State Parks
  • Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Olympic National Park
  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Yosemite National Park #
  • Chaco Culture
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park #
  • Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville
  • Taos Pueblo
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Waterton Glacier International Peace Park *
  • Papahānaumokuākea
  • Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point
  • San Antonio Missions

Iran: A country that nurtures one of the oldest civilizations

Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran

Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran

The essence of Iran lies in its culture which has not only influenced some but many top tourist destinations in the world. And that’s not all as Iran is the place where one of the oldest civilizations took place and hence it gets obvious that there are a number of heritage sites acknowledged by UNESCO. There are in total 22 sites in Iran where 21 are cultural heritage sites and only 1 is natural heritage site which includes palaces, shrines, bazaars, remnants of the great Persian Empire and historic water systems. Persepolis, Meidan Emam, Esfahan, and Tchogha Zanbil are the first ones to make it to the list and are the must visit when in Iran.

  • Meidan Emam, Esfahan
  • Persepolis
  • Tchogha Zanbil
  • Takht-e Soleyman
  • Bam and its Cultural Landscape
  • Pasargadae
  • Soltaniyeh
  • Bisotun
  • Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran
  • Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System
  • Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil
  • Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex
  • The Persian Garden
  • Gonbad-e Qābus
  • Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan
  • Golestan Palace
  • Shahr-i Sokhta
  • Cultural Landscape of Maymand
  • Susa
  • Lut Desert
  • The Persian Qanat
  • Historic City of Yazd

Japan: An island nation blessed with nature’s bounty and spirituality

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine Russia

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

Apart from being an island nation that is continuously achieving great heights every now and then, there is another side to Japan that most of the people miss out on. What I am talking about here is the natural beauty that is a blessing in disguise of mountains, national parks and the four main islands that Japan is itself made up of. Along with that, this East Asian country is sprinkled with a number of temples and palaces that are counted among the 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area, Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome), Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara, Shrines and Temples of Nikko are some of the most prominent sites to be included in a heritage tour in Japan.

  • Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area
  • Himeji-jo
  • Shirakami-Sanchi
  • Yakushima
  • Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)
  • Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome)
  • Itsukushima Shinto Shrine
  • Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara
  • Shrines and Temples of Nikko
  • Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu
  • Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range
  • Shiretoko
  • Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine and its Cultural Landscape
  • Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land
  • Ogasawara Islands
  • Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration
  • Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites
  • Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining
  • The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement *
  • Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region

Brazil: Pulling in travellers with its flamboyant culture embedded in every corner

Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia

Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia

The timeless beauty of this South American country can be well experienced through the many natural sites and cultural sites that it embodies. Starting from the Iguaçu National Park which was the first natural site listed in the year 1986 till now, Brazil is honoured with 21 of its sites acknowledged by UNESCO. Among the 21 sites there are 14 cultural sites and 7 natural sites.

  • Historic Town of Ouro Preto
  • Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda
  • Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis: San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana, Nuestra Señora de Loreto and Santa Maria Mayor (Argentina), Ruins of Sao Miguel das Missoes (Brazil) *
  • Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia
  • Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas
  • Iguaçu National Park
  • Brasilia
  • Serra da Capivara National Park
  • Historic Centre of São Luís
  • Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves
  • Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves
  • Historic Centre of the Town of Diamantina
  • Central Amazon Conservation Complex 4
  • Pantanal Conservation Area
  • Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves
  • Cerrado Protected Areas: Chapada dos Veadeiros and Emas National Parks
  • Historic Centre of the Town of Goiás
  • São Francisco Square in the Town of São Cristóvão
  • Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea
  • Pampulha Modern Ensemble
  • Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site

Australia: A star destination overbrimming with architectural and natural marvels

Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens

Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens

Probably it’s the natural wonders of Australia that rope in travellers who want to get a taste of nature and other unique places settled in this sovereign country. Apart from the landscapes that are true gem, there are historic buildings, marine life and biological diversity that gave all the fandom to Australia that it deserves. As for now there 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites worthy of endless appreciation. Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park, Wet Tropics of Queensland, Greater Blue Mountains area are some of the most visited heritage sites in Australia.

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Kakadu National Park
  • Willandra Lakes Region
  • Lord Howe Island Group
  • Tasmanian Wilderness
  • Gondwana Rainforests of Australia 1
  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park 2
  • Wet Tropics of Queensland
  • Shark Bay, Western Australia
  • Fraser Island
  • Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh / Naracoorte)
  • Heard and McDonald Islands
  • Macquarie Island
  • Greater Blue Mountains Area
  • Purnululu National Park
  • Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Australian Convict Sites
  • Ningaloo Coast

Greece: A resplendent destination filled with history and breathtaking architectural marvels

Acropolis, Athens

Acropolis, Athens

Spreading its charm in southeastern Europe is the country which once had its mark over the ancient times and now rules the hearts of travellers for nurturing a heritage of around four and a half thousand years. Greece and archaeological monuments share an undying relationship from the past two and a half thousand years which can be seen in the 18 sites which are honored as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 16 out of the 18 take the title of cultural heritage site while the rest two share the same title of mixed heritage site. The Acropolis of Athens is one of the most famous tourist spot you cannot miss out on as it was the source of architectural inspiration for the world along with the Archaeological Site of Delphi which was the worship centre in primeval Greek.

  • Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae
  • Acropolis, Athens
  • Archaeological Site of Delphi
  • Medieval City of Rhodes
  • Meteora
  • Mount Athos
  • Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki
  • Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus
  • Archaeological Site of Mystras
  • Archaeological Site of Olympia
  • Delos
  • Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios
  • Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos
  • Archaeological Site of Aigai (modern name Vergina)
  • Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns
  • The Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos
  • Old Town of Corfu
  • Archaeological Site of Philippi

Canada: A destination with the most scenic landscapes turned heritage sites

Old Town Lunenburg

Old Town Lunenburg

Canada is one such North American country that is block by block built with culture that has European and American influences. Whether it be fields like literature, art, music, politics, Canada has picked up the pace and at present is one of the best countries in the world. Spreading its arms from the arctic circle in the north to the United States, Canada is covered with heritage sites that represents its history and are a total delight for its travellers. In total, there are 18 World Heritage Sites in United States which comprises of 8 cultural sites and 10 natural sites where the Niagara Falls, Nahanni National Park, Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks are some of the major tourism places loved by tourists on their vacation in Canada.

  • L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site4
  • Nahanni National Park
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park
  • Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek # * 5
  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
  • SGang Gwaay
  • Wood Buffalo National Park
  • Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
  • Historic District of Old Québec
  • Gros Morne National Park
  • Old Town Lunenburg
  • Waterton Glacier International Peace Park *
  • Miguasha National Park
  • Rideau Canal
  • Joggins Fossil Cliffs
  • Landscape of Grand Pré
  • Red Bay Basque Whaling Station
  • Mistaken Point

Turkey: One of the best countries in the world with 20,000 years coloured with history

Historic Areas of Istanbul Turkey

Historic Areas of Istanbul

Solely influenced by the Ottoman, Greek and western culture, Turkey is a true masterpiece of time settled in Eurasia. This country embodies a history of over 20,000 years and has been the abode of some of the best civilizations that take travellers back to the time when Lydians, Hittites, Roman and Greek to Ottomans made their mark and spread their word in different languages until 1923. And wait how can we miss out mentioning the great battle of Troy which was fought here. Stepping into the present, now we know Turkey as one of the best countries in the world which is veiled in heritage is home to 14 cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 2 mixed sites. The most famous among these are the Hierapolis-Pamukkale which is a mixed site, Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex,Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia and Hattusha.

  • Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia
  • Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği
  • Historic Areas of Istanbul
  • Hattusha: the Hittite Capital
  • Nemrut Dağ
  • Hierapolis-Pamukkale
  • Xanthos-Letoon
  • City of Safranbolu
  • Archaeological Site of Troy
  • Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex
  • Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük
  • Bursa and Cumalıkızık: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire
  • Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape
  • Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape
  • Ephesus
  • Archaeological Site of Ani
  • Aphrodisias

Poland: A commingle of the fine medieval architecture and Jewish heritage

Old City of Zamość

Old City of Zamość

Keeping it’s traditions close to its heart even when it transformed into a developed country, Poland stands among the best places to travel in the world. The country’s history stretches back to the time when the Slavs migrated to the land and settled here during the Early Middle Ages and leads forward to the 10th century AD when the Piasts,the first dynasty came to rule the land. Now if we talk about its 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, they are believed to be the byproduct of the Jewish heritage and medieval architecture. Some of the best examples are the Historic Centre of Kraków, Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines, Białowieża Forest.

  • Historic Centre of Kraków
  • Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines
  • Auschwitz Birkenau
  • German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945)
  • Białowieża Forest *
  • Historic Centre of Warsaw
  • Old City of Zamość
  • Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork
  • Medieval Town of Toruń
  • Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: The Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park
  • Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica
  • Wooden Churches of Southern Małopolska
  • Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski *
  • Centennial Hall in Wrocław
  • Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine *
  • Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver-Zinc Mine and its Underground Water Management System

Portugal: Winning hearts with its charming culture and art eversince

We didn’t even realise that when exactly did Portugal win our heart with its art and culture and slowly became one of the loved travel destinations in the world. Talking about its cultural importance, Portugal is home to 14 cultural heritage sites out of the total of 15, the rest one being a natural heritage site. Besides, the present-day Portugal that we see was given a facelift with the establishment of museums and a little help in the tourism was from the end of its beaches and biosphere reserves.

  • Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores
  • Convent of Christ in Tomar
  • Monastery of Batalha
  • Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon
  • Historic Centre of Évora
  • Monastery of Alcobaça
  • Cultural Landscape of Sintra
  • Historic Centre of Oporto, Luiz I Bridge and Monastery of Serra do Pilar
  • Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde * 18
  • Laurisilva of Madeira
  • Alto Douro Wine Region
  • Historic Centre of Guimarães
  • Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture
  • Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications
  • University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia

Sweden: Every step here leads you to nature, historic marvels and modernisation

Engelsberg Ironworks Sweden

Engelsberg Ironworks

It was after 14000 years that this Scandinavian nation stepped out of ice and welcomed immigrants to its land. And from that time to the coming eras full of history and culture, Sweden, even when it was moving towards modernisation, didn’t leave all this behind and that’s one of the reasons why it’s one of the best countries in the world. That being said, Sweden is home to 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are divided as 13 cultural sites, one natural site and one mixed site. The very first site that was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site was the Royal Domain of Drottningholm built in the late 16th century which shelters a Chinese pavilion and the 300-year-old Drottningholm Palace Theatre that are considered the reason that this palace made it to the list.

  • Royal Domain of Drottningholm
  • Birka and Hovgården
  • Engelsberg Ironworks
  • Rock Carvings in Tanum
  • Skogskyrkogården
  • Hanseatic Town of Visby
  • Church Town of Gammelstad, Luleå
  • Laponian Area
  • Naval Port of Karlskrona
  • Agricultural Landscape of Southern Öland
  • High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago *
  • Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun
  • Grimeton Radio Station, Varberg
  • Struve Geodetic Arc *
  • Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland

So with this, we come to the end of this journey to some of the most popular and historically blessed tourist attractions in the world that made it to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. I hope you loved reading about every destination as much as I liked writing about it. Now that the blog is over and one or the other destination must have caught your attention more than the rest, so make up your mind and plan a trip to that country. And if you face any problem in planning your perfect holiday then rely on us as we at Tour My India make it a point to give our customers the best travel experience. Along with that our handpicked tour packages are all you could ask for a splendid expedition around the world. For further information contact us at +91-9212553108 or mail us at and leave rest of the worries on our travel experts. Do like and share the blog, happy travelling.

Published: 24 Jul, 2018By
Tags: World Beyond the Ordinary

About the author

Tanisha Sharma

Tanisha Sharma, born and brought up in Delhi is a travel writer who longs to travel the entire world someday, exploring all the heritage sites. She also tirelessly volunteers at various animal NGOs and is quite keen about working for wildlife conservation. She loves reading romantic and fictional novels and also devotes her time listening to music. Also she likes to visit places where she can savour her favourite junk foods like momos and pizza.


November 14, 2018
10 Best Honeymoon Destinations around Asia

Going on a honeymoon is a perfect way to mark the beginning of a new life. ...

July 26, 2019
5 Locations from Recent Hollywood Movies to Visit

Have you ever dreamt of living in a fictional world of any movie? Well, I d...

August 24, 2019
7 More Sites Added to The World Heritage List by UNESCO

UNESCO added seven more sites in its World Heritage List at the 43rd sessio...