Our world is filled with things that are of outstanding value, whether it be a piece of a country’s history, a display of human genius, or hidden gems that have remained untouched for many years. Whatever that may be, these have shaped generations of people from the world over and served as sources of life, lessons, and inspiration.
To preserve these treasures and help pass them on to future generations, UNESCO has designated these historical sites as World Heritage Sites. Spanning from different parts of the world, we have listed the Top 100 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that you can add to your bucket list or serve as inspiration for you to start and see what is out there!
UNESCO Bucket List: Top World Heritage Sites to See
1. Acropolis, Athens, Greece
The Acropolis, located in the heart of Athens and one of the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece, stands as a symbol of Greece’s historical relevance to the globe. Pericles designed the Acropolis’ more well-known structures dating from the fifth century B.C., and it took the better part of a century to complete.
The Acropolis was built as a religious center to honor Greek gods and goddesses and their impact on daily life in Athens, and each structure has its own tale.
2. Agra Fort, Agra, India
The Agra Fort is an ancient fort in the Indian city of Agra. Until 1638, before Delhi replaced Agra as the new capital, it was the primary home of the Mughal Dynasty. It’s around 2.5 kilometers northwest of the Taj Mahal, its more famous sister monument.
A better description of the Agra Fort is a walled city, with its red sandstone and marble earning it the moniker Red Fort.
3. Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madâin Sâlih), Hejaz, Saudi Arabia
The Al-Hijr Archaeological Site in Saudi Arabia is the country’s first World Heritage Site. Formerly known as Hegra, it is the most well-preserved site of the Nabataean civilization south of Petra in Jordan.
The site is an exceptional example of the Nabataeans’ architectural skill and hydraulic expertise, with 111 massive tombs (94 of which are adorned) and water wells.
4. Ancient City of Sigiriya, Central Province, Sri Lanka
Sigiriya in Sri Lanka (aka: Lion Rock) is an ancient palace, built in 480AD, located in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka. This top UNESCO site is known for it’s beautifully landscaped gardens, well-preserved frescos and lots of stairs.
Even before you get to the top, it’s undeniable that Sigiriya in Sri Lanka, an ancient fortress known more affectionately as the Lion Rock, is a magnificent and impressive site. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, this rock, towering at 200 meters above water, has obtained a lot of history, story and legend, and archeological wonder throughout its many years of existence. Although not an easy climb (there’s over 1200 steps!), it’s a site not to be missed when in Sri Lanka.
5. Angkor Wat, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world, measuring 162.6 hectares. It is Cambodia’s main tourist attraction and is also an important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Cambodia and worldwide.
The temple’s architecture is admired for its grandeur and symmetry, as well as the numerous bas-reliefs and Buddha and Deva figures that adorn its walls.
And also, if ever you get the chance to see the sunrise or sunset in Angkor Wat, I promise you that it will be a magical experience!
6. Antigua Guatemala
Antigua Guatemala is a city in the central highlands of Guatemala known for its preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture and several ruins of colonial churches. It served as the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala.
Some places you should not miss are Saint Catalina Arch, Hill of Cerro de la Cruz, and Landivar Monument, to name a few.
7. Archaeological Site of Delphi, Greece
Today, Delphi is both a Greek municipality and a contemporary town close to the ancient precinct. The current town was built by relocating the ancient town away from the sacred precinct so that it could be explored by the French School of Archaeology in collaboration with Greek authorities.
8. Bagan, Mandalay Region, Myanmar
Bagan is an ancient city in Myanmar’s Mandalay Region. More than 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas, and monasteries were built in the Bagan plains alone between the 11th and 13th centuries, with the remnants of over 2200 temples and pagodas still standing to this day.
The Bagan Archaeological Zone is a vital tourist attraction for Myanmar’s fledgling tourism economy.
9. Bam and its Cultural Landscape, Iran
Bam is a city in Iran’s Kermān region in the east. During the 7th and 11th centuries, it was a bustling agricultural center on the Silk Road and was known for its massive castle, the Arg-é Bam.
Bam’s cultural landscape is a prime depiction of man’s connection with the environment, with a wealth of historical canalizations, villages, and forts serving as landmarks and visible proof of the region’s evolution.
10. Białowieża Forest, border between Poland and Belarus
On the border between Poland and Belarus, the Białowieża Forest World Heritage site is a vast expanse of primary forest with both conifers and broadleaved trees occupying a total area of 141,885 hectares.
The area is particularly important for conservation because of the size of its old growth woods, which feature large amounts of undisturbed land where natural processes are still taking place.
11. Borobudur Temple Compounds, Indonesia
Borobudur Temple is a historical UNESCO World Heritage site set on a mountaintop in the central Java area of Indonesia, amidst volcanoes and lush forest. It is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, with over 500 Buddha statues scattered around the site.
Climbing to the top of the 95-foot high pyramid is like a pilgrimage in itself, providing an inner peace and enlightenment. Beware that the ascent of this monument can be difficult, but there are several terraces to explore along the way, each one giving a different perspective.
For the best experience, time your visit with the sunrise. You will need to begin your day in the wee hours of the morning (we woke up at 3:30am!) to catch the sunrise over Borobudur Temple, but it will be worth it.
Borobudur is so impressive that it made our Ultimate Travel Bucket List of 50 Best Experiences & Must See Destinations
12. Bryggen, Bergen, Norway
Bryggen, which is the old wharf of Bergen, has become a symbol of Norway’s cultural legacy, having been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The old Hanseatic dock is architecturally fascinating, and it is possibly Norway’s most well-known image with rows of colorful houses facing the pier.
13. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest has long served as Hungary’s focal point and a thriving cultural center. The city spans the Danube River in a stunning natural location where western Hungary’s hills meet the plains to the east and south.
The Hungarian Parliament and Buda Castle are among the many outstanding structures of classical architecture in Budapest’s core district.
14. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, Canada
Consisting of seven neighboring parks in the Canadian Rockies (four are national parks), the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks is a striking landscape dotted with mountains, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons, and limestone caverns.
Aside from the scenic splendor of the landscape, there’s also the Burgess Shale fossil deposit, which is noted for its soft-bodied marine animal fossils.
15. China Danxia, China
The Danxia landform encompasses several provinces in China’s southeast, southwest, and northwest regions. What makes them stand out are the spectacular red sandstone cliffs and the different landforms created through various stages of erosion.
The landforms range from desert-like rock structures to watery lush territory and provide plenty of activities like hiking and sightseeing.
16. City of Cusco, Peru
If you are planning a visit to the Peruvian Andes and wondering what else there may be worth noting besides the altitude and the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu hike (though that’s totally worth it on its own!), the city of Cusco is worth a stop.
From historical sites to markets to museums, there are plenty of things to do in Cusco, which was once the capital of the Inca Empire. But, also venturing just outside the city on a day trip (or an even longer itinerary) will prove to be just as exciting.
17. City of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Luxembourg is the capital city of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, located between Frankfurt, Paris, and Amsterdam, at the center of Europe. It is known for its well-preserved fortifications and old quarters.
You can explore this small but remarkable capital by riding a bike or taking a walk. The bike trail is around 9.5 km, while the walking trail is approximately 2.5 km. Both paths will take you to the different attractions in the city, like the Constitution Square and the Pétrusse Parks.
18. City of Valletta, Malta
The great fortress city of Valletta grew on the rocks of the Sciberras Peninsula in Malta during the 1560s. It is one of the best examples of modern city planning, using a grid system that is now commonly used in the United States.
The city is known for its many impressive fortifications and unique collection of Baroque churches, palaces, and gardens like St John’s Co-Cathedral, MUŻA art museum, and the Lower Barrakka Gardens. A visit there is definitely one of the best things to do in Malta!
19. Fujisan/Mount Fuji, Japan
When visiting Japan, don’t miss out on the opportunity to go to its highest mountain: Mount Fuji! Located on the island of Honshu, it has amazed countless people with its symmetrical cone shape covered in snow. And did I mention that it is also an active stratovolcano?
The mountain is open for hiking from July to September. It gets too dangerous to climb outside of the climbing season, so make sure to take it into account if you are planning to go on a hike.
There are also 25 other locations around the Mount Fuji locality recognized by UNESCO that are of cultural interest. Will you be able to find them all?
20. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands certainly is a magical place where you can be immersed in a nature display unlike no other. The remote UNESCO World Heritage site is a melting pot of unique wildlife (you can’t miss seeing the blue-footed booby mating dance!), which inspired Charles Darwin’s landmark theory of evolution following his visit in 1835. It is home to wildlife species that are found nowhere else on Earth.
Here’s a video of the blue-footed booby mating dance:
4. Tour a Monastery at Meteora in Greece
21. Giant’s Causeway, Country Antrim, United Kingdom
The Giant’s Causeway is a sight to behold, with 40,000 massive interlocking black basalt columns making up the area. What’s also fascinating about the columns is that they have a unique hexagonal shape. And did I mention that these were formed naturally?
You can find this geological wonder in County Antrim, 5 km northeast of Bushmills in Northern Ireland.
22. Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia, Turkey
Coming from central Turkey, in the Nevşehir Province, the Göreme Historical National Park is known for the tall water-and-wind-eroded rock formations called “fairy chimneys.” In addition to that are the network of old underground towns and magnificent specimens of Byzantine art hewn in the rocks.
The views on and below the ground are just amazing. However, to complete the experience, you should go on a hot-air balloon ride, giving you a picturesque view of the landscape.
23. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA
The Grand Canyon of Arizona is considered to be the crown jewel on the US National Parks list. And it’s no small wonder since every photo taken from its vantage points can compete in a “Photo of the Year” competition with ease!
If you pay this place a visit in summer, choose whether to visit the South Rim, visited by most tourists, or the North Rim, ideal for wildlife watching and solitude seekers. Either way, one thing is certain – rocky formations featuring vivid colors, crisscrossed by canyons (as expected, I suppose), will compete in height and surround you from all sides.
24. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef stretches for more than 1,200 miles, running parallel to the Queensland coastline. It is the world’s largest coral reef system with over 2,900 reefs, 1,500 fish species, 400 types of coral, and 900 remote islands. Scuba divers flock here to glide with hundreds of manta rays, marvel at the colorful sea fans, and swim with schools of blackfin barracudas.
25. Greater Blue Mountains Area, New South Wales, Australia
The Greater Blue Mountains Area is made up of 1.03 million hectares of sandstone plateaus carpeted by a diverse forest of eucalypts in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia.
It is spread across eight adjacent protected areas (seven are national parks), which houses several attractions like the Three Sisters walk and Katoomba Falls.
26. Group of Monuments at Hampi, Karnataka, India
The Group of Monuments at Hampi is located in the Vijayanagara district in east-central Karnataka, India. It was the capital of the last Vijayanagar Empire, whose rich princes built impressive structures that gained the admiration of travelers.
Around 1600 of those structures have survived to this day, giving us a glimpse of the once-prosperous empire. These include the Virupaksha Temple and the Lotus Mahal.
27. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
A three and a half-hour drive from the bustle of the city of Hanoi lies a peaceful set of 1,600 islands and islets, Halong Bay. What makes this attractive to tourists are the many skyscraper-like karst limestone formations that tower over the emerald-green waters.
This bay has been the backdrop to many movies, including the Oscar winning Indochine, and taking a Vietnamese junk boat cruise on the bay has also been featured on many things to do before you die lists, including my own.
28. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, USA
Housing the two most-active volcanoes, Kilauea, and Mauna Loa, to the deep waters of the sea, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park encompasses diverse environments and wondrous landscapes. Visitors travel from all over the world in hopes to see ‘Kilauea’ erupt, the world’s only drive-in volcano and to experience wildlife unique to Hawaii that evolved about 70 million years ago. Hike across the park to check out the lava flows, sulfur banks, and remote greenery.
29. Hierapolis-Pamukkale, Denizli Province, Turkey
Pamukkale is a village in western Turkey famous for its snow-white limestone terraces formed by the mineral-rich water from the hot springs. Adjacent to it is the ancient city of Hierapolis, which was founded as a thermal spa during the 2nd century BC. and is now in ruins. Together, they form the Hierapolis-Pamukkale Heritage site.
There are plenty of things to do here, like taking a dip into the Pamukkale thermal pools or exploring the different ruins of Hierapolis like The Theater and the Temple of Apollo. There is also a museum that houses historical artifacts for your viewing pleasure.
30. Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn, Estonia
The Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn is an incredibly intact and well-preserved medieval northern European trading city on the Baltic Sea’s shore in Estonia. It is split into two areas, the upper town (or Toompea) and the lower town.
When taking a walk in this medieval city, don’t miss out on some of its best attractions like the Town Hall Square (at the heart of Tallinn), the Kohtuotsa viewing platform (in upper town), and the city walls and tower (in lower town).
31. Historic Centre of Brugge/Bruges, Belguim
The Historic Centre of Brugge is a cultural landmark that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Belgium. It is the capital of the Belgian province of West Flanders, which is part of the Flemish region.
Many of its medieval structures remain intact, with some notable ones being the Church of Our Lady, with a brick spire that reaches 115.6 m in height.
32. Historic Centre of Bukhara, Uzbekistan
The Historic Center of Bukhara is one of the outstanding examples of well-preserved Islamic cities from the 10th to 17th century in Central Asia. It is located in Bukhara, which is the capital of the Bukhara Region in Uzbekistan. Its urban architecture made a significant impact on Central Asian town planning.
One of its famed monuments includes the mausoleum of Ismail Samani, a masterpiece of 10th-century Muslim construction, and a significant number of 17th-century madrasas (educational institutions).
33. Historic Centre of Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
The medieval town of Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic’s South Bohemian Region was developed around a 13th-century castle with Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque elements. It looks something out of a fairy tale, with a huge castle overlooking the medieval buildings and houses.
There are plenty of places to check out, like Svornosti Square, where you’ll find the town hall, and of course, the Český Krumlov Castle complex, where the moat surrounding it has bears!
34. Historic Centre of Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Florence is just such an entertaining place with so many things to do, see and taste—from breathtaking museums to high-end shopping to the tastiest pasta in the world. It grew to economic and cultural greatness under the Medici in the early 1600s.
The 14th-century Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Church of Santa Croce, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi gallery, and the Palazzo Pitti bear witness to 700 years of cultural and artistic splendor. The history of the city can also be seen in the works of renowned masters like Giotto, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, and Michelangelo.
Before heading to the city don’t forget to read our Florence Bucket List: 40 of the Best Things to Do in Italy’s Top City
35. Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco, Mexico
Also known as the Centro or Centro Histórico, the historic center of Mexico City is the central neighborhood in Mexico City, Mexico. It is centered on the Zócalo (the main plaza) and extends for several blocks in all directions, with the Alameda Central being the furthest west.
From the Zócalo, you’ll find a lot of fascinating sites to explore, like the Church of Santo Domingo to the north, Museo de la Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público art museum to the east, the Palace of Iturbide to the west, and the Supreme Court building to the south.
South of Mexico City is Xochimilco, regarded as the “Venice of Mexico.” Here you’ll find the spectacular floating gardens or chinampas as you traverse the river banks on a colorful boat.
You can read about these fun boats here: Mexico’s Xochimilco Canals: A Guide to Riding on a Trajinera Gondola
You can also munch on some of the best food of Mexico like freshly-grilled elotes (grilled Mexican street corn) or blue corn quesadillas, sold by the vendors who are also on boats.
36. Historic Centre of Porto (Oporto), Portugal
Yes, there is plenty of port in Porto (and I drank a lot of it!), but there are so many other fun things to do and reasons to visit Portugal’s second-largest city: the impressive bridges that span across the water with the sailboats below, the stunning Baroque architecture, traditional Portuguese restaurants and, mostly importantly, the warmth of the people.
From walking the UNESCO world heritage protected streets of Riberia to drinking at a traditional port house, there are definitely some of the best things to do in Porto.
37. Historic Centre of Prague, Prague
Taking a stroll at the Czech capital of Prague will make you feel like you are back in Medieval times, with many of its fascinating structures dating back since the 11th century still surviving to this day, like the Prague Castle.
It is also known as the “City of a hundred spires,” and this is evident once you get a view from up high, like from the Old Town Hall Tower at the heart of the Old Town area.
Aside from ogling the medieval structures, don’t miss out on tasting Czech beer like Pilsner Urquell, and of course, the local cuisine.
38. Historic Centre of Rome/Roman Colosseum, Italy
The Capital of Italy features some of the most spectacular historical sites, like The Colosseum, Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain. You can also find the smallest country in the world here, the Vatican City.
Of course, the local Roman cuisine is something to look forward to, with their pizza, pasta, and gelato!
39. Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg, Austria
The Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg, also known as the Altstadt, is known for its well-preserved, world-famous Baroque appearance, with influences from both Italian and German cultures. It is also the birthplace of one of the greatest composers in history, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Whether it be visiting the Hohensalzburg Fortress or taking a tour inside Mozart’s home and museum, you’ll get to experience the city’s rich history and what makes it special in the hearts of tourists.
40. Historic Centre of Vienna, Austria
Vienna is recognized as Europe’s center of Classical Music due to its crucial significance in music’s history, notably Viennese Classicism and Romanticism. Aside from its musical heritage, the capital of Austria’s architectural design stands well on its own. Some of these include the Vienna State Opera House, one of the leading opera houses in the world, and the colorful Hundertwasserhaus House. Plus, you can eat some of the best wiener schnitzel in Vienna!
41. Historic Centre of Warsaw, Poland
Most of the historical centers in the world are well-preserved structures or sites that have remained to this day. But for the Historic Center of Warsaw, it is the exact opposite.
The city was nearly destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Due to the efforts of its citizens, they achieved an almost total restoration of its historic areas and buildings, which we can get to visit and appreciate today like the old but colorful charm of the Old Town, and the bustling Praga district filled with restaurants and bars.
42. Historic City of Ayutthaya, Thailand
Ayutthaya, one of Thailand’s ancient cities, was founded in 1335 and is home to temples, museums, and antique architecture before it was destroyed in 1767.
Remains of the once glorious capital can be seen in the form of tall reliquary towers and massive Buddhist monasteries, which makes it an ideal sightseeing adventure for tourists. One of its highlights is a 19-meter-tall Buddha image in Wat Phanan Choeng, a Buddhist temple in Ayutthaya.
43. Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities), Honshu, Japan
Kyoto has a massive collection of cultural properties compared to other cities in Japan and is spread out across three cities: Kyoto and Uji in Kyoto Prefecture; and Ōtsu in Shiga Prefecture.
The monuments each represent a period it was built and date back from the 10th to the 19th century. These include 13 Buddhist temples, 3 Shinto shrines, and one castle (Nijō Castle).
44. Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is undoubtedly a breathtaking destination (it didn’t get the title as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World for nothing!), but adding the beauty of the Classic Inca Trail is like the suspenseful buildup to the grand finale attraction. Its Andean mountain passes are iconic, its steep terrain is brutally challenging, and it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. And if this out-of-shape, middle-aged chick can do it, so can you.
Machu Picchu is undoubtedly a breathtaking destination (it didn’t get the title as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World for nothing!), but adding the beauty of the Classic Inca Trail is like the suspenseful buildup to the grand finale attraction. Its Andean mountain passes are iconic, its steep terrain is brutally challenging, and it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. And if this out-of-shape, middle-aged chick can do it, so can you.
45. Historic Site of Lyon, France
As Florence is to Rome, Lyon is to Paris — a slightly smaller, yet charming version of its larger counterpart. The vibrant city sits at the intersection of the Rhône and Saône rivers, and is a common stop on the Viking River Cruises tour through the South of France.
46. Hoi An Ancient Town, Vietnam
From the best tailors in the world to pretty beaches to historic attractions, and an ancient town center that is recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage site, Hoi An is one city in Vietnam that you don’t want to miss. Located just an hour and a half plane ride from Ho Chi Minh City, it has all the intrigue of its larger counterpart, minus some of the chaos and sprinkled with more charm. There are virtually dozens of fun things to do in Hoi An, but the history of the ancient town is not to be missed.
47. Iguazu National Park, Argentina
Found at the border between Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu National Park is home to the Iguazu Falls, one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls. The horseshoe shape of the waterfall is a spectacular sight to behold, with the water cascading down from multiple points.
48. Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang / Forbidden City, China
The Forbidden City is a palace complex at the center of the Imperial City of Beijing. The layout consists of an outer court at the front and an inner court at the rear, both having their own set of attractions to visit like the Meridian Gate and Palace of Heavenly Purity.
There once was a time where the common folk was not allowed to enter or leave the city without the emperor’s permission, which earned it the name “Forbidden City.” Today, we get the chance to explore its many buildings and imperial artifacts.
49. Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, Hatsukaichi, Japan
Miyajima Island is best known for its World Heritage Site, the Itsukushima Shrine. What’s fascinating about this is that the shrine and torii gate is built over water.
The sacred peaks of Mount Misen, the surrounding forests, and the majestic ocean view add to the scenic view of the shrine.
50. Kathmandu Valley, Bagmati Province, Nepal
Kathmandu is the largest city in the Himalayan hill region, and its cultural heritage site comprises seven groups of monuments and buildings. It is famous among travelers for its distinctive architecture and culture, including Nepal’s street festivals (jatras).
The Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan, the Durbar Squares of Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu), Patan, and Bhaktapur, the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhu and Bauddhanath are among the seven.
51. Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow, Russia
The Kremlin and Red Square is home to a unique series of masterpieces of architecture, most notably St Basil’s Cathedral and religious monuments of exceptional beauty such as the Church of the Annunciation.
If you want to splurge on some quality souvenirs or dine in after your tour, you can visit the enormous GUM Department Store facing the Red Square.
52. La Grand-Place, Brussels, Belgium
Regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful squares, the Grand Place is made up of a central square surrounded mostly by shops, terraced restaurants, and brasseries (which were former guildhalls).
Aside from taking in the picturesque view of the Town Hall and other notable buildings, you can stroll the streets and stumble upon some incredible street art instead. You can also taste the local cuisine by visiting Rue des Bouchers, a food street also known as the “Belly of Brussels.”
53. Los Glaciares National Park, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina
With rough, towering mountains and numerous glacial lakes, notably the 160-kilometer-long Lake Argentino, the Los Glaciares National Park is a place of remarkable natural beauty.
The famed Perito Moreno Glacier is the most impressive sight here. This massive glacier occasionally raises the water level by blocking a narrow passage formed by Lake Argentino. This causes enormous chunks of ice to break off from the glacier on a regular basis, which is one of the highlights worth seeing!
54. Lut Desert, Iran
This one is coming in hot from our list! With a recorded land temperature of 70.7 °C, the Lut Desert is one of the hottest spots on Earth. Nevertheless, it offers a unique experience with its landscape, like the massive yardangs (massive corrugated ridges) that are so massive they can be seen from space.
If you are planning to visit here, I suggest going between September and March to take advantage of the cooling season.
55. Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur, Egypt
The Great Pyramids at Giza have had a firm hold on the western imagination for generations… and with good reason. They are a true marvel to behold! The Pyramids were created as tombs for various pharaohs, and their consorts, to ensure transcendence into the afterlife. And thanks to the many artifacts the ancient Egyptians left within their tombs, we now have an incredible insight into their epic history. Still, there is nothing quite like seeing them up close…especially on camelback.
56. Meteora, Greece
Meteora, meaning “suspended in the air” in Greek, is a magical complex of six active monasteries that are strategically built on natural sandstone pillars, some that rise up to thirteen hundred feet in the air.
Perched on the pinnacles of the Thessaly region, worshippers came to this world heritage site to discover peace and absolute isolation. Many years ago, access to these monasteries was strenuous, using handmade ladders and baskets with a pulley system to hoist the monks and their goods up—this was a system that had long been abandoned by the time I had visited!
You can admire the Meteora Monasteries from afar, but also take the opportunity to tour the interiors and get a glimpse into a monk’s lifestyle one thousand years ago.
57. Kinderdijk, Molenlanden, Netherlands
The Kinderdijk Windmills are the largest concentration of old mills in the Netherlands, there are a unique collection of 19. Back in the day some of these mills were used to make paint, others pressed oil or crushed stone. In 1574 someone was even genius enough to make a windmill to saw wood, which resulted in a lot of timber. But, today these were used for pumping water to prevent sea-water from flooding the land.
Not only are they an intricate design for excess water, but they are also homes. Of the nineteen on premise, which were built between 1738 and 1740, only three are unoccupied, one of which you could take a peek inside of.
58. Mont Saint-Michel and its Bay, Normandy, France
Sitting on an islet between Normandy and Brittany surrounded by a sandy bay and a small village is the Mont Saint-Michel, a Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the Archangel St Michel. Named “Wonder of the West” due to its beauty, it is popular among tourists, not to mention the scenic bay that surrounds it.
Another highlight is the tides that happen twice a day, covering the surrounding bay in water, thus temporarily “isolating” the islet. You can view this natural phenomenon from the ramparts of the abbey or the bridge connecting the islet to the mainland.
59. Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area, China
From its many Buddhist temples to the breathtaking views at the Golden Summit, Mount Emei is a stunningly beautiful spot. Because of its role in introducing Buddhism to China, it is also spiritually and culturally significant.
You’ll also find some Tibetan monkeys as you make your way up the mountain. You can purchase some nuts from the local vendors if you want to experience feeding one.
Located east of Mount Emei is the Giant Buddha of Leshan, carved from the hillside and facing the said mountain. It is the largest and tallest Buddha in the world.
60. Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy
Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the entire world, having erupted enough times in 2021 alone to have grown 100 feet more in height, standing at over 11,000 feet altogether!
In general it’s one of the tallest volcanoes in Europe, only losing in height to Russia’s Mount Elbrus (which hasn’t erupted since 50 AD) and Tenerife’s Teide (which hasn’t erupted in more than 100 years).
Note: many tours leave from the pretty Sicilian city of Taormina.
61. Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Ngorongoro Crater (aka: Ngorongoro Conservation Area) is where I became addicted to wild animal selfies. I just couldn’t believe how close they came to our jeep! In the caldera you have a chance to spot all of the Big Five, as well as marvel at the sight of flamingos by the Lake Magadi. In general, there are over 120 mammal species that can be found in the area. The highlight however, are the 20 to 30 black rhinos, an endangered species. On my first Tanzanian safari I didn’t see any of these elusive animals, and on the second one I saw 3!
62. Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae, Egypt
The temples of Abu Simbel and the Temple of Isis at Philae make up the World Heritage Site.
Abu Simbel is considered one of the grandest and most beautiful temples in Egypt and serves as a lasting monument to King Ramses II. On two days of the year (about February 22 and October 22), the first rays of the morning sun cast light on the innermost sanctuary to the statue of Ramses II, commemorating his coronation and birth, and is a sight to behold for tourists.
The Temple of Isis was built to honor the Isis, the Goddess of healing and magic, and is the last one to be built in the ancient Egyptian style. Today, we get to visit this sacred site and be taken back in time within its walls.
63. Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, Scotland
Since the 15th century, Edinburgh has served as Scotland’s capital and comprises two different areas which form the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Old Town is a maze of cobblestone streets, winding passageways, and secluded courtyards dominated by the Edinburgh Castle.
The neoclassical New Town shows a newer Georgian style to its streets and buildings like Princes Street (lined with restaurants and monuments) and Georgian House in Charlotte Square, which gives insight into how the wealthy lived during the 18th and 19th centuries.
64. Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an outstanding example of an urban city with different cultural influences, spanning from pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean, and western European architecture. One of its highlights is the Stari Most bridge, located at the heart of the Old City of Mostar.
One of the bucket-list-worthy things you can do when visiting Mostar is jumping off the 24 meter Stari Most bridge. It started as a local tradition as a rite of passage to adolescent boys. There are also local diving instructors at the bridge that teaches tourists on how to properly execute the jump. Think of adding yourself to the number of people jumping off the bridge?
65. Old City of Dubrovnik, Croatia
Virtually unknown in the tourism world twenty years ago and heavily damaged during the breakup of Yugoslavia, Dubrovnik has quickly risen to fame and become one of the most popular tourist spots in the Balkans– for good reason.
The walled coastal city offers incredible views from the city walls, Srd Hill, and Lovrijenac Fortress. Whether you want to take a kayaking tour, relax on the beach, or visit the monastery on Lopud Island, Dubrovnik is always willing to turn on the charm.
66. Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, Jerusalem
Jerusalem has been an important symbol for Jewish, Islamic, and Christian religions. It is split into four quarters; the Jewish Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Muslim Quarter, each with its unique atmosphere and sights to behold.
Some of the sights include the Western Wall or Ha-Kotel (sometimes referred to as Wailing Wall), the last remaining wall of what was once was a Jewish temple, located at the west part of the Temple Mount.
A couple of meters above the Western Wall is the Dome of the Rock, which is said to be the site where the prophet Muhammad has risen to heaven.
67. Old Havana and its Fortification System, Cuba
La Habana Vieja or Old Havana, an UNESCO World Heritage site, is the historical center of Cuba’s capital city. It is the heart of the city, with plenty of the best things to do in Havana in this area.
You can easily spend hours aimlessly strolling through the narrow streets taking in the colors and history attached to them. There are countless historic colonial buildings, monuments, cutting-edge galleries, restaurants, shops and lovely plazas to explore. This is also where you will find many of Hemingway’s famous stops.
68. Old Town Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
The port town of Lunenburg is a historic Nova Scotia coastal community that has the well deserved title as a top UNESCO world heritage site. Whether you take in some shopping, dine at the quaint restaurants or stroll along the waterfront you will be in awe of its charm.
Start your day with a cappuccino and a little shopping at the Shop on the Corner. Afterwards, hit up Ironworks Distillery for a short tour and a taste of delicious raspberry liquor. Make a stop for lunch at Salt Shaker Deli whose name is deceiving because there is much more than just sandwiches! If it’s docked in town, set sail on the tall ship Bluenose II, a replica of the famous fishing and racing schooner. For dinner head to the trendy Lincoln Street Food where you can nosh on vegan fish and chips or beet gnocchi with chanterelles.
69. Old Town of Ghadamès, Libya
Ghadamès is a Berber town standing in an oasis in the Nalut District in northwestern Libya. Also known as “The Pearl of the Desert,” it is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities and is a unique example of how people adapt to harsh environments.
It is also famous for its Old Town, a walled settlement part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. It consists of a vast labyrinth of interconnected tunnels and rooftops. It is advisable to have a guide here, as the tunnels are like a maze and difficult to navigate through, especially for tourists.
70. Old Walled City of Shibam, Yemen
Shibam, a 16th-century settlement surrounded by a defensive wall, is one of the earliest and best instances of urban planning based on the principle of vertical structure. What’s even more impressive is that they used mud-bricks (a mixture of mud, hay, and water) to construct the buildings.
The city’s spectacular tower-like structures sprout out of the rock, earning it the moniker “the Manhattan of the desert.”
71. Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn, Vienna, Austria
The Schönbrunn Palace and gardens is a remarkable example of a fusion of many art forms, and you’ll see why that is even before you go inside.
The palace showcases the history and splendor of the imperial lifestyle of the Habsburgs, and the massive garden outside is a spectacle of color and sights, with the Neptune Fountain, Gloriette, and Roman Ruins adding more beauty into it.
72. Palace and Park of Versailles, France
The Palace is a museum dedicated to the history of France and was once a seat of power before the French revolution. Some must-see rooms include the Hall of Mirrors, the Gallery of Battles, and the private apartments of the King and Queen.
The massive garden outside is just as impressive, with statues decorating the many fountains, paths, and walks.
Another highlight is the Orangery, sitting just below the Palace. It features four grass sections with geometric patterns and a pool in the middle. You’ll also find orange trees, palm trees, oleander, and pomegranate trees here during the summer.
73. Pantanal Conservation Area, Brazil
The designated area at the southwest corner of the State of Mato Grosso in western central Brazil represents one of the world’s largest freshwater wetland ecosystems.
The Pantanal Matogrossense National Park, Dorochê Private Reserve, Acurizal Private Reserve, and Penha Private Reserve make up the Pantanal Conservation Area.
The area is perfect for spotting different wildlife, such as jaguars and Hyacinth macaws. There are plenty of trails here that are perfect for hiking, or you can also go on a wildlife boat tour in its rivers.
74. Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape, Turkey
Pergamon is a one-of-a-kind and extraordinary example of Hellenistic urban and landscape development. It once contained the city’s most famous structure, the Pergamon Altar. Today, only the foundations remain, and the altar itself can be seen in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany.
Most notable are The Asclepion, Serapis Temple and Sanctuary, Kybele Sanctuary at Kapkaya, and Tumuli, which are architectural marvels that bear witness to their time, culture, and civilization.
75. Petra, Jordan
The ancient city of Petra was carved into the rose colored sandstone cliffs by the Nabataeans as early as 312BC. There are over 30 incredible sites spread over 60 square kilometers, from temples to tombs to elaborate buildings.
Three days a week visitors can attend Petra at Night, where over 1,500 candles light the mile trek from the Siq to the Treasury, an elaborate two-story tomb. A group of roughly two hundred people will walk through the narrow rock fissures that are lit by candlelight. Walking through the Siq at night is a very mysterious experience.
During the day, you can wander way beyond the iconic Treasury building and explore trails that will pass by the Street of Facades, the Theater, countless tombs and through the Arch.
76. Piazza del Duomo, Pisa,Tuscany, Italy
The Cathedral Square at the city of Pisa consists of four Medieval structures known throughout the world: the Pisa Cathedral, The Baptistery, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Camposanto Monumentale.
Each of the structures is a must-see attraction in its own right, so you’ll be hitting four birds with one stone on this bucket list entry.
77. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Plitvice Lakes is the oldest and largest national park in the Republic of Croatia. From the natural dams to the series of lakes, caves, and waterfalls, surrounded by a sea of trees, it’s no wonder why the area has always attracted nature lovers.
For the full Plitvice experience, you might want to check out their recommended sights to see and things to do on their official website.
78. Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto), Liguria, Italy
This UNESCO World Heritage site is a remarkable cultural landscape created over millennia by human endeavor in a rugged and dramatic natural setting. It consists of Porto Venere, Cinque Terre, and the islands of Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto.
Sailing on a boat is one of the primary means of moving around here, and going on a sailing tour is a plus to the experience. And being close to the sea, don’t miss out on their seafood-inspired cuisine as well, like stuffed mussels, marinated fried anchovies, and more!
79. Prambanan Temple Compounds, Indonesia
After witnessing the gorgeous sunrise view at Borobudur Temple, head just a few miles northeast of Yogyakarta to another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Prambanan Temple compound. It is a collection of three main temples dedicated to Hindu deities; Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu.
It is said to be the most graceful Hindu temple in Indonesia. The outer area of the compound is a carpet of lush green, whereas the interior has tall structures (the highest being 47 meters) that emerge from a dirt floor.
80. Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza, Yucatán, Mexico
Chichen-Itza is one of the most prominent Mayan-Toltec civilization sites in Yucatán, thanks to Mayan construction techniques fused with new elements from central Mexico.
The Temple of Warriors, the Temple of Kukulcán (one of the New Seven Wonders of the World), and El Caracol (a circular observatory) are among the structures that have survived.
81. San Miguel, Mexico
The historic center of San Miguel de Allende, a city in Guanajuato, Mexico, is easy to get around on foot, comprising only 43 hectares. That doesn’t mean there is not much to go around.
From the cobblestone streets to the 17th-18th century buildings to the local cuisine and so much more, you will see why a lot of foreigners decide to make this city their home.
82. Rabat, Modern Capital and Historic City: a Shared Heritage, Morocco
Rabat, Morocco’s capital, is home to the country’s most famous museum, the Royal Palace, the unfinished Hassan Tower, and Mohammed V’s Mausoleum, among other historical tourist attractions.
As you go around the city, you’ll also notice a change in architectural style, from the Andalusian style of the Medina (Old Town) to the French style of Ville Nouvelle (New Town), which adds to its charm.
83. Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat, India
Rani ki Vav is a stepwell situated in the town of Patan in the Gujarat state of India. It is one of the finest and largest examples of its kind, measuring approximately 65 meters long, 20 meters wide, and 28 meters deep.
The stepwell was designed as an inverted temple and divided into seven levels of stairs, with over 500 principle sculptures and a thousand minor ones spanning religious, mythological, and secular imagery.
84. Rapa Nui National Park/Easter Island, Valparaíso, Chile
Rapa Nui, the Polynesian name of Easter Island, is best known for its enormous, monolithic stone figures: the moai. The early Rapa Nui people have created and moved over 1000 moai statues on the island, which is both a creative and physical achievement.
85. Rila Monastery, Rila Mountains, Bulgaria
The Rila Monastery is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria, situated at the Rila Mountains, the highest mountain range in the country.
It comprises the main church, the Tower of Hrelja, the residential area, and the museum, which houses the famous Rafail’s cross and other historical artifacts of the monastery.
86. Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea, Brazil
From the highest elevations of the Tijuca National Park’s mountains down to the sea, this World Heritage Site has been sculpted by a brilliant mix of nature and culture.
The Botanical Gardens, Corcovado Mountain, with its famous Christ statue, and the hills around Guanabara Bay, including the enormous sculpted landscapes along Copacabana Bay, also form a part of the site in Rio de Janeiro.
87. Rock Islands, Palau
Palau’s Rock Islands are known for their unusual mushroom-like limestone islands, various turquoise lagoons surrounded by valuable coral reefs, and as an unparalleled monument to the organization of small island populations over three millennia.
It is also popular among divers, offering some of the most diverse dive sites on the planet, such as the Blue Corner, Blue Holes, and the German Channel.
Other attractions include the Jellyfish Lake at Eil Malk island, which is home to several species of stingless jellyfish found only in Palau.
88. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Over 90,000 travelers visit Serengeti National Park and there is no doubt why; it is stunning with its seemingly endless dusty plains that are spotted with wildlife. Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park is a place that easily earns a spot on many people’s bucket list. It is not only a UNESCO world heritage site, but also home to one of nature’s greatest spectacles—the largest migration of mammals on the planet. The annual wildebeest migration is when more than a million land animals stomp the dry-grass plains in search of greener pastures. The wildebeest don’t travel alone; hundreds of thousands of Thompson’s gazelle and zebras join them in this trek, plunging through crocodile-infested waters in their effort to escape death from hunger, thirst, and predators.
Besides the migration, the 5,695 square miles of Serengeti is blessed with an abundance of animals, plus you can pay a visit to the hippo pool where several dozen are clustered together sloshing about. And this is where we not only spotted our first hyena on my first trip, but also saw the largest flying bird in the world, the Kori Bustard.
For more information read about my trip to Serengeti: Four Seasons Safari Lodge: Luxury in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park
89. Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor,China
The Silk Road’s Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor comprises 33 newly designated sites in China, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and is categorized into four regions.
Other sites include the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang and the Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, also designated as World Heritage Sites.
90. Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore
The Botanic Gardens, the country’s first UNESCO Heritage Site and home to the world’s largest orchid exhibit of over 60,000 plants and orchids, are a monument to Singapore’s image as a “City in a Garden.”
There are plenty of attractions to go about for people of all ages, which include the National Orchid Garden, a small tropical rainforest, the Ginger Garden (which houses the Halia Restaurant and a waterfall), and Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.
91. Socotra Archipelago, Yemen
The Socotra Archipelago is home to many endemic species, spanning from trees to birds to reptiles and more. Four islands make up this archipelago; Socotra, Abd al Kuri, Samhah, and Darsah.
With many unique species to see on each island, like the umbrella-shaped Dragon Blood Trees in Socotra island, it makes the perfect opportunity to go on a sightseeing adventure.
You can also enjoy a dip into its waters from the beautiful beaches on the islands, like the Shoab beach or Qalansiyah beach.
92. Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites, England, United Kingdom
The impressive Stonehenge at Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, has boggled people from all over the world, giving birth to different theories and studies to the nature of its purpose and its creation.
A couple of ways to the north of Stonehenge is another magnificent stone monument called the Avebury, the largest megalithic stone circle in the world.
There are also other monuments to see around these two henges, like the Woodhenge and The Sanctuary.
93. Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch, Switzerland
A few hours from the city of Zurich and at an altitude of 3454 meters lies Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe. It is also a popular Alpine viewing point, located in between the mountains Mönch and Jungfrau, in the heart of the UNESCO protected Jungfrau-Aletsch area of the Swiss Alps.
A Cogwheel Train to the Swiss Alps. Jungfraujoch took me there!
94. Sydney Opera House, Australia
There is nothing quite like the Sydney Opera House overlooking the harbor, its exterior an iconic vision from all angles. Don’t just admire one of Australia’s most recognized buildings from afar, step inside to spend a magical evening at one of their acclaimed operas.
95. Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh, India
This incredible towering structure is a tribute to one of the greatest love stories of all time. Emperor Shan Jahan built it as the burial tomb for his favorite wife after her death in the 17th century. It is perfectly symmetrical, built of white marble from around the world, and detailed with semi-precious stones. Due to his obsession with symmetry two identical mosques flank each side of the Taj Mahal itself and it is surrounded by lush green gardens. It is not hard to see why it is one of the seven wonders of the world.
96. The Dolomites, Italy
Nope, this is not just the carbonate rock; these are THE Dolomites, a mountain range found in northeastern Italy. Also known as the Pale Mountains, due to the color of the dolomite rock, which mainly comprises it.
The mountain range is famous among people for its many mountain activities such as skiing, mountain climbing, hiking, paragliding, and much more. However, that is not all these majestic mountain ranges offer.
You can go on a visit to one of its most beautiful lakes called Lake Carezza at South Tyrol, known for its rainbow-like colors. The towns of Livinallongo del Col di Lana and Cortina d’Ampezzo offer a quiet break from the outdoors.
It’s such a beautiful place that it made our Hiking Bucket List: 25 Best Hikes & Backpacking Treks in the World
97. The Great Wall of China, China
The Great Wall of China winds up and down a series of fortifications, stretching from Shanhaiguan to Lop Lake in the Gobi Desert. The wall is one of the most recognizable and extensive construction projects built to prevent attacks of the Chinese Empire. Take a walk along a portion of the 13,170-mile-long wall, stopping at scenic spots that overlook flowing rivers and to view precious historical relics.
98. The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes, France
The Loire Valley, also referred to as the “Cradle of the French” and “Garden of France,” is noted for its plentiful produce, renowned wine industry, active culture, and over 300 breathtaking châteaux.
Located on the Loire River in central France, the valley has been inhabited since the Old Stone Age.
Tasting their local wine made from Sauvignon blanc or Pinot noir is a must-have on your bucket list, as well as visiting the many châteaux in the valley like Château de Chambord, the largest in the valley.
99. Tikal National Park/Mayan Ruins of Tikal, Guatemala
Tikal, or Yax Mutal, was a central city of the Maya civilization from 200 to 900 A.D. It is also one of the largest archeological sites in Mesoamerica, located deep in the rainforests around 303 kilometers north of Guatemala City.
At the center of Tikal stands the Great Plaza, with the North Acropolis to its north and the Central Acropolis to its south, as well as several other structures that make up this lost city. Also notable are the six great pyramids labeled Temples I to VI, some of which tower at almost 200 feet high.
100. Timbuktu, Mali
Timbuktu was an intellectual and spiritual metropolis and a world center of Islamic learning, arts, and sciences during its golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries. It is home to the famed University of Timbuktu and numerous madrasas.
Djinguereber, Sidi Yahya, and Sankore, Timbuktu’s three magnificent mosques, are nowadays collectively known as the University of Timbuktu, using a style of teaching different from modern universities. They are also one of the highlights of your visit to Timbuktu.
101. Tongariro National Park, New Zealand
If you are planning to go on a day trip to New Zealand, you can never go wrong with visiting their oldest national park, Tongariro National Park. Located in the central North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui), it is best known for its Tongariro Alpine Crossing, regarded as one of the top ten single-day treks worldwide.
If you want to take in the beauty of Tongariro at your own pace, you can go on a walk to some of its beautiful attractions. Some of these are the Tawhai Falls, where the water tumbles over the edge of an ancient lava flow, or to Whakapapanui, where you can take great photos of the streams and surrounding scenery along the way.
102. Vatican City
Tourists flock to the Vatican City, most especially Catholics who want to meet the Pope or celebrate their faith. The Vatican’s principal attractions include a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican’s centerpiece, Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square), the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums, and the Raphael Rooms, among others.
You may also use this opportunity to visit Rome’s other ancient landmarks, such as the Colosseum, Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain, which adds to the Vatican/Rome experience.
One of the most memorable experiences to have is to see the Pope at the Vatican in Rome!
103. Venice and its Lagoon, Italy
Venice is a work of art in and of itself. The city, which is built on 118 small islands and is crisscrossed by more than 150 canals and 400 bridges, appears to float on the waters of the Venetian Lagoon in Northeast Italy.
Some of the things that you should not miss when visiting include going on a boat ride to one of its iconic canals, the Grand Canal, to the infamous Bridge of Sighs. You can also go over Venice’s Rialto Market for some grub and souvenirs or visit some of the historical landmarks like Piazza San Marco and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
104. Wadi Rum, Jordan
Wadi Rum is 720 square kilometers of heart stopping desert landscape, where a maze of sheer-sided sandstone and granite monoliths rise up from the valley floor. Touring Petra Archaeological Site and floating in the Dead Sea were absolutely unforgettable experiences in Jordan, but spending the night in the vast Wadi Rum Desert was an adventure.
In this UNESCO desert you can ride camels along the same path as Lawrence of Arabia, run down the soft sand dunes and sleep inside of a tent in a small Bedouin-run camp surrounded by sandstone rocks. It is extraordinary!
105. West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, Norway
Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord in Norway are two fjords listed as World Heritage Sites, mainly because of their stunning scenic landscape. Collectively they are known as the West Norwegian Fjords.
A fun fact about these two fjords is that they were also used as the basis for the landscapes of Arendelle in the computer-animated movie Frozen.
To get a scenic view of the landscape, it is advisable to go on a hike to some of their popular trails like Skagefla, which is an abandoned mountain farm, and one of the most scenic hikes in Norway. You’ll see the beauty of Geirangerfjord in all its glory along with the Seven Sisters Waterfall on the other side. A hike to Bakkanosi at Jordalen valley offers the best summit view of the Nærøyfjord.
If you are in a car, you can follow Road No. 63 from Geiranger, which will lead you to Ornesvingen, a viewing platform that is also a popular spot among tourists. You can also cruise the waters on a tour boat for a different perspective and experience.
106. Works of Antoni Gaudí, Catalonia, Spain
Antoni Gaudí was one of the greatest (if not the greatest) Catalan architects to ever graced Barcelona, making his mark through his unique nature-inspired style. Seven of his works in Barcelona are listed as World Heritage Sites.
From his earlier work in the form of Casa Vicens to his greatest masterpiece, Sagrada Familia, which is still in progress as of this writing, you can see why he has earned the admiration of architects the world over.
You can check out his works, as well as other fun activities to do in Barcelona, on our Barcelona Bucket List.
107. Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area, Zhangjiajie, China
When it comes to seeing the great outdoors in China, you can never go wrong with going on a visit to one of its most scenic places: Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area. It is located in the Wulingyuan District of South Central China’s Hunan Province and consists of four national parks, each with its own natural beauty to display.
The four parks, along with some of their best attractions, are:
- Zhangjiajie National Forest Park – Avatar Hallelujah Mountain, Bailong Elevator (world’s tallest outdoor lift), Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge (longest and highest pedestrian glass bridge in the world), Tianqiashengkong (one of the highest land bridges in the world)
- Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve – Yellow Dragon Cave (largest karst cave in China), Baofeng Lake
- Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve – offers an excellent view of the whole Wulingyuan Scenic Area at the top of the mountain.
- Yangjiajie Scenic Area – Xiangzhi Brook, Longquan Gorge (Dragon Spring Gorge)
108. Yellowstone National Park, USA
If you happen to be a lover of nature, place a visit to the Yellowstone National Park at the top of your US National Parks bucket list. While getting around, you will lay eyes on magnificent examples of nature’s creativity, including hot springs, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Old Faithful geyser. Not to mention a large animal kingdom whose representatives seem to compete in getting your attention.
So, forget your watch when you arrive in Yellowstone and let the rhythm of nature guide you through the day. But, if you can’t afford that luxury, don’t let Yellowstone Lake, Grand Prismatic Spring and Hayden Valley miss your eye besides the aforementioned highlights.
109. Yosemite National Park, California, USA
Once you arrive in the Yosemite National Park in California, you won’t know where to go first, to put it simply. The park is so expansive and its landscapes so gorgeous that wherever you go, the park’s beauty is sure to enchant you. Resting amid the haze and mist of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Yosemite National Park offers you a sanctuary of beauty at its best. Be it the ancient sequoia trees taking you in its massive shades, or the iconic panorama of the soaring Bridalveil Falls that flows like angel mist and mesmerizes your senses, you will truly lose yourself in the brilliance of this place. Don’t miss a stop to ogle the grand granite cliffs of Half Dome and El Capitan!
And that ends our list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites from around the world! It may seem pretty daunting at first, given how many of these there are, however, I am glad that we get the chance to see these relics from the past and learn their stories.
Of course, as responsible, life-long travelers of life, it is also our responsibility to help pass these on for future generations to see.
Always remember that for every place you visit, the only thing that you should take away from it are experiences and memories.
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2 thoughts on “UNESCO Bucket List: 100 Top World Heritage Sites to See”
Wow! I just discovered your incredible blog, Anette. I’m blown away. I’m currently recovering from my second major neurosurgery this year, but I found myself scrolling through your posts dreaming of my next big adventure. I’d love to see Socotra, Easter Island, and Timbuktu, Mali. Hopefully my burning desire to travel again will speed my healing.
Aww, I will definitely pray for your speedy healing, I’m pretty sure soon you can travel and you can share more to us once you’re on it.