Administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or as we all commonly know as UNESCO a World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention. They were created to celebrate and safeguard the best and most unique places around the world. . There are different heritage sites across the world. They may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, and serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet, or it might be a place of great natural or cultural beauty. There are a total of 1,092 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, including 209 natural sites and 845 which have cultural and historical significance. So picking up the one’s to visit can be a challenge, but we have got you covered
Our List Of Top UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Machu Picchu, Peru
Standing at 2,430 meters above sea level on the eastern slopes of the Andes, the Machu Picchu is an iconic destination. If you are considering a holiday to Peru, Machu Picchu is a must-visit destination. Built in the lush, mountainous terrain high above the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu lies in one of the most stunning settings of any archeological site in the world. Cascading down steep walls on each side of the mountain, with terraced steps that disappear over cliff edges into the valley below this UNESCO World Heritage Site is s sight to behold. Some travelers visit Peru with the sole purpose of seeing Machu Picchu, and the journey to the ruins is quite an adventure.
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Located just outside Cairo is one of the most iconic sites in the world, the Pyramids of Giza. Built as tombs for the Pharaohs, between 2560 and 2540 BC these giant monuments are the sole surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. To give you some perspective, when the Colosseum in Rome was being built the pyramids were already 2600 years old. A sunset camel ride in front of the pyramids is one of the top things to do in Egypt.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992, Angkor Wat is Asia’s most famous archeological site and the principal drawcard to the Kingdom of Cambodia. This mighty structure that once stood at the center of the mighty Khmer empire (9th to 15th century), grew to become the largest known pre-industrial settlement. The site has an intriguing mix of excavated and unexcavated temples in varying shapes, sizes, and states of decay. Some buildings take on a mystical appearance as they’re swallowed up by trees and roots. Extensive and intricate bas-reliefs line the walls and doorways and huge stone-carved faces peer out in all directions in this architectural marvel. Before its fall in the 15th century, Angkor Wat was the largest city in the world and today it draws travelers and archaeology buffs from all over the world.
The site of the Dolomites comprises a dramatic mountain range with 18 peaks that rise to above 3,000 m (10,000 ft). with vertical walls, sheer cliffs, and a high density of narrow, deep, and long valleys the Dolomites will grace you with some of the most breathtaking mountain landscapes anywhere in the world. Due to frequent landslides, floods and avalanches, they have been eroded over the last 200 million years into a surreal and wonderful array of needles, towers, and pinnacles. A World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2009, the Dolomites are a hiking paradise, providing amazing hiking trails for hiking enthusiasts that are within average capabilities.
Taj Mahal, India
A white marble mausoleum, the Taj Mahal is universally admired and understandably appears on many a traveler’s wish list. A 17th-Century memorial built in Agra to honor the favorite wife of a Mughal emperor, the Taj Mahal is a monument of incredible elegance and architectural perfection. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in commemoration of his favorite wife, Empress Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631 AD at the birth of her 14th child. Shah Jahan was also buried beside his beloved wife in the Taj Mahal after he died in 1666 AD. The monument’s translucent marble keeps changing from dawn to midnight giving it a magical aura.
Yellowstone National Park, USA
The Yellowstone Park is the USA’s first and finest nature reserve which is an awe aspiring blend of natural beauty and rugged wilderness. Yellowstone has the world’s largest concentration of geysers and it was established in 1872 with the idea of protecting the majority of the earth’s geysers, as well as other thermal wonders. It was inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage list in 1978 making it the USA’s first. Yellowstone’s vast wilderness includes mountain ranges, lakes, waterfalls, and a deep canyon known as “the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone” and is also home to grizzly bears, bison, and elk. Among all the Geysers here Old Faithful is the one that frequently erupts much to the delight of the visitors.
Marvelous medieval buildings, romantic squares, and charming canals make the picturesque city of Bruges on the list of Top UNESCO World Heritage Sites. one of Europe’s most beautiful cities is on the list because it maintained its medieval character as it evolved over the centuries. Rich gothic architecture defines the town’s identity and world-famous Flemish art by the likes of Jan van Eyck hangs on the walls at the Groeninge Museum. The best thing about Burges is that the city center is closed off to cars, allowing travelers to explore this beautiful city on foot.
What Are Your Favorite UNESCO World Heritage Sites
There are various UNESCO World Heritage Sites that we weren’t able to include in our list because there are so many gorgeous sites to visit. However, we hope our list helps you narrow down your perfect destination made planning your vacation easier. Do you have a favorite UNESCO World Heritage Sites? Let us know in the comments below.