This is the comprehensive list of the top 10 Unesco World Heritage Sites that every traveller should visit at one point in life. They are not just Unesco World heritage sites but also some of the most historical places in the world. If you’ve been wondering which famous landmarks in the world you should visit, this list of the world heritage sites will guide you and all you’ll need is to get your packing list ready.
Top 10 Unesco world heritage sites.
When I had just been bitten by the travelling bug, all I wanted to see was big cities, beautiful beaches and islands, I just wasn’t so much into history. But when I visited the Giza pyramids and the Egyptian museum, a whole new world about the history and historical sites was opened to me. I’ve come to love history more and more and my curiosity of learning about the best historical places in the world has not stopped.
And since I have not been to all the Unesco world heritage sites, I’ve teamed up with a group of amazing bloggers to share the top 10 Unesco world heritage sites.
Unesco world heritage sites by country| Greece
Old Town of Rhodes
By Alison at Sofia Adventures
One of my top 10 Unesco world heritage sites is the beautiful Old Town of Rhodes, Greece. The Old Town of Rhodes is impeccably preserved, a true slice of history, yet it is still one of the commercial and cultural hearts of the island of Rhodes.
Rhodes is part of the Dodecanese Islands that are actually slightly closer to Turkey than the rest of the Greek Islands, so it is best to fly there as ferries from other places in Greece such as Crete or Thessaloniki take an extremely long time. You can fly from Heraklion, Crete to Rhodes directly which costs about $100 and takes only one hour. The Old Town of Rhodes is located on the northern tip of the island, about 20 minutes in a car or taxi from the airport. It is free to enter the Old Town as it is a living, breathing part of Rhodes rather than a roped-off archaeological site
By Paula at Expert Abroad
Earlier this year I visited the Acropolis in Athens Greece and while I was looking forward to seeing it I was not prepared for how magical being there felt.
Located in the centre of Athens, The Acropolis is one of the best historical places in the world which is visible from almost anywhere in the city. In fact, there is a law that nothing can be built to stand any higher than this important site anywhere in the city. Most people don’t realise that the Acropolis is the name for the site and its a collection of buildings rather than one specific building. The main attraction here is the Parthenon, the large building you see on almost every Greek souvenir. At over 2400 years old, it is the most important building that survives from classical Greek times. It is recognised as the symbol of democracy and western civilisation. Other important buildings are the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion temple with its Porch of Maidens.
I was lucky enough to visit one morning just as the site was opening and we were able to follow the guards as they marched into the site to raise the flag. This was really special and certainly added to the experience hugely. They marched in time slowly through the site over to the flagpole at the other end of the site where they sang the National anthem as the flag was raised. There were less than 100 people in the site at the time and we felt very lucky to have been able to experience this. I highly recommend arriving at the entrance that is located up the hill from Thēseiou metro station. It is an easy uphill walk that is generally not as busy at the main entry and the only way to follow the guards in. Plan to arrive here by 7.45am if you would like to see them.
Unesco world heritage sites by country| Slovakia
Spišský Hrad, Levoča and Žehra
By Jana at Mommys Little World
Spišský Hrad in Slovakia is one of the best historical places in the world. I might be a little biased because I’m from Slovakia, but I think this castle is one of the most beautiful castles you could ever see. It is the largest ensemble from the 13th and 14th century of all political buildings in Eastern Europe. The ruins sit near Levoča, a beautiful town worth a visit.
The ruins of the castle are an amazing background for pictures, and the trip to the castle is fun for the whole family. Towns Levoča and Žehra are both parts of the UNESCO world heritage sites, because of the amazing military, political and religious buildings from 13th and 14th century. The buildings stayed intact, even after all those years. If you go to Levoča, be sure to visit Basilica of St James. It’s a Gothic church from the 14th century. The church has 18 altars, most of them created by Master Paul of Levoča. The main altar, created by Master Paul, is absolutely breathtaking.
The easiest way to get there is to fly to Bratislava, then rent a car and follow D1 highway to Levoča. The Spišský Hrad is about 12 miles past Levoča. Slovak roads can be confusing if you’re visiting for the first time, so make sure you have a map or GPS! I think just about everyone has a cell phone now though, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Read more about Spišský Hrad at Mommys Little World.
Unesco world heritage sites by country| Chile
The wooden churches of Chiloe Island.
By Jenny and Steven at Tales From the Lens
Classed as a Unesco World Heritage site, the wooden churches of the Chiloe island are incredible structures that have defied time and that can’t be found anywhere in the world. The Island located in southern Chile right at the entrance to Patagonia is one of these places that have remained off-the-beaten-track despite an important focus on tourism within the country.
Unesco world heritage sites by country| Uzbekistan
By Kamila at My Wanderlust
Unesco world heritage sites by country| Czech Republic
By Sarka at Plzen guide
There are many UNESCO world heritage sites around the world, but one of them is very special for me: it is the enchanting Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic.Český Krumlov is a small medieval town in the southern part of Bohemia, which was registered to UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
Český Krumlov is located close to the borders with Germany and Austria; therefore it is easily accessible from Czechia capital City Prague, from Munich in Germany and also from Salzburg, Vienna and Linz in Austria.
Why is Český Krumlov so unforgettable? First because of the beautiful scenery which is created by the Vltava river meander, tiny streets, green parks and majestic gothic castle from the 13th century, which is, by the way, one of the most beautiful Czech castles.
Cesky Krumlov, fortunately, has not been massively destroyed during its long history and after the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989, it was very nice reconstructed.
From my own experience, I can recommend to climb the castle tower, where you will have an amazing view of the town, or try canoeing on Vltava river streaming through Cesky Krumlov. I am sure you will realize that to spend here only one day is not enough, because there is so much beauty all around and so many things to discover.
Unesco world heritage sites by country| Italy
The Amalfi Coast
By Flo at Yoga wine travel
The Amalfi Coast is a 50 KM stretch of coastline along Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula and is a UNESCO world heritage listed landscape, once you see it with your own eyes you’ll understand why. Its dramatic landscape is lined with cascading multicoloured houses in stunning towns running from Positano all the way along to Vietri Sul Mare. It is one of the most picturesque places I have ever travelled to and is designed so that you can spend your days walking through narrow cobblestone streets, eating delicious Italian food, sailing along the coast, lounging on beaches or sipping on limoncello -the locals’ speciality.
Unesco world heritage sites by country| South Africa
By Jessy at Planet Pilgrims
Robben Island is situated in front of the coast of Cape Town in South Africa which is notorious for its history. It is the maximum security prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated. It has been a Unesco World Heritage site since 1999 because of the history, as it serves as a sad reminder of the South African Apartheid era which ended in 1990.
To access the Robben Island, you can take a boat from the Nelson Mandela Gateway in the V&A Waterfront and in 45 minutes you will disembark on the island. The excursion consists of a bus tour of the island where you will be taken to the limestone mines where the prisoners used to work. After the bus tour, a former prisoner or student will take you on a tour of the actual prison. The guide will share stories of the atrocities that took place during the Apartheid period and how people would be classified according to the colour of their skin and the infamous pencil hair test to check if a pencil would stay in your hair or not. The stories of the prisoners will leave you deeply impressed and humbled wondering how they managed to carry on the struggle and never gave up. The entire excursion takes about half a day and boats normally leave at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm every day depending on the weather.
Read more : Best safaris near Cape Town
Unesco world heritage sites by country| Saudi Arabia
The old city of Jeddah
By Esra at Arabian Wanderess
Unesco world heritage sites by country| Spain
Parc Güell Barcelona
By Vickie at Vicki Viaja
Unesco world heritage sites by country| Bulgaria
By Stephanie at Sophia Adventures
Rila Monastery is the most important of the monasteries in Bulgaria, which means a lot since the countryside is dotted with them. The most important saint to the Bulgarians, the 10th century Saint Ivan Rilksi (also known as Saint John of Rila) spent his days in the area living as a hermit. Today you can visit his cave when visiting the monastery. His followers founded the monastery after his death. During the second Bulgarian Kingdom, the monastery grew in importance, and it survived the invasion of the Ottoman Turks who occupied Bulgaria for hundreds of years.
By Sarah at ASocialNomad
Mount Fuji – truly for me the symbol of Japan – she is iconic no matter what the season. Stark and foreboding and yet absolutely compelling, she is stunning from a distance and fascinating up close. I picked her as my favourite UNESCO world heritage site as she is completely natural. The base of Fuji is easy to reach from Tokyo, where a bus from Shinjuku will take you to the fifth station of Mount Fuji (basically as far as transport goes) in around 2-2.5 hours.
Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain and is a mythical national symbol for Japan. There are 8 stations on the way to the top. Hiking starts at the fifth station.
It’s only possible to climb Fuji during the months of July and August, outside of these times, the trail markings are removed from the fifth station upwards. There are, however, glorious relatively easy walks at the fifth station with interpretative information boards. There is also a horse riding stable situated at the fifth station, where you can check out the slopes on horseback.
Perhaps the best views of Mount Fuji can be had from Fuji Five Lakes – which usually are made more stunning with the addition of Japanese Cherry Blossom or fall foliage. Fuji is a truly magnificent sight, whether you choose to climb her or just admire her from afar her protection under UNESCO saves her for future generations.
Unesco world heritage sites by country| Netherlands
The Wadden Sea
Read more: Wadden Islands
Luxembourg Old Town
.By Glen and Claire at Couple Castaway
The Luxembourg old town was recognized as a Unesco world heritage site in 1994 due to the city’s fortifications and it’s quarter.
The year 2017 was a mashup of several trips to European cities and really opened up our eyes to the beauty of our doorsteps, but the one that stands out the most is Luxembourg Old Town. This town holds a special place in our hearts in that although it’s very similar to other European cities, it’s also very different.
In Luxembourg, there no hordes of tourists or obvious tourist traps to fall into. There’s not a massive amount of things to do. It’s quiet and has just enough to keep you occupied for a few days plus it’s not as expensive as you would think. The quick flight from London to Luxembourg (55 minutes) is nice but the best part is getting into town. For just 2 EUR per person, grab the 29 or 16 bus outside the terminal and they will take you into town in about 15 minutes.
The Old Town of Luxembourg is very safe, peaceful and incredibly photogenic. It’s also very walkable (if you don’t mind hills) and you can find yourself spending the day wandering about the Bock Casemates, the valley, and Adolphe Bridge just grabbing snacks and snapping away at the beauty of the town. For a quick and relatively cheap getaway, Luxembourg Old Town is definitely a must see.
Unesco world heritage sites by country| China
The great wall of China
By Leona at Wander Must family
One of my top 10 UNESCO world heritage sites is without a doubt the fantastic Great Wall of China! The closest and most accessible city to the wall is Beijing. There are a number of places you can walk to but we opted for Mutianyu section as it is less busy than the Badaling side and is perhaps the best option with kids. You can take a cable car up and even toboggan down when you have finished the walk.
The wall itself is in good condition at Mutianyu and offers spectacular views. It has been conserved in parts which means that it is relatively easy to walk, though there are lots of steep and uneven stairs at the watchtowers.
Because of the language barriers and travelling with a child, we decided to go with a tour operator on a private excursion but you could arrange to walk it independently. While there are no facilities on the great wall of China, the town below has restrooms and eateries but do take snacks with you.
Read more: The great wall of china with kids.
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