UNESCO World Heritage Sites

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places of significant cultural or material value. They are designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and can be everything from buildings, monuments and even entire cities to islands, mountains, forests and lakes.

There are currently 1,031 designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites—as of July 2015, that is. These sites consist of 802 cultural sites, 197 natural sites and 32 mixed sites. The full list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites is found here.

Whenever I travel, I always try to take in as many of these amazing sites as possible. Even more so, the very fact that there is a UNESCO World Heritage Site right here in Charlottesville, Virginia (Monticello and the University of Virginia), was one of the reasons we moved here. I love these sites for a variety of reasons. They are of obvious value, whether it’s natural or cultural or both, and they need to be protected and preserved. Second, I just love lists; and this happens to be an extensive list of amazing destinations. It’s basically the ultimate list.

While I will never be able to visit all 1,000+ sites, I will try my best to see as many of them in my lifetime. To be honest, however, I haven’t been focusing on these sites since 2015. So far, I’ve made it to 49 of them, which are listed below.

List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites That I’ve Visited

Europe (36)

Belgium (6)

Belfries of Belgium and France
Flemish Béguinages
La Grand-Place, Brussels
Historic Center of Bruges
Plantin-Moretus Museum
Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta, Brussels

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Belfry and Alderman's House, Aalst
Belfry of Aalst, Belgium

Bosnia and Herzegovina (1)

Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar

Stari Most in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
View of the iconic Stari Most

Croatia (4)

Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik
Historic Complex of Split with Diocletian’s Palace
Old City of Dubrovnik
Plitvice Lakes National Park

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Old City of Dubrovnik, Croatia
Old City of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Czech Republic (1)

Historic Center of Prague

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Historic Center of Prague
Historic Center of Prague, Czech Republic

France (2)

Banks of the Seine, Paris
Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay

Banks of the Seine, Paris, France
Banks of the Seine, Paris, France

Germany (3)

Cologne Cathedral
Hanseatic City of Lübeck
Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin

Palace in Potsdam, Germany
Palace in Potsdam, Germany

Iceland (1)

Thingvellir National Park

Öxara river in Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

Italy (7)

Historic Center of Florence
Historic Center of Rome
Mount Etna
Piazza del Duomo, Pisa
Portovenere, Cinque Terre and the Islands
Venice and its Lagoon
Vatican City

Historic Center of Florence, Italy
Historic Center of Florence, Italy

The Netherlands (2)

Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout
Wadden Sea

Windmills in Kinderdijk, the Netherlands
Windmills in Kinderdijk, the Netherlands

Norway (2)

Bryggen
West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Geirangerfjord, Norway
Geirangerfjord, Norway

Spain (1)

Historic City of Toledo

Historic City of Toledo, Spain
Historic City of Toledo, Spain

Sweden (1)

Laponian Area

Lake in Lapland, Sweden
Lake in Lapland, Sweden

Turkey (1)

Historic Areas of Istanbul

Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

United Kingdom (4)

City of Bath
Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast
Hadrian’s Wall, Frontiers of the Roman Empire
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites

The Roman Baths, Bath, England
Roman Baths in Bath, England

North America (7)

Canada (1)

Historic District of Old Québec

Old Québec City, Canada
Old Québec City, Canada

United States (6)

Independence Hall
Grand Canyon National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville

Statue of Liberty

University of Virginia, Charlottesville
University of Virginia, Charlottesville

Oceania (6)

Australia (6)

Australian Convict Sites
Greater Blue Mountains Area
Royal Exhibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens
Shark Bay, Western Australia
Sydney Opera House
Tasmanian Wilderness

Sydney Opera House, Australia
Sydney Opera House, Australia