Sprinkled around the planet is a smattering of unique locations with outstanding universal value. Some are a testimony to man's creativity while others are sanctuaries of unspoiled natural landscapes. All are our legacy from those who have gone before.
These special places have earned their place on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, created by the cultural arm of the United Nations.
Although some of these destinations may be international destinations on every tourist's radar, most are not. A few are so remote and unheard of that they see only a handful of visitors per year. No matter where they are on the globe, they are always worthy of a visit.
Why bother visiting?
In our lifetimes we have seen ruins abandoned millennia ago, natural landscapes that inspired our awe, and ancient city centers that begged us to spend time within their walls. Once we realized how many of our favorite places were actually UNESCO World Heritage Site status, we began to seek them out.
These days we prepare our itineraries with an eye to any UNESCO sites that might be near our destinations. We have never been disappointed, but we have been surprised. One of the pleasures of visiting World Heritage Sites is discovering great places we never would have visited otherwise.
Our UNESCO World Heritage Site list
Here is a list of the World Heritage Sites we’ve been to, along with links to help you find any related articles on AWSI or photo galleries (marked by a camera icon). Perhaps you'll want to visit some of them yourself.
Total number of World Heritage Sites: 1007 (as of 2015)Sites we’ve been to: 69Sites we’ve covered: 50
- Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena ????
- Morne Trois Pitons National Park
- City of Quito ????
- Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca ????
- Sangay National Park
- Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo and Historic District of Panamá ????
- Darien National Park ????
- Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo
United States of America
- Everglades National Park
- Grand Canyon National Park ????
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park ????
- Independence Hall
- La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico ????
- Mammoth Cave National Park
- Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville
- Statue of Liberty
- Yellowstone National Park
- Yosemite National Park
- Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and the Western Galilee ????
- Biblical Tels – Megiddo, Hazor, Beer Sheba ????
- Masada ????
- Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls ????
- White City of Tel-Aviv — the Modern Movement ????
- Australian Convict Sites
- Greater Blue Mountains Area
- Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley
- Paris, Banks of the Seine ????
- Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay
- Palace and Park of Versailles
- Strasbourg – Grande île ????
- Cologne Cathedral ????
- Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof ????
- Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier ????
- Town of Bamberg ????
- Upper Middle Rhine Valley ????
- Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square ????
- Acropolis, Athens ????
- Old Town of Corfu ????
- Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna ????
- Historic Centre of Rome ????
- Historic Centre of Florence ????
- Venice and its Lagoon ????
- City of Luxembourg: Its Old Quarters and Fortifications ????
- Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour, Curaçao ????
- Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout ????
- Seventeenth-century canal ring area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht ????
- Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon ????
- Cultural Landscape of Sintra ????
- Historic Centre of Oporto ????
- Alto Douro Wine Region ????
- Historic Centre of Guimarães
- Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid
- Works of Antoni Gaudí ????