Unesco World Heritage Sites, So Far

Spain Barcelona Sagrada Familia ceiling Unesco World Heritage site Spain
The ceiling of the Sagrada Familia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Barcelona, Spain. The Sagrada Familia is one of my favorite UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is part of the combined site called The Works of Antoní Gaudí, the fantastic Catalan architect.

Below is a list of the UNESCO World Heritage sites we've been to as of February 2013.

We'll probably get to a dozen more, at least, this year. At that rate, I'll have seen them all about the time I'm 135 years old.

Unesco World Heritage sites aren't the last word in travel, but they do provide a point of reference if you're going to a country anyway. And, they're kind of a fun way of keeping score, if you're into that sort of thing. I use the list as sort of a suggestion box for things to see if you're going to a country anyway. We saw a lot of the sites we visited before we even knew there was such a thing as an official list of cool stuff.

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I'll try to keep this updated as we go.

You can see the ones I've written about and/or photographed by clicking here.

Great Barrier Reef
Tasmanian Wilderness
Sydney Opera House
Australian Convict Sites

Historic center of Valparaiso

Costa Rica
Conservation areas of Guanacaste

Old City of Quito

Banks of the Seine
Chartres Cathedral
Historic site of Lyons

Holy See (Vatican)
Vatican City
Historic center of Rome, St. Paul Outside the Walls

The Subak System of Bali

Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan
Historic Center of Rome
Historic Center of Florence
Piazza del Duomo, Pisa
Historic Center of Naples
Historic Center of Siena
Archeological Area of Agrigento
Archeological Areas of Pompeii and Herculaneum
Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis

San Miguel de Allende and Atontonilco

City of Cusco
Historic center of Lima
Machu Picchu

Hieronomite Monastery and Torre de Belem, Lisbon
Historic center of Oporto

Alcalá de Henares
Alhambra and Generalife, Granada
Burgos Cathedral
El Escorial
Historic Center of Córdoba
Works of Antoní Gaudi, Barcelona
Cave of Altamira and Cave Art of Cantabria
Old town of Avila
Old town of Segovia and Roman Aqueduct
Santiago de Compostela
Historic city of Toledo
Cathedral, Archivo de las Indias, Alcazar in Sevilla
Old city of Salamanca
Route of Santiago de Compostela
Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona
Catalan Romanesque Churches
Aranjuez Cultural Landscape
Archeological site of Atapuerca

Goreme National Park and Cappadocian Rock Sites
Historic Areas of Istanbul
Site of Troy

United Kingdom
Westminster Palace and Abbey
Tower of London
Maritime Greenwich

United States
National Parks: Everglades, Mesa Verde, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon
Independence Hall, Philadelphia
Statue of Liberty
Taos Pueblo

Hue Monuments
Old center of Hanoi
Hoi An Ancient Town

That's 66. Only about 897 to go.

We are currently engaged in updating our UNESCO World Heritage site visits on a country by country basis. As we do a new country, we'll add links here. Eventually we'll completely re-edit this post to better reflect our new approach to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Here are pages with links to the UNESCO World Heritage sites by country that we have done to date.

South Korea
United Kingdom
United States

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11 thoughts on “Unesco World Heritage Sites, So Far”

  1. I often go well out of my way to visit UNESCO sites. I’ve mostly found pleasant surprises but occasionally a few duds.

    One of the tools I use to find them in a layer in Google Maps that shows where they all are. If I will be within a train trip of one, I’ll usually try to schedule a visit.

    I’m off to Conservation areas of Guanacaste tomorrow!

  2. Neat idea, cataloging your visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites. Frankly I’ve only ever stumbled upon them by accident. It turns out I visited one last week.

      • It was Chartres Cathedral. Looking at the list again, I suppose I could also say Paris, Banks of the Seine and Palace and Park of Versailles, but I’d seen both of them before. Chartres was new to me.

        • Curt, we went to Chartres five years ago, and it is wonderful. Many years ago I saw a book of black and white “architectural” photographs of Chartres cathedral made in the 1920s, I think. I’d been wanting to see it ever since. Now I want to come back with a view camera and try to duplicate some of his shots. For the life of me, thought, I can’t remember the photographer’s name.

  3. Tom, agree with your suggestion, we use the list as a guidepost to inform our travel planning. We’re at 61 sites in 21 countries – never going to make them all, but it’s fun trying.

  4. Lance, as you say, we’ll never make them all, but they’re great signposts for the journey. We knocked off two more just last week. Alcalá de Henares and El Escorial in Spain. We’d already been to Segovia, but I could just stand and look at the aqueduct there for hours.

  5. What an inspiring list! I am sure if I put together a list I would have a ton more outside of the US than inside, just like you!

    • Amber, we’ve knocked off a few more since we got to Mexico three weeks ago. Those Aztecs and Mayas put up some pretty interesting stuff. Moving on to a couple more in Belize and Guatemala next week. Keep traveling.


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