UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Language:    Published: 2018-09-23  Keywords: traveling, UNESCO, collecting
Table of contents


I try to visit as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible during my lifetime. They are often worth it.

Article history

  • 2019-05-27 Added two new visits in United States of America.
  • 2018-12-28 Added ten new visits in Jordan, Israel, Palestine.
  • 2018-09-23 Article is published.
  • 2018-09-19 Writing the article is started.


I've always liked travelling and that's what I'm going to do the rest of my life. Finland is already conquered, Europe is half done and world travelling has been progressing quite nicely.

However, the number of different countries visited shouldn't be the objective but the quality of the journeys. Besides eating and drinking well, I try to experience, learn and report as much as possible while producing CO2 to the earth atmosphere.

So, could there be a meter to use in travel planning which directed to experience and learn the best bits of the world and human kind, a better meter than the number of visited countries which basically means just random border crossings of different administrational regions.

The best collection of the most precious cultural heritage sites and natural miracles of the world, that I've found, is UNESCO World Heritage Sites List which contains 1092 sites at the moment (2018-09-22). The list can be criticized of being politically influenced but a list like this can't be created objectively. As far as I know, UNESCO exists for educational purposes.

First time I knew I was visiting a UNESCO site was in Alta (Norway) in June 2003. But it was 2018-09-19 when I first time calculated them. The amount was 63 out of the total number 1092 at that moment, so I had already done 5.8 %! UPDATE: 73 in 2018-12-28 (6.7 %). UPDATE: 75 in 2019-05-27 (6.9 %)

Honestly, visiting all of them is absolutely impossible. The current rate is about 10-30 new sites per year and even if one had all the money, time and health, this couldn't be done because the permits, bookings, random temporal close downs, weather and medical issues make it just too hard. Moreover I don't want to travel around the globe only running after these sites without doing anything else in the destinations. Nevertheless pursuing the goal gives ideas where to go next.


The UNESCO World Heritage sites which I've visited:

Country Site C N M Listed Visited
Austria Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn X 1996 2015
Historic Centre of Vienna X 2001 2015
Belgium La Grand-Place X 1998 2013
China Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor X 1987 2018
Croatia Plitvice Lakes National Park X 2001 2014
Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian X 1979 2014
Czechia Historic Centre of Prague X 1992 2012
Estonia Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn X 1997 2013
Finland Old Rauma X 1991 2008
Petäjävesi Old Church X 1994 2008
Fortress of Suomenlinna X 1991 2006
Verla Groundwood and Board Mill X 1996 2004
France Palace and Park of Fontainebleau X 1981 2017
Palace and Park of Versailles X 1979 2017
Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay X 1979 2017
Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars X 2015 2017
Paris, Banks of the Seine X 1991 2017
The Climats, terroirs of Burgundy X 2015 2013
Germany Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin X 1999 2014
Cologne Cathedral X 1996 2013
Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen X 2001 2013
Greece Medieval City of Rhodes X 1988 1999
Holy See Vatican City X 1984 2013
Hungary Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue X 1987 2012
Israel White City of Tel-Aviv - the Modern Movement X 2018
Beit She'arim National Park X 2003 2018
Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel: The Nahal Me’arot / Wadi el-Mughara Caves X 2012 2018
Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and the Western Galilee X 2008 2018
Old City of Acre X 2001 2018
Masada X 2001 2018
Italy Genoa: Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli X 2006 2014
Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura X 1980 2013
Historic Centre of Florence X 1982 2013
Japan Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) X 1996 2018
Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) X 1994 2018
Jordan Petra X 1985 2018
Wadi Rum Protected Area X 2005 2018
Luxembourg City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications X 1994 2017
Netherlands Seventeenth-Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht X 2010 2013
Norway Rock Art of Alta X 1985 2003
Palestine Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town X 2017 2018
Poland Auschwitz Birkenau X 1979 2015
Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines X 1978 2015
Historic Centre of Kraków X 1978 2015
Republic of Korea Changdeokgung Palace Complex X 1985 2018
Slovakia Wooden Churches of the Slovak part of the Carpathian Mountain Area X 2008 2012
Vlkolínec X 1993 2012
Levoča, Spišský Hrad and the Associated Cultural Monuments X 1993 2012
Spain La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia X 1996 2015
Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville X 1997 2015
Historic Centre of Cordoba X 1984 2015
Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada X 1984 2015
Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona X 1997 2015
Works of Antoni Gaudí X 1984 2015
Sweden Royal Domain of Drottningholm X 1991 1995?
Switzerland Three Castles, Defensive Wall and Ramparts of the Market-Town of Bellinzona X 2000 2014
Great Britain Tower of London X 1988 2011
Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey including Saint Margaret’s Church X 1987 2011
United States of America Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville X 1987 2019
Independence Hall X 1979 2019
Grand Canyon National Park X 1979 2016
Mesa Verde National Park X 1978 2016
Transboundary Old City and Walls of Jerusalem X 1981 2018
Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor X 2014 2018
Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst X 1995 2015
Struve Geodetic Arc X 1979 ?


Number of new sites visited per year

Year Visited
2019 2
2018 15
2017 6
2016 2
2015 12
2014 5
2013 9
2012 5
2011 2
2008 2
2006 1
2004 1
2003 1
1999 1
1995? 1


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