Cultural heritage conservation is key to travel - and that’s where the UNESCO system comes in.
Visiting the tapestry of UNESCO-listed sites around the world is an excellent way to get a glimpse of what a country has to offer. These specially appointed sites help tell the rich cultural and historic tales of an area, offering travellers the opportunity to go deeper on their holidays.
Across the world, there are currently 1,154 UNESCO-listed sites. You can explore the interactive map here. In order to be considered for the World Heritage List, sites must be of “outstanding universal value” and also align with UNESCO values such as representing a masterpiece of “human creative genius”, being a testimony to cultural traditions or societies (existing or extinct), or containing “superlative natural phenomena” or aesthetic significance. In short, becoming a UNESCO-listed site is no small feat.
There’s no universal UNESCO-listed site, no typical landmark that makes the list. Head to Europe, and you can find anything from Salzburg in Austria to Dubrovnik’s Old Town in Croatia to Alhambra Palace in Spain. Plus there’s the listed Amalfi Coast and Venice’s canals in Italy, which is home to the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the entire world. And if you’re interested in venturing further afield to Asia, you will be rewarded with legendary UNESCO-listed sites such as the Taj Mahal in India and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Of course, not all UNESCO sites are the big hitters, around the world there are a range of lesser-known gems and underrated attractions, including the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka and the Historic Quarter of Valparaíso in Chile.
Explore a dazzling range of UNESCO-listed sites and add them to your travel wish-list.
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