UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Get to know humanity’s cultural inheritance – UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Enjoy some of the most incredible historical sites in the world when traveling. You most probably already know some world heritage sites such as the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal in India or the Grand Canyon National Park in the United States, but there are so many more! As of June 2015, 1007 properties are part of the World Heritage list, spread all around the world and protected by UNESCO. It is an underestimation the visitor is spoiled for choice.

 

What is UNESCO

UNESCO is an autonomous organization working with the United Nations. Its name is an acronym for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which reflects its purpose of contributing to peace and solidarity between countries through education, science and culture.

 

World Heritage Sites

In the topic of culture, UNESCO invented the concept of World Heritage, which covers all places such as buildings, forests, monuments and so on containing a special value, and initiated the drafting of a convention on cultural heritage protection. As a brief history, in 1954 the decision to build the Aswan High Dam in Egypt was made, a dam that would flood the valley where the Abu Simbel temples and many other cultural treasures were located. In order to save them, UNESCO launched a campaign that accelerated the investigation and recovery of many objects and sites and the relocation of the Abu Simbel and Philae temples.

 

Half of the cost of the operations, which was around US$80 million, was donated by other countries to show respect towards the conservation of these cultural sites, and the campaign was considered a great success. This lead to many other campaigns such as in Italy or Indonesia and lastly to the writing of the previously mentioned World Heritage Convention.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites make for fantastic places to visit during your vacation to learn more about humanity’s cultural inheritance as well as contemporary history. Have a wonderful UNESCO experience!

 

 

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MELBOURNE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Melbourne - Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens

If you are in Melbourne and plan to visit the Melbourne Museum, do not hesitate to visit the Royal Exhibition Building and the Carlton Gardens. In fact, if you are at the museum, you already are in the gardens, and the building right in front of the museum is the Royal Exhibition Building! With easy access using public transport, the Royal Exhibition Building and the surrounding Carlton Gardens represent a World Heritage Site since July 1st of 2004. The building and grounds were designed for the International Exhibitions of 1880 and 1888 with the objective of displaying industrial material from all countries. Even though there were over 50 international exhibitions around the world during those years and the first half of the 20th century, few buildings designed to hold them remain today, with the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens as examples. The building, with its beautiful architecture, still holds exhibitions today, commonly related to the Melbourne Museum. Make sure to check for any events and exhibitions that might take place during your visit! There have been many different expositions, ranging from the Flower Exhibition to fashion events or a festival of free sampling of beers, wines and spirits. The Carlton Gardens are perfect for a walk and to enjoy the sights of the buildings it surrounds, two lakes and three fountains. It is also a popular picnic area, and whether you go there during the day or during the night, you will get to see and listen to some native Australian animals like certain kinds of possums, micro bats and many species of birds.

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SYDNEY

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Sydney- Sydney Opera House

If you think of Sydney, the first image that most probably will come to your mind is the Sydney Opera House, one of the most iconic attractions of the city. In case you didn’t know the history behind it, here’s a brief summary: in 1956 the New South Wales Government organized an international design competition with no cost limit or specific design requirements in order to attract the greatest designers in the world. The winner was a young Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, with little experience (and, in fact, no engineering advice at all!). At that moment and also today, its design was considered extremely modern and innovative, and in June 28th 2007 it entered UNESCO’s World Heritage List. If you plan on going, keep in mind that it is easier to get there with public transportation than by driving. Also, you will need to walk a few minutes to get to the building itself, but the effort is worth it. From the outside, you can enjoy the amazing views of the Opera itself or the Harbour Bridge and Botanic Gardens among others. If you go inside, guided tours are offered and if you have the chance to view any performance, do not miss it! You will enjoy the amazing acoustics and the range of shows and prices is very broad, from talks and movies to theatre pieces.

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SALZBURG

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Salzburg - Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg

If you haven’t heard about the city of Salzburg, you have definitely heard about its son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The historic centre of the city is considered part of UNESCO’s World Heritage since 1997 and when you see it you will understand why. The sight of the Hohensalzburg Castle seems to have been taken out of a fairy tale, just like streets like the narrow shopping lane Getreidegasse or the many Baroque buildings around the city such as the uncountable churches.

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GRAZ

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Graz

Historic Centre of Graz

Present on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1999, the historic centre of Graz is definitely worth a visit during your trip. With Graz being the second largest city in Austria right after Vienna, you will get to experience both the student city fun side and the impressive artistic and architectonic heritage side while not feeling as much of a tourist as in Salzburg. Stroll around the old centre to see beautiful houses, shops and good restaurants without being overwhelmed by tourist shops. The blend of styles from the Middle Ages until around the 18th century of the buildings makes the city perfect to discover and enjoy by walking around it, and if you are looking for views of the whole city, go on a hike (or take the funicular) to Schlossberg, a public park with the remains of a castle and a fortress.

Schloss Eggenberg

Just a 10-minute drive or a 15-minute tram trip from the Old Town Centre of Graz will take you to the Schloss Eggenberg, a Baroque palace that will make your jaw drop. Inside, walls and even ceilings are decorated with richly detailed frescoes and reliefs like the Planetary Room, and the chandeliers and other furniture will keep you wondering how life would be living in such a place. The outside is as beautiful. The palace is surrounded by gardens with around 400 trees and shrubs, 5000 other plants such as flowers and peacocks wandering around. If you are at the palace around May and June, you will have the chance to see the roses in bloom, which are definitely worth the visit!

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VIENNA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Vienna- Historic Centre of Vienna

The Historic Centre is a must-visit if you come to Vienna. The walls that once defended the city from outsiders have been replaced by the Ringstrasse, a circular road surrounding the old district and lined with astonishing buildings like the Rathaus, parks and monuments. The centre is carefully kept clean and tidy, with most attractions within walking distance from each other and affordable public transport. The style of the area consists on a mixture of three periods: the Middle Ages, the Baroque period and the Gründerzeit, the economic phase right before the stock market crash of 1873. Soak up the beauty of the city!

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BAKU

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Baku- Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower

Walking inside the Walled City of Baku will probably make you feel as if you had travelled back to the 12th century. Classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2000, this city with narrow labyrinthine streets is one of Azerbaijan’s few surviving medieval towns. Situated in the Walled City you will find the Shirvanshah’s Palace. Although unfortunately the inside is no longer decorated, a guided tour is highly recommended and interesting. There is an entry price, but keep in mind that the entry to the Walled City is free!

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BRIDGETOWN BARBADOS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Bridgetown Barbados - Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison

Bridgetown has a lot to offer you apart from its amazing beaches. In case you didn’t know, historic Bridgetown and its Garrison is a British colonial city from the 17th century. It was a key spot for commerce, but also for the transmission of technology and science. For these reasons, UNESCO added it to the World Heritage List in 2011. If you like history, you will find a visit to the Garrison totally worth it. Whether you pay for a guided tour or walk around by yourself, the Garrison area contains interesting sites such as barracks for military personnel and its historic horse racetrack.

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BRUSSELS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Brussels- Flemish Béguinages

If you are in the Flanders Region in Belgium, check for any nearby Flemish Béguinages, communities formed by religious women who had decided to devote their lives to God without retiring from the world, usually called Béguines. In comparison to a common convent, their miniature towns would have their gates open to the world during the day. UNESCO has listed these communities as World Heritage Sites since 1998 because of their traditional Flemish style combined with the unique religious lifestyle of the Béguines.

La Grand-Place

La Grand-Place is more than just a square. For starters, it is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List because of the great historical importance of the architecture surrounding it, like the Brussels Town Hall. In addition, the square itself is famous for its Flower Carpet, created once every two years, consisting of 1,800 m2 of flowers, so check the dates for the next one! If you want to get the most out of it, visit la Grand-Place both during the day and during the night to be amazed by the lighting and the sights of the buildings. Lastly, if you have had enough of the square, look for the free city tour that starts there. It lasts around two hours and a half and covers all the main attractions of Brussels!

Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta

Spread around the city of Brussels you will find the four Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta, one of the initiators of the Art Nouveau style, inspired by natural forms such as plants or simply curves, as you will appreciate in the buildings. These houses –Hôtel Tassel, Hôtel Solvay, Hôtel van Eetvelde and Maison & Atelier Horta– have, for this reason, been recognised as World Heritage by UNESCO since 2000. The warm light, the spaciousness and the round forms of the buildings and the decoration inside will make you feel as if you were dreaming.

Stoclet House

Considered one of the most luxurious private houses of the 20th century, the Stoclet House in Brussels is part of the World Heritage List according to UNESCO. Designed by the Austrian architect Josef Hoffmann, the house has a futuristic and modern look attributable to the Art Déco movement that was about to start gaining force. As we said before, unfortunately, the Stoclet House is still inhabited by the Stoclet family and the inside cannot be visited. However, the views from the outside are definitely worth a visit!

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SUCRE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Sucre - Historic City of Sucre

Most people would say La Paz is the capital city of Bolivia, but you won’t be one of them anymore: although it does have more government departments, the official capital of Bolivia is Sucre, founded by the Spanish during the first half of the 16th century. If this is not enough to make you want to visit it, you should also now it is part of the World Heritage List of UNESCO, and its position is well deserved. The organised streets of the Historic City of Sucre in the shape of a grid, common of the Spanish towns of the moment, makes it easy to move around. It is your chance to see how the styles coming from Europe and the local traditions that already existed have blended, and visit the Casa de la Libertad (House of Liberty) Museum to learn a bit about the place where the independence of Bolivia was signed.

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SALVADOR DA BAHIA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Salvador da Bahia - Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia

The city of Salvador de Bahia was the first capital of Brazil from the 16th century until the 18th century, allowing it to observe the blending of cultures between Europe, Africa and the New World. At that time, the city consisted of today’s Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia, an area filled with streets lined with colourful buildings and beautiful churches and convents such as São Francisco. In a darker side but still part of its history, the city of Salvador de Bahia was also the first slave market in the New World, a fact due to which the Historic Centre is also known as the Pelourinho, Portuguese for pillory or whipping post. Today, the Largo, the square where this used to happen, is a place to have dinner and enjoy music, while during the day it stays calmer.

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BELO HORIZONTE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Belo Horizonte - Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas

If you are staying in Minas, Ouro Preto or somewhere nearby and have some free time you would like to spend well, the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas is a good choice. Considered the masterpiece of the architect Aleijandinho and World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is a great example of Christian art in Latin America. The trip there is usually long since there are no big cities nearby, but if you have the chance to see it, don’t waste it. The site consists of the church, an outdoor stairway with sculptures of the twelve prophets and seven chapels, six of which display the Stations of the Cross plus one chapel with paintings of miracles.

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BRASILIA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Brasilia- Brasilia

The capital city of Brazil has a very special characteristic: it was built from scratch. The urban planning was carried out by Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer, who made the most out of this opportunity to use the principles of the Modernist Movement on a large scale. This singularity has made Brasilia a World Heritage Site according to UNESCO. Buildings like the Catedral Metropolitana or the Santuario Dom Bosco will make you feel as if you were in one of those futuristic movies, and the Banco do Brasil Cultural Centre is a museum with free entry to most expositions.

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SãO LUIS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Sao Luis - Historic Centre of São Luís

The Historic Centre of São Luís is the part of the city that has remained the most similar to the Portuguese colonial town it used to be. Its beauty rests on the adaptation of the Portuguese style to the climate and conditions of equatorial South America, which has introduced the city to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The centre is quite small, so you will be able to see everything in a day without any rush. You will enjoy beautiful façades and churches, but unfortunately many buildings are in urgent need of restoration. Still, you will be able to appreciate it if you can see through it and admire the essence of the city, like the Portuguese painted ceramics decorating many walls.

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RIO DE JANEIRO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Rio de Janeiro - Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea

The city of Rio de Janeiro itself is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List, including the Botanical Gardens, the statue of Christ the Redeemer that you probably know, the Corcovado Mountain below said statue and the hills around Guanabara Bay. Visiting the statue of Christ the Redeemer is a must according to most visitors of the city. Buy the train tickets online the day before to avoid lines or take the vans leaving from the city to get up there, and go early to avoid big crowds. The views from the top are breath taking, but keep in mind that if it’s cloudy you may not be able to see the top of the statue!

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SOFIA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Sofia - Boyana Church

The Boyana Church may look rather small from the outside, but don’t be mistaken, it is considered one of the most complete and well preserved sites of medieval art in Eastern Europe, making it part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. During peek times the church is quite crowded, and the entry ticket costs 10 lev. If you manage to get in though, you will find yourself surrounded by frescoes on every inch of the walls and ceiling with layers of paint dating as back as to the 11th century.

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SIEM REAP

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Siem Reap - Angkor

Angkor is a must visit if you are any close to it. Located 20 minutes to the north from central Siem Reap, Angkor is one of South-East Asia’s most important archaeological sites. The site contains the remains of the capitals of the Khmer Empire on a territory of 400 km2, including the most famous Temple of Angkor Wat, which you may have heard about, and the Bayon Temple. It is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1992 thanks to its artistic pieces and the conservation of its urban plans and hydraulic structures. You will need to spend quite a long time to enjoy Angkor at its fullest, so make sure you bring a lot of water with you as it can get pretty hot and if you are not very fond of walking, hire a tuk tuk or a car with a guide.

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QUEBEC CITY

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Quebec City - Historic District of Old Québec

If you are in Québec you should dedicate some time to visit its historic district, given that it is the only city in North America that has conserved the walls, gates and defensive constructions around Old Québec, being a great example of a fortified colonial city. For this reason, it has been included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. You will be able to walk around Old Québec given the small size of the area and will find history everywhere you go. Although many stores and restaurants are directed to tourists, you can find good places quite easily with a little effort.

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OTTAWA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Ottawa - Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal passing through Ottawa is the only canal in North America dating from early 19th century that remains fully operational. This fact has helped the Rideau Canal make it to UNESCO’s World Heritage List and it is definitely worth a visit if you are around Ottawa. You can enjoy the canal by walking next to it, in which case you should wear comfortable shoes to avoid getting tired too soon. Another good option, however, is to rent bikes and ride by the canal. This way, you get to see more of it and the surrounding area.

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BEIJING

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Beijing - Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang

The Forbidden City is a must-see if you are going to Beijing. It is situated right in the centre of the city, to the north of the Tiananmen Square, and although today it houses the Palace Museum, it used to be the home of emperors and the centre of government for over 500 years. If you are in Shenyang, definitely visit the Imperial Palace. It has been on the World Heritage List since 2004 because of the testimony of the development of architecture and history in China it represents, like the Forbidden City, who has been on said list since 1987. It’s recommended to visit both the Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace in Shenyang on guided tours, since it would be a pity to go around places so full of history and culture without understanding it. Your breath will be taken away when you see how detailed ceilings, roofs and any decoration filling the rooms and temples.

Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian

A 40-minute drive from Beijing (42km south-west of the centre) will take you to this hominid site that witnessed the evolution of Asian human communities from around 600,000 years ago. If you are into anthropology, you’ll be fascinated by the caves, well explained by signposts, and the museum’s collection of fossils, bones and ancient tools.

Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing

The Summer Palace in Beijing is the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China. The site, consisting on gardens, lakes and buildings such as temples and palaces, appears on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1998. The area of 2.9km2 consists mainly on the Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, where you will find many of the main attractions such as the Long Corridor or the Buddhist Fragrance Tower. The site is easily accessed via public transport, and due to the size of it you will want to spend at least a couple of hours wandering around. Take a boat ride in the Kunming Lake, go up the Fragrance Tower for beautiful views or simply take a stroll to enjoy the picturesque scenery and breath-taking decorations.

Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing

The Temple of Heaven is a complex founded in the first half of the 15th century consisting on several cult buildings and a World Heritage Site according to UNESCO since 1998. The temple is situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. As its name states, the site symbolized the relationship between Earth and Heaven. The emperors were considered to be the interlocutors between humankind and Heaven, and every six months they would travel to the Temple of Heaven to pray for good harvests. This site is full of symbols, and knowing about the main ones will make your visit extremely interesting: an ancient Chinese belief, for instance, was that the Earth was square and Heaven was round. The southern corners of the area on which the Temple of Heaven was built are right-angled, while the northern ones are rounded. Furthermore, each of the three main constructions is circular and on a square base. Hopefully this has awakened your curiosity!

The Grand Canal

If you look at a map of China and find the two main rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, you will notice that both of them go from west to east. The Grand Canal is an artificial river starting at Beijing in the north and finishing in the Zhejiang province in the south, connecting the two main rivers. This project had the objective of facilitating trading, shipping raw materials and supplying food to the population. The oldest sections of the canal date as back as to the 5th century BC and were finally combined around the 7th century AD, still being used today. This waterway system became part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014 for being the greatest civil engineering project prior to the Industrial Revolution.

The Great Wall

Under continuous construction from the 3rd century BC to the 17th century AD, the 20,000km of the Great Wall of China are the only man-made structure visible from the moon. The implied knowledge of defence construction and organization in the wall has let the site into UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1987. If there is one thing all the visitors of the Great Wall agree on it is that it’s far more than just a wall, and that the experience of being on top of it will take your breath away. As you can imagine, the length of the wall makes it possible for visitors to get on it from lots of different sections. Just from Beijing, you can choose between seven popular sections depending on whether you are interested in the sights, in avoiding crowds or in an easy path. Check the area from where you plan to visit the Great Wall and choose the section that best fits your interests!

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XIAN (XI’AN)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Xian - Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

You have probably heard about the famous terracotta warriors that are found in the mausoleum of the first Qin Emperor, the first unifier of China. Although these warriors are a fascinating part of the site, there is much more about it. The mausoleum consists on a replica of the emperor’s palace, his empire and the world, with the army of warriors serving as a garrison and treasures being safeguarded by traps and weapons (reality overcoming fiction!). Apart from the artistic importance of the site and all the objects found in it, the mausoleum has brought extraordinary information about military organization in China at that time and infinite examples of weapons, which has put the Mausoleum of the first Qin Emperor on UNESCO’s World Heritage List on 1987.

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HUANGSHAN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Huangshan - Mount Huangshan

Mount Huangshan in the Anhui province of China will leave you in awe just like it has been doing for centuries to poets, painters and, more recently, photographers. The literary and artistic importance, natural scenery and flora and fauna of the mountain have put its name on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1990. One thing to keep in mind before going: it is quite possible for the weather during your visit to be misty or even rainy, but don’t let that upset you, because the views will be just as amazing and even more magical. Be prepared for climbing lots of stairs!

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LHASA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Lhasa - Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa

The ensemble in Lhasa of the Potala Palace, the Norbulingka Palace and the Jokhang Temple Monastery is considered World Heritage according to UNESCO. The Potala Palace has been the Dalai Lama’s winter palace since the 7th century, becoming a symbol of Tibetan Buddhism and of traditional administration of Tibet. Lying on top of Mount Potalaka, the complex consists on two main buildings: the Red Palace, devoted to religious studying and praying, and the White Palace, comprising the living quarters of the Dalai Lama, like a personal room or the throne of the Dalai Lama. As an advice, do some research in advance if you are willing to visit the Potala Palace. Tickets are hard to get and there is a limited number of them every day. Also, climbing up to the palace at such high altitude will require good physical condition. The Norbulingka Palace, placed a short distance to the southwest from the Potala Palace, represents the Dalai Lama’s former summer palace, its name meaning treasure garden. The differences in comparison to Potala Palace are clear, with flourishing gardens and lakes and a more delicate architecture. At the centre of the old town of Lhasa lies the Jokhang Temple Monastery, crowded with pilgrims. It is considered as the most important temple by most Tibetans so you will find many locals among the visitors, making it an amazing experience to learn about daily rituals of the Buddhists.

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LIJIANG

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Lijiang - Old Town of Lijiang

The Old Town of Lijiang, famous for its waterways and bridges, became part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1997. The town’s narrow streets and old buildings blend elements from several cultures, as it was a key site commercially and strategically. Today it has become quite a touristic place, with many streets full of shops selling souvenirs and other products directed to visitors, but if you can see through it you’ll be able to admire the beauty of the town.

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MACAU

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Macau- Historic Centre of Macau

Most of Macau’s fame comes from its casinos and gambling, but the historic centre of the city is a gem you should not miss. Its past as a Portuguese colony is easily observed in the blending of cultures and western-influenced architecture, all of which has given Macau a well-deserved position on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 2005. The contrast in the city is exemplified, for instance, when looking at buildings like the A-Ma Temple, built before the arrival of the Portuguese, and Saint Joseph’s Seminary and Church built in 1758.

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HANGZHOU

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hangzhou - The Grand Canal

If you look at a map of China and find the two main rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, you will notice that both of them go from west to east. The Grand Canal is an artificial river starting at Beijing in the north and finishing in the Zhejiang province in the south, connecting the two main rivers. This project had the objective of facilitating trading, shipping raw materials and supplying food to the population. The oldest sections of the canal date as back as to the 5th century BC and were finally combined around the 7th century AD, still being used today. This waterway system became part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014 for being the greatest civil engineering project prior to the Industrial Revolution.

West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou

Hangzhou’s West Lake, including the temples, pagodas and gardens around it, was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011. It has inspired artists and poets since the 9th century and today it is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in China. The lake is surrounded on one side by the city of Hangzhou and on three sides by hills where the temples and other sites have been built. The beauty of the landscape lies on the equilibrium between nature and man, and a great time to enjoy it would be early in the morning. Be ready to walk for a good while and maybe take a boat trip in the lake!

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CARTAGENA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Cartagena - Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena

The city of Cartagena in Colombia used to be a key link in the route of the West Indies, making it a key element in the history of the exploration of the New World. This, together with its well-preserved military architecture, gave Cartagena’s port, fortresses and certain monuments a stand on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1984. The Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a great fortress to visit in the area. An audio guide is highly recommended given that there are no explanatory signs, but its past defending the city from the English and the French will bring you back in time.

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SPLIT

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Split - Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian

The city of Split contains the ruins of Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, built during the late 3rd century, where he spent his last years. This palace is considered the most important example of Roman architecture on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea due in part to its level of preservation, and together with the surrounding areas it is included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1979. In the Middle Ages, Split’s cathedral that you can visit today was built using materials from the ancient mausoleum of the palace. As time went by, between the 13th and 15th centuries Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque palaces and churches were built in the protected area. The fusion of styles is guaranteed to make you fall in love with the site while watching the development of its history in every building you see.

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DUBROVNIK

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Dubrovnik - Old City of Dubrovnik

Known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik was a powerful spot in the Mediterranean Sea from the 13th century onwards. Having been on the World Heritage List since 1979, the city has been under major restoration after having suffered from an earthquake in 1667 and an armed conflict in the 1990s. Despite the tragic incidents the city has seen, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its churches, palaces and other attractions from the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods remarkably well. The Town Hall or the Franciscan Monastery are examples of the many stunning buildings that you will find in the Old City, so put on comfortable shoes, get ready to walk a lot, go up and down uncountable steps and get soaked in the history of Dubrovnik!

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HAVANA (HABANA)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Havana - Old Havana and its Fortification System

Defined by the former city walls of the Havana you will find Old Havana, a site protected by UNESCO and considered World Heritage. Inside, the city is organized in plazas surrounded by important buildings such as the Iglesia Catedral de la Habana or the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, while streets are mostly narrow with the traditional pastel-coloured houses that make going for a walk seem a colourful dream. Many of the greatest buildings have become museums and visitors have access to lots of churches, palaces, markets and monuments, making it easy for you to discover Old Havana’s history and culture.

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LARNACA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Larnaca - Choirokoitia

The settlement of Choirokoitia, dating from the Neolithic age, represents one of the greatest prehistoric sites to the east of the Mediterranean Sea. Occupied between the 7th and 5th millennium B.C., the settlement has been and still is today a very important source of information for archaeological study, which is why the site is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The settlement consists on circular houses that demonstrate a very impressive technical capacity rarely seen in other remains from those times. Another interesting find were some stone figurines shaped like people that, together with funerary rituals, point towards the existence of beliefs in the group that inhabited the settlement.

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PAPHOS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Paphos

Welcome to Paphos, the city of the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite. Situated in the District of Paphos, Cyprus, the archaeological site consists on the town of Kato Paphos and the village of Kouklia, and its antiquity and importance in poetry and culture have placed Paphos on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. In Kato Paphos you will find the remains of Aphrodite’s Sacred City Nea Paphos, famous for its mosaics, among the most beautiful on Earth, showing both mythological and everyday life scenes. In the same town, the Kato Paphos Necropolis is found, that is, the tombs of the kings. In Kouklia you will be able to visit the remains of the Temple of Aphrodite and Old Paphos, a very popular pilgrimage destination in ancient Greece.

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BRNO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Brno- Tugendhat Villa in Brno

Designed by Mies van der Rohe, the Rugendhat Villa is a masterpiece of Modern architecture that included radical new ideas of the movement and which was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List on 2001. The villa was designed for a married couple of wealthy industrial families in a residential area of the city of Brno. The whole building and every piece of furniture were designed by van der Roe, which brings balance to the whole site and makes it an icon of the Modern movement. If you plan on visiting the Tugendhat Villa, make sure to book tickets in advance, and by advance, we mean REALLY in advance: according to the official website, it is recommended to book tickets at least two months in advance.

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PRAGUE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Prague - Historic Centre of Prague

Prague is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and its historic centre is mainly the reason why. The site appears on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1992 for being a model in central Europe in many areas, ranging from the arts to science and politics. By taking a walk in the historic centre you will see the richness of its architecture: buildings with styles from the Middle Ages onwards including Gothic, Baroque and Modern styles fill the streets with examples such as the Powder Tower, Saint Nicholas Church or the Lennon Wall respectively.

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SANTO DOMINGO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Santo Domingo - Colonial City of Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo was the first permanent establishment of the New World, when in 1492 Christopher Columbus arrived on the island. As the site of the first cathedral, hospital, university and customs house in the Americas and where the European culture spread from to the new continent, the Colonial City of Santo Domingo is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Santo Domingo’s colonial city has conserved its original grid structure of the 15th century and the functions of the first constructions. The best way to enjoy it is to take a walk in its streets to enjoy the buildings and their charm, with no rush given the small size of the area.

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CUENCA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Cuenca - Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca

As the name suggests in Spanish, the town Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca (also known as simply Cuenca) lies on a valley irrigated by four rivers. Cuenca’s original grid layout has been preserved, and the Renaissance style is still visible in many buildings like the Old Cathedral or the Carmelite Monastery. Cuenca is a great example of urban planning of the Renaissance in the New World with a successful combination of the different cultures that got together there, making it a World Heritage Site according to UNESCO in 1999.

Historic Walled Town of Cuenca

After its construction by the Moors due to its strategic position, Cuenca was conquered by the Castilians in the 12th century. Its good preservation and historical importance, being a royal town and a bishopric and having the first Gothic cathedral in Spain, are the reasons why Cuenca is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A must-visit in Cuenca that may not be as obvious as the Cathedral is the casas colgadas, “hanging houses”, built and suspended on the very edge of the cliff. One of the buildings houses the Museo de Arta Abstracto Español, an abstract art museum totally worth a visit.

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SAN CRISTóBAL ISLAND – ISLA SAN CRISTOBAL

UNESCO World Heritage Sites San Cristóbal Island - Galápagos Islands

As inspiration to Darwin’s theory of evolution, the isolated Galápagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean are known as unique sites in terms of fauna, flora and geology, and were recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978. Due to many factors including its remote situation in a confluence of three ocean currents and the ongoing volcanic activity, the islands have an unusual wildlife including many giant tortoises or land iguanas that is being protected like in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. If you are lucky enough to visit them, make sure to at least once go to the beach early in the morning to enjoy the spectacular wildlife. If you are in Isabel Island, the tour to Los Túneles, an area carved out of lava by the ocean, includes snorkelling and seeing many animals including sharks, sea turtles and even penguins among many others! Camera with waterproof case is a must!

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QUITO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Quito - City of Quito

The capital of Equador, Quito, lies on the ruins of an Inca city and is one of the best-preserved historic centres in Latin America. This centre represents, in addition, a great example of the style called Baroque school of Quito, a fusion of European and indigenous art. All these special traits have qualified Quito as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Churches, museums and squares are abundant, and the public buildings are easily recognised thanks to their heavy Spanish style. Apart from the buildings, Quito has markets, great places to eat and artists to offer you. Discover the centre by getting lost in it!

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LUXOR

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Luxor - Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis

To the east of the Nile and 800km away from the Mediterranean Sea stands Thebes, the city of the Sun God Amon. Having been the capital of Egypt during its greatest splendour, ancient Thebes and its necropolis are among the World Heritage sites according to UNESCO. Thebes contains some of the greatest sites of ancient Egypt, including the two great temples of Luxor and Karnak, the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. Each single temple or tomb could take you several hours to enjoy to its fullest, and a requirement to do so is to have previously investigated the sites or otherwise have a guide. The architecture itself is breath-taking, but it is at the history behind it where the real beauty lies.

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ALEXANDRIA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Alexandria - Abu Mena

Menas of Alexandria was an officer in the army of Roman emperor Diocletian. After the victory of his army, Menas declared his Christianity and refused to kill any Christian, a decision that lead to him being martyred. The martyr’s tomb, located south of Alexandria, turned into a Christian pilgrimage centre. The site became a holy city built over the tomb, with a church, monasteries, streets and houses and kept growing between the fifth and sixth centuries. Today, although there are few standing remains after its destruction by the Muslim conquest of the mid-7th century, the site is considered World Heritage by UNESCO.

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SAN SALVADOR

UNESCO World Heritage Sites San Salvador - Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site

Joya de Cerén in El Salvador was a farming community that, around the year 600 AD, suffered a similar fate to that of the city of Pompeii and was buried under ash coming from the Laguna Caldera volcano. What makes Joya de Cerén fascinating is precisely a consequence of the eruption of the volcano; the site has been extraordinarily well-preserved thanks to the layers of ash covering it, making it the greatest example of pre-Hispanic village in Mesoamerica. For this reason, the site has made it onto the World Heritage List by UNESCO.

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TALLINN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tallinn - Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn

During the 13th century, the city of Tallinn was a major centre and member of the Hanseatic League, a mercantile and defensive alliance in Northern Europe. The wealth of the city is observable in the magnificence of the buildings, both public like the churches and the houses of the merchants. Today, the Old Town of Tallinn is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Town of Tallinn is divided into two parts, named Upper Town and Lower Town. The first one, also known as Toompea, consists on the castle, two bastions and the cathedral. The lower town is a great example of the typical medieval urban plan of narrow intertwining streets filled with many beautiful public buildings and merchant houses. Toompea is a great spot to enjoy the sights of the whole city. Since the Old Town of Tallinn is quite small, you can walk everywhere without any problems, and that is the best way to discover especially Lower Town.

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ADDIS ABABA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Addis Ababa - Tiya

The Soddo region in central Ethiopia is exceptional for its many archaeological sites of the megalithic period amounting to roughly 160. Tiya, among the most important ones, consists of 36 stelae, stone slabs erected as monuments, remaining from an ancient Ethiopian culture still being studied today. The stelae vary in sizes, ranging from 1 meter high to 5 meters high monuments, and are carved with decorations being deciphered in the present. In 1980, Tiya became part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

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HELSINKI

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Helsinki - Fortress of Suomenlinna

The fortress of Suomenlinna, located on islands at the entrance of the harbour of Helsinki, is one of the largest maritime fortresses in the world ad also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built during the second half of the 18th century, while Finland was part of Sweden, the fortress had the objective of serving as the main base for the armed forces in Finland and to defend itself, especially from Russia’s ambitions. Since Suomenlinna is only accessible by water, the options to get there are quite reduced. A ferry service runs throughout the whole year from the Market Square, and in the summer season a water bus is also made available. Don’t let the cold during winter discourage you, because this trip through the ice-covered waters is an incredibly unique one!

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AMIENS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Amiens- Amiens Cathedral

Built in 1152 in Romanesque style and slowly rebuilt during the next two centuries after a fire, Amiens Cathedral is one of the largest Gothic churches from the 13th century. Since 1981, Amiens Cathedral has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whether you are looking at the façade or walking inside, the sheer size of the structure will leave you in awe. Wander through the interior and enjoy the stained glass windows and the geometric design of the tiled floor.

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VERSAILLES

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Versailles - Palace and Park of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles, in the Île-de-France region, is a royal château and principal residence of the French kings from 1682 to 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. It is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1979. The whole palace is magnificent, filled with beautiful furniture, art and antiquities, and the garden is not any less fine. However, be ready for huge crowds. Try to get there early in the morning and book the tickets in advance or book a tour with a pass to skip the line. A smart move in case of long lines is also to visit first the gardens until a less crowded time. Lastly, getting your return tickets back to Paris as soon as you get there will save you quite some time when your visit is over!

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DIJON

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Dijon - Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay

The Abbey of Fontenay, founded by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118, is one of the most well preserved Cistercian abbeys in Europe, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981. The Abbey of Fontenay follows the same principles as all Cistercian abbeys, that is, the church and the cloister are adjacent to each other, the rooms of the monks circle this central space and work buildings are separated from the areas of prayer and life.

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STRASBOURG

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Strasbourg - Grande Île

Strasbourg’s historic centre, also known as Grande Île, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. It is a great example of an urban ensemble in central Europe, as a quarter filled with the cathedral, four other churches, the Palais Rohan, the Collège des Jésuites and many medieval streets with shops and craftsmen. Walking around the old town, one will finde other public buildings such as the Hôtel de Ville or La Grande Boucherie de la Ville, nowadays a museum and many town mansions. A very entertaining part to visit in Grade Île is La Petite-France, a picturesque area with old houses and great places to eat and shop.

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PARIS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Paris - Banks of the Seine

The Banks of the Seine River are first-row seats to the evolution of Paris, historically and artistically. Sites like the Louvre Museum, the Eiffel Tower or the Grand Palais des Champs Elysées can all be spotted from the river. As all river towns, Paris has used the Seine according to its needs during different moments in history: the river has played defensive and economic roles, as well as that of a site to enjoy the views or go for a walk. Because of their interaction with the city, the banks of the Seine are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991.

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AVIGNON

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Avignon - Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge

The seat of the papacy hasn’t always been Vatican City in Rome. During the 14th century, seven popes lived in the Palais des Papes, in today’s Historic Centre of Avignon. Together with the remains of the 12th-century bridge over the Rhone River, the episcopal ensemble and the rest of Avignon’s Old Town, the site belongs to UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1995.

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TOULOUSE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Toulouse - Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi, going from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, is considered one of the greatest achievements of civil engineering during modern times, combining technological innovation and aesthetics. For this reason, the Canal du Midi is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Since the waters of the canal are navigable, a great option to see it is to rent a boat or take a cruise. Otherwise, biking or simply hiking along the canal are as much enjoyable.

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CARCASSONNE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Carcassonne - Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

The hill where Carcassonne stands today was seen as a great spot since the pre-Roman period, when a fortified settlement was first built there. The city’s massive defences, the castle, the gothic cathedral and the typical narrow streets make Carcassonne a good example of a fortified town from the medieval times, which is why it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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LYON

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Lyon - Historic Site of Lyons

From the Romans until today, Lyons has witnessed over two millennia of continuous urban settlement with a role of commercial and strategic significance. Consequently, the city also pictures the evolution of architecture and town planning over many periods of history, making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 1998. On Fourvière, one of the two hills dominating the site of Lyons, lie the remains of the Roman settlement that first occupied the present city. The theatre remains are very impressive and well-preserved ones that you can visit on a hike or by taking the funicular. Lyon has, in addition, buildings from all the succeeding centuries: the Manécanterie, a choir school from the 11th century, the Thomassin House form the 13th century or the Hôtel-Dieu from the 17th-18th century to mention some.

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BORDEAUX

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Bordeaux - Bordeaux, Port of the Moon

Bordeaux is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its historic importance as a commercial port and wine production region that made it a place of exchange of cultural values. The architecture of the city illustrates continuous renovations since Roman times especially since the 18th century, making it a great example of classical and neo-classical trends. The Port of the Moon is especially beautiful at night, where you will get to enjoy the views of the Bourse building and the Miroir d’Eau in front of it, a water mirror that will definitely make you take out your camera!

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BERLIN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Berlin -Berlin Modernism Housing Estates

The six Berlin Modernism Housing Estates are some of the results of a project to improve social living conditions in the city, chosen in terms of their significance and the little damage suffered after World War II. As great examples of new urban and architectural styles, the buildings have been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 2008.

Museuminsel (Museum Island)

The Museuminsel in Berlin is an island with five museums on it built between 1824 and 1930. The buildings were built by the best Prussian architectures in a way that their designs were related to the collections housed. Apart from the buildings themselves, you should investigate what each of them has to offer during your visit and pick one or two you might want to see. They are all quite big and you probably won’t be able to visit all of them, so choose wisely!

Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin

The complex of Prussian palaces and parks in Brandenburg and Berlin built between the 18th and 20th century is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes two ensembles in the middle of which stands the Marble Palace, the summer residence of the king. The Schloss Sanssouci is a beautiful one-storey palace with influences from all around Europe including form Italy and Paris. The view of its golden façade and the front gardens is breath taking!

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COLOGNE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Cologne - Cologne Cathedral

With its construction lasting from 1248 until 1880, the Gothic Cathedral of Cologne is considered a masterpiece of cathedral architecture and a great proof of the power of Christianity in medieval and modern Europe. On 1996, it entered UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The details on the outside could keep you busy for hours, but the inside is just as majestic. Admire the stained glass windows and the immensity of the building. If you can take it, climb the 509 stone steps up the spiral staircase to see the bells and some amazing views!

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ACCRA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Accra - Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, central and Western Regions

Found along the coast of Ghana, between Keta and Beyin, the remains of the fortified trading posts that stood there since the 15th century are listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site since 1979. Consisting of three castles and more than 15 forts, the site was built and occupied by traders from many countries, including Portugal, Spain, Germany and Britain, during different times. At first they were used for trading gold, but later on they played a significant role in slave trade.

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THESSALONIKI

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Thessaloniki - Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki

The city and seaport of Thessalonika is one of the spots from where Christianity first spread. In addition, due to its prolonged construction from the 4th to the 15th century, the site pictures a timeline of church architecture. These facts have provided Thessalonika with a position on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Don’t miss the Catacomb of Saint Demetrius, the Church and Crypt of Ayios Demetrios and the Archeological Museum’s vast collections.

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SPARTA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Sparta - Archaeological Site of Mystras

Built by the prince of Achaia, William of Villehardouin, in 1249, the city of Mystras was occupied by the Byzantines, the Turks and the Venetians before being finally abandoned in 1832. Today, the remains of the medieval city are all that is left, surrounded by a beautiful landscape. The ruins, considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, can be divided into an upper and a lower town with different gates. Although it isn’t a very intense climb, be ready to walk quite a lot to enjoy your visit. The views and the combination of some well-preserved buildings with other ruins will definitely fascinate you.

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RHODES

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Rhodes - Medieval City of Rhodes

Having been under the control of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, the Turkish and the Italian, the medieval city of Rhodes is a beautiful combination of Gothic architecture and mosques, public baths and other buildings from the Ottoman period. This fusion has lead to Rhodes being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. The site, surrounded by walls, is divided into two parts, the Upper Town and the Lower Town. The first one contains the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Great Hospital and the Street of the knights, while the second one contains other public buildings and many churches that were converted into Islamic mosques after 1523.

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ATHENS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Athens - Acropolis, Athens

As all acropoles, the Acropolis of Athens was built on an elevated area and had the functions of defending the city and housing the main cultural sites. Since 1987 it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Propylaea is the main entrance to the acropolis, and inside you will find among the most important monuments the Parthenon and the temple Athena Nike. You should wear comfortable shoes because you are going to walk quite a lot around the acropolis, and the weather can get really hot if you are visiting in summer. Avoid the crowds by visiting after four in the afternoon, and hire a guide or investigate before going to enjoy the site at its fullest!

Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios

The three monasteries of Daphni in Attica, Hosios Loukas in Phocida and Nea Moni on the island of Chios share the same stylistic traits of the middle period of Byzantine religious architecture despite the geographical distance between each other. Together, they are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. The Monastery of Daphni is currently being restored, which means that you’ll find some shut gates and covered parts. However, there is no better place to enjoy the mosaics, since you will be able to ascend the scaffolding and see them at eye level! The Monastery of Hosios Loukas is incredibly well preserved, calm and with excellent mosaics covering walls and ceilings. (Entry with shorts prohibited!) The Monastery of Nea Moni has also beautiful mosaics, but its history is what makes it specially different. Its construction is fully documented thanks to its role in a major historical event: the prediction made by two monks of Chios about a nobleman becoming Emperor. Another event that took place there was the massacre of 1821 by the Ottoman troops, with bones and skulls being kept in the church of the monastery in a glass case.

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GUATEMALA CITY

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Guatemala City - Antigua Guatemala

The city of Antigua Guatemala was founded in 1524 under the name Santiago de Guatemala as the capital city of Guatemala. However, after many reconstructions due to different causes such as the uprising of the indigenous population, earthquakes, an avalanche, floods and volcanic eruptions, the capital city was relocated to a safer location, Guatemala City, causing the former capital to be known as Antigua Guatemala (Ancient Guatemala). Antigua Guatemala’s urban grid plan and the preserved buildings make the city a great example of Latin American city planning and Barroco A ntigueño style. The city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

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VATICAN CITY

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Vatican City - Vatican City

The religious, historical, artistic and architectural importance of Vatican City has provided it with a spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1984. Artistically, the Vatican houses masterpieces such as Fran Angelico’s decoration of the chapel of Nicholas V, the Stanze of Raphael and his students or the Sistine Chapel, decorated by Botticelli and Michelangelo among others. In addition, the buildings themselves are artistic and architectural masterpieces, like Bramante’s Belvedere Court. Historically, the Vatican has been a main pilgrimage centre for being the site of the tomb of the Apostle Saint Peter and, as time went by, a site collecting treasures such as manuscripts and books.

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BUDAPEST

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Budapest - Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue.

The stretch of the Danube River where the city of Budapest lies today has been occupied since the Palaeolithic. It was, for instance, the site of the Roman city of Aquincum whose remains are just a few minutes away from the inner city. The important roles of the settlement of this area have listed the city of Budapest as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the eastern bank of the river, the city of Pest was built in the 9th century, but it was destroyed by Mongol raids in the 13th century. On the other bank of the river, the castle of Buda was built a few years later, which observed the evolution of the Hungarian monarchy and was considered one of the main centres of Renaissance art in Europe. After attacks by the Turks and its final fall during the 16th century, the cities were not recovered until the 18th century and weren’t considered as one single Budapest until 1873.

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REYKJAVIK

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Reykjavik - Þingvellir National Park

Pronounced as Thingvellir and literally meaning “Parliament Plains”, the Icelandic national park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. Þingvellir contains the remains of the Althing, a general assembly established in 930 that met every year until 1798. The duration of this body give value to the site as a reflection of medieval Norse culture. In addition, the site has great natural importance. The fact that the park is situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the area has huge fissures and faults that show the tearing of the earth’s crust.

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AGRA & TAJ MAHAL

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Agra and Taj Mahal - Agra Fort

The Red Fort of Agra used to encompass the imperial city of the Mughal Emperors, with many palaces, two mosques and audience halls, and today it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The walled city has many buildings made from pure marble, such as the balcony of the tower in the Musamman Burj or the Pearl Mosque. Although it is less crowded than the Taj Mahal, try to get there early to avoid the crowds.

Taj Mahal

Considered the greatest accomplishment in Indo-Islamic architecture, the Taj Mahal in Agra is a mausoleum made of white marble that the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. On 1983 it was first listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are some things to keep in mind before visiting the Taj Mahal, and you should investigate a little bit in advance: the tickets are bought about half a kilometre from the attraction itself, and that’s where you can find lockers. In the entry you will be going through a metal detector and your bags will be scanned, and you’ll be amazed by how many things are forbidden inside, including cell phones and chargers. If you have any of those, you’ll have them thrown away or you’ll have to go back to the lockers! On your way from the ticket office to the palace you’ll encounter many people trying to sell you souvenirs and tours that are overpriced and maybe scams, so try to avoid them.

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GOA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Goa - Churches and Convents of Goa

The city of Goa used to be the capital of the Portuguese Indies, giving its churches and convents main roles in the evangelization of Asia and consequently the spreading of art styles such as Baroque or Mannerist arts. The Sé Cathedral and the Basilica of Bom Jesus are two of seven churches out of the 80 inventoried during the 18th century before the city was abandoned. In the second one, the remains of Saint Francis Xavier are found, one of the founders of the Society of Jesus and patron saint of Goa. The beauty and historical importance of the religious buildings of Goa has listed them as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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MUMBAI

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Mumbai - Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a historic railway station serving as the headquarters of the Central Railways of Mumbai Maharashtra. Formerly known as Victoria Terminus Station, it is a great example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture blended with Indian traditional architecture, which is the reason why it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Elephanta Caves

Located on Elephanta Island, near Bombay, the remains of rock-cut caves dedicated to the cult of the deity Shiva are found, dating to the 5th century AD with the island having been populated as early as the 2nd century BC. Under the name of Elephanta Caves, they are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can get to the island by Ferry from the Gateway of India in Mumbai. Once on the island there’s quite a lot of walking to be done between caves and stairs, so prepare your feet!

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NEW DELHI

UNESCO World Heritage Sites New Delhi - Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

Built in 1570, an important aspect of the gorgeous Humayun’s Tomb is the fact that it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, becoming the inspiration of many other constructions including the Taj Mahal. For this reason, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor of India. The tomb was built by his widow Biga Begum, and later it was used as a tomb by other members of the family as well. Described as the necropolis of the Mughal dynasty, the tomb contains around 150 graves.

Qutb Minar and its Monuments

The red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar south of Delhi and the surrounding archaeological area with its monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the highest stone tower in India, Qutb Minar had the purpose of announcing prayers to the faithful. Among the monuments in the area, you will find funerary buildings, the Alai-Darwaza Gate and two mosques including the oldest one in northern India, Quwwatu’l-Islam.

Red Fort Complex

The Red Fort Complex consists of the walls made of red sandstone, the palace surrounded by them, and the adjacent older fort named Salimgarh. This complex is an example of Mughal creativity at its best, mixing some Islamic traits with the typical elements of Mughal architecture. The Red Fort Complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for representing a fusion of cultures.

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BALI

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Bali - Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy

Thanks to its volcanic landscape and a wet tropical weather, Bali’s fertile soil is ideal for crop cultivation. Its cultural landscape consists of five rice terraces and their water temples, which are the focus of the subak system, the cooperative social system controlling the water. The subak system is an example of the Balinese philosophical principle of Tri Hita Karana, based on the combination of the spirit world, the human world and nature. The five landscapes of Bali are exceptional testimony of this system, which is why they are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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DUBLIN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Dublin - Brú na Bóinne, Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne

Situated 40 km north of Dublin, Brú na Bóinne is the largest and most important concentration of prehistoric megalithic art in Europe, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main sites composing the complex are Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. Try to get there early to avoid long lines and enjoy this site older than the Pyramids!

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MILAN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Milan - Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci

Built on a piece of land donated by the captain of the Francesco Sforza troops in 1463, the Dominican convent and church housing Da Vinci’s The Last Supper are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you plan on visiting the site, make sure you book your tickets online in advance, because you can’t do it there!

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ROME

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Rome - Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura

UNESCO has grouped as a World Heritage Site the historic centre of Rome, the extraterritorial properties of the Holy See and the basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura. Included in the site, the properties of Santa Maria Maggiore, popular for its mosaics, Saint John Lateran, Rome’s first cathedral, and Saint Paul Outside the Walls (San Paolo Fuori le Mura) have been highly influential in architecture and the Christian world since their construction. Other remarkable buildings are the palaces such as the Palazzo Maffei or the Palazzo di Propaganda Fide.

Vatican City

The religious, historical, artistic and architectural importance of Vatican City has provided it with a spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1984. Artistically, the Vatican houses masterpieces such as Fran Angelico’s decoration of the chapel of Nicholas V, the Stanze of Raphael and his students or the Sistine Chapel, decorated by Botticelli and Michelangelo among others. In addition, the buildings themselves are artistic and architectural masterpieces, like Bramante’s Belvedere Court. Historically, the Vatican has been a main pilgrimage centre for being the site of the tomb of the Apostle Saint Peter and, as time went by, a site collecting treasures such as manuscripts and books.

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PISA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Pisa - Piazza del Duomo, Pisa

You have definitely heard of Pisa’s Leaning Tower in la Piazza del Duomo. However, the site has a lot more to offer. The Leaning Tower is just the campanile of the site containing the cathedral, the baptistery and the cemetery, and these other components’ beauty might surprise you even more than the tower’s. The site is a masterpiece of medieval architecture that has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1987. Make sure you take your time to enjoy the whole site, because seeing just the tower is missing a lot of the content of the Piazza del Duomo!

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FLORENCE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Florence - Historic Centre of Florence

The historic centre of Florence is the origin and greatest symbol of the Renaissance. Its golden age were the 15th and 16th centuries under the power of the banking family Medici, who made the city a ideal environment for the flourishing of arts and humanism. For this historic and artistic importance, the historic centre of Florence is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is full of pieces by the greatest Renaissance minds. The city’s spiritual focus, the Cathedral Piazza of Santa Maria del Fiore, involved Brunelleschi’s design of the dome, Giotto’s campanile, and Ghiberti’s bronze Gates of Paradise. St Lawrence’s Basilica by Brunelleschi has sacristies designed by Donatello and Michelangelo, while the Museum of St Mark’s contains Fra Angelico’s masterpieces and inside the Galleria dell’Accademia stands Michelangelo’s David. The historic centre of Florence is a jewel of the Renaissance period, and as you walk around it you’ll admire it as a piece of art.

Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany

Built between the 15th and 17th centuries, this ensemble of twelve villas and two gardens is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These residences embody an innovative system of building harmonically with nature, with the purpose of being dedicated to knowledge, leisure and arts, a way of thinking characteristic of Humanism and the Renaissance.

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VENICE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Venice - Venice and its Lagoon

Built on 118 islands and founded in the 5th century, the city of Venice gained great naval and commercial power in the 10th century. Apart from that, the city is an architectural masterpiece itself and contains works by the greatest minds of its time such as Torcello’s Cathedral, San Marco or the Palazzo Ducale, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll see uncountable gondolas in the canals, but unless you are willing to pay at least €50, stay away from them. Venice has great walking tours that will show you more about the city, so if you are interested do a little bit of research and learn about the city! Also, you might want to look up some restaurants before getting there, as otherwise it is very easy to end up at an overpriced one aimed to tourists even though Venice is full of hidden great little ones.

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NAPLES

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Naples - Historic Centre of Naples

The city of Naples has seen and retained aspects of the successive cultures that have occupied it since the Greek settlers in 470 BC, and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although little has survived form the Greek town, there are many Roman remains such as the theatre, the cemeteries and the catacombs, and following this period the coming centuries are pictured in the many churches found in the city, form the 4th century’s San Giorgio Maggiore to the 14th century chapel of Santa Restituta.

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SIENA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Siena - Val d’Orcia

The enchanting landscape of the Val d’Orcia is characterized by green fields, vineyards and olive groves. It has inspired painters especially during the Renaissance, as it reflected the ideals of good governance of the land while keeping the aesthetics and beauty. In order to protect this landscape, the Val d’Orcia has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s no wonder; the views of said landscape are breath taking, so get the car on the road and enjoy this painter’s paradise.

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TURIN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Turin - Residences of the Royal House of Savoy

In 1562, the Duke of Savoy Emmanuel-Philibert moved his capital to Turin and, to show the power of the ruling house, he ordered the construction of this complex of buildings. During the two coming centuries, the successors continued the building project and finished the Baroque-style residences. The residences of the Royal House of Savoy are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a great example of European monumental architecture.

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SARDINIA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Sardinia - Su Nuraxi di Barumini

The nuraghi are defensive structures whose design was only developed on the island of Sardinia. They consisted on conical structures made of stone and linked by massive walls enclosing the domestic buildings. Su Nuraxi is the best example of a nuraghe, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. All visits to Su Nuraxi di Barumini are guided, which makes them much more interesting. Be careful if it rains or if it has rained early in the day because the rocks can be very slippery!

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SICILY

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Sicily - Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily)– a Baroque architect’s dream come true

The Val di Noto is an area situated in South-Eastern Sicily that consists on eight towns: Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli. In 1693 the entire area suffered the damages of an earthquake that required the rebuilding of these cities completely or partially. This catastrophe, however, was taken by architects of the moment as an opportunity to redesign whole towns following renaissance and baroque styles, which is reflected in the Val di Noto through magical-looking buildings and streets. In Caltagirone, for example, you will be amazed by the 142-step Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, decorated with ceramics of different colours and patterns (in fact, its name derives from Arabic meaning Castle of Pottery jars).

Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is formed by two parts; the Necropolis of Pantalica, containing over 5000 tombs from the 13th to 7th centuries BC, has remains from the Byzantine period like the Anaktoron’s foundations, the Prince’s Palace. The other part of the site is the ancient city of Syracuse, including its nucleus, Ortygia, founded by the Greeks and described by Cicero as the greatest and most beautiful Greek city.

Villa Romana del Casale

The Villa del Casale is the greatest example of a luxury Roman villa that thanks to its great preservation has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, it contains the finest and most well preserved mosaics in situ in the Roman World, thanks to a landslide that covered the villa in the 12th century AD. The villa shows how the most privileged lived in the Roman Empire. Closer to a palace than to a villa, the area of the site that has been excavated for now covers about 4000 m2. If you are visiting especially in summer, take water with you because it will get hot and the visit can take you up to four hours!

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VERONA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Verona - City of Verona

The city of Verona has the characteristics of a city that since its foundation in the 1st century BC has been developing continually for the past 2000 years, preserving monuments form antiquity, the medieval and the Renaissance periods. For this reason, the city of Verona is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and also due to its urban plan as a fortified town. Also, in case you didn’t know, Shakespeare set two of his plays in this city: The Two Gentlemen of Verona and, maybe you’ve heard about this other one, Romeo and Juliet!

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GENOA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Genoa - Le Strade Nuove and the system of the Palazzi dei Rolli

Genoa’s historic centre dates from the late 16th century, the times of splendour of the Republic of Genoa. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of an ensemble of palaces from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, situated along the Strade Nuove, meaning “new streets”.

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HIROSHIMA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hiroshima - Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome)

After the explosion of the first atomic bomb on 6 August 1945 in Hiroshima, only one structure was left standing. This structure was preserved and has become the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, a symbol to remind everyone of what happened but also to express hope. Since 1996, it has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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AMMAN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Amman - Petra

Half built and half carved into rock, Petra was a major commercial and exchange spot during Roman and Hellenistic times for products such as spices from India or silks from China. Petra’s value also resides in its architecture such as in tombs and temples but also in a network of channels, tunnels and dams. Due to its value, Petra is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Quseir Amra

Quseir Amra is an exceptionally well-preserved desert castle from the 8th century that belonged to the Umayyad caliphs. Since 1985, it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace’s most impressive sections are the reception hall, the hammam, which is a bath complex, and the beautiful secular murals decorating both parts.

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MOMBASA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Mombasa - Fort Jesus, Mombasa

Built to protect the port of the town of Mombasa, Fort Jesus is the greatest and most well preserved example of Portuguese military fortification from the 16th century. Fort Jesus is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it was built at a moment in time and a place crucial during emerging globalization culturally, politically and commercially.

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LUANG PRABANG

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Luang Prabang - Town of Luang Prabang

The town of Luang Prabang was one of great influence since the 14th century thanks to its strategic position on the Silk Route. Later, it played an important role during the colonial era, which is reflected in its beautiful urban architecture, a fusion of Lao and European traditions. The town of Luang Prabang is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy it by walking or on a bike, eat at one of the many delicious restaurants in the centre and have fun in the night market!

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RIGA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Riga - Historic Centre of Riga

Known as Europe’s finest collection of art nouveau architecture, Riga has witnessed the evolution of European history for centuries since its foundation as a port town in the 13th century. For these reasons, Riga’s historic centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since the area is quite compact, you can explore it by walking its cobblestone streets and enjoying the beautiful views of the buildings. However, the area is not recommended for clubbing at nights due to scams and problematic situations.

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VILNIUS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Vilnius - Kernavė Archaeological Site (Cultural Reserve of Kernavė)

Situated about 35 km away from Vilnius, the Kernavė archaeological site offers evidence of the development of human settlements in the Baltic region since around the 9th-8th millennia BC. The remaining settlement patterns and forts are evidence of the development of these types of structures in the pre-Christian era. Later, around the mid-13th century, the city became a feudal town, one of the major ones in Lithuania, but after a couple of attacks it was destroyed at the end of the 14th century. Thanks to its history and remains, Kernavė is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Vilnius Historic Centre

Vilnius was a great influence on the development of Eastern Europe, as it was the political centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania between the 13th and 18th centuries. With buildings covering the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical architectonic styles, the historic centre of Vilnius is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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LUXEMBOURG CITY

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Luxembourg - City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications

From the 16th century until its dismantlement of the walls in 1867, passing through the powers of the Romans, the Habsburgs or the Prussians among many, Luxembourg was one of the greatest fortified cities in Europe, mainly due to its strategic position. Regardless of the dismantling of the walls, the old quarters of Luxembourg still own traits of the fortified city like the narrow streets or the bastions. Due to these remains and to its historical importance, the old quarters and fortifications of Luxembourg are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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ANTANANARIVO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Antananarivo- Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

This UNESCO World Heritage site consists on an ensemble of a city, a burial site, and an ensemble of sacred places that still today represents a sacred place of worship. The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga site belonged to the civilization that developed between the 15th and 19th centuries in the Haute Terres Centrales in Madagascar, and can be considered the people of Madagascar’s most significant symbol of cultural identity.

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PENANG

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Penang - Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca

Melaka and George Town are the two colonial towns most well preserved on the Straits of Malacca. As mercantile and exchange points, these two towns bear testimony to a blending of Asian and European cultures reflected on their architecture, technology and monumental art. Because of their historical importance, Melaka and George Town are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Melaka’s Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum is one of the main attractions of the town, with a fantastic collection of antiquities but also the buildings themselves have been restored back to original conditions. In George Town, the Pinang Peranakan Museum and the Chinese mansion housing it are not any less fascinating. In addition, the Dharmikarama Burmese Temple is another beautiful piece of architecture. Try to visit it for a prayer to enjoy the chants as well!

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GOZO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Gozo - Megalithic Temples of Malta

The islands of Malta and Gozo contain seven megalithic temples of great archaeological importance thanks to their good preservation and diversity of decoration and form. Since 1980 they have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ġgantija temple complex in Gozo is an example. Older than the pyramids of Egypt, this ensemble is a very well preserved archaeological reference of the Maltese Bronze Age.

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VALLETTA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Valletta - City of Valletta

The City of Valletta, capital of Malta, has witnessed history continually since it was ruled by the Phoenicians and the Greeks until the Arabs and the Order of the Knights of St John. This historical importance has made Valletta a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed following a Renaissance style and with 320 historic monuments, Valletta is one of the most concentrated cities in this field. Two of the most popular ones are the Cathedral of St John and the Palace of the Grand Master.

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PUEBLA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Puebla - Historic Centre of Puebla

The city of Puebla is located at the foot of the Popocatepetl volcano, one of the highest in Mexico, where no city or village had been previously constructed in order not to take possession of indigenous territories. Situated about 100 km away from Mexico City, Puebla had a strategic location on the trade and cultural exchange route between the capital and the Port of Veracruz, which allowed it to develop a fusion of Baroque from Europe and indigenous styles. Thanks to this artistic and commercial importance, Puebla is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco

Xochicalco is an example of a fortified settlement from the Epiclassic Period in Mesoamerica, a period characterized by the need of military infrastructure due to political instability and commercial competition. This instability was due to the breakdown of the previous political structures, which also caused the regrouping of the surviving peoples and therefore a blending of cultures. Thanks to the good preservation of Xochicalco and its historical and cultural importance, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl

Found on the slopes of the active volcano and second highest peak of Mexico Popocatepetl, these 14 monasteries are great well-preserved examples of the style adopted by the first missionaries who, in the early 16th century, converted the indigenous populations to Christianity. Due to their historical importance, these monasteries are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Luis Barragán House and Studio

The Mexican architect Luis Barragán’s house and studio in the suburbs of Mexico City are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered masterpieces of a fusion of Modern Style and traditional artistic currents. The mixture of styles was extremely influential, especially in today’s design of gardens. In addition, since Barragán himself lived there, the house and studio are a reflection of their designer. Today, the house can be visited and contains a museum as well. To do so, you must book a reservation in advance, with the advantages of it being a not-too-crowded attraction.

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OAXACA DE JUAREZ

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Oaxaca de Juarez - Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán

The city of Oaxaca, together with Monte Albán’s archaeological site, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Oaxaca is a great example of Spanish colonial town planning, while Monte Albán´s archaeological site contains many constructions such as pyramids, canals and terraces carved out of the mountain that were inhabited over a period of 1500 years since 500 BC. Visit Oaxaca’s breath taking Temple of Santo Domingo de Guzman and take the bus to the ruins of Monte Albán. Put on sunscreen and a hat if it’s sunny!

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GUANAJUATO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Guanajuato - Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines

The prosperity that the town of Guanajuato achieved from being the world’s leading centre for silver extraction is visible in its rich Baroque and neoclassical buildings. For instance, the churches of La Compañía and La Valenciana are considered some of the most beautiful examples of Baroque architecture in Central and South America. Since 1988, it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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MEXICO CITY

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Mexico City- Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco

The old centre of Mexico City lies on the old Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, which is why you’ll find the remains of five Aztec temples together with fine public buildings from the 19th and 20th century and the largest cathedral on the continent. As a city with a lot of influence from the 14th to the 19th century and historical importance, the historic centre of Mexico City is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The remaining of the site is Xochimilco, characterized by its system of canals and situated 28 km south of Mexico City. It is the only remaining area of traditional land occupation before the Spanish conquest.

Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).

Gathering more than 60 architects, artists, and engineers, the design of the Central University City Campus of the UNAM resulted in a unique piece of 20th century modernism blended with local traditions such as Mexico’s pre-Hispanic history. This peculiarity has been the reason why the site appears on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan, “the place where the gods were created”, is the name the Aztecs gave this city centuries after its collapse. Built between the 1st and 7th centuries AD, Teotihuacan was one of the most important cultural centres of Mesoamerica. A visit to the Avenue of the Dead, lined by the most famous monuments of the site such as the Pyramids of the Sun, the Moon and Quetzalcoatl and the palaces, is a must if you have the opportunity.

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CANCUN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Cancun - Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza

The city of Chichen-Itza, inhabited by different peoples during its history, was one of the greatest Mayan centres in the Yucatán peninsula. With monuments such as the Great Ball Court, the Temple of the Warriors and the Temple of Kukulkan, considered among the greatest pieces of architecture of Mesoamerica, Chichen-Itza is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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MORELIA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Morelia - Historic Centre of Morelia

The city of Morelia is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its architecture and town planning reflecting the fusion of two cultures through the Spanish Renaissance and the native Mesoamerican style. Built in the characteristic pink stone of the region from the 16th century onwards, there are more than 200 historical monuments in the city reflecting styles such as Baroque, Neoclassical and Renaissance. Among the favourite sites to see in the city, the impressively well-preserved aqueduct and the Guadalupe Sanctuary, whose sober exterior makes the gorgeous inside even more surprising

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ZACATECAS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Zacatecas - Historic Centre of Zacatecas

As a main centre of silver mining until the 20th century, the city of Zacatecas was a spot of exchange between cultures since it became a European colonial settlement in 1546. This trade can be seen in the architecture of the site such as the convents of San Juan de Dios or the Cathedral, containing mostly Baroque decorations but also certain indigenous ideas and techniques. Due to these historical and artistic facts, the historic centre of Zacatecas is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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MERIDA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Merida - Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal

The town of Uxmal represents the highest point of late Mayan art and architecture, with its main sites built between the 8th and 10th centuries AD, when it was abandoned until the arrival of the Spanish. An interesting fact about Uxmal is that, unlike most prehispanic towns, it isn’t laid out geometrically but in relation to certain astronomical phenomena such as the position of Venus when it rises. The upper level of the facades of the buildings is decorated with rich symbolic motifs and usually represents the divinity Chaac, god of the rain.

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GUADALAJARA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Guadalajara - Hospicio Cabañas de Guadalajara

Built during the 19th century, the hospice Cabañas de Guadalajara had the purpose of offering care and housing for anyone who might need it such as orphans, elderly, or handicapped people. This hospice is different from the others in its simple and harmonic design, and also in the beautiful frescoes by José Clemente Orozco, one of the greatest painters of the time, considered a masterpiece of Mexican art. Since 1997, the hospice Cabañas de Guadalajara is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites San Miguel de Allende - Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco

The town of San Miguel de Allende was built with the purpose of protecting one of the main Spanish inland roads in the Americas. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the architecture of the city became very rich with significant constructions that show the evolution of different styles from Baroque to Neo-Gothic. The Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco is considered a masterpiece of Mexican Art especially thanks to its mural paintings. These two sites are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for these artistic reasons and, in addition, for acting as a spot of exchange and learning of cultures between Spaniards, Creoles and Amerindians.

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OUARZAZATE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Ouarzazate - Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou

The Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou is a great example of the architecture characteristic of southern Morocco. Ksars are villages bordered by defensive walls and crowded with houses and some community areas, and Ait-Ben-Haddou is the most famous one of them. For this reason, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ksar of Alt-Ben-Haddou is definitely worth a visit, with stunning views from the top. Keep in mind that there isn’t a lot of information in the ksar, so you should do some research previously.

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FEZ

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Fez - Medina of Fez

Fez is considered Morocco’s cultural and spiritual centre and it is home to the oldest university in the world. Its main monuments like the madrasas, palaces, mosques and fondouks date from the 13th-14th centuries, when Fez reached its height. The Medina of Fez is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to being a great example of Moroccan urban culture. It’s a good idea to get a guide if you plan on visiting the Medina, because it sure is a labyrinth!

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MARRAKECH

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Marrakesh - Medina of Marrakesh

Marrakesh was founded by the Almoravids around 1070, and for a long time it was a major political, economic and cultural centre of the Muslim World, especially in North Africa and Andalusia. One of the main landmarks of the city, the Koutoubia Mosque and its minaret, date from said period, just like the Kasbah or the ramparts. Later, other constructions joined them such as the Badiâ Palace or the Jamaâ El Fna Square. Due to all these artistic masterpieces and its historical importance, the Medina of Marrakesh is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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RABAT

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Rabat - Modern Capital and Historic City: a Shared Heritage

The historic centre of the capital city of Morocco is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was conceived during the time of the Protectorate at beginnings of the 20th century, when the city was adapted to a modernist town plan while respecting the earlier Arabo-Muslim heritage. Some of the favourite attractions in the city are the mausoleum of Mohammad V, with its exquisite mosaics, or the beautiful Kasbah with amazing views.

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KATHMANDU

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Kathmandu - Kathmandu Valley

The Kathmandu Valley, located in the foothills of the Himalayas, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists on seven Monument Zones. These zones are the centres of the three cities of Kathmandu and four religious ensembles that represent great testimonies of the traditional civilizations of the valley. The two favourite attractions in the Kathmandu Valley are the sacred Boudhanath stupa and the Swayambhunath Temple, also known as the Monkey Temple due to the holy monkeys living there!

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ROTTERDAM

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Rotterdam - Van Nellefabriek

Considered one of the icons of 20th century industrial architecture, Van Nellefabriek is a complex of factories listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was designed according to the ideal model of a workplace providing pleasant working conditions and modern architecture, with the facades of the buildings consisting mainly on glass and steel.

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AMSTERDAM

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Amsterdam - Defence Line of Amsterdam

Built in the later 19th century, the Stelling van Amsterdam is a very well preserved defence system against attack by water and a great example of the Netherlands’ expertise in hydraulic engineering. The defence line consists on 45 armed forts, and the defensive system is based on temporary floods. Since 1996 it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Seventeenth-Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht

The system of canals of Amsterdam was designed during the 16th century and constructed during the following one. This project of town planning and the influences in technical, maritime and cultural fields it had are the reasons why the Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visiting Amsterdam involves visiting the canals. The best way to do so is to bike like all the locals, which is easily done thanks to the many bike-rental services offered around the city.

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BERGEN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Bergen - Bryggen

Bryggen, the harbour district of Bergen, was a centre of trade established in the 12th century and under control of the Hanseatic League in the 14th century. Due to its historical importance, Bryggen is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bergen is one of Europe’s oldest port cities, situated on the west coast of Norway, characterized by the wooden colourful houses, narrow alleys and beautiful scenery.

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LAHORE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Lahore- Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore

The fort and the Shalamar gardens in Lahore are two of the greatest pieces of architecture and design of the Mughal civilization, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the fort, 21 monuments have survived since the 16th century, such as palaces and mosques made of marbles and other precious materials and decorated with mosaics with Persian motifs. The Shalimar gardens use traditional Islamic garden design and add Persian influences. They consist on three terraces and are rich basins of water.

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JERUSALEM

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Jerusalem - Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem

Since the 2nd century, this property situated 10 km south of Jerusalem has been identified as the birthplace of Jesus and today it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the 4th century a first church was built there, but after a fire it was replaced by the one standing today, which has been able to retain mosaics from the original one. Later on, convents and churches from different periods such as Latin, Greek Orthodox and Franciscan ones have been built there, as well as a pilgrimage route.

Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir

The Battir hill landscape consists on widian, a series of farmed valleys organized in terraces and irrigated and distributed following a traditional system. This cultural landscape located a few kilometres from Jerusalem has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014, and unfortunately it also appears on the list of World Heritage in Danger.

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PANAMA CITY

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Panama City - Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo and Historic District of Panamá

As the oldest continuously occupied European Settlement on the Pacific Coast of the Americas, Panamá Viejo is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, the site contains the remains of Pre-Columbian Cuevan aboriginal occupation. Panamá Viejo was an important settlement because it had a big influence on town planning in the subsequent colonies. Its architecture also reflects an important stage in the development of Spanish colonial societies, a period of technological and architectural innovation.

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CUZCO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Cuzco - City of Cuzco

Situated in the Peruvian Andes, the city of Cuzco was the centre of political, religious and administrative control of the Inca Tawantinsuyu imperial government. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical and cultural importance. Cuzco is a unique example of urban planning and architecture of the pre-Columbian era in South America, during the confluence two cultures, the Inca and the Hispanic.

Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

Standing 2430 meters above sea level between the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon Basin, the Inca historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for is cultural and historical value. A popular way to visit Machu Picchu is going on the Inca Trail, a usually 4-day-long walking trip from Cusco, but there are trains, buses and taxis if that’s not what you are looking for!

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LIMA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Lima - Historic Centre of Lima

Lima was, until the 18th century, the most important Spanish colonial city, being the centre of political and economic power, apart from exerting great influence culturally on other colonies. Thanks to its historical and artistic importance, its historic centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic centre of Lima is a great example of a powerful Spanish colonial city, which is seen in the elaborated construction of many churches, hospitals and universities.

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AREQUIPA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Arequipa - Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa

The city of Arequipa is built in volcanic sillar rock and has suffered several major earthquakes that have affected its history. The city’s architecture is characterized by a fusion of influences from the Europeans and the natives, very well exemplified by its robust walls and courtyards decorated with Baroque style. This reflection of a historical combination of cultures is the reason why the historical centre of the city of Arequipa is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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MANILA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Manila- Baroque Churches of the Philippines

These four baroque churches located in different areas of the Philippine archipelago were built during the Spanish period there. They are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their design, which is an adaptation of the original Baroque style to the new conditions, techniques and motifs of the location. For instance, their thick, strong appearance is due to the precaution against pirates or marauders.

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KRAKOW

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Krakow - Auschwitz and Birkenau

The Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz Birkenau operated during World War II as the principal camp established by Nazi Germany, where Jewish people were tortured and killed for their so-called racial origins. Due to the massive historical importance of this site, Auschwitz Birkenau is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to this concentration camp is most valuable with a guide to explain the site.

Historic Centre of Kraków

Situated at the foot of the Royal Waewl Castle, the historic centre of Cracow is what remains of the 13th century merchant town, containing the largest market square in Europe. This commercial importance plus the many historical buildings such as palaces and churches are the reasons why the historic centre of Cracow is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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WARSAW

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Warsaw - Historic Centre of Warsaw

After being almost entirely destroyed by the Germans to repress the Polish, Warsaw was rebuilt with the support of the whole nation. In addition, Warsaw is the city that hosted the adoption of the first democratic European Constitution, the 3rd of May 1791. Due to all the historic events it has gone through, the historic centre of Warsaw is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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MADEIRA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Madeira - Laurisilva of Madeira

Laurisilva is the official name of laurel forests, a type of vegetation that today can only be found in the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. The Laurisilva of Madeira, found within the Madeira Natural Park, is the most extensive laurisilva surviving today and, for this reason, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Apart from the flora, the laurisilva of Madeira contains its own fauna with species only found there, such as the Madeiran Laurel Pigeon. You can take the bus to get to the laurisilva, and this is a visit you can do by yourself without the need of a guide, provided that you’ve researched a little bit the route you plan on taking!

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LISBON

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Lisbon - Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon

The complex of Belém, situated on the shore of the Tagus River, consists of the 15th century monastery of the Hieronymites and the 16th century Tower of Belém, and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery of the Hieronymites and the tower of Belém are pieces of architecture from the Portuguese Golden Age of the Discovery. The monastery, decorated with Manueline art, was commissioned by King D. Manuel I, who donated it to the monks of Saint Hieronymus. The tower was built to commemorate the expedition of Vasco de Gama and to protect Lisbon’s port, and its design is inspired by Islamic architecture.

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DOHA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Doha - Al Zubarah Archaeological Site

The fortified merchant town of Al Zubarah was constructed around the 9th century, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that it flourished as a pearl trading centre. After a short period of around 50 years, the city lost its power and in the 20th century it was abandoned. However, this abandonment is the reason why Al Zubarah is the best preserved of that kind of merchant towns, since it has not changed too much for the last couple of centuries and the sand of the desert has protected it. For this reason, Al Zubarah is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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SEOUL

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Seoul - Changdeokgung Palace Complex

Built in the 15th century as the secondary royal palace of the Joseon dynasty, Changdeokgung had great influence on Korean architecture and garden design for many centuries. Its design was based on pungsu principles, a system based on harmony with nature. The Changdeokgung Palace Complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The visit to the Secret Garden is highly recommended but it requires a guide and it’s 3 km long!

Jongmyo Shrine

Originally constructed in the 14th century and rebuilt in the 17th century after the Japanese invasion, the Jongmyo shrine is the oldest Confucian royal ancestral shrine. Jongmyo houses the spirit tablets of the kings and queens of the Joseon dynasty that the kings of the moment would visit to pray for safety and fortune. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Namhansanseong

Built during the 7th century and reconstructed during the 17th century anticipating an attack, Namhansanseong was the emergency capital for the Joseon dynasty. Due to the redesign in the 17th century, the fortified city reflects especially well the defensive and military power in Korea during that century. The emergency capital, defended by Buddhist soldier-monks, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and contains evidence of civil, religious and military buildings.

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MOSCOW

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Moscow - Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye

Built in 1532 to celebrate the birth of the future Tsar Ivan IV “the Terrible”, the Church of the Ascension represents a new stage in Russian Orthodox Church building. This church, situated near the centre of Moscow, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ensemble of the Novodevichy Convent

As the best example of Moscow Baroque, the 16th-century Novodevichy Convent was constructed as a part of the defence system of Moscow. The convent is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its artistic value, its good preservation and its historical importance; the convent was commonly visited by the women of the Tsar’s family and, in addition, its cemetery houses the tombs of many of said family’s members.

Kremlin and Red Square

The Kremlin, residence of the Great Prince and religious centre, and the Red Square, with the Cathedral of St Basil the Blessed, form an ensemble listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to the Kremlin offers seeing various structures such as many orthodox churches, some Soviet-era buildings and the worthwhile Armory museum.

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SAN MARINO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites San Marino - San Marino Historic Centre and Mount Titano

The historic centre of San Marino and Mount Titano form together a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. The historic centre is considered so due to witnessing a free republic since the 13th century, which makes it a centre filled with architectural styles and continued history from many centuries. Mount Titano, on which San Marino rests, offered a strategic position to the city.

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RIYADH

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Riyadh - At-Turaif District in ad-Dir'iyah

Situated within an oasis in the Arabian Peninsula, the At-Turaif District was the first capital of the Saudi Dynasty, founded in the 15th century. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, At-Turaif contains the remains of many palaces designed according to the Najdi architectural style, specific to this area.

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SEYCHELLES

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Seychelles - Aldabra Atoll

Ring-shaped coral reef Situated in the Indian Ocean, Aldabra is one of the largest atolls in the world as well as an extremely well preserved one thanks to its inaccessibility. This ring-shaped coral reef is home to the largest population of giant tortoises in the world, and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve

The Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, situated in the island of Praslin, preserves a natural palm forest full of endemic species of flora and fauna, including the coca de mer, with the largest nut in the world. The reserve is accessible by bus and offers guided tours or a variety of routes depending on how much time you have or how much you are willing to walk.

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DURBAN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Durban - iSimangaliso Wetland Park

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a natural site including beaches, coral reefs, dunes and swamps inhabited by many species from the African seas, wetlands and savannahs. A visit to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a great chance to spot hippos, nesting turtles, dolphins or whales among the many species found in the park in their natural habitat.

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JOHANNESBURG

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Johannesburg - Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa

The fossil hominid sites of South Africa contain elements that have been essential for the study of the origin and evolution of humanity, which is the reason why they are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site includes the spot where the Taung Skull Fossil was found in 1924, a piece belonging to a specimen of the species Australopithecus Africanus, and the Makapan Valley’s archaeological caves with traces of human occupation dating as back as 3.3 million years.

Vredefort Dome

Dating back 2,023 million years, the Vredefort Dome is the oldest and largest meteorite impact structure or astrobleme yet found on Earth. The area, situated about an hour away from Johannesburg, is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005.

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CAPE TOWN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Cape Town - Robben Island

Robben Island is known for having been used as a high-security prison between the 17th and 20th centuries, and also as a hospital and military base, until the Apartheid regime was rejected in the 1990s. Among the imprisoned, the former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela spent 18 years behind bars in this site. The historical importance of the site is the reason why Robben Island is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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GRANADA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Granada- Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín

Dating back to the 16th-century Muslim Spain, the ensemble of the Alhambra, the Generalife and Albayzín is a great example of royal Arab residences of the period and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex, to the east of which the beautiful gardens of the Generalife are found, and the Albayzín is a district in Granada with narrow streets filled with Moorish architecture.

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CORDOBA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Cordoba - Historic Centre of Cordoba

With around 300 mosques and numerous palaces, the 8th-century city of Cordoba rivalled cities such as Constantinople or Damascus. Thanks to the spectacular Great Mosque of Cordoba and its importance as a witness of the Caliphate of Cordoba, the historic centre of the city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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MADRID

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Madrid - Monastery and Site of the Escurial

Situated at the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama to the north of Madrid, the 16th-century Escurial Monastery served as the retreat of the mystic king Philip II. Designed by Juan Bautista de Toledo, Michelangelo’s Spanish pupil during the design of the Vatican Basilica, the building has an austere yet complex architecture and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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BARCELONA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Barcelona - Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau

Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Catalan art nouveau architect, is the author of two of the finest buildings in the city of Barcelona: the Palau de la Música Catalana and the Hospital de Sant Pau. Additionally, Domènech I Montaner was an important politician in the history of Catalunya. Situated in the historic centre of Barcelona, the Palau de la Música is one of the greatest Art Nouveau buildings that will amaze its visitors with its never-ending glass windows and rich decorations, especially in the great concert hall. The Hospital de Sant Pau is the biggest hospital in Modernist style, as innovating sa the Palau de la Música in its design and decoration.

Works of Antoni Gaudí

Scattered around the city of Barcelona, seven buildings by the architect Antoni Gaudí form an ensemble listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These properties are the Park Güell, the Palau Güell, the Casa Milà or La Pedrera, the Casa Vicens, the Nativity Façade and the Crypt of the Sagrada Família. The works of Gaudí were great creative contributions to the architectural techniques and artistic design of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, making him the most representative of the Modernista architects.

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SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Santiago de Compostela - Santiago de Compostela Old Town

As the final destination of the pilgrimage routes of the Way of St. James, the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela houses in its cathedral the tomb of the apostle St. James and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, Santiago de Compostela symbolizes the struggle of the Spanish Christians against Islam; the city was destroyed by the Muslims in the 10th century and completely reconstructed one century later. Today, the Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque buildings make this city one of the most beautiful ones in the world.

Routes of Santiago de Compostela: Camino Francés and Routes of Northern Spain

With its cathedral containing the shrine of the apostle St. James, Santiago de Compostela has been the final destination of many pilgrimage routes since the 9th century. Listed as a serial site on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the four most common routes, situated in northern Spain and coming from France, represent a network of around 1500 km. Originally, the purpose of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela was to see the remains of the apostle and earn plenary indulgence, that is, the absolution of all of one’s sins. Today, many pilgrims go on the Way with non-religious reasons such as to enjoy a backpacking trip with friends. The “rules” say that in order to obtain plenary indulgence, one must walk at least 100 km of the Way to Santiago, but if you plan on biking there, you’ll need to bike 200 km! This will be inspected on your arrival to Santiago de Compostela, where you will need to show a booklet with stamps, which you’ll collect at every village, restaurant or hostel during your journey, to prove that you deserve forgiveness!

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SEVILLE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Seville - Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

Found in the heart of the city of Seville, the complex formed by the cathedral, the Alcázar and the Archivo de Indias is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical and artistic value. The cathedral and the Alcázar date from the Renconquest, the period when the Spanish took back the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslims. The Alcázar is an ensemble of palaces intended as a residence of heads of state, today being the residence of the Spanish monarchs in that city. In the Giralda minaret, situated next to the cathedral and considered the masterpiece of Almohad architecture, the tomb of Christopher Columbus is found. Lastly, the Archivo the Indias, which used to be the Lonja, houses documents with information on the colonies in the Americas.

Doñana National Park

The Doñana National Park is situated on the right bank of the Guadalquivir River, at its estuary with the Atlantic, and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the most important wintering site in Spain for waterfowl. The park contains different habitats such as dune fields and lagoons, as well as many animal species including several threatened ones like the Spanish lynx and five bird species. As suggested earlier, this park offers especially a very broad range of bird species, with 360 of them present, so if you are a birding enthusiast this is the place for you!

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VALENCIA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Valencia - La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia

The wealth and power of 15th-century Valencia, one of the greatest mercantile cities in the Mediterranean, is shown in its Lonja de la Seda, beautifully decorated in rich Gothic and Renaissance styles despite its secularity. The building is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the entrance fee has a symbolic value of €2. As its name suggests in Spanish, the Lonja de la Seda was a silk exchange centre, but is was also the main maritime trading centre and a bank, and earlier in history a trading centre for oil. Today, it maintains its function of trading centre, but the goods primarily dealt are agricultural products.

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IBIZA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Ibiza - Biodiversity and Culture

Ibiza has a lot more to offer than crazy parties and luxurious clubs. In fact, the island is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its marine and coastal ecosystems and its long history visible in its archaeological sites. Phoenician presence on the island is visible in the ruins of Sa Caleta and the cemetery Puig des Molins. The Upper Town of Ibiza is an example of a fortified city that has evolved since the Phoenicians settlements and through the Arab and Catalan periods.

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ALICANTE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Alicante - Palmeral of Elche

The Palmeral of Elche is a series of palm groves cultivated formally by the Muslim around the 10th century AC, together with a complex irrigation system. The palmeral is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it is a great example of the transference of a landscape belonging to a culture and continent, in this case the Muslims from North Africa, to new ones, in Europe.

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BILBAO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Bilbao - Vizcaya Bridge

The Vizcaya Bridge was a model for the design of many bridges in Europe, Africa and America, and it is considered a great example of iron constructions of the Industrial Revolution. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Vizcaya Bridge was the first bridge carrying public on a high suspended gondola, also mixing these new technologies with the ironworking traditions of the 19th century.

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TENERIFE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tenerife - Teide National Park

The Teide National Park, containing the Teide Volcano, the highest peak in Spain at 2718 m, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, the Teide is the world’s third tallest volcanic structure. To get to the top you can drive, walk or take the cable car or the bus. On the top, amazing views and great places to eat if you bring your food await!

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PALMA DE MALLORCA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Mallorca - Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana

The cultural landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana is a great example of Mediterranean agricultural landscape that has needed transformations due to its steep morphology and scarce resources. With a combination of Arabic water management technology and the Christian agricultural knowledge, the landscape consists of farmed terraces and underground irrigation channels, and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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STOCKHOLM

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Stockholm - Birka and Hovgården

The archaeological sites of Birka and Hovgården are great examples of Viking trading settlements of the 8th-10h centuries AD, situated on Björkö Island and Adelsö Island respectively. Together, they are listed as a UNESO World Heritage Site due to their good preservation, Brika being the most complete example of a Viking trading settlement, and to their historical importance on the development of Scandinavia. A 2-hour boat ride takes you to Birka, where a guide will make the visit much more interesting and understandable. Visiting the Swedish History Museum of Stockholm previously is a good idea, as many of the treasures of Birka are found there.

Royal Domain of Drottningholm

Situated on an island in Stockholm’s Lake Mälar, the royal domain of Drottningholm is the private residence of the Swedish royal family. The ensemble consists on the castle, the theatre, the Chinese pavilion and the gardens, and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can get to the Drottningholm ensemble by bus or, if you have time, the ferry ride offers spectacular views. The site doesn’t offer extensive written information so guided tours are recommended!

Skogskyrkogården

Skogskyrkogården is a cemetery in Stockholm designed by Asplund and Lewerentz in a way that the architectural elements are blended with the vegetation of the place, a forest of pine trees. This design had great influence on cemetery design throughout the world, which is the reason why Skogskyrkogården is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cemetery has five beautiful, small chapels with simple designs. Since the place is currently in use, the best way to ensure you can visit the chapels is to go on the Sunday public tours or book a private tour. Skogskyrkogården is reachable by metro and it is a great way to spend a few hours in a serene, beautiful forest.

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BERN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Bern - Old City of Berne

The old city of Berne was founded in the 12th century and it is an outstanding example of a city conserving its medieval urban structure while keeping up with the evolution of architectonic styles and technologies and its development as a capital city, a fact that has made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best way to get to know the old city of Berne is to walk through it and find its attractions such as the outstanding astronomical clock tower and the beautiful fountains.

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BANGKOK

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Bangkok - Historic Centre of Ayutthaya

The remains of the city of Ayutthaya, founded around 1350 and destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century, are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ayutthaya was, after Sukhothai, the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom and a trade and diplomacy centre globally. Among the remains, the most important and visible ones are the tall towers named prang and the Buddhist monasteries. These, together with its water management system show how advanced and powerful the city must have been. Remember to bring sunscreen, water and to cover both shoulders and knees!

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OHRID

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Ohrid - Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region

The town of Ohrid, one of the oldest human settlements in Europe, is considered the second most important collection of icons in the world, with more than 800 Byzantine-style ones. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ohrid was the point from which Slavonic culture and also writing and education spread out, making it a centre of great cultural and historic importance.

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TUNIS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tunis - Archaeological Site of Carthage

The city of Carthage was founded by the Phoenicians and during Roman times it was the capital of the African province. Later on, Paleochristian and Arab vestiges have also been found, making Carthage a cultural diffusion and mixing point and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the top attraction of this site, the impressive ancient roman baths ruins are a must visit, and apart from the history they carry the scenery is beautiful.

Dougga / Thugga

The magnificent remains of the city of Dougga are located 2 hours away from Tunis by car. It is thought to have been founded before the 5th century BC in the very fertile valley of Oued Khalled, and in the last century BC it became part of the Roman province of Africa Nova. Dougga is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its importance as a witness of the development of an indigenous city into a Roman town. These spectacular Roman ruins are some of the best in North Africa, with very well preserved theatre and main temple.

Medina of Tunis

The medina of Tunis was one of the first Arabo-Muslim towns in North Africa and also one of the wealthiest in the Islamic world between the 12th and 16th centuries. Later, between the 16th and 19th centuries, the city was filled with several palaces, mosques and madrasas. The medina of Tunis is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising the central medina and the northern and southern suburbs. The more than 700 historic monuments comprised include the Zitouna Mosque or the beautiful Dar-Hussein palace.

Punic Town of Kerkuane and its Necropolis

The Punic town of Kerkuane, located 80 km from Tunis, is said to have been abandoned during the First Punic War. Given that no Roman city was built on top of its ruins, contrary to what happened to Carthage or Byblos, Kerkuane has conserved its architecture since around the 3rd century BC. As an exceptional witness to Phoenician-Punic town planning, Kerkuane is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with its necropolis, Arg el Ghazouani, a great example of Punic funerary architecture.

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ISTANBUL

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Istanbul - Historic Areas of Istanbul

Istanbul, capital of the Eastern Roman and Ottoman Empires, has four historic areas listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These areas are the Archaeological Park, the Suleymaniye quarter, the Zeyrek area of settlement and the Theodosian land walls together with the remains of the Blachernae Palace. These areas include attractions such as the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace and the hippodrome of Constantine.

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KAMPALA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Kampala - Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi

The Kasubi Tombs are the major spiritual centre of the Baganda ethnic group, where traditional and cultural practices still take place today and the four previous kings are buried. This site is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the traditional meaning it carries and for the way it is built using natural elements. The main tomb building is a spacious circular one made of wooden poles and covered with spear grass.

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KIEV (KYIV)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Kiev - Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra

The Saint-Sophia cathedral of Kiev and the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, an ensemble of monastic buildings, are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together. The cathedral, situated in the historic centre of the city, is an emblem of 11th-century monumental art and architecture. Its outside is characterized by the bright green, white and golden colours and the interior has been very well preserved, especially its beautiful mosaics and frescoes.

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ABU DHABI

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Abu Dhabi - Cultural Sites of Al Ain (Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas)

The five cultural sites of Al Ain, Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas, are listed as a serial UNESCO World Heritage Site as witnesses of ancient sedentary human occupation in this desert region of the United Arab Emirates. With vestiges dating back to the Neolithic period, you can find circular stone tombs from 2500 BC, wells and adobe buildings from many prehistoric cultures like residential ones, towers or palaces.

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LONDON

UNESCO World Heritage Sites London - Maritime Greenwich

Greenwich is a district of London perfect for a daytrip to get away from the busy centre. This area contains the ensemble of the Queen’s House, the Royal Hospital for Seamen’s palatial Baroque complex, the Royal Observatory and the surrounding Royal Park, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can get to Greenwich quite easily, by taking the rail or the DLR. Another option that is an attraction by itself is to take the boat ride on the Thames at Westminster and enjoy a guided tour on the river.

Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey including Saint Margaret’s Church

The Palace of Westminster, the Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Church are some of the places you won’t be able to miss if you are visiting London. Including the famous Big Ben Tower, the ensemble these buildings form in the heart of London is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Since the 11th century, this site has housed the royal palace through two main reconstructions due to fires and also the Parliament of the United Kingdom. In Westminster Abbey monarchs are crowned, married and buried, and other national memorials and celebrations also take place. The Houses of Parliament offer tours both guided and individual, although the guided ones allow you to visit certain spots that can’t be seen if going by yourself. The abbey is another visit that shouldn’t be missed, so book your tickets in advance to avoid long lines; the outside might be beautiful, but the inside will leave you in awe!

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, along the Thames, have contributed uninterruptedly to the study of plant diversity since its creation in the 18th century. These gardens are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their contribution to science and to garden design. Kew has its own tube station, so arriving to the Royal Botanic Gardens from London is very easy. Buses and the national rail are other similar options to get there, but if you are in London during the summer, a great way to visit the gardens is to take a boat ride on the Thames River to get to Kew.

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EDINBURGH

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Edinburgh - Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

Edinburgh, the Scottish capital since the 15th century, consists on two district areas: the Old Town and the New Town. Together, these two parts of the city are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. The Old Town is dominated by a medieval fortress. This district is organized in a fishbone street pattern of narrow closes connected to the High Street, and tall buildings such as merchants’ and nobles’ houses dating from the 16th and 17th centuries like the six-storey house of Gladstone’s Land. The New Town, situated to the north of the Old Town, was constructed between the late 18th and late 19th centuries. This district contains many neoclassical buildings by renowned architects like William Playfair or John and Robert Adam, as well as open spaces like gardens.

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LIVERPOOL

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City

Between the 18th and 20th centuries, Liverpool was an innovator in dock technology and port management and also a major commercial port between Europe and the New World and throughout the British Empire. For its commercial and historical importance, Liverpool is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic centre of Liverpool and its docklands contain the six areas forming this World Heritage site. In them, buildings like the Royal Liver Building, the Cunart Building or the Pier Head are found, which have witnessed the development of the city as a major trading centre.

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KILIMANJARO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Kilimanjaro - Kilimanjaro National Park

The Kilimanjaro National Park contains the volcano to which it owns its name, the highest peak in the African continent. In addition, the park is home to many animal species, including numerous endangered ones. Climbing the Kilimanjaro would require at least a week, but you can visit the first base camp or hire tours that will take you up to a certain point depending on how much time you have!

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ZANZIBAR

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Zanzibar - Stone Town of Zanzibar

Thanks to its intact urban fabric, the Stone Town of Zanzibar is a great example of a Swahili coastal trading town of East Africa. The city contains several fine buildings that reflect the fusion of the African, Arab, Indian and European cultures, and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the year 2000. You can definitely visit Stone Town by yourself without the need of a guide by walking its streets and gazing at the architecture. The town has good places to eat and have some drinks, but the stores tend to be quite touristy!

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MIAMI

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Miami - Everglades National Park

As one of the largest natural reserves in the North American continent, the Everglades National Park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its water habitats have made it an ideal spot for birds, reptiles and threatened species like the manatee or the Florida panther, as well as a very diverse area in terms of its flora. Among the activities you can do in the park, one of the favourites is the Anhinga Trail, a short hike on a well-maintained and easy to walk path to see gators, turtles and lots of grsshoppers!

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FLAGSTAFF

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Flagstaff - Grand Canyon National Park

With 446 km of length, 29 km of width and reaching almost two km of depth in certain points, the Grand Canyon is the greatest gorge in the world and displays geological history of the past 2 billion years in its horizontal strata. The Gran Canyon is contained within the Grand Canyon National Park, which also manages it and takes care of its preservation. In addition, the park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don’t make the mistake of not planning ahead your visit to the Grand Canyon. Many just stop by and take some pictures during their road trip, even though the park has infinitely more to offer. Look at prices and options to find what best fits your plans, which may go from looking for the best spots for photography, a hike into the inner canyon or a helicopter ride.

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PHILADELPHIA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Philadelphia - Independence Hall

The Independence Hall in Philadelphia is where both the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution of the United States on 1787 were signed, two documents of major importance in the history of the United States and the universal principles of democracy and freedom. The Independence Hall is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical importance. If you plan on visiting, booking your tickets in advance online is a good idea to avoid long lines!

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SAN FRANCISCO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites San Francisco - Redwood National and State Parks

Situated north of San Francisco, the Redwood National Park is a region of coastal mountains famous for their redwood forest, a type of forest that has existed for over 160 million years but is now confined to the wet regions of the west coast of North America. The park, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, contains some of the tallest and oldest trees on Earth apart from rich fauna and flora. There are many trails that you can take during your visit depending on for how long you want to walk that will take you through these breath-taking forests and inside old hollow trees.

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LOUISVILLE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Louisville - Mammoth Cave National Park

The Mammoth Cave National Park is the most extensive system of caves in the entire world, with more than 456 km of passageways. The park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its on-going geological processes visible in its stalagmites, stalactites or beautiful mirabilite flowers. Although the name might be a bit misleading, no mammoth fossils are found in this site! Instead, the name is due to the size of these huge caves. The Mammoth Cave National Park is also home to some of the richest caverniculous flora and fauna in the world.

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SEATTLE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Seattle - Olympic National Park

The Olympic National Park, situated in the northwest of Washington State, contains a very diverse range of ecosystems such as alpine meadows, glacier-clad peaks and temperate rainforest. The park includes 100 km of coastline and a vast system of rivers, making it the home of many fish species. The Olympic National Park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its rich fauna and flora, including endangered species such as the bull trout or the northern spotted owl. The scenic lakes and the mountains and glaciers make the Olympic National Park a beautiful nature reserve. Go on a hike and find spots as amazing as the Marymere Falls or the Hoh rainforest!

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ST LOUIS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites St Louis - Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is the largest settlement north of Mexico from the pre-Columbian era, extending throughout the Mississippi Valley and southeast United States. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cahokia Mounds contain the largest prehistoric earthen structure in the Americas: the Monks Mound. It consists on four piled terraces reaching an astonishing height of 30 meters. The site offers a very informative visit to its museum, and if you have the time, climb the Monks Mound for some amazing views!

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SAN JUAN

UNESCO World Heritage Sites San Juan - La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico

La Fortaleza, together with three other forts, is the defensive structure that was built in the Caribbean Sea to protect the city and Bay of San Juan between the 15th and 19th centuries. The fortification is built using European designs and techniques adapted to the conditions of the Caribbean port towns, a fact that has been considered a great illustration of the fusion of the two cultures. For this reason, La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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NEW YORK CITY

UNESCO World Heritage Sites New York City - Statue of Liberty

On the centenary of American independence, France sent a gift to the United States: the Statue of Liberty. It was made in Paris by the French sculptor Bartholdi in collaboration with Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, designer of the Eiffel Tower. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Statue of Liberty represents international friendship, peace and progress and it has greeted the arrival of immigrants at the entrance to the New York Harbour since its inauguration in 1886. If you want to go to the top during your visit, you’d better book in advance, meaning five or six months previous to your visit! Otherwise, the sights of the statue itself from the boat are already breath-taking.

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HONOLULU

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hawaii - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Containing two of the most active and accessible volcanoes in the world, the Mauna Loa and the Kilauea, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is in constant change due to the volcanic activity. The park contains a very diverse flora and five major ecosystems mainly depending on the height of the area. In addition, there are many archaeological remains from native villages such as temples and caves, and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is great if you are into hiking. The trails are beautiful, and hikes are organized at all times during the day and have a wide range of difficulty. The views are amazing especially at sunset and night, when you’ll get both the sight of the stars and the glowing lava.

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OAHU

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hawaii - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Containing two of the most active and accessible volcanoes in the world, the Mauna Loa and the Kilauea, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is in constant change due to the volcanic activity. The park contains a very diverse flora and five major ecosystems mainly depending on the height of the area. In addition, there are many archaeological remains from native villages such as temples and caves, and it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is great if you are into hiking. The trails are beautiful, and hikes are organized at all times during the day and have a wide range of difficulty. The views are amazing especially at sunset and night, when you’ll get both the sight of the stars and the glowing lava.

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PORT VILA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Port Vila - Chief Roi Mata’s Domain

Roi Mata was a powerful Melanesian chief during the 13th century from Vanatu. Each of the islands of Efate, Lelepa and Artok contain a site associated with the life and death of the chief, which are his residence, the site of his death and his burial site. Together they form a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first one in Vanuatu.

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CARACAS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Caracas - Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas

Designed by Carlos Raúl Villanueva, the Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas is a great example of modernism in city planning and architecture. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its modern design, which can be seen in its astonishing Aula Magna with “clouds” floating around, its Olympic stadium and the covered plaza.

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HUE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hue - Complex of Hué Monuments

Under the Nguyen dynasty, Hué was the capital city of Vietnam politically, culturally and religiously since the unification of the country in 1802. The city is planned and aligned cosmologically with the cardinal points, the five elements and the five colours. Today, the city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the centre there is the Hué Citadel area, which had administrative and military functions apart from being the Imperial Residence. Outside, structures like the Temple of Literature Van Mieu or the Sacrifice Esplanade Dan Nam Giao are of great importance. Visiting Hué is best done in a guided tour, since there are not a lot of explanations and the site has a lot to offer!

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VICTORIA FALLS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Victoria Falls - Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls

The Victoria Falls are not to be missed if you have the opportunity to visit them! Among the most beautiful and spectacular waterfalls in the world, the Victoria Falls with more than 2km of width are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll be standing on the other side of the narrow gorge, at the same level of the waterfall. If it’s sunny, be ready for some amazing rainbows, and don’t forget to bring a raincoat!

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DA NANG

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Da Nang - My Son Sanctuary

The My Son Sanctuary remains in the coast of Vietnam are what is left of the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom, a culture with Hindu spiritual origins dating between the 4th and 13th centuries. The sanctuary is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated 40 km from Hoi An City, a visit to My Son takes usually a whole day or at least half a day, and you may want to book a guided tour since the site has a lot of interesting history to offer but it doesn’t have information signs. Take some snacks, water and comfortable shoes!

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HANOI AND HALONG BAY

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hanoi and Ha Long Bay - Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Hanoi

Built during the 11th century on the remains of a 7th–century Chinese fortress, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel was the political centre of the Dai Viet, in the centre of Hanoi. Since the area has been the centre of power for over 13 centuries without interruption, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long contains monuments from many periods. This witnessing of history is the main reason why the citadel is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ha Long Bay

The scenery of Ha Long Bay is something you’ve most probably never experienced before visiting it. 165 km from Hanoi, more than 1600 islands with this characteristic peculiar pillar shape create a spectacular landscape listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most common way to visit Ha Long Bay is to book a cruise, although you may want to do some research previously to avoid any scams and make sure the activities organised are to your liking!

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LIVINGSTONE

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Livingstone - Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls

The Victoria Falls are not to be missed if you have the opportunity to visit them! Among the most beautiful and spectacular waterfalls in the world, the Victoria Falls with more than 2km of width are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll be standing on the other side of the narrow gorge, at the same level of the waterfall. If it’s sunny, be ready for some amazing rainbows, and don’t forget to bring a raincoat!

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BULAWAYO

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Bulawayo - Khami Ruins National Monument

Khami was the capital of the Torwa dynasty, which appeared after the collapse of the Great Zimbabwe Kingdom during the 15th century and until its abandonment in the 19th century. Khami is a very interesting archaeological site, as some findings have shown such as many Chinese and European objects, suggesting that the city was at some point a major trading centre. For their value, the Khami ruins are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Apart from the ruins, be ready to spot many birds and even some monkeys and antelopes!

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TEL AVIV

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tel Aviv - White City of Tel-Aviv, The Modern Movement

Funded in 1909, the city of Tel Aviv became Israel’s economic and cultural centre during the British Rule in Palestine. The White City of Tel Aviv is an area constructed between the 1930s and 1950s in Bauhaus style by architects trained in Europe, a great example of town planning from the 20th century that today is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site includes, apart from the White City, the Bialik Area and Lev Hai and Rothschild Avenue. If you are into architecture and especially into the Modern Movement, a stroll around these areas is a great way to spend a morning!

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SOLOMON ISLANDS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Rennell Island - East Rennell

Rennell Island, the southernmost one in the Solomon Archipelago, is the world’s largest raised coral atoll. East Rennell is the southern third of Rennell Island and also where Lake Tegano is found, the largest lake in the insular Pacific and home to many endemic species. In addition, this area of the island is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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GOTLAND

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Gotland - Hanseatic Town of Visby

The town of Visby used to be the main centre of the Hanseatic League from the 12th to the 14th century, and today it is the best preserved fortified trade city in the north of Europe! Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the former Viking site contains ramparts from the 13th century and more than 200 warehouses and the houses of many rich merchants. If you visit, keep in mind the free guided tours of the town!

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ÖLAND

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Öland - Agricultural Landscape of Southern Öland

The southern part of the island of Öland has been inhabited for about five thousand years, a part whose landscape is unique and has required its inhabitants to adapt to its limestone bedrock and weather. Today, this landscape is a reflection of the interaction between nature and humankind that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are in Öland, one of the best ways of experiencing the site is by hiking some of the 110 km of trails and visiting the line villages, the stone walls or simply enjoying nature.

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TIANJIN

The Great Wall

Under continuous construction from the 3rd century BC to the 17th century AD, the 20,000km of the Great Wall of China are the only man-made structure visible from the moon. The implied knowledge of defence construction and organization in the wall has let the site into UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1987. If there is one thing all the visitors of the Great Wall agree on it is that it’s far more than just a wall, and that the experience of being on top of it will take your breath away. As you can imagine, the length of the wall makes it possible for visitors to get on it from lots of different sections. Just from Beijing, you can choose between seven popular sections depending on whether you are interested in the sights, in avoiding crowds or in an easy path. Check the area from where you plan to visit the Great Wall and choose the section that best fits your interests!

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MALTA

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Malta - City of Valletta

The City of Valletta, capital of Malta, has witnessed history continually since it was ruled by the Phoenicians and the Greeks until the Arabs and the Order of the Knights of St John. This historical importance has made Valletta a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed following a Renaissance style and with 320 historic monuments, Valletta is one of the most concentrated cities in this field. Two of the most popular ones are the Cathedral of St John and the Palace of the Grand Master.

Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum

The Ħal Saflieni hypogeum is an underground cemetery excavated around the year 2500 BC. The structure consists on three levels of chambers that originally contained the remains of about 7000 individuals, decorated by the only prehistoric wall paintings on the Maltese Islands. Ħal Saflieni is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to these facts and also for the artefacts found in it such as vessels and clay figurines.

Megalithic Temples of Malta

The islands of Malta and Gozo contain seven megalithic temples of great archaeological importance thanks to their good preservation and diversity of decoration and form. Since 1980 they have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ġgantija temple complex in Gozo is an example. Older than the pyramids of Egypt, this ensemble is a very well preserved archaeological reference of the Maltese Bronze Age.

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SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Saint Kitts and Nevis- Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park

The Brimstone Hill Fortress, built around the 17th century, is a great example of military architecture in the Caribbean, designed by the British and constructed by African slave labour. Its good preservation and its historical importance as a witness of European colonial expansion are the reasons why the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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