I was thinking about my favorite travel destinations and came to realize that the places I’ve enjoyed most are all recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Every time I see their logos on a building or in a guidebook I know I’ll be impressed.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to identify, protect and preserve places of cultural and natural significance around the world. They maintain a comprehensive list of over 900 places considered to be of outstanding value to humanity that exemplify their directive. Locales like the historic old towns of Prague and Havana, royal residences like Versailles and Beijing’s Imperial Palace, churches like Westminster Abbey and St. Peter’s Basilica, ruins like Machu Picchu and Pompeii, and natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and Grand Canyon all made the cut. Their list is dynamic; if a place becomes endangered—like the medieval monuments of Kosovo or the Old City of Jerusalem—it could lose recognition.
I went through their list and came up with precisely fifty that I’ve visited so far. I look forward to adding many more with my future travels.
What are your favorite places on their list? Do you think they’ve left anyplace off? Any recommendations? Please feel free to comment in the section below!
Here are some select photos of UNESCO World Heritage Sites from my travels: