UNESCO World Heritage Sites are defined by the World Heritage Committee as sites that are protected from the threat of damage, and there are 911 of these spectacular sites in the world, each interesting and amazing in its own way. Granted World Heritage status to preserve them for future generations to enjoy, the sites come in all shapes and forms from The Great Wall of China to the walled city of Dubrovnik. Start ticking destinations off the list with our pick of some of the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world.
A newcomer to democracy, the Asian nation of Myanmar has really started to see a boom in the tourism industry over the last few years, and with sites such as Bagan it’s not hard to see why. Located in the Mandalay region, this ancient city was once the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, and more than 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed here between the 11th and 13th centuries. The remains of more than 2000 of these still remain to this day. You can reach Bagan via flights or bus services from Yangon.
The Great Wall of China
Listed for the first time in 1987, The Great Wall of China is a truly breath-taking feat of architecture, and remains the longest man-made structure ever built. Built across the historical northern borders of China, it’s thought that work first began on the walls as far back as the 7th century BC, before they were joined by the first Emperor of China between 220-206BC. The purpose of the walls was to protect the Chinese Empire from nomadic invasions.
One of the most romantic destinations in Europe, the entire city of Dubrovnik has been declared a World Heritage Site. Boasting a charming Old Town, you could spend days exploring the cobbled streets enclosed by city walls and enjoying the Mediterranean sun beating down on your back on one of the city’s beautiful beaches.
Known as a holy city of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the old city of Jerusalem and its walls have been a hugely important religious symbol for centuries. While there are around 220 historic monuments to explore, one of the highlights includes the 7th century Dome of the Rock. Recognised as Abraham’s sacrifice by all three religions the dome is decorated with geometric and floral motifs.
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Peru
One of the most famous sites in the world, Machu Picchu is one site that you really must visit once in your lifetime! Towering 2,430m above sea level, this incredible sanctuary dates back to the times of the Incan Empire, and is its most impressive creation. As well as exploring the fascinating giant walls, terraces and ramps, the structure also boasts a beautiful natural setting on the eastern slopes of the Andes and the upper Amazon basin so you can discover a rich and diverse selection of flora and fauna in the area.