The Top World Heritage Sites
With more than 1000 places already listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites it is quite difficult to point out which ones stand out. To help you select your next worthy travel destination, here are seven of the most striking world heritage sites around the globe.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is both Cambodia’s symbol and the largest religious monument in the world. It is the most sought out place in Cambodia. Avoid the tourist population that peaks from November to February.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Dubbed as “The Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu in Peru stands proudly atop a 2,430-meter mountain, about 50 miles northwest of Cusco, and is perfect for day treks and tours. Since its qualification as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983, it has been the most visited attraction in the whole of Peru. In fact, due to the influx of thousands of tourists, only the first 400 daily visitors are accommodated to Wayna Picchu, which overlooks the main site.
Bagan City, Myanmar
This site, which was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, has been around since the 9th century. No less than 10,000 Buddhist temples, monasteries, and pagodas were constructed during those times, but only a little over 2,200 are preserved today.
Acropolis of Athens, Greece
The Acropolis is home to the ruins of the Parthenon and other ancient Greek structures. You can visit the site on foot or take day tours which usually include seeing the city and a quick trip to the Acropolis atop a high rocky outcrop. One tip: If you opt out of the day tours, you may want to take the route along Adrianou Street to the back entrance of the site than the Dionysus Theatre entrance since the former climb is much less rocky and slippery.
Rapa Nui National Park, Easter Island
Thousands of people fly into Easter Island in Chile to get a glimpse at the human-like carved rock figures which date back to 1250. The statues, which stand up to 10 meters, earned their spot in the UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995.
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Anyone who is visiting Egypt is bound to take a trip to one of UNESCO World Heritage sites and what is also one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza. The site is home to the famous Sphinx, the Great Pyramid, and other cemeteries and ancient infrastructures built between 2584 to 2561 B.C. Just a stone’s throw away from the town proper, it is very accessible to day tours from Cairo.
Taj Mahal, India
Built in the memory of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s wife, the Taj Mahal stands magnificently in the northern part of India. The 35-meter tall mausoleum made entirely of white marble features a huge dome adorned with a lotus design. The structure was built somewhere between 1632 and 1653 and was listed as a World Heritage site in 1983.