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If you enjoy spending your holidays in a club hotel in the Caribbean drinking Mai Tais, that's fine. It's your holiday and do as you please. And I personally enjoy the occasional Mai Tai on the beach, too. For me, though, spending more than a few days in the aforementioned Caribbean club hotel would be akin to purgatory. Because I like moving around, seeing new things and going to distant places.

As such I have read my fair share of guide books to figure out where to go and what to see. For instance, a few years back I visited Chile. A great place with astonishing nature to explore. Meanwhile Santiago de Chile, the capital, is fairly lackluster, having been destroyed by multiple earthquakes over the centuries. Still, any guidebook you pick up will spend a full chapter on Santiago extolling its virtues.

World Heritage Sites are different. They are as objective as it gets. They make you travel off the beaten path. I will always fondly remember my cab ride in a Czech winter landscape to Holasovice. And while Holasovice is just for the WHS connoisseurs, more often than not WHS are great sites.

Initially, I focused on quantity. And while this may seem stressful, it did give me a good picture and overview. Of late (ever since reaching the magical 300) I collect differently. Now I plan my trips on the truly great sites and pick up any site to the left and right I can visit on top.

So, should you become a WHS traveler, too? My honest recommendation is to do as you please. But if you are going to country anyhow (and be it in a club hotel), then use the map provided on this site and check out if any world heritage site is nearby. It may force to travel a bit off the beaten path, but trust me, it will be worth it.

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Recent Reviews Nan

The late ancient tomb of Silistra (T)

Nan Germany - 01-Jul-19

As a last stop of our 2018 meetup we went to Silistra. We come from Srebarna and just followed the Danube.

Els had prearranged a tour (you can't get in otherwise). From the outside you can see a small chapel through the fences, but that's not really what you come for. It's the tomb hidden below the chapel that is interesting. It's interior is richly and colorful decorated and in a good state of preservation.

Still, I did not take any pictures which normally points to a fairly underwhelming experience.

Read On

The Royal Sites of Ireland: Cashel, Dún Ailinne, Hill of Uisneach, Rathcroghan Complex, and Tara Complex (T)

Nan Germany - 24-Jun-19

The Royal Sites of Ireland: Cashel, Dún Ailinne, Hill of Uisneach, Rathcroghan Complex, and Tara Complex (T)

Before modern times and the English conquest, Ireland was never a unified country. It consisted of several individual kingdoms spread across the island. So the title "Royal Sites of Ireland" is a bit misleading. These are not the royal sites of the kingdom of Ireland, but of several of these Irish regional kingdoms.

During my Ireland trip I managed to visit both Cashel and Tara. Both are situated on hills overlooking the surrounding plains. As such, they offer a natural defensive positions and were natural choices to set up a castle and seat of government.

Read On

Megalithic Temples of Malta

Nan Germany - 23-Jun-19

Megalithic Temples of Malta

It's kind of weird that a small island nation like Malta hosts two great prehistoric sites. But it does, with the Hypogeum being the most stunning. The temples are also great and they offer the added benefit of taking you all across the islands of Malta.

Of the temples I have seen Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra were the most scenic; the previous reviewers seem to indicate the same. Built on a cliff, you get great views of the Mediterranean Sea and Filfla island. Nowadays, both temples are covered by huge tent constructions for protective reasons. Our resident Maltese, Clyde, disparaged the constructions. While I understand the necessity, I have to agree with Clyde: The tents really take away from the atmosphere. The light just isn't the same

Read On

Hal Saflieni Hypogeum

Nan Germany - 23-Jun-19

Hal Saflieni Hypogeum

After being closed for a year (2016-2017) for preservation and renovation reasons, the Hypogeum is open for visitors again. Or more precisely, it's open for some visitors (80) each day. I managed to be one of those visitors in April 2019 on my trip to Malta and Sicily.

Walking up to the site through a modern neighborhood, I was wondering where the actual site was. Then I arrived at the museum, which is housed in one of those non-decrepit concrete cubicles. The cubicle does not offer any inside views, so there is little benefit to venture here without a ticket. Surprisingly, there seem to be frequent tourists, who did not get the memo and come to the museum without a ticket only to be rebuffed.

Read On

Antequera Dolmens Site

Nan Germany - 22-Jun-19

Antequera Dolmens Site

After our 2017 meetup in Gibraltar, I joined Philipp and his brother for a trip to Antequera. I had anticipated the usual prehistoric fare: a few rocks, maybe some carvings, and 15min later we would be done and move on. To my surprise, as we approached the site, we were pulling up a mountain with plenty of scenic views along the way.

I think we were the first at the El Torcal parking lot that day. The on-site museum and shop were not yet opened as we hiked into the canyon. I felt reminded of Bryce Canyon with all the weird stone towers along the trail. It was a nice hike and I would have loved to go further.

Read On

Profile Data

Most Impressive
Petra, Machu Picchu, Angkor
Seoraksan, Korea. Okefenokee, USA.
Rating Stats
Angkor 5
Petra 5
Rome 5
Cordoba 4.5
Dubrovnik 4.5
Granada 4.5
Meteora 4.5
Pompei 4.5
Prague 4.5
Ravenna 4.5
Vienna 4.5
Brugge 4
Iguacu 4
Kotor 4
Riga 4
Siena 4
Sintra 4
Assisi 3.5
Bordeaux 3.5
Bryggen 3.5
Butrint 3.5
Calakmul 3.5
Champagne 3.5
Cracow 3.5
Cuenca 3.5
Edinburgh 3.5
Fujisan 3.5
Gyeongju 3.5
L'viv 3.5
Matera 3.5
Reims 3.5
Rhodes 3.5
Syracuse 3.5
Tallinn 3.5
Albi 3
Arles 3
Avila 3
Belem 3
Cuzco 3
Hoi An 3
Hué 3
Kyiv 3
Lyon 3
Macao 3
Mostar 3
Nikko 3
Oporto 3
Potosi 3
Split 3
Sucre 3
Trebic 3
Urbino 3
Uxmal 3
Visby 3
Warsaw 3
Belfries 2.5
Burgundy 2.5
Caceres 2.5
Corfu 2.5
Elvas 2.5
Evora 2.5
Graz 2.5
Lübeck 2.5
Nancy 2.5
Naples 2.5
Nesvizh 2.5
Orange 2.5
Panamá 2.5
Provins 2.5
Puebla 2.5
Red Fort 2.5
Saltaire 2.5
Tarraco 2.5
Telc 2.5
Tiwanaku 2.5
Toledo 2.5
Trier 2.5
Trogir 2.5
Vat Phou 2.5
Lima 2
Modena 2
Pienza 2
Verona 2
Zamosc 2
Aranjuez 1.5
Campeche 1.5
Genoa 1.5
Ivrea 1.5
Reichenau 1.5
Torun 1.5
Corvey 1
  1. Megalithic Temples of Malta
  2. Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
  3. Jantar Mantar
  4. Antequera Dolmens Site
  5. Val di Noto
  6. Old Rauma
  7. Sammallahdenmäki
  8. Petäjävesi Old Church
  9. Verla Groundwood and Board Mill
  10. Villa Romana del Casale
  11. Corfu
  12. Berat and Gjirokastra
  13. Butrint
  14. High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago
  15. Gammelstad
  16. Laponian Area
  17. Arab-Norman Palermo
  18. Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
  19. Popocatepetl monasteries
  20. Kii Mountain Range
  21. Zamosc
  22. Reims
  23. Champagne
  24. Burgundy
  25. Jaipur City, Rajasthan
  26. Palenque
  27. Churches of the Pskov School of Architecture
  28. The Prosecco Hills
  29. Angkor
  30. Tomioka Silk Mill
  31. Curonian Spit
  32. Nesvizh
  33. Hill Forts of Rajasthan
  34. Potosi
  35. Preah Vihear Temple
  36. Sambor Prei Kuk
  37. Vat Phou
  38. Luang Prabang
  39. Plain of Jars
  40. La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle
  41. Thang Long
  42. Dolomites
  43. Kaiping Diaolou
  44. South China Karst
  45. Water Management System of Augsburg
  46. China Danxia
  47. Danube Delta
  48. Macao
  49. Plitvice Lakes
  50. Hiraizumi
  51. Srebarna Nature Reserve
  52. Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis
  53. Aachen Cathedral
  54. Benedictine Convent of St. John
  55. Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces
  56. Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona
  57. Rhaetian Railway
  58. Hedeby and Danevirke
  59. Engelsberg Ironworks
  60. Residences of the Royal House of Savoy
  61. Istanbul
  62. Selimiye Mosque
  63. Bursa and Cumalikizik
  64. Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont
  65. Ivrea
  66. San Gimignano
  67. Longobards in Italy
  68. Val d'Orcia
  69. Siena
  70. Etruscan Necropolises
  71. Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos
  72. El Fuerte de Samaipata
  73. Mir Castle
  74. Tiwanaku
  75. Qhapaq Ñan
  76. Sucre
  77. Machu Picchu
  78. Cuzco
  79. Nasca Lines
  80. Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch
  81. Bellinzone
  82. Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes
  83. Old City of Berne
  84. Gwynedd Castles
  85. Sceilg Mhichíl
  86. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal
  87. Ironbridge Gorge
  88. Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin
  89. Belfries
  90. Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver Mine
  91. Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Bialowieza Forest
  92. Malbork Castle
  93. Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District
  94. Boyana Church
  95. Thessalonika
  96. Rila Monastery
  97. Pirin National Park
  98. Archaeological site of Philippi
  99. Meteora
  100. Mount Athos
  101. Archaeological Site of Aigai
  102. Peking Man Site
  103. Rock Carvings in Tanum
  104. Grimeton Radio Station
  105. Jesuit Missions of Trinidad and Jesus
  106. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier
  107. Fray Bentos
  108. Peninsula Valdes
  109. Los Alerces National Park
  110. Cueva de las Manos
  111. Los Glaciares
  112. Churches of Chiloé
  113. Valparaiso
  114. Rapa Nui
  115. White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal
  116. Mafra Palace, Convent and Royal Hunting Park
  117. Fagus Factory
  118. Par force hunting landscape
  119. Holasovice
  120. Xochicalco
  121. Tlacotalpan
  122. Yagul and Mitla
  123. Taj Mahal
  124. Medina of Tétouan
  125. Gorham's Cave Complex
  126. Caves and Ice Age Art
  1. Abbey of Kremsmünster (T)
  2. Alanya (T)
  3. Amalienborg and its district (T)
  4. Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac (T)
  5. Archaeological Site and Historic Centre of Panamá City (T)
  6. Asuka-Fujiwara : Archaeological sites of Japan's Ancient Capitals and Related Properties (T)
  7. Balaton Uplands Cultural Landscape (T)
  8. Brooklyn Bridge (T)
  9. Buenos Aires – La Plata: Two capitals of the Culture of Modernity, Eclecticism and Immigration (T)
  10. Bulwarked Fortifications of the "Raia" (Border) (T)
  11. Cal Orck'o: Footprints of time (T)
  12. Central Park (T)
  13. Centro Storico di Pavia e Certosa (T)
  14. Chapultepec Woods, Hill and Castle (T)
  15. Chatham Dockyard and its Defences (T)
  16. Citadel of Alessandria (T)
  17. Coastal Cliffs (T)
  18. Darmstadt Artists' Colony Mathildenhöhe (T)
  19. Darwin's Landscape Laboratory (T)
  20. Delhi - A Heritage City (T)
  21. Dreams in Stone - the palaces of King Ludwig II of Bavaria: Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee (T)
  22. Early Medieval Monastic Sites (T)
  23. Ellis Island (T)
  24. Francke Foundation Buildings (T)
  25. Frontiers of the Roman Empire - The Danube Limes in Bulgaria (T)
  26. Gdansk - Town of Memory and Freedom (T)
  27. Great Pskov (T)
  28. Great Spas of Europe (UK) (T)
  29. Hikone-Jo (castle) (T)
  30. Historical Lisbon, Global City (T)
  31. Kaunas 1919-1939: The Capital Inspired by the Modern Movement (T)
  32. Knights Fortifications around the Harbours of Malta (T)
  33. Kyiv: Saint Sophia Cathedral with Related Monastic Buildings, St. Cyril's and St. Andrew's Churches, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (T)
  34. L'ensemble rupestre de Basarabi (T)
  35. La Camargue (T)
  36. La Moneda Palace (T)
  37. Lake Maggiore and Lake D'Orta lakelands (T)
  38. Lake Titicaca (T)
  39. Le Palais de Justice de Bruxelles (T)
  40. Le palais de Princes Eveques de Liège (T)
  41. Leuven/Louvain, batiments universitaires, l'héritage de six siècles au sein du centre historique (T)
  42. Maltese Catacomb Complexes (T)
  43. Massif du Mont Blanc (T)
  44. Massif du Mont-Blanc (T)
  45. Mattanchery Palace, Ernakulam, Kerala (T)
  46. Mdina (Citta Vecchia) (T)
  47. Metz Royale et Impériale, enjeux de pouvoir, confrontations stylistiques et identité urbaine (T)
  48. Monte Verde Archaeological Site (T)
  49. Mt. Soraksan Nature Reserve (T)
  50. Nice, la ville neuve née du tourisme, ou l’invention de la Riviera (T)
  51. Noyau historique d'Antwerpen -Anvers- de l'Escaut aux anciens remparts de vers 1250 (T)
  52. Nuruosmaniye Complex (T)
  53. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (T)
  54. Padova Urbs Picta. Giotto, the Scrovegni Chapel and the 14th century painting cycles (T)
  55. Petrified Forest National Park (T)
  56. Pobiti Kamani Natural Monument (T)
  57. Pombaline Lisbon (T)
  58. Pulacayo, Industrial Heritage Site (T)
  59. Residence Ensemble Schwerin - Cultural Landscape of Romantic Historicism (T)
  60. Roman Ways. Itineraries of the Roman Empire (T)
  61. Romanesque Cathedrals in Puglia (T)
  62. Rostov Kremlin (T)
  63. Sacred Titicaca Lake (T)
  64. Salento and the "Barocco Leccese" (T)
  65. San Francisco Church and Convent (T)
  66. Seoul City Wall (T)
  67. ShUM cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz (T)
  68. Site of the Retiro and the Prado in Madrid (T)
  69. Sites funéraires et mémoriels de la Première Guerre mondiale (Front Ouest) (T)
  70. Sites funéraires et mémoriels de la Première Guerre mondiale (Front Ouest) (Belgium) (T)
  71. Sites of Globalization (T)
  72. Southwest Coast (T)
  73. Sultan Bayezid II Complex: A Center of Medical Treatment (T)
  74. Temples, Shrines and other structures of Ancient Kamakura (T)
  75. That Luang de Vientiane (T)
  76. The Augustow Canal (Kanal Augustowski) (T)
  77. The Burren (T)
  78. The Colonial Transisthmian Route of Panamá (Ruta Colonial Transístmica de Panamá) (T)
  79. The Historic City of Dublin (T)
  80. The Jewish Cemetery of Altona Königstrasse. Sephardic Sepulchral Culture of the 17th and 18th century between Europe and the Caribbean (T)
  81. The late ancient tomb of Silistra (T)
  82. The Monastic City of Clonmacnoise and its Cultural Landscape (T)
  83. The Olive Grove Landscapes of Andalusia (T)
  84. The Porticoes of Bologna (T)
  85. The Rise of Systematic Biology (T)
  86. The Roussensky Lom National Park (T)
  87. The Royal Sites of Ireland: Cashel, Dún Ailinne, Hill of Uisneach, Rathcroghan Complex, and Tara Complex (T)
  88. The Silver Route (T)
  89. Torres del Paine and Bernardo O'Higgins National Parks, Region of Magallanes (T)
  90. Trading Posts and Fortifications on Genoese Trade Routes from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea (T)
  91. Trakai Historical National Park (T)
  92. Victoria Lines Fortifications (T)
  93. Western Stone Forts (T)
  94. Yıldız Palace Complex (T)

Reviewed TWHS

  1. The late ancient tomb of Silistra (T)
  2. The Royal Sites of Ireland: Cashel, Dún Ailinne, Hill of Uisneach, Rathcroghan Complex, and Tara Complex (T)
  3. Citadel of Alessandria (T)
  4. Maltese Catacomb Complexes (T)
  5. Knights Fortifications around the Harbours of Malta (T)
  6. Sites funéraires et mémoriels de la Première Guerre mondiale (Front Ouest) (T)
  7. Roman Ways. Itineraries of the Roman Empire (T)
  8. Archaeological Site and Historic Centre of Panamá City (T)
  9. Early Medieval Monastic Sites (T)
  10. Frontiers of the Roman Empire - The Danube Limes in Bulgaria (T)
  11. The Colonial Transisthmian Route of Panamá (Ruta Colonial Transístmica de Panamá) (T)
  12. Rostov Kremlin (T)
  13. The Roussensky Lom National Park (T)
  14. La Moneda Palace (T)
  15. The Olive Grove Landscapes of Andalusia (T)
  16. Le site de Koh Ker (T)
  17. Darwin's Landscape Laboratory (T)
  18. The Rise of Systematic Biology (T)
  19. That Luang de Vientiane (T)
  20. Site of Southern Yue State (T)
  21. The timeless, humanistic architecture of Jože Plečnik (T)
  22. Cal Orck'o: Footprints of time (T)
  23. Sultan Bayezid II Complex: A Center of Medical Treatment (T)
  24. Yıldız Palace Complex (T)
  25. Lake Titicaca (T)
  26. Sacred Titicaca Lake (T)
  27. Pulacayo, Industrial Heritage Site (T)
  28. Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac (T)
  29. Western Stone Forts (T)
  30. The Augustow Canal (Kanal Augustowski) (T)
  31. Gdansk - Town of Memory and Freedom (T)
  32. Torres del Paine and Bernardo O'Higgins National Parks, Region of Magallanes (T)
  33. Monte Verde Archaeological Site (T)
  34. Romanesque Cathedrals in Puglia (T)
  35. Salento and the "Barocco Leccese" (T)
  36. Southwest Coast (T)
  37. Asuka-Fujiwara : Archaeological sites of Japan's Ancient Capitals and Related Properties (T)
  38. Teylers (T)
  39. The Jewish Cemetery of Altona Königstrasse. Sephardic Sepulchral Culture of the 17th and 18th century between Europe and the Caribbean (T)
  40. Chatham Dockyard and its Defences (T)
  41. Francke Foundation Buildings (T)
  42. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (T)
  43. Darmstadt Artists' Colony Mathildenhöhe (T)
  44. The Monastic City of Clonmacnoise and its Cultural Landscape (T)

Top 50 Missing Sites

  1. Alexandria, ancient remains and the new library
  2. Atacama Desert
  3. Chernobyl
  4. Ciudad Perdida, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
  5. Cultural Landscape of Santorini
  6. Golden Gate Bridge
  7. Great Gobi Desert
  8. Historic University Towns of Oxford and Cambridge
  9. Jericho
  10. Lake Titicaca
  11. Major Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright
  12. Mecca, Kaaba
  13. Okavango Delta
  14. Panama Canal
  15. Shwedagon Pagoda
  16. Silk Roads
  17. Sites Mégalithiques de Carnac
  18. The Grand Canal
  19. Transiberian Railway
  20. Ur

Top 200 WHS

  1. Acropolis
  2. Troy
  3. Pompei
  4. Leptis Magna
  5. Pont du Gard
  6. Borobudur
  7. Haeinsa Temple
  8. Pyramids (Memphis)
  9. Aachen Cathedral
  10. Ravenna
  11. Vatican City
  12. Piazza del Duomo (Pisa)
  13. Mont-Saint-Michel
  14. Westminster
  15. Kremlin and Red Square
  16. Kinderdijk
  17. Aksum
  18. Guanajuato
  19. Thingvellir
  20. Wadi Rum
  21. Museumsinsel (Museum Island)
  22. Jantar Mantar
  23. Ancient Thebes
  24. Grand Canyon
  25. Völklingen Ironworks
  26. Ancient Kyoto
  27. Gyeongju
  28. Galapagos Islands
  29. Yellowstone
  30. Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve
  31. Redwood
  32. Tasmanian Wilderness
  33. Yosemite National Park
  34. Ilulissat Icefjord
  35. Chola Temples
  36. Khajuraho Group of Monuments
  37. Sun Temple, Konarak
  38. Hampi
  39. Itsukushima Shrine
  40. Ha Long Bay
  41. Lena Pillars
  42. Cuzco
  43. West Norwegian Fjords
  44. Great Barrier Reef
  45. Siena
  46. Granada
  47. Dubrovnik
  48. Cracow
  49. Vienna
  50. Brugge
  51. Rhodes
  52. Arab-Norman Palermo
  53. Agra Fort
  54. Crac des Chevaliers
  55. Hill Forts of Rajasthan
  56. Himeji-jo
  57. Great Wall
  58. Tower of London
  59. Fortress of Suomenlinna
  60. Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines
  61. Machu Picchu
  62. Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch
  63. Great Himalayan National Park
  64. Persepolis
  65. Petra
  66. Rapa Nui
  67. Imperial Palace
  68. Versailles
  69. Changdeokgung Palace Complex
  70. El Escurial
  71. Dinosaur Provincial Park
  72. Persian Garden
  73. Studley Royal Park
  74. Site of Carthage
  75. Amsterdam Canal Ring
  76. Florence
  77. St. Petersburg
  78. Paris, Banks of the Seine
  79. Chaco Culture
  80. Mesa Verde
  81. Teotihuacan
  82. Tikal National Park
  83. Chichen-Itza
  84. Palenque
  85. Stonehenge
  86. Çatalhöyük
  87. Nasca Lines
  88. Works of Antoni Gaudí
  89. Okavango Delta
  90. The Sundarbans
  91. Iguazu National Park
  92. Altamira Cave
  93. Angkor
  94. Fatehpur Sikri
  95. Grand Canal
  96. Mountain Railways of India
  97. Venice and its Lagoon
  98. Istanbul
  99. Rome
  100. Damascus
  101. Old City of Jerusalem
  102. Prague
  103. Split