7 Iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites You Can’t Miss

Pyramids in Egypt

Visiting places designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites has been one of the greatest joys of my travels over the years.

While some are located halfway across the world, others are right in my own backyard. Some of my most memorable moments have happened at these incredible historic and cultural sites.


I’ll never forget standing in front of the pyramids in Egypt for the first time.

Photos didn’t prepare me for how humongous they are! It was amazing to think about the people who built these thousands of years ago without modern machinery. I felt small but also connected to history.


Wandering the old cobblestone streets of Rome was like walking through a living museum. Turn any corner and you’ll find yourself in a bustling piazza with a Renaissance fountain, or staring up at the ancient Roman columns of a temple. The vibe is electric and reminds you this city has been a hub for over two millennia.

3. ITALY Pompeii was chilling because the excavated ruins make the eruption of Mount Vesuvius come alive. Seeing the preserved buildings and objects makes you vividly imagine the terror of those fleeing the ash and lava. The human story left a lump in my throat.

4. TURKEY Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia blew me away with its massive dome and Christian and Islamic architectural details intertwined. It beautifully exemplifies Istanbul’s place at the crossroads of faiths and cultures over centuries. Definitely a must-see.

5. RUSSIA While quite new, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg was maybe the most ornate building I’ve ever seen. The technicolor onion domes and interior mosaics are jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Its history is also quite tragic and fascinating.

6. CHILE And the Moai statues of Easter Island seem so mystical and other-worldly. What drove people to carve these and transport them all over the island? I’d love to gaze into one of their faces and hear their tale.

7. FRANCE Versailles exemplifies royal excess, but I couldn’t help feeling awestruck wandering the famous Hall of Mirrors and picturing the kings and queens who walked there. The sheer scale is unbelievable.

So while they require some effort to reach, I highly recommend visiting these and other UNESCO sites. They’ve profoundly impacted me and created unforgettable memories. Our shared human history comes alive there.

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