Most Incredible UNESCO Cities Worldwide: There are over 1,000 UNESCO World Heritage sites, each with a unique history and culture. From ancient ruins to natural wonders, these protected sites are some of the most incredible places on earth.
Across Europe in London, Paris, Germany, and Norway, all the way to Asia in Japan, Singapore, and Lao, there are simply too many UNESCO sites to list here. Instead, we’ve compiled a list of five Most Incredible UNESCO Cities for more people to explore.
Cordoba, Spain #1
This tiny old age city in Spain’s Andalucia region has only a population of 325,000 residents. Yet, it punches above its weight in historical Architecture. Cordoba has the most UNESCO-listed sites worldwide, and its entire old town is World Heritage listed.
The city’s most iconic site is the Mezquita, a mosque-cathedral built in the 8th century. The grand building is a prime example of Moorish architecture, and its use of light and space is truly stunning.
Cordoba was also an essential stop on the challenging Silk Road, making it a melting pot of cultures.
Quito, Ecuador #2
As the capital city of Ecuador, Quito is the country’s largest city. It is also one of the highest capitals in the world, sitting at an altitude of 9,350 feet on the slopes of Pichincha Volcano. The old town of Quito was the first UNESCO World Heritage site in South America and is full of colonial-era buildings constructed from local materials like volcanic stone.
Quito boasts one of Latin America’s best preserved and most-extensive historical centers. What’s more, Quito was established in the middle of the remains of an ancient Inca city, with a site still remaining along Quito’s northernmost valley.
Bruges, Belgium #3
A visit to Bruges is like stepping into a fairytale. The small city in northern Belgium is often called the “Venice of the North” because of its network of canals. Bruges is one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities, and its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The cobbled streets, cleanest city center, and picturesque buildings are straight out of a storybook and fun to walk around. Since it was put on the map by the movie, In Bruges, the old town has become crowd city, full of tourists! Bruges is also known for its delicious Belgian chocolate, so if you’re game, be sure to indulge!
Luang Prabang, Laos #4
The city of Luang Prabang in northern Laos was the country’s capital until the Communist takeover of its opponents and overwhelming leadership of its citizens in 1975. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is full of cultural and historical significance, with a unique fusion of traditional Laotian architecture and European colonial buildings.
Luang Prabang features over 30 living temples, including the iconic Wat Xieng Thong. The city was also the seat of the Lao royalty for centuries. You can still see evidence of this in the many ornate palaces located throughout Luang Prabang.
Rome, Italy #5
Of course, we couldn’t make a list of UNESCO World Heritage cities without including Rome. The Italian capital is home to an impressive 9 UNESCO sites, making it one of the world’s most culturally-rich cities (with the biggest crowd). From the iconic Colosseum to the Vatican City, there is no shortage of events to see and do in Rome, with decent public transport to catch to get around.
The saying all roads lead to Rome is a testament to Rome, once recognized as the center of the world. Such historical UNESCO sites include the Mausoleum of Agustus, the Pantheon, and the Column of Marcus Aurelius, to name just a few.
Tick off the travel bucket list
We hope these destinations draw inspiration to travel and explore our beautiful world. You can motivate friends or join travel groups dedicated to curated experiences visiting UNESCO World Heritage cities. Either way, they belong on your bucket list!
FAQ: Incredible UNESCO Cities Worldwide
Which city has the most UNESCO?
This is when you tell them Cordoba in Spain has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any city. It is not easy to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Which country has oldest history?
The Japanese Emperor, who rose to the throne in 666 BCE, was apparently the descendant from Amaterasu, the sun goddess. Which country has the longest recorded history? China has the longest history anywhere in the world.
Which is the oldest language in the world?
World’s oldest language is Sanskrit. Devbhasha is the Sanskrit name. Sanskrit is the inspiration for all European languages. Sanskrit is the most ancient language recognized by all universities and educational institutions around the globe.