The best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe to add to your bucket list (part 4)

Planning to visit Europe? Here are the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe to include on your travel itinerary. The selection includes UNESCO monuments, UNESCO natural heritage sites and UNESCO areas from different cities and countries.

These great heritage sites in Europe are recommended by travel bloggers and all of them have tips that will help you make the most of your visit there.

In order for you to be able to get articles that load fast and for all the great UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe to get the same visibility, I created a series for you. This article is the fourth article in the series and here are the previous ones:

So, are wondering which are the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe? Look no more, as here they are (make sure to read the previous articles to discover all the top UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe that you need to add to your bucket list!) 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are included in this article – and there will be a fifth and last article in this series coming up soon!

The best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe to add to your bucket list

St Kilda, Scotland

by Kathi from Watch Me See; Facebook

St Kilda, Scotland is one of the best UNESCO heritage sites in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #scotlandunesco #scotland
St Kilda, Scotland

By visiting St Kilda, you don’t just get to tick off one, but TWO UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland! The small archipelago 50 miles off the western coast of the Outer Hebrides consists of 4 islands, Hirta, Soay, Dun and Boreray. The islands are home to endemic species like the Soay sheep and the St Kilda wren, as well as some of the largest breeding colonies of gannets, puffins and fulmars. many of them nest on the surrounding sea stacs, which are the tallest in Britain. The impressive Stac Lee measures 165 metres, while Stac an Armin rises 191 metres above the sea. Both of them appear almost white from the distance – that’s how many seabirds sit shoulder to shoulder in their rocky faces. It is no wonder that the islands are a natural World Heritage Site.

The islands have to thank the isolated lives St Kildans have lived on these remote rocks for their status as cultural World Heritage Site. For hundreds of years, people have called the islands their home, living entirely off the land, surviving as seabird hunters and sheep farmers. While the 19th-century layout of the main village remains until today, the oldest archaeological evidence on St Kilda suggests that people already visited some 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. The islands were inhabited until 1930, when the last remaining 30 or so St Kildans were evacuated to the mainland voluntarily – modern life had taken over.

Today, the islands are home to a military radar station and scientists and rangers of the National Trust of Scotland, who are keeping an eye on the local seabird populations, the Soay sheep and of course the many visitors who flock to the islands throughout the summer. You can visit St Kilda on a day cruise from Skye or the Isle of Harris. The trips happen from mid-April to mid-September and last the whole day. You have to bring your own lunch as well as proper footwear and outdoor clothing. You will spend about 4-5 hours on Hirta, before cruising around some of the other islands and stacs for 1.5 hours. Visiting St Kilda is a long and bumpy boat ride and an expensive one on top, but it is an experience you will never forget!

Meteora, Greece

by Elaine and Dave, Show Them the Globe

Meteora, Greece is one of the best UNESCO monuments in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #greeceunesco #greece
Meteora, Greece

Meteora in Greece, with its otherworldly landscape and iconic monasteries perched precariously atop soaring limestone rock pillars, is one of the most hauntingly beautiful UNESCO both in Europe and on the planet.

Set on a rocky plateau, it’s understandable that the incredible natural landscape was chosen by monks in the 11th Century as the spot to build their monasteries. 24 monasteries sit atop sandstone pillars known as the ‘columns of the sky’ in one of the most magical places we’ve ever seen.  The most iconic of the monasteries is the magnificent Holy Trinity Church which balances on top of a vertical stone column above the town of Kalambaka. While is possible to climb to the top, the monks use a small cable car to access the monastery.

As well as exploring the monasteries, Meteora is especially magical at sunrise and sunset when the valley illuminates in a deep orange glow. It is truly magical to perch upon the surrounding rocks and watch the day begin and end in Meteora. Our favourite spot was sunset rock where we experienced some of the most magical sunsets as the sun went down on the valley of hilltop monasteries.

Getting to Meteora is relatively easy as there are good train and buses connections from the Greek capital Athens in the south and Thessaloniki in the north. We chose to drive from Athens to Meteora and explored the area by car. Having a rental car in Meteora was invaluable as walking between the monasteries requires a lot of hiking up and down steep hills!

Ravenna in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

by Kathryn from Travel with Kat; Facebook

Mosaics - Ravenna, Italy - one of the best UNESCO heritage sites in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #italyunesco #italy
Mosaics – Ravenna, Italy –

Before I visited Ravenna in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, I had seen photos of the mosaics and set about planning a visit to see them for myself. They didn’t disappoint. Quite the opposite. They were even more impressive in real life and neither my words or photographs can do them justice.

Altogether there are 8 sites, in and around Ravenna, where these unique early Christian monuments can be found. Built in the 5th and 6th century, the earliest dates back to when Ravenna was the capital of the Roman Empire and with more recent being built in the Byzantine period that followed.

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Via Argentario, 22, was the first I saw, and the queue to enter merely increased the building anticipation. From the outside the building looks rather plain, reflecting the ethos that beauty should be on the inside. Once my eyes adjusted to the light I caught my breath. The mosaics, made up of thousands of little pieces of coloured glass and gold, were even more spellbinding then I could ever have imagined. While the lower walls are covered in marble the upper portion and all the ceiling is laid out in the most beautiful mosaics I had ever seen, following a theme reflecting the victory of eternal life over death.

One stunning site after another followed. Just remember to stop taking photos from time to time to quietly take in their beauty.

Ravenna can be reached by train being just a short detour off the mainline linking Milan, Bologna and the towns along the south-western coast of Italy. I’d recommending visiting in winter to avoid the crowds as the mosaics are all inside it really won’t matter what the weather is like outside.

The Tower of London, UK

by Liliane from My Toronto, My World; Facebook

The Tower of London, UK is one of the best UNESCO monuments in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #ukunesco #uk
The Tower of London, UK

The Tower of London is located in London like the name might suggest. It’s been a UNESCO site since its designation in 1988. The tower is easily one of the must visit UNESCO locations in Europe simply because of how grand and intact it still is. It’s a great piece of history and it’s located incredibly centrally in London.

The Tower of London was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror along the Thames River. It was used as both a fortress defensively and as a place of residence which you can definitely see in the architecture when you walk around. There’s a ton to see and do at the tower including regular showings of what life was like. There’s also an exhibition of all the crown jewels that is definitely worth checking out.

The Tower of London is fairly large and you could easily spend majority of a day exploring it so definitely account enough time for doing so. Do note that a large part of the tower is outdoors so if you visit in the winter (which is possible) make sure to dress appropriately. There are some stair cases you have to climb but nothing extremely strenuous. The Tower of London is an incredibly popular stop for visitors to London so I would recommend getting your tickets in advance, whether that’s online or in person a few days ahead of time is up to you!

Avignon’s historic old town, France

by Maire Bonheim from Temples and Treehouses; instagram

Palais des Popes in Avignon France - Avignon’s historic old town, France is one of the best UNESCO monuments in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #franceunesco #france
Palais des Popes in Avignon France

Avignon in Provence, France, has an incredible walled medieval old town, and the entire historic centre is a UNESCO site. The city is a beautiful destination for history lovers, and it’s well worth ensuring that your hotel is located within the walls of the old quarter.

In the middle ages, the popes of the Catholic church lived and ruled from Avignon. They left behind the incredible Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), as well as several other beautiful buildings and churches dating from the 14th century. The city is built alongside the Rhone River, and you can also visit and walk on the 12-century bridge of Avignon, which ends abruptly halfway across the river. Avignon is also an amazing destination for food lovers, with a profusion of pastry shops, pavement cafes and the delightful Les Halles market.

READ  Top UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe

The city is an easy 3-hour train ride from Paris, and it’s surrounded by several other historic UNESCO-listed day trip destinations, including the nearby town of Arles with its Roman and Romanesque monuments, and the Pont du Gard, both of which you can get to in under an hour by train or bus.

Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

by Claire Sturzaker from Tales of a Backpacker; Facebook

Cesky Krumlov is one of the best UNESCO heritage sites in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #czechrepublicunesco #czechrepublic
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Cesky Krumlov is a beautiful town in the Czech Republic.  It really is like a fairytale, with castle towers, a winding river and narrow cobbled streets to explore.  The town fell into disrepair after World War II, when it was part of Czechoslovakia, but since the Czech Republic was formed Cesky Krumlov has been lovingly restored to its former glory.

The town was awarded UNESCO status in 1992, as an outstanding example of a small Central European town dating from the Middle Ages.  Cesky Krumlov castle dominates the town and is the second largest castle complex in the Czech Republic (after Prague), so is surprisingly large for such a small town.  Despite the small size of the town, there is still plenty to do here with art museums, historic and religious buildings including three monasteries, the neo-gothic church of St. Vitus and other more bizarre museums like the museum of torture, a 3D museum, and a marionette museum.

Although Cesky Krumlov is even more magical in winter, a lot of the attractions and activities are only open from the end of April to November, so visiting in the shoulder season is best.  It is possible to take a day trip to Cesky Krumlov from Prague, in fact, most people who visit Cesky Krumlov do that, but if you spend the night there you will be rewarded with quieter streets to wander around, and the chance to see the town by night, which is definitely worth it!  Cesky Krumlov is well connected by bus and train links to Prague, or there are plenty of companies who offer tours to visit this quaint little town.

Kronborg Castle, Denmark

by Jacky from Nomadic Epicureans; Facebook

Kronborg Castle, Denmark is one of the best UNESCO monuments in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #denmarkunesco #denmark
Kronborg Castle, Denmark

One of the few UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Denmark is Kronborg Castle. Located in the North of the island of Zealand, it was once an important fortification at one of the only outlets of the Baltic Sea and of great strategic importance. The original castle dates back to the 1420s, although the castle as we know it today was designed in the late 16th century. Today, it’s one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe.

Apart from its historic importance, Kronborg is famous for being the location of one of the world’s greatest literary works, Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The work tells of the tragic life of the prince of Denmark, Hamlet, at his childhood home Elsinore (Kronborg). If you visit Kronborg Castle today, references to Shakespeare are almost infinite. This is particularly true during the summer months when the castle extends its opening hours. There are live interpretations of the play held throughout the castle grounds, featuring the work’s most memorable scenes. Additionally, Kronborg has been the site of a long-running summer theater putting on Shakespeare productions. Throughout the years, Hamlet has been played by great names such as Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, and Jude Law. The summer theater runs through the months of August and tickets in the back rows are rather affordable.

Kronborg Castle is easy to reach by public transport from Copenhagen. Trains run several times per hour. The castle is quite big and takes about 2 hours to see in a bit of a rush. Make sure not to miss the cannon tower for beautiful views of Helsingør and the casemates (especially in the evening!).

Newgrange, Ireland

by Nina from Nina Near and Far; instagram

Newgrange, Ireland is one of the best UNESCO heritage sites in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #irelandunesco #ireland
Newgrange, Ireland

Newgrange is an ancient site in Ireland. At 5,500 years old, it’s even older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids. It’s the most visited heritage site in Ireland, but even so draws only 200,000 visitors per years. All of the history and magnificance, but with less of the crowds makes it an ideal UNESCO site to visit in Europe.

When Newgrange was first built, it served as a passage tomb and temple. It’s thought that people of significance within the tribe that built it were buried here. The tomb was at one point closed and covered up, but was rediscovered in the 1600’s. In nearby villages, stories about the tombs were passed on down generations. One story told of a day each year when the inside of the tomb was illuminated. A professor heard this story, and after many visits to the tomb realized the day in question was the winter solstice. The tomb is precisely designed so that on the winter solstice each year, a small opening of light at the entrance allows enough light through, at just the right angle, to light up the deepest, darkest corners.

If you visit today, you will have the opportunity to experience the tomb in complete darkness, and to see what it’s like during the solstice with the help of electric lightening. To actually visit during the solstice requires that you win an annual lottery. One of the incredible things about visiting Newgrange is the organization of the site, so that it’s never too busy. Only small groups are permitted on the grounds at any given time, and always with a guide. This makes it easy to capture photos and explore the tomb up close.

The best time to visit Newgrange is in the summer, and the nearby Newgrange farm is a perfect spot to stop for lunch. The great thing about how the site is organized is that time of day doesn’t really matter. If you do have to wait your turn to go on site, there’s a beautiful visitors centre and museum nearby with information about Newgrange, and preserved artefacts that you can learn about until it’s time to go in. Get there by driving yourself, or by going on a day trip that includes Newgrange and Hill of Tara, another historical site nearby.

Vatican City

by Sherrie from Travel By A Sherrie Affair; Facebook

Vatican City is one of the best UNESCO heritage sites in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #italyunesco #italy
Vatican City

No matter how many times I go to Rome, and it has been several, I always make time to visit Vatican City.  When you arrive in Rome, you have the feeling that Vatican City is the heart of all  Italy.  Even if you are not Catholic this UNESCO site will have you in awe of the magnitude and importance of Vatican City.

To visit Vatican City you need be aware that there is a strict dress code and you must abide.  No shorts, no bare shoulders and women should have dresses covering their knees.  Due to the necessary security needed with today’s times it is a good idea to purchase a “no wait in line” ticket with tour companies.  These tickets can be for St. Peters Cathedral and/or the Sistine Chapel.   Otherwise, depending on the time of year you can be in line for hours!

Be prepared to spend several hours exploring.  Inside the Vatican it is hard to describe in words, it is so massive with marble, artwork and artifacts.  You can even climb to the top of the Vatican for an unbelievable view of all of Rome. The tour of the Sistine Chapel brings you through the museums before you actually are able to enter the chapel.  Once in the chapel there is no talking, if you are lucky you will be able to grab a seat on a bench to take your time to admire Michelangelo’s work.

If you happen to be in Rome on a Wednesday you will be able to have a private audience with the Pope if he is there.  You can purchase a ticket and arrive early to get a good seat.  In the summer the Papal audience is held in St. Peters square and Pope Francis says that everyone is invited with or without a ticket.

Acropolis, Greece

by Ahlan Monica; instagram

Acropolis, Greece is one of the best UNESCO monuments in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #greeceunesco #greece
Acropolis, Greece

While in Greece alone there are 18 UNESCO sites, undeniably the most well-known is the Acropolis. With 360 views of the city below, the Acropolis is a must-see not only for the panoramic views, but for the historical monuments built on top.

As you make your way up the hill, take a venture on some of the surrounding paths. To the left of the ticketing stands is a path that leads to a small hill where you can take in the Parthenon from a short distance! On your way to purchase tickets, take a few minutes to admire the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, an ancient auditorium that is still used for events today. For 20€ you’ll buy your entrance into the Acropolis and for 10€ more you’ll have a multi-site pass to 6 other archeological sites around the city.

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Next, as you make your way to the Parthenon located on the Acropolis hilltop, take in the grandeur of the symbol of Ancient Greece. The Parthenon is a structure with a fascinating and diverse history, throughout its life having been home to a Church, Mosque and a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. As you walk among the ruins that remain, be aware that the area is very exposed with almost no shade.

The best time of day to visit is in the early morning (they open at 8am) so as to avoid the crowds and beat the heat! Be sure to wear comfortable shoes as the stones can be both wobbly and slippery. Arrive hydrated before entering as they don’t allow outside beverages.

Paphos, Cyprus

by Tom from Travel Past 50; Facebook

A mosaic from the House of Dionysius. The legend says "The first wine drinkers" in ancient Greek - Paphos, Cyprus is one of the best UNESCO monuments in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #cyprusunesco #cyprus
A mosaic from the House of Dionysius. The legend says “The first wine drinkers” in ancient Greek

The ancient city of Paphos, Cyprus, at the edge of the current city of Paphos, is called the city of mosaics, which is not a bad thing to be known by. The ancient parts of the city are, collectively, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ancient sites are spread over various parts of town and distinguish themselves with lots of excellent mosaics.

In the ancient sector, there are three excavated ancient homes in what obviously was the wealthy part of town. The House of Aion is the smallest of the three, but, for me, has the most delicate and expressive of the works. The Leda at her bath, who is about to meet Zeus in the form of a swan, is a marvel in its detail, which rivals that of a fresco. Unfortunately, the walls of all these homes are gone, so there are no frescoes to compare with.

The House of Theseus is a huge home, with over 40 rooms, but unfortunately many of the mosaics are covered for protection and you can only see them on the signs posted next to where they are buried in sand. I love though, that the mosaic of Theseus and the Minotaur is exposed, and that the surrounding design is in the form of a labyrinth.

The House of Dionysius is also large, with perhaps 20 rooms, and it has been totally enclosed with new modern walls and a roof, so all the mosaics are visible. They’ve built an elevated walkway throughout the new building over the ruins of the interior walls. So, you can see all the floors of the rooms and their mosaics.

Just a short drive from Paphos is the legendary birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, in Kouklia. The site itself is rather spare, with just a few columns and fragments of walls left to suggest its early grandeur. However, there is a very nice small museum on site with plenty of artifacts from the area.  In the museum is an original mosaic of Leda and the Swan that was removed long ago by treasure hunters but later recovered.

The fortified church in Viscri, Romania

by Iulia from The Traveling Tulip; Facebook

The fortified church in Viscri, Romania is one of the best UNESCO monuments in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #romaniaunesco #romania
The fortified church in Viscri, Romania

In the picturesque village of Viscri, one can find a spectacular example of fortified architecture. Built in the 13th century, by the Transylvanian Hungarians, the church was later taken over by the Transylvanian Saxons. Around the 15th century, the church was fortified and transformed, with towers, strongholds and two bulwarks. Throughout the centuries, depending on the needs, various parts of the church had been modernized or re-built, all adding to the impressive structure that it is today.

Perched on a hill, at the outskirts of the modern village, the whiteness of the paint in which the church is covered attracts the traveler immediately. Not only because it contrasts strongly with the greenery around but also because, despite its age, the church stands tall and proud. Once you catch sight of it, after going up the stairs, you can’t help but catch your breath. Not because of the steep hill, but because of the impact that the sight has. Centuries of history come flowing and you can only imagine how important this location was in the older days.

In 1999, the church has been added to the UNESCO list of world heritage sites and with good reason. The church is an extraordinary legacy of the Transylvanian Saxons which were settled on these territories so long ago. Even today, this legacy is preserved by the few descendants left, but also by the villagers of Viscri. Volunteers help run the fortified complex smoothly and from time to time, the interior of the church resounds because of the beautiful music played on the pipe organ. Listening to a pipe organ concert is one of the most enchanting experiences and if you want to visit the church, then would be the perfect time.

Getting to Viscri might seem a bit of a trouble, but the hassle is worth it. If you rent a car or ride a bus from the neighboring village of Bunesti, you will find yourself on a bumpy road, thinking that some sort of mistake has been made. It is believed that the villagers prefer the roads like this, trying to preserve the picturesque atmosphere that surrounds the village and its church. To add to this, they try to limit the technology being used in the village. For instance, there are no ATMs and just a few locations in the village allow card payment. Make sure that you carry around cash with you, because for sure you will find something interesting to buy.

Stonehenge, UK

by Anisa from Two Traveling Texans; YouTube

Stonehenge, UK is one of the best UNESCO monuments in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #ukunesco #uk
Stonehenge, UK

Stonehenge is one of the most famous ancient sites in the world. Built over 4000 years ago, it is hard to comprehend how they were able to move those huge stones without modern technology.  It is also impressive to think about the planning that went into the stone circle. They aligned the stones with the sunrise of the summer solstice and the sunset of the winter solstice.

Your visit to Stonehenge begins with a stop at the Visitor’s Center.  From there, you can take a bus or walk the mile to the stone circle. Normally, you are not allowed to go inside the stone circle, but you can when you visit for the solstice or on a premium tour. Note: Admission is free during the solstice.

To get to Stonehenge from London, take the train to Salisbury and then catch a bus from there.  Be sure to buy your Stonehenge time entry tickets in advance. If you prefer, there are plenty of tours that will take you to Stonehenge.   Some also include other popular attractions like Windsor Castle or Bath.

The Stonehenge stone circle is not the only ancient monument in the area. There are about 20 different ones that make up the UNESCO World Heritage site known as Stonehenge, Avebury, and Associated Sites.  If you want to explore all the ancient sites in the area, it is best to drive. The sites are not all close to each other and there is limited public transportation in the area.

Santiago de Compostela (Old Town), Spain

By Inma from A World To Travel; instagram

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia at night. Santiago de Compostela (Old Town), Spain is one of the best UNESCO heritage sites in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #spainunesco #spain
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia at night

This city, a symbol in the Spanish Christians’ struggle against Islam, became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1985.

Santiago de Compostela is located in Galicia, where rain is said to become art as it embellishes the stone with its reflections and moss everywhere (more than half of the year it rains), and it is not only a mecca for pilgrims on the world famous Santiago’s Way but also a lively urban area full of university students and tourists all year round.

From its old town with its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque buildings, to more contemporary constructions like the recently opened Cidade da Cultura (Culture city), it has a lot to offer in terms of culture, things to do and see and, of course, great food to taste!

If you are wondering when is the best time to visit this Middle Ages jewel, the short answer is anytime if you aren’t afraid to get a bit wet. Pilgrims keep coming from January to December and, although the temperatures in Winter can be around 0ºC and up to 35 or 40ºC in Summer; the lack of crowds in the low season make it ideal as well. Your choice!

Put it on your list of places you should visit before you die now and you won’t regret it! For more awe-inspiring places in Galicia, check out this list of Galicia must-see places.

Historic center of Prague, Czech Republic

by Kevin from The Outcast Journey; instagram

Historic center of Prague, Czech Republic is one of the best UNESCO heritage sites in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #czechrepublicunesco #czechrepublic
Historic center of Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is one of my dream cities to visit in Europe. I landed my feet for the first time in June 2018 and hoping to revisit it as soon as possible. Maybe next year? That I’m not sure yet. Who would not be amazed with the stunning landscape and architectures in this place. Its historic center, which includes Hradcani Castle, St Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge and other churches and palaces, was built between century the 11th and 18th century and declared the area as one of the world heritages in 1992.

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There are numerous things to do and see there, these include try their local food, buy a lot of souvenir items, and also bar hopping, although most of the times it can get very crowded. As a tip, you should go to your favorite spot in the early morning to avoid some extras in your photos. Most of the tourist go around at 7am, so you need to be there ahead by 1 hour. Now, if you’re still contemplating whether to visit or not, don’t hesitate anymore and just book it. You won’t regret anything, plus it’s very close to other well-known cities in the neighbor countries like Dresden in Germany, Vienna in Austria and Wroclaw in Poland. I would definitely take the bus that only cost me about 20 to 30 USD.

New Lanark, Scotland

by Kirstin from The Tinberry Travels; Twitter

New Lanark, Scotland is one of the best UNESCO heritage sites in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #scotlandunesco #scotland
New Lanark, Scotland

Despite its small size, Scotland has a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites covering a range of locations and unique criteria. One of our favourites is New Lanark in South Lanarkshire. Less than one hour from Glasgow and Edinburgh, New Lanark is a testament to Scotland’s forward thinking industrial heritage and was a revolutionary step in workers’ rights, education and safety.

Designed by Robert Owen and dating back to the 18th Century, New Lanark was a model design for industrial communities where wellbeing of workers was accounted for and, as well as being a fantastic historical site, also represents a big change in Scotland’s industrial past as working and living conditioned improved.

A visit here gives not only an insight into the local textile industry but also the lives ordinary workers led. The outdoor site is free to explore with the original buildings still in place and open to view including workers’ houses, shops and classrooms. You can also buy a ticket to the enter the museum section and see the cotton mills up close and working!

It’s fascinating to watch the machines and to experience just how loud it must have been to work with these all day. From the museum section it’s also possible to head up to the rooftop gardens for amazing views over the whole area. As well as the historic buildings and museum exhibits, you can also venture into the surrounding National Nature Reserve which has numerous trails, viewpoints over the picturesque mills and various points of interest including the Falls of Clyde waterfall. While open all year round, autumn at New Lanark is a perfect time to explore for a quieter visit but also to experience the amazing colours of the surrounding woodland areas.

Palermo, Sicily, Italy

by Steph from The Mediterranean Traveller; Twitter

Palermo - San Cataldo; Palermo, Sicily has one of the best UNESCO heritage sites in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #italyunesco #italy
Palermo – San Cataldo

Palermo may not be one of the most well-known UNESCO cities in Europe (perhaps being a fairly recent addition to the list, in 2015), but the Sicilian capital’s heritage game is strong. Its listing encompasses not one but nine sites which together represent the region’s unique Arab-Norman heritage. It includes two palaces and three cathedrals!

For those who know nothing of Arab-Norman history (me neither, until I visited Sicily), here are the basics: during the 1100s a king called Roger I ruled Sicily as part of his vast Norman empire, with Palermo its capital and one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean. Roger practiced a policy of tolerance towards other religions and ethnicities, and the city became a melting pot of cultures.

This mixture of influences is represented in some of the city’s most important civic architecture. You’ll find Arab, Byzantine, Norman, Latin and Jewish styles and techniques side by side, in a blend that is particular to Sicily. Churches topped with red domes, adorned with Arabic script and carved muqarnas, and packed with dazzling Byzantine mosaics.

If you don’t have time for all 9 sites, the main highlights are the bling of Monreale Cathedral and the Palatine Chapel. These are also the busiest sites so try to get in early before the tour groups arrive. My two favourites, though, are the unique churches of San Cataldo and La Martorana which next door to each other and perfect pint-sized examples of the Arab-Norman style.

Goslar, Germany

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Frankenberger Goslar, Germany. The old town Goslar, Germany is one of the best UNESCO heritage sites in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #germanyunesco #germany
Frankenberger Goslar, Germany

Goslar is a dreamy little town, located in the Harz Mountains, in the middle North of Germany. The old town of Goslar which is full of medieval charm became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. But also, the mine of Goslar, which used to be the highest source of income in the area in medieval times has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage. The mine has a history which dates back more than 1000 years and is, therefore, a great place to visit for everyone interested in German history. If you join a tour you can even enter the mine and walk around in it.

The story of the Goslar mine is represented several times a day in the glockenspiel on the market square in the city center. From here you also have access to all the other great attractions you can find throughout the town. The probably most famous one of those is the Emperor’s Palace of Goslar. It has been built more than 1000 years ago and was since then the summer palace for several important German emperors. Just looking at it from the outside is impressive, but after entering you can find some amazing wall paintings and other exhibitions.

Even when you are done visiting all the attractions of the city, Goslar is just perfect to walk around and get lost in the narrow streets which are filled with medieval half-timbered houses.

Goslar is a great destination throughout the whole year. In summer you can combine your visit with a day trip to the stunning nature of the surrounding Harz-Mountains. In winter you can find here one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in whole Germany. Usually, there is also a lot of snow which makes you feel like you just entered some Christmas fairytale.

All in all, even though Goslar is quite a small town there is definitely a lot to see and a visit here is absolutely worth it.

Villa D’Este, Tivoli, Italy

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Villa D'Este, Tivoli, Italy is one of the best UNESCO monuments in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #italyunesco #italy
Villa D’Este, Tivoli, Italy

Tivoli – home to Italian masterpiece gardens and sprawling Roman Villas, is a hilltop town just an hour of train ride away from the eternal city of Rome.

Tivoli, thanks to its altitude, cooler temperatures, and proximity to Villa Hadriana ( summer residence of Emperor Hadrian I), has been a popular summer residence that served as a getaway for ancient Romans. As a result, you’ll see many villas from Roman times in this hilltop town.

One such villa is Villa D’Este – a classic example of a terraced Italian garden, it’s said to have been the inspiration behind the world renown Versailles Gardens in France.

You’ll find a profusion of over five hundred fountains here spread out throughout the villas each with its own distinctive style. It’s a visual treat to watch the fountains here, Villa D’Este is turning out to be a popular destination among day trippers from Rome.

However, there are many other things to do in Tivoli as well, enough to spend at least a day or two here!

How to reach: There are regular trains between Roma termini, Roma Tiburtina stations to Tivoli. and takes about an hour from Rome to reach Tivoli. The frequency of trains is lesser on Sundays, so if you’re planning to travel by train, ideally choose any other day than Sunday!

Cordoba, Spain

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Cordoba Spain is one of the best UNESCO heritage sites in Europe. Read the article to discover more natural sites in Europe, and a list of world heritage in Europe to add to your bucket list. #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #spainunesco #spain
Cordoba, Spain

About a 2-hour train ride south of Madrid, Cordoba is a slice of history like no other. The best time to visit Cordoba is April to June, as a lot of festivals are celebrated in this period and the weather is the kind that puts a spring in your step.

I happened to visit in early August when the Spanish summer was at its most blazing. The heat kept me indoors most of the afternoons but the evenings were pleasant and perfect for a walk on the famous Roman bridge over the Guadalquivir River. The main draw in Cordoba is its famous mosque-cathedral the Mezquita, a multi-arched architectural marvel and a timeless masterpiece. I would never have imagined a structure that is both a mosque and a cathedral, and such a beautiful blend of two entirely different faiths and cultures. It is one of the oldest structures that still lives on from the Muslim rule of the Al Andalus in the 8th century. Even if you’re not a history fan, this place might just make you one!

Tips on visiting: Mornings (except Sundays) have free entrance for the first hour starting at 8.30 a.m. After that the fee is 10 EUR per head. The earlier you go, the lesser people, so it’s definitely worth that little extra trouble.

These are the promosed 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe. As you can see, they are from different countries and they are all great places to visit in Europe. Make sure to include them on your list for your trip to Europe!

 Going to Europe? Check out these 20 of the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe to add to your European bucket list - tips for visiting them included! Save this pin to your board #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #europe

Do you like UNESCo sites? Then I got the perfect recommendations for you - 20 not-to-miss UNESCO World Heritage Sites to see in Europe with useful travel tips for them! Save this pin to your board #UNESCO #unescosites #unescositeseurope #europeunesco #europe

Lori

I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

2 thoughts on “The best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe to add to your bucket list (part 4)

  • 20 September, 2018 at 17:41
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    Some great sites here. Meteora looks stunning! We were a little disappointed with the Tower of London. I think because it’s so touristy it put us off slightly. Same with Vatican City although both are worth seeing.

    Reply
  • 20 September, 2018 at 21:12
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    So many wonderful sites – I’ve only seen 5 of these so far. I’m bursting with ideas for trips now!!

    Reply

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