15 Stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites That Will Paralyze You With Awe
With up to 1,157 World Heritage Sites across the globe and counting, we sure are spoiled for choice. But which cultural marvels are worth the trouble? What natural wonders stand out most? Read on for a breakdown of 15 of the world’s most incredible UNESCO sites.
1. Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia
Idyllic, pristine, and simply mesmerizing – you can expect nothing less from the world’s largest salt flat. Cacti-studded islets also call the landscape home. Opt for a trip between December and April to witness Uyuni’s famous mirror effect.
2. Great Wall of China, China
Stretching a mighty 13,171 miles, this celebrated structure is the first and last of its kind. Unfortunately, less than 10% of the epic pathway remains intact. Hence, there’s no better reason to start planning your trip today.
3. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Home to the not-so-funny clown fish Marvin, ditzy Dory, little Nemo and Co., the Great Barrier Reef is legendary. This underwater world promises vibrance, unique creatures, and excitement aplenty.
4. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ask any backpacker who’s been to South East Asia, and the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay will almost certainly be a highlight. Towering limestone islands also dot the bay. Whether you explore by boat, snorkel or kayak, this is a backdrop you won’t forget.
5. Easter Island, Chile
Remember that scene from Night at the Museum, where Dum Dum wants Gum Gum? Now, picture a faraway island full of those very same statues. They’re called moai and you can find them on Easter Island, though there is still much mystery over their history.
6. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
A world away from the Game of Thrones buzz in cities like Dubrovnik, this Croatian paradise promises calm. Several terraced lakes connect pouring cascades. Meanwhile, a maze of wooden walkways winds through turquoise streams.
7. Alhambra of Granada, Spain
This striking masterpiece has quite the story. At once a fortress and palace, it’s one of the best-preserved examples of Islamic architecture from the Moorish world. Prepare for a whirlwind of courtyards, intricate geometric patterns and columned arcades.
8. Taj Mahal, India
Universally admired and a new World Wonder, Agra’s iconic ivory-white monument is easy to romanticize. It still conjures up images of hazy summers, with its marble columns and a grand dome like no other.
9. Petra, Jordan
Half-carved into the rock, this majestic temple holds many ancient treasures. Learn the history of the Nabataeans – a silent civilization. Discover what other secrets this sandstone city has in store.
10. Machu Picchu, Peru
A UNESCO site that needs no introduction, you may be wondering, does Machu Picchu live up to the hype? I can safely say from experience that it warrants a visit. Add a hike up Machu Picchu Mountain to really take in the view.
11. Ziggurat of Ur, Iraq
The secrets of Mesopotamia lie in Ur, and this ancient fortification is no exception. Embrace the history and culture of a lost world from this highly misunderstood destination. Iraq is, after all, the cradle of civilization.
12. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Step into a Buddhist complex like no other, where tree roots and sacred spaces weave as one. Meander through these timeless temples. The ambiance is sweet and serene, with a spiritual twang.
13. Karnak, Egypt
Rich in history and vast in legend, the Karnak Temple Complex is believed to be the spot where creation was born. Get up close and personal with different hieroglyphs. Take in the many imposing statues that adorn.
14. Gjirokaster, Albania
Do you fancy a cobblestone fairytale town tucked atop a valley? In my humble opinion, Albania holds the key. Gjirokaster blends Ottoman history, Cold War bunkers, and divine local dishes. Opt for the beautiful Boutique Hotel Musee for a truly immersive stay.
15. Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Soaring turquoise domes, madrasas, and mausoleums await you in Samarkand. Once a central hub of the Old Silk Road, this ancient city is known for its craft production. It continues to stand, ornate, majolica-covered, and ripe with adventure.
Ranked: 20 Most Dangerous Countries in the World in 2023
Wanderlust may take you all over the world, but some countries are too dangerous to visit, and knowing which are best avoided in 2023 could keep you safe.
Let’s take a closer look at a list of the most dangerous countries in the world based on data from the World Population Review.
Worth the Money: 15 of The Neatest Souvenirs From Around the World
You’ve probably been there before after you come home from a trip and someone asks, “What did you get me?” We all love a good souvenir. It instantly reminds us of the experiences we had while traveling. Here are some fun souvenir ideas from around the world.
12 Countries You Should AVOID as a Solo Woman Traveling According to Travelers
Traveling the world is one of life’s biggest joys, but for women embarking on solo journeys, trips to new countries can be stressful and sometimes dangerous. Recently, women met in an online discussion to reveal the countries any solo female traveler should avoid due to a higher likelihood of encountering dangerous situations.
14 Cities in the USA That Are Criminally Underrated According to Americans
Everyone’s idea of a vacation or road trip is a little different. There are certain cities we gravitate towards more often, like San Francisco, NYC, or L.A. Have you considered exploring a new city that’s underrated and, perhaps, under appreciated? Check out these U.S. cities that a popular travel forum voted as “criminally underrated.”
15 Most Dangerous Cities in the World Where Crime Rates Are Off the Charts
There are many ways to measure the danger of any given city—robberies, physical assaults, and even the number of fatal work accidents. However, there is one universally-accepted metric for gauging danger: violent crime rates and property crime rates. Based on recent statistics, here are some of the most dangerous cities around the world (not in any particular order).
Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.