UNESCO Site Rankings

These are the UNESCO World Heritage Sites that I have visited, evaluated, and done a full review on. In other words, given the title of this website, this is the bread and butter of it all! This isn’t just a “standings list” as next to each ranking number, there is a link to the full article on that UNESCO world heritage site. Each evaluation is filled with a lot of detail, and like always, a ton of pictures so make sure to click around. [Last Update 06/12/2017]

#1 Te Wahipounamu (96/100) [South Island, New Zealand] (Full Article)

Mt. Cook

#2 Gunung Mulu National Park (92/100) [Borneo, Sarawak, Malaysia] (Full Article)

Gunung Mulu National Park

#3 Angkor (91/100) [Siem Reap, Cambodia] (Full Article)


#4 Yellowstone National Park (90.5/100) [Wyoming, USA] (Full Article)

Yellowstone NP

#5 Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines (90/100) [Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico] (Full Article)

El Pipila

#6 Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (88/100) [Aguascalientes, Cuzco Region, Peru] (Full Article)

Machu Picchu

#7 Everglades National Park (86.5/100) [Florida, United States] (Full Article)

Florida Gators

#8 Historic City of Ayutthaya (86/100) [Ayutthaya Province, Thailand] (Full Article)

#9 Komodo National Park (84/100) [(near) Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia] (Full Article)

Komodo National Park

#10 Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura (83.5/100) [Rome, Lazio, Italy] (Full Article)

Colosseum of Rome 2

#11 Historical Center of Mexico City and Xochimilco (81/100) [Mexico City, Mexico] (Full Article)

Historic Center of Mexico City and Xochimilco

#12 Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor [Terracotta Army] (80/100) [Xi’an, Shaanxi, China] (Full Article)

Mauseoleum of the First Qin Emperor

Tie – #14 Sian Ka’an (79/100) [Quintana Roo, Mexico] (Full Article)

Sian Ka'an

Tie – #14 Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen Itza (79/100) [Yucatan, Mexico] (Full Article)

El Castillo - Chichen Itza

#15 Venice and its Lagoon (75/100) [Venice, Veneto, Italy] (Full Article)

Venice and its Lagoon

#16 Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji, and Otsu Cities) (74.5/100) [Kyoto, Kansai, Japan] (Full Article)Golden Pavilion Kyoto

#17 The Great Wall (73/100) [Beijing, China] (But stretches across half of China) (Full Article)

The Great Wall

#18 Vatican City (71/100) [The Holy See,(within Rome, Lazio, Italy) ] (Full Article)

Vatican City

Tie – #20 Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan (68/100) [Mexico State, Mexico] (Full Article)

Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan

Tie – #20 The Grand Canyon (68/100) [Arizona, USA] (Full Article)

Grand Canyon National Park

#21 Haeinsa Temple Janggyeon Panjeon, the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks (67/100) [ South Gyeongsang-do, South Korea] (Full Article)

Haeinsa Temple Janggyeong Panjeon the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks

Tie – #23 Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple (66/100) [North Gyeongsang-do, South Korea] (Full Article)

Beautiful Bulguksa

Tie – #23 Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex (66/100) [Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand] (Full Article)

Khao Yai Python

#24 Mesa Verde National Park (64/100) [Colorado, USA] (Full Article)

Spruce Tree Palace

#25 Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes (63.5/100) [Jeju-do, South Korea] (Full Article)

Jeju Island - Hallasan

Tie – #27 Archaeological Area of Agrigento (63/100) [Agrigento, Sicily, Italy] (Full Article)

Archaeological Area of Agrigento

Tie – #27 Historic Center of Zacatecas (63/100) [Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico] (Full Article)

Historical Center of Zacatecas

#28 Redwood National and State Parks (62/100) [Northern California, USA] (Full Article)

Redwood National and State Parks

#29 Old Town of Lijiang (59/100) [Lijiang, Yunnan, China] (Full Article)

Old Town of Lijiang

#30 Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-Ji Area (55.5/100) [Nara, Kansai, Japan] (Full Article)


#31 Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana (55/100) [Nasca, Peru] (Full Article)

Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana

#32 Chaco Culture (50/100) [New Mexico, USA] (Full Article)

Petroglyph - Chaco Culture

#33 Preah Vihear Temple (46/100) [Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia] (Full Article)

Preah Vihear

#34 Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range (45/100) [Wakayama, Kansai, Japan] (Full Article)Karukaya 2

#35 Changdeokgung Palace Complex (44.5/100) [Seoul, South Korea] (Full Article)

Changdeok Palace 2

#36 Historic Villages of Korea: Yangdong and Hahoe (43/100) [North Gyeongsang-do, South Korea] (Full Article)

"Bak" growing on roofs

#37 Gochang, Hwasun, and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites (42.5/100) [North Jeolla-do, South Korea] (Full Article)

Ganghwa Big Dolmen

#38 Sacred Place and Source of Artistic Inspiration (41/100) [Chubu, Shizuoka, Japan] (Full Article)

Kawaguchiko - Fuji

#39 Gyeongju Historic Areas (40/100) [North Gyeongsang-do, South Korea] (Full Article)

Gyeongju Historic Areas

#40 Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty (39/100) [Seoul or Gyeonggi-do, South Korea] (Full Article)

Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty

#41 Piazza Del Duomo, Pisa (37/100) [Pisa, Tuscany, Italy] (Full Article)

Piazza Del Duomo, Pisa

#42 Jongmyo Shrine (34/100) [Seoul, South Korea] (Full Article)

Jongmyo Shrine

#43 Hwaseong Fortress (33/100) [Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea] (Full Article)

Hwaseong Fortress Flood Gate

#44 City of Cuzco (32/100) [Cusco Region, Peru] (Full Article)

While not very big, there are some interesting twists and turns throughout the city.

#45 Historic Centre of Lima (31/100) [Lima, Peru] (Full Article)

Lima Center

#46 Hospicio Cabañas, Guadalajara (30/100) [Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico] (Full Article)

Jose Orozco Painting

#47 Namhansanseong (21/100) [Gyeonggi-do, South Korea] (Full Article)

Stunning view Namhansanseong

#48 Pyu Ancient Cities (19.5/100) [Pyay, Bago State, Myanmar] (Full Article)

Pagoda Sri Ksetra - Pyu City

#49 Sydney Opera House (15/100) [Sydney, New South Wales, Australia] (Full Article)

Opera House

#50 Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci (11/100) [Milan, Lombardy, Italy] (Full Article)

Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with 'The Last Supper' by Leonardo da Vinci

#51 Australian Convict Sites (9/100) [Sydney, New South Wales, Australia] (Full Article)

Australian Convict Sites 3


This is the list so far. Keep in mind that even 5/100 doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go as ALMOST all UNESCO WHS have been worth a look. It just goes to show that when you give extreme evaluation criteria, some places are simply more amazing than others. While I have only evaluated these sites, I have been to many more. Check out the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites I have visited. Stay tuned as this list gets updated every now and again.

19 thoughts on “UNESCO Site Rankings

  • November 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Your rankig is not fair.you have forgotten many more imprtant sites in iran.

    • November 1, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      I have not been to Iran, so I have not evaluated the sites there yet. Which would you recommend?

      • July 18, 2015 at 4:32 pm

        Your ranking is very very unfair. You forgot all heritage sites of Indian subcontinent.

        • July 18, 2015 at 5:08 pm

          I’ve never been to India but you’re right, some great sites there! Which ones do you recommend for my first trip to India?

          • April 30, 2016 at 10:47 am

            None of K. Korea heritages should be considered as world class. I believe this site is operated by “South Korea Travel Guide”, look at your top and you understand why!!

    • April 30, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      It is a ranking of the ones I have been to, not a ranking of all the sites in the world. I’ve been to 70 and 12 in Korea, so obviously they are represented more than India, a country I have never visited. Compared to other countries though, you may have noticed Korea actually did not score very well

  • October 16, 2015 at 11:41 am

    have yku visit india.come to the india and watch UNESCO world heritage

    • October 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      I have not but I really want to. What is your favorite site in India?

  • February 4, 2016 at 12:57 am

    Nice post, Julio.
    On your first trip to India, I would totally recommend the below UNESCO sites. Have been to a couple of these and they are totally breath-taking. I’m a lil partial to historical monuments here, so apologies 🙂

    1. North India – Agra, THE TAJ MAHAL
    2. Central India – Ajantha, Ellora, Elephanta caves
    3. South India – Hampi, Pattadakal

  • April 30, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Absulately DO NOT believe this fake side. It is NOT operated by UNESCO at all, actually by Korea travel agents for conmerical purposes!

    Shame on you Korea!!!!

    • April 30, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      Of course this is not the official UNESCO website… that is found here http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/. This is simply a travel blog, and it kind of surprised me that anyone who likes travel does not know what a travel blog is. Also, remember I need to approve your comments (because of spam) and I will not approve your other one with your disrespectful language. If I were a travel agent, how come I am not selling anything?

  • May 27, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Great list – I like how my native NZ makes it to the top 😛 How many sites have you been to so far… Ive been to 167 now 🙂 Not sure I can rank them all like you but I must say some are better than others…

      • August 9, 2016 at 11:15 pm

        I’ve been to 198 so far … Should hit 200 in the next few days here in Romania. Would love to have you do a guest post on my site … I could also do a guest post for you if your interested on my top 5 UNESCO sites? Let me know – You can contact me at Inspired By Maps on Facebook 🙂


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