10 Countries With The Most Unesco World Heritage Sites

By | January 23, 2023

World Heritage can be of a cultural or natural nature. The sites that are allowed to bear the title of cultural or natural World Heritage are on the Unesco World Heritage List. World Heritage is considered something unique and irreplaceable, something that must be preserved for posterity. Check homeagerly for list of the 7 wonders of the world.

For example, it can be about buildings of great architectural value, unique landscapes, natural areas with an exceptional animal or plant life or about sites that radiate the beliefs, ideas and traditions of a people. The World Heritage Committee compiles the World Heritage List every year. Read more below about the ten countries that have the most World Heritage Sites in the world.

  1. Iran and the United States – 24 sites

The tenth place on the list of countries with the most World Heritage is shared by Iran and the United States. Both countries have 24 World Heritage Sites.

Iran, formerly Persia, is a country with a very long history. Numerous historical buildings bear witness to the glorious past of the Persian Empire. In Iran you will find 22 cultural and two natural sites with world heritage. In the city of Bam in southeastern Iran you will find the Arg-e Bam, the largest building in the world made of a kind of mud or clay brick (adobe). It will come as no surprise to anyone that this building is on the Unesco World Heritage List.

An example of a natural World Heritage Site in Iran is the Lut Salt Desert (Dasht-e Lut).

In the United States, Yellowstone National Park is a World Heritage Site. Yellowstone National Park is known worldwide for its unique hot springs and geysers. It was established way back in 1872, making it one of the oldest national parks in the world. Yellowstone is home to wolves, coyotes, and bears. Fossils of no fewer than 150 different plant species have been found.

As an American cultural world heritage, the Statue of Liberty in New York is on the Unesco list. Of the 24 World Heritage Sites in the United States, eleven are of cultural origin, twelve of natural origin, and one site is of mixed character.

  1. Russia – 30 sites

Russia has a total of 30 World Heritage Sites, of which 19 are cultural and 11 are natural. The historic center of the city of Saint Petersburg, the Kremlin and the Red Square in Moscow are typical examples of Russian world cultural heritage.

However, Russia also has many natural sights that make the designation world heritage more than worth it. Lake Baikal in southern Siberia is a good example of this. Lake Baikal reaches a maximum depth of 1642 meters, making it the deepest lake in the world. The lake was formed 25 million years ago and is the largest freshwater reservoir on Earth. The exceptional fauna and flora in the lake include the Baikal seal (a type of seal) and the Baikalhouting (a type of fish), both of which are only found in Lake Baikal.

  1. United Kingdom – 33 sites

With 33 World Heritage sites, the United Kingdom is eighth in this list. The country has 28 cultural World Heritage sites, four natural and one mixed site. The World Cultural Heritage includes numerous palaces, churches, cathedrals and abbeys. Canterbury Cathedral, the seat of the Primate of the Anglican Church, is one of the most famous church buildings in the United Kingdom. Canterbury is also home to Saint Martin’s Church, believed to be the oldest church building in England, as well as the ruins of Saint Augustine Abbey. All of them have been included in the World Heritage List.

The so-called Jurassic Coast, a coastline in the south of England, is known for its steep cliffs and jagged rock formations. There are numerous fossils from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Reason enough to be considered a natural world heritage site. The Lake District in the northwest of England also received a place on the Unesco list.

  1. Mexico – 35 sites

Mexico also has a rich history and has a large number of unique historical buildings that testify to the culture of the Mayas and the Aztecs. The country has 35 World Heritage sites: 27 cultural, six natural and two mixed. The historic city and national park of Palenque are home to exceptional Mayan structures. The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco, south of Mexico City, reminds of the Aztecs. The ruins of Teotihuacan, a historic city with stepped pyramids, also earned the title of World Heritage.

Mexico’s Natural World Heritage Site includes the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in the southeast of the country. This biosphere reserve is not only a beautiful natural area, but also includes 23 historic ruins of Mayan structures.

  1. India – 40 sites

India is a land of culture and traditions, which has produced no less than 32 cultural World Heritage Sites. The country also has seven natural World Heritage areas and one site of a mixed nature, bringing the total number to 40. The best known Unesco heritage in India is undoubtedly the Taj Mahal, a colossal mausoleum from the 17th century near the city of Agra. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal. The mausoleum, which took 16 years to complete, is made of white marble stone and was declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

It is striking that Unesco also recognized Indian mountain railways as World Heritage. Three heritage railways, the Darjeeling Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway, feature on the World Heritage List as examples of bold railway construction in mountainous terrain.

  1. France – 49 sites

49 sites: this is how much world heritage France has. Of those 49 French World Heritage sites, 43 are of a cultural nature, five natural and one mixed. If you think of historical heritage in France, you cannot ignore the royal castle of Versailles. Sun King Louis XIV had this abode built in the seventeenth century, complete with an impressive French garden, the largest in the world. But the royal castle of Fontainebleau, where Napoleon lived, among others, is also on the World Heritage List, as is Chartres Cathedral and Mont Saint-Michel .

In Normandy, the port city of Le Havre, innovatively rebuilt after being destroyed during the Second World War, also received the title of World Heritage. The Scandola Nature Reserve in Corsica is part of the French Natural World Heritage.

  1. Germany – 51 sites

In Germany, Unesco recognized 51 World Heritage Sites, including 48 cultural and three natural. The list includes the palaces and parks of Potsdam and Berlin. Unesco also recognized the Bauhaus sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau as World Heritage. The Bauhaus was a school for artists and architects, which gradually evolved into an art and architecture style.

The Middle Rhine Valley, the winding valley of the Rhine between Koblenz and Bingen with numerous medieval castles and picturesque villages, is also on the Unesco list.

  1. Spain – 49 sites

Sagrada Familia

It will come as no surprise that Spain is in the top five countries with the most World Heritage. Unesco placed 49 Spanish sites on the World Heritage List, of which 43 are cultural, four natural and two of a mixed nature. The works of Gaudi, the famous Catalan architect, are collectively on the Unesco list. The most famous building by Gaudi is undoubtedly the huge basilica Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, ​​which is still being built today.


The historic center of Cordoba, with the cathedral and former mosque Mezquita, the Alhambra fortress near Granada and the royal palace Alcazar Real in Seville naturally also received a place on the World Heritage List.

  1. China and Italy – 56 sites

The first place in the ranking of countries with the most World Heritage is shared by China and Italy. Both countries can be proud of no less than 56 World Heritage Sites. China has 37 sites of a cultural nature, fourteen natural and four mixed.

Chinese great wall

The famous Great Wall of China was built as a defensive wall hundreds of kilometers long to protect China’s borders against invaders. The fifteenth-century Forbidden City is a palace complex in Beijing from where the Chinese emperors ruled their empire. Other world-famous Chinese historical buildings such as the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven in Beijing also feature on the Unesco list.

Lushan National Park encompasses one of the most beautiful natural areas in China and is considered a Natural World Heritage Site.

In Italy, Unesco recognized 50 cultural World Heritage sites and five natural sites. The historic city centers of Rome , Venice and Florence are of course on the list. It will come as no surprise to anyone that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is also a World Heritage Site. However, the old town centers of lesser-known cities such as Ravenna, Vicenza, Verona and Matera also acquired a place on the Unesco list.

An example of natural Italian World Heritage is the Amalfi Coast, a beautiful stretch of coastline with steep cliffs south of Naples, from Positano in the west to Vietri sul Mare in the east. The Amalfi Coast is a typical example of a picturesque Mediterranean coastline.