20 Countries With the Most UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Park Guell, Barcelona

We know travel plans are impacted right now. But to fulfill your wanderlust, we’ll continue to share stories that can inspire your next adventure.

For a destination to be classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it must meet particular criteria as either a cultural or natural site. That means the site represents traditions, beliefs, ideas or works of global significance; provides a significant example of architecture; represents a key stage in the Earth’s history; or is home to natural habitats where conservation of diverse biology is maintained.

Some countries are lucky enough to have earned several World Heritage Site designations since the UNESCO World Heritage Committee started the program in the 1970s. We’ve gathered up the 20 that happen to have the most in the world, offering an abundance of significant beauty at practically every turn. Just how many sites do they have and how beautiful are they? Well, check them out for yourself.

20. Sweden

Visby in Gotland County/Getty Images

Cultural World Heritage Sites: 13

Natural World Heritage Sites: 1

Mixed World Heritage Sites: 1

Total Number: 15

Notable UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Rock Carvings in Tanum

Sweden’s notable UNESCO World Heritage Sites include the Agricultural Landscape of Southern Oland, located in Kalmar. Birka and Hovgarden (located near Stockholm) represent an important Viking Age trading center and a Viking Age archaeological site respectively. In Norrbotten, the Church Town of Gammelstad is found near the city of Lulea. It is representative of a type of town that was once common throughout northern Scandinavia.

In the Hanseatic Town of Visby in Gotland County, the best-preserved medieval city is home to multiple church ruins. It is a popular summer vacation spot for Scandinavians, also attracting thousands of tourists annually. The Rock Carvings in Tanum were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The collection of petroglyphs includes thousands of images located along a stretch of land near Tanumshede, Bohuslan.


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