UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Launched in 1994, the Global Strategy for a Representative, Balanced and Credible World Heritage List reflects the world’s cultural and natural diversity. World Heritage Sites are chosen based on their outstanding universal value.

It is BucketTripper’s goal to have our writers collectively visit all 1007 World Heritage Sites (or as many as are safe for travelers) — and to give you a close, personal account of what it’s like to experience these exceptional destinations. To see how we’re doing, check out the stories, below.

Click on a red flag to find a UNESCO destination | See all destinations | Biospshere Reserves | World Heritage Sites

UNESCO Sites: The Bucket List


Prehistoric Pile Dwellings Museum, Unteruhldingen, Germany (Photo credit: Amy S Eckert, c 2013)

Discovering Prehistoric German Dwellings, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Alpine chalets. Half-timbered wood-and-stucco houses. Long house-and-barn combos brimming with flower boxes. I had seen hundreds of these houses in southern Germany and Switzerland, in the Alpine landscape surrounding Lake Constance. Houses perched above water, on stilts? Impossible! A visit to the Pile Dwelling (Pfahlbau) Museum in Unteruhldingen, Germany, convinced me of just ...
Read More
Cover Photo

Finding Ancient Statues in San Agustin, Colombia

In total, over 500 millennia-plus year-old statues have been rediscovered in the area around San Agustin, many of which are now refurbished and have been returned to the official park site a mile or more outside the town. What’s really cool, though, is that there are still statues throughout the ...
Read More
Day trip with the Sea Lion to Paltra Sur (©photocoen)

Snorkeling with Sharks in the Galápagos Islands

"Shark!" I was facedown in the water, following a schools of surgeonfish weaving their way among the rocks, yet the word registered loud and clear. I looked up and saw my partner Coen waving frantically, pointing to something underneath his body. I swam towards him, careful not to make any sudden movements ...
Read More
Speyer Cathedral, Speyer, Germany (photo credit: Amy S Eckert, c 2013)

Exploring Speyer Cathedral, UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany

If there were any doubts as to the power and prestige of the German Empire, Speyer Cathedral (the Dom or Kaiserdom in German) would lay them all to rest. Such was the goal of Conrad II, Salian King and Holy Roman Emperor, as he ordered construction of Speyer Cathedral in 1030 ...
Read More
Porta Nigra, Trier, Germany (Photo credit: Amy S Eckert, c 2013)

Exploring Roman Ruins in Trier, Germany, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Ante Romam Treveris Stetit Annis Mille Trecentis. Trier stood one thousand three hundred years before Rome. So says the inscription on the front of the Red House in the heart of Trier’s Hauptmarkt square. It’s a bogus claim, one invented by some medieval resident centuries ago. But looking over the wealth of ancient ...
Read More
Taputapuatea Marea is the second most important archaeological site in all of Polynesia (Photo: MCArnott)

Exploring Life on Raiatea Island: A Cruise Shore Excursion in French Polynesia

Ambling through the untidy streets of Papeete, I find myself wondering what happened to the once blissfully depicted capital of French Polynesia. I know the cruise will take us to moss-laden jagged mountains, teeming marine life and stilted over-water bungalows -- the images for which Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora are ...
Read More
Halloween-style jail in the Joan of Arc Garden in Québec City (Photo: MCArnott)

Hounding Halloween Ghosts in Québec City, Canada

A giant spider crawls on the side of an office building. A sailing ship has run aground in front of Québec City Hall. Halloween decorations set the tone for our family visit to Québec City, with grandchildren in tow. Ships have a lot to do with the history of this city: ...
Read More
Church of St. George, Island of Reichenau, Germany (Photo credit: Amy S Eckert, c 2013)

Exploring the Island of Reichenau, Germany, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Nothing prepared me for the stunningly beautiful approach to the Island of Reichenau. A narrow spit of land led from mainland Germany, the causeway washed on each side by beautiful Lake Constance (Bodensee in German), a perfectly blue sky overhead. The road was lined on either side with towering poplar trees, ...
Read More