Discover Europe's crown jewels and hidden gems

Explore Europe's Ancient, Romantic, Royal, and Underground World Heritage

The Cultural Landscape of Sintra outside Lisbon, Portugal was the first cultural landscape inscribed on the World Heritage List.
Photograph by rmune / Getty Images

European culture has had a profound impact on human history. Its rich heritage has shaped the modern world in countless ways, and much of it is preserved for everyone to see and experience.

In addition to thousands of national and local heritage sites, over 400 cultural sites across the European Union have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List—from prehistoric cave paintings and ancient amphitheatres to glorious cathedrals and centuries-old agricultural, industrial, and urban landscapes that are still thriving today.

Europe’s World Heritage sites tell epic stories of the past and bolster present-day economies and identities. Strong efforts to conserve these treasures have helped Europe become the world’s most popular global tourism destination. But with tourism growing, it’s important for visitors and locals to use these places sustainably, enjoying their rich cultural heritage without damaging what makes them special.

World Heritage Journeys Europe highlights 34 UNESCO sites across the European Union, some iconic and others less known. These places tell stories of European history and culture through the lens of four heritage themes, or Journeys that illuminate different sides of Europe’s heritage, from the Ancient to the Romantic and the Royal to the Underground world beneath our feet. The website provides insider tips on the best attractions and experiences for travelers to appreciate and support the outstanding universal value of these places.

Co-funded by the European Union, World Heritage Journeys Europe is an initiative by UNESCO, in collaboration with National Geographic and local heritage and tourism managers, to showcase World Heritage destinations across the EU, and help travelers experience these places in ways that highlight and sustain their outstanding values and benefit local communities.

Dive deeply into these amazing places at You’ll find in-depth guides to each UNESCO site, including its history and significance, top attractions, and insider tips on how to best experience its outstanding universal value. Save your favorite sites, attractions, and experiences to your personal itinerary map to plan your epic journey.

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