UNESCO World Heritage Sites

From one world traveler, to another, I recommend regularly consulting the UNESCO World Heritage site list. This is particularly important when looking for stock photography/videography concepts to capture as these sites are considered “premium-grade”.

These captures will not only increase your cultural knowledge, but should help to put some money in your pocket!

What’s an UNESCO World Heritage Site

To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria, which are set out in this link.

imagesHow many World Heritage Sites are there?

There are currently 1092 World Heritage sites in the world, with 845 cultural locations and 209 are natural sites. Italy has the most sites with 54 entries, with five being natural and 49 being cultural.

Link to the complete list on the UNESCO website is here.

Most of the Sites are found in Europe as you an see in the map:


New ones added July 2018 – Get there quickly!

New UNESCO sites were recently added to the list, with 19 new locations being given the title. The majority being outside of Europe.

Should you already have images/footage of these places, I would imagine that they should gain greater importance in the search engines and should result in higher sales. If you’re looking to travel to these places, be quick and get there early since I would also imagine that well-executed images of the following should sell regularly at interesting prices.

Here’s the complete list of new entrants:

  • Aasivissuit – Nipisat in Denmark
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis in Saudi Arabia
  • Ancient City of Qalhat, Oman
  • Archaeological Border complex of Hedeby and the Danevirke, Germany
  • Caliphate City of Medina Azahara, Spain
  • Göbekli Tepe, Turkey
  • Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region, Japan
  • Ivrea, Italy
  • Naumburg Cathedral, Germany
  • Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries, Republic of Korea
  • Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region, Iran
  • Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site, Kenya
  • Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai, India
  • Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains, South Africa
  • Chaine des Puys – Limagne fault tectonic arena, France
  • Fanjingshan, China
  • Chiribiquete National Park – “The Maloca of the Jaguar”, Colombia
  • Pimachiowin Aki, Canada
  • Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: original habitat of Mesoamerica, Mexico

To see an article by CNN with a gallery of the above entries, please see this link.

Some recent UNESCO World Heritage Sites I captured

Convent of Christ in Tomar, Portugal
Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne


Facade to 16th-century Gothic palace covered in symbolic seashell motifs, now an exhibition space & library, Salamanca, Spain
Old City of Salamanca, Spain
Arena and Roman Amphitheatre, Arles, Provence, France
Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments

Since I’m off to Spain next week, I’ll be looking to capture the following UNESCO WH Landmarks:

December 2018 Update

Congrats Grasse, France on making on the list of new Unesco World Heritage Sites for its perfume-making expertise.


About Alex

I’m an eccentric guy on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images. I’m determined not to waste my life away as a corporate drone and have devoted five years to making it as a travel photographer and freelance writer. I hope to inspire others before it’s too late.

I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography

Check out my new photo review service, where I’ll help take your images to the next level and get them sold regularly!



  1. Wonderful Post ..Very Informative & relevant..However , I would like to mention that besides this list drafted by UNESCO, there are ‘N’ number of other sites of archaeological sites all over the world which are just so mesmerizing and a visit there is always enriching ..

    Sheer elegance of the monuments and the whole vintage detailing in their architecture just sets the mood right and delightfully take us back to history ..I too happened to visit a not so popular 16th century Tomb and believe me ,the experience was beyond words..it felt great..I have summarized the details & photographs here :


    #Just Google : Inside Out with Rahul Yuvi

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh how interesting, good to know, thanks Alex! Btw, o/t but I returned after 2 wks in Ireland using that 24-70mm lens and loved it. So versatile for travel shots although admittedly a little heavier to carry around than I would have preferred.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 Glad to hear you had a good time in Ireland. I’m also quite tired after 2 weeks of carrying around that lens (+ a tripod + another camera with a smaller lens). One small twisting movement and I can hear my shoulders cracking haha.

      Looking forward to seeing some of your pics!

      All the best – Alex

      Liked by 1 person

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