33 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites To Discover in 2021

By Seeker Editors @seeker

We have put together this list of the *brand new* 2021 UNESCO World Heritage list destinations across the globe, from ancient temples to elevated pottery towns. These unique sites around the world are famous for their significant history and importance to local culture. Whether you seek to uncover rare biodiversity amongst the tropical Islands of Japan, tour dynamic landscape gardens in Brazil, or discover ancient astronomical sites- these are some of the most cutting edge cultural heritage sites across the globe that made the cut for UNESCO just this year.

New UNESCO World Heritage Sites To Discover in 2021 Map

New UNESCO World Heritage Sites To Discover in 2021 Places

  • Tingrela
    • seeker

      Eight Sudanese-style mosques in Cote D’Ivoire have been designated as World Heritage Sites. The small adobes feature a distinctive Sudanese style and interpret an archaeological style that dates back to the 14th century. One of these unique mosques can be found in Tingrela, along with Kouto, Sorobango, Samatiguila, M’Bengué, Kong, and Kaouara.

  • Ivindo National Park
    • seeker

      With scenic backwater rivers, a sprawling and pristine landscape, towering cascades, and a border of lush rainforests- Ivindo National Park is an adventure waiting to happen. Explore the unique natural landscape, witness fascinating wildlife- including leopards, pangolin, and endangered chimpanzees, and make memories to last a lifetime.

  • Quanzhou
    • seeker

      Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan houses some of the earliest Islamic architecture in China, with impeccable preservation. Explore ancient Islamic tombs, ancient pagodas, detailed inscriptions, and more. The city of Quanzhou itself is an electric metropolis that is full of excitement and activities to enjoy.

  • Iriomote-jima
    • seeker

      Iriomote-Jima is part of a chain of islands that encompass vast rainforests and the unique biodiversity of Japan. A destination *made* for explorers, witness some of the most pristine nature on the planet, traverse vast hiking trails, and witness colorful biodiversity, bordered by picturesque sandy beaches in all directions.

  • Tokunoshima
    • seeker

      Tokushima is an island that encompasses vast rainforests unique to Japan. Untouched nature, rugged coastlines, and adventure lurks behind every corner at this paradise location.

  • Amami Ōshima
    • seeker

      Amami Oshima Island of Japan has been designated, along with its neighboring islands, as a World Heritage Site. These tropical destinations are known to feature sparkling seawater, sandy beaches, and plenty of historical mysteries to uncover. This destination is entirely uninhabited by humans, covered with vast sprawling biodiversity and a number of endemic species that are globally endangered.

  • Suncheon Bay Nature Reserve
    • seeker

      Part of the Korean Tidal Flats that have garnered World Heritage status, Suncheonman Bay is a sprawling oasis of pale pinks and rich greens surrounded by mountains and plentiful water.

  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
    • seeker

      The largest national park in Thailand, Kaeng Krachan that is incredibly popular due to its proximity to tourist sites and incredible wildlife. Camping, hiking, festivities, and more, Kaeng Krachan is perfect for travelers looking to go off the beaten pathway and uncover untouched wilderness.

  • Dholavira
    • seeker

      A fascinating array that is ideal for history buffs and archaeology nerds, Dholarvira is one of the fifth largest Harappan sites, as well as the most dominant archaeological site in India.

  • Kakatiya Rudreshwara Ramappa Temple
    • seeker

      Rudreshwara, or more commonly known as Ramappa Temple, is a sprawling ancient temple located in the Indian village of Palampet. This temple is significant for featuring a high level of artistry in its design that has stood the test of time, featuring intricate carvings that detail dance customs and the Kakatiya culture.

  • Stichting Colonies of Benevolence
    • seeker

      Encompassing four settlements, one in Belgium and three in The Netherlands, the Colonies of Benevolence were formed to combat poverty by creating agricultural colonies in remote locations of the country. In modern-day these quaint villages are pleasant to explore, with historical architecture decorated by the scenic value of the European countryside, flourishing forests, and all.

  • Cordouan Lighthouse
    • seeker

      Built with white limestone by engineer Louis de Foix and later remodeled by engineer Joseph Teulere, this elegant structure has long been regarded as a masterpiece in maritime signaling. Located in a remote destination, amongst a shallow, rocky plateau, the breathtaking lighthouse is an iconic sight to see.

  • Nice
    • seeker

      Officially classified as The Winter Resort Town Of The Riviera (we love that!) Nice has been classified as a World Heritage Site. Naturally, this paradise destination that soaks in the sun year-round, sparkling seas, and southern french culture, complete with colorful architecture, shopping, and some of the best food in Europe needs to be on your bucket list if it isn’t already.

  • Mathildenhöhe
    • seeker

      This high-elevation city located in western Germany was historically known as a buzzing center of emerging arts and crafts throughout the country. A quaint town tucked away in a vast forest surrounded by scenic views, Mathildenhohe is an ideal spot for anyone seeking to embrace the intrinsic artistry of western European history, and be inspired by the fairytale-like setting.

  • SchUM-Städte e.V.
    • seeker

      The SchUM-Sites include an array of monuments, community centers, and cemeteries all dedicated to reflecting Jewish tradition of the middle ages and thousand-year history in the alps. These centers have long been providing a space for Jewish culture to flourish amongst non-Jewish surroundings, with all of the bright and dark elements of history highlighted, An incredibly influential institution, SchUM-Sites has contributed to Jewish language, religious studies, and architectural design.

  • Bologna
    • seeker

      The Porticoes of Bologna encompasses an ensemble of Porticoes and their surroundings, touched with ancient elegance that has stood the test of time-contributing to the rustic vibe of the city, this destination is one for architecture lovers. Walking along the cobbled stone pathways that surround this spot just oozes history and well- Italy, which is now a record holder of most World Heritage Sites.

  • Ljubljana
    • seeker

      Slovenia’s capital and largest city, Ljubljana have long been mesmerizing visitors with its authentic charm, medieval castles, quaint canals, mouthwatering cuisine, and friendly atmosphere- all nestled into the flourishing natural scenery. Some of the iconic staples of the Ljubljana skyline have been designated as World Heritage Sites. These sites designed by Jože Plečnik, including the Triple Bridge, Congress Square, and Žale Cemetery represented urban design that serves the people, a concept that intersects modernist ideas with more traditional Slovenian culture.

  • Snowdon Massif
    • seeker

      Snowdon Massif is one of the largest mountain ranges in North Wales, this destination is a top spot for ambitious hikers who are seeking out those incredible views that you can only find from the summit of a massive mountain.

  • White Sea
    • seeker

      The Russian White Sea is a large freshwater lake that shimmers amongst picturesque greenery and enchanting Russian architecture. Take a canoe or tour the sights to see around the perimeter of this iconic destination.

  • Lake Onega
    • seeker

      Lake Onega is the second largest freshwater lake in Europe, and while the vast glistening waters are absolutely gorgeous, there are *so many* exciting things to see within the perimeter of the famous lake. Tour museums, witness captivating architecture and explore a culturally diverse and unique area in the European section of Russia.

  • Padua
    • seeker

      The effervescent Italian metropolis of Padua has gained recognition by UNESCO for its fourteenth-century fresco cycles, eight religious complexes that stand testament to the magnificence of fresco artworks that blossomed in the Italian renaissance. They include Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel fresco cycle, as well as Guariento di Arpo, Giusto de’ Menabuoi, Altichiero da Zevio, Jacopo Avanzi and Jacopo da Verona.

  • Paseo del Prado
    • seeker

      In the heart of Madrid, Paseo del Prado is a cultural center of arts and sciences that rests in picturesque buildings that line this historic avenue. A pleasant spot in the colorful city of Madrid that any lover of arts and culture should add to their itinerary.

  • Roșia Montană
    • seeker

      Located within a mountainous landscape of western Romania, the Mining Landscape of Rosja Montana features an extensive display of technically diverse gold mining techniques as used by the Romans. Amongst rich hues of green, picturesque scenery, and quaint towns, the remains of this advanced mining have been expertly detailed for any visitors.

  • Kolkheti National Park
    • seeker

      The western Georgian rainforests and wetlands are made up of several national parks including the breathtaking Kolkheti National Park. Made up of lush fauna and flora, endangered species, and miles of humid wetlands- this destination represents only a fraction of what is left of its kind, a treasured spot on this planet of biodiversity and nature that we are lucky to have the opportunity to visit.

  • As-Salt
    • seeker

      As-Salt- The Place of Tolerance and Urban Hospitality. This city was built over three closely-spaced hills and has historically been a thriving center of fortune attracting new settlers far and wide. A symbol of non-segregation, the city was home to both Muslims and Christians who were hospitable and welcoming towards each other. A beautiful destination that is steeped in a friendly and fortunate history, and spectacular culture that intertwines aspects from across the map.

  • Transiranische Eisenbahn
    • seeker

      From the glimmering Caspian sea to the Persian Gulf, this famous railway passes through several climates, mountain ranges, rivers, and more. A once in a lifetime ride that has stood the test of time, complete with impeccable service, breathtaking views, and vintage flair.

  • Takht, Kurdistan
    • seeker

      This World Heritage Site is labeled as the Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat, and it encompasses a mountainous land between the Central-Eastern Valley and the Western Valley that can be found in the provinces of Kurdistan and Kermanshah of Iran. The rugged Zagros Mountains feature human habitation that has adapted over millennia, with impeccable mountain views and fascinating architecture that is one of a kind.

  • Hima Cultural Area
    • seeker

      Saudi Arabia's Hima Cultural Area features impeccable rock carvings that date back to prehistoric times. With over 7,000 years worth of inscriptions from travelers, camping armies, farmers, and more- this is a sight that is a must for any archaeology lover.

  • Aslantepe Ruins
    • seeker

      With the oldest evidence of humankind using administration, impeccable condition of structures, and plenty of guidance and trails to explore, this top spot in Malatya is a fascinating and beautiful display of ancient ruins that are ready for you to explore.

  • Arica
    • seeker

      Within the perimeter of the city of Arica, there are three sites that stand testament to an ancient culture and cemeteries full of both artificially mummified bodies and those preserved through natural causes. One of the oldest sites of mummification, these sites also feature impeccable sculptures, overlooking the endless South Pacific Ocean ahead.

  • Sítio Roberto Burle Marx - IPHAN
    • seeker

      Located just west of Rio de Janeiro, this garden project features the extensive and influential work of the late Roberto Burle Max. Known to create living works of art, and even a “landscape laboratory”, this collection features over 40 years of mesmerizing work.

  • Zona Arqueológica Monumental de Chankillo
    • seeker

      Chankillo Archaeoastronomical Complex is a prehistorical site located within the Casma Valley that encompasses ancient structures and a sandy desert. With a ceremonial center, observatory, and temple all found in the historical grounds- we can get some insight into the importance of astronomy, and the sun's movement for ancient civilizations.

  • Iglesia de Atlántida
    • seeker

      The Cristo Obrero Church or as it is commonly known, Iglesia de Estación Atlántida, is a modernistic church featuring the impactful work of engineer Eladio Dieste. With a distinctive design utilizing minimal materials that features a rigid structure, fascinating elements, and the incorporation of red bricks, this church is sure to delight architecture, history, and culture lovers alike.

  • Tingrela

    Eight Sudanese-style mosques in Cote D’Ivoire have been designated as World Heritage Sites. The small adobes feature a distinctive Sudanese style and interpret an archaeological style that dates back to the 14th century. One of these unique mosques can be found in Tingrela, along with Kouto, Sorobango, Samatiguila, M’Bengué, Kong, and Kaouara.

    August 23, 2021
  • Ivindo National Park

    With scenic backwater rivers, a sprawling and pristine landscape, towering cascades, and a border of lush rainforests- Ivindo National Park is an adventure waiting to happen. Explore the unique natural landscape, witness fascinating wildlife- including leopards, pangolin, and endangered chimpanzees, and make memories to last a lifetime.

    August 23, 2021
  • Quanzhou

    Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan houses some of the earliest Islamic architecture in China, with impeccable preservation. Explore ancient Islamic tombs, ancient pagodas, detailed inscriptions, and more. The city of Quanzhou itself is an electric metropolis that is full of excitement and activities to enjoy.

    August 23, 2021
  • Iriomote-jima

    Iriomote-Jima is part of a chain of islands that encompass vast rainforests and the unique biodiversity of Japan. A destination *made* for explorers, witness some of the most pristine nature on the planet, traverse vast hiking trails, and witness colorful biodiversity, bordered by picturesque sandy beaches in all directions.

    August 23, 2021
  • Tokunoshima

    Tokushima is an island that encompasses vast rainforests unique to Japan. Untouched nature, rugged coastlines, and adventure lurks behind every corner at this paradise location.

    August 23, 2021
  • Amami Ōshima

    Amami Oshima Island of Japan has been designated, along with its neighboring islands, as a World Heritage Site. These tropical destinations are known to feature sparkling seawater, sandy beaches, and plenty of historical mysteries to uncover. This destination is entirely uninhabited by humans, covered with vast sprawling biodiversity and a number of endemic species that are globally endangered.

    August 22, 2021
  • Suncheon Bay Nature Reserve

    Part of the Korean Tidal Flats that have garnered World Heritage status, Suncheonman Bay is a sprawling oasis of pale pinks and rich greens surrounded by mountains and plentiful water.

    August 23, 2021
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park

    The largest national park in Thailand, Kaeng Krachan that is incredibly popular due to its proximity to tourist sites and incredible wildlife. Camping, hiking, festivities, and more, Kaeng Krachan is perfect for travelers looking to go off the beaten pathway and uncover untouched wilderness.

    August 23, 2021
  • Dholavira

    A fascinating array that is ideal for history buffs and archaeology nerds, Dholarvira is one of the fifth largest Harappan sites, as well as the most dominant archaeological site in India.

    August 23, 2021
  • Kakatiya Rudreshwara Ramappa Temple

    Rudreshwara, or more commonly known as Ramappa Temple, is a sprawling ancient temple located in the Indian village of Palampet. This temple is significant for featuring a high level of artistry in its design that has stood the test of time, featuring intricate carvings that detail dance customs and the Kakatiya culture.

    August 22, 2021
  • Stichting Colonies of Benevolence

    Encompassing four settlements, one in Belgium and three in The Netherlands, the Colonies of Benevolence were formed to combat poverty by creating agricultural colonies in remote locations of the country. In modern-day these quaint villages are pleasant to explore, with historical architecture decorated by the scenic value of the European countryside, flourishing forests, and all.

    August 23, 2021
  • Cordouan Lighthouse

    Built with white limestone by engineer Louis de Foix and later remodeled by engineer Joseph Teulere, this elegant structure has long been regarded as a masterpiece in maritime signaling. Located in a remote destination, amongst a shallow, rocky plateau, the breathtaking lighthouse is an iconic sight to see.

    August 23, 2021
  • Nice

    Officially classified as The Winter Resort Town Of The Riviera (we love that!) Nice has been classified as a World Heritage Site. Naturally, this paradise destination that soaks in the sun year-round, sparkling seas, and southern french culture, complete with colorful architecture, shopping, and some of the best food in Europe needs to be on your bucket list if it isn’t already.

    August 23, 2021
  • Mathildenhöhe

    This high-elevation city located in western Germany was historically known as a buzzing center of emerging arts and crafts throughout the country. A quaint town tucked away in a vast forest surrounded by scenic views, Mathildenhohe is an ideal spot for anyone seeking to embrace the intrinsic artistry of western European history, and be inspired by the fairytale-like setting.

    August 22, 2021
  • SchUM-Städte e.V.

    The SchUM-Sites include an array of monuments, community centers, and cemeteries all dedicated to reflecting Jewish tradition of the middle ages and thousand-year history in the alps. These centers have long been providing a space for Jewish culture to flourish amongst non-Jewish surroundings, with all of the bright and dark elements of history highlighted, An incredibly influential institution, SchUM-Sites has contributed to Jewish language, religious studies, and architectural design.

    August 23, 2021
  • Bologna

    The Porticoes of Bologna encompasses an ensemble of Porticoes and their surroundings, touched with ancient elegance that has stood the test of time-contributing to the rustic vibe of the city, this destination is one for architecture lovers. Walking along the cobbled stone pathways that surround this spot just oozes history and well- Italy, which is now a record holder of most World Heritage Sites.

    August 23, 2021
  • Ljubljana

    Slovenia’s capital and largest city, Ljubljana have long been mesmerizing visitors with its authentic charm, medieval castles, quaint canals, mouthwatering cuisine, and friendly atmosphere- all nestled into the flourishing natural scenery. Some of the iconic staples of the Ljubljana skyline have been designated as World Heritage Sites. These sites designed by Jože Plečnik, including the Triple Bridge, Congress Square, and Žale Cemetery represented urban design that serves the people, a concept that intersects modernist ideas with more traditional Slovenian culture.

    August 23, 2021
  • Snowdon Massif

    Snowdon Massif is one of the largest mountain ranges in North Wales, this destination is a top spot for ambitious hikers who are seeking out those incredible views that you can only find from the summit of a massive mountain.

    August 23, 2021
  • White Sea

    The Russian White Sea is a large freshwater lake that shimmers amongst picturesque greenery and enchanting Russian architecture. Take a canoe or tour the sights to see around the perimeter of this iconic destination.

    August 23, 2021
  • Lake Onega

    Lake Onega is the second largest freshwater lake in Europe, and while the vast glistening waters are absolutely gorgeous, there are *so many* exciting things to see within the perimeter of the famous lake. Tour museums, witness captivating architecture and explore a culturally diverse and unique area in the European section of Russia.

    August 23, 2021
  • Padua

    The effervescent Italian metropolis of Padua has gained recognition by UNESCO for its fourteenth-century fresco cycles, eight religious complexes that stand testament to the magnificence of fresco artworks that blossomed in the Italian renaissance. They include Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel fresco cycle, as well as Guariento di Arpo, Giusto de’ Menabuoi, Altichiero da Zevio, Jacopo Avanzi and Jacopo da Verona.

    August 23, 2021
  • Paseo del Prado

    In the heart of Madrid, Paseo del Prado is a cultural center of arts and sciences that rests in picturesque buildings that line this historic avenue. A pleasant spot in the colorful city of Madrid that any lover of arts and culture should add to their itinerary.

    August 23, 2021
  • Roșia Montană

    Located within a mountainous landscape of western Romania, the Mining Landscape of Rosja Montana features an extensive display of technically diverse gold mining techniques as used by the Romans. Amongst rich hues of green, picturesque scenery, and quaint towns, the remains of this advanced mining have been expertly detailed for any visitors.

    August 22, 2021
  • Kolkheti National Park

    The western Georgian rainforests and wetlands are made up of several national parks including the breathtaking Kolkheti National Park. Made up of lush fauna and flora, endangered species, and miles of humid wetlands- this destination represents only a fraction of what is left of its kind, a treasured spot on this planet of biodiversity and nature that we are lucky to have the opportunity to visit.

    August 22, 2021
  • As-Salt

    As-Salt- The Place of Tolerance and Urban Hospitality. This city was built over three closely-spaced hills and has historically been a thriving center of fortune attracting new settlers far and wide. A symbol of non-segregation, the city was home to both Muslims and Christians who were hospitable and welcoming towards each other. A beautiful destination that is steeped in a friendly and fortunate history, and spectacular culture that intertwines aspects from across the map.

    August 22, 2021
  • Transiranische Eisenbahn

    From the glimmering Caspian sea to the Persian Gulf, this famous railway passes through several climates, mountain ranges, rivers, and more. A once in a lifetime ride that has stood the test of time, complete with impeccable service, breathtaking views, and vintage flair.

    August 22, 2021
  • Takht, Kurdistan

    This World Heritage Site is labeled as the Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat, and it encompasses a mountainous land between the Central-Eastern Valley and the Western Valley that can be found in the provinces of Kurdistan and Kermanshah of Iran. The rugged Zagros Mountains feature human habitation that has adapted over millennia, with impeccable mountain views and fascinating architecture that is one of a kind.

    August 22, 2021
  • Hima Cultural Area

    Saudi Arabia's Hima Cultural Area features impeccable rock carvings that date back to prehistoric times. With over 7,000 years worth of inscriptions from travelers, camping armies, farmers, and more- this is a sight that is a must for any archaeology lover.

    August 22, 2021
  • Aslantepe Ruins

    With the oldest evidence of humankind using administration, impeccable condition of structures, and plenty of guidance and trails to explore, this top spot in Malatya is a fascinating and beautiful display of ancient ruins that are ready for you to explore.

    August 22, 2021
  • Arica

    Within the perimeter of the city of Arica, there are three sites that stand testament to an ancient culture and cemeteries full of both artificially mummified bodies and those preserved through natural causes. One of the oldest sites of mummification, these sites also feature impeccable sculptures, overlooking the endless South Pacific Ocean ahead.

    August 22, 2021
  • Sítio Roberto Burle Marx - IPHAN

    Located just west of Rio de Janeiro, this garden project features the extensive and influential work of the late Roberto Burle Max. Known to create living works of art, and even a “landscape laboratory”, this collection features over 40 years of mesmerizing work.

    August 22, 2021
  • Zona Arqueológica Monumental de Chankillo

    Chankillo Archaeoastronomical Complex is a prehistorical site located within the Casma Valley that encompasses ancient structures and a sandy desert. With a ceremonial center, observatory, and temple all found in the historical grounds- we can get some insight into the importance of astronomy, and the sun's movement for ancient civilizations.

    August 22, 2021
  • Iglesia de Atlántida

    The Cristo Obrero Church or as it is commonly known, Iglesia de Estación Atlántida, is a modernistic church featuring the impactful work of engineer Eladio Dieste. With a distinctive design utilizing minimal materials that features a rigid structure, fascinating elements, and the incorporation of red bricks, this church is sure to delight architecture, history, and culture lovers alike.

    August 22, 2021