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UNESCO Sites in Spain – Halfway through

UNESCO Sites in Spain – Halfway through

UNESCO sites in Spain  are dotted around the country. Currently there are 49 of these World Heritage sites. It made me wonder how many of these sites I had actually visited.

This list is ever-increasing. Another 24 places in Spain are waiting on the tentative list. Awaiting UNESCO approval are sites such as Jaen Cathedral. The reasons that sites are included are often to raise their profile and ensure a good level of support and conservation of the site.

When looking on the site I discovered that on my travels in Spain it I have already visited half of these landmarks.

Lonja de la Seda UNESCO Valencia

UNESCO World Heritage in Spain 

Here they are:

  • The biodiversity of Ibiza
    Around the year 2000 I visited the islands of Ibiza & Formentera staying for 4 weeks on a small yacht. I remember seeing the natural mud baths and swimming in the beautiful turquoise waters there.
  • The Alhambra, Generalife & Albayzin of Granada
    I live in Granada and know the Albaicin quarter well. Of course I have visited the magnificent Alhambra palace & it´s gardens endless times but it never gets old. I could visit over and over again. The Albaicin quarter is really a residential quarter of the city. To visit it´s best to wander aimlessly, have a coffee at one of the local bars or get lunch with a view. 
  • Archaeological sites of Tarraco
    When I was studying Spanish as a teenage I spent several summers in Tarragona. The archaeological sites there include fortified walls, amphitheatres and other ancient buildings and relics.
  • Seville I have visited this charming city on 3 day break. I loved visiting and taking photos of all the sights in the city as well as exploring the historic monuments and buildings. (photo above)
  • Historic Cordoba – The mosque with it´s infinite arches is a breath taking sight, the river running through the city and synagogue are well worth exploring too.

Spanish UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • The Medina Azahara just outside Cordoba is often skipped by those spending a day in Cordoba. Its an increible site to visit. (not recommended in hot weather as its outdoors with little shade)
  • Historic Toledo – We were unlucky and it rained for the whole of the time we where there (this isn´t typical) however the historic buildings are present wherever you turn. A wonderful city to visit, it feels like you have gone back in time. 
  • Works of Gaudi Barcelona. Of course having lived in Barcelona I am familiar with the Works of Gaudi, one of the less known ones is Palau Guell which I visited earlier this year. The architect creates a special atmosphere with his interior designs as well as using practical elements such as chimney stacks as decorative features.
  • Palau de la Música Catalana. Barcelona. I have actually been lucky enough to attend several concerts in the beautiful Palau de la Música Catalana, this palace is chocolate box pretty with an art deco style entrance hall.
  • On the UNESCO list Ubeda & Baeza in Jaen appear, this is my neighbouring province. I actually did visit Baeza a few years ago. The thing is it was midday in August. Every step we walked was an effort. I only had 1 hour there. So this doesn´t count. I have a few photos but I must revisit and add Ubeda too.


Puerta de Granada Baeza Jaen

UNESCO Sites to See in Spain

  1. Works of Antoni Gaudí 25
  2. Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias 26
  3. Historic City of Toledo
  4. Old Town of Cáceres
  5. Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville
  6. Old City of Salamanca
  7. Poblet Monastery
  8. Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida
  9. Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe
  10. Doñana National Park
  11. La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia
  12. Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona
  13. Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin on the Iberian Peninsula
  14. University and Historic Precinct of Alcalá de Henares
  15. Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture
  16. San Cristóbal de La Laguna
  17. Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco
  18. Palmeral of Elche
  19. Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza
  20. Teide National Park
  21. Antequera Dolmens Site
  22. Caliphate City of Medina Azahara
  23. Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, a landscape of Arts and Sciences

Gaudi Architecture in Barcelona Spain

Visiting UNESCO Spanish World Heritage sites

Merida is a city in Extremadura which I visited in February 2019

Cuenca (in Spain) are places that are being added to my every growing to do list. I am also looking forward to visiting for the famous Casas colgantes (hanging houses, they are perched on a cliff face) but more so this year 2023, as Cuenca has been named Gastronmic Capital of Spain.

I have always wanted to visit Extremadura, I managed to see Merida in February 2019 and also the Monastery of Guadalupe.

Also in Spain there are UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity such as Flamenco which was added in 2010 and the Catalan Human Towers both of which I have seen several times and can highly recommend when visiting Spain.

When I begin to look further afield (outside Spain) I realise I seen quite a these sites really.  I have written another post about the sites in Europe & USA I visited.

Which UNESCO World Heritage have you already seen?  Which are you planning to visit?

  1. […] A is for Architecture:  Despite what we may lead you to believe, Spain is not all about beaches! It boast some amazing architecture, in places such as Barcelona, Granada, Cordoba, La Coruña, Seville, Valencia to name just a few …  Because of their artistic relevance, many architectural sites in Spain, and even portions of cities, have been designated World Heritage sites by UNESCO. Did you know that Spain has the second highest number of World Heritage Sites in the world?  See the full list here   A friend of ours , Molly,  has visited quite a few of them …Read here comments here: UNESCO Sites I´ve seen in Spain – 8 and a half? […]

  2. Rachel says:

    Hi Molly,
    Let´s plan that date and add Jaén cathedral to your list, maybe Ubeda and Baeza too, they´re really lovely towns. Although Jaén has much more than the cathedral to see – no forgetting the tapas we´d need!

  3. jacques joosten says:

    Another nice story Molly
    Spain is a never ending fairy tail in history.
    Alhambra I’ve spent 2x 4 hrs and it’s just the beginning regarding Alhambra.
    Visit this weekend, my last in Granada, zondag 28 Realoja after your nice blog
    Found everything back on my maps.
    Thanx again Molly

    Salud, Jacques

    • Molly says:

      There is so much to see in Granada, yes. I´ve been here more than 6 years and still haven´t seen everything!
      Enjoy your Sunday walk around the old parts of the city.

  4. Steve says:

    Oh My Molly! Just looked at the list….there are so very many of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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