Thousands, if not millions of travellers are visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the world every single day. That’s because these are notable for being iconic sites of cultural, historical, religious, and natural interest. It’s the crème de la crème of where to go if you’re an avid traveller.
UNESCO stands for United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, and it was born out of the horrors of WWII, with the aim to spread peace, and as a precaution to protect areas form future conflict – especially given how many incredible sites were lost during those wars.
In 1978, the first 12 sites were announced: the Galapagos Islands, L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Park, Nahanni National Park, City of Quito, Simien National Park, Rock-Hewn Churches of Ethiopia, Aachen Cathedral, Krakow’s historic centre, Wieliczka and Bochnia Salt Mines, Island of Goree, Mesa Verde National Park, and Yellowstone National Park. Today, there are more than 1,100 UNESCO sites dotted all over the world, with new ones being added every year.
Given that a large portion of these amazing sites can be found in Latin America – such as the Galapagos Islands, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the city of Quito in Ecuador, and Cartagena de Indias in Colombia, we thought we would have a look and see which sites around the world are the most popular – according to Instagram. We turned to the widely used photo sharing platform to analyse the number of times every single UNESCO site has been geotagged by users, sharing a photo in that location.
The pink city of Jaipur in Rajasthan, India came in first thanks to beautiful and aesthetic city walls that are mostly pink, making them incredibly Instagrammable. Following not far behind were the 20th century architecture of frank Lloyd Wright across the USA with 524,931 tags, and the region of Bagan in Myanmar, with 455,115 tags.
As you can see, a number of these have relatively low counts when it comes to Instagram posts – making them the perfect off-the-beaten track destination for your next trip away. Given their new status, these are the places people will want to ahead to next, so get ahead of the curve and get those shots in before anyone else.
These include the bird sanctuaries along the coast of the Yellow Sea-Bohai in the Gulf of China, as well as the archaeological ruins of Liangzhu City in China, which currently only has 1,890 tags.
Methodology and Sources
In order to compile our list of the most Instagrammed UNESCO World Heritage Sites crawled Instagram using the geotag location feature, in order to find out how many images had been tagged in each UNESCO World Heritage Site location.
Using this number of posts, we ranked the sites from most to least Instagrammed, and pulled out the top 100 for our final results. Sources:
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