Israel has been accepted to UNESCO in 1999, since then many sites have been declared (or pend declaration) by the organization as world heritage sites of great importance.
Here is the complete list:
For further information on each site with our special tips and recommendations visit each site’s page.
- UNESCO stands for “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”, which surveys sites all over the globe.
- Number of Israel sites listed by UNESCO: 6
- Number of Israel sites in the tentative list that pend approval: 19
(updated July 2011)
Baha’i Holy Places in Haifa and Acre
The Bahá’i sites in northern Israel were inscribed in 2008, the most important and famous of them are the Shrine of the Báb in Haifa (Mount Carmel) and the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh in Acre.
The Shrine in Haifa with its surrounding gardens and monuments is a must-see attraction in Israel.
Additional information: Baha’i in Israel (soon)
Perhaps the most famous site on this list (added 2001), Masada is a beautiful natural fortress overlooking the Dead sea. It is a symbol of the ancient Jewish kingdom of Israel with a remarkable story about the life in the holy land 2,000 years ago.
Masada is a must-see attraction in Israel, read all about it here: Masada
Old city of Acre
The walled port-city of Acre, inscribed to the list in 2001, provides its visitors with a unique view to the medieval Crusader down on street level as well as underground. The surrounding area has many typical 18-19 centuries Mediterranean Ottoman features.
Old Acre is a must-see destination for travelers to Israel, for additional info: old Acre (soon).
Travelers may combine the trip to Acre with a visit to the northern town Rosh Hanikra. More details can be found in the article dedicated to north Israel travel (soon)
White City of Tel-Aviv (Modern Movement)
The White City of Tel-Aviv inscribed in 2003, refers to Tel Aviv neighborhoods and buildings that were designed and built in the 1930’s-1950’s, following the architectural concepts of European’s Modern Movement (Bauhaus, Le Corbusier, Erich Mendelsohn and others).
Read our complete guile to Tel Aviv, and make sure not to miss the white city’s beautiful architectural buildings, historic landmarks and walking routes.
Did you know?
Tel Aviv has more Bauhaus buildings than of any other city worldwide.
Introducing Tel Aviv video:
Historic biblical settlements mounds
Israel has more than 200 ancient settlement mounds called Tels, out of which three that contain substantial remains of villages with biblical connections were inscribed in 2005:
Actually, these sites are not on the common traveler’s itinerary. If your vacation to Israel is one week long or less, there are better places to see and enjoy, so we suggest to skip these sites unless you are a big fan of archeology and history.
Tel Megiddo National Park
Megiddo was one of the most important cities in the biblical period, best known as Ahab’s chariot city (Ahab was one of the ancient Israelite kingdom’s kings) and the place where the great end-of-days war Armageddon will occur (according to Christianity).
At the park there is a souvenir shop (with a lot of written materials on this site as well as others), an entrance hall with written explanations about the site and its history, a model of the settlement mound, a video presentation, and of course the archaeological site itself.
Don’t miss the great views of the valley from the Tel’s rim, as well as the underground water tunnel.
Travel tip: Note that there are no guided tours, so it is best to visit with your own private guide.
How much time?
1.5-2 hours are sufficient.
Adult / child: NIS 27 / 14 NIS
Location & How to get there by car?
Tel Megiddo is located in the north west, 2 km north of Megiddo junction (65/66 roads) overlooking Yizrael valley.
April–September: 8AM – 5PM
October–March: 8AM – 4PM
Fridays & holiday eves: 8AM – 3PM
Entry to the park is allowed up-to one hour before closing time.
Website: Tel Megiddo @ Israel Nature & Parks Authority
Tel Mediggo images
Location: north, near the Sea of Galilee
Tel Beer Sheba
Location: south, near the Negev desert
Incense & spice route – Nabatean cities in the Negev desert
A collection of places added to the world heritage list in 2005.
The incense and spice routes were an important network of trade routes that connected the Arabian peninsula to the Mediterranean for about 500 years starting 3rd century BC.
Along the routes, Nabatean villages were build to support and provide for the traders. The famous are named Avdat, Haluza, Mamshit & Shivta, and their ruins can be seen today in Israel’s Negev desert in at south.
Even tough these places have a great historical value and the story of the ancient routes is fascinating, it is not among the top travel destinations in Israel.