These Are the Most Instagrammed UNESCO World Heritage Sites of 2021

Cultural and natural treasures for days.

unesco instagram

Photo by NicoElNino/Getty Images Pro/Canva

By Rachel Chang

Nov 24, 2021

EXACTLY 75 YEARS AGO, UNESCO was formed to foster a global appreciation between cultures and at its very best, Instagram can do the same.

In 1978, the UN organization announced its first list of 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites, a designation that is widely considered the gold standard for landmarks around the world. Today, a total of 1,154 sites — 897 cultural, 218 natural, and 39 mixed — have earned a spot on the prestigious list.

To find out which of those is the most popular right now, creative resource company Design Bundles studied the number of times the UNSECO sites have been tagged on Instagram in 2021.

Topping the UNESCO list by a landslide is the historic center of Rome, with approximately 61.2 million posts on Instagram, followed by Rio de Janeiro with about 45 million and Venice and its lagoon with nearly 25.8 million. Rounding out the top 10 are Kiev with about 21.9 million, Florence’s historic center with 21.5 million, Prague‘s historic center with 17.7 million, Budapest with 14.7 million, Brasilia with 13.3 million, Saint Petersburg’s historic center with 12 million, and Quito with 9.9 million. All of these sites fall into the cultural category.

The highest natural UNESCO World Heritage site is also the top American location on Instagram: Yosemite National Park, coming in at 15th place with approximately 4.6 million posts. Two other U.S. landmarks are also in the top 30 — both are natural sites — with the Grand Canyon in 16th with about 4 million posts and Yellowstone in 25th place with about 2.8 million posts.

To determine the stats, the company took the top 145 UNESCO sites and analyzed how many times they had been tagged on Instagram this year.

  1. Historic Center of Rome: 61,244,436
  2. Rio de Janeiro: 45,039,569
  3. Venice and its Lagoon: 25,755,922
  4. Kiev: 21,914,502
  5. Historic Center of Florence: 21,516,815
  6. Historic Center of Prague: 17,731,077
  7. Budapest: 14,665,910
  8. Brasilia: 13,277,931
  9. Historic Center of Saint Petersburg: 11,987,336
  10. City of Quito: 9,854,551
  11. Old and New Towns of Edinburgh: 9,779,579
  12. Historic Site of Lyon: 9,400,931
  13. City of Verona: 5,661,681
  14. Rabat: 4,629,743
  15. Yosemite National Park: 4,611,905
  16. Grand Canyon National Park: 4,021,300
  17. Old Havana and its Fortification System: 4,017,138
  18. Cultural Landscape of Bali: 3,985,530
  19. Cathedral of Notre-Dame: 3,787,550
  20. Works of Antoni Gaudí: 3,451,098
  21. City of Luxembourg: 3,450,869
  22. Historic Center of Salzburg: 3,195,863
  23. Göreme National Park: 3,009,297
  24. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks: 2,996,880
  25. Yellowstone National Park: 2,832,668
  26. Antigua Guatemala: 2,765,980
  27. Old City of Dubrovnik: 2,637,398
  28. Dorset and East Devon Coast: 2,629,228
  29. The Dolomites: 2,532,349
  30. Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch 2,261,394

According to UNESCO’s stats, the country with the most designated sites is Italy, with 58, followed by China with 56, Germany with 51, and France and Spain, both with 49. The U.S. has 24 sites total.

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