Many couples harbour dreams of seeing the world together. And what better way to that once-in-a-lifetime trip with your significant other than planning it around some of the world’s most spectacular (and romantic) historic attractions? But with more than 1,150 sites in 167 countries on UNESCO’S World Heritage list, it can be difficult to know where to start. Make your life a little easier by checking out this list of seven UNESCO World Heritage sites to visit as a couple.
The Taj Mahal
Love and romance are deeply entwined in the history of the Taj Mahal, India’s most famous and immediately recognisable building.
It’s located on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in the northern city of Agra. And it was built in the 17th century by Mughal emperor Shah Jahān. The Taj was constructed as an everlasting memorial to his wife and inseparable companion, Mumtaz Mahal. She tragically died in childbirth in 1631.
Today, the mausoleum attracts 7 – 8 million visitors a year, around 800,000 of whom come from overseas, making it one of the country’s most popular attractions.
The Cypriot city of Paphos is the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and the cult that sprang up around her.
Worship of Aphrodite has been a key part of life in Paphos for thousands of years. The Mycenaeans built a template in her honour way back in the 12th century BC.
Today, visitors can explore the remains of ancient fortresses, tombs, palaces, and villas. And the mosaics that adorn the floors of the ruins are some of the most beautiful in the world.
Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls
The Mosi-oa-Tunya — or Victoria Falls as it’s more commonly known to Westerners — is arguably the world’s most famous waterfall. And it is well deserving of its place on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Rated as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, it attracts about 350,000 tourists in an average year. This makes it one of Africa’s most popular attractions.
Its natural splendour makes it a popular proposal spot. So, if looking for the perfect spot to pop the question, it should be high up on your bucket list.
On the Go Tours offers several packages that take in Victoria Falls, including the Zanzibar to Zimbabwe tour, which also takes in the tropical island of Zanzibar, the beaches of Lake Malawi, and the paradise of Botswana’s Chobe National Park.
Perhaps the most famous prehistoric monument in the world, Stonehenge was built in several stages. The oldest part of the monument dates back about 5,000 years.
However, the attraction’s most iconic sight — the towering stone circle — was built in around 2500 BC, during the late Neolithic period.
The site has long been associated with druids, who were the priests of the early Celtic religion. Love lies at the heart of druidism, which makes Stonehenge tours a perfect choice for couples.
To this day, druids flock to the site roughly once every six weeks to take part in a celebration of their love for the natural world and the changing seasons. The biggest gatherings take place on the summer and winter solstices.
The old town of Vilnius, Lithuania’s historic capital, was the setting for what is arguably northern Europe’s most famous love story.
In the 16th century, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, King Sigismund Augustus of Poland began a secret romance with Barbara Radziwill. She was Queen of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
When knowledge of the relationship leaked out, it scandalised and enraged the nobility. Not least because it started when the king’s first wife was still alive.
Defying the king’s family, the couple married, also in secret. But tragedy was to strike four years later. Barbara died of cancer at the age of just 30.
If your dream couple’s trip involves getting way off the beaten track and being surrounded by nature, the Galapagos Islands are hard to beat.
Located more than 600 miles off the South American coast, the islands are often described as a living museum.
Through a combination of extreme isolation and ongoing seismic and volcanic activity, the islands are now home to the world’s most unique and unusual selection of animal life.
Several species are indigenous to the islands, including the iconic Galapagos tortoises and the Santa Fé land iguana.
Venice ranks high on any list of the world’s best cities for couples. Maybe it’s the gondola rides; maybe it’s the high chance of being serenaded over dinner or a glass of wine; maybe it’s the sheer romance of an ancient city criss-crossed by innumerable bridges and canals.
Surprisingly, one of the city’s most romantic spots is the Bridge of Sighs. It is so named for the sighs of the countless prisoners who passed across it on their way to the cells. Venetian tradition holds that if a couple kisses while meandering beneath the bridge on a gondola ride, they’re sure to enjoy eternal love.
And who are we to argue with tradition?
Prefer a lesser-known tourist attraction? Check out On the Go’s guide to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites you’ve never heard of.
Phil Norris is a freelancer who writes about travel (and sometimes also about marketing). Beyond travel, he loves his cat and wearing a vest under an open shirt. Take a look at Phil’s travel writing portfolio here.