The Most Beautiful UNESCO Sites in Hesse, Germany

Düsseldorf, Germany
Düsseldorf, Germany | Photo by Deniz Fuchidzhiev on Unsplash
Anwesha Ray

There are 44 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany, and the German state of Hesse has its fair share. Let’s explore the UNESCO sites of this part of the world, ranging from beautiful natural attractions to bewitching castles, ancient fortifications to fossils, manuscripts of the world’s most beloved tales to an abbey from another era.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Beech forests of Kellerwald-Edersee National Park

Natural Feature
In 2011, five of Germany’s beech forests made it to the coveted UNESCO list, including the beech forest of Kellerwald-Edersee National Park. This forest, one of the last of its kind in Central Europe, sprawls over 1,500 hectares and is made up mostly of the stony luzulo variety of beech. The age of the trees in this forest range from 120 years to 260 years. This extensive stretch of beech has grown unhindered by traffic or human settlement, and hikers are allowed to explore only on designated paths.

Upper Middle Rhine Valley

Natural Feature
The Upper Middle Rhine Valley was the first natural feature to be bestowed the UNESCO title in Germany. This 65 km (40 mile) stretch, shared by the states of Hesse and Rhineland, earned the title for the amazing harmony between nature and culture. The gorgeous river views, a string of hilltop palaces and castles, picture-book hamlets, rolling vineyards and several cultural monuments prompted gifted German poet and author, Heinrich von Kleist, to gush “This is a region like a poet’s dream, and even the most magnificent imagination could not countenance anything more beautiful than this valley.”

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is not only among the most beautiful parks in Germany but is the one of its kind in the whole of Europe. The massive 240-hectare park took 150 years to be completed, and the result is a magnificent expanse of gorgeous landscape and water features peppered with cultural monuments, the most noteworthy among which are the mock-medieval ruins of the very Instagrammable Löwenburg Castle. Another sight that draws lots of ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s from visitors in the park is the Hercules Monument crowning the 526-meter (1,725 ft) Karlsberg Mountain, from which a waterfall gushes down stone steps and rocks.

Lorsch Benedictine Abbey

Lorsch Benedictine Abbey, dating back to the year 764, was one of the most significant monuments of the Carolingian Empire. This ancient structure stands as testimony to the architectural genius of the early Middle Ages, and still stuns visitors with the intricacy of its design, though much of it is today in ruins. Lorsch Benedictine Abbey was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

Messel Fossil Pit

Archaeological site
The Messel Fossil Pit, exhibiting the first stages of the evolution of mammals, is unparalleled in archeological significance. The pit has preserved flora and fauna fossils belonging to the Eocene epoch that are more than 50 million years old. The most unique among the treasures housed in the pit is probably the fossil of Propalaetherium Messelense, or Messel prehistoric miniature horse. The pit can be explored as part of a guided tour. There are also several museums (for example, Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Frankfurt am Main) across Hesse that exhibit priceless fossils and relevant documents.

Roman Limes

The Limes Route is named after līmes – fortifications and other defence monuments dating back to Roman times. The 550 km (342 mile) long route stretches across four German states – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate, and connects 900 watchtowers and 120 forts across 80 towns. While some of these monuments have been preserved in an almost-original condition, some others have been reconstructed in later centuries.

Brothers Grimm Fairytales

Brothers Grimm fairytales are among the most famous stories in the world, and have been a part of the bedtime of children around the world for generations. The legendary brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm lived, studied and worked in the state of Hesse for many decades. Several original handwritten manuscripts were added to UNESCO’s “Memory of the World” register (World Document Heritage) in 2005. In several locations across Germany (including Hesse), you can relive the magical stories of the Brothers Grimm.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.