Don't judge me, but one of my favorite things to do while exploring a new city is to find graveyards to explore. Visiting graveyards might seem like an unconventional activity for some, but I find it fascinating to travel back in time and see learn about the people resting who influenced history, art, and culture. If you’re someone who loves extending spooky season all year long, add these coolest graveyards to your bucket list.
Why Do People Like Visiting Graveyards?
People are drawn to graveyards for various reasons. Some are captivated by the artistic and architectural beauty of tombstones and mausoleums, while others appreciate the historical significance embedded within the cemetery walls. Graveyards often house the remains of notable figures, sparking interest in the lives and legacies of those interred. For many, visiting graveyards offers a chance to reflect on mortality and the passage of time, fostering a sense of introspection and contemplation. Whatever your reasoning for visiting, spending time in a historic graveyard can be a peaceful experience.
Graveyard Visiting Etiquette
If you’re going to go graveyard exploring, make sure to follow the following etiquette rules to ensure both yourself and others have an amazing time.
Speak Quietly Or Use Headphones
Silence isn’t just for the dead. During your graveyard excursion, keep your voice low or use headphones if you plan to listen to audio. This helps respect the graveyard and diseased and the others exploring around you.
Don’t Stand On Or Touch Tombstones
Refrain from touching or leaning on tombstones. Not only can this cause damage, it is also disrespectful of the person whose final resting place you are looking at. Keep a respectable difference from the tombstones while in a graveyard.
Give Other Visitors Space
Keep in mind that while you may be visiting a graveyard for history and architecture, others may be visiting a loved one or be on a personal journey. Give others space to explore and exist. You don’t know what someone is experiencing internally, so don’t rush people who are connecting with a site.
✈️Pro Tip: On the hunt for a haunt? Check out these Best Catacombs Around The World.
These Are The Coolest Graveyards Around The World
Looking for a unique spot to add to your itinerary? The following cemeteries are equally stunning and they are eerie and well worth adding to your list.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
This cemetery is one of my favorite spots in all of Paris. Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France, stands as an epitome of aesthetic beauty and historical significance. Its tree-lined paths lead to remarkable tombs, housing renowned figures like Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and Edith Piaf. The cemetery's allure lies in its serene ambiance and the rich tapestry of stories etched into its grounds.
Highgate Cemetery in London, England, beckons with its Victorian Gothic charm and historical eminence. The atmosphere here is mysterious and captivating, adorned with elaborate tombstones and overgrown greenery. Notable figures such as Karl Marx, George Eliot, and Douglas Adams find their eternal abode in this remarkable necropolis, making it a significant destination for history enthusiasts.
La Recoleta Cemetery
When visiting Buenos Aires, I made sure to stop by this stunning cemetery and learn more about the political figures who were laid to rest at this site. Nestled in Buenos Aires, Argentina, La Recoleta Cemetery is a captivating display of architectural beauty intertwined with historical significance. Its mausoleums and sculptures are awe-inspiring, reflecting the city's rich history. The cemetery is the final resting place for prominent figures like Eva Perón and Adolfo Bioy Casares, attracting visitors eager to explore its art and heritage.
Sedlec Ossuary (Kutná Hora)
When I lived in Prague so many people recommended I take a day trip to Sedlec Ossuary. When I finally did, I was left with an uneasy, but excited feeling. The Sedlec Ossuary in Kutná Hora, Czech Republic, is a unique destination. Often referred to as The Bone Church this cemetery is decorated with human bones. The arrangement of bones into chandeliers, coats of arms, and other decorations offers a hauntingly beautiful spectacle. The ossuary is a testament to human creativity and a chilling reminder of mortality.
✈️Pro Tip: If you like visiting cemeteries, add the Sedlec Ossuary and these other best catacombs around the world to your bucket list.
Perched on Mount Koya in Japan, Okunoin Cemetery holds immense spiritual significance in Buddhism. The ancient forest setting adds to the mystical aura, inviting pilgrims and travelers alike. It is the mausoleum of Kukai, the founder of Shingon Buddhism, making it a place of reverence and a serene spot for contemplation amidst nature.
Australia's Waverley Cemetery, situated in Sydney, offers a unique burial ground experience due to its stunning coastal location. Overlooking the ocean, this cemetery provides a peaceful and reflective atmosphere. The artistic tombstones and sculptures enhance the serene ambiance. It serves as the final resting place for numerous distinguished Australians, making it a site of historical and cultural importance.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, is steeped in history and folklore. Its above-ground tombs are not only a testament to the city's distinctive burial practices but also tell stories of diverse cultural and religious traditions. The cemetery is famous for being the resting place of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen, among other historical figures, adding an air of mystique.
Cimetière du Montparnasse
Cimetière du Montparnasse is another must visit Paris cemetery. Cimetière du Montparnasse is a harmonious blend of aesthetic beauty and cultural significance. Artistic tombstones and sculptures dot the landscape, paying homage to notable figures like Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. The cemetery's tranquility and artistic allure make it a captivating destination for visitors seeking a unique exploration of Parisian history and art.
✈️Pro Tip: Planning your Paris adventure? Use the Jessi’s Journey guide on How To Spend 48 Hours In Paris.
Old Jewish Cemetery
The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague, Czech Republic, is a poignant reminder of history and resilience. With its densely packed gravestones, it holds a profound historical significance for the Jewish community. Each gravestone represents a story, a life lived, and a heritage preserved, making it a somber yet compelling site for those interested in understanding the city's Jewish history.
UN Memorial Cemetery
The UN Memorial Cemetery in Busan, South Korea, holds deep historical significance and stands as a symbol of international cooperation. Commemorating the soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Korean War, the cemetery serves as a place for reflection and remembrance. Its serene ambiance and meticulously maintained grounds pay tribute to the value of peace and the human cost of war.
Should You Add A Graveyard Visit To Your Itinerary?
While the idea of visiting graveyards might initially seem unconventional, these unique destinations offer an enriching and contemplative experience. Graveyards provide insights into different cultures, histories, and architectural styles. They offer an opportunity to reflect on mortality, pay homage to significant figures, and appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that go into memorializing the departed.
Incorporating a visit to a renowned graveyard into your travel itinerary can provide a meaningful and educational dimension to your journey. Whether you're captivated by historical figures, artistic gravestones, or serene landscapes, these graveyards offer a glimpse into the past and a chance to connect with the cultural and historical fabric of a destination.
Would you put a famous graveyard on your itinerary? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!