Attitude Culture

11 Must Visit Cemeteries Around The World

It’s no surprise that fans of alternative music and fashion are known to indulge in the darker side of life. A fascination with death is often at the centre of some of the best alternative works, making cemeteries a must-visit destination for many of us who enjoy the alternative lifestyle. 

Visiting cemeteries may seem like a morbid pastime to mainstreamers, but they can offer some of the most beautiful views and peaceful atmospheres in the world. Plus if you’re not there for the tranquillity and photograph opportunities, many of the cemeteries in our must-visit list offer you the opportunity to visit the final resting places of some of the most famous celebrities and notable historical figures that are no longer with us. 

From cemeteries that give you excellent sightseeing opportunities to completely unique cemetery experiences from different cultures, we’ve put together a list of cemeteries that will turn you into a die-hard tombstone tourist.

Oh, and quick note, these are certainly interesting times we live in, so please only travel if it’s safe to do so and ensure you follow all local regulations and government advice.

1. Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Los Angeles, CA, USA


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by emmaboshart (@emmaboshart) on

One of the most famous cemeteries in the world and one of the oldest cemeteries in Los Angeles, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is iconic for its high profile residents and sweeping landscapes. A cemetery that you can spend a full day in, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is home to celebrities such as Johnny Ramone, Maila Nurmi (Vampira), Judy Garland, Jayne Mansfield, Chris Cornell and many more besides. If you’re not there for the sightseeing, you can watch regularly scheduled movies on the Fairbanks Lawn for a truly special cinema experience.

2. Père Lachaise Cemetery – Paris, France

Often described as the finest collections of deceased human talent in the world, Père Lachaise necropolis is an unmissable morning or afternoon out while in Paris. Many tourists flock to the gravesite of Jim Morrison to pay their respects, but you can also find Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Chopin in amongst the beautiful gardens. Fans of funerary architecture and art will be spoilt with the variety of gothic graves, burial chambers and ancient mausoleums that spreads across the 44 hectares of Parisian burial ground.  

3. Highgate Cemetery – London, UK


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Cemetery Light (@cemeterylight) on

The most popular of London’s magnificent seven cemeteries, Highgate Cemetery based in north London features notable gravestones including George Eliot, Karl Marx, Douglas Adams and George Michael but to name a few. If Highgate Cemetery looks familiar, you may have seen it appear in British horror films from the 70s such as Tales from the Crypt and Taste the Blood of Dracula. Another 70s throwback you may spot after dark is the elusive Highgate Vampire that struck fear into the hearts of Londoners and was the cause of multiple cases of vandalism in the now picturesque Highgate Cemetery you see now.

4. Green-Wood Cemetery – Brooklyn, NY, USA


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by flush75 (@flush75) on

Inspired by Père Lachaise, Green-Wood Cemetery is situated at one of the highest points in Brooklyn, giving you stunning views of both the Manhattan skyline and funerary architecture in the foreground. Aside from residents such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Louis Comfort Tiffany, Green-Wood Cemetery also boasts a beautiful park with picturesque ponds, long-established trees and an 1861 Gothic entrance gate to enjoy as you stroll through the tombstones, monuments and brownstone mausoleums. 

5. St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery – New Orleans, LA, USA


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sister Pie (@sisterpiedetroit) on

Near the iconic French Quarter of New Orleans stands the 18th-century cemetery of St. Louis No. 1. One of the stand-out features of the St. Louis Cemetery is the placement of its graves. New Orleans sits below sea level, meaning that all of the vaults had to be built above ground. Nicolas Cage has purchased a tomb in St. Louis that he intends to be buried in, but current residents are rumoured to include voodoo priestess Marie Laveau and the notoriously cruel slave owner Delphine LaLaurie (who you may remember were both portrayed in American Horror Story: Coven!)

6. Okunoin Cemetery — Koya, Japan


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ŁF (@loochospanorama) on

The largest graveyard in Japan, Okunoin Cemetery can be found nestled in the valleys of Mount Koya, Wakayama, circling the Kobo Daishi mausoleum. Mount Koya is a World Heritage site known to be the headquarters of Shingon — a sect of Japanese Buddhism. Featuring over 100 temples, Okunoin is built around the mausoleum in which the monk that founded the spiritual site is interred. The 1000-year-old mausoleum is lit by thousands of brass oil lanterns which have been burning constantly since the monk’s death. Filled with unique headstones and quirky monuments, the surrounding Okunioin Cemetery is a peaceful and entirely unique experience away from the hustle and bustle of Japan’s city landscapes.

7. St Mary’s Cemetery – Whitby, UK

Whitby is already well known among the alternative community for its links to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. St Mary’s cemetery overlooks the iconic Whitby Abbey and gives you the view of the town and seaside that inspired Bram Stoker to have Dracula land on its shores many years ago. Aside from the incredible views of Whitby Abbey itself, there are a few oddities for you to explore among the gravestones — look out for Humpty Dumpty and Tom Thumb’s gravestones in particular!

We don’t think there’s a better view for the deceased than here at Whitby. How many cemeteries overlook the sea like this in the UK?

8. Graceland Cemetery – Chicago, IL, USA

Graceland cemetery in Chicago, IL, United States, was established in 1860 and has 121 acres of land for its mausoleums and graves. The cemetery is also a certified arboretum of more than 2000 trees and with the typical Chicago snow in winter can look rather picturesque. It’s also one of the main locations used in the urban fantasy series The Dresden Files, with the statue in the picture coming alive; okay so that’s the main reason it’s on the list, sue me!

Interred here are quite a few notable people, including Amabel Anderson Arnold, responsible for organising the first woman’s lawyers association in the world; Augustus Dickens, brother to Charles Dickens, who died penniless in Chicago; and, Sarah E. Goode, the first African-American woman to receive a United States patent.

9. Xoxocotlan Cemetery – Oaxaca, Mexico


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Andrea Teixeira (@andrearteira) on

Surrounded an ancient chapel, Xoxocotlan Cemetery is a crowd of rickety headstones that are treated as the centrepiece of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca, Mexico. The celebrations begin on October 31st with the decoration of the headstones which includes building altars, lighting thousands of candles and adorning the cemetery with marigold petals. The atmosphere of the Day of the Dead is an incredible experience that involves spectacular street processions that see families bringing offerings of food and flowers to the Xoxocotlan Cemetery to celebrate the lives of the departed.

10. Glasgow Necropolis – Scotland, UK


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @morelli_j on

To the east of Glasgow Cathedral is the magnificent Glasgow Necropolis — a name that literally means city of the dead — a Victorian cemetery that sits on a low but prominent hill that gives you fantastic views of the city below. With over fifty thousand burials, you’ll be able to discover monuments in a broad spectrum of architectural styles with many designed by famous architects such as Charles Rennie Macintosh, Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson and JT Rochead. Cross the “Bridge of Sighs” at the main entrance to begin discovering this multi-faith cemetery and keep an eye out for notable graves such as William Miller, the poet who wrote the rhyme Wee Willie Winkie, and the famous chemist Charles Tennant.

11. Merry Cemetery – Sapanta, Romania


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Emma Lucey (@emmalucey) on

While many of the cemeteries on this list will be filled with typically grey tombstones and monuments, Merry Cemetery in Romania is a beautifully colourful contrast. Known for its skilfully crafted and painted wooden crosses, Merry Cemetery is an uplifting cemetery to visit that often contains poetry, limericks and anecdotes on the many epitaphs of its residents that each heavily feature a wicked sense of humour. This humorous style of epitaph, often seen with an accompanying humorous painted image, is a tradition started by Stan Ioan Patras in 1908 and is now carried on by his apprentice Dumitru Pop.

We hope that we’ve helped you add a few more death tourism destinations to your travel wishlist!

If you’re planning on visiting any of these incredible cemeteries this year, whenever travel opens up again, make sure you dress for the occasion with our holiday shop at Attitude Clothing!

You Might Also Like