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A google search turns up results for either. The two are seemingly interchangeable. Which is it? Does one see sights or see sites?

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2 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Sights is the word used for interesting places to see, often visited by tourists.
Sites can be any place where something happened, or that is used for something (e.g. an archeological site, the site of the battle, a camping site).

The phrase that is normally used is "sights to see."

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As you can see, there is a wide range of meanings which cover both words, so they can be used as you pointed out.

sites :

  • an area of land where something is being built or could be built
  • a place where something happened, especially something interesting orimportant, or where there is an important building
  • a place used for a particular purpose
  • website

E.g; We have seen the site, it's beautiful.

sights :

  • the ability to see using your eyes
  • interesting places that people go to see
  • a person or thing that you see that has a particular feature
  • a person or place that is very unusual, messy, or unpleasant to look at
  • the part of a gun or other piece of equipment that you look through in order to aim it

E.g; The Hermitage Museum is one of the most important sights to see for any visitor to St. Petersburg.

See the sights is also an idiom.

1) We plan to visit Paris and see the sights.
2) Everyone left the hotel early in the morning to see the sights.

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Please quote your sources and use the `` instead of {} and paste the whole part of the sentence or edit it. –  mplungjan Mar 28 '13 at 7:17
    
@mplungjan; well i provided the links for the sake of reference only, have added a few examples to further clarify what i answered. –  Raghav Mar 28 '13 at 9:16
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