English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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

share|improve this question
up vote 14 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."

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer
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

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.