Top 10 Historical Travel Destinations

Top 10 Historical Travel Destinations

by Cecilia Dos Santos
top 10 historical destinations

Do you love learning about history? If so, then you’ll want to check out our list of the top 10 historical travel destinations! These are some of the best places in the world for history buffs. From ancient ruins to fascinating museums, these destinations will take you back in time and teach you about some of the most important moments in human history. So pack your bags and get ready for an educational adventure!

Best Historical Travel Destinations

best historical travel destinations - library

By Studying history, we can learn about the events, people, and ideas that have shaped our world and influenced how we live. It also helps us understand the motivations and perspectives of people from different cultures and times, which can be valuable in our interactions.

Additionally, knowing and respecting the history and cultures of the places we visit is an important part of sustainable traveling. By understanding the past, w can better appreciate the present and make more informed decisions about how we interact with different cultures, which can help us to avoid actions that may be offensive or harmful and instead engage with the local community in a way that is respectful and beneficial for everyone involved.

If you want to learn more about how to be a sustainable tourist, read more in our blog post here.

Let’s get into it!

Athens, Greece

athens, greece

The first on the list is a destination any history buff knows. You can not have a list of historical destinations without mentioning Athens. Athens is the Capital of Greece. Moreover, it is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a recorded history spanning over 3,400 years. Athens earns its fame as the birthplace of democracy, arguably establishing itself as the most significant historical site in the world. Moreover, this city is filled with ancient buildings, such as temples and theaters, built mainly during the Classical period.

One of the main sights is Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of the most famous ancient archaeological sites in the world. Over time, Acropolis has been known for being a home to kings, a citadel, a mythical home for the Greek gods, and a religious center. Explore the Acropolis and its many temples and other buildings of Ancient Greece in Athens.

Do you want to learn more about Greece? Read our travel guide to Greece here!

Rome, Italy

rome, italy

All roads lead to Rome. There are many reasons to visit the Capital city of Italy, and you can easily spend a week or two without getting bored. But there are some things you need to add to your list if you are into history, as the city basically is a living history museum. The first stop is the Roman Forum. This ruin represents almost a millennium of Roman power during the glory days of Ancient Rome. The Roman Forum was the social, political, and commercial hub of the Roman Empire. This grand venue hosted a myriad of events, ranging from celebrations, elections, and religious ceremonies to gladiatorial contests.Today, the ruins of the Roman Forum are still a popular attraction for tourists.

I am sure you have heard of the Colosseum. Maybe the most famous historic sites in the world? The Colosseum is an ancient amphitheater, once the largest amphitheater in the world. Today, what is standing the remains of what is called Rome’s greatest architectural legacy. With a seating capacity of up to 80,000 spectators, the original Colosseum served as the venue for a multitude of public spectacles, including gladiator fights, animal hunts, and reenactments of famous battles. So, take a guided tour, explore by yourself, or keep an eye out for them when you are out and about. These two and many historical places await you in Rome!

Read much more about Italy and what this beautiful country has to offer in our Italy travel guide here.

Machu Picchu, Peru

machu picchu, peru

The ancient city of Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel located on a mountain ridge in Peru. One of the most famous historical places in the world, the Machu Picchu is also called “the lost city of the Incas.” It stands abandoned on the top of a mountain and is only accessible by trekking the Inca Trail. We actually don’t know where the city was abandoned. It is 75 KM from Cusco, the once capital of the Inca Empire.

We don’t know the original name of the city. We only know the name given to it by its rediscovery, led by Hiram Bingham, in 1911. UNESCO declared the place a Cultural and Natural Heritage of Humanity in 1983. You can find temples, palaces, terraces, monuments, water tunnels, and much more in the once-thriving community of Machu Picchu. This place is a must-visit if you are architecturally interested or interested in seeing one of the new seven wonders of the world and learning more about ancient civilizations.

Interested in learning more about South America? Read our guide to the best places to visit in South America here!

Agra, India

agra, india

You have probably heard of the Taj Mahal. One of the world’s new seven wonders, The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum complex in Agra, India. It was built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to immortalize his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth. It was built over a period of 22 years, from 1632 to 1654, by tens of thousands of workers from all over India.

Arguably the most famous building in India, it is located right by the Yamuna River and the Agra fort. The building itself is built with Mughal architecture, a mix of Indian, Persian, and Islamic styles, making it one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The Taj Mahal consists of the mausoleum, twin mosque buildings on each side of the main building, beautiful gardens, and a museum. One of the world-famous UNESCO world heritage sites, it is worth a visit for history lovers worldwide.

Washington DC, The United States

washington DC, the united states, USA

Washington District of Columbia, better known as Washington DC, is the capital of the United States of America. It lies in the middle of the states of Maryland and Virginia. Being the Capital of one of the most powerful countries in the world, naturally, that comes with a lot of historical places where you can learn about American history. Moreover, it is the home of the White House, which is the residency of the US president. Many US presidents have left their make on the city, one way or the other. The city is home to famous monuments and historical sites in remembrance of periods and events in American history, such as the Lincoln Memorial, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Washington Monument, named after George Washington.

The most famous would be the Capitol Building and the White House. Moreover, the city is home to most of the Smithsonian museums, which consists of 21 museums with fascinating artifacts of all kinds. If you are a history buff, Washington DC is a must on your list. You can choose to do a guided tour, or you can explore on your own. Either way, it is a must if you are interested in American history.

Are you interested in visiting more iconic buildings? Read our blog post about the most famous buildings in the world here!

Wiltshire, England

wiltshire, england

You might think to yourself, “What is there to see in Wiltshire?”. Even if you can’t recognize the name, you might be able to recognize these monuments. The answer is Stonehenge, of course! One of England’s most iconic monuments, the recognizable structure is a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England. There is no true evidence of the site’s intended purpose, but some believe it was an ancient temple used for religious purposes and an expression of the power and wealth of the chieftains, aristocrats, and priests who had built it.

Stonehenge is from the Neolithic and Bronze age, and if you visit the historical site, you can also visit the museum, where you can learn all about how the people from back then might have lived their everyday lives. One of the most fascinating things about Stonehenge is the mysteries about it. There is so much historical speculation about the monument that it is a popular tourist destination for everyone curious to learn more.

Chichen Itza, Mexico

chichen itza, mexico

Chichen Itza is also one of the seven new wonders of the world. One of the most amazing historical sites in the world, it is 10 square km and is located in Mexico. It is an ancient city built by the Mayans and is thought to have been a religious, military, political, and commercial center that was once home to 35,000 people. A UNESCO world heritage site since 1988, it is arguably one of the best historical travel destinations of all time.

Explore the ruins of the ancient world when you walk around the same cobblestone streets as the ancient Mayans and explore the pyramids and cenotes. Getting a guided tour through the different historical sites is possible, but we managed just fine with the information boards that describe each building. Besides that, there is also a lot of stunning nature, which is nice to explore in your own time. A fun fact about Chichen Itza is that the pyramids are astronomically aligned, but no one really knows why or how.

Vatican City, Italy

vatican city, rome, italy

Next, is the iconic Vatican City in Italy. Vatican City is a historical place and the smallest independent state in the world. It is located within the city of Rome and serves as the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. Vatican City is a popular destination for tourists, and it offers a variety of attractions, including St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel. Alongside its historical and religious significance, Vatican City garners recognition for its exquisite architecture and art. For example, St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the world’s largest and most famous churches, and it features breathtaking works of art by Michelangelo, Bernini, and other renowned artists.

The Vatican Museums, meanwhile, house an impressive collection of art and artifacts, including the world-famous Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo. The Vatican also has a visitor center where visitors can learn more about the history and culture of the city and the church. The center offers information and guided tours in multiple languages, and it is a great place to start your visit to Vatican City. So whether you are catholic or simply interested in history, Vatican City is a place to put on our list.

Petra, Jordan

petra, jordan

Petra is an ancient city in present-day Jordan renowned for its stunning architectural structures and rock-cut buildings. Scholars attribute its founding to the 6th century BC and recognize its role as the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom.. Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is often referred to as the “Rose City” because of the color of the stone from which it is carved. Petra‘s most famous structures include the Treasury, the Monastery, and the Theater. Visitors to Petra can explore the city on foot or ride a horse-drawn carriage along the ancient paths.

Petra is located in southwestern Jordan, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Amman. It was established as a major trading center by the Nabateans, who were skilled in the art of carving buildings and structures out of the local sandstone.

In addition to its famous rock-cut buildings, Petra is also home to a number of temples, tombs, and other structures. One notable structure is the Treasury, a remarkable building adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures. It served as the repository for the wealth of the Nabatean Kingdom. The Monastery is another impressive structure, with a large façade that is similar to the Treasury.

Interestingly, Petra was lost to the Western world for centuries. It was only rediscovered in the early 19th century by a Swiss explorer named Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Since then, it has become a popular tourist destination. Today, Petra is a major draw for tourists from around the globe. Moreover, it is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the Middle East.

Easter Island, Chile

easter island, chile

Easter Island is known for its iconic stone statues, called moai. The Rapa Nui people carved them and erected them on the island’s coastline. The small island actually belongs to Chile. Moreover, the island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the most isolated places in the world. These statues are one of the island’s most famous landmarks and popular tourist attractions.

Another notable landmark on Easter Island is the Rano Raraku quarry, where many moai were carved. The quarry is located on the slopes of an extinct volcano. It is home to more than 300 moai in various stages of completion. Other notable landmarks on the island include the Ahu Tongariki, a platform with 15 standing moai, and the Orongo ceremonial village, where the island’s birdman cult once flourished.

Honorable mentions

Thank you for reading!

We hope you found our blog post about the best historical sites informative and interesting. If you have visited any of the historical destinations we mentioned, we would love to hear about your experiences in the comments. And if you’re planning a trip to one of these places or anywhere else, check out for sustainable and eco-friendly accommodations. So, what are you waiting for? The world awaits you. Thanks for reading, and happy travels!

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