When choosing your next travel destination, it’s important to consider locations that align with your interests. If you love history, then you’ll definitely want to think about traveling somewhere that has historical locations you really want to visit! Different people have different preferences, so it’s worthwhile to consider what periods of history interest you the most. Whether you’re interested in ancient history, the Middle Ages, or the Renaissance, a little bit of research will take you a long way. Keep reading this list for 10 popular places that history buffs love to visit!
1. Machu Picchu
Located in Peru, this Inca citadel can be found in the beautiful Andes mountains. The citadel was built from 1450 to 1460. Although the exact purpose of the citadel remains unknown, archaeologists and historians assume Machu Picchu was meant for the elite and aristocratic members of the Inca. It was occupied for a number of years, but was eventually abandoned. The reason for this sudden abandonment is still a mystery today. In 1911, the citadel was found again by Hiram Bingham. Now, it’s a popular destination for travelers who adore history, architecture, and the beautiful nature it has to offer.
2. The Colosseum
One of the top travel destinations on any history lover’s bucket list is probably the Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. Located in the beautiful city of Rome, the Colosseum has quite a rich history. The construction of this landmark began in 70 AD, and was officially opened in 80 AD. Titus, who was the son of Roman emperor Vespasian, kick-started the Colosseum with one-hundred days of “games”, which included gladiatorial competitions and fights with animals. The Colosseum was actively used for approximately four centuries, but lost its prominence after that. Obviously, that doesn’t remain true today. Nearly two-thirds of the amphitheater have been destroyed over time, but that doesn’t stop this landmark from being a popular tourist destination and a long-standing symbol of Rome.
3. Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a beautiful mausoleum located in Agra, India. It’s instantly recognizable for its unique architecture and its white marble exterior. Construction began in 1632 by emperor Shaj Jahan; his intention was to use this mausoleum for the tomb of one of his favorite wives. It eventually was used for Jahan’s own tomb, too. Today, the Taj Mahal continues to be a brilliant representation of Muslim art, and remains one of the most well-known tourist destinations.
4. Sistine Chapel
Located in the Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is a part of the Apostolic Palace. The Apostolic Palace continues to be the pope’s official residence, which has been the case for several centuries. In the late 1400s, the Sistine Chapel was restored by Pope Sixtus IV, and ever since then, the chapel has been used for papal activity. Perhaps most notably, the chapel is the location where new popes are chosen. As many art lovers are aware, the chapel is highly recognizable for its gorgeous interior, which is filled with Renaissance frescoes by artists like Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Perugino. Whether you love history, religion, or art, the Sistine Chapel is a popular destination for many reasons.
Petra is an ancient city located in the desert of Jordan. Now, it’s an extremely noteworthy archaeological site. Although historians don’t know when this city was built, it was settled at some point between 9,000 and 4,000 BC. It’s believed that Petra was established as the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom around 4,000 BC. Because the Nabataeans were successful in the process of trading, the city of Petra greatly benefited from the influx of wealth. The appearance of Petra is perhaps most notable for its rock-cut architecture. Even today, it remains an absolutely stunning location to visit.
6. Easter Island
Easter Island is located in the Pacific Ocean; it’s a territory of Chile but also belongs to Polynesia, which is a sub-region of over one-thousand islands. Known among natives as Rapa Nui, this island is a famous archaeological site that was re-discovered in the 1700s. Historians believe that the first inhabitants of Rapa Nui can be dated back to 300 to 400 AD. The island is most recognizable for its giant stone statues of over-sized heads. Believe it or not, there are nearly nine-hundred of these figures, but their purpose remains unknown. Traveling to Easter Island is probably on the bucket-list of anyone interested in history or anthropology.
7. St. Peter’s Basilica
Another prevalent location within the Vatican City is St. Peter’s Basilica, which is an Italian Renaissance church. The church is most noteworthy for being the most celebrated creation of Renaissance architecture as well as the largest church in the world. It’s also considered to be the holiest Catholic shrine. Although this isn’t confirmed, it’s believed that Saint Peter is buried somewhere beneath the basilica. If you ever have the chance to visit Rome, you’ll definitely want to consider visiting this beautiful historical landmark.
8. Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China actually refers to a vast collection of fortification barriers along the northern border of China. This was meant to protect and unite historical Chinese states against nomadic tribes. The entirety of the wall is greater than 13,000 miles. It was originally devised by the emperor Qin Shi Huang between 200 and 300 BC. However, the most well-preserved section of the wall wasn’t built until the Ming dynasty; construction of this section lasted from 14th to 17th centuries AD. Although the wall wasn’t very effective at keeping out invaders, it continues to be a symbol of the country’s preservation and strength.
9. Great Pyramid of Giza
The Egyptian pyramids are probably at the top of every history buff’s bucket-list. There are at least 118 Egyptian pyramids, and potentially as many as 138. Many of these pyramids were intended as tombs for pharaohs. One of the most recognizable pyramids is the Great Pyramid of Giza, which is the oldest and largest pyramid in the three-pyramid complex surrounding El Giza; it’s also one of the Seven Wonders. As is the case with other pyramids, the Great Pyramid of Giza was also used as a tomb. It was built in the 26th century BC during the Fourth Dynasty for the pharaoh Khufu. Because this pyramid is one of the most intact structures of the ancient world, it’s a popular destination for tourists with a love for history.
10. Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens is a beautiful ancient citadel that’s found on an outcrop above the city of Athens, Greece. The Acropolis holds the remains of a few different ancient structures, which continue to be significant in regard to history and architecture alike. At various points throughout ancient history, the Acropolis was used as a citadel, a residence for kings, and even a home for the gods. Whether you like history, Greek mythology, or architecture, the Acropolis is an ideal location for many different people.