From ancient ruins of castles that once stood tall and proud, to the remains of a wall that once split a capital city in two, the world we live in is, in no doubt, filled to the brim with history. For those of us with a penchant for all things historical, jetting off on holiday probably comes with a lot more preparation than just finding a fancy resort with a pebble-free beach. After all, why would you go on holiday to just relax when you could explore the heritage that makes up the grand destinations you’ve touched down in?
Whether you’re a wartime expert, or mythology is more your speed, it’s time to get a case packed, make sure you submit your EHIC card renewal, and get excited! Without further ado, here are our top picks!
If you’re looking for a location that’s dripping in history and only a short trip away from even more historical sites, then Bath really is the ideal spot. With plenty of affordable accommodation in the city centre, you can take a stroll out into the elegant, Georgian architecture that lines each and every street, stopping off at the Roman Baths for a wander around the surrounding museum. You can’t actually dip into the waters here, but the Thermae Bath Spa is just around the corner!
Once you’ve had your fill of shopping with a picnic at the Royal Crescent, why not jump on a coach for a day trip to Stonehenge? Spend a while pondering the formations and how they got to where they are, and then finish your break with the best of British history – a castle! Windsor Castle, to be exact. Trips run regularly from Bath city centre or neighbouring Bristol, so get booking!
The well-preserved city of Pompeii is a staple in most history lessons, but even the best teachers can’t capture just how incredible this place really is. Pompeii was buried under volcanic ash after the tragic eruption of Mr. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, but what was left behind is the true marvel. For an insight into how Etruscans lived way back when, a walk along the stone streets will bring you alongside homes, pubs and more that are still standing, frozen in time. The famous death casts are a sight you can’t miss, and if you want to learn more about them and the town as a whole, why not take a guided tour?
Fans of WWII History will find that Amsterdam isn’t a history location to be missed. Learn about the life of Anne Frank as you take a wander around the Anne Frank Museum and see the exact bookcase that hid Anne and her family. Learn about her diaries, what her life may have been like before she was taken to a concentration camp in Northern Germany, and climb the countless stairs to the very top where her and her family were hidden. The history doesn’t end here, though. The Jewish Quarter of Amsterdam is home to the Jewish Historical Museum, a Portuguese synagogue and even the famed “Broken Mirrors” Auschwitz monument.
Another must-visit for fans of wartime history, Berlin is a hub of all things WWII. Take a wander alongside the remaining segments of the Berlin Wall and marvel at the art painted on its stone, before stopping by the Holocaust Memorial for a moment of deep thought. You could pass through Checkpoint Charlie, or wander under the Brandenburg gate and stand in awe at its sheer size and grandeur. For a break from the deep history that the city is filled with, why not do a spot of shopping on Alexanderplatz and see the famed world clock, or even take a trip to see the animals at the Berlin Zoological Garden?