Top Vacation Spots for History Nerds

From ruins to pyramids, these travel destinations will bring you back in time. Journey to the past at these vacation spots.

Everyone has different preferences when they travel. Some people need to be able to relax on the beach and get some sun. Others love to camp in the woods and be one with nature. And some people live for visiting museums and landmarks to learn about the history of a place. If you love to get lost in the past, this list is for you. The following destinations are rich with history, and will make for an amazing vacation. Visiting these places is about as close as you can get to time traveling. 

Machu Picchu, Peru

The mysterious citadel of Machu Picchu was inhabited by Incan people in the 15th century until they suddenly abandoned it. The community served as a fortress for Incan aristocrats, but was left untouched during the Spanish Conquest, most likely because it was tucked away and they could not find it. The evidence for this is the fact that sacred stones in the citadel were not vandalized, as they had been in other Spanish conquered areas. In 1911 the civilization was rediscovered and brought to the world's attention. Since its rediscovery, Machu Picchu has been a major tourist destination. It is not easy to travel to the ruins. One can take a train to a town a few miles away or hike and camp for several days. It may be challenging, but the history at the top of the mountain is worth it.

Athens, Greece

Athens is home to ancient history and the remains of a vibrant culture. The first known settlement of Athens was in 3000 BC, and the city-state was named after the Greek goddess Athena. Athens was rich with resources, having plenty of silver, lead, and marble, and the city had the largest navy in Greece in ancient times. The mythology of ancient Greece is everywhere, and you can see all sorts of historical ruins if you travel there today. The beginnings of western civilization are evident when you visit the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the ancient Agora. These are just some of the most popular tourist destinations, but the ruins and history are all around. Any history nerd will love to see the ancient sites.

Beijing, China

The city of Beijing was founded over 3,000 years ago, making it a must-see spot on any history buff's bucket list. The past emperors' influence is everywhere, and there are numerous structures to visit that tell their stories. Beijing is one of the most well-preserved ancient cities in the world, making it a prime spot for history lovers. The city holds the famous Forbidden City, a massive palace where 24 different emperors resided during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Palace Museum is also a part of the complex, which holds lots of Chinese artwork. The Great Wall of China is also a pretty obvious travel destination in Beijing. It spans across China, but the Beijing section has been well-maintained and is a popular spot. Construction of the ancient wall began in 770 BC and lasted all the way through the 1600s. There is a lot to learn by visiting Beijing and its historical landmarks, so make sure to put the famous city on your list.

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo was founded around 2000 BC and is where the pyramids of Giza are located. This complex includes pyramids, the Great Sphinx, and some historical cemeteries. These structures are massive and ancient, and they are definitely worth exploring. The populated city is actually about 15 miles from the ancient pyramids. The structures are said to have been created to honor the deceased pharaohs of ancient Egypt. The pharaoh's tombs have been the subject of multiple books and movies, and they are incredibly historically significant. 

Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

The Yucatán Peninsula was home to the ancient Mayan cities of Chichén Itzá and Uxmal. There are many Maya ruin sites open to the public in Yucatán. They are very popular tourist destinations as they are a short distance from Cancun. The Mayan pyramids are very architecturally mesmerizing and hold many secrets about the ancient culture. there are also several historic neighborhoods nearby. A history buff would have an amazing time at these sites learning more about Mexico's past.

Agra, India

Agra is the home of the only and only Taj Mahal. This incredible structure alone is enough for any history nerd to make the journey to Agra, but the surrounding area is also rich with history. The Mughal dynasty left their mark on the region and there are symbols of their reign all over. The city is just a short train ride from Delhi, so it is easy to reach. The city of Fatehpur Sikri is another significant site near Agra. It was the capital of the Mughal empire for a short time, but now it's essentially a ghost town. The buildings from the past are still standing, and visiting will truly take you back in time.

Rome, Italy

Rome is another city with ancient ruins that date back thousands of years. The famous Colosseum is located in Rome along with the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, and Palatine Hill. The Roman empire lasted for hundreds of years and controlled much of Europe, meaning tons of lavish architecture and artwork. The history of the empire is evident as traditionally Roman structures can be found in many cities worldwide. You'll be totally immersed in Roman history after visiting these landmarks.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest holds many medieval historic sites that you'll love to visit. The city was once two separate cities that came together: Buda and Pest. Budapest was one of the centers of the Renaissance, so it is full of art and culture. Unfortunately, many of the historic buildings have since come down or are now in ruins, but there are numerous museums documenting what once was. The city's turbulent history of rulers have colored the way it has evolved. Tours of famous buildings, churches, and castles will make any history nerd excited about this vacation spot.

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Top Vacation Spots for History Nerds